Jul 28, 2014

A review of the 'Tales of the Bounty Hunters' a collection of short stories about .... bounty hunters

Bounty hunter line up from Empire Strikes Back
Dengar, IG-88- Bobba Fett, Bosk, 4LOM, Zuckass
A review of the 'Tales of the Bounty Hunters' 

After that disaster of a read that was The Truce at Bakura I picked up Tales of the Bounty Hunters. I was quietly confident this would be a better read because it was edited by Kevin J Anderson who I had come across as having written a story for the Halo franchise. And as it happens the first of the five tales was written by him. 

The casual Star Wars fan might wonder who these bounty hunters are and why have the Masters of the Star Wars universe determined they should have stories written about them. These bounty hunters are the 5 that Darth Vader summons to his ship the Executor to hunt for Han Solo and Princess Leia after they have escaped the planet Hoth.

The stories cleverly tie in with events in Empire and Jedi.  The 5 stories interact with the moment that Vader issues the bounty for Solo. They all give interesting insights into these hunters and show what makes them tick.

Here's some brief summary review marks:

Therefore I Am: The Tale of IG-88 by Kevin J. Anderson     

This is a stand out short story, regardless of it being from the Star Wars universe. A chilling tale of how a killer robot deigns to take over the universe. Well written by Anderson, as you read it one can actually feel the cold that comes from the heartless IG-88.

Payback: The Tale of Dengar by Dave Wolverton

What started off as a dull assassination story became a warm love story with a fine ending where Dengar fought for his life and new love admist the back drop of Jabba the Hutt’s crumbling empire. I understand that at the time it was canon, the story was the first official reference to Bobba Fett escaping the Sarlacc pit. I'm keen to learn more about Dengar!

The Prize Pelt: The Tale of Bossk by Kathy Tyers

Ah Kathy, that’s a two for two strike with me. This story was hard to follow in the sense it was full of convoluted plots to rescue Wookies from Imperials on another planet while molded around a story to take down Bossk. The thing that bugged me was that there was no way there was time to set up with contrived situation on hearing about the Bounty offer from Vader, as the rescue of the Wookies would have been a well planned exercise.

I also really hated that Bossk’s ship was full of soooo many sensors which allowed for a cat and mouse came on board – that part of the story was a dull and slow paced Tom and Jerry skit. The ending rounded off fairly well however.  When I realised the story was written by Kathy Dyers, it all made sense.

Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM by M. Shayne Bell

Two scum bounty hunters make good. A story of two tales really - crew of a wrecked Rebel ship struggle to survive whilst a robot comes to grips with his 'feelings'. An odd contrast but one that ties together quite nicely. Unlike the Prize Pelt, this story wasn't painted to broad in its scope making it crisp and concise as how short stories should be.

The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett by Daniel Keys Moran

Possibly a wasted chance to tell a really good Boba Fett story, it does give us an insight into an aged Fett who having survived the Sarlacc Pitt undertakes one last bounty to see him into retirement. An itchy Han Solo serves to prove a worthy foe once more.


I recommend these short stories for those who are keen to explore deeper into the Star Wars universe but bear in mind this stuff is no longer considered cannon.

Extra for experts

Were did Bossk's jump suit come from?
IG-88 was made from parts from the Cantina bar.

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