Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Book Review: The Hutt Gambit (Star Wars) - A.C. Crispin

"The Hutt Gambit" is the second volume of A.C. Crispin's Han Solo Trilogy. At the end of "The Paradise Snare" a younger Han Solo was proud that he was accepted into the Imperial Navy and he looked forward to his career as an Imperial Soldier (potentially an officer) and a pilot. When we begin "The Hutt Gambit" we learn that Han had been dishonorably discharged from the service and he can be found in a bar with a Wookiee who has sworn a life debt to Han. The Wookiee, of course, is Chewbacca. Han acted against a superior office when he rescued Chewie from slavery, and from being killed. This brings Han full circle to become the smuggler we know in "A New Hope".

To start, Han does not want Chewbacca around. Han feels that there is no other way that he could have acted, and he was also paying off a debt that he felt he owed to a wookiee in "The Paradise Snare". But, Chewbacca insists and Han quickly gets used to having someone around to talk to. Han hires himself (and thus Chewie) out to the Hutts on the Smuggler's Moon. Specifically, Han takes employment with Jiliac and Jabba. Yes, that Jabba. This gets Han involved, on the periphery, of the interclan conflicts of the Hutts and also into battle with the Empire which is seeking to take control of some of the Hutt wealth.

"The Hutt Gambit" foreshadows Han's role in the Star Wars Trilogy, and does a good job in developing his character into the man we meet in "A New Hope". It sets up the relationships between Han and Lando, Boba Fett (this was interesting), Jabba, and Han's response to the Empire. This was a fast paced story and should be interesting to the Star Wars fan. I don't know how accessible this would be to those who are not familiar with Star Wars and it goes without saying that reading "The Paradise Snare" first is a must. This is worth reading for the Star Wars fan, but everyone else has to decide where they would like to enter the Star Wars universe.

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