|Events that occur between 22 years and
19 years before the Battle of Yavin.
|Del Rey [US]; Arrow
|Story published as:
Hardback Novel (2003)
Audio Book (2003, 2007)
Paperback Novel (2004)
If you have read this book, please
3 reviews [Average review
score: 4.5 / 5]
THE HARUUN KAL CRISIS
Mace Windu is a living legend: Jedi Master, senior
member of the Jedi Council, skilled diplomat,
devastating fighter. Some say he is the deadliest man
alive. But he is a man of peace - and for the first time
in a thousand years, the galaxy is at war.
Now, following the momentous events climaxing in the
Battle of Geonosis, Master Mace Windu must undertake a
perilous homecoming to his native world to defuse a
potentially catastrophic crisis for the Republic... and
to confront a terrifying mystery with dire personal
The jungle planet of Haruun Kal, the homeworld Mace
barely remembers, has become a battleground in the
increasing hostilities between the Republic and the
renegade Seperatist movement. The Jedi Council has sent
Depa Billaba - Mace's former Padawan and fellow council
member - to Haruun Kal to train the local tribesmen as
guerilla resistance force, to fight against the
Seperatists who control the planet and its strategic
star system with their droid armies. But now th
Seperatists have pulled back, and Depa has not returned.
The only clue to her disappearance is a cryptic
recording left at the scene of a brutal massacre: a
recording that hints of madness and murder, and of the
darkness in the jungle... a recording in Depa's own
Mace Windu trained her. Only he can find her. Only he
can learn what has changed her. Only he can stop her.
Jedi were never intended to be soldiers. But now they
have no choice. Mace must journey alone into the most
treacherous jungle in the galaxy - and into his own
heritage. He will leave behind the Republic he serves,
the civilization he believes in, everything but his
passion for peace and his devotion to his former Padawan.
And he will learn the terrible price that must be paid,
when keepers of the peace are forced to make war...
The paperback version also includes
the short story Equipment
by Matthew Stover.
This story occurs 6 months after the Battle of Geonosis,
approximately 21 and a half years before the Battle of
Related stories (in
Review by Volkan Gün,
"A great book written in his typical Matthew Stover style.
Great characters and ambiance. A must have."
Rating: 5 / 5
Review by Dirk
Loechel, Germany, 2009:
A review from a non-fan perspective
This is the second Star Wars book I’ll review here, and one I
bought in a bundle with Traitor,
both books having been recommended by a friend to me. Traitor’s
review is already up. You can find it on this page.
Again disclaimer: I am not a fan. Not a hater either, but space
opera just never has been what rocks my socks off.
Sometimes, I felt a bit left out. I don’t recognize equipment by
name and have to guess what, for example, a Merr-Son Power 5 is (or
look it up on wookieepedia – usually, one can guess, though), I
sometimes have trouble with the myriad species this universe offers
(again, gotta wookiee it), and I probably missed a lot of hints to
events covered in other books or the movies.
However, I caught something else. This book is an interpretation of
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, famously adapted by Francis Ford
Coppola as Apocalypse Now. Or maybe it is an adaptation of
Apolcalyse Now – the liberal use of napalm and the idea of an
officer sent to deal with a rogue commander whose rebel army does
unspeakable things is obvious, too. Either way, this is something I
really didn’t expect when I picked it up.
The interpretation is rather free – naturally, given it is
transported not only into space opera but also a pre-existing and
very detailed world, the Star Wars shared universe. Still, the vibe
of both books remains. Civilisation ends here, and all it’s
shackles, rules, and sanity vanish.
As Mace’s journey to retrieve his lost Padawan proceeds, he meets
natives – his own kin, since as a baby he was taken from there –
traverses the horrid, hellish jungle, meets the jungle’s avatar (a
dark Jedi of sorts actually), witnesses two massacres, witnesses a
few children whom he saved from certain death betray him and other
things both best left unspoilered and unsaid, and that is before he
even meets what’s become of his former Padawan. It goes downhill
there for Mace, and even the end is a phyrric victory.
This book is considerably brutal, sporting scenes that could lead it
to fall into gorn, as so many other authors of scifantasy do. It
doesn’t. Instead, it makes the reader emphathise with the
protagonist, describing his reactions to the only briefly brushed
over carnage. It does so pretty well.
Where this book really excels, though, is where the Jedi philosopohy
and how a Jedi knight works are described. Usually, The Jedi feel a
bit odd – pacifist warrior monks with a few levels in cleric for
good measure. Here, they are shown to be awesome, but with a codex
– a codex not based on moralism, but on how the force works.
Intriguing. Also, mace just rocks. The journals add another layer of
depth to his character, one he really deserves, and round this book
out, balancing the combat heaviness with moments of insight and
Overall Impression: awesome.
Rating: 5 / 5
Review by Ewan,
Star Wars Books & Comics,
"One of the hardest tasks in Star Wars fiction writing is
taking a character created by George Lucas who, although appearing
for not very long in any of the films, is still a fundamental
character to the overall story. This is the only fiction novel that
features Mace Windu in the lead role and Matthew Stover has taken
Windu's brief, but nevertheless important, appearances and created a
complete story around the Jedi Master.
"Stover's premise is that Mace's Force sensitivity is knowing
where the shatterpoint for any situation or person, the point which
will literally shatter the prevailing situation and change the
outcome. Following the start of the Clone
Wars, Mace is haunted by the knowledge that he knew what the
shatterpoint for the Battle of Geonosis was. It was for him to kill
Dooku when he had the chance and because he didn't, the Clone
Wars is its outcome.
"Mace is dispatched to the jungle planet Haruun Kal,
incidentally his own homeworld, to locate his former padawan who
appears to have gone rogue. Stover succeeds in giving us a valuable
insight into the mind of this Jedi Council Master as he contemplates
the outcome of his (in)actions at Geonosis whilst he tries to
survive in an almost impassable jungle which just happens to be
populated by Force sensitive natives and animals.
"Stover successfully conveys the paradox that is the complexity
of jungle life with its primitive way of living."
Rating: 3.5 / 5
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