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.
When we last left our heroes Luke was taken prisoner and Leia finally got her meeting with Black Sun. Let’s see where this goes. Last chapter had a lot of switching between scenes; too many in fact, which had the result of pulling you out rather than boost the tension of both events. Hopefully that doesn’t happen again.
Luke has a meeting with the leader bounty hunters who have taken him prisoner. The bounty on his head far surpasses anything Leia or the Rebels could play to let him go, and is luckily more than the second bounty to kill him. Then she say that famous line that irks me out of villains, “it’s nothing personal, just business”, as if the person being kidnapped or murdered isn’t supposed to take it personally. There are enough heroes to call villains out on their BS, especially when she claims many of them are actually cheering the Rebels on and last chapter claimed to be fans of the old Jedi Knights. When they leave however, Luke appears to hear someone telling him to form a plan. It’s a good scene.
It’s another short scene, just Leia and Chewie making it to Guri’s ship, the Stinger. Necessary to the story? Maybe not, as it just reinforces how risky it all is, even without knowing Xizor’s involvement in the bidding war for Luke or what he has planned for her. However, since the next scene takes place days later it’s a good break for transition since there is more than one story going on.
Days later Shaktul, the leader (which is not completely accurate since this is just a group of bounty hunters who decided to pull their talents for this bounty rather than a gang) of the group, tells Luke that her colleagues have decided to make a real bidding war for Luke, with the highest bidder winning him. And just as I asked for earlier, when she again does the “nothing personal” line when he asks if the “dead” bidder wins, he says he takes it very personally. I still want more targets of that line to call them out for their BS, but it’s nice to finally see here. Also, Luke is secretly practicing advance Jedi techniques like levitation in case he needs it later. He’s come a long way from a naive farm boy on a backwater desert planet.
Then you have a short scene with Xizor just trying to remind us he wants to get it on with Leia. Worthless. They should have just gone right to the Emperor’s scene. Palpatine calls Vader in, aware of Luke’s capture and wanting the Sith Lord to collect his son personally, as well as make a show of “recovering” the plans, to further make sure the Rebels fall into their trap in the third movie (or sixth chapter, depending on how anal you want to be, fandom). Vader is still worried about Xizor’s maneuvers, but considering the Dark Prince is about to occupy himself with getting into Leia’s pants, Vader should be okay for a while, or at least until Black Sun starts their end of the bidding war for Luke that frames Vader for Luke’s demise.
Meanwhile the Stinger arrives near Coruscant, and Leia and Chewbacca get into their disguises. Namely, these:
If you’ve seen Return Of The Jedi you probably recognize the outfit Leia used to get into Jabba’s palace. While I’m not sure it needed an origin anymore than Wolverine’s jacket in X-Men: Origins it’s at least one that makes sense. The author is in a bit of a pickle that this comic cover (and the comic inside) didn’t. The prose has to describe the outfit to readers without saying “this is the outfit Leia wore as part of their plan to rescue Han in the third movie”, although as I recall from my original read of this book many years ago they do let us know at the end as they prepare to hit Jabba’s with their plan, leading into Jedi. I only bring it up now because we all know what this is going to be used for. Chewbacca isn’t a fan of his disguise, which should be a surprise. From this scan of the cover at least you can’t tell that he is supposed to dye part of his fur grey and shave a bald spot. Like Leia said, he wanted to come along, which as we’ll see is a good thing for Leia.
Two unnecessary scenes, but plenty of good ones, and one of those made for a good break. The other one just reminds us Xizor wants to sleep with Leia so that could have been dropped with no loss, but otherwise a better chapter than last week. I hope this continues into next week’s chapter.