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Star Wars Gamer #5
The Crystal
by Elaine Cunningham

Published by Wizards of the Coast

Scott's Rating:   4 out of 4

This short story was published in the Star Wars Gamer magazine. It takes place some time before the New Jedi Order stories.

It is graduation day from the Jedi Academy and Jaina is a little unsure of what to do with her life. However, her family soon helps her choose her path. Jaina's Aunt Mara Jade (in the early stages of her illness) volunteers to be her Jedi mentor. Her father, Han Solo, also gives her a well worn, yet souped up Z-95 Headhunter. As Jaina flies it for the first time, she is attacked by a slightly miswired cyborg in an X-Wing. Can she survive the suprise attack?


    I gave this short story a perfect score for several reasons. The first is that it actually tells the story of something significant in the Star Wars universe. Jaina and Mara Jade becoming Master and Apprentice was something only glossed over in the novels. This gives that event proper credit.

The second reason is that it takes something from the movies and expands on it. We hear a lot about cyborgs in the movies, but the novels barely mention them beyond Lobot. This shows them to be a much more common, and formidable, thing in the universe. It was a nice original addition.

Third, the movie characters stay in character. Han Solo is much more the rogue in this story than he has been for quite some time. His jazzing up the Z-95 for his daughter was a fun thing to see.

The last reason I gave this a perfect score was that it had equally healthy doses of action and character development. We sympathize with Jaina as she gets out of school and tries to figure out what to do with her life. We also see her in a firey dogfight with the cyborg. This is what we like to see from the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia.

Overall this is a fun story well worth picking up. I should also mention that it has a cool painting by Mikael Noguchi.


    I can't think of anything bad to mention about this story.


    It was sad to see Chewbacca alive and well again. We miss the big fuzzy oaf.

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