Welcome back to Star Wars School! I've read another piece of literature from a galaxy far, far away and am here to share what I found. Today's book is a blast from the past, and before we get into the nitty-gritty, I'll give you the basic details to see if it's something you'd be interested in reading yourself.
Published: 1993 by Bantam Books
Legend or Canon: Legend! Like The Courtship of Princess Leia, the book was demoted to legend during the Disney expansion of the Star Wars Universe. Aftermath by Chuck Wendig is supposed to replace The Truce at Bakura in the official timeline, but many fans believe the two stories could co-exist with no issue.
Time Period: Days after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The book picks up where we left off with our heroes on Endor.
Setting: The planets Endor and Bakura.
Characters You Already Know: Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2D2, and C3PO.
Synopsis: After the Ewok party is over, the Alliance intercepts a transmission from the Empire-occupied planet of Bakura. The Bakurans are being invaded by an army of lizard/bird people called the Ssi-ruuk and are asking the Empire for reinforcements. The Alliance seizes the opportunity to bring Bakura into the New Republic, sending their best diplomats in to secure a truce.
Fair warning: the first 50 or so pages of this novel were hard to get through. If you stick with it, it's a very exciting story. You can pick up your own copy here. If you don't have the time or simply just don't feel like reading it, move on ahead.
Unattributed sketch of Leia Organa and Imperial Governor Wilek Nereus agreeing to a truce (at Bakura)
Something that bothers me personally in writing in the overuse of... ellipses. Sprinkled in, they're great. But when they're used all over the place, I find it incredibly annoying.
Another immediate reading turn-off was the suggestion that Luke wished he and Leia weren't siblings so they could kiss more. At least, that's what I got out of the following sentence "Luke pursed his lips. He'd loved Leia all along, wishing... Well, that was behind him." I almost gave up on this book at this point—because barf—but in the name of journalism I pressed on.
Despite the shaky beginning, the story does have some excellent moments. We see the Alliance work to bring the New Republic to a galaxy in shambles. We see Han try to get some alone time with Leia. We get to see the Rebels and Imperials work together against a common enemy.
We get to see Leia in her element as a diplomat, but Tyres takes the time to explore her reaction to being a Skywalker. Leia is having a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that Darth Vader was her biological father. She is triggered by little things that remind her of this fact, often to the point of losing her temper over it. I mean, it's warranted. The guy did blow up the planet she grew up on in front of her.
Art posted by RebeLibrarian on Twitter
One of my favorite scenes in the book included Anakin Force-appearing to Leia. Not Darth Vader in the suit- Anakin Skywalker before he went off the rails. Anakin first tells her to tell Luke to "remember that fear is of the dark side." Leia is obviously confused, but Luke had told her about how Obi-Wan and Yoda had appeared to him. As soon as he revealed himself to be her father, she shuts down and anger overtakes her. He then tells her that anger is also of the dark side.
He continues by apologizing for the atrocities of Darth Vader and asks Leia to try to forgive him. She strongly refuses, and he says that if she changes her mind, she can reach out to him. He tells her he'll always be with her, which She doesn't appreciate at the time but by the end of the book she's at least able to make peace with her lineage. It's sweet to see Anakin be a good dad despite all of his past problematic behavior. For further humanization of Anakin Skywalker, please watch the Clone Wars on Disney+.
Anyways, the threat to Bakura comes in the form of lizard/bird people called the Ssi-ruuk who use human life energy to fuel their droids and ships. The Ssi-ruuk use a process called "entechment" to rip the soul out of a human and funnel it into a tech device. It's very creepy. They plan to entech all of Bakura before moving on to the next planet. Since they don't use the basic language, they have a Force- sensitive human slave named Dev translate to the Bakurans. Dev has been brainwashed by the Ssi-ruuk into thinking he's happily helping them by translating and calming humans before entechment.
Unattributed art depicting the process of entechment
Once Dev senses Luke's presence on Bakura, the Ssi-ruuk's plans change and they develop an entechment process in which they can use Luke's Force-essence to entech humans from distance. They make a deal with the Imperials on Bakura that if they give up Skywalker, their army will leave the planet.
Obviously, that doesn't go to plan because Luke Skywalker lives to fight another day. In the end, our heroes defeat both the Ssi-runk and the Imperials. The Bakurans agree to join the New Republic. Luke almost finds love.
Unattributed art depicting Gaeriel Captison on Wookiepedia
A Bakuran senator named Gaeriel develops feelings for Luke despite her prejudices against Jedi. Luke is attracted to her the moment he feels her through the Force. He offers for her to come serve Bakura at Alliance headquarters so they can be together; but she refuses, saying that her palace is on Bakura to help her people heal. They do share a kiss to satiate all of us romantics out here.
Although Truce at Bakura wasn't necessarily my favorite Star Wars novel, it still was a fun read and had some cool nerdy nuggets.
If you've read the book or have any ideas for what I should add to my reading list, let me know in the