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Star Wars: Allegiance
Timothy Zahn
Lucas Books / Del Rey, 324 pages

Timothy Zahn
Timothy Zahn's SF career began by selling SF stories to Analog magazine while he was a physics grad student at the University of Illinois. When his thesis advisor died, he decided to write full-time. He started with hard SF, writing the Cobra series of military SF novels. In 1984, he won a Hugo for his novella "Cascade Point." His writing has a distinctly humanistic touch, so it seems obvious to some that Theodore Sturgeon was an early influence. Zahn is perhaps best-known as one of the original authors commissioned to write novels in the Star Wars realm.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Star Wars: Outbound Flight
SF Site Review: Night Train to Rigel
SF Site Review: The Green And The Gray
SF Site Review: Star Song and Other Stories
SF Site Review: Manta's Gift
SF Site Review: Angelmass
SF Site Review: Icarus Hunt
SF Site Review: Star Wars: Specter of the Past

Past Feature Reviews
A review by David Maddox

Star Wars: Allegiance A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... a simple farm boy helped destroy a space station, a scoundrel found fell in love with a Princess and a Sith Lord found redemption. The original Star Wars Trilogy reverberates through the hearts of all ages. As this year marks the 30th Anniversary of Episode IV: A New Hope, what better way to relive those nostalgic feelings than with a trip back to mere weeks after the destruction of the first Death Star and an adventure penned by the incomparable Timothy Zahn.

Zahn made his mark in the Star Wars Universe nearly twenty years ago by almost single-handedly revitalizing the franchise with his Heir to the Empire novel trilogy. In addition to bringing back the classic characters, he also introduced fans to Mara Jade, Grand Admiral Thrawn and Talon Karrde, pretty much jump-starting the entire Expanded Universe. His current novel, Allegiance, returns readers to a simpler time of the Rebellion battling the Empire.

While a bright-eyed, na´ve, Non-Jedi Luke and an unsure-if-he-wants-to-go-along-with-this-Alliance Han Solo plan for a secret mission, a young Princess Leia debates on how to handle unrest within the newly formed Rebellion. An eighteen-year-old Mara Jade is also pivotal to story. The moments between her and a troubled Darth Vader are memorable.

The main focus of the story, however, are five rogue StormTroopers, led by Daric LaRone, a soldier whose faith in the Empire was shaken by Alderaan's destruction. He leads a team of loyal fighters, Quiller, Brightwater, Marcross and Grave, on missions under the guise of the Empire, to right wrongs that they see occurring, while trying to stay one step ahead of their former superior, a pompous Captain Ozzel.

Always true to form when writing characters he created (see last year's Outbound Flight for a fascinating look at a young Thrawn) Zahn scripts a compelling story of players who are questioning whether the Empire is really a force for order, or something far more sinister.

The novel also has a three or so paragraph sequence that introduces a character named "Stacy," done to incorporate Trey Stokes Pink Five character from his popular series of fan films into the Star Wars cannon. On a personal note, I'd much rather see Robert Reeve's Bob Beefkins of the award-winning Cheap Seats fame be inducted into continuity next.

Overall, Allegiance is another rousing adventure from Zahn. Although the pirates and corrupt royalty of the story do seem rather flat, fans will get a smile seeing the classic characters as when they were first introduced 30 years ago and EU aficionados will enjoy subtle elements that set up adventures to come. Any additions Zahn cares to make to the Expanded Universe are welcome.

Copyright © 2007 David Maddox

David Maddox
Science fiction enthusiast David Maddox has been many things, including Star Trek characters and the Riddler in a Batman stunt show. He holds a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University, and has written several articles for various SF sites as well as the Star Wars Insider and the Star Trek Communicator. He spends his time working on screenplays and stories, acting on stage and screen and giving tours at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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