Part of the all new Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens book series, Moving Target by Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry sees Princess Leia and her small team on a top secret mission spreading both vital information and misinformation in order to gather any and all Rebel forces together ahead of the epic Battle of Endor.
While this story may seem quite long winded, in the grand scheme of the Star Was saga it is an important chapter that has previously remained unexplored. Set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Princess Leia is teamed up with pilot and old friend Nien Nunb, communications operator Kidi Aleri, explosive expert Antrot, and Rebel commando Major Lokmarcha. Together they travel to various worlds providing a literal moving target while spreading disinformation designed to keep the Empire from discovering where and when the Rebel fleet would be massing ahead of their final attack at Endor.
I’m not going to lie, this book seemed to sag in places. The action could have been a little more punchy and the stakes could have been made to seem a little higher. All the elements of some good action scenes were there, they just fell slightly short. I never really felt 100% invested in Kidi, Antrot or Lokmarcha, and as nice as their characters were I feel the book could have worked with only one of them instead of three.
On the other hand we really get a more indepth look into the mind of Princess Leia: how she feels when people lay down their lives to protect her, and her inner turmoil at the loss of Han Solo who was frozen in carbonite and taken away by Boba Fett only months before the book is set. There is guilt over what the Empire has done to her home planet and a deep resolve to bring peace back to the galaxy. It makes me appreciate and empathise with the character we see on screen even more.
Another character that get’s the full-works in the book is the fantastic Nien Nunb! Millennium Falcon co-pilot during the Battle of Endor he really gets a fleshed out backstory, showing that he has a happy-go-lucky, quick thinking, friendly but cunningly clever character that is all but untouched during his brief appearance in Return of the Jedi.
Overall Moving Target is an mixed read: while it drags and sags at times, it still has it’s fun and exciting moments. Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry really bring to life the story’s two main characters, and shed some more light on one of the most important chapter of the Star Wars saga.