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A novel by Elizabeth Hand (2003, Scholastic Books)
Young Boba Fett, Book 3
22 years before Star Wars: A New Hope

Aurra Sing takes Boba Fett to the planet of the banking clan, to retrieve the fortune his father left for him.




Read March 22nd to 24th, 2007  
    The premise of this book was sound, and most of the plot was kept tangible and believable, but I didn't find it compelling.

While it is believable that Boba Fett should remain on the run from Aurra Sing, the only person besides Count Dooku who poses a threat to him, there was something about this story that kept it from being really interesting. Once again, Boba is learning not to trust anybody, but it seems that he has a very thick head. As in the previous books, he ends up trusting somebody he doesn't know, and getting burned by it. That in itself is okay, but it means he isn't really learning anything, or that the author is repeating previous storylines, already.

This book brings about a new author for the series, and there seems to be a bit of a continuity problem, mostly in small stuff. For example, the author lists Kamino and Geonosis as the planets Boba has been to before landing on Aargau, where in The Fight to Survive, it was clearly stated that he had been to more places in the galaxy than most kids his age (which I found hard to believe, actually). It is also stated that Aurra Sing found Jango Fett's bank card in Slave I. If it was so readily available, wouldn't Jango's book have told his son about this, instead of sending him in search of Count Dooku? I had assumed, from what was stated in the previous book, that Sing knew of several places where Jango's fortune was stored, but she needed Fett's genetic code to obtain it. My mistake.

Sing brings Boba to Aargau, head planet of the Banking Clan, but is forced to go back to the ship to check her weapons away. Fett, however, stays put at the ticket counter, where, fortuitously, the bank card was also left. He takes it, and runs into a young clone in training, who doesn't seem suspicious enough about him, even though he assumes Boba comes from the stock of clones. The clone troopers are there to maintain the peace, but the adults don't recognize him, as in the previous books.

Through the use of his double, he manages to evade Aurra for long enough to meet with a person who promises him he could get him his fortune, for a nominal fee. I kept waiting for Boba to ask what the fee was. They take a free-fall car to the lowermost level of the pyramid city, which is essentially restricted, because nobody can control what goes on there. How a pyramid can occupy almost the entire surface of the planet is beyond me, unless it is a two-dimensional planet.

It turns out that (gasp!) the conveniently placed banker is a scam, and is actually a clawdite (like his father's old friend Zam Wesell), who steals most of his fortune. When he realizes that the being is using an illegal banking machine (which he was told would lead to his imprisonment and death from the desk clerk when he arrived), he stops the transaction, but most of his funds are gone. The clawdite actually used his card without his genetic authorization, which begs the question of why Aurra Sing couldn't do the same thing. She seemed to know the underworld quite well, and surely could have bullied or bought somebody to get her access. She never seemed worried about "getting caught".

The clawdite lets him go after that, hoping he will be less trustful in the future (as do I). The rest of the book is spent getting away from Sing, who has figured out he is on the lowest level. He follows a Twi'lek into a Hutt gambling establishment, where his Jawa disguise is disrupted, and he discovers a trapdoor under a table where he hides. There, he overhears a conversation between the head of the banking clan and Jabba's cousin, Gardula. Hopefully this information will be useful in future books.

He is, of course, discovered, by a security officer, with whom he offers a deal with the only piece of information he has: the fact that Count Dooku and Tyranus are the same person. I really don't know why this is such shocking news, or all that important. Why would the name Tyranus mean anything to anybody, anyway. I'd think Tyranus would have kept his involvement in the clones secret, anyway, and Jango had no reason to blab it around. The only thing I could see it doing is shaking the Separatist movement a little, which could easily survive Dooku's humiliation (it survived his death in Revenge of the Sith for a while, anyway).

The deal is meaningless, however, as Aurra finds them just after Boba tells the security officer, and ends up killing the guy. After a desperate chase, Boba gets to his bank, which does not admit Aurra, and she is arrested for carrying a weapon, and having forged citizenship papers, which would allow her to carry a weapon.

Boba leaves happy, but knowing that Aurra Sing will follow him once she escapes.

One of the main problems with this series, I think, is the fact that Boba is ten years old, and is on his own, as opposed to the Jedi Apprentice series, where Obi-Wan was also young, but was accompanied by a Jedi Master, so he could get into difficult positions. Boba has to deal with an adult world, and the adults have to react realistically to him. I don't know why the desk clerk feels she needs to explain herself to him when he asks why she is carrying a gun (she is a citizen of Aargau). Still, he always says, and it is true, that nobody notices a kid. This is good enough for much of the storyline, but not necessarily all of it. Still, the author manages to keep the book believable from that perspective.

I begin to wonder where this series is going. Is it going to show Boba's fostering? We can't possibly see him becoming a real bounty hunter, at his age, before Revenge of the Sith. Perhaps, in the future, we will be given a glimpse into his life after Episode III.

As for Boba's fortune, he has lost most of it, so he is barely better off than in the last book, before he knew he had a fortune. At least if he had split it with Sing (assuming she was honest), he would have had half. Now, he has a small fraction of it.

Such is life -and Boba Fett will undoubtedly be shaped by his hard life.


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