by William C. Dietz & Dave Dorman
Published by Boulevard & Dark Horse
Scott's Rating: 4 out of 4
This is the first book in a three book series.
This is the third and final story in the Dark Forces series. The evil Jedi Jerec and his knights make their way to the planet Ruusan to take over the ruins of the Valley of the Jedi. Jerec also intends to harness the power of the thousands of trapped Jedi spirits there. They were left over from a huge battle between the good and evil Jedi armies thousands of years before. Jerec also wipes out a village of settlers on the small, isolated planet. The Rebel Alliance sends Kyle Katarn and Jan to stop them. Luckily, Kyle gets help from the Jedi ghost Rahn along the way. This story is based on the Jedi Knight video game and is illustrated throughout by Dave Dorman.
I think that William Dietz is in his best form when he's not writing about something related to the video game. The buildup of the story is true Star Wars material. Dietz brings in new technology and makes the universe feel "used" like Lucas would want it. You also find everyday chores and items in this otherwise alien world.
I think my favorite part of this book was going back and describing the huge battle between the good and evil Jedi armies. Lord Hoth and his opponents are characters I'd like to hear more about. In fact, that story almost seems more interesting to me than the main part of the novel. In any case, it's cool to see good Jedi and evil Jedi in action. I also liked seeing the supernatural side of the Star Wars Universe (with the ghosts, spirits, and banshees) played up in this book. It is an often overlooked part of the storyline. Overall, I thought it was a satisfying end to the series, and the Dave Dorman art complimented the story well.
My gripes here are pretty much the same gripes I had through the previous two books. Dietz changes the point of view the story is being told from in mid-paragraph often. For example, one scene says what a Jedi is thinking as their ship flies over the town. Mid-paragraph, it picks up saying what the pilot is thinking. Next paragraph is a character asking if they can blow something out of the sky. It turned to the point of view of somebody on the ground without warning. It totally threw me off and it all happened within a few lines of text. I was also confused on the continuity of this book, but apparently it takes place well after Return of the Jedi. That was never made clear before. However, where has Jerec been all this time and where did all these Jedi come from? More background would have been nice. Finally, some pretty major characters get killed, mutilated, or otherwise meet their end in throw away lines. You end up saying, "Oh, that guy he spent two chapters talking about just got killed. I almost didn't notice." But overall, I enjoyed this book.
Being impaled by a Probe Droid. Ouch.