Allegiance Literature Review

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Allegiance

Written by: Timothy Zahn

Timothy Zahn has come a long way since Heir to the Empire. A long way down. Once considered the savior of the Star Wars universe when his critically acclaimed trilogy brought Star Wars out of the doldrums and back into public view before George revved the engines on the prequels, Zahn returns with one of the worst Star Wars novels I have ever read.

It’s biggest offense? It’s plain boring. Hard to do, especially when using some of the well known and well loved characters, but honestly I just didn’t care much about what happened to anyone. The only thing it did even half-way well was explore Han and Leia’s early not-quite-romance.

Luke was like a parody with times when Obi-Wan’s voice almost having to tell him to do anything.

Then there was Mara Jade. I’ve never dug the character. Even in the Heir to the Empire trilogy, which I liked quite a bit, Mara was always ho-hum for me. Actually I take that back. She was ho-hum in the beginning and by the time her turn in Legacy of the Jedi came around, let’s just say I was rooting for the Dark Lord of the moment.

Here, I’m sad to say, the hatred remained. She manages somehow to be bumbling and be a Mary Sue at the same time if that’s possible. It’s obvious that Zahn loves her and wants her to be a major focus but I am simply unimpressed.

Then there are the five stormtroopers. Note these are not supposed to be clone troopers…but they are anyways. They are paint by numbers indistinguishable characters. At the end of the novel I couldn’t tell you all their names because they just completely blended in with one another.

The storyline was nothing to get excited over and added virtually nothing to the universe at large and even the action sequences were mediocre at best.

It’s attempts at trying to get the reader to think are also mediocre. Challenging the views on character’s different allegiances from Han to Leia and/or the Rebellion to the Troopers allegiances to the Empire vs the citizens of the Empire. It’s a very worthy topic of exploration but it never goes beyond platitudes.

All in all far from Zahn’s best efforts.

D-

-Paul Talon

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