Star Wars: Rebel Force #1 – Target
by Alex Wheeler
Published by Scholastic
Adrick's Rating: 2 out of 4
The Death Star has been destroyed. But back at the Rebel base, the celebration is over. The Alliance has intercepted a coded transmission, indicating that the Empire is determined to discover which pilot was responsible for the destruction of the Death Star. New security protocol is in effect: The details of the Death Star mission are now top secret, and no one is to know that Luke fired the decisive shot.
But that's hardly the Alliance's only problem. Almost all their finances were lost with the destruction of Alderaan--and they are out of money. Their last hope is to access the secret accounts on Muunilinst, the former home of the InterGalactic Banking Clan, and the financial heart of the galaxy. So Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, and the droids head for Muunilinst.
The Empire's top assassin will be waiting for them.
For a first entry in a new Star Wars series for young adults, Target isn't half bad. While I initially had some reservations--well, okay, a lot of reservations--about a new series set right smack in the middle of one of the most crowded time periods in Star Wars history, this book opens up some intriguing possibilities. Here we see the Emperor brief the top Imperial commanders about the Battle of Yavin--including, in a particularly cool cameo, Captain Thrawn--and the impact Alderaan's destruction has on the rest of the Rebel Alliance, rather than just Leia. These are plot points relevant in the immediate post-Yavin time frame, which has been filled mostly with side quests and random errands. Wheeler is on the right track here, as long as the author can steer clear of subjects and events covered in other works. Like the Yavin evacuation. And Darth Vader. (Hey, Alex Wheeler, I'm here if you need help. Seriously.)
And although it should really be old hat by now, I just love seeing vehicles and aliens created for the prequels showing up in the Classic Trilogy era. Ever wondered how Luke Skywalker would fare in a podrace? Get ready to find out.
While Rebel Force has some great scenes and a promising story arc, there are a few needlessly convoluted plot points that boggle the mind. See if you can follow this one: the Empire's top assassin is assigned to infiltrate the Alliance, identify the pilot who shot down the Death Star, and execute the pilot. The agent decides to begin with Leia, as she is most likely to know the pilot. So far so good. In order to gain the trust of the Rebels on Yavin, he assumes a fake identity, goes to great lengths to obtain a plausible cover story and valid Rebel identification codes, and poses as a new recruit using an elaborately faked set of stolen Imperial battleship plans. He shows up at Yavin, where the Rebels believe his story. He uses this opportunity to sneak onto the Millennium Falcon, discover where Leia's next mission will take her, and then leaves the Rebel base with a trail of dead soldiers behind him. He then sets up an ambush of the Falcon, assumes another identity with a plausible cover story in order to foil the ambush and gain the trust of the Rebels... Call me crazy, but having won the trust of the Rebels with the first cover story, why ruin it by killing three men and running off only to start all over again with another plan?
There is also a rather atrocious typo in Target...see if you can spot it.
The assassin reorganizing his own facial features with a hammer. Now that's dedication.