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:
- And I Must Scream: Victims of entechment are still aware of themselves.
- 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.)
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: None of the characters in the book are surprised when the Imperials start attacking the Rebels literally the moment that the Ssi-ruuk fleet starts to retreat.
- Distressed Dude: ...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.
- Love Interest: Gaeriel provides a short-lived one for Luke. He even briefly contemplates raising a family with her at one point.
- Mismatched Eyes: Gaeriel has heterochromia iridum—one eye is green, the other grey.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Luke is able to communicate with parasitic lung worms and get them to crawl out of him.
- Nobody Ever Complained Before: The Ssi-ruuvi show off their Life Energy tech with pride, because they think humans will want to become vampirized batteries.
- 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.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Subverted. The Rebels send a substantial military force to aid the Imperials, and only ask for their cooperation and friendship in return. Played straight later, as the Imps turn on them as soon as the enemy fleet is in retreat.
- 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.