Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Review: Star Wars: Visions - Ronin

Star Wars: Visions - RoninStar Wars: Visions - Ronin by Emma Mieko Candon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sadly, this book was a disappointment. I love the anime short it was based on, "The Duel". It was my favorite of the Star Wars: Visions shorts. And the idea of a more full-throated re-imagining of Star Wars in the context of a Japanese influenced tropes, images, and mythos was exciting. Star Wars itself was influenced by these and the idea of returning the favor was an excellent idea. I was really excited for this book. However, the execution falls short. There are interesting characters and settings, but the flow of the plot and the development of the characters and their motivations was not what it needed to be. I found myself rereading sections several times because I wasn't sure what was going on or why something was happening: it frequently felt like I missed some important piece of action. The individuals character were each compelling on their own, but their motivations for what they were doing and why they were doing it together was never clear enough. And I still don't quite understand the ending.

The way Candon handles the force, the Jedi, the Sith has a lot of potential; but it ended up being more confusing than insightful. The author's use of the singular they/them for the non-binary character could be confusing. There were several times I had to reread the paragraph because it wasn't clear if the pronoun's antecedent was the non-binary character or the group.

There was a lot of potential; lots of good ideas worth exploring and developing, but unfortunately it just didn't come together.

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