cover image Star Wars: Darksaber

Star Wars: Darksaber

Kevin J. Anderson. Bantam Books, $22.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-09974-4

Anderson, whose Jedi Academy trilogy of Star Wars paperbacks were all bestsellers, makes his Star Wars hardcover debut with this novel. Unlike many of the previous series hardcovers, Darksaber often harkens back to the time of the Star Wars movies, invoking familiar scenes and flourishes (Princess Leia being forced to wear a ``humiliating costume'' after she's captured by Jabba the Hutt; Han Solo entreating, ``It's not my fault!''). Anderson is careful, though, to include plenty of present-day action. Set just after the events of Barbara Hambly's Children of the Jedi, this novel follows the quest of Luke Skywalker and Callista to reestablish the latter's Jedi powers. Meanwhile, Durga the Hutt is using Bevel Lemelisk, co-designer of the original Death Star, to create a similar weapon for his own nefarious purposes, and the still-living Admiral Daala is working to reunite various factions of the Empire to reassert their glory. Anderson manages to keep everything fast-paced, yet the whole never coheres into a properly exciting story. This is probably the most accessible of the Star Wars hardcovers; fans of the movies should experience nostalgic delight, but it often comes off as more of a marketing device than a novel proper, especially with George Lucas's three-part prequel to the Star Wars movies now in the works. (Oct.)