Sunday, October 26, 2008

Book Review: Millennium Falcon

Star Wars: Millennium Falcon by James Luceno.
A much-anticipated novel about the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, this book did not live up to it's expectations in my opinion.  Star Wars fans love the Millennium Falcon, and this book gives us the history of the ship in an interesting story-telling method from two different main points-of-view going forward in time from an early owner and going back in time from the current owner, and the story lines meet at the end.
But first, the book opens with the initial construction of the ship causing mayhem on the production line and suffering damage that plagues the ship through it's long life and from owner to owner.  Then we start to follow the ship briefly from owner to owner until we get to a couple of low-end agents for some pro-Republic group shortly before Order 66 goes out in the final days of the Old Republic.  Dispatched on a mission, it is these agents that had hoped to one day own the ship for themselves, but instead are ordered to fly it to another agent and turn it over in a mission to restore honor to the Republic. And that is the start of the mystery that drives this particular story line. 
Finally, three or four chapters in, we finally to the current owner of the Falcon - Han Solo, hero of the Rebellion. His grand-daughter Allana convinces him and Leia to take her on an adventure to discover the history of the ship.  For some reason, Han has never found the time in some 40 years of ownership to actually discover anything about the history of his ship.  Wars and such always kept getting in his way.  Off they go to track down the previous owners of the Falcon, starting with Lando Calrissian and working backwards until they cross paths with one of the previous mentioned agents who has been tracking the Falcons owners since he had flown the ship some 60 years ago. Through the story, we learn of the different names the Falcon had been called, different modifications she had, who put in the hologame table and why, and even learn the origin of the name Millennium Falcon (which also was a let down).
As I mentioned, this was a much-anticipated book, because Star Wars fans love the Millennium Falcon.  It didn't pay off, and I don't like to report that because I usually enjoy James Luceno's Star Wars novels.  The Falcon was just a background element driving the plot and taking the characters from place to place.  Except for the opening where we see a problem during the production of the ship, she really doesn't have any character at all.  The ship should have had more character in the story, maybe even have some scenes actually told from the point-of-view of the ship. This book should have elevated the status of the Falcon from fan-favorite to something more.  Instead, the Millennium Falcon becomes just another ship in a galaxy full of ships.
Then there's the story featuring the agent from the Old Republic era.  It's supposed to be a mystery/treasure hunt. The ending of that is just a plain let down.  I'll tell you now - they don't find anything!  Well, they do - but it's a pointless find that does nothing for the story.  If they were really searching for something to "restore honor to the Republic", they should have found a lost nugget of Jedi lore that is crucial to Luke's New Jedi Order, or a hidden history of Palpatine with evidence of his manipulations, or something with significance to the current era or even the Legacy era.  Instead they find a fake piece of Republic Senate decoration.
As for the other Star Wars characters: Luke and the new Jedi, Daala and the Galactic Alliance, the Mandalorians...  They're only mentioned in passing.  The main story here focuses on Han, Leia, and Allana from the current era.  We only get glimpses into what is going on around the galaxy with other characters and the normal galactic politics that drive most Star Wars novels.  These glimpses hint at what's to come in future novels.
I'm sure those will be better books.

1 comment:

  1. Good review, your right the book was awful and filled with minor errors... Cant believe it's the same author as his other books have all been really good.


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