Wednesday, November 12, 2008
David's Review of The Han Solo Trilogy Vol. 3: Rebel Dawn
4/5 Rancors - The third book of A. C. Crispin's Han Solo trilogy deals primarily with Han's adventures as two separate Hutt dynasties try to wipe each other out. Chewbacca is back by his side, and Bria Tharen makes a final return appearance. The early part of the book is great fun as Han wins the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a sabacc game. Then Han and Chewie head off for Kashyyyk where Chewie marries his sweetheart Mallatobuck. From there on we are swept up in various Hutt Machiavellian schemes and the efforts of Bria Tharen, now an officer with the Rebel Alliance, to get Han and his smuggler friends to join the rebels. They plan to attack to wipe out slavery on Ylesia and acquire all of the spices and valuable items to fund rebel efforts and to pay Han and his friends.
During part of the book Han moves on to the Corporate Sector where he has numerous adventures that are described in other books. The real focus of this book is to get the characters to the point where A New Hope starts. Ms. Crispin succeeds admirably in getting this done. We understand more and more how Han's personality developed, where his mistrust of authority came from, and why he seems to shy away from serious relationships with women. Clearly we know why he strongly resists all efforts to help the Rebel Alliance after Luke and Leia come along. At the conclusion of Rebel Dawn Han and Bria's efforts have led to a victory against the slavers on Ylesia. In return for his efforts and those of his smuggler friends, Han has been promised compensation in the form of valuable spices and extremely valuable antiques from the High Priest's collection. Bria has to break this arrangement to follow orders from her superiors, i.e., keep all of the spices and antiques solely for the rebels to use in funding an attack on what we know is the Death Star. Clearly this does not sit well with Han, and his friends feel that they have been double-crossed by both Han and Bria. The resultant split between Han and Lando that we see in the films now makes more sense.
You have to love the actual ending of the book. Han and Chewie are in Mos Eisley trying to figure out how to get the money they owe Jabba from a failed spice run. The scene feels very familiar.
"Then he started across the crowded cantina, where Chewie, the old man, and the boy sat waiting....