Book Review: The Corellian Trilogy – Part 1 – Ambush at Corellia
I’m beginning a new trilogy of Star Wars novels here, where we finally go to visit Corellia.
Author: Roger MacBride Allen
Publication Date: February 2nd, 1995
Republic Head of State Leia Organa Solo is set to go to Corellia as part of a trade negotiation in an attempt to strengthen the New Republic’s ties with the system. In the days of the Old Republic, Corellia was a major trade hub, but it became more and more closed off during the days of the Empire, and even more so after the Empire fell, and the Imperial government of Corellia began working to close the system off from the rest of the galaxy.
However, New Republic Intelligence has been running into problems checking out the system in advance of the visit – agents have been turning up missing – so a Republic operative set to check out the system asks Han Solo, on his visit, to take steps to try tand flush out whoever the hell this is.
Meanwhile, Lando Calrissian is planning to get married – not so much for love, as much as for financial security, and has asked Luke to be his wingman (ba-dum-tish) as he goes on his journey.
The two groups end up in the Corellian system, right as a group of human-centrist bigots known as the Human League seize control of the system, intending to wipe out the system’s non-human population, and to secede from the New Republic, with Leia, Han, and their children trapped in the system. Even worse, The Human League may have a way to cause stars to go nova… but they may not be able to control it. And finally, just to provide one more little twist – Han’s cousin is running the Human League!
- The Corellian Sector has the largest group of habitable worlds in the galaxy.
- Further, the Corellian sector, has multiple sentient humanoid species in the same sector – one of the few sectors in the galaxy where this is the case.
- The Corellian sector is believed by some scientists to have been, in whole or in part, artificially constructed by another race of beings that is no longer present.
- The sector also contains highly advanced technological ruins that pre-date the New Republic.
- Corellia was a major trading hub, and was where Han grew up as a kid.
- Treasure Ship Row is the main street near the main space port of Corellia’s capital, and was home to a variety of merchants, cafes, and attractions of all shapes and sizes.
Han Solo: Grew up on the streets of Corellia. We don’t know much about his parents (if they were even a part of his life), but we do know that he has a cousin (and he knew he had a cousin – though he thought that cousin had died under the Imperial occupation).
Leia Organa-Solo: Looking to spend more time with her family and children, in the hopes of giving them a proper upbringing – so she’s taking the family to Corellia a little in advance so they can learn something about their father’s homeworld (particularly since Alderaan no longer exists). Has been given a red lightsaber by Luke – I’m assuming this is is Vader’s old saber.
Lando Calrissian: Is looking to get married, less for love than as for money – to have a sort of steady financial bedrock to have while he goes investing, and he’s basically looking for a spouse who would want him for his investment acumen.
Luke Calrissian: Is Lando’s primary choice as a wingman.
Anakin Solo: Has an aptitude with the force that effectively makes him a techno-path, allowing him to detect what’s wrong with devices and can, with a limited degree, fix them.
Jacen and Jaina Solo: Have come to using Anakin as an accessory to their mischief – all three siblings are currently more-or-less inseparable.
R2-D2 and C-3PO: Rather than the two droids coming on the Solo Family trip, they’re sent along with Luke and Lando – and because the Solo Children’s parents don’t want them getting too reliant on droids.
Mara Jade: Has her own trading vessel – the Jade’s Fire – and is no longer directly a part of Talon Karrde’s organization. She runs a tight ship – not strictly military discipline, but not as laid back as Karrde’s crew.
For some reason, Mon Mothma tries to persuade Luke to go with Lando on his courtship mission.
This book is mainly frontloaded worldbuilding – setting up the Corellian system, it’s politics, it’s population, and what it used to be, so everything can go all topsy-turvy in the next two books.
We have a few mysteries that are set up here, which will hopefully be well explained in the later volumes. The book also appears to be setting up a number of plot threads on par with the Jedi Academy trilogy, before almost all of them seem to be dumped by the wayside at the end of the book, as the primary focus of the series – the Corellian uprising – is brought to the fore.
There are some bits that are rough – in particular the sequences with the Solo kids. They are written in the same sort of “YA/Middle Grade Kid Adventure Novel” style that Vonda McIntyre wrote them – except they don’t even have much of their own plot thread this story.
This novel also appears to pre-date the idea that red lightsabers are exclusive for the Sith, though there is certainly the possibility that the lightsaber that Luke gave Leia was Darth Vader’s lightsaber – but if that was the case, you’d think that would be explicitly stated.