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.
Chapter 32 is 3 pages long. Why this couldn’t exist with the next chapter I couldn’t tell you. So this time we’re looking at two chapters, with only one the normal length for chapters in this book.
To recap: Leia is being held prisoner by Prince Xizor, who is using her to draw Luke into a trap, kill him, and embarrass Darth Vader as payback for having Xizor’s family killed so many years ago. Luke is on the Imperial homeworld and preparing to save his friend, aided by Lando and Dash. Let’s find out what happens next.
Like I said, I don’t know why this was a three-chapter page. Luke gets a spare outfit from Dash, which like Leia is the one we’ll see in Return Of The Jedi when they go to rescue Han Solo from Jabba The Hutt. Again, I don’t think we need the origin of their outfits. They could quite easily pick this stuff up with no history and I’d have been fine with…like I was for the years between Jedi and Shadows. It’s like Wolverine’s jacket in the movies or Barry Allen’s bow tie. They don’t need sentimental backstories or anything more practical than “this is what I chose to wear for this mission”. Luke does note that it’s not a traditional Jedi outfit…again long before Ben Kenobi’s robes would be proven to be how a Jedi dresses, as seen in the prequels way beyond this. This is a rather long paragraph for black pants and vest with a dark brown robe.
Luke uses the Force to try to make contact with Leia, like he did back in The Empire Strikes Back. She actually calls back to let him know she’s receiving him, while Vader picks up on ripples of this conversation but not the conversation itself. He also notes two power Force users on the surface, which is odd given Vader wiped out the Jedi and apparently Ventress died or something because there are no other Sith besides Vader and Palpatine apparently. Of course this is because Leia is Luke’s sister and we’ve been told the Force is strong in the Skywalker family. Which just bring up more confusion from the prequels that we don’t have time to talk about here. Again, this could have been part of the next chapter, which is where we move on to.
At this stage do we need any more character moments with Xizor? I think we’ve established he’s a rich jackass who is full of himself, bent on vengeance against Vader, and kind of a jerk. (Yes, I know, I basically said that already but Perry keeps ramming the point home.) We have a brief moment where he can feel something is wrong, either a trace of the Force communication between Luke and Leia (despite not being Force sensitive himself) or just the fact that we know he’s about to regret the whole “get Luke to walk right into my blaster sights” plan. Then Perry goes on about a fruit that is basically the pufferfish in fruit form. Prepare it wrong and the eater can get sick or die, but the challenge that even with the best chef of Moonglow fruit on his payroll there is a chance he could get poisoned is just the kind of “Russian Roulette” challenge the not-so-good Prince loves. This includes his current game with Vader, although I thought that was about revenge?
Meanwhile, Vader is using the Dark Side to heal himself, if he can stay angry long enough for it to keep and Leia is doing exercises to keep herself occupied while waiting for Luke’s rescue. And what is the big plan? Dash knows somebody who can lead them around the sewer system and break into Black Sun HQ. This means I feel sorry for the players of the video game based on this book as they now have to deal with a sewer level and plenty of gamers hate sewer levels. It’s a rather stinky plan but will it work? Come back next time and maybe we’ll find out.