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.