Movies based on video games are rarely good. So, why would I bother reading a book that is a tie-in to a video game? Because it’s Star Wars.
Some people like the Star Wars: Battlefront game, and there are those who like to complain about it. I can understand those who have a problem with the game, since so much of it is downloadable content, for which you have to pay extra.
As for the novel, “Twilight Company,” the reviews have been very positive. Some refer to it as Band of Brothers, or Saving Private Ryan, but set in the Star Wars galaxy. Those are apt comparisons, and I’d like to add one more: Battlestar Galactica.
Hear me out. Battlestar Galactica is not only about a ragtag fleet that is waging a war against a foe with superior weaponry, but it is also a human story. A lot of time is spent with the characters when they aren’t engaged in combat. “Twilight Company” has a number of character moments that add depth to the story, which has the benefit of allowing the reader to catch their breath.
The main protagonist is Sergeant Hazram Nazir. His backstory is told in flashbacks, which works far better than a linear timeline would have. But that’s just me. One of the cool things about “Twilight Company” is that author Alexander Freed put the date and location at the beginning of each chapter, so I never felt lost. There are a number of time jumps, baecause wars aren’t won in a day. But they can be lost.
Nazir is not a guy with a “gung-ho” attitude. He’s not even sure he believes in the same things as the Alliance. To be certain, he is no fan of the Empire. I don’t want to say he is an ambiguous character, but things aren’t always so cut and dried with him. It’s nice to get a grunt’s eye view of things.
The Star Wars tie-in media have featured a number of interesting female Imperials, such as Rae Sloane, Alecia Beck, and my personal favorite: Ciena Ree. I have added Governor Everi Chalis to the list. This is not a spoiler: Chalis not only surrenders to Twilight Company, she also offers to give the Alliance information that will cripple the Imperial war machine. Can she be trusted? Whose to say?
You don’t need to read The Rise of the Empire, or watch season one of Star Wars: Rebels to follow the action in “Twilight Company,” but having certain information does keep you from from consulting Wookieepedia on occasion. One of best things about “Twilight Company” is that it’s not another new story that features our favorite Star Wars characters, nor is it new characters giving us a fresh perspective on original trilogy events. Okay, Twilight Company is at the Battle of Hoth, but this time we see the action through the eyes of the ground troops. Don’t get me wrong; I love Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, but I don’t want every other Star Wars novel to copy the format. The novel I am most looking forward to is Bloodlines, also by Claudia Gray. That story takes place between Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens, which is a time period I am eager to explore.
Much like “Twilight Company,” the upcoming film Rogue One isn’t about Jedi, nor does it seem to feature a lot of space battles–but I could be wrong. I like Jedi and pilots as much as the next person, but there is far more to the Star Wars galaxy than just them. “Twilight Company” proves that.