In case you didn’t already know, I am a HUGE Star Wars fan (Sith For Life!). So every new toy, movie, cartoon, comic, or book is greedily examined by me, contemplated over; and, if my budget allows, purchased.
Despite being an “uber-fan,” I have been known to be highly critical of “The Prequels” and George Lucas. My initial thoughts on Disney’s purchase of Lucasilm was one of glee which quickly turned to dismay when Kathleen Kennedy threw all established printed cannon in the garbage (yes, yes, I know, Lucasfilm declared them non-canon to the franchise and “rebranded” the expanded universe works as Star Wars Legends in 2014).
After The Force Awakens (trash) and The Last Jedi (more trash), I pretty much resigned myself to the fact I’d never see another Star Wars movie in the realm of The Empire Strikes Back. Any hope for a Han Solo or Boba Fett movie to enjoy was gone.
So, I admit, my trepidation for Star Wars: Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson weighed heavily when I first got the book. Cracking open Phasma, I began reading with an open mind. I wanted to like this book. Among J.J. Abrams MANY mistakes with The Force Awakens, his underutilized use of Captain Phasma was almost as big a sin as Lucas killing off Darth Maul – hell, it was a BIGGER sin than Lucas killing off Fett in Return of the Jedi. So being able to read a “cannon” backstory of Phasma piqued my interest.
Unfortunately, Phasma was worse than I expected. I’ll admit, when I initially wrote this review, I didn’t know much about Ms. Dawson other than she writes whimsical and dark fantasy for teens. After reading Phasma and writing this review, I wanted to give her the benefit of a doubt that her writing isn’t necessarily bad, so I took some time to read her books Wicked as They Come and Star Wars: The Perfect Weapon. After doing, my opinion has changed somewhat. Ms. Dawson is an accomplished young adult writer and I can see the appeal for her other works, but I find her Star Wars storytelling to be unimaginative. In Phasma, Resistance spy Vi Moradi, working under The Princess, is knitting while traveling through space? And her captor, a First Order trooper, who wears red armor is named … wait for it … Captain Cardinal?!?!
Whoever is editing for her over at Del Rey Books, needs to find a new job, editing isn’t your calling. By page 40, I was nauseated by the poor grammar. Dawson’s writing ability is best suited for teen fantasy, but this is not a teen book. It is a Star Wars novel and would, in theory, be placed on a reader’s shelf next to great Star Wars’ novelists Alan Dean Foster and Timothy Zahn.
In the end, I didn’t feel like I knew anything of real value about Captain Phasma (what’s the deal with all these “Captains” anyway? Is Captain the “glass ceiling” of the First Order?). All I really got was an average action hearsay story, that in all honesty wasn’t very original and it was boring.
Please feel free to agree or disagree with me in the comments below.