Star Wars: Death Troopers

by Joe Schreiber

For those Star Wars fans out there, a forewarn to you all: this is not a new kind of stormtrooper... At first I thought it is, but picking up the book tells me that this is something new in that far, far away galaxy.

What comes to mind when 'Star Wars' is mentioned? What is the most horrible thing that can be imagined? Darth Vader (aww, come on... you call that horrible!? he's adorable...)? Well, now you have something more horrible than that adorable asthmatic Sith Lord: Joe Schreiber (no, he is not another Sith Lord...)

Imagine zombies roaming around in the Star Wars galaxy, and this is the outcome. The plot itself is nothing new: a ship met some malfunction, stalled in the middle of nowhere, met a ghost ship, entered and bring back unspeakable horrors (you know what it is), everyone become zombies, a few protagonists died, a few finally survived and left, blah blah blah... Well, at least that is the gist of it. Sounds familiar? If it does, that is because it is. If you had played "Dead Space", then you can almost guess the whole story.

What is special about the story, which I really liked, is the way that the story did not repeat what was told in the summary, something which really annoyed me in most books. The story started directly with the event, and examined the past and thoughts of the few protagonists throughout the event. While the story runs its course by shadowing their escape and survival through the zombie horde, scraps of the details behind what caused this and what happened to the ghost ship was revealed indirectly. Since this is a science fiction story, zombies were of course caused by your friendly neighborhood virus, not magic or whatever hocus-pocus stuff.

Although the story is quite predictable, I do appreciate the fresh idea of a horror story in that far, far away galaxy. When you looked at a Star Destroyer in the movie, did you realize how large it was, especially if you were running for your life? You may have the impression that zombies are a slowly shambling thing, but what if they can run faster than you, carry rifles and learn how to use new weapons or fly spaceships? Can you imagine the monsters which now hunger for your flesh were people who you accepted as your loved ones, now an unrecognizable heap of horror? The author flaunts all these facts without mercy at the reader, and with details that makes you look over your shoulder once in a while. What surprises me is that apart from terrifying the reader, I found that there is a profound sadness that accompanied the story, making the atmosphere much more tense and horrifying.

I am quite impressed by the vocabulary that is introduced in the story, which is quite a change from those which I am used to in other Star Wars novella. The personae are vividly detailed out throughout the story, and through the actions and thoughts of the protagonists, the reader get to know more about them and the details behind the event. Do be on the lookout for 2 familiar icons who are not mentioned in the summary.

As a marketing ploy, Star Wars publisher had published 9 letters to a few fan sites, and interested readers can take a look to get a gist of what is happening within the story.

Even with a predictable plot (at least it is to avid sci-fi horror story lovers and gamers), it still is a fresh addition to the range of stories running around that galaxy. Who knows, maybe they will offer a zombie Jedi or Sith in another story.

P.S.: What do you know, they really did have a story about zombie Sith...


  1. An additional post-script to this article is the length of the story. At slightly less than 300 pages, I feel that the story is a little too short. I hope that the sequel will be a little longer... ^^


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