The fate of the galaxy is back in the hands of Luke, Han and Leia where it belongs. For 45 years this trinity has fought star war after star war, never getting a moment to breathe. They have lost spouses and children and yet still fought the good fight, run the race. Troy Denning is tasked in Crucible with bringing an era of Star Wars to a close, allowing the Trinity to exit the main stage so that the next generation can succeed them.
For over a decade the Star Wars Expanded Universe has mostly been long book series with a smattering of stand-alone books. Crucible is a follow-up to much of what has taken place in the post-ROTJ, yet it also stands apart and can be enjoyed on it’s own. This is very much a book about the Big 3. There has rarely been a book that has had so much time devoted to Luke and Leia together; which is a wonderful plus for fans who have longed to see them spend more time with each other. The book also does a fantastic job of showing just how special Han is in keeping up with the Skywalkers after all these years.
Personally, reading through this book I was reminded of why I miss the Bantham book days sometimes. I loved being able to pick up a book in the Star Wars saga and read a complete story as well as be entertained. To me, Denning has brought back the fun, fantasy and mystery of the saga. After 45 years, Luke, Han and Leia have finally realized that it is time for retirement. It is nice to see that someone else agrees with my assessment of Luke;
The last thing to mention (even though there are many more) is that Luke needs a timeout. Like Obi-Wan and Yoda, Luke is in need of some space to contemplate his actions and the effect that he has had on the universe. He needs to be able to reevaluate the course of the New Jedi Order and rethink his role in it. All of the conflicts and wars have left Luke very little time to do any this and he has had the weight of the galaxy riding on his shoulders for far too long. There are many foes that are still lurking in the shadows and to face them, Luke needs a gut check. Who is he? Who has he become? What can he learn from his successes and, more importantly, his failures? Where has he gone wrong in the first place? Has he lost too much of his optimism in light of the ever encroaching darkness? Here’s to hoping that the authors of Luke’s future will give him the time to rest and take it all in. If a person always has to react to a new crisis without the time to process the last, they can never truly learn and grow. If given this time Luke may be able to become an even better Jedi and man for the galaxy; so lets give the man a break and let him go pick up some power converters or a good cup of caf at Cafbucks.
Denning and Del Ray are finally giving the Big 3 the time away that they deserve. With the state of Star Wars in flux in wake of the sale to Disney and Episode VII, this could be the last tale in the post-ROTJ era. If that is the case, Denning has left these characters where they belong, enjoying some long overdue R&R. This book is rated 8 out of 10 lightsabers.
Disclosure: This book was provided by Del Ray as an early review and in no way affects the thoughts or feelings of the reviewer.