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.
Just before the Christmas break our heroes failed to rescue Han (thus Return Of The Jedi can still start with the rescue) and a droid took over an X-Wing just to shoot Luke. When we left the burgeoning Jedi he had a blaster pointed at him by the person responsible. Will our daring hero survive this? Chapter 10 awaits.
As we left, the crew chief was about to shoot Luke. However, Wedge shows up and shoot her, saving Luke but losing their lead as to why. Lando and Wedge later go through her records and finds an Empire dummy corporation paid her off. Leia immediately suspects Vader, but Luke notes that Vader wants him to join the Empire. If the comics are any indication the search for Han will be replaced with finding out who wants Luke dead, as well as other setups for Return Of The Jedi.
See, NOW we can check in with our villain, if Xizor is doing anything important this time. And he does, but briefly. However, it does show that he’s doing more than plotting his vengeance on Vader. For one thing he’s taking the lazy way out of exercising by using a machine that exercises his body for him. That’s pathetic. This man bores easily. After Guri reports that the assassination attempt failed, Xizor isn’t surprised. He also has a plan B if his other plans fail, possibly to frame Vader for the attempts anyway. He also sends Guri to deal with someone muscling in on his spice trade. I wanted to make a Dune joke since SFDebris is currently reviewing the TV miniseries after having done the David Lynch movie but it felt forced.
Speaking of Vader, Guri also relays a message that Xizor wants to meet with him, and he arranges the meeting. Vader isn’t into the pleasantries that the prince fawns over. He’s all action, and not being able to act–namely in finding Luke in favor of possibly going to Death Star II to speed up construction–is annoying him. Also, he finds the mobile space station rather useless compared to the Dark Side since it was so easily destroyed by an untrained Jedi the first time. He is, however, sending out a reward to bring Luke to him alive…while unaware that Xizor is doing the same to have Luke killed.
Back with our heroes, Leia tells Luke that she has some Alliance business and to wait on Tatooine to keep an eye out for Boba Fett, continue his Jedi training, and keep out of sight of more potential assassins. When Luke leave, she has Dash follow as a secret bodyguard. Leia’s always thinking. Whatever problem the franchise has with the amount of female character, they make up for it by being good ones, and Leia knows her stuff. She also wants Lando’s help in contacting Black Sun. No, she doesn’t suspect them, which would have been odd, but thinks their spynet is better and hopes they may glean something from them. Too bad for her that Black Sun’s leader is the actual party responsible, huh?
This was a good chapter. The villain appearances has no action to interrupt and even Xizor’s usual self-indulgence is broken up by plot development. Vader’s segment also sets things up. Meanwhile the heroes continue on with their plans and dealing with the new assassination attempt. This is good use of all parties, and we’ll see if that trend continues or if we’re back to “have this segment to ensure we have it” in the next chapter.