As ruthless apprentice to Darth Vader, Starkiller was mercilessly schooled in the ways of the dark side, commanded to exterminate the last of the purged Jedi Order, and groomed for the ultimate Sith power play: assassination of the Emperor. He served without question, killed without remorse, and lost his heart without warning to beautiful Imperial fighter pilot Juno Eclipse, never suspecting that he was just a tool in the schemes of his masters—until it was too late to escape their lethal betrayal.
Juno mourned Starkiller as dead... but now he is back, purged of all memories and programmed to kill. And as fate brings Juno and Starkiller closer to reuniting, with Darth Vader determined not to lose his assassin a second time, they will both have to make a stand. The prize is freedom. The punishment for failing will be eternal enslavement to the dark side of the Force...
Starkiller, who died in the first ‘The Force Unleashed’, has returned albeit as a clone. Darth Vader has a hand in this and we soon find Starkiller making his escape. Once he has escaped the book centres on him being reunited with Junos. There are some familiar faces along the way such as Princess Leia, Boba Fett and Yoda.
I had read the graphic novel prior to this and I was keen to add some flesh to the story. There is far more background here, as you expect in the novel, and I enjoyed this book a lot more than the graphic novel. However, I found the storyline had been put together quickly and haphazardly by Sean Williams and to me felt a bit disjointed from the Star Wars Extended Universe. Yoda has a small cameo and Princess Leia’s involvement feels wrong somehow.
The characterisation is as you would expect for this genre and novel, and is no more than just lightly glossed over. The fight scenes between Starkiller and Darth Vader with a few monsters thrown in, was reminiscent of the monsters from the Jabba the Hutt scenes in Return of the Jedi. The last part of the book was also the strongest as the action moved towards Kamino. The ending felt forced though and the book ends on a cliff-hanger, which sets up another sequel. Personally, I feel the next book must conclude the story and Sean Williams talents used in better plots for the usually brilliant Star Wars Extended Universe.
Review by Allan Fisher
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