Yesterday, the Death Star was destroyed, and Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader slain... But today is business as usual, and the Rebels have business helping the Empire. A far-flung Imperial system, Bakura, is under attack by previously-unknown aliens called the Ssi-ruuk. Only the Rebellion can render aid in a timely manner. Whilst dealing with the aliens, themselves no picnic, Leia struggles to form diplomatic ties with the Imperials, with (or despite) Han's help, while Luke meets a fellow Force-sensitive and falls in love with a girl who considers Force-users abominations.
Holds the distinction of being the tenth EU novel published by Bantam
, being published months after The Thrawn Trilogy
and The Glove of Darth Vader
. However, it's also the first set after Return of the Jedi
, beginning literally the day Afterthe End
, and for that reason is often cited (along with The Thrawn Trilogy
) as being one of the best starting points for readers who want to get into the Star Wars Expanded Universe
Tropes used in this work include:
- An Officer and a Gentleman: Commander Thanas.
- Author Appeal: Kathy Tyers was raised in a fundamentalist background, so she knows about religious conflicts, such as the one between Luke and Gaeriel.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: Gaeri's religion deals with this primarily. They believe that Force-users, Jedi and Sith alike, are evil because they aggregate too much power. (With Palpatine and Vader as examples, the Strawman Has a Point.)
- Distressed Pilot: ...Wedge has to be saved by Luke a lot, doesn't he?
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dev Sibwarra, Luke's almost-first-padawan.
- Enemy Mine: the whole point of the Truce at Bakura is an Imperial world being threatened by alien invaders.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Ssi-ruuk are an Expy of raptors.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Bakurans hate all nonhumans, mistaking Mon Calamari for Ssi-ruuk infiltrators.
- They also despise droids for historical reasons (malfunctioning droids on an early colony led to deaths) meaning the Ssi-ruuk entechment is particularly loathsome to them.
- Fate Worse than Death: Entechment.
- Faux Action Girl: Gaeriel, who has no combat training.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: From hating the Rebels to mistrusting them but working together to betraying them.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Luke is able to communicate with parasitic lung worms and get them to crawl out of him.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: most Ssi-ruuvi tech uses Life Energy as a Power Source, which needs to be extracted from sentient creatures via the "entechment" process. (Humans provide more energy.)
- Raised By Ssi-ruuk: Dev Sibwarra.
- Reality Ensues: as this novel starts about 24 hours after Return of the Jedi ends, it's the first story to deal with Han and Leia's Relationship Upgrade. The road is bumpy.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Ssi-ruuk.
- Retcon: No doubt there will be one for why Anakin looks like Sebastian Shaw and not Hayden Christensen.
- What's kind of funny is that the lines actually feel more natural coming from Christensen's mouth.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Ssi-ruuk are the first major example of this in the EU- but what's really scary is that horrible as they are, they aren't the scariest or most dogmatic...
- Space Is Cold: When Wedge is hanging in space with his hand crushed, he's suffering from both blood loss and advancing hypothermia/frostbite. Of course, he was out there for some time. Long enough for Luke to dress, jump in his X-Wing, and get into orbit, at least.
- Spell My Name with an S: Singular: Ssi-ruu. Plural: Ssi-ruuk. Genitive: Ssi-ruuvi. Different authors get it wrong.
- Well Done Daughter Girl: Inverted. Leia is visited by her father's spirit. She's horrified. He wants her forgiveness. She won't give it.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Leia's attitude toward her father's ghost.