Saturday, December 20, 2008

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force - Sacrifice by Karen Traviss

Major, major spoilers below.

Well now... that book was certainly a downer.

In one book, my three favorite EU characters have all died. And yes, I'm including Jacen Solo in that statement. Darth Caedus has killed him as completely as he killed Mara Jade Skywalker, as surely as Darth Vader betrayed and murdered Anakin Skywalker.

Jacen was one of my favorite characters, originally on a par with Jaina for the being the first of the next generation of our heroes. He surpassed Jaina during The New Jedi Order for me, when he was captured by the Vuuzhan Vong and came to understand them, and through that experience came to have a deeper, wider understanding of the Force. That open minded man, born of pain but who learned how to understand and rise through his pain, really resonated with me. He was the one always trying to look at things from different angles, always seeing things in a way that the regular Jedi were blind to.

But then he went from seeing the multitude of different ways into seeing only what he felt was the one, correct way, and why all those other ways were wrong. (Hmm, not unlike an ex-boyfriend of mine now that I write it down.) But Jacen felt it was up to him to make sure the galaxy was safe for his daughter, and that made it his responsibility to make the galaxy do things in what he felt was the one, true way. And in doing so, Darth Caedus betrayed everything Jacen Solo stood for.

The books have been showing this transformation slowly taking place ever since The Swarm War trilogy, of course, but just as I'd hoped with Shira Brie, I kept hoping that he would see where he's lost his way and come back to the light. But when he killed Mara, he also killed himself. Mara and Jacen joined in battle, and unlike the final battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan where we knew what the inevitable outcome must be, this was a battle where either both would be saved or both would be lost.

Unfortunately, since this was only Book 5 in a 9-book series, I didn't have a lot of hope of which way it would go. But there was a certain amount of hope there, just the same. And with the loss of that hope, I've also lost hope that Jacen will ever be turned back to the light again.

And then we lose Shira, as well. She dies not as Shira, but as Lumiya, proving that Shira Brie really did die in the old Star Wars #61 comic book, never to return. [And as a side note... how cool is it that both Lumiya/Shira Brie and Fenn Shysa have become so prominent in the Star Wars canon? Now if they'd only bring back Plif!]

Farewell, Mara.
Farewell, Shira.
Farewell, Jacen.

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