Things I Am Looking Forward To
1) "I am Dathomir, hear me ROAR!" In other words, I seem to remember this planet being amazing. Not only is it run by women but the planet itself is described in exquisite detail, if I remember correctly. The colors, landscapes, and animals (I remember one having blue hide, never mind the rancors!) stand out vividly in my memory.
2) "Strong am I with the Force" In other words, Wolverton really goes to town building the Jedi from what we'd seen so far as readers by the time the book was published (Luke, vague hints about Obi-wan and Yoda, and the shape the new Jedi order takes) into something that basically became a teaser for the huge body of expanded universe that makes up what we now know in grade detail about the Old Republic's Jedi. There are references to Jedi lore, a flying Jedi academy, and data about the history of the Jedi that extends "a thousand generations" or more before Luke's own training even began. It's great that Wolverton took the time to develop that, when he didn't necessarily need to.
Things I am NOT Looking Forward To
1) "I am Luke Skywalker and I know it all!" I absolutely loathe the novels in which Luke is written like wise old hermit. He's twenty-five, only been a Jedi a few years ... dude doesn't have a clue! Wolverton has him a bit more on the holier-than-thou side in this, as I remember (although I may be remembering wrong ... we'll see) - I remember lectures to Isolder and Tenenial about morality, etc. It rubs me the wrong way because I'm a fan of Luke as the farmboy-turned-pilot-turned-reluctant-Jedi who is doing his best under very adverse conditions but doesn't really know what the hell he's doing.
2) "I am Han Solo and I drank the crazy juice this morning." My biggest headache with this book was the premise that Han would go crazy and kidnap Leia. Props to Wolverton for using this as a plot device to precipitate an adventure that is pretty cool but it also is absolutely not the Han Solo I know and love. In Return of the Jedi, Han is fully prepared to give Leia up because he thinks it will make her happy - he says of Luke, "When he gets back, I won't get in the way." While I realize that this probably also to do with the fact that he cares about Luke and wants to see both of them happy, it's also just who I think Han is. Desperation to keep Leia should lead him to investigate the Hapans - Prince Isolder, specifically - but not go insane and kidnap Leia. It's just - I don't know, it's beneath him.
Anyway, welcome to my expectations and apprehensions. We'll see what Wolverton has in store for me.
Let me preface this with a little something about me: I am a hopeless, HOPELESS, romantic. I see a chick flick (and I do watch a lot of them, sans Husband who is always grateful I don't force the gooey cheeze on him...) and sigh my way through it. I read books with romance (and some romance books), and enjoy every last minute of sappy, mindsucking, disgustingly vomitous romantic interactions. So this book, for me at 13 years old, was the ideal. It was Star Wars and romance TOGETHER IN ONE BOOK! With badass warrior women who ruled their planet and had the Force. What could be better?! Nothing, it turned out to my 13 year old self, nothing at all.
And so, my expectations for this book are that I will go into delights of joy while at the same time gagging on the corniness of the entirety of it all. And I also agree with Es that lots and lots and LOTS of crazy juice was ingested by ALL parties before embarking on this particular Star Wars adventure.
And with that, start up the hyperdrive and punch it Chewie!