Sunday, July 31, 2011

Star Wars: Darksaber (Anderson, Kevin J)

Rating: 1/5
Year: 1995
Genre: Sci-Fi / Star Wars
Read again? No.

One Word To Describe It All: Clumsy.

It's been 8 years since the Battle of Endor. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo infiltrate a group of Tusken Raiders so they can sneak out to the palace of Jabba the Hutt, hoping to find some answers.

The Hutts are up to something.

Han & Luke learn that they're trying to build a superweapon.

Luke's also on a personal mission; his girlfriend lost her Force powers.

See, Forceless Callista's soul used to be trapped in the computer core of an evil space ship, but one of Luke's students sacrificed her own life to save the galaxy (another book to buy...for someone else) and the soul took over this body and they fell in love and now Luke makes a pit-stop at Ben Kenobi's old home to see if his ghost will give some love advice and maybe help him fix his girlfriend's broken Force powers.

Her Force powers don't work anymore, see. We are reminded of this in pretty much every scene with Luke and/or Callista (she's the one who lost her Force powers).

And only by getting her her powers (she lost them, remember) can they complete each other. I mean, they can probably shag or whatever, but that's not the plot. This is a True Love Story!

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, the evil Admiral Daala is working to rebuild the Imperial fleet. She's itching to destroy the New Republic and apparently didn't learn from the last time she tried it. She whips out the Total Galactic Domination plan book and sets her sights on blowing up the Jedi School on Yavin 4.

Did I mention that Luke's girlfriend lost her Jedi powers? Gone. Poof. Well, gone except for the Dark Side.

Meanwhile meanwhile, Jedi Knight and Mass Murderer Kyp Durron thinks the Imperials are up to something and goes to check it out. Happily, he gets into a big pep rally in which the Empire's entire plan is laid out in convenient detail via loudspeaker.

Meanwhile a third time, Durga the Hutt has hired the original Death Star designer and has stolen a set of plans for it. All he wants is the superlaser, not a big moon-shaped thing. He's going to use it to extort money from everyone in the galaxy.

The designer puts together a plan: the weapon's going to be a long cylinder and the freakin' laser beam comes out of one end, just like a lightsaber--hence the name "Darksaber." Get it?

Woof: Luke and his Forceless girlfriend go on a tour of places he's been--Dagobah, Hoth--in hopes of jogging her Force ability (why not go to places she'd find significant?). While they're on Hoth, they're attacked by an army of Wampa ice creatures...and their "leader" is the same one Luke disarmed in "Empire Strikes Back." It remembers him and wants to settle the score.

Woof: there's a street scene with a vegetarian meat-alien and a meat-cooking plant-alien selling their wares side-by-side and trading dirty looks. There's your comic relief.

Woof: Admiral Ackbar was Grand Moff Tarkin's personal pilot-slave; Tarkin used to amuse himself by describing his tactics and plans for crushing the Rebellion. Ackbar was rescued and used those tactics and plans in battle. This is particularly sucky, since it takes him from being a master strategist and admiral of the Rebel fleet to being a really good listener.

Woof: a prison planet named "Despayre." Sounds like a pretentious Mercedes Lackey villain.

Woof: Luke, to Callista the Forceless, just before The Big Battle At The End Of The Book:
He smiled gently at her. "All right. I'll protect you with my Jedi powers."
Nice. Way to condescend to your girlfriend,  man. Is it because she lost her Force powers? Dick.

Dialog's melodramatic, comic-bookish, and clumsy. It sounds like something Ed Wood would have put together for a cheesy sci-fi movie.

Characterization is bland, where it isn't just awful.

The book doesn't so much drag as stagger while leading you carefully around like a toddler (remember that Luke's girlfriend lost her Force powers? Well, she lost them). Any "dragging" sensation is from being unable to take the bad dialog, silly plotting, and convenient plot points that duct-tape this book together.

There are some really weird word choices, too--"gunwale" (the upper edge of a boat's hull) in place of "gun emplacement"; "rear engines" where a ship only has engines in the rear (the fighter flew on, its rear engines blazing!!), and a scene where Luke looks into his (Forceless) girlfriend's "open eyes."

This thing reads like the sort of stories I wrote in high school creative writing class. About the only positive thing I can say (aside from being done with it) is that this is the new Worst Book I've Ever Read. I really ought to have it enclosed in a block of acrylic or something.

This is not a "Star Wars" book. This is just crappy sci-fi with "Star Wars" words.

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