In the new book Star Wars: Victory’s Price: An Alphabet Squadron Novel, The author Alexander Freed meets again with his team of pilots from the New Republic, the Alphabet Squadron. In anticipation of the book’s release on March 2, 2021, we asked Reed to share his feelings regarding the conclusion of his trilogy to introduce an exclusive excerpt.
Fifteen years of writing Star Wars stories, and I have a basic trick: let someone lay the foundations, then fill in the gaps that remain.
With the video game Star Wars The Old RepublicI focused on espionage stories that take place in the shadow of an epic war while other writers recorded the clash between Jedi and Sith. In my first novel Star Wars: Battlefront – Twilight CompanyThe original film trilogy served as the backdrop for the Rebel Alliance grunts – the kind we saw in the Hoth trenches fighting the Empire without idealism or fate fueling the rebellion’s greatest heroes, but for the good of the rebellion nonetheless contributed.
In the case of the Alphabet series Trilogy, Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath Novels, and Greg Ruckas Shattered empire The comic book had traced the course of the galaxy’s civil war as early as the year after the Battle of Endor. We knew about The Force Awakens that the Rebel Alliance that became the New Republic would win the Battle of Jakku. The most obvious questions: “Who will win the war and how?” “How did the first order start?” “What happened to Luke, Leia and Han?” – was answered.
Notice that I said “the most obvious questions”, not “the most important questions.”
For me, the Alphabet Squadron trilogy was an opportunity to dig beneath the surface. To fill in the gaps and ask, “If this happened, what does it mean? What does it mean about the galaxy, what it is dealing with and what is coming? “
With the eyes of five mismatched pilots (and an Imperial ace of aces and a compassionate torture droid, a spy, and a few others) I found a chance to explore the trauma in a time of crisis and what it means to bear that trauma afterwards . Reluctant defector Yrica Quell
With A-wing pilot The Lark Festival – Finally on the cover of Price of victory! – I have to think about how long a “just war” will last. remains Only and when it’s time to get involved again or go home. I have to sketch the future of General Hera Syndulla, who may not feel completely at home as the commander of the Armadas, but who remains just as noble, charismatic and caring as she is Star Wars: Rebels.
(No, I won’t forget Kairos. I can’t talk about them without a spoiler.)
And beyond the souls of our protagonists, there is certainly a lot at stake – in Price of victoryEntire worlds see their existence upside down within two chapters, and things escalate from there. There are dogfights, monsters and large ships that have been reduced to molten cinder in the depths of space. It’s the end of a trilogy, and they always culminate in spectacular ways. Three books, Yrica, Wyl, Nath, Chass, Kairos, Soran, and Hera, have all come to the end of their present journey.
Could I have done all of this if I had to worry about laying the foundations at the same time? If I had to explain How the fall of the Empire in the year after Endor, rather than charting the course of a very personal rivalry between Alphabet Squadron and the Shadow Wing TIE pilots?
May be. But that doesn’t mean the trick is stale. Let’s try again.
In this selection, Wyl Lark leads a team of pilots on a routine mission that reveals the decay of the imperial remnant. Below, listen to a preview of the audiobook read by January LaVoy.
The glow of hyperspace faded as the burst of delay hit. Wyl’s harness dug into his chest as stars fell and the Midgor jade light blinked out of the darkness. His head swam and he looked at the console and tried to analyze the readings while his instruments recalibrated.
“To pick something up!” Wyl heard Vitale, succinctly and professionally – the woman he had flirted with, almost friends before becoming her commanding officer on Troithe. “Three, maybe four ships.”
“I hear you, Wild Two,” he said. Wyl adjusted his sensors, felt the reassuring click of the gag through his gloves, and confirmed Vitale’s assessment. His communications scanner flickered, indicating encrypted Imperial chatter in the system.
“Wild and hail, hold your position,” he said. “Flare, with me for a better look.”
There were positive answers. Wyl opened the throttle and swung his ship toward the bright markings on his scanner. By the time his course was set, the universe seemed silent and its roaring engines passed out – in the vastness of real space the only signs he was moving were his console displays and, far beyond, the lights of the other starfighters.
It was almost a minute before he could see stains against the dark. Its sensors estimated the speed and mass of the distant ships. They were too big to be fighters, but smaller than frigates – gunships maybe, but Wyl couldn’t guess their specifications. He didn’t have the encyclopedic knowledge that Yrica Quell had.
Wyl had seen many friends die in war. But the loss of Quell was different from the loss of Sonogari or Sata Neek.
“I need ID,” he said. “Does anyone know her?”
“One in the background looks like an Imperial carrier,” Ghordansk replied. Ghordansk had an answer for everything, and half the time he was right. “Running too hot – maybe a radiation leak.”
Wyl changed his approach and turned to one side. The spots of the imperial ships flickered at the edges, as if their shields were full of energy or –
He checked his sensors again and noted the heat signatures.
“Keep your distance,” he said. “I’m going over.”
It sent a blast of power to its engines and cut communications again as it accelerated toward the enemy formation. The garbled sounds of encrypted messages echoed in his cockpit. He screwed up his eyes and leaned forward until the spots began to crystallize – boxy black shapes, clearly imperial, but without the predatory nooks and crannies of a star destroyer. Flames and arcs danced along their sides and fell into vacuum.
“This is Starfighter Commander Wyl Lark for the Imperial ships. Please report your status. “
He knew it might have been a trap – bait the Shadowwing had left to lure New Republic ships. The Imperial cargo ships could have been rigged to detonate, or TIE fighters could have been hiding a short distance away.
An answer came too distorted for him to understand.
“This is Wyl Lark. Say again? “
“This is Captain Oultovar Misk from the freighter Diamond gate. We need help and we are ready to surrender. Repeat: we surrender! “
Wyl was on the shooting range. A flash of light caught his attention and he turned his head, fearing cannon fire, and instead witnessed an outbreak of fire and molten metal from the port side of a cargo ship.
It wasn’t a trap. He did not do it think It was a trap.
It could be something worse.
“Captain Misk?” he said. “What happened to your convoy?”
The voice hesitated and then answered, interrupted by static and mechanical whining, “We were in a battle. TIE fighters attacked us. We dismantled our escorts within minutes and then moved on. “
“Why?” Wyl asked. “Why should they do this?”
“I don’t know. We were – we worked under the protection of the Yomo Council. One of the other factions must have made an exception and decided to come afterwards …”
The voice stopped speaking. Wyl thought at first that transmission problems had turned it off, but then he heard heavy breathing and what could only be crying.
“Imperial versus Imperial,” said the voice. “This is the war now. Family kills family, unraveling oaths. How can it – you will go help us? “
Wyl winced as if he had been beaten. “Of course. Of course we will help. Stay where you are, we have more ships in action.”
He gave the all clear to the liberation and ordered his squadrons to be within range to assist with evacuation and damage control. He tried to stop the fighters from exposing themselves without endangering the rescue. It was not a trap, none of that Diamond gate and the other cargo ships, but that was no guarantee that the danger was over.
As Wyl worked, he thought of Captain Misk’s words and what Shadow Wing was capable of, and all the Imperial atrocities that followed the Battle of Endor. He hadn’t seen any of them then, but he had read about Operation Cinder – the murder of worlds like Nacronis that posed no threat to the Empire.
He wondered what horrors were in store for all of them now when the Empire was really desperate.