Star Wars Gamer #1
The Starfighter Trap
by Steve Miller
Published by Wizards of the Coast
Scott's Rating: 3 out of 4
This short story was published in the Star Wars Gamer magazine.
Essara Till is a flight instructor and member of Naboo's elite Bravo Flight. She flies under Ric Olie and trains the new pilots. Having received training and combat experience throughout the galaxy, she has returned to the relatively peaceful and quiet life on Naboo. Tired of flying throughout the galaxy, she's ready to settle down. However, her new love Dren Melne wants her to join him as a mercenary on a nearby planet. Essara is not interested.
When a local space station is attacked by pirates, Bravo Flight (full of rookies) flies into action led by Essara. However, the situation turns deadly when the attack is revealed to be part of a trap. The situation becomes even worse when a traitor in the Bravo group is revealed. How will Essara, the only experienced fighter pilot in the group, survive the trap?
Miller does a good job of making you care about the characters in relatively short order. He gives a sufficient amount of background to make you associate with them. They also have very human reactions to the dangerous situations they face. Even the R2 units in the story have unique personalities.
One of the highlights of the story is the space battle. Miller does a great job in describing the dogfights. He also gives descriptions of the battle that make it easy to visualize. Your memories of the dogfights in Episode I will help, too. I was also impressed that he explained why the auto pilot on the Naboo fighters take the ship immediately into the heat of battle when activated. It's still a little goofy, but it helps explain why it happened to Anakin in Episode I.
Overall a good read. I believe this leads into the Starfighter video game, too.
Toward the end of the story, Essara faces off with the traitor. She goes from wanting to kill them for their betrayal to wanting to save them when they are in trouble. I had a little bit of a hard time accepting this, but that's not to say it wasn't realistic.
Essara also at one point takes on a pirate battleship by herself giving orders to the rookies to stay back. This doesn't make a lot of sense, especially when the intervention of one of the rookies ends up being what saves the day. Why not a full out assault?
Finally, the story ends on an odd note as Essara faces the family of the traitor. It's a nice wrap up to the events, but not necessarily the best note to end things on. Other than this, it's a fun read and a good sign of things to come.
So when can we see this in book form?