Last Shot by Daniel José Older is one of the first Star Wars books of the year that I’ve been truly dying for. A pre-trilogy set story based around Han and Lando? Yes please!
Older’s novel jumps back and forth through time, covering not only a new heist than Han and Lando are on, but jumped back far enough to set up how this is still relevant to their separate pasts. Along with canon non-binary character – Taka the pilot, an Ewok named Peekpa with incredible hacking skills, and Lando’s badass, sharpshooting love-interest, Kaasha Bateen , I really loved the new characters and felt that they all contributed to the story in very significant ways rather than just filling space like a lot of characters in the Star Wars universe exist to do.
We get to see a softer side of Han, the side that doubts his worth in not only Leia’s eyes, but also in the eyes of his two-year-old son (yes, little Ben Solo pops up). Meanwhile, even Lando is struggling to deal with feelings as he debates what Kaasha is to him. Is she a fling? Or something more?
Of course, what I liked most about this story is the vibe it gave off. The killer droid reprogramming plot gave me flashbacks to the EU novel Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly. It was creepy as hell but Older brought a unique level of gross which made it even more run to read (while also making my skin crawl). I also weirdly enjoyed the lack of Jedi stuff and seriously had fun learning about Gor’s descent into his madness. Even the droids and their insistence on having rights of their own felt like something fresh and I was super happy.
I only had minor issues with this book and that was mostly some loose ends that I felt went unanswered in the “Past” story lines and some pacing issues around the mid-way point where the plot slows down, but I still give this book a 4.75 out of 5 stars. Excellent novel all the way around and I really hope that we get more Star Wars stories from Daniel José Older.
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Author: Daniel José Older
Published: April 17th 2017
Publisher: Del Rey
Synopsis: The author of Half-Resurrection Blues and Shadowshaper has penned this novel that connects three eras in the lives of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. Part of it takes place before the events of Solo and focuses on Lando and L3-37, Lando’s droid sidekick. Part of it takes place between Solo and A New Hope, and that focuses on Han and Chewie, where we meet Sana Starros for the first time. Part of it takes place post-Return of the Jedi, and that’s where we see Han, Leia, a very young Ben Solo, and Lando come into the story.