Tales from Jabba’s Palace – Edited by Kevin J. Anderson
Book Report By Vincent
The feature that nobody cares about is back! I’ve got another book report for you and this time I read another Star Wars expanded universe book, Tales from Jabba’s Palace! Was it good or was it a steaming pile of crap like almost all Star Wars Expanded Universe books?
You can best sum up my thoughts on the Star Wars Expanded Universe in two words, “it’s shit”, but there are a few bright spots in all the garbage. I was surprised that I enjoyed Tales of the Empire and Tales of the New Republic much more than I thought I would have, so I made the mistake of reading Tales from Jabba’s Palace.
Tales from Jabba’s Palace is set up a bit differently than the other two Tales books I previously mentioned. Instead of just being a collection of short stories, this book is set around the time of Return of the Jedi and the short stories are fairly well connected with each other, despite being written by a variety of authors. It was an interesting concept that kept me reading, but it wasn’t enough to save the overall novel. Tales from Jabba’s Palace encompasses everything that’s wrong with the Star Wars Expanded Universe, in particular everything that went wrong with it right after the amazing Thrawn Trilogy, which pretty much brought back Star Wars. That is, the Expanded Universe got fucking ridiculous. Mainly this book helped solidify the idea that every god damned background character has an elaborate backstory. For example, the weird lipped alien singer? Oh she’s not just some lounge act, she’s being paid as a spy.
I’ll save everyone a lot of time and not list everything that’s beyond stupid in Tales from Jabba’s Palace by just going with perhaps the most idiotic: The frog that is outside of Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi, you know the one that burps after eating a creature and is on screen for about two seconds, well he’s actually an intelligent spy. I was about ready to put the book down when I read that, but I kept going only because I had to write this article and share how incredibly dumb that is. There’s lots of other cringe worthy items that pop up, but I’m going to save my brain power. You’re going to have to trust me on this one, folks.
Not everything in Tales from Jabba’s Palace is a complete waste. The best story in the book is hands down “A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett”, which details Boba Fett’s time in the Sarlacc and how exactly he escapes. Not only does it have Boba Fett in it (awesome), but it’s well written. It also shows a vunrubliity in the character that you don’t see in terrible Expanded Universe works he stars in.
I was also suprised at how entertaining the story was that featured the really fat and ugly dancer in Jabba’s palace, even that too had believably stretching issues. For example, her warts were fake and she wasn’t obese, she just comes from a desert environment where she balloons out when she stores water. Yeah, like I haven’t heard that one before.
My recommendation is to pick this up at the used book store, read the Boba Fett story, tear that out and then recycle the rest of the book. That way you may safe future generations from the horror of the really bad parts.