With E3, Comic-Con and a handful of other events it’s been difficult to post Jedi In Training updates but a layover at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport gave me plenty of time to finish Zahn’s Heir to the Empire and begin Dark Force Rising.
The beauty of Zahn’s work, so far as I can tell, is his pacing. I hate to read and often get bored or distracted but Heir’s 404 pages zipped along faster than expected. The same can be said about the first four chapters of Dark Force Rising. Or maybe my fascination with the Expanded Universe has kept me on track. It’s difficult to comprehend.
The introduction of new characters, like Mara Jade, or characteristics of existing characters is never forced and simply flows along as if Zahn had tapped into Lucas’ brain and extrapolated on preexisting ideas of what came after ROTJ. But it’s not all peaches and cream, friends. The idea of the ysalamiri is a bit far fetched and C’baoth’s appearances are few and far between and lend nothing to the storyline. Yes, I realize he may play a bigger role in the second chapter of the Thrawn trilogy but the expectation that he might play a vital role in the first chapter was there.
I suppose the only “WTF” moment came with the formal introduction of the Noghri. It comes as no surprise that Vader would have secrets scattered about the galaxy (see Terror Troopers) but this one was a little much. How did Khabarakh know that Leia was the daughter of Vader? Vader was mostly machine and likely did not have any discernable human scent, so how am I to believe that the Noghri would recognize Leia or Luke. And why didn’t they recognize them earlier in the Bimm market?
In any case, I’m looking forward to finishing Dark Force Rising. But I have to ask why Yoda’s species is still unknown and why Lucas won’t divulge the information.