Star Wars Rogue One Books: “Catalyst”

“Here they come.”

Lock x-foils in reading position. As a bevy of toys and action figures and Rogue One movie tie-in products begin to swarm the shelves of local retailers and pop up on our favorite online shopping sites, so too come a new host of books. In the realm of novels, it appears that first up we’re going to get a prequel to a prequel. The forthcoming novel, Catalyst, due out on November 15th, marks the events that take place before Rogue One, which, of course, takes place before A New Hope. (You with me? Yes? Okay, good.) Well, the Star Wars timeline is officially wide open for business, so I don’t even really look at an upcoming movie or novel as a “prequel” so much anymore; it’s just another chapter in what is becoming a broadening, generation spanning narrative. Penning this new entry into the Star Wars universe is veteran writer James Luceno, who’s already had his hands in some pretty entertaining Star Wars titles.

From author info:

James Luceno is the New York Times bestselling author of the Star Wars novels Tarken, Darth Plagueis, Millennium Falcon, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, Cloak of Deception, and Labyrinth of Evil, as well as the New Jedi Order novels Agents of Chaos I: Hero’s Trial and Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse, The Unifying Force, and the ebook “Darth Maul: Saboteur.”

CATALYST: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

Catalyst centers around Krennic, the officer in Rogue One played by actor Ben Mendelsohn. As the Republic and Separatists vie for control in the galaxy, and new weapons and machinery are being created to gain an upper hand in the increasingly volatile conflicts, Krennic’s old friend, a particularly brilliant scientist named Galen Erso, is developing technology that could aid either side. As the fates would have it, Krennic rescues Galen and his family from a perilous situation, thereby convincing Galen to use his talents for Krennic, and ultimately, the Emperor.

Sounds intriguing. The title, Catalyst, seems aptly chosen. What I find really intriguing is that Count Dooku had the plans for the Death Star many years before, and its construction started a good two decades before the events of A New Hope. This novel would almost suggest to me that while Emperor Palpatine had the Death Star in mind (obviously), he began building it before he had all the details ironed out. (Just start puttin’ the thing together, we’ll worry about where the bathrooms go later.) Perhaps the Death Star’s dreaded laser canon was merely an idea the Emperor hoped they’d figure out by the time the whole thing came together.  The amazing shot in Rogue One’s trailer makes it appear as if its giant dish is the last thing to be put into place (We figured it out, whew!), but that’s just a little speculation by me, fun to ponder.

Krennic seems like a villain worthy of more backstory, too. There was a book for Tarkin (which Luceno himself wrote); why not Krennic? He certainly has an imposing enough presence, and is no doubt at the forefront of the creation of the Death Star and dealing with the Rebel scum attempting to forestall his efforts to establish the Empire as the preeminent force in the galaxy.

So here comes Catalyst, the story behind the story behind the story….

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About Jason Alan 41 Articles
Jason Alan is the author of Phate: The Cosmic Fairytale, the epic fantasy novel now available through Oloris Publishing. Jason lives in Cape Coral, FL, and when not working, he's seeking out new things to ramble about on the Star Wars Reporter, working on Phate's sequels, or shredding his fingers on the guitar, which he plays for the progressive band, Mourning's Hope. Come say hey! Follow Jason Alan on Twitter @JasonAlanPhate