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.
Last chapter was all Luke as he barely escaped another assassination attempt, this time by the Star Wars equivalent of a biker gang, with a little help from Dash Rendar. This one returns to the Vader/Xizor rivalry. Let’s see how that’s going.
As Xizor lets the Emperor know where the information of the secret Rebel base came from, Vader is upon it. The base is more defended than realized, but Vader himself joins in the dogfight while the Star Destroyers take out the base. What’s fascinating here is Vader’s thoughts during the fight. He actually lets an X-Wing escape despite turning the rest into space dust because no challenge is here for him. Only Luke has offered him any challenge and could potentially offer one again. He’s approaching Luke less like a father and more like a warrior to be challenged, to offer Vader the thrill of a worthy opponent in battle. It’s an interesting take on Vader and if not for the prequels I might have gone for it.
Xizor doesn’t get much other than the satisfaction of messing Vader’s day up some more but the Emperor seems to enjoy pitting Xizor and Vader against each other, using the opportunity to show who has the leash. In an earlier chapter Xizor wanted the Emperor’s landscaper. He we learn he did so, but the man met with an…unfortunate accident for leaving the Emperor’s employ. Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious manipulating people makes more sense. He is a politician as well as a Sith Master after all.
That’s really it for this chapter but I should mention that Perry describes the battle real well so you can see it in your head. That must have made the art team on the comic’s job easier. Next time: more Xizor shenanigans and we check in with our Rebel friends.