Evil Book Report: Star Wars The Last Command
I have officially finished the Timothy Zahn trilogy, just in time to be completely disappointed by The Force Awakens, right? Just kidding. But this trilogy is officially known as one of the best in the extended Star Wars Universe for a reason. We know Abrams is sadly not taking from this trilogy, but I still have high hopes for his reboot. But without further ado I will give you my spoiler filled take on the last installment in Zahn’s trilogy.
In the last book Leia was able to uncover the Empire’s deception and enslavement of the alien race of the Noghri, and has devised a plot to get them on the side of the New Republic, as well as obtained her own personal bodyguards. Additionally, Thrawn has just succeeded in vastly increasing the size of his arsenal and with the use of cloning facilities is able to man these new stolen ships quickly.
This last novel covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Leia and Mara bond while Leia has some time off with her newly born twins. Kardde becomes more and more like our scoundrel Han as he helps the New Republic with inside information and just can’t seem to stay out of the thick of things. Luke spends much time trying to find the hidden cloning facilities being used by the Empire. Internal politics and power struggles continue to be a major problem the New Republic. Mara’s desire to kill Luke is revealed to have been a command by the Emperor using the force as he died, which is why she cannot shake it. And finally, C’baoth devises his master plan to get Luke and Leia under his wing and become the ultimate Jedi Master of all.
There were some really neat parts of this book that had me intrigued. Ever the master grand admiral, Thrawn shuts down the capital of the New Republic (Coruscaunt) in a clever and effective way: he cloaks an unknown amount of asteroids and deploys them in orbit around the planet. How neat?! It leaves the planet on their toes and stops all traffic in and out until they can confirm they have destroyed all the asteroids.
Then there is the connection of the clones to the force, which is not something I saw coming. Basically everyone is wondering how Thrawn is making thousands of clones in little time: turns out you can speed up the aging process if you disconnect those people from the force, but it leads to certain less desirable qualities, like a tendency towards insanity. Still, it was an interesting twist. And when C’baoth is able to force Luke to fight his own clone yet this move gives Mara the chance to fulfill her destiny without actually hurting the real Skywalker, it was a nice twist.
Kardde continued to be one of my favorite characters, though I wish he and his crew could have been more developed. And more trusted. They help the New Republic again and again even though they claim they will not take sides, I would have liked to see the New Republic’s people get off their high horses and trust them.
But there were a couple things about the novel I did not like as well. If Thrawn is this expert commander, why does he keep losing? The New Republic seems to beat him out of sheer luck again and again even though he has anticipated their every move. It even leads to his assassination in the final pages of the novel.
And I am still not a fan of Leia as a Jedi. I know I should be, but it just seems so silly. You could tell the scenes about her raising her twins were written by a man, not describing any of the grueling details of child rearing that a woman would have included. And there was one scene in particular that really just made me laugh: Leia waking up, sensing a disturbance in the force, and reaching under her pillow to grab her light saber. Really?! I mean, leaving your light saber under your pillow while you nurse your newborn twins sounds about as safe as looking down the barrel of a loaded gun.
Aside from those couple annoyances, this book and the trilogy as a whole was enjoyable. It was mostly believable, and a fun addition to the original trilogy that seemed plausible. I am glad that I read it before this weekend’s The Force Awakens. I am sure the movie will be a delight, but I am still glad I read this trilogy before having my ideas changed by the upcoming Disney adaptions. May the force be with you all this weekend geeks!
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Posted on December 16, 2015, in Evil Geek Book Report and tagged Books, Evil book review, Star Wars, star wars extended universe, The Last Command, Timothy Zahn. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.