Book Review: The Corellian Trilogy – Part 3 – Showdown at Centerpoint
I now come to the conclusion of the Corellian Trilogy as we get to the bottom of events in the villain’s plan.
Author: Roger McBride Allen
Publication Date: October 1995
After being scattered to the five winds, our protagonists are starting to come back together. Han, Leia, and Mara have reunited on Selonia – in an attempt to meet the Selonian Republic Loyalist faction… only to discover that they’d surrendered when the Separatist Faction reveals that they control the planetary repulsor… only they don’t exactly control the Planetary Repulsor – a third group, made up of basically the Selonian equivalent of jackbooted murderous bastards does.
Meanwhile, Lando, Luke, and Agent Kalinda from the NRI have found out the truth of Centerpoint Station, that it is both the source of the interdiction field (and in turn the jamming) and the pulses that are destroying stars. While Centerpoint Station is too large and generally uncharted to allow for them to find the control center so they can shut the pulses down, they could be stopped by using one of the planetary repulsors. They just need to get control of one.
On Drall, Chewbacca, Ebrihim, his aunt Marcha, and the Solo kids have gotten the Planetary Disruptor from the last book operational and (unintentionally) fired off a pulse. This has caught the attention of Thrackan Sal-Solo, who puts two-and-two together and gets an opportunity out of the deal. He personally sends a team to capture the disruptor, and it almost works, until some very clever actions by the Solo Kids allows them to not only break out of their cells but also take the Falcon and send the Human League on a merry chase until the Falcon is rescued (and Sal-Solo is captured) by the Bakurans.
However, the backers of the Separatists have a rag-tag fleet of a few hundred kit-bashed ships which are on the way, while the Bakurans only have about a handful, albeit of better armed and in better condition ships. While a group of New Republic Techs (and the Solo Kids) try to get a handle on the firing of the Drall Repulsor, the Bakurans try to fend off the Separatist fleet.
In the process, Gaeriel Captison’s ship is badly damaged, and she and the captain are unable to evacuate (Gaeriel is paralyzed by an attack, and the captain intends to go down with the ship). They activate the self-destruct, destroying much of the Separatist fleet, disorganizing the remaining ships enough that they can’t stop Anakin from firing the Repulsor. Admiral Ackbar and the New Republic Navy come in afterward and mop up the rest of the Separatists.
- No, really, community and consensus is a big deal in Selonian culture – to the point that people who seek to betray their family, group, or clan through violence are considered social outcasts. The Selonians who are part of the Sacorrian Triad (the triumvirate government of Sacorria) are considered part of this group.
- The Corellian System is now taking some dramatic steps towards joining the New Republic.
Gaerial Captison: Killed in action, leaving her daughter behind.
Mara Jade: Most of the crew of the Jade’s Fire is missing, and may have been killed by the Human League on Corellia. She is very pissed off by this.
Lando Calrissian: Has proposed to Tendra Risant – who he met on Sacorria in book 1, and who served as an information source in the last two books with information on the Sacorrian fleet – and she accepted.
Considering that the name of the band “The Human League” well predates this story – I wonder if Roger McBride Allen has slipped other 70s and 80s New Wave references into his other books?
I liked the bit with the New Republic Tech who has family on the next planet on the Separatists’ hitlist. It puts a face on the impending destruction – which is important. With the destruction of Alderaan, there was the connection with Leia. With the destruction of Caridia, there was Kyp Durron’s brother. By comparison, in The Force Awakens, there’s Leia’s aide who only appeared in a deleted scene which I don’t think made the Blu-Ray. Yes, we see people on the planet before the attack lands, but that isn’t exactly the point.
Roger McBride Allen handles the trilogy format here much better than I think Kevin J. Anderson did. He doesn’t overstuff the books with side-plots, everything stays relatively contained, the motivations (generally) make sense, and is able to wrap everything up without rushing anything. It’s spectacular – in the sense that it is prose spectacle – but it’s not something I’d feel like I’d have revisited if I wasn’t doing this project.
That said, from later books in the series, I can reasonably say that we will revisit the events of this series again, though some of the decision they make will leave me scratching my head.