Superweapon Aficionados: Meaningless Reviews in a Galaxy Even Further Away

Luke looks pretty drowsy

Before Disney rebooted the Star Wars Universe, there were a bunch of dog-eared paperbacks describing the adventures of Luke, Leia, Han, etc in the years following the events of the movies. This is a review of one of these stories, which is itself one of nineteen in a series. For the rationale behind such an ill-advised quest, click here. For the previous entry in the series, follow this link here. In this edition, everyone goes rogue….

Number eight in the series, the second Half of Greg Keyes’ Edge of Victory duology, published in April of 2001. Edge of victory is referring to the Yuuzhan Vong here. They’re close.

[Extremely Noam Chomsky Voice]:

The Military-Industrial-Jedi complex is totally out of hand in that Galaxy far, far away. Despite not being formal members of the military (and accepting no rank), the Jedi are allowed first dibs on military equipment, the sympathetic ear of most of the New Republic Military commanders, and very little oversight or responsibility. This is troubling, folks.

Within the universe, the Jedi are often heard stating that they are not warriors or soldiers, and that they are guardians of peace. Unfortunately, that sentiment is usually followed by some combination of lightsaber work, blaster fire, explosions, or varying degrees of droll banter.

It’s what happens when you graft Buddhist philosophy into the need for conflict, and as it’s an essential part of Star Wars, it’s likely not fixable. As it turns out, the Jedi are likely worse for peace in the galaxy than the opposite.


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All the plot that’s fit to tweet:

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The Cast: As always, characters I’ve already described are marked by an asterisk. Links are from Wookiepeedia, and are all way too long.

The Jedi:

Kyp Durron:* Is now operating as a renegade Jedi, having broken with Luke’s Jedi Order in the last novel. Giving off serious James Dean vibes in the first three quarters of this one.

Jaina Solo:* Attracted to said James Dean vibes.

Jacen Solo*

Anakin Solo*

Tahiri Veila*

Luke Skywalker

Mara Jade Skywalker*

The New Republic

Wedge Antilles: Wedge! George Lucas’s “Designated Survivor” had a long career in the expanded universe, working his way up to General. Pulled from retirement by the war. Is dope, will not be in the new movies, unfortunately.

Traest Kre’fey:* The admiral responsible for the disaster at Ithor earlier in the series, Kre’fey is now largely operating independently of the rest of the military, using his fleet as a personal hammer to attack the Yuuzhan Vong. Not a troubling sign at all for the unity of the New Republic.

Han Solo

Leia Organa Solo

The Yuuzhan Vong

Nom Anor*

Nen Yim*

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The important stuff:

One of the planets visited in this one is called Eriadu, and it is yet another planet ravaged by the effects of over industrialization. That brings our total number of polluted planets seen in the series to four (Fondor, Duro, Eriadu, and Nal Hutta), or one just about every other book at this rate. I have no idea why so many of these types of planets are showcased in the series, but they are.

The Chief of State of the New Republic orders Luke Skywalker’s arrest, forcing the Jedi Master off Coruscant and on to a ship called the Errant Venture, which is a Star Destroyer that’s owned by a smuggler and painted red, which rules. Imagine if Elon Musk just owned an aircraft carrier and tooled around on it for fun.

The uh, Errant Venture….and Gandalf?

In what’s a totally okay sign of the state of the New Republic, the attempted arrest of Luke almost causes Rogue Squadron to go…Rogue. A coup is talked about briefly, and between the Rogues and admirals like Kre’fey and Jedi like Durron, it’s apparent that the New Republic is coming apart at the seams.

Following the discovery of her heresy and the death of her first master, Nen Yim is banished to a worldship and works to fix it, continuing to use heretical methods in the process. She’s assigned a new master and subjected to workplace conditions that are only slightly worse than Uber’s.

Anakin and Tahiri’s awkward teen romance picks up steam. At one point, the two are facing death while waiting in a storage closet. Naturally, they make out, in what is likely one of the highest stake versions of 7 Minutes in Heaven ever committed to the page (excluding ALL fanmade Harry Potter erotica, of course).

Han and Jacen spend some quality father son time together by turning pirate, capturing essential materiel from the Yuuzhan Vong allied Peace Brigade. It’s good stuff, and it’s the most fun Jacen has been allowed to have thus far in the series — he’s almost tolerable in this one! Han rechristens his ship The Princess of Blood, partially because it sounds suitably piratical, and partially because it annoys the shit out of his wife, Leia.

Oh, Luke’s wife gives birth to a son. They name him Ben, after Luke’s master, which makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is why Han and Leia’s kid is named Ben in The Force Awakens. It’s not like either of them really knew Obi Wan Kenobi. Can someone explain this to me? I need answers.

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Nom Anor Hot Seat Ranking

Our most ambitious character is always on either the brink of promotion or disaster. Ranking is assessed from 1–7, with 1 indicating demotion and 7 indicating promotion.

Nom Anor ended our last ranking at a 5. In this one, he refuses to fight Anakin Solo in single combat, making him a coward, a mortal offense among the Yuuzhan Vong. He murders an entire cohort of warriors using a blaster (another mortal offense) so as to not allow word to spread. Though another one of his plans is foiled and his superiors’ wrath is once again aroused, no punishment is yet meted out, and no one is left alive to narc him out, so I guess Anor’s still at a 5 here. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Death Star Watch

It’s not Star Wars without a death count capable of being expressed in a planet’s worth

The Yuuzhan Vong traversed the vast distance between galaxies using massive ships that were as large as planets, called worldships — do you get it? — just checking. Those worldships could last millennia, but they do eventually die. That’s what happens to not one but two of these things in this novel. The first is of old age, despite the Shaper Nen Yim’s best efforts.

The other is destroyed before it is completed by a task force comprised of New Republic military and a squadron of Jedi led by Kyp Durron. Durron misleads the military elements into believing that the worldship is a superweapon. As I mentioned before, the galaxy is bizarrely used to seeing superweapons and so are therefore more likely to buy the claim. Traest Kre’fey points it out, referring to the Yuuzhan Vong as yet another group of “Superweapon Aficionados,” which is also the name of the second best connoisseur magazine.

After this one, obviously

As a result of the deception, the Yuuzhan Vong on dying worldships now have no place to flee to, and will die horrible deaths as the ships collapse around them. The Yuuzhan Vong also cancel the cease fire that had been in place the past two novels, meaning the war is now back on.

Death Star Count for Rebirth: .75 (Nen Yim’s ship is half-full, the other is not yet completed, sue me).

Death Star Count for The New Jedi Order: 5

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Cliches in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: None, thankfully. Anakin uses the oath “Vapin’ Moffs!” at one point. Vapin’ Moffs is what we get when the writers of the Star Wars universe aren’t allowed to use swear words and have to make up some of their own.

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Recommendation:

The destruction of the worldship based on a lie by Kyp Durron is one of the most baldly evil things that happens in the whole series, and there’s some truly heinous shit just around the corner.

He’s totally unrepentant for his deception, arguing that the Yuuzhan Vong had it coming for the invasion of the galaxy and the destruction of other planets. He is cheered for his actions by most of the people involved with the raid, though Jaina turns on him.

His actions have now ensured the deaths of many innocent Yuuzhan Vong, mostly the members of the underclass who had no say in the war, to say nothing of the slaves captured by the aliens assigned to the other worldships.

The war is now back on with a vengeance, and the military’s job has now been complicated by protecting the populations of the planets in harm’s way. The Yuuzhan Vong control many of the entry points into the Galactic Core. It’s about time for the reckoning.

As far as the recommendation goes, this book is not especially important in the larger series, and many of the plot points teased in it will be resolved or expanded on in the next novel. Skip it.

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This has been Meaningless Reviews in a Galaxy Even Further Away, in which your intrepid author blogs about some Star Wars Fiction.