26. Star Wars: Tarkin
Set between the films Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, it follows the rise of the character Grand Moff Tarkin, the development of his planet-killer Death Star, and the Tarkin Doctrine, which advises “ruling through fear of force”, over force itself.
Additionally, Tarkin explores origins Wilhuff Tarkin as a boy being groomed by Emperor Palpatine. His rise through the Imperial ranks is ruthless and merciless, as he advises Palpatine during the Death Star’s development. Until that realization, however, the Separatist rebellion must be dominated or destroyed. The insurgents are his primary concern, and along with Darth Vader, it is Tarkin’s cunning brilliance that leads to his enemy’s near defeat.
A back-story long overdue
The obvious home run of Tarkin is the fact that such a hotly debated character finally has a fully fleshed out history. While a great majority of the novel is of his travels and battles against rebel thieves, the interspersed tales of his childhood provide a rich history that explains a lot of why Tarkin ended up the way he did. There are numerous passages with notes about survival training, treacherous jungles, rites of passage, and a generally grueling childhood on his home planet of Eriadu.