Star Wars: Catalyst Review

A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno


Reviewed by Amanda Gazzard

Synopsis: War is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top-secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a superweapon before their enemies can. An old friend of Krennic’s the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.

Galen’s energy-focused research has captured the attention of both Krennic and his foes, making the scientist a crucial pawn in the galactic conflict. But after Krennic rescues Galen, his wife, Lyra, and their young daughter, Jyn, from Separatist kidnappers, the Erso family is deeply in Krennic’s debt. Krennic then offers Galen an extraordinary opportunity: to continue his scientific studies with every resource put utterly at his disposal. While Galen and Lyra believe that his energy research will be used purely in altruistic ways, Krennic has other plans that will finally make the Death Star a reality. Trapped in their benefactor’s tightening grasp, the Erso’s must untangle Krennic’s web of deception to save themselves and the galaxy itself.

If you are looking for Jedi characters in the novel then you will be greatly disappointed. Luceno is ingenious with how he entwines the Force and the rising of the Dark Side throughout. This is where kyber crystals is researched which Jedi use to power their light sabers, a fact I never knew!

Catalyst takes you on a voyage to the early days of the empire before Rogue One. It introduces you the characters of Dr Galen Erso and the Imperial Lieutenant Commander Orson Krennic.

The story unfolds where Krennic manipulates his lifelong friend Erso into building the Death Star.

I did find the storyline around the character Has Obitt was weak and at times left me thinking I learnt more from watching his character in the Rogue One film.

The journey of the chapters covers from the Clone Wars into the corrupt Republic and then to the events following the Revenge of the Sith. Krennic progressively becomes more cold- blooded as the Death Star is nearing completion.

Luceno exemplifies in his writing with the ever-changing relationships of the characters and I found the conversations between Ersos and Krennic animating and the ever-growing intensity of danger, nail biting at times.

Rating: 4/5

RRP: £19.99 (Hardback)

Available to buy in hardback, paperback and Kindle format from Amazon here.

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