Star Wars: Middle Grade Books | The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear!
Follow Chewbacca on his very own adventure
In this newest Middle Grade book for young fans, Chewbacca gets to take the lead as the main character of his own adventure story. Along for the ride are K-2SO and a spunky teenage bounty hunter/librarian. Yes, you read that right, a bounty hunter librarian! What could possibly go wrong, right?
The Mighty Chewbacca
Hired by the Princess Alinka Aloo, whose father is one of Emperor Palpatine’s slimy advisors, Chewbacca and Han think they’ve got a nice, easy charter. When Aloo holds Han hostage until Chewie completes the real job, he’s forced to team up with a Mayv Trillick, a young bounty hunter and librarian, and an odd “cargo droid.” Together they brave the fear forest of Ushruu and the dark side energies that fuel the planet to retrieve the book the Aloos wish to give to the Emperor. Of course, with fear causing mist, Corellian hounds, and a beast hell-bent on eating them, that task is easier said than done. And what happens if they do retrieve the book? Can they really risk giving a book with dark side secrets to the Emperor?
This story was a great adventure ride for young Padawan age readers. It had a great balance of action, adventure, and humor. While the monster may be a bit scary for some that are more sensitive to scary moments, it’s lessened by the fact that we know Chewie and K2 will survive the ordeal. It’s also safe to assume Chewie won’t let Mayv die either. K2’s deadpan humor kept the story from getting too serious and made for some great laugh-out-loud moments. I’ve been wanting to see K2 in another story, and this was a great way to expand on his adventures.
Seeing Chewie get his own novel is a great treat. While I enjoyed the comic mini-series he was given, more stories with Chewie as the main character are sorely needed. Too often he’s relegated to the role of sidekick and secondary character. He didn’t even get a metal after he helped destroy the Death Star! Seeing him get the main character treatment once again was awesome. He seems to have a soft spot for befriending young kids, which is a great character trait to see connecting his story together.
K-2SO, Bounty Hunter/Librarians, and Easter Eggs Oh My!
Mayv is a great new female character for young girls to look up too. Spunky, strong-willed, and determined to complete the job in the hopes of getting back a religious text sacred to her people, Mayv fits in perfectly with the rest of the great female characters we already know and love. Her culture was really thought out, and while we didn’t get to see it in full, I hope we do one day. The triangles, or treblixes, she continually paints on her forehead to give herself wisdom or to take away fear reminded me a bit of the triangle patterns on Mirialans, however Mayv is from an entirely new planet, Oktaro.
I was of course excited to find out she was a librarian. There just aren’t enough positive portrayals of librarians in pop culture. Mayv’s dedication to knowledge and protecting books is just the type of behavior a real librarian would exhibit. For this reason alone I hope we get to see her again. Perhaps a Forces of Destiny episode where she tracks down one of those books stolen from her people?
There were also a surprising number of Easter Eggs in this little book. The inclusion of K2 is just the tip of the iceberg. There are references to Solo, The Clone Wars, the Ewok Adventure, and even the Star Wars Holiday Special.
Origami Yoda Author Strikes Back
Tom Angleberger is the author of the bestselling Origami Yoda series. He’s also written books featuring Rocket and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy for Disney’s Marvel line. He’s known for his humorous writing style, which is definitely present here. While not written from the point of view of any of the characters here, the book is written from the point of view of someone telling this adventure to another person, which is a brilliant move. The fly on the wall approach and that unnamed character’s commentary on the events is all part of what makes this story so suffused with humor. That and the inclusion of K-2SO’s deadpan sarcasm.
Included in the book are several images by Andie Tong, who also did the cover. Rendered in black, gray, and white with the only color being Chewbacca’s brown fur, they help bring four action-packed scenes to life. Tong is a comic book artist known for the Tron: Betrayal comic and Spectacular Spider-Man. In addition, he also illustrates the Zodiac Legacy series by Stan Lee and Stuart Moore by Disney Press.
All in all this is a great book for young fans who love Chewbacca, K2, or both. It’s also a great read for adult fans. The story is geared toward older children, ages 8 and up, and is at around a third or fourth grade level. If your Padawan is looking for something to read to fulfill a summer reading homework assignment then this is the perfect book.
The Future of the Force. The Future of pop culture writing.
I’m Mina, the Jedi Librarian. I’m a Program Specialist Librarian, lover of all the books, and a lifelong Star Wars fan. I’m also secretly a Jedi.