The Last Command

Star Wars The Last CommandTitle: Star Wars: The Last Command

Author: Timothy Zahn

Published: 1993

The good guys won. The bad guys lost. All is right in the galaxy.

Okay, that’s an oversimplification of the events found in this novel. But that’s kind of the gist of things. In this trilogy of books, Timothy Zahn does a great job of paving the way for more authors to come along and expand on the universe created by George Lucas. There are probably some out there who look at these novels and scoff, believing that if it isn’t part of the Star Wars film series then it doesn’t count. But I say this, have you seen that Clone Wars animated movie? If you can make room for that, you can make room for a few novels that expand the Star Wars mythos.

As I said, Zahn did a great job setting the stage for what has since become a pretty lucrative market in sci-fi storytelling. You have the galaxy after the evil Emperor has been killed. Luke, Leia, and Han are now trying to set up a new government to replace the empire and have found that it isn’t as easy as it was to fight in a rebellion against that empire. Meanwhile, this Grand Admiral Thrawn has taken it upon himself to reassemble the final remnants of imperial power, attempting to destroy the fledgling New Republic. Part of Thrawn’s arsenal? A dark Jedi and a new batch of clone troopers. Seriously, it’s like something out of a Star Wars movie.

And then there’s this girl, Mara Jade, who is pretty sensitive to the ways of the Force. But she used to be one of the bad guys. Behind the scenes of the original movie trilogy, she was known as the Emperor’s Hand, flitting about the galaxy doing Palpatine’s bidding. Her final task was to kill Luke Skywalker. Obviously, she failed at that task, and it haunted her for years after the emperor’s death. Things get complicated for her when she ends up needing Luke’s help here and there, and vice versa. In the end, they have a pretty steady alliance, bordering on friendship, and Luke helps her to understand the ways of the Force a little better.

I know that the books that have been published since have expanded on their relationship. Just don’t tell me how things get to the point that they eventually reach, I’d like to find out for myself. Even though all those books are a moo point these days. Eventually I plan to pick up more of these Star Wars novels. I find them intriguing and easy enough to read through. It’s kind of fun playing them like a movie in my mind and casting different actors to play the roles of the newly introduced characters.

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