October 3, 2023
Star Wars Insider Review | Galactic Tales: Shockwave

Galactic Tales returns to Star Wars Insider, but now with a batch of Original Trilogy stories! Max checks out the latest short story!

Galactic Tales have returned to Star Wars Insider. But was it worth the wait? Let’s find out.

Galactic Tales: Shockwave tells the story of an X-Wing pilot in the immediate minutes after the destruction of the Second Death Star. Insider had previously been focusing on The High Republic era. But because 2023 is the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi (my personal favorite movie in the Saga), Insider has shifted briefly to get us a fresh change of pace. Shockwave is penned by Alexander Freed, author of the excellent Alphabet Squadron trilogy of books that were released in the late teens/early 20s. Since Freed obviously knows his way around an X-wing, it makes sense to give him the job again (since he did it so well). We are introduced to pilot Ca Isiora and her beloved astromech Melody.

The Death Star has been destroyed but the explosion has damaged her vision. She struggles to get her bearings and safely lands in one of the capital ship’s hanger bays. She is also concerned that her husband Telem is not flying beside her and she fears the worst. It’s a change of pace that Ca’s partner is male as Disney has been bombarding us with LGBTQ+ relationships since it bought Star Wars in 2012. I’m NOT complaining, but I like to see that heterosexuality is still there as we need characters that everyone can relate to.

Star Wars Insider Review | Galactic Tales: Shockwave


I like that this tale is pure emotion. Ca grapples with ecstasy at winning the war and terror at where her relationship with her husband will go. They (like a majority of couples) have had their ups and downs. And many times only the promise of adventure (and Melody) kept them together. Ca’s love for Melody is also very cute and reminiscent of a parent’s love for a child. And I must say that Melody is probably an above-average droid like R2-D2.

Star Wars Insider Review | Galactic Tales: Shockwave


What this story lacks in plot substance, it makes up for with realistic feelings and emotions as even though I read Ca for a few minutes, I truly felt a connection to her. Life is hard and many times our decisions are not always things we are 100% in support of. I also really REALLY liked Ca’s reverence for Ackbar as a George Washington-esque general who she admires but never really sees in battle. He gives a speech over the starship intercom and it is powerful and uplifting. Freed captured his character very well.

It’s also fitting how he referred to Darth Vader as the Emperor’s cloaked butcher. That’s the perfect way to describe the armored Jedi-turned-Sith-Lord. Freed once said that he considers writing short stories to be harder than writing full-length novels. And the fact that he was able to compress so much anxiety and passion into this shorter-than-short tale is a testament to his writing skills. Well done! Solid B.

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  1. Ca is from a location in the galaxy called the Green Ring of Nenyezh. I honestly don’t know if this is a planet or some kind of Ringworld habitat (like in the Book of Boba Fett), but it intrigues me. so now I have a question for Freed on Twitter (x)…….
  2. Ca wonders if her commanding officer learned to give orders from watching a Clone Wars serial. Sometimes I think fans forget that Star Wars isn’t all about mystical Jedi and laser blasts. The society is very much a parallel to Earth and like we have movies about World War II and Vietnam, the Clone Wars is probably a very popular entertainment vector as it only occurred 20 or so years before this time. Plenty of time to make holo-flicks!
  3. Ca remarks how (instead of booze); she drowns her sadness in spicy Rodian cuisine. Spicy Rodian cuisine?! That sounds fascinating. Rodians are a popular green aliens with bulbous eyes and a tapir snout that first famously appeared in A New Hope in the form of Greedo, a bounty hunter THAT HAN SHOT FIRST! Now it is known to the lore that their food is spicy. Cool. I am a sucker for spicy foods and consider myself immune to the full effects of most hot sauces. If I lived in the galaxy, you very much know what I would be eating for lunch……

join me next time for my next Star Wars Insider review, and be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already!






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