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Star Wars: Rogue Squadron: The Essential Legends Collection Book Review

“Star Wars: Rogue Squadron: The Essential Legends Collection” holds up after all these years.

Written by Michael A. Stackpole (whose voice is really missing in the current canon), “Rogue Squadron” is the first book in the ten novel series. The post “Return Of The Jedi” story revolves around the Rebel hero Captain Wedge Antilles’ Rogue Squadron of X-Wing fighter pilots comprised of Lt. Corran Horn (a hotshot pilot who was a former Corellian Security Officer), Bror Jace, Lujayne, Ooryl, Nawara, Erisi, Rhysati, Biggs cousin Gavin, among others. Each of the pilots have their reasons for joining the Rebel Alliance. Other key players here include Admiral Ackbar, General Salm (who is in charge of the Y-Wing squadron Defender Wing), Tycho Celchu (a former Imperial turned XO training officer), and Mirax (a supplies smuggler). Much of the first novel deals with the team training via simulators and embarking on missions (no spoilers here).

Of course, the Rebels aren’t the only characters within this novel. The Imperials get the spotlight with Imperial Intelligence Officer Kirtan Loor) and his superior Ysanne Isard. Kirtan (who has a history with Corran) has been assigned to destroy Rogue Squadron. The Imperial remnants (who still control planets like Coruscant) are seeking to destroy the Rebellion once and for all. 

After the underwhelming Alphabet Squadron series, it’s refreshing to go back and read what has often been claimed to be the gold standard of fighter pilot Star Wars stories with “Rogue Squadron” (which can’t be argued with). The book (which may soon inspire a feature film) has everything you could want from a Star Wars tale. The stakes are high, the aerial combat is descriptive to the point that it feels like you’re in the cockpit, the Rebel-Imperial conflict rages on, the lead characters (particularly Wedge and Corran) are well developed, and the plot perfectly sets up bigger events to come. Stackpole hooks you (the reader) from the get go and never lets go and that’s exactly what you want from a Star Wars novel.

The only real downside is that there could have been a bit more characterization to some of the other pilots. Sure, this is mainly Corran’s story and the plot chronicles his rise to becoming a skillful pilot, a team player and a hero, but it would be nice to invest more in some of the secondary characters. Granted, there’s still 9 other books left in the series so it’s quite plausible there will be more page time for the pilots.

Note: The book concludes with an excerpt of “Wedge’s Gamble” (the second book in the series which is also now available as part of The Essential Legends Collection).

May 26, 2022 - Posted by | Book review | , ,

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