A year before we were given the second installment in the Skywalker Saga, Brian Daley gave us the second book in his Han Solo trilogy. Remember, this was long before the film series took off. When this book came out, there was no internet, and as a kid I had no way of knowing that they were shooting The Empire Strikes Back while I was reading Marvel comics and Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye.
That’s when Han Solo’s Revenge was released, right before the Empire storm hit my young childhood. Despite having read Han Solo at Star’s End, I never got around to reading Revenge – I wasn’t making any allowance at that time, and when it came to Star Wars, at that age, all I wanted were the toys.
So now, decades on, I finally dug into it. It’s a fun ride, a little anti-climatic by story’s end, but you can see how the tale could fit in with the new canon.
Han and Chewie are struggling to survive and keep their ship, the Millennium Falcon running, and properly repaired. So when a job they’re on goes south, the duo decide they have to take a job in the Corporate Sector, a region of space on the edge of the galaxy that the Empire has, for now, chosen to ignore.
On the upside, the job will pay them ten thousand credits, and that should help keep them running and in business. But once they learn what the cargo is, and betrayed by those running the deal, Han wants revenge. And more importantly wants his money.
Joining him are other characters who have found themselves caught up in a slaving gambit, a brilliant mimic Fiolla, and a person-sized sentient, space otter. But as the story plays out, Han is going to learn that he may not know everything that is going on, and that could be trouble.
There are shootouts, space battles, and everything we like about Han and Chewie, except for the fact that much like in the previous novel, halfway through the story the pair are separated until the climax of the book. I mean, once is okay, but to have them kept apart two stories in a row, a little bothersome. You want to see them working together, and taking the fight to the baddies, or at least escaping by the skin of their teeth.
Still the book is a lot of fun, there are some great, recognizable Star Wars moments in the book, and it ended up playing out in the theater of my mind’s eye, which is always a joy. So we’ll call this one a win, and soon enough we’ll dig into the final book in the trilogy…
… Han Solo and the Lost Legacy.