Star Wars: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel tells the story of the Ersos – Lyra, Galen, and baby Jyn – and how they deal with Orson Krennic in the days before the Clone Wars and into the “dark times” of the Empire’s beginnings.
It’s a relationship story between Lyra, Galen, and Orson, and the permutations thereof, set against the backdrop of galactic events and the beginnings of the construction of the Death Star. It’s a different dynamic at the center of the book than the last one written by James Luceno, Star Wars: Tarkin, but he carries it off convincingly.
Interestingly, though, Luceno gives more than the usual credit to Lucasfilm folks in the front of the book, where it says:
Written in partnership with Leland Chee, Pablo Hidalgo, Matt Martin, and Rayne Roberts of the Lucasfilm Story Group.
With special thanks to Gareth Edwards and the screenwriters and producers of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
This seems to be a deeper level of involvement from the Story Group than ever before. I wonder whether there was already a lot of backstory work done as part of the development of the movie, so that Luceno had less “creation” to do, per se. And it does raise the question of just how expansive the work of Story Group really is.
Meanwhile, a month or so back, I asked Pablo Hidalgo a question about whether there were two Death Star projects going on at the same time, because the Geonosians and Separatists were working on the design during Attack of the Clones, and Dooku delivers the plans to “his master” Palpatine/Sheev, so what gives? Pablo replied to the effect of, “Let’s say what Catalyst has to say on the subject,” and I’m pleased to tell you Catalyst answers the question convincingly.
You’ll also see some familiar faces, including at least one that’s key to the Rogue One movie, and sets up that character’s relationship with the Ersos. The new supporting cast is colorful, too, including the introduction of a smuggler named Has Obitt who starts off doing jobs for Krennic but ultimately faces his own crisis of conscience.
As do Galen, who (with Lyra’s helpful insights and explorations) comes to realize just what’s happening to his research, and how it’s being corrupted. Ultimately, the book is a bit of a cautionary tale about the morality of the choices you make, and the slippery slope that occurs when you start making justifications or let outside influences manipulate your own evaluations of wrong versus right.
Not my favorite in the new Canon (that honor is still held by Bloodline), but definitely a worthy and worthwhile read. Later this week, I’ll be digging deeper into the book’s secrets, spoilers and all…
Trivia Time!Test your knowledge of the Star Wars universe!
Yesterday’s answer: Skellig Michael
Today’s question: What’s the name of the studio where the interiors of The Force Awakens were filmed?