Book Report: Tales from the Empire and Tales from the New Republic


Tales from the Empire, Tales from the New Republic

Book Report by Vincent

In this very special book report I report on two, TWO books. How epic is that? Pretty epic. The books I’m reviewing are both Star Wars expanded universe short story collections. The stories were collected from a rather cool (and rather dead) journal that tied into the old West End Games Star Wars RPG. May it rest in peace.

Now after complaining about Star Wars books in the past you are probably wondering why in the hell I would read  more of them. Well, both of these were recommended by my Star Wars RPG “game master” (yep, I play the Star Wars RPG regularly). He said that the books were A.) good and B.) gave a good look at the Star Wars universe outside of the films. I’m happy to report that my GM, let’s call him Kevin, was indeed right. These books are both these things. Granted the stories aren’t all great, but that will happen in anthologies. Overall, they are pretty good.

What’s odd to me is why I liked the majority of these stories. How could I possibly like them when my eyes naturally reject most of Star Wars Expanded Universe for fear of my safety? I can only come up with three explanations. The first is that the stories were written in the 90s when the EU was still pretty young, relatively speaking. Not every friggen background character in the films had an epic backstory. That’s just annoying and unnecessary. Secondly, the stories aren’t super epic. They are small scale engagements that don’t necessarily revolve on completely retarded concepts like a Death Star built by the Hutts. Finally, the main Star Wars stars (Han, Luke, and Leia) don’t really make appearances. The less I read about them the better, since I’m weird and I find it impossible to believe that the characters have non-stop adventures outside of the movies. Perhaps not coincidentally, the most well known character to have a big role in one of the stories is Boba Fett and his actions in Tales from the Empire are completely ridiculous.

If you’re a fan of Star Wars and somehow missed these back in the ’90s or just want to get a better idea of what the rest of the Star Wars universe is like check them out. They’re common enough that you can easily find them in used book stores if you’re one of the poor. I wouldn’t know what that’s like though. I buy my books at Tiffany’s. Oh, you didn’t know that Tiffany’s sold books? That’s because you’re poor.

  • Tales from the Cantina, Tales from Jabba’s Palace, & Tales of the Bounty Hunters were pretty good too.

  • I love Star Wars. When the Thrawn trilogy of books came out in the early to mid 90s, I was so excited. I was starved for more Star Wars and the fact that they were actually good was icing on the cake.

    I continued to read each of the novels as they came out up to somewhere around the time I, Jedi came out. At that point, I realized that most of the EU novels kinda sucked. They were constantly tiptoeing around what happened in their universe’s history prior to the original trilogy of movies. AND every background character you ever saw in the movies was slowly revealed as a spy of some sort who tied into the movies’ plots.

    It was all getting too crazy so I had to step away. And I haven’t ever looked back. Especially after the new trilogy of movies kinda blew.

  • Vincent

    Chris, I’m right there with you.

    Except I liked Episode II and III enough that I enjoy select things that take place in that period. For example, the Clone Wars comics are AWESOME and the first Clone Wars cartoon. I’m not sure about the books though, I am very selective in what Star Wars books I read.

    lamar, I have a couple of those. I might review them in the future if I feel any different about them than I do these ones.

  • That’s totally fair. I’ve heard very good things about the Clone Wars cartoon. I have only seen one episode and it was good. But the movies don’t hold up very well if we’re being honest. A few good action scenes, but boring characters.