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SWNN Review: Battlefront: Twilight Company

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Books & Comics + Legends' started by Hard Case, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. Hard Case

    Hard Case Porg Whisperer
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    Twilight-Company Cover.jpg

    "Twilight Survives". This is the motto of the sixty-first mobile infantry, a division of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, or perhaps better known as Twilight Company. Twilight Company is the focus of the latest novel in the Star Wars canon - Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company by author Alexander Freed, a companion novel to the popular Star Wars: Battlefront game by Dice.

    Since the game has no campaign to speak of, the book that ties itself to it by name, really has nothing to do with the game. However, it does succeed in putting readers in the shoes of the soldiers who had their boots on the ground during the Galactic Civil War, much like the free-for-all battles that take place in the popular multiplayer game.

    Battlefront - Hoth.jpg
    I was half-expecting this novel to be very similar to Lost Stars in the way it would take us from planet to planet and allow us to witness events and major battles of the original trilogy through different eyes. I have to say, I was presently surprised by the story that unfolded as we were taken to many locales, previously unseen in the Star Wars universe - one of my favorites being a brief mention of a world called Obumundo, a frigid moon covered in a sea of icy liquid metal. It's this kind of content that keeps things fresh and interesting. I love that this novel didn't end up just being a rehash of things we've already seen, with the exception of the evacuation of Hoth, which was actually pretty great as we experienced it much differently than we did in the film.

    The main character, a rebel named Hazrim Namir, was a very multi-dimensional character that was refreshing to read. He hails from a backwater world called Crucival, a planet with limited technology yet riddled with warfare. His motivations are vastly different from those around him as he has his doubts about even being a part of the Rebellion. For most of his life, he had been at war on his homeworld - in one battle or another - fighting for this army or that army, whichever made the most sense at the time. Eventually, he was betrayed by the Imperials and lost his fellow soldiers in a skirmish against the Rebellion, a conflict that forever altered his destiny - as he found himself joining their ranks just to get off-world.

    Twilight Company Patch
    "Twilight Survives
    61
    Mobile Infantry"
    TwilightCompany_patch.jpg

    Fast forward a few years, and we find Namir continuing the fight against the Empire. But unlike the majority of the soldiers in his company, Namir doesn't fight for the restoration of the Republic or the destruction of the Empire. He fights for one reason - the men and women standing next to him.

    On Haidoral Prime, Namir and his men overtake the palace of the Imperial Governor. The governor, a middle-aged woman named Everi Chalis, turns herself over to the rebels, and reveals that she holds secrets to the Empires infrastructure that could be invaluable to the Alliance. She is welcomed by some with open arms, and she is feared and hated by others. Namir was one of the latter. However, after being assigned to protect the former governor, his relationship with Chalis begins to change, especially after Namir assumes command as the captain of Twilight.

    Freed, in what is actually his first full-length novel, has created a story that is both real and engaging. The characters of the story - especially Namir and Chalis - are easy to empathize and identify with, and the day to day details of soldier life in the Rebellion were a neat change of pace from the content of the other canon novels to date. The way that Freed handled warfare was also refreshing as the combat in this book was like nothing I've ever read in a Star Wars novel before. The dark tone and gritty realism continued throughout, and the final stand on Sullust - the climax of the story - was especially entertaining, and went to prove that no matter what happens, Twilight - like their motto declares - will endure.

    Battlefront - Sullust.jpg

    Battlefront: Twilight Company
    succeeds in capturing that classic Star Wars feel while adding something new and different to the mix. This novel is the Saving Private Ryan of Star Wars novels, and with the upcoming Rogue One having a similar description, I'm all the more excited to see that movie after reading Freed's Twilight Company. If you're looking for a change of pace from the other Star Wars canon books and comics, and you like gritty compelling war stories, Battlefront: Twilight Company might be worth checking out. It is well-written and did not disappoint. I actually had low expectations for this one, and it so far exceeded those expectations that it actually raised the bar for what I now expect regarding combat and character depth in Star Wars. However, if you're hoping to see more from your favorite Star Wars characters, you won't find much of that going on in this book. Aside from a good little cameo from Nien Nunb, an attack by Darth Vader, and Namir sharing a drink on Hoth with Han Solo (this is assumed from the context as his name is not explicitly mentioned), the story is carried entirely by characters that are new to Star Wars.

    I do recommend that you check this book out at some point as it's well worth the read, but it's definitely not a must-read if you're trying to learn all you can about The Force Awakens before you get to see the film. There doesn't seem to be anything much related to the overall story, but this story is a self-contained gem that should be experienced by all Star Wars fans eventually.
     
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  2. ZebroGodilla

    ZebroGodilla Darklighter Ace

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    That last part. "Self-contained gem." This helps expand the universe, and makes sure we don't make the universe smaller. I will admit the PT did some of that, like Boba being a clone and the Separatists having the original Death Star Plans form Geonosis, but the new canon had adapted those well and I really have no complaints with continuity like I used to. I'm reading it right now, and it's very food. I loved Lost Stars because of how teh OT's on screen battles affected both, and because Battlefront and the novel have made me totally love Jakku, but it's really just another great read. I am one of the people who see Aftermath as a bit off, but not a failure, and this is continuing the tradition of novels that are reaching for the peak of the new canon in terms of quality and content.
     
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  3. Kyle

    Kyle Guest

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    Great review! I loved this book. I hope they release more like it. Admittedly, I had low expectations due to the video game tie-in. I hope they give Alexander Freed more writing assignments in the SW universe as well. This was his first novel and I feel like he took something that could have been too action oriented or hollow and really gave it a soul.
     
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  4. DarklightkillerX1

    DarklightkillerX1 Rebelscum

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    I really enjoyed this novel. It was gritty and reminded you that there is war in Star Wars. I really liked Namir as a character and wish we had more examples of someone like him in canon, a true soldier. Brand and especially Gadren were also some favorites of mine. I hope more people discover this book and forget about the video game aspect.
     
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