‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ shows us a young Han Solo struggling in the streets of Corellia. Q’ira is by his side, trying to do what it takes to escape from the White Worms and fly away with Han. How did these two bonded together in such a hostile place? Most Wanted by Rae Carson shows us the beginnings of this friendly relationship.
The book begins when Han and Q’ira are assigned different missions, only to later figure out they were having the same objective: trying to get an important object from an auction. Both Han and Q’ira get into trouble, teaming up to face the syndicates that are looking for them. In their adventure they are helped by Tsuulo, a nice Rodian, and Tool, a droid. For the next few days, they are about to learn to trust in each other, handle different plans, and understand that they are much more than just an asset from the White Worms.
Rae Carson’s style allows for detailed descriptions of what is happening in a small amount of time. The whole book takes place for several days, so each chapter happens in real time with few time jumps in between. Don’t be fooled in thinking this is just another mission driven plot. Once the characters are fleshed out, you will not want to drop the book. Even though it is a young adult novel, it handles the tropes really well, meaning that this isn’t another romantic novel.
The highlight of this book is Q’ira. Seeing her in the movie, you want to understand her thoughts and intentions. This book hints at the way Q’ira thinks and acts, making it a more compelling character. From the very beginning, she thinks very practical with subtle hints of weakness after meeting Han.
Even though this is a very well-written book, it has one major problem: it is a prequel book to a prequel movie. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ advances the character in some ways, but not all of them because his arch is later developed in other movies. ‘Most Wanted’ suffers from the fact that Han’s arch is very subtle because his major arch occurs later in ‘Solo’. Rae Carson has taken this opportunity to develop Q’ira much more because she is not the main character in the film. The fact that this book revolves around a mission also justifies the fact that Han doesn’t change as much, which is a smart decision from the author.
This isn’t a mandatory read for the movie. What this means is that you can easily watch the movie without this book. What the books gives is 1) A fun adventure for Q’ira and Han 2) A better understanding of Q’ira as a character 3) A glimpse of life on Corellia.
Rae Carson has written one of my favorite books so far of the Star Wars canon. What makes this book great is the detailed descriptions, the internal struggles of the characters, and the right balance of action. Even though it keeps a narrowed story, the book is able to stretch it in such a way that makes it a very compelling read.