Part of the all new Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens book series, Greg Rucka’s Smuggler’s Run finds us joining scoundrel Han Solo and co-pilot Chewbacca (both firm fan favourites) on one of their early swashbuckling adventures.
Framed as a flashback, with an older Han Solo and Chewbacca relaying their tale to some rough bar patrons, we are taken all the way back to just after the medal ceremony celebrating the Rebel’s destruction of the first Death Star that marked the end of the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope. Han and Chewbacca are quickly recruited onto a new mission, to rescue a rebel from a distant world before the Imperial forces, headed by the cold Commander Alecia Beck, get to him first.
And not only do the duo have to deal with the Empire hot on their heels, but also a gang of bounty hunters: a motley crew willing to do anything to turn a profit.
The book is really well written and he manages to capture Han’s little flecks of humour and sarcasm, even in the face of danger. Unlike the slower paced Luke Skywalker story The Weapon of a Jedi (review here), Smuggler’s Run is a fast paced story and very gung ho right from the off. This is not a criticism at all, as it captures the gun-slinging high-stakes elements of the lifestyles of Han Solo and Chewbacca.
A nice element of the book is that we get to see things through Chewbacca’s eyes at points. While in the movies we glean an insight into Chewie’s thoughts and feelings through the responses of other characters, we get to delve into his head and find out how he views the world. Similarly we get to view the more sensitive, inner thoughts of Solo, often thinking what he would never express. Be it about his best friend or his beloved ship, the Millennium Falcon.
Overall Smuggler’s Run is an excellent read, and I would recommend picking up a copy even if you’re not a huge fan of the Star Wars series. Like a futuristic Western, the story stands well on its own as it’s own self-contained story, with the reader not really needing to know much inside info to get their teeth into the plot.