Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Star Wars: Shatterpoint
Matthew Stover
Del Rey / LucasBooks, 406 pages

Star Wars: Shatterpoint
Matthew Stover
Matthew Stover was born in 1962. He graduated in 1983 from Drake University and settled in Chicago. He worked as a bartender in a private sports club as well as spending time as an actor, theatrical producer, playwright, and theatre co-founder. His previous fantasy novels include Iron Dawn and Jericho Moon. He lives in Chicago, Illinois, with artist and writer Robyn Fielder.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Blade of Tyshalle
SF Site Interview: Matthew Woodring Stover
SF Site Review: Blade of Tyshalle
SF Site Review: Heroes Die
SF Site Review: Jericho Moon

Past Feature Reviews
A review by David Maddox


"The Jedi are keepers of the peace. We are not soldiers."
Stiff words from one of the strongest Jedi Masters on the High Council. Mace Windu, though unhappy with the turn the Republic has taken, believes the time-honored code of his Order will help guide him through this turbulent time. But now that the Clone War has begun, do the ideals held by the Jedi still apply? Is it possible there's no place for them in this new, war-torn cosmos? Windu will have to journey into the darkest reaches of a primitive jungle to face his own shadows, if he hopes to find an answer.

Matthew Stover's Star Wars: Shatterpoint, the first in a new Clone Wars saga of novels, is a well-executed adventure story as well as a soul-searching personal journey. Mace Windu is developed into a full, three-dimensional hero with a lot of flaws which makes him far more entertaining than the somewhat flat character seen on-screen. The reader learns of his Force ability to see the "shatter point" of a situation, meaning he can "see" the breaking point of any person, event or situation. A mixed blessing at best.

Depa Bilaba, a member of the Jedi Council, has vanished on the mysterious jungle world of Haruun Kal. When reports of gruesome war atrocities reach Coruscant, Windu is disturbed to learn Depa may be responsible. Has she fallen to the dark side... or something much worse? Since Depa was originally Windu's Padawan, he is compelled to make a solo trek to this world to uncover the truth, even though he knows he will not like what he fines.

The fact that the tale deals with war does put a heavy down note on the novel, especially with some of the tragic twists. Unfortunately this book has little to do with the Clone War itself, dealing instead with "The Summertime War", which has been raging on this generic jungle planet for years. George Lucas obviously wants nothing too major revealed until Episode III is released, so the story does have the flavor of filler.

But what saves it is the brilliant character development Stover puts into all the protagonists. Depa is a well-formed portrayal of a warrior beaten past the breaking point by a situation she can't control. Hints are revealed of her noble past, paralleling how far she has fallen.

Kar Vastor, the "villain" of the story is more an embodiment of the futility of war. He was born from it, it's all he knows and all he does. His raw, animal savagery is a nice contrast to Windu's stoic emotions.

Then there's the Clone Troopers. Stover captures their unwavering commitment to duty, while still having them appear as individuals about whom one can care. It's a pity there's so little of them featured in the story.

But it's Mace Windu who really comes alive on the page, from his eternally furrowed brow to the guilt he feels whenever he sees a Clone Troopers face... apparently Jango Fett was admired by the children of this world. He also suffers dreams of failure. Windu blames himself for not killing Count Dooku on Geonosis, the shatterpoint that would have prevented the entire Clone War in the first place.

But in the end, Star Wars: Shatterpoint is a solid adventure and well worth the read. LucasBooks continues to add more depth to the Star Wars universe with characters and events that are memorable and intriguing. Mace Windu Fans will not want to miss this one.

Copyright © 2003 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. He spends his time working on screenplays and stories, acting on stage and screen and giving tours at Universal Studios Hollywood.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide