Star Wars: Review: Crucible

Star wars crucibleBy Troy Denning

Century, out now

Han and Leia come to Lando’s assistance – but soon find that they’re the ones needing help!

If you’re the sort of reader who wants to know where books fit into the chronology, then a quick perusal of the handy chart at the front of this book will reveal that this is the furthest into the future of the Star Wars universe that the novel line has gone – and indeed, now that the original Expanded Universe books are being repackaged as “Star Wars Legends”, the furthest that they are ever likely to go. This is it – the final adventure.

And it’s very much shaped that way. It’s very much a tale about the old team – the ones who fought and loved together through the original trilogy – reunited for one last story (and any Trek readers getting a familiar vibe can compare these with the numerous “last hurrahs” that Jim Kirk’s crew had in books set between Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek Generations), and bringing the Expanded Universe to a neat close, as the torch is passed on by a much older Luke, Leia, Han and Lando. The final lines reflect this quite deliberately, with the double meaning of the new start for the characters that’s set up, and the new start of the Star Wars Universe with JJ Abrams’ Episode VII coming next year. There are plenty of opportunities left for the future of the Legends universe if that’s the route taken but otherwise this draws things properly to a close.

Denning knows these characters inside out and even when Luke is in his most annoying Grand Master “ooh, don’t be tempted by the Dark Side” mode, you can still hear Mark Hamill saying the lines. As well as some clever mirroring of events from the original six movies, there’s a lot of looking back at the history of the novel universe so even newbies can get the references without too much trouble, with key moments (such as the death of Chewbacca, and the fates of Han and Leia’s children) brought up one final time. There’s even a discussion about the nature of the Force, and how it has influenced all the characters’ lives.

Verdict: A spot-on wrap up for the novel Star Wars line. 8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Star Wars: Crucible from Amazon.co.uk

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