Title: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
Canon Timeline Placement: Begins before Episode III, spans 5 years from 21-17 BBY
Length: 28 chapters, 330 pages
Welcome to our review of Star Wars canon novels and more. While this is not intended to be a full-blown, thorough book review, we do hope to give you enough information – but not too much – about each canon Star Wars publication. Again, we will try to avoid spoilers but read at your own risk…
Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel was released in November 2016, a month prior to the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theaters, and written by James Luceno, also the author the Tarkin novel.
The story begins just prior to Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and centers around Galen and Lyra Erso. According to officially published descriptions:
War is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a superweapon before their enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic’s, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.
Galen’s energy-focused research has captured the attention of both Krennic and his foes, making the scientist a crucial pawn in the galactic conflict. But after Krennic rescues Galen, his wife, Lyra, and their young daughter, Jyn, from Separatist kidnappers, the Erso family is deeply in Krennic’s debt. Krennic then offers Galen an extraordinary opportunity: to continue his scientific studies with every resource put utterly at his disposal. While Galen and Lyra believe that his energy research will be used purely in altruistic ways, Krennic has other plans that will finally make the Death Star a reality. Trapped in their benefactor’s tightening grasp, the Ersos must untangle Krennic’s web of deception to save themselves and the galaxy itself.
My overall opinion of Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel is very positive. Having now read several of the canon novels currently in publication, this was one of my favorites. That may be because I read it leading up to Rogue One’s release and did so with much excitement, but reading 2-3 chapters a day during my busy schedule was something I looked forward to. It was a good read and overall I will give it a rating of 9 out of 10.