"The Unifying Force," by James Luceno [Del Ray, 2003]

Discussion in 'Literature Review Forum' started by Errant_Venture, Apr 10, 2005.

?

"The Unifying Force," by James Luceno [Del Ray, 2003]

Poll closed Mar 25, 2012.
10 (Excellent) 38 vote(s) 46.9%
9 11 vote(s) 13.6%
8 15 vote(s) 18.5%
7 5 vote(s) 6.2%
6 (Average) 3 vote(s) 3.7%
5 (Average) 4 vote(s) 4.9%
4 0 vote(s) 0.0%
3 2 vote(s) 2.5%
2 2 vote(s) 2.5%
1 (Poor) 1 vote(s) 1.2%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. 1_4_Jedi Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2006
    star 1
    8/10

    The good. The bad. The ugly. The NJO.

    So this is it, the culmination of the NJO series. Needless to say, after the literary marathon that preceded it, I was expecting ALOT out of this book. Before I say anything else, I must give full credit to James Luceno for even attempting to bring about the resolution of the series in the first place. A tall order, to be sure it was.

    After I pushed through the mediocre and unnecessary (IMHO) beginning of this novel, things began to get interesting quickly - albeit with a healthy amount of necessity and predictability. Sure enough, many developments were fairly easy to see coming but at the same time it was nice to see them resolved just the same. I thought that the author did an excellent job of capturing a feeling of galaxy-wide scale and consequenses for the characters involved, but I would have liked to see some more loose threads from dropped plotlines throughout the series tied up even though it may have dragged the pace of the action down to a crawl. And speaking of action, there was plenty of it. Everything from Luke's combat with Shimrra in the pinnacle of the Vong throneroom to the absolutely colossal fleet warfare. Once you throw in Zonoma Sekot and Onimi into the mix, it was enough to make your head spin. The ending itself did leave alot to be desired for me though, as I still don't have a clear understanding of what all of this means regarding the Force. I was left wondering whether or not the Vong can/will be involved with the Force, and what role Sekot may play in that potential relationship.

    Overall, I enjoyed this book and the series as a whole but after it was finished I was left with even more questions than at the beginning and I cannot decide if the entire excercise may have done more harm than good for the EU.
    Perhaps it was all a calculated risk, designed to draw in the readers and retain marketability of SW media materials after the movies are finished. I suppose that only time will tell. Meanwhile, this book is one worth reading and not to be missed if you are following the NJO storyline.
  2. Kol_Skywalker Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2006
    star 4
    A satisfying conclusion to the NJO Saga. However, the deus ex machina resolution to the plot prevented me from giving this novel a perfect score.
  3. Siolo_Anoon Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2005
    BOO Zonama Sekot!!! BOOO!!!

    No hard feelings toward Luceno, the book worked with what it had. The idea behind the planet and the unvieling of the mysteries of the Vong just don't fit the feel of the cantinas and allies I grew up in in the SW universe.
    Hooray for Boba Fett and hooray for smugglers and starfighter pilots throwing back drinks. Cheers for Jedi introspection and for the philosophy.

    The story telling on the good guys' side of the lines was overall pretty good exept for the new "character" introduced by NJO, Zonama Sekot. The story telling throughout NJO on the bad guys was horribly inconsistant. Do they fight to the death or don't they? Are the blindly loyal or aren't they? Nom Anor inparticular; bad ass or worthless, snivling worm?

    So, let me get this straight? Chewbacca died for Anakin. Anakin died to save the jedi. Jacen learned how to create storm tornadoes capable of spinning even Vongform life and it made him happy but it made him sad because he'll never feel that apex again (sounds like J is flirting with a heroin problem)... They should've toned Jacen's whirlwind down a little and put the spotlight on Luke's decapitating of THE Supreme Overlord, none of this "oh wait, Luke's down... oh wait, Shimra's not real Overlord... oh wait, behind the curtain, there is no wizard, it's a littler, greasier, more powerful and unlikeable bad guy leader! Save us Jacen, save us." They could've gone without the sword in the stone rip off too. Psh.

    Everything was way too convenient, the writers abused their powers and let their imaginations run away with them. It's as if they were entertaining themselves without stopping to get some objective. The whole process of gathering writers, telling them "here's the start and here's the finish now you go kill this character and you introduce something wild and crazy and report back here, if it doesn't fit we'll make it fit." It seems like all the editing was done in the beginning of the creative process, the whole thing; backwards.

    I liked the beginning of NJO, some other parts throughout but not much as a whole. I liked the dark edge and the deaths which should've been unavoidable a war or two ago. And the enemy had it's highlights of frightening and honorable characters as well as epic and ruthless victories.

    In the end so much was in vain. Anakin and thus Chewie died to win battles that may not have even affected the outcome of the war since the magical planet could've changed the Voxin into little puppy dogs. There was no teamwork feeling, it was all a spotlight being shone on one prophesetic character after the next, from Anakin to Jaina to Tahiri to Jacen to Zonama, and Luke Skywalker gets to give speeches but can't see his son because babies are inconvenient to plots and setting of "epic war sagas".
  4. Rayson Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 4
    Overall, very satisfying read! :)
  5. LordRevan19 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2005
    star 4
    Very good, perfect ending to the series. 10/10
  6. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    This was why I couldn't give it a 10/10. I think we all knew from the moment Zonama Sekot the magical living planet was introduced that it was going to be involved in the solution to the conflict in some deus ex machina way, but I think it could have been done a little better. The thud bugs flying into the trees the moment the Vong landed on the planet was too much because it makes you wonder what the whole point of the war was if it was that easy to disarm and re-educate the Vong. I liked the idea of Zonama being the planet the Vong survivors eventually settled on, but it shouldn't have been so easy for them to adapt and remake themselves.

    Also, why would prophecy tell the Vong not to go to the galaxy with the living planet if it was indeed where they were destined to go?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.