As we approach the opening of the Star Wars theme park "Galaxy's Edge", you can bet we'll start to see all sorts of tie-ins from the ancillary products. It started last year with the release of Timothy Zahn's "Thrawn: Alliances" which featured a heavy dose of the planet Batuu and the Black Spire Outpost.
Now, in the soon to be released book, "Star Wars: Pirate's Price", written by Lou Anders and illustrated by Annie Wu, we join Han Solo, Chewbacca and the Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka on an all-new adventure on the Outer Rim planet Batuu!
StarWars.com has posted a very generous excerpt from the opening pages of the book for your enjoyment! Check it out...
The story begins in the Outer Rim, at the galaxy’s edge, on the planet of Batuu…
As far as wretched hives of scum and villainy went, Bazine Netal thought that Black Spire Outpost seemed friendlier than most. Certainly, the Trandoshan running the supply company was more than willing to point her in the direction of her quarry. He didn’t even ask her why she was looking for the Weequay. He just sold out his neighbor for a few credits.
She moved through the crowded streets. Although she looked striking in her black leather skull cap and Rishi eel ink–tipped fingers, no one paid her any attention. The locals were used to all manner of beings coming and going. Still, Bazine knew better than to turn her back on any of them. Especially not when she was so close to her goal.
She had been a long time getting there.
After being led on a chase across the galaxy, she had tracked the Millennium Falcon to the planet Batuu and its infamous port—Black Spire Outpost. Glancing above the roofline of the buildings, Bazine could see how the place found its name. Rising above the shops and dwellings were the petrified trunks of what were once giant trees that had dominated the skies of that world. Now their blackened remains stood as silent sentinels on the outskirts of the town.
The outpost was not an easy place to find unless you knew about it first. It was located where the Unknown Regions met Wild Space, a stopover for smugglers and those of less savory occupations—a place for rogues and opportunists, con artists, thieves . . . and of course, pirates.
So it made a sort of sense that her target would be there. After all, the infamous Hondo Ohnaka had been all those things and more.
Bazine’s intelligence had told her that the notorious Weequay scoundrel was there on Batuu, where he was running a shipping operation called Ohnaka Transport Solutions. Doubtless it was a thin front for a smuggling operation. But it didn’t matter to Bazine what it was. She wasn’t interested in his services—just his ships . . .or rather, one of them in particular. One very special ship.
She found the old pirate in a busy cantina where a repurposed RX-series pilot droid was playing upbeat music to an audience that mostly ignored it. But there was Hondo. He was sitting at a corner table playing sabacc with a nervous-looking Ithorian, a furry Yarkora, and a grinning Suerton.
Surprisingly, the Weequay didn’t even have his back to the wall. If she had gone there to kill him, he would already be dead. Fortunate for him, then, that she wasn’t planning to. At least she wouldn’t unless she had to. And that remained to be seen.
Still, the way he had his back to half the room struck Bazine as unnecessarily careless and ridiculously trusting. It certainly spoke to his legendary overconfidence. In fact, Hondo wasn’t so much sitting in his chair as sprawling in it, a drink in one hand and three sabacc cards in the other. He wasn’t playing it close to the vest, either, but swinging his sabacc cards in time with the music. As she approached him from one side, Bazine could easily glance at his hand. He had a two, a three, and the face card known as a sylop, sometimes called the idiot. He was grinning like one, too, although, judging from the pile of credit chips on the table, it looked as though the Suerton was the one who was winning the most.
“My friends,” said Hondo, his voice ringing out with a happy lilt that was almost musical, “I cannot tell you how much it pains me to take all of your credits today. But you make it too easy. And as my sweet mother used to say, if you’re going to bet, bet big.” He tossed an impressive handful of credit chips onto the growing pile in the center and waited for the others to ante up.
“You’re bluffing,” growled the Ithorian from one of his twin mouths.
“I never bluff,” Hondo replied. Then, after a slight pause, he added, “Except maybe for those occasions when I do. But this is not one of them”—another pause—“as far as you know. Which is not very far.”
“So you are bluffing?” asked the Ithorian, confused.
“How can you be sure? I could be bluffing about bluffing,” said Hondo. “Hmmm . . . or bluffing about that.”
“Bah,” growled the Ithorian from both mouths at once. But then the Yarkora spotted Bazine. He gave a little start, and it amused her to wonder which of his two stomachs had done a flip.
“What is it?” said Hondo. “Have I got something on my face? I mean besides my so very attractive frills?” He brushed the backs of his fingers across the barbs that grew from his jowls. They had gotten longer as he had gotten older. Perhaps he thought they made him look distinguished. But then he caught sight of the newcomer out of the corner of his eye.
“Oh, we have company, don’t we?” Hondo said. He swung his legs around and turned in his chair to face her. “Well, well, won’t you join us for a game . . .Bazine Netal?”
Visit StarWars.com for the full story as well as a glimpse at a second excerpt, torn straight from one of Hondo’s daring escapades.
To pre-order a copy, click HERE.
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