We continue with the Corellian trilogy as we branch out to a larger exploration of the Corellian system.
Author: Roger MacBride Allen
Publication Date: June 1, 1995
Following the events of Ambush at Corellia, the Solo family has been scattered. Leia and Mara Jade are held under house arrest in the remains of the embassy on Corellia itself. Han has been captured following his attempt to help Chewie, the kids, and their tutor Ebrihim escape on the Falcon; and Belindi Kalenda on a X-TIE. Han now finds himself at the mercy of the Human League and its leader, his racist, murderous cousin Thrakan Sal-Solo. Luke and Lando have made their way back to Coruscant to report in on the massive Interdiction field surrounding the Corellian system – and Kalenda arrived shortly after with the list of systems due for supernovas that had been delivered to Leia.
On Ebrahim’s homeworld of Drall, he, Chewie, and the Solo kids hole up with Ebrahim’s aunt, Marcha. There they learn about the discovery of some ancient, high tech ruins on Drall – ones similar to the ancient ruins that the Solo family and Ebrahim explored on Corellia, and which the Human League were particularly interested in. Anakin had managed to find a secret portion of those ruins on Corellia, and after much deliberation, the group checks out the similar ruins on Drall. After realizing that the existing dig crew is digging in the wrong spot – the group secretly bores a hole through the roof of a portion of the ruins, and there finds…
Actually, no (though it is a clear reference to Indiana Jones). They find a matching portion of ruins. As they are able to explore more in-depth without fear of discovery, they are able to discover that a hanging platform that Anakin had found earlier in the other ruins is, in fact, an elevator. After examining the ruins, and based on the information from the exploration from the ruins of Corellia, Marcha realizes that this must be a massive Repulsor, one designed to move a planet…
Meanwhile, on Coruscant… during a secret meeting of Lando, Luke, Mon Mothma, the head of New Republic Intelligence, and Admiral Ackbar, Luke and Lando learn that the New Republic military is, at the moment, spread rather thin. They just don’t have the ships to send into the Corellian system as part of relief efforts. Luke and Lando are sent to Bakura to negotiate with the government to borrow the use of some ships for an expedition into the system. What ships the navy can scrape up will be used for evacuation efforts on the worlds in systems on the Nova List.
On Corellia, Mara Jade and Leia make a jailbreak from their rooms, and head for Mara’s ship, the Jade’s Fire. After getting off world, after much deliberation, they decide to make their way to Selonia, in the hopes of being able to hole up there. Similarly, a group of Selonians bust Han out of the Human League’s custody, in the hopes of getting him to Selonia to assist a rebel faction in getting New Republic support, so they can bring Selonia into the Republic.
All of these groups will mostly be reunited (except for Chewie and company) in the space over Selonia.
- Selonian society is heavily focused on families, with family ties being much stronger in their society than in human societies.
- Draal society started tracking their history well before most other civilizations in the galaxy.
- It is confirmed that the Corellian system is artificial – most of the planets in the system were moved here from elsewhere, with each having a Repulsor on it large enough to move a planet – or smash an incoming fleet.
- We get more information on Centerpoint Station – it’s approximately the size of a small moon, like the Death Star (or Iserlohn Fortress in Legend of the Galactic Heroes).
- Corellia wasn’t just a trading port, it was also a major shipbuilding hub, with Star Destroyers explicitly being stated as having been built in the system.
Han Solo: Han ran with his cousin for a while, and didn’t much like the experience, considering that he considered his cousin to be mentally unstable with violent tendencies. Speaks Selonian (roughly).
Luke Skywalker: Luke still has some lingering feeling for Gaeriel Captison from the events of The Truce at Bakura. However, he’d given up – particularly since about 14 years have passed between then and now.
Mon Mothma: While she is not the Head of State, she is apparently in a position where once the Corellian system was left incommunicado (and with it Leia), she was able to move into an interim position of authority.
Gaeriel Captison: Former Prime Minister of Bakura – married Admiral Pter Thanas, and had one child – a daughter. Has not remarried after Pter died of Knowt’s Disease (which going from the description is basically Space Necrotising Fasciitis).
A few bits from this book get carried over or referenced in the New Universe. The bit with Han using his limited knowledge of an alien language his captors don’t speak to stage a fight for their benefit and for an eventual escape attempt comes up in Solo, as does information about Corellia being a starship construction hub (including construction of Star Destroyers).
While Wookiepedia calls the book out for having Centerpoint station be the size of the Death Star, when Han as incredulous of the idea of a space station that size, I can cut some slack for that given the idea that Centerpoint Station was considered to be somewhat unique in the Galaxy.
This book works better as middle chapter far better than the Jedi Academy trilogy does. The book does a fantastic job of taking these disparate plot threads and bringing them together to set up a climax. Some mysteries get a partial answer, but not a conclusive one, and we get a few new questions.
In particular, I like how Allen plays with a concept that Kevin J. Anderson uses as well – the banality and pettiness of evil. In Anderson’s work, we have stuff like the bureaucracy of Empire just grinding on, uncaring of who and what goes through the gears. In Allen’s work, we have what may be a similar situation, except in this case it’s Thrackan Sal-Solo (if not any of the other factions), trying to screw over their patrons over a goddamn percentage, with Sal-Solo undermining the plan as part of a grandiose (and also kinda stupid) power play.