Science Fiction Novel

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Tempest

Author: Troy Denning

Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
 

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            When we last left our heroes, Han and Leia had been drawn deeper into the tangled web that is Corellia’s bid for independence from the Galactic Alliance.  Jacen had begun to seriously embrace the Sith teachings of Luke Skywalker’s old enemy Lumiya.  The Skywalkers had become more worried than ever that their son, Ben, might be training with the wrong Jedi.  Luke had discovered that Lumiya had returned and began to worry that she might try to get at him through his son.

            In Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Tempest by Troy Denning, all of these plots come to a virtual head.  Corellia’s bid for allies against the Galactic Alliance causes the leaders of its government to turn to treachery.  The Hapan Queen Mother Tenel Ka is not willing to assist Corellia’s cause.  The power behind Hapes is something that Corellia covets and yet, the Queen Mother has thrown her allegiance with the Galactic Alliance.  Thus, the leaders of Corellia decide that Hapes needs a new leader.  Known for the treachery ingrained amongst the nobles throughout Hapes, Corellian forces have no problem arranging for a coupe.  Han and Leia find themselves in a difficult position – although they support Corellia’s bid for piece, they can not condone the actions Corellia has taken in Hapes, especially when those actions place a dear friend in danger.

            Meanwhile, Jacen Solo, almost completely entrenched in Lumiya’s Sith teachings, is conducting some treachery of his own, pitting the Galactic Alliance against its dissenters by arranging assassinations of the Alliance’s enemies.  Upon discovering the assassination attempt made on Tenel Ka and his daughter, Jacen is thrown into a frenzy.  Falling into exactly the same trap his grandfather fell into decades before, Jacen places his hidden family’s safety above all others, seeking to destroy anyone that took part in the attempt…even if that means he has to destroy people he loves most.

            Tempest is the third installment in the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novel series.  Troy Denning, no stranger to writing in the Star Wars Universe, perfectly captures the characters – their emotions, actions and reactions – in this novel.  It would seem that Lumiya is not the only villain to return in the Legacy of the Force series.  This installment finds Aurra Sing alive and well and still in the Jedi bounty hunting game.  Also alive, but not very well, is Alema Rar, former Jedi Knight and now sworn enemy of the Solos and the Skywalkers.  What I found surprising in this novel was her willingness to join Lumiya’s cause as well as Lumiya’s willingness to accept her assistance.

            It is interesting to watch Jacen slide ever closer toward his grandfather’s legacy, seemingly never realizing that his goals and those of his grandfather’s are nearly identical.  Jacen reasons that he is doing what he has to do to make a better world for the galaxy.  Anakin once felt the same way.  Jacen believes that he can keep his emotions from affecting his reasoning, but he is actually repeating his grandfather’s actions, especially where his child and lover (as much of a secret to the world as Anakin’s child and wife) are concerned.  Just as in our own history, the history of the Star Wars Universe is coming full circle.  Unfortunately, it would seem that the heroes of the Star Wars Universe are doomed to repeat the mistakes of heroes past. 

            Upon reading Tempest, you begin to realize that events in this novel and in the series itself, were put into play during the New Jedi Order series.  Of course, we could all see changes in Jacen’s thinking throughout that series, but I doubt many of us actually believed he would become what he has in the Legacy of the Force series.  I had an inkling of it…even more so when the Dark Nest series came out, but I wasn’t ready for all that the Legacy of the Force series had to reveal.  I found it interesting that Luke actually blames much of what is happening to Jacen on himself, believing that if he had not sent Jacen on the mission that caused him to be captured by the Vong, he never would have been influenced by Vergere’s teachings, and later Lumiya’s.

            As I read this series, I realize that not only are old heroes being brought back into play, but it also seems that quite a few characters are being purged.  Heroes and long present villains are falling left and right and I have to wonder who will be left standing when the Legacy of the Force series is over.  It almost seems as though the powers that be enlisted a number of authors to create a “Balance” in the Star Wars Universe.  And yet, I can’t seem to stop reading this series – I’m completely addicted.  Although the plot behind the Legacy of the Force is somewhat similar to the fall of Anakin Skywalker, it differs enough that you don’t feel like you’re reading the same story all over again.  Perhaps this is because the characters affected by this re-created plot are actually characters we have known for years…grown up with.  Perhaps this is why the tale is so intriguing.  All I know is, I can’t wait to read the next installment in the series!
 


 

For more about Star Wars, check out:

Star Wars: Dark Nest

Star Wars: Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen

Star Wars: Dark Nest III: The Swarm War

Star Wars Short Stories: In His Image & Two-Edged Sword

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Betrayal

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines


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