Star Wars

Star Wars
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Darksaber, Underwhelming Superweapon of the Stars

Darksaber by K.J. Anderson
Esme's thoughts ...

Despite my pessimistic choice of subject heading, I want to spend at least part of our last Darksaber post discussing the merits of the book. I know, I surprised myself, too! But however irritating I find KJA, however frustrating I find his books, the fact remains that he really has contributed tremendously to the Star Wars EU: he brought us Admiral Daala (scary insane, but still a woman leading a military force), Kyp Durron and the concept of the Jedi Academy, adventures featuring the original trio, and an comprehensive examination of the growth of the New Republic and the slow dissolution of the Empire. He also brought back Pellaeon and managed to keep him more or less in-character.

I have to admit that I'm also very grateful to KJA for his treatment of Callista. I got very attached her during Children of the Jedi and Darksaber and was excited when she took off on her own odyssey. I appreciated that she wasn't willing to piggy-back off Luke's Jedi abilities, nor put herself or anyone else at risk by relying on her access to the Dark Side for her power. She's clearly a woman of tremendous personal character, independence, and courage. I'm surprised because I know back in the day, when people were devouring these books as they were published (as in, no one knew what was going to happen until the next EU book came out - SUSPENSE!), a lot of people really hate Callista. I can appreciate why - I know a lot of other fans thought she was a threat to Mara and, let's face it, even if you're not interested in a Mara/Luke relationship, when Callista arrives, Mara basically vanishes off the face of the galaxy. But, as I said after CotJ, I'm delighted to discover for myself that Callista is actually an awesome and worthy first love for Luke. And, ultimately, makes a decision for both their sakes that is right.

General Crix Madine
In addition to Callista, I enjoyed KJA's Crix Madine side story (although I got irritated very quickly with KJA insisting on calling him "Crix Madine" the whole time, as opposed to choosing either his first or last name and sticking with that. Madine appears once in the movies and barely appears in any of the other books. I liked KJA's development of his Empire-era persona as a devotee of Palpatine's military who deserts, leaving his entire life behind for the Rebel Alliance. General Bel Iblis has a similar story except that he doesn't really have a choice - Palpatine destroys his home and family, so of course he's going to defect. But Madine has everything going for him and makes the choice to give it up, which seems to me to be a lot more difficult, as choices go. I thought KJA's construction of Madine was really interesting and compelling.

I'll leave my positive response to Darksaber here because, honestly, I'm out now. If I see another giant superweapon that looks suspiciously like the Death Star or is, in fact, another Death Star, I may go crazy. Time to move on ... to BHambly, YES!