I recently read the Adventures in Wild Space series for my ongoing read-through of the Star Wars canon. This six book series, with a short introductory story are set during the “Dark Times” of the Empire’s reign, between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. These are books for younger readers, and feature Lina and Milo Graf, siblings who traverse Wild Space with their parents, Auric and Rhyssa, who are cartographers, charting planets in Wild Space. When their parents are kidnapped by the Empire, Lina and Milo must rescue them, with the help of a hodge-podge, sassy droid named CR-8R (Crater) and Milo’s pet Kowakian monkey lizard Morq.
As a fan of children’s literature, I had been intending to get to these books for some time, but it was my chronological read through of the canon that pushed them to the top of my list. And as a fan of children’s literature, these books did not disappoint. First and foremost, they are fun adventure stories written for younger readers (I cannot wait to read them to my kids). Lina and Milo must mature, identify their strengths as well as their siblings’, and learn who to trust and who not to trust along the way.
The books felt very “Star Wars” to me, which sounds like such an amorphous adjective; but nonetheless, while Adventures in Wild Space is different than some other Star Wars stories I have read–it is also similar. The entire books series focuses on Lina and Milo rescuing their parents. Unlike some recent canon works which have covered several years of a character’s life in its pages, this series is compact. As it is for younger readers, I think it serves well that the plot doesn’t meander.
I appreciated the growth of Lina and Milo: their maturity and discernment progressed as the story went along. And the values that are inherent to Star Wars: selflessness, doing your small part to save the day, loyalty, and found family are ever present in meaningful ways.
The books read very quickly (it took me about a week to read all seven volumes). And I’ve seen some folks dismiss these as throw-away stories, but even for canon junkies, there are some callbacks that were fun. References to Cylo (seen in the Darth Vader comic series) and Lothal were fun. But meeting characters like Vizago, Tarkin and Ephraim and Mira Bridger (AND BABY EZRA!) were highlights for me as a fan of Star Wars Rebels.
Milo’s grandson, Emil Graf, along with Crater, Noni the Kowakian monkey lizard, and a BB unit named B-00 (Boo!) can be seen in the Adventures in Wild Space stories that are a part of IDW’s new Star Wars Adventures comic series. Another example of media connections in the Story Group era of storytelling in the Star Wars galaxy.
Adventures in Wild Space series are written by Cavan Scott and Tom Huddleston.
While reading through stories set in the height of the Empire’s glory, it stories of hope winning over oppression are uplifting, (and ever timely in our world today) and worth taking in.
Have you read Adventures in Wild Space? What are your thoughts?