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.
The story so far: To get secret revenge on Darth Vader and take his place at the Emperor’s side, crime boss Prince Xizor has framed Vader for the bounty on Luke Skywalker’s head. As he and new ally Dash Rendar travel to the Bothan homeworld to get some secret information, Leia and crew try to make contact with Black Sun, hoping the criminal organization may have some clue as to who wants Luke dead, not realizing it’s the head of Black Sun, namely Xizor, behind it all. And now our story continues.
I need to correct something from the last chapter. We know Bothan spies died getting the plans to Death Star Jr. I forgot that the Emperor allowed the Bothans to get the plans. I wonder if this is what Vader was unhappy about in the short opening scene to this chapter? In that case, Xizor could actually just be following the Emperor’s plan…except from what I read it sounded like Xizor was actually playing both sides. Maybe the Emperor allowed Xizor to think he was pulling a fast one on old Palpatine but was actually using him to create a trap? Manipulating people seems to be his MO after all.
I’m going to jump ahead a scene because it’s short and interrupts Luke and Dash’s adventure just to have Leia informed that Guri will be arriving in three days. Well, Avaro says “thee will be coming” but based on his speech issues (galactic standard must be tough for Greedo’s race) she’s able to translate and finds it interesting that they’re meeting with a woman crook (not knowing Guri is actually an assassin android) and a bit of a relief. Wait until she meets Xizor.
Meanwhile, Luke and Dash meet with the Bothans going on the raid to steal the computer containing the new Death Star plans. The team is a bit green and all they have are Y-Wings (built more to take a hit than speed) with only guns, no torpedoes, but it should be enough for the task at hand they just need some training. After Leia’s scene Luke and Dash meet with the spy. They still don’t know the project on the plans is another space station of death but our heroes learn the underworld contact is from Black Sun, possibly Guri again because they use the female pronoun. Luke finds it suspicious since this is also the group Leia is contacting about the price on Luke’s head but there’s no time to worry about it because they have a transport to catch.
The rest of the chapter is devoted to the raid. The freighter is Corellian in design, like the Millennium Falcon, but with a few differences. Perry does a good job explaining how this freighter is different but I’m not sure where the cockpit is. Is it on the side, like on the Falcon, or somewhere else? I’m guessing on the side. Another note is Dash missing a missile fired at them that appears to be invisible if I understand what they’re saying, or at least invisible in space, possibly the same mirrored chrome as Dash’s ship or colored like space. It’s a shock to Dash that he missed, resulting in some of the ships being destroyed, obviously killing the pilots. This gets Luke mad enough to attack, which the Dark Side tries to use to sneak into him, but he shakes it off.
I like this chapter. It’s focused less on character development and more on moving the plot. Not every chapter has to be all character moments. This is Star Wars. We come for the action. We need the character moments to help us care more about the characters and we’ll see the results of Dash’s failure next chapter, but sometimes just being an event-driven chapter is good as well. It keeps the plot moving and keeps the action flowing. Maybe next issue will be more character-driven, which would make sense. We’ll find out next time.