That’s right, a Star Wars horror novel. If you’re at all like me, you wouldn’t have believed it if the cover art (pictured on the left) hadn’t been released yesterday on starwars.com. It’s true; the book’s coming out next Halloween.
Now, I’m not too thrilled about the idea. Horror is all about real life, disturbed by the introduction of the horrific. (In Stephen King’s case, the writing. Cheap joke.) Star Wars is a space opera. It’s not real life. It doesn’t feature serial killers lurking in the shadows, but larger than life heroes who go about saving the universe by blowing up space stations the size of small moons. Twice.
My exposure to the world of Star Wars was really very limited when, sometime in the ’80s, I read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster. But even then, I found the novel somehow “odd” with all its blood and gore and pitch-black undertones. It didn’t “mesh” with my understanding of what it was that made Star Wars special. That’s exactly how I feel about this book.
Of course, there is fear and horror in Star Wars. But fear is not the motivator; it’s an obstacle. In an interview at BookSpot Central, Schreiber names fear the primary narrative engine in his book (well duh), and I quote, “without getting mired down with space-opera melodrama.” So how do you take the space opera out of Star Wars? Can you take the comedy out of Top Secret! and call it a war film?
But hey, don’t mind the cranky rantings of a bitter old stiff-necked Star Wars aficionado. Since at least the publication of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, the Expanded Universe has been a larger, more lifelike place than that shown in the films. And life, unlike space opera, has its more horrific side. Now please excuse me while I go dogfighting impossible odds while courting a Space Princess.