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By Pete Vonder Haar | April 25, 2005


Stover isn’t allowed to stray too far from the party line, obviously, but he does his best to flesh out what the main characters are thinking in these last days of the Republic. Unfortunately, this also works against him. One gets the feeling Lucas didn’t provide much in the way of depth with his screenplay (go figure), meaning Stover has to repeat certain points over and over again with wearying monotony: Anakin is upset about not being promoted to Master Jedi; Mace Windu doesn’t trust Palpatine; Anakin is really upset about not being promoted to Master Jedi. You get the idea.

Aside from being about 150 pages too long, the book itself isn’t a bad read. It goes by quick, though probably more quickly for those who don’t have to stop to digest names like Plo Koon and Giddean Danu. “Episode III” is, as we’ve suspected for quite some time, going to be chock full of lightsabery goodness, and Stover knows how to write a combat scene. Having said that, there are a couple things I’d like to address.

For starters, you have Anakin Skywalker. At the beginning of the book, he’s already the greatest warrior and pilot in the galaxy and without a doubt one of the strongest Jedi out there. And yet for all that he’s the same petulant little prick from “Episode II.” He’s filled with anger over the lack of respect he feels the Council owes him, and demonstrates time and time again why he should never be trusted. That this kind of behavior proves one of two things: 1) the Jedi sitting on the Council are morons, as they remain oblivious the Dark Side descent of the most prominent Jedi in the galaxy; and 2) Obi-Wan Kenobi is a lousy teacher.

There are those who’ll say that Darth Sidious is the one who pulled the wool over the Council’s eyes and played upon Anakin’s fears for Padmé, making his transformation into Vader a fait accompli. I’d point out that the Jedi have been in power for 1000 years. Certainly in that time they could’ve developed a better system for monitoring their Knights?

And another thing, I’m glad Stover and/or Lucas finally addressed the glaring problem that most fans have been aware of since “Episode I.” Namely, when the “guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy” have been in control of things for a millennium, why would they think someone bringing “balance to the Force,” as Anakin is supposed to do, would be a good thing? The Light side had been in power for centuries, ensuring stability and prosperity, so what possible reason could there be for bringing “balance” to things? Further proof right there than Qui-Gonn should have lopped the little brat’s head off right after he won the pod race.

It’s worth a read if you’re stuck in line at the DMV (or at Celebration III, for that matter), and is certainly not the worst Star Wars book out there. There were even a few things revealed that I hadn’t been previously aware of, all of which means there’s really no reason left for me to go see the movie itself.

Oh please.

Read the next installment in THE STAR WARS REPORT: FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW>>>

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