Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
Finally I get the chance to sit down and read this book. Thanks to the prologue we know Xizor has it in for Darth Vader and killing off Luke is part of his revenge plan. Now we get to see event start to unfold, as this chapter takes time to establish that it takes place just after the events of The Empire Strikes Back. But what else does it do?
Well, it starts with Leia dreaming about the time Han gets frozen in carbonite. This only establishes that Leia loves Han and that’s he gone. Not much to this scene, really. It does also establish that they’re on Tatooine, where the events of Return Of The Jedi will soon take place.
Then we get to Luke. He’s snuck into a carnival tent to use the high-wire to practice his Jedi training. This also establishes that a Jedi building his own lightsaber (which Luke has yet to complete) is part of his training and since his father’s was sent into a pit, along with Luke’s hand, by his father he needs to do that. He found a book in Ben’s old place that explains how to build a lightsaber so that potential question was answered. As Luke tries to use the Force to help him walk the tightrope (without a net, of course), he flashes back to his encounter with Vader where he tried to tell Luke he is his father and the fight with “Vader” at the tree on Dagobah. Luke tries to force (no pun intended) these memories away and focus on the task at hand. It also doesn’t really establish a whole lot.
The third segment belongs to Xizor and only because he’s a new character do we really learn anything. It mentions that his people, the Falleen, are reptilian in origin, has a protruding spine, and releases pheromones that the opposite gender of any species can not resist, added with his change in skin color from green to warmer colors. This, as you recall from the comic adaptation, will be important later. It also introduces Guri, the human replica droid programmed as an assassin who is so humanlike that she can do anything a human woman can do. Yes, even that line from Robot Chicken that shows up in many reviews and I’m not going to use here. We also see her recruiting the Pike Sisters, Zu and Zan, into Black Sun. While they didn’t show up in the comic, they did play a role in the spin-off I covered, Evolution. So I’m curious to see if they play a larger role in the novel than they did in the comic.
The chapter starts sort of well. Leia establishes that they’re on Tatooine and why but frankly her part was unnecessary and the narrator could have given us the same exposition during Luke’s segment, making Leia’s seem pointless in comparison. Hopefully she will play a stronger role in the story…okay, thanks to the comic we know she does, but with more space I want to see her do more than she did there, and certainly more than she did in this chapter. Join me next week as we look over chapter two, because again there are no chapter numbers in this book.