Review: “Star Wars Crucible” by Troy Denning

This latest Star Wars book is also placed tbe latest (so far) in the timeline, 45 years after the events of the initial film “A New Hope”. Some of the books along the way have been very good, especially those by Timothy Zahn.

But I don’t think this book is among them. It’s a decent read, but fails to meet the initial promise of being something new.

The opportunity is there, as Denning’s starting scenario opens the door to all sorts of possibilities. Instead of the usual “bang bang” enemies, the adversaries are businessmen, two brothers who are so intelligent and so wealthy that not only do they corner the market in many key industries, they can also bribe, extort, or assasinate politicians and other officials to get their way.

How will the Jedi deal with such economic power, when every official might be a secret tool of the enemy? Sadly we’ll never know.

For reasons which only seem partly plausible (hubris?) the baddies kidnap Han Solo and take him to their secret base, just as they are about to use it to transform themselves into something even more powerful. If they’d ust left Han alone they could have accomplished their plan unchecked. But kidnapping Han brings in Luke, Leia, Lando and a couple of other Jedi.

The Jedi have with them battledroids that (very deus ex machina) take out all of the opponents’ massive military strength. So what’s left is a long description of the Jedi tracking down and taking out the brothers. Once again the swish swish of light sabers saves the day.

It’s perfectly workable, it just fails to live up to the promise of the initial premise.

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