This week’s Canon Catch-Up is going to be a quick one, because this week we’re focusing on a short story. This is one I’ve skipped for a number of years, and honestly just finished my first read through. Today, we’re looking at “The Perfect Weapon” by Delilah S. Dawson.
What It’s About
“The Perfect Weapon” clocks in at about 57 pages, and was released as part of the Journey to The Force Awakens publishing run leading up to the release of that film. It focuses on Bazine Netal, the gun-for-hire we see very briefly in Maz’s castle on Takodana. This is the story of one of her more lucrative (maybe?) escapades in which she has to track down a long-lost stormtrooper and recover some mysterious package from his possession. Along the way, she visits her former mentor and father figure, Kloda. She asks him to take his ship, the Sparrowhawk, which he agrees to under the one condition that she take one of his new trainees, Orri, along with her.
Orri is good for basically one thing: slicing into computers, a skill which comes into play in our story maybe once. All in all, Orri’s role in this story is negligible. And after locating the medical facility Bazine believes holds her quarry, she even knocks Orri out with a homemeade poison and locks him aboard the ship. Bazine finds out the medical facility is long-abandoned, but is now inhabited by insectoid creatures that have basically turned it into a huge hive. Once inside, Bazine enters the basement where she runs across a half-crazy old stormtrooper who takes her to where her target can be found, although he has been encased in wax. Bazine is able to recover the package, but not before she’s encountered by Kloda, who turns out to be a traitor competing for the package.
Bazine is able to escape the facility, and encounters Kloda. After a brief strugge, she kills him and recovers the package. The story ends with Bazine wondering what’s in the package that makes it so important, but ultimately deciding she doesn’t want to know and only wants to get paid.
What I Thought
This is maybe the most minor of characters to get their own story, albeit a short one. I was hoping for something a little more impactful, but ultimately this ends up just being a mission that means very little. I feel a little cheated that I don’t even know what Bazine was after this whole time, and I thought that was a missed opportunity for some type of interesting tie-in to the larger saga story.
Additionally, I can’t wrap my head around why Orri was needed at all. He shows off his slicing skills once, but ultimately I can’t help but feel his inclusion in the story was space that could have been better used elsewhere since we have very limited space already.
Kloda and Bazine have an interesting dynamic. I actually would have liked to have seen that be more of her driving force, since Kloda’s role in this story becomes so pivotal in the late stages. Bazine is really tough as nails, thanks to Kloda’s upbringing, and her emotional connection to him feels less dramatic than it should.
Overall, I would honestly tell you this is a safe story to skip. It’s a decently fun Star Wars bounty hunter style story, but there’s very little here that I think you need to spend $1.99 to read. Had Bazine ended up being even slightly more important in The Force Awakens, then my outlook might be different. But as it stands, it’s just a story to give an unimportant character a little backstory.
Bazine Netal is portrayed as a master of disguise, and is so adept at this skill that in an albeit somewhat silly scene, she is able to convince Orri that there are multiple people aboard the Sparrowhawk instead of just the two of them. She is a no-nonsense character who is the best at what she does.
I hate to sound like I’m ripping on this book, because it’s not bad by any means. I think my main complaint is that it’s just so minor a story. I would have loved to know why she hangs out at Maz’s Castle or how she ended up there, or even how she came to be involved with the First Order by that time. Instead, it’s just a glimpse of her backstory.
Have you read “The Perfect Weapon?” If so, I’d love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments below!