Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Star Wars Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth
by Karen Miller
Book Review by Dan Tres OMi
George Lucas and his gang are really stretching the Clone War era of Star Wars. While the Clone War actually raged for a little over 3 years before Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) there are quite a few stories that need to be told about other Jedi Knights and Clone units throughout the galaxy outside of the Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. However we are told that if the folks at Lucas Arts steer away from this story, no one would buy any books. I guess.
Miller's previously published Clone Wars: Wild Space left much to be desired. It helped explain why Kenobi and Senator Bail Organa seemed close in ROTS but that's about it. While the Clone War Gambit story arc will cover two books, the first installment starts off very slow.
At this point, the war is at a stalemate (more on that later) since the Separatists have figured out a way to disrupt short wave communications between Republic war ships. This has forced the Republic to just hold the ground in several sectors throughout the galaxy and refrain from any offensives. In the meantime, Senator Organa learns that something fishy is happening on the planet Kothlis, one of the many planets that fell during a major Separatist push but the Republic could not assist.
Kenobi and Skywalker are picked to infiltrate Kothlis as citizens and find out why the Separatists are doing on that planet. Of course, Kenobi and Skywalker are way out of their element acting as spies. While the writers could have used several other Jedi to embark on this mission (Quilan Vos would have been ideal) I can understand why Kenobi and Skywalker were chosen. In this instance, Skywalker who is used to swashbuckling his way through any problems, is forced to restrain himself.
While Kenobi has no problems keeping his emotions out of his decision making as a Jedi, Skywalker has always pushed his boundaries. It always made their relationship interesting. In this mission, Kenobi has no qualms leaving innocents to their doom. Skywalker, who was once a slave, refuses to do the same. Both Kenobi and Skywalker get into some major ethical arguments. When Bant'ena Fhernan, a scientist held captive by the vicious General Lok Durd, is forced to help the Separatist design a lethal bioweapon. Although she is forced by the threat of the assassination of her friends and family, Fhernan does not seem to have a dilemma. Kenobi sees her as complicit in the creation of this bioweapon while Skywalker sees her as an innocent victim.
Not only do the ethical debates help the story, this arc also helps to explain why Skywalker had no problems killing Jedi in ROTS. He saw the Jedi as betrayers to the people of the Republic and did not see them as family at all. It makes sense since several members of the Jedi Council did not see him as the Chosen One and treated him as a pariah. When it came to helping wealthy and corrupt politicians, the Jedi seem to eager to help but when it comes to helping the downtrodden, the Jedi always seem to choose the side against those less fortunate.
Overall, the average fan can overlook this story arc. Most fans have a gist of why Anakin turned to the dark side and his feelings towards the Jedi. The storyline is uninteresting so far. General Grievious has yet to make an actual appearance. General Durd is a minor and a character who won't be missed at all.