Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley Review

Han Solo Adventures Book Cover Han Solo Adventures
Star Wars Expanded Universe
Brian Daley
sci fi/fantasy, movie tie ins
Del Rey
1979-1980
hardcover and paperback

Han Solo soars again--in this awesome trilogy of his extraordinary exploits. Ride with him as he rides to the rescue, narrowly escapes certain death, and foils evil in its ruthless tracks!

Some of the oldest stories in the Expanded Universe, before it had an official name or continuity. In fact, at the time of writing they their was no original trilogy, just one movie called Star Wars. Brian Daley did a fabulous job of staying true to the movies. Han’s early adventures introduced the Corporate Sector, an area of space that the Empire largely left to its own devices for a piece of the action. But that doesn’t it make a freer place than the Empire, on the contrary. Speaking out against the Corporate Sector and stealing from it the take very seriously, and they are just as likely to exploit, if not more so, the natives.

Han Solo Adventures trilogy by Brian Daley

Han Solo Adventures trilogy by Brian Daley

The Novels:

Han Solo at Star’s End

The first of the trilogy involves Han and Chewie doing their thing, being smugglers. Finding themselves disadvantaged by the new tech the Authorities have, they seek out to pay debts and get new upgrades. This leads them to a quest to find lost people, those who spoke or acted against the Authority. It also leads to some hints that Han is a more complex character than he has a chance to show in A New Hope.

It’s a rip roaring adventure with some tense moments. You know the heroes must survive. But what about their new allies, who you come to like just as much?

Speaking of the modern marketing term diversity, Daley was doing it back in the ‘70s. Rekkon was a black man, and it also features critical roles for Jessa, leader of the outlaw techs and Attuare, a feline female ranger.

Han Solo’s Revenge

The second book features Han and Chewie desperate for cash and taking a chance that leads to near disaster. Tangled up with a fight against slavers alongside an Authority Exec looking to shut them down, they find themselves once more on the run and finding foes and allies in strange places. They aren’t always who you’d expect.

Chewie has a great role in this one. Many stories treat Chewie as the big hairy sidekick. This one gives him a chance to shine on his own, being creative to survive.

It also introduces a great female character: Fiolla of Loord. She is described as having rich brown skin and black hair. She isn’t just some female love interest…instead she is a determined young woman seeking justice working within the system.

It also introduces Gallandro, a real gunman. He doesn’t get much play yet.

Han Solo and the Lost Legacy

This third book is a real treasure hunt. Han and Chewie meet an old pal hard on his luck and needing help to find a treasure that could bring him out of poverty. This leads to the planet Dellalt, home of the fabled treasure of Xim the Despot. But their is competition and someone has already died for it. When the enemy gets ahold of the Falcon, they are forced to trek across the planet, fighting a cult of Xim worshippers as well as the local competition…and then there is the enemy they made last time. Gallandro is on the trail and he wants revenge.

Once more we meet new characters and species. Badure is a former officer and flight trainer who reveals more hints of Han’s military past. Hasti, his friend and ally, whose sister was murdered at the hands of the competition and Skynx, a ruurian historian who will one day metamorphous into a newer but less active life form.

Tie Ins

Han solo at Stars End comic 1 small

Han solo at Stars End comic 1 comic

Han Solo at Star’s End Comic Strip.

Only the first story was adapted into a comic strip, later turned into a comic book and colored by Dark Horse Comics. As a comic strip in and of itself its a decent story but as an adaptation it suffered in 2 ways.

While the line art is generally good in this, it suffers some that the artist had apparently not seen the movie in awhile. Everyone who has will remember the Falcon’s game board and know its round and surrounded by a couch. It is not a flat square table with a regular Earth game of checkers.

The second issue is specifically for those who read the books. If you only read the comic it may not matter. But the entire opening is cut short and altered, perhaps its too long or difficult to illustrate. At the end, the story is altered drastically in how they escape. Again maybe they thought it more exciting or easy to illustrate. Or maybe they just had a limit of how many strips they could do and couldn’t fit it in. All told though as an adaptation it suffers for it. Also is the detail that trianni don’t wear clothes according to the book. Why they felt a need to clothe them in the comic might be explained by modesty standards, but only if one ignores that Chewie is also furry and has none.

It’s a decent comic, if cheesy and dated. It’s just not a great adaptation.

Fiolla of Lorrd: Wizards of the Coast and Death in the Slave Pits of Lorrd.

It’s unfortunate that for some reason artists got her totally wrong. The one most guilty of this is Wizards of the Coast, which ignored the ‘rich brown skin’ description. They may have gotten the idea from the short story “Death in the Slave Pits of Lorrd”, a hyperspace feature that short story available only to subscribers of starwars.com. In the story Tash Arranda (of Galaxy of Fear series) is telling of an adventure where she met Fiolla. Her scribbled picture had lighter skin. This however could be the in universe equivalent of not having the right color of crayon. Wizards of the Coast chose which version to use. This is a shame. (Except for color the artwork is otherwise good.)

As it fits into the Expanded Universe, the other stories very effectively use Brian Daley’s set up. The radio drama’s he also wrote reference Han in the same way. The Ann Crispin Han Solo Trilogy brilliantly interweave with it, actually explaining why Han went to the Corporate Sector in the First place and showing it as interludes while explaining what was going on that would effect him back in the Empire. The Dark Horse comics story Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse, we get to see Imperial Agent Jahan Cross hire Han for helping his adventure while in the Corporate Sector (something Han says yes too since they were academy friends.) Much later, a few of people and species from these will show up as cameos in the New Jedi Order series.

West End Game also did a Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook.

These stories were released individually in hardcover and paperback, as well as 2 omnibuses.

Crucible Review & Continuity

Crucible Book Cover Crucible
Star Wars
Troy Denning
Sci Fi
Ballantine Del Rey
January 1, 2013
Hardcover & Paperback

Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, and Luke Skywalker return in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which will challenge them in ways they never expected—and forever alter their understanding of life and the Force.

When Han and Leia Solo arrive at Lando Calrissian’s Outer Rim mining operation to help him thwart a hostile takeover, their aim is just to even up the odds and lay down the law. Then monstrous aliens arrive with a message, and mere threats escalate into violent sabotage with mass fatalities. When the dust settles, what began as corporate warfare becomes a battle with much higher stakes—and far deadlier consequences.

Now Han, Leia, and Luke team up once again in a quest to defeat a dangerous adversary bent on galaxy-wide domination. Only this time, the Empire is not the enemy. It is a pair of ruthless geniuses with a lethal ally and a lifelong vendetta against Han Solo. They will stop at nothing to control the lucrative Outer Rim mining trade—and ultimately the entire galactic economy. And when the murderous duo gets the drop on Han, he finds himself outgunned in the fight of his life. To save him, and the galaxy, Luke and Leia must brave a gauntlet of treachery, terrorism, and the untold power of an enigmatic artifact capable of bending space, time, and even the Force itself into an apocalyptic nightmare.

The Last Adventure Of Han, Luke, Leia and Lando – the Original Trilogy Heroes

This is the culmination of a lifetime of service that began with the Original Trilogy, as well as a chance to unexpectedly reflect on the past and decide on the future.  Youth has been replaced with age, but also with wisdom and confidence in each other.Han, Luke and Leia are off on a last adventure to help old friend Lando Calrissian.

Luke and Leia had devoted their lives to one thing, fighting the power of the dark side. It was that simple. Wherever the dark side rose, wherever the the Sith had dared show themselves – there Luke and Leia had rushed, never hesitating, never flinching. It had been their destiny to shepherd the galaxy into a new era of hope, and not once had they shrunk from that calling.
~Crucible, by Troy Denning.

From the release of the first Star Wars novelization of the original trilogy, to this, the last book published with Han, Luke, Leia and Lando Calrissian, this quote sums up these characters perfectly. And it’s a story..a story of shepherding in hope, that you can ONLY get in the true Expanded Universe. For there to be hope, their must be more victory than failure, more triumph than tragedy, and love and friendship that overcomes all failings.

The Story itself and what I thought of it:

Our original trilogy heroes have stayed true to themselves through long years in spite of the violent changes. And that means that even though the galaxy has problems, they never forget to make time for an old friend. While the path has been long and winding, while it took terms I didn’t expect (and would prefer not to have been done) this story restores something I’d missed. A sheer adventure, clearly meant to be a last hurrah for the original trilogy heroes, not due to failure of their mission to restore democracy and the Jedi,  but because they had succeeded and it was time to let a new generation lead.

“A Jedi can’t get so caught up in matters of galactic importance that it interferes with his concern for individual people.”  ~ Luke Skywalker, Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn.

Decades later, this is still true. Leia Organa Solo, fully a Jedi Knight is off with husband Han Solo to a meeting with old friend Lando Calrissian, who is having pirate troubles at one of his mining operations. To make matters worse, they may be involved with someone threading Lando’s family. As usual, this leads to some shocking discoveries, an old enemy who Han did not even realize he’d made, and some true villains who are plotting a galactic takeover. Their advantage: vast wealth, vaster intelligence, hired Mandaloreans, and an ally who is of the lost tribe of the Sith. Their weakness: a hatred of Han Solo for a crime he did not commit.

Han and Lando though have an advantage too: allies who are Jedi, including the Grand Master Luke Skywalker who is ready for a little time away from being the Grand Master. He’s also ready to check in with his son, Ben Skywalker and Tahiri Veila, who happen to be in the area investigating a Jedi who is missing. She was off searching for the mysterious Force rich and legendary ‘Mortis’.

There are some surprising new twists in the story, not least of which is the mystery of what the villainous Qrephs have found and are protecting. The battle to stop them from unleashing…something…is a view of not only the sheer toughness of Luke and Leia (no matter their age), but also how Han Solo has come to view them and what he has learned from them, life and the Force.

A little history for the story and it’s continuity:

This book stands alone, but it also ties into both The Clone Wars TV series Mortis story arc and Fate of the Jedi series. While The Clone Wars had continuity clashes that Fantasy Flight Games (RPG) retconned as ‘COMPNOR altering the records’ the Mortis arc stands pretty well on its own, with no specific reference to continuity to really alter.  It is a mysterious place where the Chosen One is challenged by beings known as the Ones who are ancient and those who for eternity have, until the clone wars era, kept the Force in balance.

According to Fate of the Jedi, Yoda did mention this odd adventure of Anakin and Obi-Wan’s to Luke. In Fate of the Jedi an entity known as ‘Abeloth’ who was associated with these ‘Ones’ caused chaos in the galaxy. Mortis seems like the kind of place the New Jedi Order might just be interested in finding. At the same time an ancient tribe of Sith, who had long ago been lost and marooned for generations on a forgotten world return to cause chaos.  Among them: a young Sith named Vestara Khai, whose deception caused deep pain for young Ben Skywalker.

Recent events of the battle with Abeloth, the Sith, the fall of one of their own to the Dark Side (Legacy of the Force), the wars with the Yuuzhan Vong (New Jedi Order series) are mentioned, highlights and tragedies of Luke, Han and Leia. Lando’s wife and son are also mentioned, his wife, Tendra, first appeared in the Corellian Trilogy by Roger Macbride Allen. Chance AKA Lando Jr.  first shows up in Fate of the Jedi series.

A little planned (and canceled) future for the story:

Crucible is the ending of an era, that of the original trilogy heroes taking lead, and the intended setup of another, one curtailed by the Disney purchase. This is where our heroes decide to step aside and retire and why they make that decision. The stories after were meant to be about the next generation, Jaina Solo, Jagged Fel, Ben Skywalker, Tahiri, Allana Solo and their friends. There was just enough mystery left at the end of this to lead to interesting stories for the future. One can but hope those now in charge of the franchise come to realize that these stories deserve to be told.

Crucible-HC - Troy Denning, with the original trilogy trio

There were 2 promotional covers and 3 actual of Han, Luke and Leia for the Crucible novel. The hardcover shows a grayer, older looking Han. The paperback (seen at top) shows a grayer but not quite as gray Han. The third one, the last release, features different art for all 3 characters. But the oddest choice is giving Luke a beard as in the ‘other’ galaxy. Luke in the expanded universe never wore a beard except when needing a disguise.

Han Solo Expanded Movie Character

Han Solo started out as just a smuggler with a fast mouth and fast blaster. But he had something different from the start. He had the intense loyalty of the wookiee copilot and an incredible ship, the Millenium Falcon. Far from the piece of junk she appeared to be, the Falcon was in fact a smuggling vessel. That meant looking like junk was an advantage when nosey authorities were around. He had some heavy debts and was pretty desperate to pay. So desperate he’d take a job as long as it paid enough, even if he knew nothing of his passengers.

His mercenary nature hid the fact that people grew on him. He couldn’t just leave Luke and his naive idealism to get blown up. Nor could he leave him to freeze on Hoth. Han Solo was nothing if not courageous, he could easily have frozen to death too. It’s easily overlooked but his mercenary need for money was just a desire to pay back his debts. Maintaining his ship and his freedom did not come cheap.

The cost of refusing to abandon his friends while in danger came high. He was taken by Boba Fett simply as a means to get to Luke Skywalker.  Once rescued, he went on to lead the ground assault as an official General in the Alliance. Following orders was something he was not so good at. But leading others and giving them were something else again. It was his clever trick that enabled the rebels back into the shield generator station to destroy it.

Known Aliases:
Vykk Drago
Jenos Idanian

Family

Han Solo was an orphan. He grew up on the streets, taken in by Garris Shrike,  a criminal, with a bunch of other street kids. He learned pickpocketing, con artistry, stealing. But he couldn’t remember his family and he wanted to. This led him on a quest that revealed no parents names at the time, but did reveal cousin Thracken Sal-Solo. Unfortunately Thracken was an evil little bully. So his closest family at the time was the wookiee Dewlanna, who encouraged his dreams of one day being respectable.
His next family member – by wookiee life debt – was Chewbacca. Han sacrificed his post as an Imperial Officer to save him, fed up with the less than respectable behavior of the Imperial authority figures he’d fought so hard to join.

Han Solo Hutt gambit

Han’s smuggling years start here.

As he was becoming set in his smuggling career, Han more or less ‘adopted’ a young man named Jarik Solo. Han knew the boy lied about the name but figured he earned it by being loyal and helping out. Jarik died in a battle for Ylesia with a group of smugglers.

Han appears to have discovered his Mother’s name was Jaina, and named his daughter for her. It’s also hinted that New Republic Intelligence may have known more of his family history than he knew himself.

Then he met Luke and Leia and had a new family. Han married Leia after nearly losing her to a marriage for political convenience for the New Republic. A year later and he was the father of twins, Jacen and Jaina Solo. Only a year or so after that, Anakin Solo came along.  Han has to awaken to reality he’d long denied: the Force is real. When toys float off shelves by themselves, there aren’t too many ways to explain it!

Han was in an awkward position in this family by marriage, the lone non Force Sensitive. Since he and Leia were both influential heroes of the New Republic, he constantly faced the danger of kidnappings. Once the children were old enough to undergo Jedi training, new issues arose.

Now Han had to deal with his children going into danger as Jedi. Danger was in their blood, both sides of the family tended to attract it!

Major Storyline Plot Developments Ahead this Section! SPOILERS. Click here

Han Solo has one granddaughter we know of, during his lifetime. Her name is Allana Djo Solo, daughter of Tenel Kan, Queen of Hapes and Jacen. At one point he and Leia were raising her as an adopted child, to hide her lineage from those who wanted to claim the Hapan throne.

One of the last big events for Han with his family was to give away his daughter Jaina in marriage to Jagged Fel, of the Empire. Jag bore the interesting lineage of nephew of old friend Wedge Antillies, and son of rival Baron Soontir Fel.  It’s unknown when they had children. But generations later Force sensitive Fel descendents are Emperor’s of a new (non Sith) Empire that remained allied for generations with the Galactic Alliance. At this time it is known of Roan Fel, daughter Marasiah Fel, and a descendent of unknown lineage named Ania Solo.

Friends
Han Solo in Scoundrels

Han, Chewie and Lando about to get up into trouble.

Han had a varied list of friends through his life. His mentor in the smuggling world was Roa, who lived to retire. He wasn’t fond of droids, but did have a few like Bollux and Blue Max grow on him. His friends knew he’d come through for him, even when they manipulated him into it. Badure convinced him to go treasure hunting. Friends like Salla Xend (who wanted to marry him),  Shug Ninx and Xaverrii came through for him even after he went ‘respectable’.

Some did turn on him, Mako Spince of his academy days turned ugly after being crippled in a battle. He sold him out to bounty hunters for the Hutt price on his head for helping kill Jabba. Bria (a girlfriend he wanted to marry) betrayed him for the Rebellion itself.

Lando Calrissian had an off on argument with him because of his taste in hiring out for jobs where the employer leaves them high and dry. However selling him out to Vader was merely a lack of choice: a whole city of people he was responsible for who could be killed if he refuses. As soon as he realized Vader would never hold to a bargain, he corrected this. Lando is still there helping years later even when it’s against his best interest.

Han also had a good friendship with Wedge Antillies of Rogue Squadron.

Aside from Luke he also remained friends with the Jedi Kyp Durron.

Accomplishments and Challenges – Character Growth

Han Solo’s biggest challenge is being a hero. He simply could not go back to being ‘just Han’ and doing what he wanted after this. His actions were no longer affecting himself and Chewie alone. They affected the entire New Republic and soon his family. Even during the Alliance days, the danger worked both ways: to get to Luke, go through Han. But to get to Han, go through Luke and Leia. They were threatened by bounty hunters seeking him.

He had the difficult challenge of wanting to help the Rebels, yet not wanting to give up his independence and a resentment of being taken for granted as being a member (which he’d not officially become, not as of Yavin.)

Han was responsible for the mission to take down Warlord Zsinj, an Imperial carving out territories for himself. He even dared an unofficial truce with an Imperial counterpart who was assigned to deal with the upstart as well. Returning from this he was so desperate to win back Leia he gambled everything, won a planet, but found it was still in Zsinj territory. He resigned his commission when politicians tried to reassign him to get him out of the way of a political marriage. He dealt with Leia planning to go off with the Hapan Prince by kidnapping her to Dathomir. Leia lectured him on his responsibilities but it didn’t hit home until Zsinj made a deal with the local nightsisters, an evil group of force users who threatened hostages to get him. His response to that was so self sacrificial it won Leia back.

While not commissioned, Han still was the go to guy for when they needed a mission pulled off without red tape and bureaucrats interfering. It was his idea to hire smugglers for honest work when the New Republic was short on legitimate shipping companies due to Imperial raids. It was his mission as ambassador to the prisoners of Kessel that went wrong which revealed the Maw and the Imperial threat inside. It was Han who dared go into the Imperial Remnant to seek out Intel.

During his painful years during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, he still was charging into battle, leading and inspiring even when his heart felt ripped out.

Stories Starring Han Solo:

The Early Years:

Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley:
Han Solo at Star’s End
Han Solo’s Revenge
Han Solo and the Lost Legacy
(note: these are among the earliest of the Expanded Universe, before it had a name. They were published in 1979 – even before The Empire Strikes Back!)

Han Solo Trilogy by Ann Crispin:
The Paradise Snare
The Hutt Gambit
Rebel Dream
(note: this does not contradict the Brian Daley trilogy. It incorporates it, as well as many other details of Han’s friendships and adventures from the Expanded Universe.)

Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse Dark Horse comics

Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika – Dark Horse comics

Movie Years:

Star Wars Radio Drama by Brian Daley
The Empire Strikes Back Radio Drama by Brian Daley
Return of the Jedi Radio Drama by Brian Daley
(Note these radio dramatization of the movies includes extra and extended scenes not available elsewhere.)

Star Wars Adventures: Han Solo and the Hollow Moon of Khorya – Dark Horse comics

Death Troopers by Joe Scheibert

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn (Check out an Audio Excerpt!)

Allegiance by Timothy Zahn
Choices of One by Timothy Zahn
Rebellion Series – Dark Horse Comics
Galaxy of Fear Series – – by Whitman  – Cameos only
Rebel Force series – by John Wheeler

Honor among Thieves by James S.A. Corey

Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell  (Listen on Youtube!)

Star Wars Adventures: Princess Leia and the Royal Ransom – Dark Horse Comics

Post Movie Years

Truce at Bakura by Kathy Tyers
Shadows of Mindor by Matthew Stover
X-Wing: Wraith Squadron by Aaron Allston
X-Wing: Iron Fist by Aaron Allston
X-Wing: Solo Command by Aaron Allston
Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton
A Forest Apart (short story)
Tatooine Ghost – by Troy Denning

Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn
Heir to the Empire
Dark Force Rising
The Last Command

Dark Empire – Dark Horse Comics
Dark Empire2- Dark Horse Comics
Empire’s End – Dark Horse Comics

Jedi Academy Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson
Jedi Search
Dark Apprentice
Champions of the Force

Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly
Darksaber by  Kevin J. Anderson
Planet of Twilight by Barbara Hambly
The Crystal Star by Vonda McIntyre

Black Fleet Crisis by McDowell

The New Rebellion by Kristin Kathryn Rusch

The Corellian Trilogy by Roger Allen McBride
Ambush at Corellia
Assault at Selonia
Showdown at Centerpoint

Thrawn Duology by Timothy Zahn
Specter of the Past
Vision of the Future

New Jedi Order Era by Multiple authors

Chewbacca (tribute) – Dark Horse Comics
Invasion – – Dark Horse Comics

Dark Nest trilogy by Troy Denning
Joiner King
The Unseen Queen
Swarm War

Legacy of the Force Series by multiple authors
Millenium Falcon by James Luceno
Fate of the Jedi series by multiple authors
Crucible by Troy Denning

The Truce at Bakura, Aftermath of Endor, Influence

Truce at Bakura, in the Aftermath of EndorThe Truce at Bakura is the literal aftermath of the Battle of Endor and deals with the emotional and very real strategic fall outs of it. As such, its a great place to dive into the Expanded Universe.

The Truce at Bakura starts immediately after Return of the Jedi. It is literally the day after the Death Star’s destruction and our heroes are still nursing wounds. Luke is feeling the effects of the Emperor’s Force Lightning and the pain at losing his Father. Leia still has an arm injury as well as the new realization that Darth Vader was her biological father.

The Imperial’s Primary Fleet is shattered, with the best of the ships and crews (since Vader only took the best.) The Emperor and Darth Vader being dead, leaves the Empire leaderless, but not yet surrendered. In the aftermath of a hard won victory, even though word is getting out about the battle, many worlds are still under Imperial control.

When the world of Bakura sends a message for help to the now scattered Imperial fleet, the message is intercepted and self destruct averted by Wedge Antillies.  Aliens are invading and the Imperial held world is desperate. So desperate that offering them aid might just win them over to the Alliance..

The Aftermath of Endor for the Heroes

Luke Skywalker

In the aftermath of  Emperor’s Force lightning, Luke is still in the medical ward for treatement.  Then Obi-Wan’s spirit appears, warning him of terrible danger if he does not go to Bakura and deal with matters there personally. This is one of very few appearances of the Force Spirit’s in the books.

Luke is given command of a battlegroup and once more is left unable to fly with Rogue Squadron. This is a step toward passing command to Wedge in the comic immediately following: Rogue Leader. His next step up will be to General in Shadows of Mindor.

His first after the movie era female attraction is here, Gaeriel Captison. She will not be the last, but their friendship will eventually come into play in the Corellian trilogy. His questions about his family are still troubling him here.

He meets his first potential apprentice: a boy enslaved by the alien Ssi’ruuk.

Leia Organa

Leia is still nursing a blaster wound to the arm, much more, she is nursing the shock of finding out Darth Vader is her biological father. He visits her as a Force spirit to apologize. Her confusion and deep seated anger at him is an issue she will have to confront many times in various other books. It will also make her hesitant to have a child.

Leia has reason to distrust Imperial governor’s but she finds herself making the first ever official truce between the Empire and Alliance.

Han Solo

Han has only just gotten to enjoy the fact that he is in love with Leia in she in love with him. Luke is no longer a threatening suitor, but he still finds himself jealous and out of step. When Luke is out of touch, Han will once again end up as leader.

R2 D2 and C3PO

Find themselves called upon to translate the Ssi Ruuk speech. While they don’t know the language, Artoo can emulate do to the whistling, tweeting sound it mimics. They also do their best to cure the Bakuran anti droid sentiment, left over from a Droid Rebellion and the Clone Wars conflict.

Chewbacca

Faces a world largely unaccustomed to non humans. But he doesn’t let it bother him in the slightest, even when it means dealing with Imperials (without bashing heads.)

New Characters, Creatures and Technology Introduced

 Gaeriel Captison (Imperial Bakuran Politician)

Governor Nereus (Imperial Govenor)

Pter Thanas (Imperial Officer)

Senator Orn Beldan (Rebel sympathizer Bakuran)

Ssi Ruuk (invading alien lizards)

Xwee (invading alien lizards, slave race)

Dev Sibwarra – (Force sensitive, human slave to Ssi Ruuk)

Entechment – Devices that steal a person’s Force life energy to power war machines. This is the first mention in novels of a device combining the Force with Technology.

 

Connections in the Books

The Clone Wars: Wild Space: mentions Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker battling Grievous here.

The Tie Fighter captured at Bakura will be used by Tycho Celchu on a recon mission to Coruscant. (X-Wing, Wedge’s Gamble)

Bakura is mentioned in Shadows of Mindor as well as several of the X-Wing series novels, and Jedi Academy trilogy.

The Corellian Trilogy sees the World of Bakura and Gaerial Captison return to the stories, an important player with their special ships that can break through gravity wells that otherwise prevent hyperspace travel.

Bakura is mentioned as temporarily being a member of the New Republic in Black Fleet Crisis.

The New Jedi Order sees Bakura come under the influence of the Peace Brigade, collaborators with the Yuuzhan Vong.

Luke Skywalker’s white shipboard outfit matches that shown in the Classic Marvel Comic book series.

Han’s black uniform with silver trim matches the one he used to infiltrate Star’s End, in Han Solo at Star’s End by Brian Daley.

The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook :

specifically calls the Alliance at this stage, before an official New Republic is formed,  the Alliance of Free Planets, just as the Classic Marvel Comic Books and Dark Force Comics Vandelhelm Mission.

It also lists the Doctor serving under Govenor Nereus as being the same woman who served under Captain-Supervisor Grammel during Luke and Leia’s escape from him on Mimban. (Splinter of the Mind’s Eye)

It also reveals discussions that the Alliance should classify the Bakuran incident, for fear Imperials who discovered more about it would try and attack the ssiruuk and steal the entechment weapons technology. This gives an early explanation why the incident itself is rarely mentioned in other stories.

Luke’s feeling of Pter Thanas future is revealed to be from a vision in the sourcebook. This vision (and the future) is confirmed in the Corellian Trilogy.

Effects on other Media

Dark Horse’s Clone Wars era comics reveal that Dooku had a base on Bakura, where he was encountered by Jedi Sora Bulq and Tholme.

The Clone Wars video game has the Force Harvester used here.

Bakura is used in the Empire at War , Rogue Squadron III and Rebellion video games.

Bakura in Jedi Academy

Bakura in Jedi Academy

Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy video game, the player as Jaden Korr has to prevent the Imperials from blowing up a power station on Bakura.

 

 

 

Allegiance Review

Star Wars Allegiance Book Cover Star Wars Allegiance
Timothy Zahn
sci fi/fantasy
Del Rey
2007
Hardcover

Never before has the incendiary mix of action, politics, and intrigue that has become Timothy Zahn’s trademark, been more evident that in this new Star Wars epic. On the heels of the stunning events chronicled in Star Wars: A New Hope, the newly minted heroes of the Rebellion–fledgling Jedi Luke Skywalker, smuggler turned reluctant freedom-fighter Han Solo, and Princess Leia Organa, a bold leader with a world to avenge–must face the harsh realities of the cataclysmic conflict into which they have so bravely plunged. From this point forward, legends will grow, treachery will abound, and lives will be irrevocably altered, in the long, hard fight to counter the fist of tyranny and restore hope to a galaxy too long in darkness.

The destruction of the Death Star by the Rebel Alliance was a decisive blow against the Empire, but Palpatine and his monstrous enforcer, Darth Vader, are no less of a threat. The brutal extermination of Alderaan not only demonstrated the magnitude of their murderous power, but served as a chilling testament to their resolve to crush the Rebel uprising. Standing against them, Skywalker, Solo, and the Princess remain uncertain opponents. Luke is gifted and brave, but unschooled in the power he possesses. Han has doubts about waging someone else’s war–and his contentiousness is one more burden for Leia to bear as she struggles to help keep the Rebellion alive. The three have been sent to mediate a dispute between Rebel Alliance factions in Shelsha Sector–agitating matters by forcing Han to deal not only with pirates, but with his more dreaded enemy, politics. At the same time, Mara Jade–all of eighteen and years away from her fateful meeting with Luke–is serving her evil master, Palpatine, well in her role as the Emperor’s Hand: tracking suspected treachery in the Empire to what may be high places–while trying to stay out of Darth Vader’s way.

But the Rebels will prove to be only one of the Empire’s concerns. For Imperial Stormtrooper Daric LaRone, his faith in the Empire shaken by the wanton destruction of Alderaan, will commit a sudden and violent act of defiance, and take four other enforcers with him, in a desperate bid to elude their masters’ wrath.

Each of these fateful actions, whether sanctioned, secret, or scandalous, will expose brutality and corruption, spur upheavals destined to shake the Empire to its core, and shape momentous events yet to come.

Shannon McRandle as Mara Jade

Shannon McRandle as Mara Jade

My View:

The story jumps between the main trilogy heroes, Luke, Leia and Han,  Mara Jade (AKA The Emperor’s Hand), and the Imperial Stormtrooper group who find themselves on the wrong end of the Imperial Security Bureau. Forced to go rogue, the Stormtroopers name themselves the Hand of Judgement and set out to right the wrongs of corruption.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that its a story about trying to do the right thing for the little person, no matter how hard it is. In this respect, while Mara Jade and the rogue Stormtroopers all believe in the Empire and Emperor, they also recognize their are times corruption has set in. So in their own way, while still not turning into Rebels, they seek to help the little guy. This sets them on a collision course with each other as well as the Rebels. As it turns out…they all have the same enemy this time around.

I really enjoyed how Luke and Leia, both trying to keep a low profile, can’t resist someone in need and take action. It showed that on some level, they think alike. It’s very appropriate for twins. And how Leia is expected to keep a low profile shows a whole new side to her. Luke meanwhile has to deal with the spirit of Kenobi whispering in his ear and guiding him…which also doesn’t help with the low profile business. Their allegiance to doing the right thing by the little guy is the core of being a Jedi, whether they know it (and whether the Jedi always remembered it) or not. Han’s attitude was very much of a guy who doesn’t yet want to admit that he’s really in this, because he believes in it, as opposed to just out of friendship.

The stormtroopers were a nice change, giving face to the faceless and revealing how people honestly believed in the Empire and yet could still end up in trouble with them. And their determination to keep helping the innocent while wearing the armor is heroic. They know, eventually, what may happen when the ISB catches up. Yet they don’t blame the entire Empire for the ISB’s corruption.  They were individuals, definitely not clones, with their own preferences and quirks. Each one had to face the question of what to do when you are given orders you know are criminally wrong. Each one had to decide between loyalty to one friend who was in trouble (and in the right) and whether going along with him was worth their careers and lives. Truly, where does their Allegiance lie? With the government and citizens they are sworn to serve or with it’s corrupt leaders?

Mara Jade’s relationship with Vader gets introduced. They aren’t together much but for those who know how Palpatine groomed Anakin Skywalker, one can see how Vader might react to this girl being treated the way he once was. Of course, she doesn’t know that.  And its also clear when it comes to his passions (Luke), Vader is, to use 3PO’s term ‘not entirely stable’ emotionally. Anyone who gets in between Luke and his father, even the Emperor’s Hand, is in serious danger.

The ending was a nice twist. Just when you think you figure out the stormtroopers, one surprises you. There is also a nice tie in to The Empire Strikes Back, as we see how ‘Ozzel’ ends up under Vader and hints that he’d been given just enough noose to…well, choke himself.

Other Stories about these Characters and Places

This book ties into the sequel ‘Choices of One’.

Mara Jade was introduced in the post ROTJ book Heir to the Empire as the Emperor’s Hand. This story is set before that. She is young in this, no older than Luke, but better trained.

Other stories with Mara:

  • Choices of One
  • Sleight of Hand: The Tale of Mara Jade
  • By the Emperor’s Hand
  • First Contact (Adventure Journal/Anthology)
  • Jade Solitaire (Adventure Journal/Anthology)
  • Heir to the Empire
  • Dark Force Rising
  • The Last Command
  • Jedi Academy Trilogy
  • I, Jedi
  • Mysteries of the Sith (Video Game)
  • Ambush at Corellia
  • Assault on Selonia
  • Showdown at Centerpoint
  • Specter of the Past
  • Vision of the Future
  • Union (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Judge’s Call
  • Survivor’s Quest
  • New Jedi Order Series
  • Dark Nest Crisis Trilogy
  • Legacy of the Force Series

The character Disra, appears in:

  • Specter of the Past
  • Vision of the Future.

The way Mara is treated by the Emperor reminded me of how he treated Anakin Skywalker, in:

  • Jedi Quest, the False Peace
  • Labyrinth of Evil
  • Secrets of the Jedi
  • Attack of the Clones
  • Revenge of the Sith

In these, he acted the part of benevolent adviser to Anakin.

Luke, Leia and Han:

Dark Horse Comics

  • Empire Series
  • Rebellion Series
  • Shadows of the Empire (comic adaptation)
  • Evolution

Bantam

  • Shadows of the Empire

Del Rey

  • Han Solo Trilogy (Ann Crispin)
  • Han Solo Trilogy (Brian Daley)
  • Razor’s Edge (Leia)
  • Honor Among Thieves (Han)
  • Scoundrels (Han)
  • Rebel Forces (YA)

 

The appear in nearly anything post Return of the Jedi