While trying to remember the name of this book so I could find a link on Amazon, I determined that the series is almost completed, despite my not even having reached the halfway point. Does this mean I’ll suddenly start reading a lot more Star Wars books? Y’know, probably not, it’s not like anyone talks about them such that I have to avoid spoilers; if anything, I’m the one who’s guilty of them. It’s hard to avoid spoilers in my own reviews, because the continuity is so massive now. When I talk about Ben Skywalker’s brief period as potential apprentice to a Sithlord who happened to be his cousin, you’d be all like, “Wait, what? What Sithlord? What cousin? Since when is there a Skywalker named Ben?” Kind of enormous spoilers for events like 10 books ago, and yet necessary backstory to understand some of his motivations in Backlash, as he and his exiled father try to prevent the Sith apprentice they are following from both returning to her leadership with news of a very powerful Dark Side creature they all encountered in the last book while simultaneously helping to end a long-standing wrong on the planet of Dathomir. Oh, and while laying the groundwork for future romance, I predict!
It’s funny how much this series reminds me of an episodic TV show like Burn Notice, or episodic book series like the Deathlands. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the connective tissue in which we are apparently to learn the Fate of the Jedi, politically as well as spiritually, is certainly interesting. And the non-Jedi politics are also a thing about which I… well, okay, I mostly don’t care who’s in charge, and the maneuvering is a little infantile after having just re-read the entire Song of Ice and Fire series to date over the summer, but I still rarely get tired of that kind of fiction. And you can always count on Han and Leia to get up to interesting things, regardless of what the story is notionally going to be about. But after two long series in a row, one with twenty books about extra-galactic invaders and one with nine books about that Sithlord, an episodic series with connective tissue feels a little bit like stepping backwards into the mid ’90s when none of the authors had a plan or any kind of interaction with each other as they stumbled from one event to the next to another one two years in between the first two, in the days after the fall of the Empire.
And don’t get me wrong, they only let pretty good authors write these books now, and they all collaborate extensively, so it’s not like I’ve read an actually bad Star Wars book anytime this decade. It just still feels weird to have so much looser of a plot arc than usual, is all. I find myself hoping for some kind of societal collapse, which I know is not okay, because billions of sentient beings would die or fall upon dire straits. Nevertheless, the wild and woolly days of the Empire, with scattered, ineffective Jedi and a struggle against overwhelming odds were a lot more fun than these struggles to maintain the status quo. Whatever the Jedi used to be in the Old Republic, they aren’t that anymore. Too many people remember too many failures, and as long as books keep being written in this time period, there’s never going to be a generation of peace during which they come to represent the old days, so forcing them to weather scandal after emergency just makes them look more and more small and sad, and I’d rather see roaming Jedi deciding what’s best for each situation on an individual basis than an Order that is as decayed today as the Senate was during the last days of Chancellor Valorum’s reign.
Huh. This is not the review I expected to write.
 Oh, you know. Don’t pretend.
 You may recall that a) they are on the outs with the current government after the big Sith thing I mentioned earlier and that b) some of them are going crazy, with virtually no rhyme or reason and certainly with no cure.