Review: Star Wars: A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Cordova

Cover of A Crash of Fate

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate
Author: Zoraida Cordova

By Matthew Boccia

Zoraida Cordova’s new novel Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate is one of those rare moments where something that was originally meant just to promote another product far exceeds expectations. Set on the planet of Batuu, with most of the action taking place at Black Spire Outpost, A Crash of Fate serves as a deeper dive into the themed land Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland in California and Hollywood Studios, Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

While the book is classified as a young adult novel, the story is a great way to get a more grounded look at the events happening in the Star Wars universe- particularly during the time of the sequel trilogy. The novel focuses on Izzy and Jules, childhood best friends who are quickly separated when Izzy was six years old and flown off planet by her parents, only to find her way back thirteen years later. Jules, on the other hand, stayed behind on his family’s farm, finding work at the outpost, and as our insight to this new world.

In many ways, Izzy is very much like the reader. We are familiar with the type of world Batuu displays itself as, but seeing as how she left it at such an early age, she is unfamiliar with all the inner workings of the outpost. She is also represented as a Latinx  character, her full name being Izzy Garsea, and described as having golden-brown skin. This is a great addition to the lineup of diverse characters in the universe, especially to have her be front and center in a Star Wars novel. Jules (Jules) Rakab works as the reader’s insight into how those living in Batuu view the rest of the galaxy and everything happening within it. There are some major players in Black Spire Outpost that tie into the themed land at Disneyland. Oga, the crime boss who runs the cantina is someone to be feared and respected in Batuu. All business dealings go through her, and she makes it clear that she is on nobody’s side but her own in the ongoing war. Dok Ondar runs the antiquities shop and is always searching for more rare artifacts. This is also where we find Jules working thirteen years later.

Izzy, on the other hand, grew up to learn to only depend on herself, while Jules stayed behind and knows Black Spire Outpost like the back of his hand, as well as everyone in it. When fate brings them back into each other’s lives, Jules is forced to revisit his feelings for Izzy that never truly left. However, it’s Izzy who has the biggest arc to traverse, as this new adventure must teach her how to block out the voice of her mother and an independent smuggler’s life, and learn to rely on community and let herself be loved. While not a foreign concept to the Star Wars universe (I’m looking at you Han Solo) – what makes this novel so special is not the themes that run through it. What truly sets it apart is that it takes place on a smaller scale. None of these characters are heroes of the rebellion or villains of the First Order. Most of the action takes place planet side at the outpost, and there’s only passing references to belief in what people have been calling “the force.” This is very much a story about people overcoming themselves and forming connections with others.

That being said, A Crash of Fate stretches beyond the genre of YA novel and is accessible to anyone who has a love for the Star Wars universe. While it enriches the experience of visiting the theme park, it also paints a vivid picture of the planet General Leia sends her Resistance spy, Vi Moradi to, whose story is found in the novel Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire by Delilah Dawson. It comes as no surprise as to why Leia would choose Batuu as a starting point to rebuild the Resistance once you begin to explore the world through Izzy and Jules. Is it a love story? Yes. However it’s also so much more than that. It’s about becoming part of something bigger than ourselves and allowing fate to show us that life has a way of forming connections between us no matter how far we may fly of what we may have lost.

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