25 April 2014

Return of the New Jedi Order, Episode X: Hero's Trial by James Luceno

Mass market paperback, 352 pages
Published 2000

Acquired 2000(?)
Reread April 2014
Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos: Hero's Trial
by James Luceno

Year One of the Invasion (Months 7-8)
Seriously, what's up with these Star Wars books that take forever to get going? Do you guys even know what book series you're writing? I like character work as much as the next man, but in Star Wars it should happen during the action, not before it. I don't know how Luceno even got this one out to over 350 pages, because what happens is: Han Solo mopes and investigates some stuff with some guy who I guess was in another book, he gets in some fights, the Yuuzhan Vong attack a space station he's in, he stumbles into a plot, victory. Meanwhile, the actual plot is happening to bunch of characters who I am pretty sure I would not care about even if I did remember their fleeting appearances in The Black Fleet Crisis.

There's a three-page section where Luceno just describes technical modifications that happened to the Millennium Falcon in other books. Seriously!

Admittedly, Luceno is good at writing Han Solo, and that saves Hero's Trial. Han gets all the best lines, and is a total badass (as always), and his interplay with Droma is great. (I love how Han expects Droma to have heard of him, and Droma's like, "your real name's Han Organa?") The way he lucks and gambles his way through the assault on the Jubilee Wheel and the Queen of Empire are both utterly perfect. Also I really like it when Luke and Leia decide to fly in to help. And Luceno treats C-3PO as an actual character, which I think no novelist other than Stover has ever bothered to do. It's better than Stackpole's efforts, but the New Jedi Order is going to have to do better than this in the long term.

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