Book Review: Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson
Black Spire is a story of Vi Moradi, a Resistance spy sent on a mission to set up a Resistance base on the backwater planet of Batuu. Her goal is to try and persuade locals to the cause. She is accompanied by Archex an ex-First Order storm trooper. However, he's not just any stormtrooper; he is actually Captain Cardinal, the man who tortured Vi when she was captured by the First Order. They arrive on Batuu in a very bumpy and unfortunate way that leads to many other misfortunes in their attempt to establish a Resistance base.
Throughout Vi's journey we get to meet the various characters of Batuu and Black Spire Outpost including Oga Garra, Dok Ondar, and Savi along with new friends she recruits to the cause and others who aren't so friendly. The beginning of Black Spire is set during the events of episode VII while the rest is set between episodes VIII and VIII. I loved seeing Vi and Archex together again. They were previously two supporting characters in Delilah Dawson's book Phasma. Their relationship was tense to say the least and I'm glad we were given a second chance to see where their relationship would go after he stopped torturing her and she saved him from Phasma.
As with Phasma, I think Dawson's writing is superb. The characters each individually shine through and give the story a nice balance of good, evil, funny, and heroic. And it's not even the Star Wars characters we're used to that are playing these roles. Leia is in the story for a few pages, but that's it. The characters carry the Star Wars legacy on their own and I think it made the story even better.
Vi is by far my favorite character in the story. She (and Archex) are both broken, mentally and physically, at the beginning and pretty much throughout the entire book. They're raw characters and it's great to see them vulnerable but still have fight and hope left in them to get back up and complete their mission. Vi has been added to my list of favorite extended universe characters right up there with Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade (yes I know she's not technically in this cannon). Here is my favorite quote from her (talking about Archex): "She'd assumed the worst of him. Vi knew well enough that he was competent and intelligent, and she believed that he was also loyal and noble, and if a Rancor ate him - well, then she'd know there was rancor in the area."
If you are visiting Galaxy's Edge in Disney World or Disneyland and you want to be completely immersed in the story, you need to read this book first. I recently visited in Walt Disney World and geeked out over everything, but it made it even more magical because I felt like I was stepping into this book. I even met Vi Moradi herself! It was so cool. She asked me what I could bring to the Resistance and I said hope. She liked that answer. :) Delilah Dawson has a great grasp of the characters and feel of Star Wars in general. She really makes Batuu come alive. Black Spire is a must read for all Star Wars fans. May the Force be With You!