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.
In our last installment Leia managed to shake off Prince Xizor’s rape hormones and buy Chewbacca time to escape and get help. Get help where I wonder, since we’re on the Imperial capital world and there’s only a few people there Leia can trust. How will our heroes get through this mess?
Not surprising, Xizor actually allowed Chewbacca to escape, hoping to lure Luke to him. Sure enough, Luke convinces Lando to go there, although Leia had hoped Lando would talk him out of it to focus on saving Han. Then again, if they did rescue Han, what would he say if he found out they left Leia in Xizor’s care, even if nobody told him about the rape hormones. (Yes, I’m calling them that, I don’t care how natural they are to the Falleen, that’s what he’s using them for, and apparently it was done to him at one point.) So now our heroes have to sneak into Coruscant and rescue Leia.
It’s the plan they enact that is the highlight of the chapter. Back in The Empire Strikes Back Han hid the Falcon on an actual Star Destroyer, hidden in a way that they wouldn’t be seen or picked up on sensors, which he used to escape. Luke comes up with a similar plan (which Lando claims he taught Han), by tagging along on a droid-operated freighter ship. The fact that the ship that comes along just happens to be owned by Xizor I’m sure is not a coincidence after letting Chewie think he escaped scot-free. I will not be surprised if Xizor let one of his droid ships out there in the hopes they’d use it to sneak into the den of the Empire and right into Xizor’s trap. He’s been that manipulative thus far. Perry does a good job of describing how Lando is pulling off the trick.
Meanwhile, Vader catches a “whiff” of Luke’s attempt to use the Force to find Leia, but only finds the brief disturbance. I don’t know if this is canon to how the Dark Side works, but Vader seems to think that with Luke they can draw the Dark Side more, like a magnet. I’m not sure that’s how it works, but it does add to Vader’s desire to turn Luke from Jedi to Sith beyond a bit of fatherly pride that he shows when thinking that Luke may be the most powerful man in the galaxy.
A pretty good chapter, but it’s only the gate to the real action, which I’m assuming we’ll get closer to but not quite reach next time.