Star Wars

Star Wars
Property of George Lucas, LucasFilms Ltd.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Like all life. Nothing really, in the sweep of time. But everything, in the Force."

Well, that took a lot less time than I thought it would! One down, forty or fifty to go ^_^

As I closed The Truce at Bakura on that final line, the first thing I thought was, "Wow! What a great beginning to our monumental reading list!" Fresh from the Battle of Endor, not even a day after the defeat of the Empire and destruction of the second Death Star, the gang are off to save the galaxy again. The intense exhaustion Luke fights throughout the novel, in addition to his total inability to take care of himself, made me smile and think, "And that's what I've been feeling these last two years of grad school!"

Perhaps more interesting to me is the exploration of the relationships between the three main characters - specifically, Luke and Leia. I appreciate that Tyers doesn't take it for granted that Luke went from being desperately in love with Leia to discovering they're twins in a very short period of time. I found myself uncomfortable with the sort of borderline incest that Luke skates throughout the book but also pleased that the subject was addressed. Luke is very young and, unlike Leia, doesn't have a romantic interest at all during the movies on whom to settle his affections. It stands to reason that he would struggle a little bit at first to readjust his boundaries. The scene that really drove this home for me was his long conversation with Leia, which is supposedly about Han, when he says, "So this is what I missed. Growing up without siblings, I mean" (194). And it's interesting, too, that his changing feelings for Leia are blending into his thoughts about becoming a Jedi, spending his life alone, and his desire for family. When Leia speculates that Luke is detaching himself from life, he says, thinking of his powerful reaction to Gaerial, "Sometimes the Force obviously controls me, rather than the other way around. It favors life" (194). Though it's clear he's forming an attraction to someone else, the chat with Leia ends with Luke thinking, "He'd loved her, long ago it seemed, before they learned what she refused to acknowledge [namely, that Darth Vader is their father]" (195). While Leia is hung up who her father is, Luke is still obviously a little hung up on his sister.
Gaerial "Gaeri" Captison

It also isn't lost on me that Tyers gives Luke a love interest, in the form of Gaerial Captison, who is very like Leia herself - a senator, from a powerful family, disillusioned with Imperial rule but also reluctant at first to oppose it (anyone who's listened to the old radio dramas of A New Hope can appreciate Leia's pre-Rebellion struggle). While the romance doesn't last (although I seem to remember Gaerial reappearing in Roger MacBride Allen's Corellian Trilogy), it does serve the purpose of really detaching Luke from Leia. Or, rather, helping him make that transition from love interest to sister, a role he's obviously very comfortable with by Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy.

I do not remember liking this book as much when I was a kid. I'm really glad to have reread it and to have a new appreciation for the post-Return of the Jedi books and where, chronologically, the epic expanded universe begins.



  1. Oh my, talk about amazing photos!! This one is fantastic! I often wonder what went on behind the scenes between Mark, Carrie, and Harrison. Did any romance flame between them? (Perhaps Harrison and Mark... ^_~)

    You bring up many good points with this post. Poor Luke never really does get a love interest in the movies. At least, one that's not incestuous. As a kid, I always believed that Luke and Leia sort of easily fell into a brother and sister relationship once the movies ended. This book is forcing me to look at the fact that once a certain kind of attachment is formed, it's hard to break away from. Even if it is incestuous. It reminds me a bit of the first two books in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments trilogy, where the two main characters fall in love, and find out they could be siblings. It's hard to break away from romantic love feelings. So far, I feel like Tyers is handling it well with having Gaerial Captison as another love interest and Leia preoccupied with thoughts of Vader. Not to mention the intimidating alien army threatening to take over the known universe and enslave everyone...

  2. Mark and Harrison, huh? So, does that make Harrison a cougar? ^_^

    Oooh, I like that connection to "Mortal Instruments" there, friend! Although I think there's a reversal - CClare WANTS us to notice how wrong and incestuous Jace and Clary's relationship is whereas Tyers wants us to acknowledge that Luke and Leia are breaking away from that ....

    Heehee, you bring up a good point, too, that the aliens feel almost incidental compared with the relationships being explored. We had this fascinating discussion in my sci-fi/fantasy class back in grad school about the levels of sci-fi/fantasy. I think it's the science-fantasy level that uses science fiction as a backdrop for human relationships to be explored. I think I love Star Wars EU for doing this ...

  3. Absolutely! I feel like the aliens are there to help the three figure out their relationships with each other. One of the ways to find your true characters is to torture them and put them in practically impossible situations. As a child, I thought it was unfair that characters (in general) had to be hurt, or even die. I think a child-like part of me still feels that way, so I'm approaching some of the future books (where things don't turn out quite so well for our wonderful threesome and their friends) with a bit of trepidation. I don't like to see Han, Leia, and Luke hurting. I like to see them slip out at the last moment. But it doesn't happen in life, or in the Star Wars universe.

  4. I'm with you there. To be honest, part of the reason I wanted a buddy (and who better than you, Ro!) to do this reread with is because there are books I'm frankly terrified to read because someone who made the SW universe so special to me will die ... we've got a ways to go before that becomes an issue but I'm gonna need serious support to get through those ... it is silly, it's true, to get so attached to fictional characters but anyone who has ever loved reading knows that this attachment is part of a deep and powerful reading experience ....

  5. Karen Traviss does this a lot in her Star Wars contributions. The sci-fi - the tech, space, aliens, the geek stuff - is really rich and well done. But the relationships she creates and the problems they face are really tendrilly. They dig very deep. You could take the story and re-adapt it for non-sci-fi. It wouldn't be the same, but you could because the focus is on that insane level of character development and not the science fiction. At best, it's science-could-be.


  6. Interesting take. I can definitely see it! This is the only Tyers I've read, so far, and I've enjoyed it the most of all three Star Wars books that we've read. I can see the threads you're describing, and I definitely wish the book had gone on longer so I could read more about those threads. It would be so interesting to see an author take the Star Wars canon, remove the sciencey bits, and rewrite it as say romance or fiction. I wonder how it would turn out!