- Colleen McMillan
Colleen’s Book Corner: NJO: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
Author: Aaron Allston
Published May 2002
Set 27 ABY
Can We Ditch Han and Leia?
I didn’t enjoy the second part of this duology as much as the first, but there were some excellent sections that hold this book at the same lightsaber score. I wasn’t as interested in Han and Leia’s sections, journeying across the galaxy trying to set up resistance cells. I loved Artoo’s prison break, but it didn’t seem to push the plot forward much. I kept wanting to get back to Jaina and Jag on Borleias and Luke and Mara on Coruscant.
Who’s That Villain?
The Coruscant mission was the most intriguing at first, with Allston introducing a new villain whose POV sections were all in italics. The reveal of the villain’s true identity was a bit lackluster, but he was a terrifying presence for most of the novel. I was very glad he didn’t turn out to be a Vader clone or something similar. Maybe if he hung around for more than one book, I could see why including him in the story was important. But, it was amazing to see Tahiri fight his powerful mind control.
Wedge is Back at It!
Wedge’s pipefighter scheme was also really fun to see play out, and he even pulled a tactic from Thrawn’s playbook, deceiving the Yuuzhan Vong into thinking he had a new superweapon when in reality it was all smoke and mirrors. Clever Wedge! Wedge was the powerhouse of this duology, and he owns every paragraph he’s in. And he’s the best damn pilot in the galaxy. You’ve come a long way from Yavin IV, my guy!
More Character Work
Nen Yim also made an intriguing return, allying with Tsavong Lah to destroy those conspiring against him. Lah has become a formidable villain for the series, being fleshed out by his religious zealotry and hubris. The final image of him sitting alone on his warmaster’s throne was both chilling and sad. Are we supposed to pity him?
Final Thoughts: 9/10 Lightsabers
I also really enjoyed the secondary and tertiary characters again. The Wraith Squadron members, holo-recorder Tam, and Dreadnaught captain Commander Eldo Davip were highlights of the book. I’m really excited to read the X-Wing Series once I complete NJO, if only to spend more time with some of these characters.