|A standard super-weapon story, but with
excellent artistic style and fairly good characterization.
Whereas we learned more about
in his graphic novel, this story is more generalized. Jango and Zam form
a major part of the story, but it is also split between the villains and
What we really learn about Zam and
Jango is that they have some compassion. I don't know the characters
enough to say if that makes sense. For their profession, it doesn't, and
certainly must make the job more difficult. If Jango really is an orphan
(the argument that made him change his mind), then does he agonize over
every orphan he creates just doing his job?
I wish we knew how Zam came by the
information that she has about Coruscant. Clearly she has better
informants than the Jedi. She convinces Jango to come help save
Coruscant with her, because the person for whom they recovered the idol
in the last book is going to use it to destroy the planet.
It's a ho-hum story that has been done
in way too many incarnations in the Star Wars universe to date. Why go
with it again? I think we should really ban weapons that can destroy
anything larger than a starship from being told as a Star Wars story in
the future. That should be the realm of the Emperor only.
It doesn't even have enough time to
come off decently, either. Jango and Zam arrive on Coruscant, use logic
to find out where the bad general is going to use the device, and get
into a shoot-out, helping the Jedi kill all of those involved. The only
part that was really interesting was Zam's ability to change shape, such
as taking on the appearance of the Dug from the last book, in order to
get some information. We don't even know how they find the right area.
The evil general, Ashaar Khorda, is
hoping to destroy the capital of the Republic because it humiliated him,
quelling an uprising on his home planet and restoring the government he
tried to topple. Using the force-concentrating idol recovered by Jango
last book, he plans to set it to explode along a relay deep inside the
planet, releasing Force-energy beyond anything anybody has ever seen,
thus destroying Coruscant. Everybody assumes that his information is
correct and that it will behave as he says it will. I am not sure why.
The general and his entourage make
their way into the relay station, leaving a trail that anyone could
follow, with dead guards everywhere. The shootout with Jango and Zam
kills many of them, and the Jedi takes care of the rest. But it is
too late -he has "activated" the idol, setting it to explode. Why
couldn't he have just shot it with a blaster? And what did he expect to
achieve if it did work, anyway? He would have been killed as well. Would
his revenge have been sufficient if he didn't get to witness the
aftermath? For this kind of character, I don't believe it.
As for the Jedi, the Council cannot
find the threat, which seems like writer's contrivance. How, then, did
they narrow it down to three planets? The story seems to say "who cares"!
We follow Yarael Poof, the long-necked
Jedi who was absent from the Jedi Council in
Episode II -and now we know
why. He goes to the deep city of Coruscant's under levels, and has a
really touching scene with a boy about to be bullied by a gang. He makes
his way to the relay at the same time as Jango, Zam, and the general. He
gets some cool fighting moments before he is stabbed, his attention
taken by the idol, which is about to explode. He goes down, and uses his
life energy to fuse the idol's Force shields back to rigidity before it explodes.
I was impressed by most of the dialog
in this book. The exception usually came from Jango, who gets stupid
lines like "he saved Coruscant" and so on. Jango also seems to be on par
with Boba Fett in the Return of the Jedi era, that is -not so great a
fighter. He gets hit quite often, and goes down again and again. It's
amazing that this character could face off with Obi-Wan on Kamino.
The other stupidity comes from the Jedi
Council, who seem to have access to the writers' mind. They know that
whoever took the idol returned it to a safe place, never to harm anyone
again. Huh? It happens to be true, but on what basis? Could the idol
have not fallen off the ledge as it almost did? It would have been just
as gone from the scene. The part of the story where Zam and Jango take
it back to Seylott, and learn that the people will soon die out -and
with them knowledge of the idol- is supposed to tidy up the ending, so
that nobody could get their hands on it again. Yeah, sure.
I really enjoyed the bookends to this
story, which take place on Kamino. I like Boba Fett as a kid, especially
the way he plays ball with his father, and greets him when he returns
again. (I also liked Jango's hat in the rain, there!) There seems to be some sort of romance brewing by the end of this
book between Jango and Zam; too bad it was cut short by Obi-Wan and
Finally, I really liked the artistic
style of this book. The art was not always to my liking -it seems to get
better and then worse in waves. However, there were some excellent
choices for the layout, for example with a bust of Zam or Jango talking,
seemingly plucked from another panel. Everything was very well defined
for the most part, making it much, much better than the art in
Fett. The colors were very vibrant as well, making for a pleasant
It really looks to me like Zam is the
better bounty hunter. Jango is cool-looking, but doesn't appear to be
great at doing what he must. His son will be much better. As for the
story, it's been done so many times that I wasn't very interested.
Fortunately, the characters were fairly interesting, and the art was