Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon (1983) – L. Neil Smith

Lando Calrissian aboard the Millennium Falcon, with his pilot droid and friend Vuffi Raa at his side finds his way into more trouble this week in L. Neil Smith’s second book in his trio of Star Wars novels that follows the scoundrel and gambler.

Lando just can’t seem to make a living as a freighter pilot, and despite his skills at gambling, in particular the card game sabacc, he and Vuffi can’t seem to get ahead. Which leads him open, once again,to being harassed, arrested, and manipulated into taking on a illegal cargo in an an attempt to bring down one of the richest beings in the galaxy.

Forced into carrying an illegal drug, Lando is accompanied by two officers of the law, and is constantly surrounded by danger, as one attempt on his life after another takes place, even as he and Vuffi Raa navigate an annual celestial storm known as the flamewind to reach their destination.

Much like the previous novel, it’s a short quick read of an adventure and one that lets us spend some time with the charming rogue who hasn’t quite become the scoundrel we know. This adventure is set shortly after the first book, and still a number of years before the Battle of Yavin.

I mean, not that it matters anymore as these stories are no longer considered canon in the new Star Wars universe. Though as mentioned in the previous review, a little adapting, and it would nestle very nicely into the new established timeline.

Lando is a fun character, and pairing him with Vuffi makes for some fun adventures, even as they are pursued by some old enemies, even as Lando prepares to step into the inevitable trap that he knows is waiting for him.

I still take issue with some of the idioms and references Smith makes, grounding them in our reality instead of Calrissian’s, but at that point the Star Wars universe hadn’t quite begun to go through its extended universe growing spurts, these were just fun tales from a time period when timelines and continuity weren’t perceived to be quite as important to the tapestry as they are now.

Lando has one more adventure ahead of him, and that will be coming up in a couple of weeks, and I’ll be interested to see how things play out for the charming rogue. Smith writes a lot of humour into his storytelling and it suits Lando quite nicely.

I’m a little saddened I didn’t read these novels when they originally came out, but as mentioned, I don’t think they would have appealed to me then as much as they do now. They didn’t feature Han Solo after all.

Still, I love that I’m enjoying them, and the Star Wars Legends will continue (the name given to the original Extended Universe after the reset) in a galaxy far, far away. Until then, may the Force be with you.

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