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A novel by Troy Denning (2003, Del Rey Books)
Included with the Tatooine Ghost softcover
8 years after Star Wars: A New Hope

Chewbacca and his wife and son chase a gang of Imperial thieves and spies to their tarp -a hideout deep in Coruscant's underworld.



Read on August 15th, 2005  
    I'm certain that it is very difficult to write a story with only Wookies as the main characters. Nevertheless, I didn't feel that these Wookies were any different from various human characters would have been. They thought like humans, and except for their idioms and certain phrases, which were specific to their homeworld, they spoke like humans would, too.

Still, the story was yet another connection to past and future stories, which made it fun. Like Tatooine Ghost, this story takes place at a time between events that we already know well, so we can appreciate the sprinkles of continuity that we encounter. We know, for example, that Ysanne Isard did not die in The Bacta War, in a piece of misplotting that brought about Isard's Revenge. If we didn't know that, would we suspect that she was still alive? Or would we have to conclude, like Chewie seems to, that this was one more of her subversions, but that it only came to fruition at this time, when she couldn't appreciate it? We never get a sense of what we are supposed to think.

The Wookie side of things centers around Chewbacca's relationship with his son, Lumpy. Lumpy (aside from his name) feels neglected by his father, and so tries to idolize him in everything he does, from video games to wrestling and bragging. It drives his mother, Malla, and everybody else in his treetop city, crazy.

So when Lumpy hears somebody breaking into Han and Leia's apartment, he jumps at the chance to be a hero. Instead, he is easily overpowered and taken hostage. Fortunately, Chewie and Malla free their son, but the thief escapes. Not having learned his lesson the first time, Lumpy takes off through the hole blown in the wall, after the stolen datapad.

Chewie realizes that he has not taught his son about responsibility, nor how to take care of himself in a fight, and he pledges to rectify that as soon as he can. First, however, they keep losing Lumpy to the thieves/spies! There is a scene reminiscent of the Coruscant chase scene from Attack of the Clones, which was nicely choreographed, for a story!

When they enter the former Imperial military complex after stealing the hovercar from one set of spies, walking into a trap, of course, they behave like all the other Star Wars characters in any other book. There was nothing special about them being Wookies. They took the offensive, walked into another trap, and turned the tables on their adversary, destroying a reprogrammed interrogation droid who was planning to kill the Provisional Government at a ceremony that night. Given that they defeated the security in Han and Leia's apartment, Chewie thinks it likely that they could accomplish their goal. Using Lumpy as bait, the Wookies get the upper hand, and save the New Republic yet again.

A marginally fun tale, it was still very well written. I thought the banter, which was similar to that in Tatooine Ghost, was very snappy and realistic, but only for human characters. I don't know how Wookies would banter, honestly, but I think it must be different from how we do it.

I like Denning's work a lot, from Star By Star to Tatooine Ghost, but this one could not live up to what he has written previously. Enjoyable, but nothing more.


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