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Star Wars 501st An Imperial Commandos Novel – Has little to do with the 501st – and no it’s not a good book March 22, 2010

Posted by showmescifi in scifi.
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We’ve reviewed previous Star Wars Republic Commando before – most recently Order 66 -so we should have known what we were getting..

The 501st is the most legendary of all Stormtrooper legions – it is Vader’s Fist – the legion that Anakin/Darth Vader used to destroy the Jedi Temple.

So you’d think that a book called ‘ 501st’ would actually be about the 501st — but no that’s not the case with Karen Traviss’ book.

We get on scene with Vader – and the only part of the 501st in this whole book are two clone that are trying to desert. No big legion activity at all.

This book is just a continuation of the clone commander saga from Order 66 – and if you take it as such it’s not that bad a story. It’s all about how former Republic commandoes try and make a life for themselves on Mandalore while somehow trying to figure out how to reverse the aging process.

Kal ‘buir’ is a great heroic figure and we like him, the various clones – Niner, Darman in particular are great fun. The influx of Jedi in this book with Bardan, Kina Ha, Atis and Scout is also kinda of interesting.

But this is a book without a real ending and without real purpose – it’s just a bunch of  ‘scenes’ stitched together – and that’s what makes this book so unsatisfying in the end. You keep reading hoping for something to happen or looking for some big action – but that isn’t what this book delivers.

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Comments»

1. ODA - April 17, 2010

I think the reason this book is one of the best I have read in the SW Universe is that it talks about “making choices”. It’s about individuals being responsible and becoming the masters of their fate. Whether one is a clone soldier (a Republic slave) or a Jedi (raised by the Order and obeying the rules) or a good child (listening to mom and dad) or an obedient wife, a faithful believer, a soldier (the latter examples about this galaxy), this book is about these personal choices in our lives.
An adult cannot -or should not- hide behind other people’s mistakes or blame their family, the town they were born at, God, their spouse, the politicians, at least not for too long. Sometimes I wonder whether one of the reasons SciFi fans read these books is because they are looking for something/someone strong/invincible/ trustworthy to SAVE them. So this book may succeed showing some hapless/hopeless souls that there is beauty in following their dreams and standing up for what they treasure most.
Jedi will not always save you- if anything, as Kal Skirata knows they can even take advantage of you. It is an interesting angle this, to show that, from a certain point of view, the Jedi were not just the heroes who saved the innocent etc, but also members of a secret order who viewed everybody else with arrogance and condescention. I was reading in a book titled “The Power of Self-Dependence” that one should “allow themselves to be where they are and who they are, instead of believing that they should wait for someone else to determine where and who they should be, allowing themselves to run the risks that they decide to run, the only condition being that they agree to pay the price themselves for those risks, and also allowing themselves to think what they think and the right to express it if they wish, or keep it to themselves, if that was more convenient for them”.
I would not deny the right to believe, to love, to sacrifice, actually we readers of SW like heroics, don’t we? But there has to be a moral equivalent there as well. In his first book, Iliad, the ancient poet Homer at about 900 BC extolled the bravery of the heroes, Achilles, Hector etc. But in the second, which he wrote many years later, after seeing and experiencing life more, he actually praised the family life, peace as Ulysses struggled to get back to his island, his wife and son, his old father. There were heroics there too.
Now the clones and all the other characters in their lives learn attachment and love and loss, but they also take things in their hands. As another recent excellent movie said “I am the master of my soul, I am the captain of my ship”.
Looking forward to the sequel.

2. Bored - Michael - May 6, 2010

Well I’m not trying to be sarcastic, but is this a troll post? I ask because while I suppose someone could feel this way about a Star Wars book I just can’t see any depth in a Karen Traviss book of all people.
On a side note I’m not sure when or if there will be a sequel have they announced one? If so is it to be written by Traviss after her falling out with the publisher and Lucasarts?


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