Written by: Daniel Wallace
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
My level of Star Wars fandom comes from a different time but one I am sure many of you can appreciate. In my day, which makes me sound like an old man, the internet was nonexistent. If I wanted to learn anything about my favorite property (Star Wars), I had to go to the library or a bookstore. I would soak in everything I could about planets, creatures, and battles. Which brings us to AFJ’s latest and most timely book review, “Star Wars: On the Front Line”. A first hand detailed (fictionalized) account of the soldiers that fought over Scariff, above Coruscant, at the forest moon of Endor, and more.
In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect to from “Star Wars: On the Front Line”. I knew that the events of The Last Jedi would be excluded here but the depth and detail quickly made that a moot point. Full descriptions of “Combatants” and the “Tools of War” were mind-blowing. Yet it was the personal accounts of those involved that made this old Star Wars fan giddy with delight. Here was a Star Wars book that emulated a WW2 soldier guide mixed with a Stephen Ambrose-style story of an account of each conflict. Not only did this add to the canon of Star Wars, but it enriched the overall mythos of the events.
For the uninitiated or the young fan, each conflict (11 in total) features “Combatants”, “Tools of War”, as well as a “Prelude to Battle”, “Tactical Analysis” and “Aftermath”. In those pages, the focus turns to commanders of these conflicts as well as eyewitness accounts. However, it is the “Tales of Valor” that I found the most intriguing. Here was a full history of Red Leader (aka Garven “Dave” Dries) and Hobbie Klivian, soldiers that lost their lives. However, I found it odd that no Imperials (seen primarily as the villains in Star Wars) had an entry in “Tales of Valor”. Perhaps in subsequent releases, Inferno Squad will garner a Tale of Valor or two?
There are only two conflicts that tie to the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series, mentioned in the book. They are the Battle of Christophsis and the Battle of Ryloth. The first conflict does happen in Star Wars: Clone Wars film, released in 2008, however, only two battles from the TV series are documented. Perhaps the TV series provided too large a conflict to cover in this book. Hopefully, The Clone Wars (TV series), as well as Star Wars Rebels, will receive their own “On the Front Line” treatments.
Again, this a fantastic book lavished with amazing stories and paintings of the conflicts enclosed. Daniel Wallace also featured painted portraits of the commanders involved giving the book a real history feel, that many science fiction/ movie books fail to capitalize on. Yes, you are reading a history book, only one about a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away that keeps unfolding and revealing a rich history that even its creator never conceived of.
This book is the perfect gift for the Star Wars fan who you think has everything!
Order STAR WARS: ON THE FRONT LINES here on Amazon.