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.
Since I missed this yesterday, being sick and all, tonight I get caught up. When we last left our heroes they were trying to rescue their friend. When we last left our villains they were trying to kill each other. Is it any wonder I choose the side of the heroes?
Interestingly this chapter starts not with the good guys, but with Vader. We learn a bit about the Dark Side of the Force, how it needs hatred and anger to work. We see Vader trying to heal his burned body but as soon as he feels happy from his victory at breathing on his own the healing stops and he needs to close his hyperbolic chamber again. Remember that this book precedes the prequels, specifically Revenge Of The Sith. Palpatine tells Anakin that he can use the Dark Side to heal, which Anakin planned to use on Padme, not realizing it was his succumbing to the Dark Side that would lead to the very death in his visions. This is also the movie where the final battle takes place on a lava river where Anakin, now Darth Vader in persona, is badly burned and needed to be put into the life-sustaining armor, which I always thought was cybernetics and not just an iron lung of sorts. This is all information we didn’t have when this book came out, so Perry may not have realized what he was foreshadowing here.
What he does foreshadow is that spark of good Luke saw in Vader and uses to restore his father to the Light Side in Return Of The Jedi. While Vader denies any good in himself in that movie here he acknowledges that there is just that tiny spark left of the man he thinks is too weak and does not want to return to being. This is a good character moment for Darth Vader, as he is also pleased that his son is doing so well, but he feels he must bring Luke to the true power, the Dark Side.
Xizor’s busy, too. He brought Jabba all the way from Tatooine to try to find clues on Luke using his friendship with Han. In the segment just before Lando got a call from Dash that they found Boba Fett’s ship just as Luke was forming the crystal into the shape he needs for the lightsaber, and I like that this process isn’t immediate. However, everyone quickly left, which Jabba does inform Xizor about. You know, I understand that Black Sun is supposed to be a big deal and Prince Xizor even more so. However, Jabba jumps to standard the instant Xizor asks, which is a bit odd. Yes, we’ve seen the Hutts speak in Standard (aka whatever language the movie or show is broadcast in) before in comics and recently on TV, but somehow reading Jabba do so for the first time is strange to me. The moment is just there to show even Jabba bends to Xizor’s will and it just feels like they’re padding out how much of a big bad Xizor is in this story. I could have done without it.
The final segment returns to the heroes on their way to where Dash said he found Slave 1. And that’s the problem I have with the hero side of the story thus far. While the villains are mostly pushing the story along with some character moments the heroes are the exact opposite, character moments with some movement of their part of the story. It feels off-balance to me. It’s a fun little scene but not much else really.
Still, the villains are at least holding my attention and I know things will happen for the heroes later on. Maybe in the next chapter? Hopefully the next review will be up Sunday as intended, but we’ll see in our next installment.