EU Retrospective: After Endor

The Waru Express is moving once more!  Did you miss my weekly descent into madness?  I return to my journey through the Star Wars universe with the two books that take place right after the Battle of Endor.  The Empire defeated just because the Death Star blew up again and some people tore down some statues?  Hardly!

The Truce at Bakura
It may not make my Top Ten list but I definitely enjoy reading Truce at Bakura every time I pick it up.  It’s a fun read that could work quite well as a starting point for a new reader to the Expanded Universe.  Even though the Rebels and the Empire have a very tentative truce against a common enemy, it still has a very Star Wars feel to it.  It feels like the logical next part of our heroes’ adventures.  The more I think about it, the more I like that Kathy Tyers chose to write an immediate sequel but had them facing a different enemy while simultaneously having to keep an eye on the Empire.

I also really enjoy getting to see Leia handle the startling revelations that she and Luke are twins and that she too is the child of Darth Vader.  Obviously news of that magnitude isn’t going to be accepted calmly and without question.  Can anyone really blame her for having less than warm and fuzzy feelings for the man who tortured her?  On a similar note, I like that Kathy Tyers also shows us that Luke did have some medical issues from being electrocuted with Force Lighting a lot.  Actions and their consequences are the best, folks.

Also, if you don’t love Eppie Belden when you read this book then you’re probably reading this book wrong.  There is undoubtedly some trope pertaining to sassy old ladies who put up with nobody’s crap and kick some butt along the way.  Whatever that trope is, I adore it and also adore Eppie who really is having none of that rotten Imperial Governor’s $#@!.  I also like the character of Gaeriel Captison.  In a way, she’s what Leia might have been like if Alderaan had been a more remote planet with leaders who didn’t stand up to the Empire.  Gaeriel gets to go through a nice character arc in the books and then she and Luke decide to break each others’ hearts and not try out being together because they have too many responsibilities.  It’s kinda sweet in a way.

At the end of the day, this is another book that I’d recommend you check out if you skipped it in the past and it’s also one that I recommend if you’re looking to ease your way into the Expanded Universe.

Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
Oh look!  A Matthew Stover novel!  Spoiler Alert: that basically means I automatically love it.  Don’t let the cheesy title fool you: it’s actually a great novel although I will say that I’d love to watch some of these holothrillers that get name dropped.

Part of what makes Stover such is a great writer is that he really gets characters.  From the Big Three to the flyboys of Rogue Squadron to everyone else, he writes them all really really really well.  Stover writes a really good Leia and a really good Han and pretty darn entertaining Hobbie.  My biggest issue is that Tycho flying a B-Wing feels completely wrong to me because he’s definitely a speed jockey and wouldn’t fly something as slow as a B-Wing.  However, if that’s my biggest problem with anyone’s characterization?  That’s a pretty darn good sign.

It also has a pretty good plot.  It’s hardly typical Star Wars especially given the more Shatterpoint-esque villain but it’s a wonderful story nonetheless.  And no, before anyone says anything, I don’t mean that previous sentence in a bad way at all.  All I mean is that this plotline isn’t something I’d expect to see in a film.  I still found to be very engaging and Stover sets a fast enough pace that I never found time to get bored with the story.

Yet again, poor Nick Rostu keeps getting the short end of the stick.  Nick, how do you keep getting yourself into these situations?  You’re in your 40s or 50s by now.  Shouldn’t you have learned better?  At least you make it out alive with your girlfriend though.  (I’m still waiting for my short story with General Windu and his aide Major Rostu, by the way.)  I do think that you need to read Shatterpoint before this book though to fully appreciate a lot of it because of some of Stover’s character choices.  That Kar Vastor reveal gets me every time and it wouldn’t have been nearly as good if I hadn’t read Shatterpoint.

Overall, it’s a REALLY good read in typical Stover style but it also won’t make you inclined to rip your heart out from emotions at the end.

And just like that, we’re into the Bantam Era!  Much to my relief, I think that I’ll mostly be reading books that I enjoy for the next month or so since the next part of the list is comprised of books that I like.  That is good news for me and unfortunately bad news for those of you who come for the snark.  Next up are the X-Wing books!  As always, you can follow my reading progress in real time by following me on Twitter @chaosbria or the hashtag #WaruExpress.

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5 thoughts on “EU Retrospective: After Endor

  1. Pingback: Look at your life, look at your choices: Bria’s Rereading the Expanded Universe (Woo Woo, All Aboard the Waru Express) | Tosche Station

  2. Pingback: EUbits: Looking ahead to Rebels

  3. I only just read 'Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor' last week and I was very entertained. Even better I couldn't predict the plottwists. I like that. Makes for a more interesting read. 🙂
    It's been too long since I last read Shatterpoint. I knew there were something about those names, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Only that it was Clone Wars era. Oh well, it seems like I should reread the CW era again soon.

    And I passed the book on to my brother so he could also enjoy it. I know he will buy it if he likes it enough. 😉

    • Well you know by now that I'll always advocate reading Stover more often. 😉 By which I mean, 'yes go reread Shatterpoint and then tell your brother to reread it too'!

  4. When I learned of Episode 7 I decided to read the EU starting with the Rogue Squadron Comics and next these two books... after Bakura I had a break for... almost a year. It was not bad, but Jedi Vs. mindcontrolling dinosaurs... It just did not work for me... What I real liked were the repercussions of Episode 6 (as you mentioned: Leia met Ani and Luke had health problems from force lightning). The characters were also spot on!

    As written, months later I picked up Shadows and decided to never touch Stover again, although the writing was not bad, but the plot, the premise, it was all so not Star Wars, the whole book was basically one big over the top battle with Mandos shoehorned into it. All these holo-flicks, these new darkness, meltmassive stone creatures and AGAIN mind control...

    I think, to have these two books as the two direct sequels to Return of the Jedi IS a problem, they are (in my opinion) not good entry points to the EU, they are simply way to crazy with some ideas and honestly not good enough, although the writing is not bad, but the plots are...but twice in a row mind control... COME ONE!

    I bought all the X-Wing novels to go next, but then Darth Plagueis felt into my hands... and I went all the way back to the beginning of the evil plot to destroy the Jedi. I am now at the Clone Wars era, reading Shatterpoint and loving it, so my initial dislike to Stover vanished (luckily).

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