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Children of the Jedi (Star Wars) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1996
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As Children of the Jedi opens, a crazed, drug-addled ex-smuggler named Drub McKumb lunges at Han Solo in the middle of his and Leia's state visit to Ithor. (Long after the destruction of the second Death Star, Leia is now the New Republic's work-weary head of state.) Han, Leia, and Luke soon surmise that this isn't just another of Han's drinking buddies but rather a weirdly altered man carrying a terrible secret. Piecing together clues from McKumb's glossolaliac rants, Han and Leia set off in search of the ancient hiding place of the Children of the Jedi, while Luke--using the Force and his former-pupil-and-pal-turned-droid Nichos as a random number generator--decides to head off to a set of coordinates halfway across the galaxy.
They all end up finding more than they bargained for: Han and Leia's search for the Jedi ends on icy, isolated Belsavis; while Luke stumbles onto a humongous but dormant Imperial death machine- -which, not coincidentally, has stirred to life the intent to utterly annihilate Belsavis. Can he possibly stop it in time? Star Wars authors tend to be either you-love-'em-or-you-hate-'em types, but veteran writer Hambly makes a good go at falling into the former camp in this outing, along with the likes of Michael Stackpole and Kevin J. Anderson. --Paul Hughes
From the Inside Flap
In "Children of the Jedi, Barbara Hambly introduces a new character: Callista, a brave Jedi warrior of long ago who gave her life to foil one of the Empire's darkest plans, a plot to destroy a stronghold that was sanctuary for the wives and children of the Jedi knights. Suddenly, the dreadnought is rearming itself, intent on destruction. Only Luke Skywalker can feel its evil presence as well as the mysterious influence of that powerful woman who should have died decades ago.
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For me, one of the big flaws of the Expanded Universe has been that many of the adventures seem like mere trivial episodes which don't have lasting implications, don't show us anything new about the characters, aren't truly thought-provoking, and just don't need to have happened. Children of the Jedi feels like a series of really significant events in the lives of the characters. I feel I know more about even C3PO and R2D2.
I'll close this review with a debate topic for Star Wars novel fans. Was it a good idea to link all the novels into one universe, so that each author was required to take into account the events of all the other books? While it's nice to have a continuity to follow and see new characters like Mara Jade pop up, it also seems to hamstring the authors, limiting what their imaginations can show us. No big changes can occur because the drawing board has to be left open for other writers. What if, instead, there had been no imposed continuity? Then each author would be beholden only to the movies, and could do whatever they wanted without fear of contradicting other authors or changing the universe to much for future authors. The the readers would truly not know what to expect- Luke could die, Vader could turn out to be alive, Earth could be discovered, and so on. Then when the book ended those ideas wouldn't ruin future novels.
Perhaps even if the large continuity was maintained, there could have been "imaginary" stories, the way the old DC comics used to do - stories where Superman and Lois got married or Batman died, that were outside the continuity.