||I'm still trying to figure out what this book is
about. It managed to nudge Jacen closer to the Dark Side of the Force,
making everybody more uneasy about him, including Ben Skywalker. It
finally got rid of Thrackan Sal-Solo, which makes me wonder if Jacen's
senses about killing him in Betrayal were really that clear. It also
gave us a little more information about what happened to Boba Fett since
we last saw him (briefly) in The Unifying Force. But what was the
purpose of the novel?
I sense a trend here, with
nine tassels from the item in Betrayal. Two of them have been fulfilled
by the end of this book, and the third is foreshadowed for
Tempest (I hope this doesn't occur).
Jacen is now consciously turning himself into a Sith, and is determined
to avoid the mistakes his grandfather made. This means he is now
"time-walking", like he did in the Dark Nest trilogy, but it is much
more obvious in this novel, as he visits the Jedi Temple and witnesses
Anakin Skywalker's slaughter of younglings, and the denial of his Master
title. He seeks advice from Lumiya, but she doesn't really say anything
The critical events in this novel where the war
with Corellia is concerned is a set of terrorist attacks in the Galactic
City on Coruscant. Jacen's relationship with the World Brain of the
Yuuzhan Vong sets up an interesting twist in the return of the
government to Coruscant. Jacen bonded with the World Brain, and
apparently still communicates with it, so it can tell him of things that
are happening on the world. Mara is offered the role of leading the new
secret police, but turns it down. Jacen takes up the role instead.
Unfortunately for the Skywalkers, he drags Ben along with him.
Ben loves it, because he is finally being given some
responsibility, and being treated like an adult. Between him and Jacen,
they route out several Corellian terrorist cells in the unique Jedi way.
Their team of assault soldiers like their ability to sense threats and
deal with them without even seeing the people inside the buildings. But
Jacen seems to be enjoying his job too much, and even the officers see the parallels between him and Darth Vader, or between his
teams and the stormtroopers. Several times, people comment that they
simply have to change the color of the uniforms from black to white and
the Galactic Alliance appears to have changed into the Empire.
Ben starts to feel uneasy when Jacen kills a female
bounty hunter by probing into her mind for information. I don't see how
he could fail to note that she was Boba Fett's daughter, especially
since that must have been foremost on her mind, before she died. Ben,
for his part, tries to figure out where the prejudice is coming from.
Why would Corellians feel so prideful of their homeworld if they live on
Coruscant; some of them were even born on Coruscant and had never been
to Corellia. He tries to befriend a young Corellian, but ends up raiding
the boy's work after the guy nearly shoots a security officer in a riot.
He feels uneasy about the whole thing, but there is such a rift between
him and Luke (and to a lesser extent Mara) that he can't talk to his
parents about it, at least until the very end of the book. At that
point, Ben has killed for the first time. This is something that was
missing from the Jedi Apprentice novels. I like that Ben feels terrible
about killing, especially since the second person was likely unarmed,
and that he breaks down in front of his parents regarding it. I hope
For Luke's part, he recognizes that Lumiya has returned,
and that Jacen is turning to the Dark Side of the Force, but doesn't
connect the two. When Luke last met Lumiya, he wasn't trained in the
Force -how does he recognize her aura now? Despite this, the Jedi Council considers giving
status of Master. I don't understand why Luke doesn't mention it,
especially since the Council doesn't like the public display of two Jedi
busting down doors to arrest citizens. I also don't understand why Luke
doesn't confront Jacen. At the very least, he could convince Mara, and
the two of them, with Jaina, could confront him. I don't know what good
it would do, since Jacen is committed to the path of the Sith, but it is
frustrating not to have some sort of communication between them.
At one point, Jacen asks Luke how what he is doing
-without killing anybody- is different from getting in a starfighter and
killing people. Luke doesn't answer. Does this mean the author has no
answer, or can't see a difference? They are talking about Ben here, and
the true answer is that Ben doesn't understand what he is doing, not
fully, anyway. He is taking away the freedom of people who may not be
the best citizens and may in fact be criminals, but not necessarily the ones who are
causing the terrorism. The typical comment that people who are not
guilty have nothing to hide is very false, as everybody has things they
would hide. It doesn't make them criminals to have something they would
not want made public. In a fight using a Jedi starfighter, typically the
enemy is a soldier in another starfighter who has taken up arms against
a cause the Jedi have decided is unjust -rightly or wrongly. This is an
incomplete answer, and it doesn't address the issue of terrorism, which
is described perfectly by the author as being so effective because of
the perception of civil liberties. But to deport or arrest every
Corellian on Coruscant must be seen as unacceptable by anyone.
Finally, Jacen's "revelation" that he must eliminate all
of his attachments, like Tenel Ka and their daughter Allanah, begs the
question about why he wants to create this government of Order by
becoming a Sith Lord. Why should he care if the galaxy is full of war or
peace? He says that he has never known peace in his life, but that's
untrue. Unless he has a personal stake in the galactic civilization, why
should he care? Order for the sake of order is not a reason to do
anything. If he ends up killing the two people he truly cares about, the
two people he wants to make the galaxy a safer place for, then what is
his reason for creating Order, anymore? Suddenly it becomes about power,
or about selfishness, in that he wants to impose his view of order on
everyone. Suddenly I don't like where this series is going, anymore.
The other plotline deals with Boba Fett, who is dying.
But there is hope in the work of some Kaminoan scientists who have
disappeared over the years. He tracks down Taun We (from
Attack of the
Clones) and gathers her data. He also hears about a clone who claims to
be from the time of the Clone Wars, which is impossible unless research
on reversing the aging process has been completed, a study of a
long-dead Kaminoan scientist. This clone is obviously one of those
showcased in Triple Zero, especially since Skirata is named personally.
Fett is searching for his daughter, and finds
the route to her through a woman named Mirta Gev, who was obviously his
grand-daughter from the moment she showed up, though Fett didn't realize
it until she told him at the end of the book. He uses the fact that
Thrackan Sal-Solo has hired her to kill Han Solo to try and find his
Unfortunately, she was killed by Jacen, so tailing Han didn't do
him much good in that respect. Sal-Solo tries to hire Boba Fett to defend
Centerpoint Station against the Galactic Alliance, but Fett declines.
Instead, when he finds out Jacen has his daughter locked up, he is hired
to kill Sal-Solo. Fett, Solo and Gev go into Sal-Solo's office and kill
him. I really wonder, now, what was the point of Jacen's claim that if
he didn't kill Sal-Solo when he had him on Centerpoint Station that war
would certainly follow. Of course, it was Sal-Solo who initiated the
sabotage of the conference in Betrayal, but Lumiya would have found a
way to do that anyway. Sal-Solo was a puppet, nothing more.
Jacen delivers Fett's daughter to Corellian space, and
ends up alienating both his parents. Fortunately for him, he is ready
for that, and ready to bear the burden of alienating everybody in order
to become a Sith Lord. It's about time he balanced the true cost of what
he is doing against WHY he is really doing it. Hopefully Luke can do
that for him before the series is over.
when I come across the inconsistency of characters between the first two
novels in this series. I really liked the first hundred pages or more of
this book. Actually, the whole book was well written, but it became
apparent soon after that it didn't really have a purpose. For that
reason, the Fett story was more interesting to me. But how likely are we
to see Fett again before the next book this author writes for the
series, Sacrifice? Presumably he will track down this clone, if he
appears. I think we'll see Wedge and Syal in the next Allston book,
Exile, but not before. And in Denning's novels, we're likely to see
impossible odds that the characters must battle through to be victorious. But
we can't see all of these in all the novels, because each author has
their own personal preferences that seem to be exclusive to them.
Somehow, the New Jedi Order didn't have that, except in minor cases. I
really hope this series can deliver on Jacen's turn to the Dark Side,
and make it believable.
The real reason for the
rating on this book is simply that it had no actual plot -nothing that
started, had a middle and something of a conclusion. Betrayal did have
this, as things were resolved, on a small scale. Here, Fett gets a small
conclusion, but the big story does not. I don't see the point, no matter
how well written the book was.