Author: Brian Daley
While I am predisposed to love all things Star Wars, I tried to be realistic going into this book. Literary merit is not always a high priority with licensed material. That said, I was pleasantly surprised. Han Solo at Star's End is a lot of fun. The story takes place a year or so before Han and Chewbacca meet Luke and Obi Wan in the cantina. Wouldn't you know it, they find themselves on a rescue mission, this time for Doc, the best black market mechanic in the galaxy. Daley's feel for the character - the cadence of speech, the sense of humor, the worldview, the devotion to Chewie - is excellent. If you seek insight into the character with glimpses of a credible back story, you'll find it here.
If there's an Isaac Asimov influence on Star Wars, it is most clearly evident in Han Solo. Merchant-adventurers figure prominently in Asimov's Foundation series. Asimov even had an important character named Han Pritcher - perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not. Han Solo at Star's End includes some less subtle nods to the SciFi grandmaster. Even the title and its meaning echoes Foundation. In both stories, Star's End refers to a star at the far end of a galactic spiral arm (or at least that's the original interpretation in Foundation). The Han Solo story also features a highly mechanized central authority city that sounds an awful lot like Asimov's Trantor, particularly in the description of its space port. (If some of this seems familiar to Firefly fans, I don't think that's a coincidence either.)
I leave you with this question to ponder: with Star Wars stand alone movies on the horizon, whom would you cast in the role of a young Han Solo? Most of the people who come to mind first for me are already too old, including the most obvious: Nathan Fillion. When I put the question to My Wife, she instantly came up with the man who probably would get the role if it were offered tomorrow: Christopher Pratt. Ewan McGregor was the perfect choice for the young Kenobi. Does the current generation of young actors have a Ewan McGregor?
Whom would you choose?