Monday, January 26, 2009
Review: Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor (Star Wars)
Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor CoverBy Matthew Stover. ISBN 978-0-345-47744-6. One of the most acclaimed authors to stoop to Star Wars tie-in fiction finally tackles the classic heroes of the series and the result is… decidedly mixed. The prose is as sharp and vibrant as ever, if a little self-satisfied. He does not waste the opportunity that Luke Skywalker presents as a protagonist, offering his most nuanced exploration of good and evil yet. Luke's perspective forces him to adopt a sunnier outlook than he's known for, which made for a nice change of pace. unfortunately, his characterizations otherwise fail to line up with what we've previously been presented for these iconic characters. Much of the humor that comes naturally to other, less ambitious authors feels strained here and often falls flat. The dynamic between Han and Leia, while compelling, was a very vague approximation of what we got in the movies and other tie-in fiction. His attempt to spice up the storytelling with frequent profanity is undermined by the cringe worthy lexicon of vulgarity that has sprung up since the movies, when "hell", "damn" and other earthly swearing was sufficient. Because the novel uses the framing device of an intelligence report, it's hard decipher whether the defects are intentional or not. Either way, they detract from a great if overly complicated story shoehorned into the immediate aftermath of Return of the Jedi.

Adam Lenhardt is a print journalist from Albany, NY. He currently reviews films from Boston.
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