STAR WARS INSIDER: THE FICTION COLLECTION VOLUME 2 (REVIEW)

Nov 1, 2021

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They say for every story you know there is one that you never hear. Well if that is true then I think for a story about a “Galaxy Long Ago and Far Way” there would also be as many other stories as there are planets and stars in the sky. Titan Comics brings together several talented writers and artists for 148 pages of tales and visuals that encompass the lengthy Star Wars legend. Star Wars Insider: The Fiction Collection Volume 2 weaves perfectly in and out of the already established Star Wars continuity without disrupting anything. Only enhancing it.

Star Wars Insider: The Fiction Collection Volume 2

Titan Comics

Written by: John Jackson Miller; Paul S. Kemp; Alexander Freed; Jason Fry; Timothy Zahn; Christie Golden; Jennifer Heddle; Joe Schreiber; Edward M. Erdelac; James S.A. Corey; Michael Kogge; Janine K. Spendlove; Sylvain Neuvel; Delilah S. Dawson; Jason M. Hough; Mur Lafferty

Illustrated by: Chris Scalf; Marek Okon; David Rabbitte; Tom Hodges; Brian Rood; Joe Corroney; Magali Villenueve; John Van Fleet; Brian Miller; Jose Cabrera; Drew Baker; Carsten Bradley; Jason Chan; LucasFilm Animation

The publisher chose a smart approach when packaging the variety of stories readers will enjoy in this collection. This bookazine isn’t a straight shot from one point in the galaxy to the next. The technique is reminiscent of how we were introduced to Episode IV before Episode I. The tales flow freely across the timeline. Readers can expect stories that are surprisingly different in terms of tone and tenor. It reminded me of the MTV show Liquid Television from the 90’s. The unique styles the various artists used to illustrate each story further confirms this compliment.

Jedi and Sith, StormTrooper, Senator…they are all within the pages of this book. So are a few pirates and prisoners. Pilots, both TIE fighter and just racers, are here as well. A close read may find you noticing what could be implied as the Jedi Order’s last moments or the Empire’s. Loyalties are shown and at times an individual’s resolve to their cause is tested.

This is a must have for a Star Wars fan like me. Unfortunately I’m a bit biased since the franchise has been in my household since I was in diapers. Apparently people didn’t take babies to movies back then so I missed out on seeing a New Hope with my Dad and Big Brother. Still I’m the type who has to have anything Star Wars whether it’s boxed Mac and Cheese or a mug. If it has anything to do with the franchise I’m all for it. So when I learned that this book covered everything from the Legends to the current era of Star Wars, I didn’t even have to hear “I love you”. I knew.

But I understand that isn’t the case for everyone anymore. Somewhere between Phantom Menace and The Last Jedi it seems the rails fell off the fandom bus. Maybe this is because of the familial name included in the final film in the series - Skywalker. The overall interest in this ancestry seems to have waned. However in the middle of all these movies came Rogue One which seems to have reminded us why we loved this franchise. That is exactly the type of stories you can expect from this book from Titan Comics.

Within the 20 character-centric creations I found myself indulging in the lives of so many varying individuals. Each writer does an amazing job of filling their story with a massive amount of exposition and emotion. To quote the short comedic film Trash Wars “you’ll laugh, you’ll cry”. You may even waver on your alliances at some points. Or at least begin to understand not everything is simply Rebel and Empire.

Master Yoda advised Luke that we are more than crude matter, we are Luminous beings. Titan Comics delivers an assortment of tales that prove there is life and light even in the darkest sectors of the galaxy.

Star Wars Insider, Vol 2 shows that there are a lot of moving pieces in the Star Wars solar system. Each a unique satellite, within the orbit of the grander schemes that took place on the cinema screens. Within the pages of this volume you will discover many individuals, some familiar while others you may never have heard of. What they all have in common is that each one is attempting to make the most of their existence.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page of Star Wars Insider: The Fiction Collection Volume 2. It’s like the authors found a way to bring those scenes where the London Symphony Orchestra swelled and soared through the THX speakers to the pages. From cover to cover I cannot think of one story that did not excite me as a fan. My favorites are hard to pick out as I could read each one over and over again. I loved “The Third Lesson” with it’s exploration of how the Dark Side must be more calculating than cruel. “The Heist” felt like something I could expect from an Ocean’s film…while the message from “TK-462” reminded me of the ending of the 2007 film “The Kingdom”. Finally, “The End of History” is a gentle reminder that sacrifice and letting go are necessary components of progress and success.

Whatever type of Star Wars fan you might be…old, new, jaded…I highly recommend purchasing a copy of this astounding anthology. Read alone or to your little droid or youngling at storytime, you will not be disappointed. I do not feel it is an overstatement to say that the Force is strong with this one.

Score: 10.0

Star Wars Insider: The Fiction Collection Volume 2

Arriving November 9th, 2021

Available from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ka87sS
Available from Forbidden Planet: https://bit.ly/3ARWnly

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