Monday, October 09, 2006
Star Wars Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines by Karen Traviss
Review by Dan Tres OMi
Don't get me wrong, I really dig Karen Traviss. Her work with the Clone troopers in Triple Zero and Hard Contact stands out amongst the several authors who write for the SW Expanded Universe. The writing she has done for Star Wars Insider is superb. Yet Traviss falls way short of her previous work in Bloodlines. Boba Fett has always been gangsta. The fact that GL used Temuera Morrison as the face and voice of the universe's well known bounty hunter makes it even more gangsta.
The highlight of Bloodlines is the fact that we finally get into Fett's head in a 1st person sense. Previously, we only walked with Boba Fett in the third person sense in books such as the Bounty Hunter Wars which in themselves are great books. The downside of this is that now Fett is 70 years old. The crazy thing is that he is still collecting bounties despite all the money he has made in the past. This makes no sense whatsoever and I think is outside of Fett's thinking. Traviss tries to maintain some realism as she describes the pain Fett feels as he climbs a wall, holds a gun, etc. It's just ridiculous to picture a 70 year old man who has his body battered for decades chasing bounties and escaping death several times over still trying to fight folks young enough to be his grandchildren. I think learning about Fett in the 1st person sense is just too late at this point.
What bothered me about the Bloodlines story is that we learn more about Fett's earlier marriage, his daughter, and granddaughter. Traviss does a good job introducing all of them to new fans but the ending was just too obvious. All of a sudden, Fett has a heart. What happened to the cold hearted bounty hunter we have come to know and love? It reminds me of Wolverine in X3. Fett is also the Mandalore. Yet he does not act like it. He refuses to learn the language and culture yet he is the Mandalore? What gives? Personally, this story should have been kept out of the Legacy of the Force storyline.
Jacen Solo continues to follow the path his grandfather took. His steps are frighteningly similar. Solo actually time travels via the force to the raid on the Jedi Temple led by Anakin. These scenes bring everything home. Solo wrestles with his logic and contrasts his turn to the dark side to Anakin's fall. Solo makes some wonderful observations. He places himself in the council chamber when young Anakin first encounters the members. He does not understand why the Jedi Masters delegate the responsibility of teaching Jedi techniques to Anakin to Obi Wan since most agreed that he was the Chosen One. Solo also notices the Jedi's arrogance.
Luke Skywalker continues to baffle me. He knows that Jacen is the cloaked figure in his dream yet does not confront Jacen. As a matter of fact, he spends a great deal of time avoiding him even though Jacen continues to violate several Jedi codes. This makes no sense at all. One would think that as the Jedi Master of the entire Jedi order, Luke would either question or suspend Jacen from the Jedi Order. Solo also makes some moves that seem childish instead of sinister. To be honest, I find that Luke and Mara are insane to continue to let Ben train under Jacen. Having your 13 year old child break into people's homes in the middle of the night is not my idea of proper apprenticeship.
Jacen uses some storm trooper tactics to arrest and deport some Corellian citizens. He makes several political and military allies in his plan to attack the Corellian system and destroy their military. He even brings Ben Skywalker along for the show. Many people quickly make the comparisons to his grandfather. Jacen is given control of a secret police ala Hitler's SS and they make their moves raiding houses and quelling riots and demonstrations. We are introduced to Jori Lekauf, the grandson of a Lekauf who served under Darth Vader (also someone Vader had an attachment to). Lekauf is even proud of that fact. Ironically, we learn that several people had no issue with the Empire and their tactics.
My next question is since when do Jedi drink coffee?
Despite the fact that the book is part of a series, one must read it. Overall, its not worth the cover price (the cover however is dope). I think that Traviss' writing style centers around the military. Everyone is given this military work over. All of a sudden, Solo is this tough as nails officer when during the Yuuzhan Vong war he was anything but. Even during the Killik war, Solo was the loner who seemed to operate best outside of any formal organization. This is where Traviss fails. Her strength is writing about military outfits, battles, etc. When it comes to debating about issues of the force or child rearing for that matter, Traviss falls short.