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Star Wars: Children of the Jedi Paperback – 2 May 1996
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From the Back Cover
Princess Leia, Han Solo and Chewbacca set out on a mission that is vital to the survival of the fragile New Republic. They are searching for the long-lost children of the Jedi, a quest that takes them to the once-vibrant stronghold of Belsavis - a nearly forgotten frozen world. Leia has heard tales of a Jedi exodus from the dark crypts below the planet's surface. She has also heard that since the time of the exodus no-one entering the crypts has returned alive.
Halfway across the galaxy, Luke Skywalker has undertaken an equally dangerous expedition, that, if it fails, could have fatal consequences for Leia, Han and Chewie. Haunted by ominous dreams and guided by a force he cannot identify, Luke journeys to a remote asteroid field over the planet Pzob. There he discovers the automated dreadnought Eye of Palpatine - from the days of all-out war. Camouflaged deep within a nebulous gas cloud and dormant for thirty years, Eye of Palpatine is governed by a supersophisticated artificial intelligence system known as the Will. Taken aboard the dreadnought, Luke is counselled by the spirit of Callista, a Jedi Knight who gave her life to stop the ship once before. Now Luke must learn from her how to destroy it once and for all. The Will has awakened. The Dark Hammer is on the move. Its mission: the total annihilation of the Belsavis.
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Meanwhile, as Leia takes a rare break from running the Galaxy, Han takes her on a mission-come-holiday to a truck-stop dive at the end of nowhere (Han evidently shares Travis Bickle's idea of where's a good place to take a lady on a date). Thankfully for Leia, as they hit the pub the two blunder in to an adventure relating to the title.
If you can forget the ludicrous setup, you actually have two pretty decent stories: Luke's has the feel of a runaway-train movie with can-he-stop-in-time tension. He also gets himself a love interest of sorts, albeit one that follows his usual form of being a bit messed up. Han's Truck Haven holiday is actually a pretty interesting planet: frozen up top but tropical down in its sink holes. It's hard to go into what they get up to without spoiling things but it's a pretty interesting yarn with an adversary with a unique ability.
Luke and the gang rush off to chase the story of a once rich trade planet being a hiding place for Jedi children. The plot then splits into two as Luke discovers the Eye of Palpatine (think mini-deathstar) and Leia, Han and Chewie get into all sorts of trouble searching the planet Belsavis.
DOES IT KNOW IT'S PLACE?
This book certainly pays alot of respect to previous star wars novels. Through the pages you will find many MANY references to other books, characters and comics such as Exar Kun, Martha Jade, the Emperor's clone, sun crusher and more but don't worry, the references have little to do with the plot and this book can be easily read as a stand alone. Where there is a blip in the chronological order is Han and Leia's children. A swift mention or two at the start then nothing as though they don't exist made the book less believable, ironic considering the book's title.
The language in this novel is very different to other Star Wars novels. This is evident from the start with very descriptive and definite text filling the opening chapters. Sadly, it goes too far and the book dragged and I found myself willing the plot on so I could get to the end. Only in the final chapters does the pace pick up and I found myself enjoying the plot. This book isn't bad and the plot and introduction of a power hungry spoilt 15 year old Sith (no more spoilers I promise) are intriguing and clever, it's just hard work and if I wanted that I would read Stephen King! I have Planet of Twilight ready to go (same author), but I think I'll give it a few weeks to clear my head first!
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