I recently purchased an audio book version of Tarkin, written by James Luceno and narrated by Euan Morton, to accompany me on my fourteen hour drive to Orlando.
I was excited about this book not only because I very much enjoyed Luceno’s storytelling in his other novel, Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, but I was also looking forward to discovering more about the legendary Wilhuff Tarkin, as he is such an important and intriguing character in the Star Wars universe.
Taking place approximately five years after Revenge of the Sith, Tarkin ends up teaming with Darth Vader to chase a band of dissidents who have managed to steal Tarkin’s corvette. This overarching story is just as underwhelming as it probably sounds. It seemed to me that this apparent galactic Benny Hill routine was beneath these two powerful characters, and it was neither interesting nor epic. What was interesting, however, were the momentary glimpses into Tarkin’s past as a boy from a wealthy family on Eriadu. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough of those moments threaded through the main plot for it to remain very interesting and it left me wanting so much more than what was delivered. I liked how there were references to canon from Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes that he appeared in, but ultimately we end up learning things about Tarkin that we already knew. He is cunning, he is ambitious, and he is ruthless, but at the end of the novel he remains just as he began: mysterious.
Halfway through the story I found myself only continuing because of Euan Morton’s narration. I loved the background sound effects and his ability to keep the listener involved despite a plot that seemed to drag. There were moments when I thought his voice was oddly familiar, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I finally googled him when I stopped for gas, and found he is actually the voice of the male Sith Inquisitor in the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic.
This bit of news was more exciting to me than Tarkin itself.