Science Fiction Novel
Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
Author: Karen Traviss
Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When we last left the Skywalkers and the Solos, they had been dragged into a potential war between the Galactic Alliance and Hanís homeworld of Corellia. Hanís cousin and nemesis, Thracken Sal-Solo had become President of Corellia and as such, refused to comply with the Galactic Allianceís orders to disarm the planet. At the behest of the Galactic Alliance, Jacen Solo and Anakin Skywalker disarmed the powerful Centerpoint Station with very few casualties. Unbeknownst to all, a Sith was lurking about with an interest in pushing the two arguing factions toward war and that Sith was bent on doing everything in their power to achieve that goal.
In Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines, enraged by Hanís seeming involvement in the disarming of Centerpoint Station and the G.A. occupation of part of Corellia, Thracken Sal-Solo has put out a contract on the Soloís lives. With a bounty on his head once again, Han deduces that an old enemy will soon seek him out. He is only partially correct. Boba Fett is not as interested in collecting a bounty on Han Solo as he is in another bounty hunter who has accepted the contract. Boba hasnít seen his daughter Ailyn in quite some time, but now that he is terminally ill, Boba is obsessed with finding her and he is certain that wherever Han Solo is to be found, Ailyn is sure to be close behind.
Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker is becoming more and more concerned about his sonís apprenticeship to Jacen Solo. Luke recognizes something in Jacenís actions of late Ė they are reminiscent of actions taken by Lukeís own father, Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader. Jacen has all but denounced his Jedi status and has become the Galactic Allianceís enforcer, with Ben Skywalker in tow. Gone are the Jedi robes in place of a harsh black uniform as Jacen now leads raids into Corellian neighborhoods on Coruscant, searching for dissidents among the residents. And Ben Skywalker, only thirteen years of age, is being forced to grow up very quickly in the wake of Jacenís actions.
To make matters worse, Luke Skywalker is all but certain that an old nemesis, the Sith follower Lumiya, has found her way back to Coruscant. Lumiyaís appearance and Jacenís slide toward the Dark Side could prove disastrous for the galaxy at large as the Galactic Alliance moves ever closer to a war with Corellia and its supporters.
I have to admit that I didnít want to like the Legacy of the Force series. I had been thoroughly disappointed with the Dark Nest series and had surmised the direction the new series would take. I truly believe that history is doomed to repeat itself, but for some reason, I thought that Star Wars history was sacred and should not be repeated. I was somewhat annoyed with the idea that Jacen Solo would be following in Anakin Skywalkerís footsteps. It was with dread that I began reading the series, but despite myself, I became intrigued and so, I continued on to the second book.
The fact that Bloodlines was set to focus on Boba Fett was also very intriguing to me. I have yet to read any of the Boba Fett novels that were written after the release of Revenge of the Jedi, so my knowledge of Boba Fett is limited to the few short stories published in the Star Wars anthology books. I was about to learn a great deal of Boba Fettís history from an author who has had some experience writing about clones. Karen Travissí Republic Commando novels featured Bobaís brethren Ė the Clone Troopers of the Republic. I was certain she would know just how to write Boba. At first, I found some of Bobaís dialogue to be out of character, but as the novel wore on, it seems that Traviss became one with the character, reacquainting me with the Boba Fett Iíd known for years. Bobaís storyline of a hardcase bounty hunter suffering from a terminal illness and seeking reconciliation with long-lost family is nothing new. However, somehow, placed in the Star Wars genre, the tale is fresh and interesting. I would love to read more about Boba Fett in future novels.
Karen Travissí handling of Jacen Solo and his Sith education was excellent. I had known she would do a good job of this considering how much I enjoyed her short stories about Darth Vaderís first actions as a Sith Lord. Jacen doesnít simply embrace the teachings of the Sith. He tries to discover the error in Anakin Skywalkerís path in an effort to avoid falling into the same trap as his grandfather. He looks for ways to prove to himself that he is not following his ancestorís path but at the same time realizes that he actually is repeating history.
There was something else I enjoyed about Bloodlines Ė I always enjoy when Star Wars novels re-enact little bits of American history. A history buff like myself will parallel the repatriation of Corellians and the internment camps to the repatriation and internment of the Japanese in America during World War II. And this novel doesnít just parallel events of the past. History is doomed to repeat itself and many of the incidents that occur in the novel parallel events of both the past and present. As you read the book, think of the events of today and notice how they play themselves out in Star Wars novels. Note how much the Galactic Alliance in Bloodlines seems to mirror our present government.
Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines is an incredibly enjoyable read with a message at its center. As a Star Wars fan, I am pleased. As a history buff, Iím ecstatic! Do not miss this installment of the Legacy of the Force series!
For more about Star Wars, check out: