Star Wars: Equipment
Author: Matthew Stover
Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I reached the end of my paperback edition of Star Wars: Shatterpoint, I happily discovered that there was another story yet to be read. Matt Stover had written a short story to go along with his main novel. In the past, I have enjoyed reading short stories set in the Star Wars Universe from authors such as Timothy Zahn, Karen Traviss, Steven Barnes, Aaron Allston, Kevin J. Anderson, Barbara Hambly, Kathy Tyers, Shane Dix and more. I couldn’t wait to read Star Wars: Equipment by Matthew Stover.
If you have read Shatterpoint, you know that Mace Windu had an extraction team waiting for him in orbit around Haruun Kal. Upon completion of his mission, Jedi Master Windu was to summon the Halleck for pick up. However, no one had been expecting the trap that had been laid for Windu and his team. In Equipment, we read the account of the space battle that takes place between the Halleck’s crew and the Separatist Army Droids far above Haruun Kal. The story is written in the point of view of CT-6/774, a Clone Trooper assigned as a port bubble-turret gunner aboard one of five gunships assigned to the Halleck.
In this short story, just as in the main novel, author Matthew Stover chooses to refer to each clone trooper by his number code assignation rather than nicknames. This could be due to the fact that this novel takes place early in the Clone Wars and the clones had yet to differentiate themselves using nicknames. However, this could simply be done as a way to remind the readers that many of the clone troopers were only seen as number assignations rather than individual people. Whereas using number assignations can get confusing at times, this is a short story and so it doesn’t prevent too large a problem.
Equipment is basically a short story that serves to demonstrate the Clone Trooper’s dedication to his job as a soldier of the Grand Army of the Republic. In their eyes, the heroic acts performed by any Clone Trooper are nothing special. They are just performing the tasks set for them as best they can with no care as to their demise so long as they complete their task honorably. When CT-6/774 discovers that his bubble-turret has been separated from his gunship, he uses his skills as a soldier to keep his wits about him and perform in such a manner that aids and assists his fellow troopers in battle.
The tagline of this story is “Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you.” The clones not only take this literally by making certain that all of their equipment is in top working order, but they also take this figuratively – they are the Republic’s equipment and as long as the Republic continues to take care of them, they will continue to take care of the Republic.
Star Wars: Equipment was an enjoyable short story and well-worth the read. There is a tendency of readers to skip introductions, previews or short stories found at the end of Star Wars novels. Skipping this story would be a mistake as it provides a unique look into the mindset of a Clone Trooper.
For more Star Wars Short Stories, check out: