Before Timothy Zahn’s final entry in his Thrawn trilogy was released in 1993, the Expanded Universe continued to grow, with the launch of a series of young adult titles, the first being released in June of 1992.
A very short novella, the story is set a year after the events of The Return of the Jedi, and finds the Moffs and Grand Admirals meeting on the remote planet of Kessel to discuss who is going to lead them.
Working undercover on the planet, are a disguised C-3PO and R2-D2, who are there when the supposed son of the Emperor is revealed. A handsome human alien hybrid named Trioculus – can you guess how many eyes he has?
He apparently has some Force abilities, but is he who he claims to be? To cement his claim, he’s determined to pursue a Dark Side prophecy that portends that whoever discovers the Glove of Vader will lead the Empire. With probe droids scouring the galaxy, he’s determined to find and assume control of the floundering Imperial forces.
Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker, Ackbar, and the droids, make their escape from Kessel but to avoid the probe droids, make for Ackbar’s homeworld of Calamari, where intelligent water mammals are being hunted nearly to extinction by the Imperials for food, and an Imperial captain there has made a discovery amongst some Death Star wreckage, for which he summons Trioculus.
It’s here that Luke encounters Trioculus, enemies recognise one another, and the would be ruler finds the glove…
But we learn his secret, but will the blossoming New Republic discover it and be able to stop him?
It’s a fast moving tale, and short, and for some reason, the New Republic is using Yavin Four as an initial home for their government and Han Solo is taking his leave for awhile to run Lando back to Bespin, and perhaps find a place to stay for awhile. That seems odd, but perhaps they’re setting up part of the story for him. There’s no indication that he and Leia are on the outs, after a year together, so the revelation feels kind of weird.
The book is obviously geared to younger readers, with its length and storytelling style, but it’s a fun adventure none the less, and was a part of the Expanded Universe before the big reset, so I’m eager to see where the story goes, as I never read this youth-aimed series originally.
And while I didn’t quite hear John Williams’ musical cues while I read it, there were some moments that felt like they belonged int he universe, though there were also some things we know were different from the now, new canon.
Still, it was fun read, and the Force will continue to be with me as I explore the rest of the series, next up is… The Lost City of the Jedi.