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Thoroughly enjoyed the ANH collection, but this follow up is really poor. It’s just a collection of bad fan fiction, often boring, often completely misreading moments in film. A few of the stories shoehorn in the cartoon characters so some newer fans may like that but it doesn’t work for me. Credit where it’s due, there was a very clever nod to one of the old NIO novels with “none shall pass”.
If you have seen ESB twice then you can probably do better in your own head.
I caught this on sale and thought I was getting a behind-the-scenes account of the making of The Empire Strikes Back, but this is not that at all. Instead, it's a collection of short stories, made up by people who have nothing to do with what is regarded as canon with regard to the original trilogy. You're as well off just making up your own stories, because that's all these folks have done here, and they're about as entertaining to read as Kristen Stewart is to watch on screen.
The Star Wars universe has become so diluted by all these attempts to provide back stories to every conceivable character, droid, spacecraft, planet, beverage, etc., that it's no longer interesting to me. I liked it better when George Lucas owned the story, and regret that Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas, and Richard Chew were not around to help him with the prequels because, if they had, there would NOT have been a Jar-Jar Binks, there would NOT have been all the boring dialog in the Imperial Senate, and it's possible that different actors would have been chosen for young and grown Anakin Skywalker, and the movies would have looked and felt much more like the original trilogy, and the characters and stories more endearing. I won't even go down the rabbit hole of trying to explain the disaster that Disney has made of the whole franchise, with the exception of Rogue One and The Mandalorian.
After the fantastic first book celebrating ANH I thought this would be on par, if not better, but in truth I'm finding it difficult. Its not a patch in quality compared to the stories in the first book and without a doubt, if you believe in an agenda by Kathleen Kennedy/Disney or not there is a slightly forced narrative to some of the stories that are to be honest pointless and dull. There must have a lot of potential for some really good stories, but this overall misses the mark. I will finish the book and if there is one for RotJ will complete the collection.
I was hoping for well written short stories in the Star Wars universe, what I got was either boring stories or stories that were too down to earth. Not taking place in a galaxy far, far away. Seems like most of these writers just don't know how to write in the star wars universe, they fall back on what they know instead of actually doing research to understand Star Wars.