21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The Force is Strong with this One,
This review is from: Star Wars: Vision of the Future (Hardcover)
Some of these reviews are great; they really are. Almost as good as reading the book itself. Its good to see that so many readers get so emotionally attached to the characters; emphasised particularly well with the war of words between Mara and Callista fans. And to think that the two women didn't even feature in the movies. People seem to either love or hate the outcome, and that is always a sign of a great novel. Personally, I loved the outcome!
As with any good SW novel, there is plenty of sci-fi action and plot enhancement here, but it does however take a back seat to character development. Yes, this is very much a character-driven novel; in particular with Jade and Skywalker (still can't get over how cool this name is!). OK, so the issue of the dynamic duo getting married is perhaps the worst kept secret on the Internet, but what makes this such compelling reading is down to the way in which Zahn executes this theme. There were so many barriers existing between the two, not to mention the emotional turmoil and personal demons which needed to be overcome before they could establish a relationship.
I also loved the way Zahn resolved the Lando/Mara issue without making Lando come across as the bad guy. For all his faults, Lando is a key figure in the SW universe and deserves positive attention, and it was nice to see him lead the Republic forces at the end against those nasty Imperial Star Destroyers.
It was also interesting to note that one or two readers felt too much of the novel was taken up by Luke and Mara. I wonder why they thought this; I for one would not have minded in the slightest had the entire book only consisted of these two characters. And lets face it people, we would have even willingly seen the Empire win if it meant Luke and Mara getting together in the process.
There is not much I can say to fault this novel, but there is one little aspect which affected me on a purely personal level and one which I felt we could have done without. I am referring to the smuggler's tale of the titanic battle between a dark Jedi and Yoda. I have always believed that Lucas depicted Yoda as the apotheosis of all that is Jedi with the exception of using the force to do battle. We did not see the little master fight in any movie and I firmly believe we will not do so in episodes 2 and 3, because to do so would degrade the single most unique character of the Star Wars universe. Therefore I felt Zahn could have easily omitted this part without detriment to the quality of the story. However this is just one minor flaw on a purely personal level.
On another personal level, as a huge Mara fan (who can never again watch "Return of the Jedi" in the same manner!), I thoroughly enjoyed the new insights we got to see in Mara. For example, other peoples' opinion of her matters greatly to her (such as Han's impression when seeing her wearing Lando's shirt). Moreover, the fact that (and why) she has never been in a relationship before was shrewdly fabricated and written. Its amazing how much a person can change in ten years. And she "highly respected and cared" for Luke during all those years (a fact which is also emphasised in Stackpole's "I, Jedi"). Needless to say, Zahn executed this character development flawlessly (I still think she is his best creation; better even than Thrawn - and that's saying something!). While on the subject, I'm very troubled by the comments referring to Mara's death in the future. It is blatantly obvious (from the word "forever" among other things) that Zahn intends both Mara and Luke to have a long, happy and prosperous future together and I hope other authors will respect his wishes when writing subsequent novels. Incidentally, there have been very few comments made about the picture of Mara on the cover art of this novel. There are so many disparate images of her around these days; however this is the one I like best and if this is how Zahn invisaged his enchantress turned Jedi Knight, then its good enough for me.
Apologies for using the term "Mara" 9 times (now 10!) in this review. What can I say? I'm just a humble fan!
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Initial post: Feb 9, 2009 9:45:34 AM PST
C. R. Laird says:
Yoda does fight in the prequels.
But I personally see Yoda as the perfect Jedi. Yes he is almost always peacful, but like any true hero he knows when to stop talking and pick up the sword (lightsaber). As Teddy Roosevelt said "Walk softly, but carry a big stick." This is Yoda perfectly.
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