Dark Forces: Rebel Agent

November 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Reads) (, , , )

agentDark Forces: Rebel Agent by William C. Dietz


I got confused at the start of this presentation, since it began with Morgan Katarn’s story, told from his perspective. At first, I thought I had confused the father and the son, but no, I remembered Kyle Katarn is the character from the Dark Forces series. Then I thought I had mixed up the order of the audio dramatizations, but after checking, I saw I was going in the right direction. By that time, a good chunk of the first part of the story was done, and I had to go back and start over because I was too distracted to get anything out of it.

In actuality, this story takes place five years after the end of Return of the Jedi, though it starts in flashback before Soldier for the Empire. Katarn is still a not-100%-trustworthy member of the Rebel Alliance, which is unusual, since by now the Empire is on the decline. I mean, five years on, and Mon Mothma still doesn’t trust the guy completely? OK.

Speaking of Mon Mothma, this series is lousy with fan service, since all the well-known characters from the movies show up. Yoda appeared in Soldier for the Empire, and now Luke, Leia, and Mon Mothma all show up, too. (If I’m remembering correctly, R2-D2 has a cameo, too, by way of Leia. It’s been a few days since I listened to it, and I might be mixing it up with one of the other books in the series.) On the one hand, the Force can bring all these folks together; on the other hand, it makes the Expanded Universe that much smaller, since everything seems to revolve around these five-to-ten characters.

Since this is an audio presentation, it suffers from the same problems as other dramatizations: things being spoken aloud that people wouldn’t normally say; things happening too quickly to stay under a certain time limit; dialogue that works well on paper, but sounds cheesy and insincere when spoken aloud. Dietz’s original story might not have these issues, but the audio drama had me rolling my eyes at parts of it.

I’d like to say this chapter fills in more of Katarn’s backstory, but nothing much happens. We hear again (and again) about his father being killed by the Empire, so narratively there’s little progression. The showdown between Katarn and Jerec comes closer, but nothing much is resolved. It’s a buildup to the third chapter, and winds up being so insubstantial that it tries to float away. The audiobooks are two hours each, so I’m tearing through them on my drive to work, but I’m not sure I would recommend these stories, even to fans of the franchise and the video game.


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