The Force Unleashed II

November 8, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

unleashedThe Force Unleashed II by Sean Williams

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The first Force Unleashed book was disappointing and, frankly, a bit boring. Its main fault was that it was an adaptation of a video game that, while still story-based, was written as a series of missions, so there was a strange stuttering pace to the novel I couldn’t adjust to. The sequel (?) is better, partly because I couldn’t detect the missions of the story, and partly because the story was divided between its two main characters for the first half of the book.

The Force Unleashed was about Juno and Starkiller, the two star-crossed lovers who couldn’t quite figure each other out until the end of the book. It was a bit too much Twilight and not enough Star Wars for me, and Williams (or the original writers for the game; it’s hard to tell who to credit/blame) kept them separate, with Starkiller doing his thing as Vader’s servant in one chapter, and Juno being a part of the Rebellion in the next. It’s more interesting (well, Juno’s story is, at least), and less of a soap opera. Of course, the soap opera element returns in the second half, but it’s not quite as Twilight-y as it was in the first book.

My biggest complaint about the story is the use of clones. I’m starting to feel like Indiana Jones here — “Clones! Why’d it have to be clones?” — because this device is so overused in the Expanded Universe. I haven’t read the books where it happens, but I understand that Luke and the Emperor appear as clones later in the chronology. It’s a too-easy solution to write about a character you like without having to struggle with how to insert it into the existing canon.

I enjoyed this book better than The Force Unleashed, but it’s not without its own issues. I expect fans of the game would get the most out of it, but for folks interested in stories outside of the movies, I recommend skipping over this series. Aside from them not being that interesting, they also present issues with continuity between the movies and the EU.

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