Star Wars Gamer #1
by Daniel Wallace
Published by Wizards of the Coast
Scott's Rating: 3 out of 4
This short story was published in the Star Wars Gamer magazine.
Cecil Noone is part of a band of intergalactic thieves. They have recently stolen a very rare Hapan weapon and are attempting to sell it to a wealthy underworld figure named Tyro Viveca. Viveca also has a passion for hunting anything and everything. However, Tyro double crosses Noone and forces him to flee across his property while he hunts him. Along the way Noone must face deadly droids, traps, treacherous terrain, and other things. Noone's fellow thieves realize their leader is in trouble and attempt to save him. But can they make it in time?
This is the Star Wars version of the classic man hunting man story "The Most Dangerous Game". Wallace is very up front about this and even provides a little commentary about it at the end (which is a very cool and educational addition). It has all the twist, turns, and conflicts of that short story, but the fellow thieves played a little more prominent role here.
The chase is fast and intense. Wallace establishes very early that the stakes are high. What is neat about these short stories is that the characters are expendable. They aren't as generally invincible as the movie characters, so you care what happens to them.
I'll try not to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that there are some unique traps, aliens, and fights in this story. There's also a very impressive escape scene from the spaceport at the end. This is a cool little story packed into a small package.
Oh, and there's a very funny mounted head above the fireplace in the picture. Can you spot the character?
Noone injures himself very early in the story in a rather stupid way. (Stupid on his own part, not necessarily because of plotting.) I don't recall if this was a part of "The Most Dangerous Game", but it didn't work so well here. I can't go into more detail here without ruining it, but you'll see what I mean when you read it.
There's also a Star Wars version of the magic 8 ball in this story. It was a cute little reference, but a bit distracting at the same time. Between the plot being familiar, some of the names being familiar (like bambooi), and other familiar stuff, it all became a little too much. You need to distance yourself a bit more from the real world.
Other than that, a good story!
If you only want the short stories from this magazine, you have to pay $7 per issue to get them. You could buy a novel with that much money.