Adventures in Hyperspace #2: Shinbone Showdown
by Ryder Windham
Published by Scholastic
Adrick's Rating: 0.5 out of 4
After transporting rude aliens and unusual plants for Jabba the Hutt, Han Solo and Chewbacca the Wookiee are in the mood for an easy job. But after Jabba sends them to the mining planet Shinbone for a delivery and pickup, Han and Chewie learn that working for Jabba is never easy!
The second installment of Adventures in Hyperspace demonstrates the strengths of the series—the illustrations by Robert Rath are still exciting, and Windham’s choice of obscure-but-intriguing areas of the Expanded Universe is certainly a good idea. The second half of the book, featuring an indentured race of plant people, is whimsical enough to appeal to the target audience while still being intriguing in its own right.
I’m not really excited by the prospects of this series. The Showdown on Shinbone title implies some exciting Western style-action. (“Shinbone” the planet was created by author Jason Fry as a homage to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.) But that’s only the tiniest part of a very short book. Most of the page space is taken up by mobile crops and Gamorrean shenanigans. It’s not the limited vocabulary or number of pages that is turning me off to this series, it’s that these hyperspace adventures aren’t really that…adventurous. Maybe if the “monsters” and “menacing droids” played a bigger part in the story, I’d be more interested.
The biggest problem with this series is that Han Solo pre-A New Hope is not the best subject for a children’s series. Here he allows plants to make off with valuable gemstones, reasoning that they deserve them more…not really the conflicted scoundrel of the first film, even though he does get in a line about shooting first that’s a nice tip of the hat to Han Solo Adventures author Brian Daley.
Would you eat a hopping mushroom? I didn’t think so.