Star Wars: Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
Author: Matthew Stover
Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the folks at Lucas Books asked the fans what sort of stories they would like to see in print. Specifically, they wondered if we would like to see some of the years filled in between the classic Star Wars films and the Expanded Universe novels. The fans spoke and Lucas Books delivered, offering us new adventures for Han, Leia, Luke, Mara, Chewbacca, and our favorite heroes and villains of the Star Wars saga. I enjoyed the first three Tatooine Ghost, Allegiance and Survivorís Quest. So, when Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor hit the stores, I quickly snatched it up.
Taking place a short time after the events of Return of the Jedi, we come across Luke Skywalker at an all time low. Luke has just completed a mission to track down an eradicated an Imperial fragment run by the mysterious Shadowspawn. But all does not go according to plan and many lives are lost. Feeling responsible for those lost lives, Luke Skywalker hires Lorz Geptun, an Inspector for the Rebel Alliance (soon to become the New Republic) to investigate the mission at Mindor with a rather strange request - he wants Geptun to find him guilty of war crimes.
Sounds rather interesting and true to form, right? After all, Luke Skywalker has always taken mission casualties to heart, believing that there must have been something more he could have done to prevent them. The fact that this novel takes place very early in his Jedi career, one would expect that he would take this particular missionís losses hardest - this would be the first mission under his complete command to go sour. But while the story begins on an interesting enough tone, it gets boring rather fast.
I really wanted to like this book. After all, it was written by Matthew Stover and I loved his previous novels, Shatterpoint and Revenge of the Sith. I enjoyed his extensive insight into characters we thought we knew from the prequel films. I loved the Heart of Darkness feel to Shatterpoint. But while Stover makes the attempt at delving into the philosophy of light and dark once again, this time around it is somewhat unsuccessful. Things get too strange and confusing - it becomes a put off for those who havenít studied the philosophical sides of light and dark. Even for someone who takes a great interest in this, the word tedious comes to mind.
There were some good points to the novel. For one thing, I enjoyed the discussions about the numerous holofilms being created about Han and Luke. Hysterical. Seeing the Rogues in action again is always a plus. And I loved the fact that Stover decided to include some of his characters from Shatterpoint in this novel, although he never really explains how these guys ended up on Mindor. Itís also strange that, while Luke was aware that Nick knew Jedi during the Clone Wars, he never really asked about them. This is a far cry from the Luke of later novels who sought to discover more about the Jedi of old so that he could teach the future Jedi Order.
Unfortunately, on a whole, I cannot say that Star Wars: Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor was an enjoyable experience. In fact, Iím sorry to say that this was more of an excruciating experience, one I couldnít wait to complete.