Ideal for younger readers but unlikely to satisfy anyone else, Adventures in Wild Space is a useful primer series for the kids but a largely superfluous part of the Star Wars canon.
ADVENTURES IN WILD SPACE IS PART OF THE CURRENT STAR WARS CANON. CHECK OUT THE TIMELINE.
Adventures in Wild Space is a seven-part junior novel series by Cavan Scott, made inexplicably difficult to access in various parts of the world with at least one instalment, the prelude, no less, being available only as part of a World Book Day promotion that involved the exchange of money for tokens and tokens for books – that would be a timed bartering system at least one step too long, in my estimation.
Nonetheless, here we are, with the completed series including The Escape, The Snare, The Nest, The Steal, The Dark, The Cold and The Rescue available pretty much worldwide at this point, provided you’re willing to pony up for extortionate international shipping fees. The question, I suppose, is whether Adventures in Wild Space is worth you doing so.
And it’s a difficult question to answer. On the one hand, while junior novels are typically aimed at younger readers, Adventures in Wild Space skews much more towards actual children than most others in the Star Wars canon, with dialogue and prose to match. On the other hand it presents an adventure in the old serialised tradition, free from the angst of the movies, and indulges in the wackier aspects of the mythos rather than really leaning into character and theme. On the third hand (I’m deformed), while it isn’t an indispensable part of the current continuity, it at the very least makes room for welcome cameos and a foray into parts of the galaxy that are, I suppose by definition, relatively unknown.
The plot, then, concerns Milo and Lina Graf, the young children of galactic cartographers charting Wild Space who are kidnapped by the Empire. On the run with their droid, CR-8R, a cobbled-together Frankenstein of various useful bits and bobs, they’re caught up in a series of outlandish adventures – some of which feature various folks from far-flung corners of the continuity – as they attempt a rescue mission; all while being pursued by a dastardly Imperial agent by the name of Korda.
Wild Space is important to the Empire because galactic expansion is heavy on resources, a fact that wasn’t lost on me, even if it likely won’t be of any interest to the kiddies. But in that sense, at least, Adventures in Wild Space earns its place in the continuity and on the shelves of the die-hard fans, even if what it offers beyond that isn’t going to satisfy readers above a certain age. The kids enjoy predictable arcs, as does the uptight droid, whose progression is perhaps more interesting than any of the human characters. But the books have a sense of intergalactic adventure that is true to the title, and will likely tickle the imaginations of their target demographic. It’s usually a critical cop-out to suggest that those who’re supposed to enjoy it will likely enjoy it, but such is life. Those of us who are older and wiser can use the series to distract our kids while we read something else.