Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Star Wars Legacy of the Force: Tempest by Troy Denning
Review by Dan Tres Omi
Omi's Note: I apologize for our tardiness. I purchased the book when it was released and while in the middle of reading it, lost it. I refuse to repurchase the book since I originally bought three copies. We thank you for your patience.
Like the Yuuzhan Vong war series, having multiple authors presents several problems. There will be a few minor continuity errors but those can be overlooked. The main problem is that of character development. For example, in Bloodlines, we find Jacen Solo to be this uncaring military type. In Tempest however, he is the father who does all it takes for his daughter. In Betrayal, the reader can clearly see the parallels between Anakin Skywalker and Jacen Solo. Even though the similiarities are there, the reader is convinced that Jacen is doing things differently. In the subsequent books, it seems as if Vader was never Jacen's grandfather. While in the first two Legacy books, people like Admiral Nianthal and other notables have bigger roles, in Tempest they are rarely mentioned. Maybe those characters will be explored again when the previous authors write the next book in the story line. Yet many new characters were introduced who were very interesting.
Although I enjoy Allston's writing, I have to admit that he already fudged the storyline. Jacen Solo sends Lumiya to confront Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker. I found this confrontation to be a bit early. Luke already assumes that Lumiya is responsible for everything and has no clue about Jacen Solo's Sith training. He assumes that Jacen is leaning towards the dark side but has no understanding of how deep he is in it. Although this is a good idea, I felt that giving Luke more chase would have broaden the plot.
Finally, there is a coup attempt on Tenel Ka. I grew tired of all the political ramblings and plotting going on. This wasn't just a coup de 'tat in the palace, this was a full fledge civil war. Even the Republic was brought in to assist with the Corellians on the side of the coup leaders. Denning does a wonderful job of describing the capital ship battle in the Hapes Consortium. Denning balances this with three memorable lightsaber duels.
One problem that I have with the Star Wars Expanded Universe is the reluctance of the writers to leave some characters dead. Alema Rar returns virtually from the dead. One wonders how many near deaths one can survive. She is now terribly deformed and insane. She serves no purpose but to annoy the reader. She is dead, leave her alone. Unfortunately, she survives death twice in this book.
Another annoying problem is once again, Han Solo and Princess Leia escape a heavy bombardment from capital ships in the very old Millenium Falcon. Again, they lose power to shields and even have a hyperspace drive leak. Despite all of this, they manage to get away again. This time I thought the Falcon was cooked for sure. The irony is that Leia piloted the ship. I guess she is a good a pilot as Han Solo now. We do learn that now the Solo's are double agents. The only person who does not believe this however is Jacen when he learns that his parents were involved in the assassination attempt on Tenel Ka and their daughter.
The writers did something right when they re-introduced Aurra Sing to the story. I don't understand why Jacen Solo did not kill her as he would have in the previous book. If he would send his Sith master to kill his uncle, I don't understand why he would not kill someone who hated Jedi and tried to kill his daughter twice. I assume she will be returning in future stories. Despite its flaws, Tempest is a must read. The fight scenes and the space battle surely compensate for everything else.