Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Star Wars, Dark Nest III: The Swarm War by Troy Denning
Review by Dan Tres
(WARNING: This review has spoilers, so if you don't want to know what happens, read no further...)
Troy Denning ends the Dark Nest series with a not so thrilling ending. The first two books were much better for some reason. Yet this book ended the series too quickly. First, the Jedi realize that the only solution to the Killik problem is to revert them to their status before the arrival of Jedi Raynar Thur (or UnuThul as he is now called). So he has to be "eliminated" or "removed." This was an obvious solution since Lomi Plo and Alema Rar were part of the "unconscious" mind of the Killik Nest, thus the Dark Nest. When Lomi Plo and her minions in the Groggog showed up, UnuThul somehow got amnesia. Even when proof was shown to him (as noted in the previous novels), he quickly denied it. Of course, much of relunctance of the Jedi to implement this solution was due to Luke Skywalker's idea that he could redeem UnuThul.
Another problem with book is that Leia and Seba Sebatyne are again captured. This time by the Chiss. With the help of her bodyguards, they use their Jedi skills to escape. It's daring but it's almost similar to her escape in Dark Nest II from the Galactic Alliance ship. I can't understand how Luke had a problem fighting Lomi Plo with the help of Jacen Solo and Mara Jade. In the end he battles Lomi Plo and UnuThul with ease. One could tell that Denning was trying to end the series abruptly.
Then I realized something...
The Dark Nest series is not really about the Killiks. They pretty much make up the background. It's not about the Chiss, who seem to become more ruthless then ever and one can see them presenting more problems for the Jedi and the Galactic Alliance. The series is about the Jedi Order and how they deal with their new philosophy of the Living Force.
We learn that when there is no galactic crisis, this idea works. Everyone can do their own thing, learn their own way, get attachments, answer to no one. Yet when something really big comes along, there is no cohesion and no focus. In the first two books, we see the Jedi Order split into several factions: those that feel that the Jedi should follow the Force and no one else (headed by Kyp Durron), those that feel that the Jedi should work for the Galactic Alliance (headed by Kenth Hamner and Corran Horn -- a problem that was questioned during the Clone wars), and finally those that felt that the teachings of Vergere were the way to go (this faction was headed by Jacen Solo). The Killik crisis created another faction that felt that the Jedi should just help the underdog (headed by Jaina Solo and Zekk). Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker stood by while everyone bickered and acted on their own.
In Book III, Luke decides to take over the order as the Supreme Master. He asks that those that disagree with his position leave the Order forever. Few leave, but most stay including Hamner, Horn, Kyp, and Jacen. Together they fix the problem. I find this part of the book satisfying. Again as we saw during the Clone Wars, the Jedi have to figure out their place in the scheme of things. Its good to sit back and meditate on the Force, but reality bites and people depend on the Jedi to fix things. With great power comes great responsibility (right Parker?).
Overall the book gets 3 out of 5 stars. The first two in the series were exceptional. Part III just doesn't do it for me.