The JC Lit Forum Reviews RETROSPECTIVE Special: Han Solo Trilogy III: Rebel Dawn

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Master_Keralys, Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

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    It has come to our attention that, sadly, there have not been reviews for all of the books. A few got missed along the way. So this is your chance to review books that never got reviewed along the way so that we can update our [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/27694330/p1]rankings in our all-time count[/link] and have these threads for reference in the Index, etc.

    This round it's Rebel Dawn, book 3 of the Han Solo Trilogy, which finished out Crispin's tale of Han Solo's tragic history and put him in position for Luke and Ben to meet him at the beginning ANH. So what's it going to be?

    Please review the book and provide a rating from 1 to 10.

    Previous review threads in the retrospective series:
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/29854881/r29861859/]The Approaching Storm, by Alan Dean Foster[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/29898013/p1/?26]Han Solo Trilogy I: The Paradise Snare, by Ann C. Crispin[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/29921661/r29948146/]Han Solo Trilogy II: The Hutt Gambit, by Ann C. Crispin[/link]

    Some previous review threads in the main review series:
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=17248664]Republic Commando: Hard Contact, by Karen Traviss[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=11891489]Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/15942000/]The Cestus Deception, by Steven Barnes[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/16243194/]Medstar I: Battle Surgeons, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/17032029/]Medstar II: Jedi Healer, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/17248649/]Jedi Trial, by David Sherman and Dan Cragg[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/17551522/]Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, by Sean Stewart[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/18155142/]Labyrinth of Evil, by James Luceno[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/19037782/]Revenge of the Sith, by Matthew Stover[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/22152447/]Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/14438851/]Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine, by Veronica Whitney-Robinson[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=10759477]Tatooine Ghost, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/14741176/]Survivor's Quest, by Timothy Zahn[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=6213214]Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream, by Aaron Allston[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=7012853]Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand, by Aaron Allston[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=7667586]Traitor, by Matthew Stover[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=8946420]Destiny's Way, by Walter Jon Williams[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=10343473]Force Heretic I: Remnant, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=11499850]Force Heretic II: Refugee, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=12177893]Force Heretic III: Reunion, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=13334532]The Final Prophecy, by Greg Keyes[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/13820980/]The Unifying Force, by James Luceno[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Literature/b10003/20839877/]Dark Nest I: The Joiner King, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b10003/21689405/]Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=http://board
  2. Liliedhe Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2009
    star 3
    Easily the weakest part of the trilogy. What started out as a very interesting look at the corners of the Star Wars universe in part one and continued reasonably well in part two, especially with the in depth examination of the Hutts, kind of fizzles out here. First of all, Han isn't even in half of the book, because he's busy off adventuring in the Corporate Sector (and having a lot more fun than the reader has here). Then, Bria, the disturbed kid of an affluent society who tried to fill her inner emptiness with drugs suddenly becomes a crack operative in the Rebellion and a skilled commando - no sorry didn't buy that at all. And then she gets killed off. Also, Boba Fett seemed OOC to me, with his "I gave my word of honor to tell her father she's dead".

    Sure, it's kind of clear where this story has to end - but honestly, the way the Rebellion fragged Han over, you'd expect him to be a lot more p****d off with them than he actually is. In ANH, he just doesn't want to be on the losing side for nothing. No, the parts don't really fit together smoothly.

    4/10
  3. Manisphere Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2007
    star 5
    Not much to say about this book. Off hand, I was surprised to see so little Han in the last book of the Han Solo Trilogy. I was not into the Bria stuff and it took a good hunk of the novel. I wasn't interested in it without Han. I just remember skimming the last 150 pages or so just to finish it. Honestly, though I liked the interludes, I have yet to read the Han Solo Adventures so the novel felt like it was really missing something.

    6.0
  4. Black-Dog Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2008
    star 4
    Though I liked the Han Solo triliogy as a whole this was my least favorite novel in it. I didn't care for the lack of Han in some chapters, but at least it showed the basis of why Lando acted hostile to Han at first in ESB. As with the previous books, I found the scenes involving the Hutts and Black Sun to be my favorite overall.

    7/10
  5. Jedimarine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 5
    Given when this book came out, and the effort it made toward continuity, I will forgive it's narrative gaps...mostly.

    However, overall, that does do it detriment, as does not being as great a tale as Paradise Snare (which was really a great original idea) and Hutt's Gambit (which was an incredible effort in sewing together elements of Han Solo's life and the underbelly of galactic business).

    Rebel Dawn tried to become a similar piece for the Rebellion that Hutt's Gambit was for Smugglers...except having Han involved in such at this stage wouldn't work, which why the tribute to the old adventure stories fits GREAT here...but alas, Bria was not the champion most desired (though I guess I didn't see her taking up as a rebel operative any more ludicrous then some hero tales in this universe) This book provided little in the way of creative new avenues, and is much more in the realm of encyclopedia entries in databanks and essential guides that we have today.

    But for it's time, it did bring a pretty tremendous "up to speed" on Han Solo...fleshing out the thins we knew and adding some flavorful things we didn't...and to this day, I think of Bria now and then in a Han/Leia moment...how different would it be...would it be different? etc.

    Anyway...as much the book suffers from outside influence, it also gets a benefit from being tied to 2 fantastic predecessors, and that cohesion for the trilogy is strong all the way through. A fantastic effort, one I have always been grateful for (I'm usually a pretty harsh critic, but I will give credit when I believe it's truly earned, as here).

    7.5 out of 10
  6. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

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  7. Corusca_One Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2005
    star 3
    While this is probably my least favourite of the trilogy it is still a good read. Personally I never had that much of a problem with Bria, she was a different sort of character to what we were perhaps used to and had her faults, however to me she remained an interesting aspect of the story and I read on as much to find out about Han as to find out what happened to her; why she left his life for good for example.

    All in all this is a good book, not a great book, just a good solid end to a trilogy that, in my opinion at least, has given the EU some of its finest moments and details. Han may disappear from the book, but for me he never disappeared from the story. Not to mention that the betrayal is a blinder, and one that actually makes the Han in the films even more intriguing.

    8/10
  8. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

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  9. Thrawn1786 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2004
    star 5
    I loved the entire series. This book is probably my favorite for the scenes with Black Sun-Ms. Crispin did a wonderful job writing Xizor and Guri. I also enjoyed the cameo by Dash at the end, as it tied into the appearance of the Outrider in the SE of ANH.

    Overall, the HST is my second favorite trilogy behind TTT. :)

    9.5/10
  10. Ebonn101 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2002
    star 2
  11. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

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  12. accrispin Author of the Han Solo Trilogy

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    Jul 11, 1998
    star 1
    Just wanted to say I enjoyed reading the three threads about my books.

    It was indeed rather awkward to have my protagonist unavailable for a year or so "book time," but Lucasfilm said to write the events of the Brian Daley trilogy into Rebel Dawn so it would be clear that I had maintained continuity.

    Happy Spring!

    -Ann C. Crispin
  13. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    (Welcome, Mister Crispin!)

    Personally, I like the way that A.C. Crispin wrapped up Han Solo's many myriad biographical elements into a single coherent narrative. While I didn't agree with some of the choices he made, like making Han Solo into a bit of an Artful Dodger character dealing with a Fagin style villain, I overall very much appreciated the narrative he had.

    We've followed Han Solo through many strange and bizarre adventures. It is here, however, that the author takes us right up to the Corellian Smuggler sitting down at the Mos Eisley Cantina to have his life changed by an old man, two droids, and a young kid. We know a lot more about Han now. His relationship with Xaverri, his willingness to defend Nar Shaddaa in a move that should have made him bigger than Lando Calrissian at Tanaab, and also why Jabba the Hutt is surprisingly willing to let Han Solo go in the Special Edition.

    One thing this book does that I am surprised more people haven't handled or tried to do is the fact that he shows the dark and seemy underbelly of the Rebellion. Bria isn't Princess Leia. Princess Leia paid back Han Solo for his efforts, despite how cash strapped the Rebellion was. Princess Leia would never stoop to being a drug runner for the Rebel Alliance which is what this entire mission amounts to. Princess Leia wouldn't turn a small army of smugglers against the Rebellion by betraying them.

    Bria...would.

    Han Solo and Bria's Broken Bird romance is nicely handled because it subverts so many romantic expectations. It'd have been easy for her to become a martyr for the Rebellion and leave Han eternally pining for her. However, this book shows that the consequences for her being one of the Ylesian Cultists were fairly long term and psychologically damaging. The Bria Tharin that Han Solo fell in love with was the idealist who left for Ylesia. It wasn't the vengeance crazed cynic that worked for the Rebellion.

    In many respects, it's surprising Han Solo took a chance on the Rebellion after being shafted by them the first time. However, that fits the write-up of Han Solo as presented in the book in the surprising idealist despite the constant attempts by the universe to make him into a worse person than he is.

    Rebel Dream is a fitting wrap-up for the story.

    8/10

    P.S. Mister Crispin, could you explain perhaps why you chose to end the relationship the way you did? I'm sure you've been asked that a billion times. However, it seems like a surprisingly bold choice.
  14. accrispin Author of the Han Solo Trilogy

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    star 1
    Um...I'm a chick, actually. Or, more accurately, an old lady. (smile)

    I'm getting ready to leave for the Pike's Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs, so I don't have time tonight to answer your questions. But I'll come back to this thread next week and respond then, okay?

    Till next week,

    -Ann C. Crispin
  15. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

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    Thanks for dropping in, Ann; it's been a pleasure to go back and review these books! Say hello to my hometown for me while you're there. :)

    Updated score: 59.5/8 = 7.4375
  16. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    Doh!

    I actually knew that, ma'am. I just had a brain burp.

    *bows*

    I am totally and horribly embarrassed now!

    *wince*

    *blush*
  17. Jedimarine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 5
    Underlining added to stress the statement.

    I'd give anything to have that Lucasfilm back.[face_praying]
  18. accrispin Author of the Han Solo Trilogy

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    star 1
    Dear Charlemagne:

    Okay, I'm back from Pike's Peak Writer's Conference, so I'll endeavor to answer the question you asked.

    Rebel Dream is a fitting wrap-up for the story.

    Actually, the book was titled "Rebel Dawn." <wink>

    P.S. Mister Crispin, could you explain perhaps why you chose to end the relationship the way you did? I'm sure you've been asked that a billion times. However, it seems like a surprisingly bold choice.

    Well, from time I first began to plot the trilogy, I tried to work "backward" to give Han reasons and motivations to become the man we first saw in the Mos Eisley Cantina.

    Here are a couple of points I considered:

    1. Han is suspicious of women, especially women who fight for the Rebellion.

    2. Han is determined to be paid for his efforts to help out the Rebellion.

    3. Han doesn't really make a serious move on Princess Leia for a couple of years after A New Hope.

    Conclusion I reached, and Lucasfilm agreed that it was a reasonable one, by dint of "working backward" -- before meeting Obi Wan, Luke and Princess Leia, Han Solo had had any unhappy love affair with a woman warrior who was part of the Rebellion. And that same woman had betrayed him by taking money -- money he'd earned -- from him.

    So I created a character that was capable of hurting Han by not keeping faith with him. I didn't want her to really cheat on him, because I wanted this character to be "shades of gray" rather than a real villainess. But I decided she would be a driven, somewhat unstable person with a very shadowed past, someone who could talk herself into doing something very wrong for the Cause she's embraced -- the Rebellion. Hence this woman, while truly loving Han with all her heart, convinces herself to betray him.

    As to why I chose to have Bria die at the end of the trilogy...it's like this. Princess Leia is the woman Han Solo was supposed to end up with. It would be "messy" to leave any "serious" former girlfriends alive and well. So I decided that Bria and her rather warped band of Rebels would go out with a bang, while having a military part to play in getting the stolen plans to Princess Leia's ship.

    I had read the other Dark Forces short novel, Jedi Knight, so I knew that Bria and her people wouldn't have any actual part in stealing the plans. Just in keeping the Empire away from where the plans were being beamed to the courier ship.

    And that seemed like a perfect place to end Bria's part in the story.

    I hope that answers your question.

    -Ann C. Crispin

  19. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 7
    From a hazy recall I'd rate this a 7, it does what it needs to - by the end I wanted Bria dead and she was, so good.

    One thing I've always wondered about that final mission for Bria's Red Hand is whether or not the Rebellion high command had decided that she had become a liability, that she was going too far but they couldn't just execute her so they assigned her a suicide mission. It would work quite well as the Rebellion's major selling point is the principles it's fighting for, including treating the enemy fairly - which Bria's acts undermine.
  20. Cash_Fendar Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2009
    star 1
    Sorry, I've only gotten around to reading the first book so far (actually I just finished it). But I am looking forward to picking up the other two after enjoying the first one, and based on the reviews it has been getting here I won;t be disappointed.

    Sorry also to Mrs. Crispin as I also thought that you were a "Mister" until I read the book jacket. Having never seen a picture or your actual full name I just automatically assumed you were a guy...but you know what they say about assuming...

    Anyway, I thought the first book was great, and can't wait to pick up the other two!
  21. blackmyron Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    9/10. Writing books that blend in with the movies is always difficult and many books don't suceed, on one level or another. Rebel Dawn is the exception. Not only that, but it gave me a new-found appreciation for the Daley novels which I had avoided as a kid.
    I've always been dissapointed that no other author has really followed up on Bria. Did Leia know her? :confused:
  22. Major_Derek_Klivian Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2001
    star 2
    Agreed. Tying a novel into a movie adds another complexity that stand-alone novels do not have, but the transition b/t Rebel Dawn and ANH was smooth and plausible enough. I think Han's cynicism about the Rebellion and women could have been generally chalked up to the personality of macho smuggler, but having a particular explanation adds that much more wonderful texture to the GFFA. Tying a novel into other novels can be even more difficult in that the books will then inevitably be compared in a way that a book and a film cannot. I appreciate the way in which Ms. Crispin approached this issue, though. In keeping her focus on explaining Han's behavior in the films rather than his behavior in other contexts such as the Daley trilogy, we can appreciate Daley's work on one hand and Crispin's on another without asking which is better. Truth be told, the trilogies are quite different, but each fulfills its purpose, one being a classic, swashbuckling space opera and the other being a vital, elucidating prequel.

    7.8/10

    Thanks for the visit, Ms. Crispin!

  23. accrispin Author of the Han Solo Trilogy

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    Jul 11, 1998
    star 1
    You're welcome. It was great to be able to come here and not be harrassed.

    I like this "new" policy here on these boards.

    -Ann C. Crispin
  24. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

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    star 5
  25. accrispin Author of the Han Solo Trilogy

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    Jul 11, 1998
    star 1
    Writing the Han Solo novels was quite good for my writing career, which might be a surprise to some. (Writing tie-in fiction is all too often regarded as "hack work" by many writers...something I find sad.)

    It was because of those books that I got my current assignment. I'm writing the first full length novel about another lovable rogue...

    Jack Sparrow.

    After reading the Han Solo books, the Disney editor in charge of finding an author to write a Jack Sparrow backstory novel called my agent.

    Funny old world, isn't it?

    -Ann C. Crispin
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