Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Booknote: _Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina (Star Wars)_

I finished the third and final installment of the Star Wars Tales books, Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina. Like the others, this book makes good light entertainment. This one featured a good variety of tales, much like Tales from Jabba's Palace. "Nightlily: The Lover's Tale," written by Barbara Hambly, has a nice twist at the end for readers who enjoy a little surprise here and there. "Doctor Death: The Tale of Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba" is interesting because the events take place after events in the Star Wars film (Episode 4, or the very first one); it provides a creative extension to the cantina scene where Dr. Evazan and Ponda pick a fight with Luke Skywalker only to find themselves at the end of Obi Wan Kenobi's lightsaber. Most of the tales in these books usually take place within the first Star Wars trilogy, and I have mentioned before, readers often get to see a particular scene from various points of view. In this book, the scene we get to see again and again is the scene in the first film where Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi go to the cantina to find a pilot. Fans who enjoyed the cantina scene will likely enjoy reading about some of the cantina's denizens. Readers who enjoyed the other two books will enjoy this one. The books do not have to be read in any particular order, and readers do not need to have read other Star Wars books in order to pick these up. Actually, since they are short fiction, they may be better for casual readers looking for a light read and little exposure to the Star Wars universe. The books feature a good blend overall with a variety of pretty well known writers; some readers may recognize names from other works outside the Star Wars universe. For instance, A.C. Crispin has also written books for the Star Trek novels as well as novels in collaboration with Andre Norton. Overall, I recommend the books. They were published by Bantam Spectra, and they can still be found in bookstores (new and used). I found my copies in a used bookstore; however, a public library with a good science fiction and/or fantasy collection may feature them as well.

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