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Book Review

Book Cover

Star Wars
Fate of the Jedi


Author: Aaron Allston
Arrow Books / Lucas Books
RRP: £7.99, US $7.99??
ISBN: 978 0 099 54274 2
Available 10 March 2011

Fleeing from her confrontation with Jedi Master Skywalker, Vestara Khai seeks to get the coordinates of a potential source of Sith power to her people. Unable to reach her destination she puts down on Dathomir, a planet with a high level of Force users. Luke and his son Ben follow her down, only to run into trouble, trouble which draws Han and Leia Solo to their side. Elsewhere, the political machinations continue as the old Empire and the new Alliance try to find common ground...

Star Wars: Fate of The Jedi - Backlash is book four of a proposed nine book series set a few years after the Legacy of the Force books. The present novel is written by Aaron Allston, who also wrote the first book in the series.

The book reads exactly as you'd expect, being part of a series, and if you haven’t read the preceding novels you’re likely to be as lost as I was. If your knowledge of Star Wars has never reached beyond the films then the sheer number of new characters are likely to leave your head spinning, nor are you going to understand the historical references. In this way Backlash does not really work as a stand-alone story. You feel like you’ve walked into something which is halfway through and the end of the novel holds no real resolutions.

Of course, if you have followed the enormous amount of material which preceded this then the internal references will give the story a sense of continuity within the expanded universe. Allston writes a good tale, although stripped of its numerous battles, it is a slight story. The more interesting problems between the government and the Jedi, who have gone from saviours of the universe to almost distrusted rogue elements in society, is disproportionally swamped by a tale which could have been compressed into a novella or even a short story.

Given the scope of the series the book can’t help but feel like a piece of space soap opera. But then fans won’t really give a monkeys about all this. Yep, the book is full of flashing lightsabers, opponents which read as a degenerated form of the Bene Gesserits and the sort of characters which keep a good opera ploughing forward. One of the nice touches that the series plays with is the re-emergence of a lost tribe of Sith who fell off the radar before Bane thought up the Rule-of-two. So no more one Sith at a time. Now Luke and the Jedi have to face equal, if not superior, numbers of opponents, which should lead to many pages of descriptions of ever more elaborate lightsaber fights.

As entertainment the book succeeds in what it sets out to be... book four of nine.


Charles Packer

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