Star Wars: Smuggler’s Run by Greg Rucka

For a book featuring a character called “Solo,” Han doesn’t have as big of a role as you may expect.

Set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo agrees to take on just one more mission for the rebels at the behest of Princess Leia.  He’s tasked with rescuing a rebel named Ematt, one that may play a role in The Force Awakens.  Of course, it’s not long until Han finds himself at odds with a group of bounty hunters and the Empire itself.

Rucka perfectly captures the essence of Han Solo.  Charismatic but not always nice, this Solo hearkens back to the anti-hero of A New Hope.  Best of all, Rucka’s Chewbacca is a noble, trustworthy individual that operates as Solo’s conscience throughout the novel, as well as comedic relief.  There’s a reason we love this duo, and Rucka understands their dynamic masterfully.

I noted that there simply isn’t enough Solo in this solo adventure, and that’s because the chapters alternate between Han and an Imperial villain named Alecia Beck.  She is a commanding officer, merciless, and willing to do virtually anything to reach her objectives.  She stars in roughly 50% of the book, which makes me wonder if somewhere down the road she’s going to be a major player.  Perhaps one of the spin-off movies?  Maybe some future books or graphic novels? Only time will tell.

Because this is a young adult novel, it is incredibly fast-paced and short.  However, Rucka writes everything well, from novels to comic books to young adult books.  Star Wars fans of any age will appreciate this book and Han Solo fans will love it.  It’s definitely worth the brief amount of time it takes to read.

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