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 PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:08 am Reply with quote  
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  VileZero
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Hey, what are you doing reviewing Omnibus stories?! That's my job! Razz

Just messing, of course. Keep these TCW reviews coming, I'm quite enjoying them.


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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:34 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Hey all, sorry for the delay in posting. I've just gotten back from a week in Paris! Sick as a dog the whole time, but still got to see some fun things.

But in the next day or so I'll be posting on Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive.

Talk soon!
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-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:23 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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18: Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive

Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive was the first of the Boba Fett series of young reader novels (age 9-12). These tell the story of young Boba Fett and his rise as a bounty hunter during the Clone Wars. The Fight to Survive was written by Terry Bisson and published as a hardcover on 23 April 2002 (before the release of Episode II). A year later it was released as a paperback, which I own and read. The paperback cost $4.99 USD, $6.99 CAD. In August 2008, it was later collected with the second and third books of the series in the hardcover Boba Fett: Part I: Survival.

Summary:
This book, and indeed the whole series, tells the story of young Boba Fett, ten-year-old bounty hunter. He starts off as a young boy living with his father on Kamino. He learns to become a bounty hunter by following his father, Jango Fett. Jango leaves with Zam Wesell to go on a job (assassination of Padme Amidala), and returns without her. After a visit from a particularly nosy Jedi Knight, Jango and Boba leave. They fight a few battles, but eventually Boba and his father make it to Geonosis. At the Geonosis arena, Boba watches the attempted execution of Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme, but as the Jedi arrive to save the day, he watches his father killed by Mace Windu. After the Battle of Geonosis, Boba is able to recover the Slave I, evade the Jedi, and get back to Kamino, where he recovers a book given to him by his father, which he was instructed to open in case of Jango's death. One of the instructions was to find Count Dooku. Boba took the Slave I to the moons of Bogden, where he put the word out that he was searching for Dooku. Several things went wrong: a mechanic tried to steal Slave I and bounty hunters tried to lure Boba to Coruscant to give him to the Jedi. Boba is rescued by Aurra Sing, who delivers him to Count Dooku on Raxus Prime, taking Slave I as payment. Dooku affirms to Boba that he wants to help, and that his ship would be safe with Aurra, and that he would assist in Boba's goal of becoming a great bounty hunter.

Pros:
-Re-tells the events of Episode II from the perspective of young Boba Fett, who has a really cool viewpoint.
-The dialogue in the scenes Boba is privy to match the film and the novelizations quite closely.
-Boba is, on the one hand, determined to become a bounty hunter, and on the other hand, very young and naive. His naivete shows multiple times, on Bogg 4 and on Coruscant, but his growing skills and wits are shown on Kamino and Geonosis. We get both sides of the growing character.
-Boba's experience as he dealt with his father's death is well-written. The sadness, and the desire to push through it and succeed, both come through.

Cons:
-Very slow beginning. Not much happens to young Boba in the first third of the story, until Obi-Wan shows up.
-I don't like how they wrote Jango Fett. He obviously loves his son, but he's very harsh. Other portrayals, like in Star Wars: Jango Fett and the recent Blood Ties: A Tale of Jango and Boba Fett, seem to portray him in a more fatherly way, which I prefer.

Fun Facts:
-Timeline: the events described in this book begin about a week before Episode II begins (which would place it at position #2 in my timeline, behind the Episode II novel). However, since the first paragraph indicates a frame (something as simple as "this tells the story of something that just happened to young Boba"), I will place this where I had it.
-Apparently, it was young Boba Fett, exploring the area outside the Geonosian hive, that discovered Obi-Wan's hidden starfighter. He surrepticiously signaled a sentry, who then reported it, leading directly to Obi-Wan's capture.
-Boba has a crush on Padme. Who doesn't, eh?
-This is the start of a long and complex relationship with Aurra Sing, that would culminate in The Clone Wars season 2 finale.

I really like this story. Young Boba Fett picking up the pieces after the death of his father and beginning his journey to become the Galaxy's most feared bounty hunter. I look forward to seeing how the rest of this series plays out, taking into account his appearances in The Clone Wars (last time I read these was before The Clone Wars began).

Since these books are usually still available at bookstores, I recommend picking up Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive.

Next up: The Lesson, from Tales!
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"I'm...from Earth."

-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:33 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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19: The Lesson

The Lesson was a 6-page comic story written by Adam Gallardo and pencilled by Homs. It was included in the comic Star Wars Tales #14, released on 11 December 2002 for $5.99 USD. Tales 14 was collected with Tales 13, 15, and 16 in the Trade Paperback Tales Volume 4, which was released on 29 January 2004 and retailed for $19.95 USD. I read the story in the TPB.

Summary:
The Lesson follows the story of Tu'ala, a young Jedi who fights at the Battle of Geonosis. The framing story is Tu'ala at Geonosis, but the bulk of the narrative is told as a flashback to her apprenticeship under Master Zuth. No matter how much Zuth tries, Tu'ala cannot grasp the idea that her life should ever be sacrificed to save another. But Zuth does his best to drive the point home: that some are destined for greatness, and giving your life can help someone achieve that greatness. She learns this the hard way when Master Zuth gives his life to save a Quarren dignitary. Back on Geonosis, Tu'ala finally understands when she stands in front of a Droideka, taking the blasts that were meant to kill Anakin Skywalker.

Pros:
-This is a nice little short story.
-The lesson learned here is quite obvious, and the main character does learn it in time.
-We see many important characters in the background, like Anakin and Obi-Wan, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Saesee Tiin, and Even Piell.

Cons:
-The art was a bit pastelly, which isn't for everyone.
-Tales is sometimes difficult to place in continuity. There's no reason that The Lesson should be out of continuity, but other stories in the same Volume include Puzzle Peace, Smuggler's Blues, and Kessel Run!, whose placement in continuity are questionable (if not outright obviously N-canon).

Fun Facts:
-This reminds me of the Jedi Fortune Cookies that appear at the beginning of The Clone Wars episodes. There was a lesson, and by the end, it was very clear to both the reader and the character.

While Tales in general can be a questionable series, I liked this story very much.

Next up: Most Precious Weapon
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"I'm...from Earth."

-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:38 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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20: Most Precious Weapon

Summary:
In this comic, Dooku is on his solar sailor en route to Coruscant from Geonosis. The Battle of Geonosis has just ended. Dooku flashes back to his lightsaber training with Master Yoda, and to his duel with Obi-Wan and Anakin. He notes the skill with which Anakin fights, and reminds himself to tell Darth Sidious of the young man's prowess.

Pros:
-It's cool to see Young Dooku, even if it's only for two panels.
-The lightsaber duel is pretty cool. Reasonably close to what we see in the film and other adaptations.
-I like getting Dooku's insight into the battle.

Cons:
-Like all of these comics, Most Precious Weapon is very short.
-We see Dooku as a Padawan, training with Yoda, but we still never see Dooku's own Master, Thame Cerulian. To this day, we have never seen or even met Cerulian, only heard him mentioned (in Legacy of the Jedi and Yoda: Dark Rendezvous. He was also once the owner of The Jedi Path, a book that was passed down to Dooku, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ahsoka, the Emperor, and Luke).

Fun Facts:
-This comic is an advertisement for a Lightsaber toy.
-I've had to move the placement of this comic from where it was originally positioned. The one event it describes is technically the last thing that happened during Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Even though this is the second of the Hasbro minicomics, it is chronologically the last one to take place.

Thus ends the tie-in material to Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The next story, Death in the Catacombs, takes place a few days after Episode II, and is no longer tied in directly with the film.
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"I'm...from Earth."

-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:31 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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21: Death in the Catacombs

Death in the Catacombs is a short story written by Mike Barr. It was featured in Star Wars Insider #79, released in November/December 2004. I found a transcribed version of this story on the internet for my analysis.

Summary:
-Jedi Knight Jyl Somtay is part of a recon team on Geonosis, looking to salvage technology left behind by the CIS. Many of the caves are booby-trapped, slowing them down and killing her team. She visits Dr. Frayne, an elderly scientist leading the expedition, who tells that their goal is to ensure that the Geonosians are not left with any technology that would allow them to fight off the Republic occupation of their homeworld. But Jyl is betrayed. Dr. Frayne is working with a smuggler namedd Naj Pandoor, who would together smuggle Geonosian/CIS tech off of Geonosis and sell to the highest bidder. But Frayne has other plans still. She betrays Pandoor, locking him up with Jyl deep in a Geonosian catacomb. So Jedi and smuggler must work together to stop Dr. Frayne. They fight off Geonosians and get to the surface, where they find Dr. Frayne's decapitated head near a Nexu lair, which it looks like she stumbled upon after leaving Jyl and Naj to die. They fight off the Nexu (which gets attacked by insectoid Rogas), and find themselves in a Geonosian weapons lab, where they fight off a number of young Nexu and Naj recovers a new prototype sonic blaster, against which lightsabers would be almost useless. Naj uses it to defeat the now-Roga-infested Nexu, and betrays Jyl, stunning her and escaping. Jyl laments having been betrayed, but grows from the experience.

Pros:
-Nice little short story. Good pace.
-Naj Pandoor is well written. His dialogue is very much that of a typical smuggler.
-The flirty relationship between Naj and Jyl is fun. At first, his advances are not at all welcome, and like a good Jedi she insists he call her "Jedi Somtay" instead of "Angel". Eventually their dialogue becomes playful and she honestly considers joining him after they get free. Which makes his betrayal all the more poignant.

Cons:
-The Dr. Frayne story doesn't end well. They just find her corpse. She isn't brought to justice, she just accidentally wanders too close to a Nexu. Not a great payout.
-Very very little impact on the overall continuity.

Fun Facts:
-This takes place only days after the events of Episode II; Jyl refers to the incident at the Geonosis arena as happening "only days ago", and lamenting that the arena showed little sign of the battle. Her Master, Lura Tranor, was one of the Jedi killed in the Arena.
-This was Jyl's only appearance, but she is slated to also appear in The Clone Wars Volume 6: The Starcrusher Trap. Interesting how TCW is looking for the most obscure characters to delve into.

My conclusion: this is a fun story, but don't go scouring eBay to find a copy of Insider 79. It doesn't add much to the canon, and (until Jyl's TCW appearance) none of the characters are ever seen again.

Next up: another short story: Elusion Illusion.
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"I'm...from Earth."

-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:19 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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22: Elusion Illusion

Elusion Illusion is a short story by Michael A. Stackpole featured in Star Wars Insider #69 (from March/April 2003). It was reprinted in Star Wars Magazine UK #54 (December 2004) and on Hyperspace. The copy I read was a transcription from the internet.

Summary:
Mace Windu assigns Jedi Knights Aayla Secura and Ylenic It'kla to find an extract Ratri Tane, a scientist who possessed a valuable prototype technology wanted by the CIS. Tane hid his family and wanted Republic rescue. Aayla and Ylenic visit Corellia, where with the help of a Toydarian named Lorfo, they locate a gang of Gotals hanging out in a cantina, who were also looking for Tane. A fight breaks out, and Aayla and Ylenic encounter Corellian Security agent Rostek Horn, who urges them to leave Corellia. They ignore Horn's advice, and Lorfo betrays them, leading Aayla and Ylenic to be ambushed by the Gotals and Tendir Blue, a CIS agent. Blue and the Gotals already found Tane, but it turns out Tane is none other than Nejaa Halcyon, Corellian Jedi, who needed to return to the Jedi fold and fight in the Clone Wars with his brethren.

Pros:
-We get to see some random Old Republic characters that were referenced in the New Republic Era. Nejaa Halcyon was the grandfather of Corran Horn. Rostek Horn took in Nejaa's wife and son Valin ("Hal" Horn). Ylenic It'kla became good friends with Nejaa, and survived Order 66 hidden away on Alderaan (killed by the Death Star). These characters are all written consistently with how Stackpole originally envisioned them.

Cons:
-While this does portray the return of Nejaa Halcyon into the Jedi fold, it does not have much impact on the overall continuity. Furthermore, it could have been any character that went to this rescue, but because it was Michael A. Stackpole, it had to be Ylenic It'kla. Like Timothy Zahn always writing about Thrawn and Mara, Mr. Stackpole often prefers to write only those few characters he created directly.
-There is an inconsistency between Elusion Illusion and Nejaa Halcyon's next appearance, Jedi Trial. In this story, Mace Windu was well aware of Nejaa's wife and son. But in Jedi Trial, it was clear that he had to keep it a secret. But Elusion Illusion reflects an idea that Stackpole originally conceived, that there were families and dynasties of Corellian Jedi. Jedi Trial probably assumed that Corellian Jedi dynasties were common in the OLD Republic, but marriage and attachment was still forbidden by the time of the prequels.

Fun Facts:
-This story explicitly begins 7 days from the Battle of Geonosis. This may no longer hold true, as the timing of events between Episode II and The Clone Wars has changed to only a few weeks/months. As a result, this may take place even less than one week post-Geonosis.
-This story explains Corellia's role in the Clone Wars, that despite being a Republic world, it remained completely neutral during the War itself. This caused it to become a haven for anyone wanting to do business with the Republic AND the CIS. Interestingly enough, Corellia still sells starships to the Republic during the War, despite its neutrality.

In conclusion, like Death in the Catacombs above, I like this story, but you don't need to go finding that one back issue of Insider. I'm hoping that, with the death of Star Wars Hyperspace, this will soon be free online.

Next up: One of a Kind, from Clone Wars Adventures!
_________________
"I'm...from Earth."

-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:08 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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So it's been over two months since I last visited this project (there's been some good non-Clone Wars books out), but I'm back in the game with...

23: One of a Kind
One of a Kind is a short comic written by Jason Hall and drawn by the Fillbach Brothers. It is found in the digest Clone Wars Adventures Volume 8, released in June 2007.

Summary:
Obi-Wan Kenobi visits the planet Kamino, hoping to secure the genetic material of Jango Fett. With Fett dead (and therefore unable to give more genetic material), it was essential to keep the remaining samples secure, so that more clones can be made with ease. Mace Windu warns Obi-Wan that he believes Dooku is sending a thief to steal the samples. Just as Obi-Wan is about to chide Mace for being too paranoid, he sees Vianna D'Pow, an albino Zeltron assassin. She has stolen the samples and kills many clones during her escape. Obi-Wan chases her, and the two fight in Tipoca City, on the back of an Aiwha, and in the ocean, when D'Pow makes a hasty retreat. But Obi-Wan was able to recover the sample from her during their battle, so she escapes without it. Dooku's mission has failed, but not hers, as Taun We tells Obi-Wan that D'Pow placed an order for a clone of herself. Obi-Wan les the clone live, saying that nobody should ever be alone.

Pros:
-There are a number of flashback sequences, which have short quotations from books about Zeltrons and their homeworld, Zeltros. The quotes explain that the Zeltrons are renowned for their capacity to love. That said, the imagery is of D'Pow suffering torment at the hands of "normal" Zeltrons, due to her being the only albino on a planet of red/pink humanoids. I love the duality of these scenes. They are capable of immense love, but also terrible hate.
-I like the Zeltrons! They're a great species in the old Marvel Star Wars comics, and it's fun to see them here.
-This story, like all Clone Wars Adventures stories, is in the art style of the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars series. I like this, but your mileage may vary.

Cons:
-I admit that it's important to protect the genetic samples used for making the clone army, but I can't see why they would have only one sample. Surely they'd have dozens of samples like that.

Fun Facts:
-Vianna D'Pow is not just a one-off character. She also appeared in Children of the Force, a comic story in Tales #15, where she tried to steal a baby Force-sensitive from Mace Windu and Depa Billaba.

All in all, this is a fun, short story.

Up next: Boba Fett: Crossfire[/u]
_________________
"I'm...from Earth."

-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:43 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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24: Boba Fett: Crossfire

Boba Fett: Crossfire is a young reader book written by Terry Bisson. It was released on 1 November 2002 as a 272-page hardcover, and again in April 2003 as a 133-page paperback (which I read). It was also collected in the August 2008 hardcover Boba Fett Part I: Survival, which collected the three first books of the series.

Summary:
Boba Fett is on Raxus Prime, in the custody of Count Dooku. The instructional book Boba got from Jango upon his death told him Dooku would teach the young bounty hunter self-sufficiency. Boba decided to do things on his own under Dooku's nose, and explores the CIS operation on Raxus Prime. Bounty hunter Cydon Prax captured Boba, who saw a bit too much of the Force Harvester weapon Dooku was looking for. Dooku decides Boba knows too much, and is about to kill him, when the Republic attacks the planet. Dooku slips away, and ends up in the custody of clone troopers and Jedi Master Glynn-Beti, pretending to be a war orphan named Teff. He meets Garr, an Excargan child, and they become fast friends. They try exploring the outside of the ship and almost get killed, but soon reach Bespin. En route, Boba things he saw Aurra Sing and the Slave I following them. Boba runs away from the other orphans on Cloud City and meets Aurra Sing, who wants to give him back his ship and give him access to Jango Fett's various bank accounts in exchange for 50% of Jango's money. Boba travels to Tibannopolis to find his ship, but he is pursued by Jedi. Aurra Sing assumes Boba betrayed her, but Boba jumps aboard the Slave I, and the two fly away.

Pros:
-It's fun to see the Battle of Raxus Prime through the eyes of young Boba Fett (see the first Fun Fact, below).
-This is the first step in the business relationship of Boba Fett and Aurra Sing, which is cool.
-This is the first (and possibly only) time we really see how the Jedi help the tragic children orphaned by the Clone Wars, which is also cool.

Cons:
-Boba is a clone of Jango Fett, like all the clone troopers. Episodes of The Clone Wars have established that all other young clones look identical to Boba. Despite this, the clone troopers don't recognize him as one of their own. That's odd.

Fun Facts:
-The beginning of this story takes place concurrently with the Raxus Prime levels of the game "Star Wars: The Clone Wars", which was reviewed earlier.
-This is the only appearance of the Excargan species. They are unique in that, at age 13, they undergo body changes that establish their gender. They are unisex until that time.
-Bespin wishes to remain neutral in the war. When the Republic drops off the orphans, clone troopers have to disarm themselves.
-The Republic vessel Candaserri's flight deck held a squadron of Cord-class starfighters. This was the only appearance of the Cord-class. While not canon, I believe that, since the war was only days old at this time, the Republic was using any starfighter it could get its hands on.

In the end, this is a cool story, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Boba Fett and Aurra Sing work together in the next book.

Next up: Republic #49.
_________________
"I'm...from Earth."

-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:06 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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25: Republic 49: Sacrifice

Republic 49: Sacrifice was released on 22 January 2003. It was written by John Ostrander and drawn by Jan Duursema, like a lot of previous Quinlan Vos stories. It was collected in Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume 1: The Defense of Kamino, released 9 July 2003. Despite being a one-off story, t leads directly into the next issue, and into further Quinlan Vos stories.

Summary:
The story opens with Khaleen Hentz, a young criminal woman aboard the space station called The Wheel. She is attacked and lost in the sewers by agents of Zenex, a local crime lord. On Coruscant, the Jedi send Aayla Secura to The Wheel, since her former master, Quinlan Vos, is there and is not responding to calls to return to the Temple. She finds Vos, and together they rescue Khaleen. They discover that Zenex is in possession of a secret disc, which he plans to pass to the CIS. Khaleen volunteers to steal it, but Zenex is a Falleen, and he uses his pheremones to force her to kill herself. Vos intervenes, and he and Secura recover the disc. They read its contents, a battle plan to attack Kamino, and give it to the CIS, so that they wouldn't know the Republic knew of the pending attack. Despite their efforts, it was always Dooku's goal to give the Republic the information, so that the attack on Kamino would be resisted, and the cloning facilities would be preserved for the Empire's use after the war.

Pros:
-This is the first time we see Quinlan Vos in the Clone Wars. He's been busy since we last saw him, building a spy network among the CIS. Despite his massive network, he had no idea the CIS was preparing for war at Geonosis.
-We see once again characters from previous Quinlan Vos-centric Republic issues, like Tholme.
-We see The Wheel, a space station first seen in early issues of Marvel Star Wars, and seen later in other Ostrander/Duursema work (like Legacy).

Cons:
-I find the idea to give battle plans to the Republic so that they'd protect Kamino in earnest to be really strange. First, why isn't Kamino being defended anyways, and second, if you want the facilities to survive, just don't attack.

Fun Facts:
-Yoda and Mace agree that the Jedi must be Generals in the war for much longer than they'd hoped at first. They are concerned that they won't have time to do their other Jedi duties.
-This is the first we see of Khaleen, who becomes a major player in Vos-centric stories.

This is just a one-off story, but it prepares the ground nicely for what's ahead.

Next up: Boba Fett: Maze of Deception!
_________________
"I'm...from Earth."

-Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

"Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men!"
"Unless evil's carrying the Martini tray, darling."
-Frank and Sadie Doyle


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:26 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Resuming this series with:

26: Boba Fett: Maze of Deception

Boba Fett: Maze of Deception is a young reader book written by Elizabeth Hand. It retailed for $4.99 USD, and contained 137 pages. It was released in April 2003. Along with books 1 and 2 of the series it was collected in Boba Fett Part I: Survival.

Summary:
Boba Fett and Aurra Sing fly the Slave I to the banking planet of Aargau. They have made a deal: Boba accesses the bank vault that contains the fortune his father Jango left for him, Aurra takes half of it, and Boba gets to keep his ship. They are welcomed on Aargau, and given access to the vault levels. Boba manages to slip away from Aurra and gets to the Aargau Undercity. He meets a Bimm named Nuri, who can illegally get him access to his bank account, for a fee. During his time with Nuri, he learns that San Hill, head of the Banking Clan, is seeking funds from across the Galaxy (including Aargau's banks) to fund the Separatist army. Unfortunately for Boba, Nuri is a Clawdite shapeshifter, who steals almost all of Boba's money. Boba manages to infiltrate a Hutt casino, hoping to find Jabba (Jango had told Boba to seek out Jabba, as he pays well and always needs good bounty hunters). Boba spies on some underlings arranging for the Hutts to fund the CIS war machine, but gets caught. Pretending to be a spy, he arranges for safe passage back to the banking levels. He fends off an angry Aurra Sing, and manages to get into the Kuat Bank, claims the remainder of his money, and leaves Aargau forever.

Pros:
-The descriptions of Aargau make it look really cool. A massive pyramid owned by the Banking Clan.
-Boba is very observant and resourceful. He notices little things, like how Nuri did not haggle for purchasing some information from a local spy (Bimms are notorious hagglers). He manages to get into the Hutt casino by disguising himself as a Jawa and going in with a group of them. He spies on people who give him no notice, since he's "just a boy."

Cons:
-Among the clone troopers stationed on Aargau is a young boy by the name of CT-9779. He is with a group of clone cadets that are training; there is also a garrison of adult clone troopers serving as peacekeepers, as they suspect a Separatist plot. 9779 is the same "age" as Boba. Why is the Republic stationing children in battlezones? It's little things like this that point to the larger corruption in the Republic, where Dooku can point and say "these kids were on the battlefield" and draw more planets to his cause.
-Boba didn't think to ask the balance of his bank account before agreeing to give money to Nuri. Nuri stole more than was originally agreed, but still, Boba made a rookie mistake.

Fun Facts:
-This is not the first appearance of Aargau. The banking planet was first portrayed in Marvel Star Wars #48: The Third Law. It is portrayed in much the same way. It is a free trade zone, accepting of all peoples of all nationalities (Republic and Separatist, Imperial and Rebel). It has three laws that are punishable by immediate execution: No theft, non-Aargauans must not carry weapons (conversely, all Aargauans must carry weapons), and do not defraud the bank. This book portrays the society in much the same way, though it takes place in a different city, so physical descriptions are not the same.
-Aargau is neutral, but is controlled by the InterGalactic Banking Clan. This is consistent with later portrayals in The Clone Wars TV series. Where we once thought that groups like the Trade Federation and Banking Clan were fully involved with the Separatists, we now know that the organiations themselves are still Republic members, and that they have "splinter groups" which joined that CIS (though the entire organization secretly supports the splinter group). This book is ahead of its time, as this political situation would not be made clear until 2009.
-Aurra Sing ends this book in the custody of Aargau Security. She manages to give them the slip, as we see her soon in other media.

Overall, I liked this book. As good as previous books in the series, and just as easy to read. I give this a Buy.

Next up: Star Wars: Clone Wars: Chapters 6 and 7 (will try and review separately, but they are closely interlinked).
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:06 pm Reply with quote  
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  Lord Ree'dius
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Great to see the return of this topic. Very Happy
I really enjoy the info I get out of these reviews, especially like those from the young readers novels which I don't read.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Taral-DLOS wrote:
Cons:
-Among the clone troopers stationed on Aargau is a young boy by the name of CT-9779. He is with a group of clone cadets that are training; there is also a garrison of adult clone troopers serving as peacekeepers, as they suspect a Separatist plot. 9779 is the same "age" as Boba. Why is the Republic stationing children in battlezones? It's little things like this that point to the larger corruption in the Republic, where Dooku can point and say "these kids were on the battlefield" and draw more planets to his cause.

I'm not sure why this is a gripe. Isn't it good to show corruption seeping into the Republic?
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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:18 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Reepicheep wrote:
Taral-DLOS wrote:
Cons:
-Among the clone troopers stationed on Aargau is a young boy by the name of CT-9779. He is with a group of clone cadets that are training; there is also a garrison of adult clone troopers serving as peacekeepers, as they suspect a Separatist plot. 9779 is the same "age" as Boba. Why is the Republic stationing children in battlezones? It's little things like this that point to the larger corruption in the Republic, where Dooku can point and say "these kids were on the battlefield" and draw more planets to his cause.

I'm not sure why this is a gripe. Isn't it good to show corruption seeping into the Republic?


This is a kids book. That's why it's a gripe. I would love for an adult lit book to cover these issues (the politics of The Clone Wars at large), but a book suitable for age 9-12 should not have child soldiers in it.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:45 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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On the whole, yes, but at the same time, a lot of kids dream of being great heroes in epic battles (or so I'm told. I don't spend my time talking to kids, like the Child Catcher Laughing) - so it may have been a good idea, a way to allow the young readers to imagine themselves into the novel. And besides, Anakin was 10 when he was put into a starfighter in Episode I Wink .
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