Fear Is the Path to the Dark Side.

January 27th, 2009 by Antti Hukkanen

Cover of the book Deathtroopers by Joe ScreiberA novelist by the name of Joe Schreiber is writing a Star Wars horror novel.

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.

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3 Responses to “Fear Is the Path to the Dark Side.”

  1. Salmar80 says:

    Antti – I’m sorry, but i’m laughing too hard to even get into this whole debate.

    You see, in the thumbnail image of the novel’s cover, the name reads unmistably like Deathpoopers.

    DeathPoopers?

    The few, the proud, the DeathPOOPERS?

    YEAH! THE FRACKIN’ IMPERIAL DEATHPOOPERS!!

    Stephen King has written horror novels about clowns and all sorts of other freaks – But even HE couldn’t squeeze a drop of horror out of DeathPOOPERS!

    It is a proven scientific fact: NOTHING kills suspense in a serious horror novel quite like being named DeathPOOPERS!

    I mean, would YOU enlist on the finest fighting force of the Galactic Empire: The DeathPOOPERS: “Scaring You Shitless since the Old Republic”.

    And what do the Imperial DeathPOOPERS do for a living? Hang around on the Death(POOPER) Star and wait for stupid rebels to fall into garbage shafts?

    All this discussion leads us to the Ultimate rhetorical Question:

    If the planet Alderan had had the choice, would it have chosen to been blown to oblivion, or to be left at the mercy of the DeathPOOPERS!?

    Correct answer: In either case, the ending would have been shitty…

  2. Taking into account the well known aming accuracy of stormtroopers, these “deathpoopers” are propably the people who use the public toilets in gas stations.