No Spoilers Book Review: Canto Bight

Review via Yodasnews Contributor Jacob Burdis:

Canto Bight — No Spoilers Review

Canto Bight is the latest in the “Journey to the Last Jedi” series to build excitement and anticipation of the newest Star Wars episode. We’ve seen and heard much about the new casino city of Canto Bight, and know it will play a role in the upcoming film, so it is exciting to get a sneak preview of what this city is like and what may be awaiting Finn and Rose as they venture to the Star Wars version of Las Vegas.

The book consists of four, moderately intertwined short stories. Each follows a non-essential character’s adventure in the exciting, opulent, and often dangerous city. The time frame is set sometime during the open conflict between the First Order and the Resistance, though it isn’t clear precisely when the events take place relative to “The Force Awakens” or “The Last Jedi.” We learn that news of the galaxy as a whole doesn’t quite make it all the way to the gamblers, hustlers, and those trying to survive amidst the rich and the famous. Stated differently, beings go to the bubble of Canto Bight precisely to get away from the news of the galaxy at large.

As always, I have high expectations and hopes that the novels coming out in preparation for the new films will in some way prepare me for a more grand experience and deeper understanding of the Star Wars universe as a whole. In short, I was let down. With the exception of a few lip service mentions of the First Order and the Resistance, there was little in this book that identified it with Star Wars at all. If the purpose of the book was to “familiarize” the reader with the illustrious world of Cantonica, then I guess it served its purpose. If a picture tells a thousand words, then a movie may tell a million. It is already clear from the previews that Canto Bight is a gambling, casino world. I can already imagine the type of danger, conning, and hustling that would exist in a world like that. The book didn’t really add much for me that the previews didn’t already show in just a few short seconds.

Perhaps I am being a bit harsh. It is possible that there may be some more relevant, meaningful connections that become apparent as I watch “The Last Jedi”, though I suspect it might only be seeing a glimpse of one of the protagonists from the book and saying, “Hey, I know that guy.” Also, there was mention of arms dealing to both the First Order and the Resistance from crime lords stationed in Canto Bight. I suspect that this may provide some background context.

In summary, if you have nothing better to do as you sit and wait for the next stage in the Star Wars Saga this weekend, then pick up a copy of Canto Bight and give it a read. Just don’t expect more than a few fun short stories that will probably not have much connection to the movie other than colocation with the Star Wars “city of sin.”

Click Here or the image below to pick this up via digital, audio or physical form.  We would like to thank Del Rey/Penguin Random House for providing the review sample.