Saturday, August 30, 2014

Shatterpoint was Shattered Dreams.

Book review by Jeff Carroll ATTENTION Spoiler Alert.

Shatterpoint was supposed to be the highlight of my year of reading Star Wars books but it wasn't.  I remember when I saw a book about Mace Windu I was very excited because he was a top Jedi and second black guy I saw in the Star Wars universe.  So when I picked up the book I expected to learn about his history and meet other Black people in Star Wars.  Unfortunately, the story was boring.  It was heavy with detail and military strategy.  I know he is a Jedi and it is the Star wars Universe I just wanted it to have a personal feel.  This story was all fighting and little background.  400 hundred pages and three books in one and I still don't know much about Mace.  Who were his parents? How did he become a Jedi?  In the story he was like a robot, only siting rules and regulations.
                Shatterpoint even disappointed me as a Black man.  Okay let me explain.  Mace Windu is the baddest black man in Star Wars.  Not that there were a lot of Black people to begin with.  Mace Windu and Lando Calrissian that’s it for Black people in the Star Wars Universe.  There are more Black people in the expanded universe but there are only two which have made it to the big screen and that’s what matters.  In Shatterpoint the story was set in Mace’s home planet and go figure it’s a jungle planet.  Okay, that’s not racist because there are other jungle planets in the Star Wars universe but it didn't feel real creative having it be a planet of black people. Next, Mace Windu is revered as the best lightsaber swordsman of his time and in his first stand allow story he loses his two fights.  You can image how let down I felt.  I’m not going to tell you about who he fights because it doesn't matter because I've read other Star Wars books and the heroes win and loose.  Mace on the other hand lost his first one on one fight.  He lost so bad the villain spared him.  Mace was sitting there like a punk.  Then in his second fight he got his ass handed to him again.  The only reason why he didn't get killed is because some regular person saved him.  Not even another Jedi, a regular human.  How corny is that? Mace is the Jedi who beat Jango Fett and could beat Count Dooku.  Hell he beat the Dark Lord of the Sith in quick time.  That’s like Wolvervine almost killed and being saved by some kid off the street in a Wolvervine movie.
                This book had to be written by someone who wasn’t a big fan of Mace Windu or the Star Wars universe curators wanted to back track on creating such a powerful character. In 2013 I decided to only read Star Wars books.  I read The Lost Tribe of the Sith (1 star),   Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu (4 Stars), Death Troopers (3 Stars), The Force Unleashed (5 Stars), The Paradise Snare, a Han Solo story (4 Stars), Imperial Commando: 501st (2 Stars) and Shatterpoint (2 Stars). 
                Star Wars is my favorite universe and I love the expanded universe I hope they continue to conform to the diversity of the changing world.  I recommend watching the last 3 seasons of the Clone Wars as well as the new season coming this fall, Rebels.  All of the books I gave 4 or more stars are books I recommend. Don’t take my word for the final word, I like action stories with not so much strategic description.  Many of the Star Wars books seem to be written by Star Wars scholars rather than fun loving fans.  Maybe Star Wars needs to ease back on the precision and let writers have fun.  The books were more like military Sci-fi than fun action children friendly type stories.  So, by all means please read and make up your own opinion. I plan on reading The Force Unleashed Two and some more Han Solo stories. I even plan on writing a fan Mace Windu story. Enjoy Please enjoy reading Star Wars books I just hope Shatterpoint doesn't shatter your dreams.