Medstar I: Battle Surgeons Review & Continuity

Medstar I: Battle Surgeons Book Cover Medstar I: Battle Surgeons
Star Wars
Michael Reaves & Steve Perry
Ballantine Del Rey
2004
Paperback

As Civil War between the Republic and the Separatists rages across the galaxy, nowhere is the fighting more fierce than on the swamp world of Drongar, where a beleaguered mobile hospital unit wages a never-ending war of its own . . .

A surgeon who covers his despair with wise-cracks; another who faces death and misery head-on, venting his emotions through beautiful music . . . A nurse with her heart in her work and her eye on a doctor . . . A Jedi Padawan on a healing mission without her Master . . .  These are the core members of a tiny med unit serving the jungle world of Drongar, where battle is waged over the control of a priceless native plant, and an endless line of medlifters brings in the wounded and dying -- mostly clone troopers, but also soldiers of all species.

While the healers work desperately to save lives, others plot secretly to profit from the war -- either by dealing on the black market or by manipulating the events of the war itself. In the end, though, all will face individual tests, and only those of compassionate hearts and staunch spirits can hope to survive to fight another day.

SW-CloneWars-Battlesurgeons-BarrissOffee

Barriss Offee faces a trial: find corruption while dealing with the ethical issues of the Clone Wars.

This is not an adventure in the sense where the heroes are running from or blasting bad guys. These are the kind of heroes who fight to save lives with medical supplies. This is the Star Wars version of M*A*S*H with a mystery twist set during the Clone Wars.

Barriss Offee is sent to the RIMSOO (really RMSU: Republic Mobile Surgical Unit) for 2 reasons. She is a Jedi healer to help the doctors, but she is also to investigate suspicious issues with the BOTA healing substance being shipped from the planet.

Barriss Offee finds herself among people asking hard questions, and what its like to have power but not be able to help. It’s a thought provoking journey into what the doctors and other personnel behind the lines are going through. Clones were bred for war, does that make them less human? Droids are built, but what if they grow beyond their programming. What makes one truly alive? And what makes one a hero? If a murderer is on your side, does it make him a hero instead of a criminal?

The war going on sometimes hits too close. In addition Black Sun (crime syndicate) has agents involved. Murder and sabotage ensue and there is a traitor in their midst.

This kind of story had to grow on me. At the time of this novel’s writing we’d only glimpsed Barriss in the background in Attack of the Clones and Genndy’s Clone Wars. We did get a deeper story on her in The Approaching Storm. Here, she really grows as a character and is forced to confront the temptations of the Dark Side.

Influence on the Expanded Universe

Expanded Characters:

Barriss Offee: Jedi Padawan & Healer  is expanded on in this. She remembers details of her past training with Luminara Unduli. This is our first serious view of Jedi Healing powers.

IFive: the independent droid of Darth Maul: Shadowhunter makes a return appearance and is striving to regain some of what he lost.

Expanded Cultures:

Sakiyans haven’t had much insight up until now, Admiral Bleyd makes up for this by pondering on his past and future.

Corellia is revealed to have traditionalists who strongly disapprove of marrying anyone not from their own planet. A minor hint of this was revealed in The Corellian Trilogy in it’s outerworlds.

Introduced:

Den Dhur: Sullustan journalist. Dhur will have many adventures in future books.
Jos Vandar: Chief surgeon
Zan Yant: Zabrak Surgeon
Klo Merit: Minder. (AKA Mental Health Therapist)
Tolk: Lorrdian Nurse
Admiral Bleyd (Sakiyan)
Yanth (Hutt, supply officer)
Phow Ji – Bunduki marshal arts instructor.
Kaird – Black Sun Agent

Introduced Culture:

Nedijii

Other Introductions:

Bota: a powerful healing plant native to Drongar.

Admiral Bleyd’s private ship: will appear in future stories and will be revealed in the future under the name ‘Stinger’.

Also mentioned:

Black Sun is heavily involved in this story.
Teras Kasi is mentioned.

Darth Maul Shadowhunter Review & Continuity

Darth Maul: Shadowhunter Book Cover Darth Maul: Shadowhunter
Star Wars
Michael Reaves
Ballentine Del Rey
Hardcover & Paperback

After years of waiting in the shadows, Darth Sidious is taking the first step in his master plan to bring the Republic to its knees. Key to his scheme are the Neimoidians of the Trade Federation. Then one of his Neimoidian contacts disappears, and Sidious does not need his Force-honed instincts to suspect betrayal. He orders his apprentice, Darth Maul, to hunt the traitor down.

But he is too late. The secret has already passed into the hands of information broker Lorn Pavan, which places him right at the top of Darth Maul’s hit list. Then, in the labyrinthine alleyways and sewers of Coruscant, capital city of the Republic, Lorn crosses paths with Darsha Assant, a Jedi Padawan on a mission to earn her Knighthood. Now the future of the Republic depends on Darsha and Lorn. But how can an untried Jedi and an ordinary man, stranger to the powerful ways of the Force, hope to triumph over one of the deadliest killers in the galaxy?

Darth Maul-ShadowHunter

The first adult novel with a Darth Maul adventure.

If one has seen Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and realizes where this book lies in the timeline, one might assume one knows how it ends. If Darth Maul gets halved by Obi-Wan there, he clearly doesn’t die here. But sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. Sometimes, things don’t turn out as one would expect. Even the Sith are not infallible.

One of the Trade Federation neimodians has bolted, taking information that could reveal the Sith’s plans to have them blockade Naboo. Darth Maul is tasked with finding him and destroying all who have that information.\

This story is shockingly good.The characters pull one into their lives and make them root for their victories. With a Darth Maul breathing down their necks, its hard to put down. I cringed every time one made a wrong choice, knowing it could be there last.

Darsha Assant is a a Jedi padawan facing what she thinks are the trials to grant her Knighthood. But the trials laid out by the Jedi Council are not the worst of the trial she faces. What she ends up with is a journey through the worst of Coruscant, with a corellian who bears a grudge against a Jedi, his droid partner, and a Sith on there trail.

Lorn Pavan, Corellian information broker, lives on the shady side of the street. But this is only because of a very personal falling out with the Jedi Order. But now he has to deal with one or die and that means he gets to know the person, not just the Order. Lorn’s fate will impact future stories. His reasons for disliking the Order are revealed slowly through the book. But now that Darth Maul is on his trail, he’ll take what help he can get.

I5YQ-closeup

I5YQ-from the New Essential Guide to Droids

IFive, independent partner and droid, proves to be very far removed in abilities and attitude from C3PO, though they both started life as protocol droids. IFive has had a rough existence, bringing up the question of just what is ‘life’ and what rights do droids have, or should they have. Loyal partner that he is, he thinks for himself. He too has an important future.

Darth Maul remembers some of his training under the Sith and is forced to use stealth and cunning to deal with many of his targets. Kill them however he likes, but he cannot reveal the existence of the Sith. There must be no witnesses.

The destination is less important than the journey in this book making this an amazing story of forgiveness, redemption and growth for the hero characters.

Affect on Continuity:

Introduced Characters:
  • IFive will go on to star in the Medstar Duology followed by the Coruscant Nights series.
  • Tuden Sal, Pavan’s shady contact, will also appear in Coruscant Nights.
  • Anoon Bondara, Darsha’s Jedi Master, is mentioned again in Cloak of Deception, set right before this in the timeline.

Notable Continuity Mentions:

Black Sun, introduced in Shadows of the Empire (which is set during the Empire) is thriving. Their circumstances tie into the Darth Maul comic book storyline set before this.

Cthons, the mutants of the underworld of Coruscant are first named here, after being indirectly mentioned in Jedi Search.

Darsha thinks of other Jedi Padawans, notably those from the Jedi Apprentice series by Jude Watson.

The Teräs Käsi fighting style used by Darth Maul and Anoon Bondara first appeared in the Shadows of the Empire novel.

Complications:

Darth Maul is mentioned as being the other half of the Sith, though Darth Plagueis was alive at this time. However, future stories suggest Maul did not know there were any others besides he and his Master.

Darth Maul is mentioned as Iridonian Zabrak. The Clone Wars stories later change his history to a Dathomiri Zabrak. There was no time for this to be explained in continuity due to the Disney buyout and cancellation of both The Clone Wars and the Expanded Universe immediately after.

This book was a New York Times Best Seller