Star Wars: Last Shot

Last Shot Book Cover Last Shot
Star Wars
Daniel José Older
Sci-fi
Del Rey
April 17, 2018
Hardcover
356

The author of Half-Resurrection Blues and Shadowshaper has penned this novel that connects three eras in the lives of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. Part of it takes place before the events of Solo and focuses on Lando and L3-37, Lando’s droid sidekick. Part of it takes place between Solo and A New Hope, and that focuses on Han and Chewie, where we meet Sana Starros for the first time. Part of it takes place post-Return of the Jedi, and that’s where we see Han, Leia, a very young Ben Solo, and Lando come into the story.

 

Note: This review will contain spoilers for Star Wars: Episode VII. But it has been 2½ years, so I hope you have seen it by now.

Last Shot is more or less what you would expect from a current Star Wars novel. This particular book seems like it exists more to promote the upcoming Solo film than anything else. It would be a stretch to say Last Shot is bad (it is not), but it did not feel important. Disney seems to want all plot-relevant content confined to the films (which is understandable), so the New Canon novels are mainly only good for character development.

The central figures in this book are Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. Now maybe there are things in the new movie that will help guide this book along a little. But these are characters who have already been clearly established in the films. Han was in the whole original trilogy; then in Episode VII he was given a quick reintroduction and subsequently killed. All Last Shot establishes is he tried being a dad and did not think he was very good at it. And that was just a sub-plot, not even the main story.

Lando had a bit more room for character development since he has had less screentime in the films. And “character development” basically means how he stops being a bachelor. So, it is like How I Met Your Mother in space. This was nice to see, but it did not 100% fit his character in this continuity. In the old canon it was clearly established that Lando was a player. In the new canon, he has only popped up a couple of times. Sure, he always flirts with the ladies in those appearances, but they have been too few and far between to really establish that character aspect. Most of the time we have seen him prior to this book, he is helping Rebels.

This book does jump around between three different stories as well. The “present” story made the most sense since it was self-contained. Lando’s flashback probably ties in with Solo since his droid, L-3, was featured in the trailer. Han’s flashback features his first wife Sana from the current Star Wars comic books; if you have not read those, you are going to be a bit lost on that character. Overall, it felt like this book tried to do something and just could not. Daniel José Older is primarily a YA author and it showed throughout Last Shot. Ultimately, it is a skippable book for people interested in Star Wars.

May 20, 2018

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