Star Wars: Allegiance

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Star Wars: Allegiance
Timothy Zahn
Del Rey, Feb 2007, $25.95
ISBN: 0345477383

The five imperial storm troopers are tired of the endless war in which the innocent die, but no one at least on their side seems to care. Their leader Daric LaRone believes the enemy Rebel Alliance is no different though they cloak their efforts as freedom fighters. Still when a superior officer orders Daric and his four followers to commit an atrocity, they kill their leader instead forcing them to go AWOL where they meet rebel leaders Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca.

Meanwhile Emperor Palpatine decides he needs a new apprentice as his previous one Darth Vader may need some competition to keep him sharp after a recent unacceptable failure. He chooses amoral teenage beauty Countess Mara Jade Claria to become his “Emperor’s Hand”, angering the Sith though Vader takes out his rage on others and not his mentor or the new rival.

Allegiance takes place between the events of A New Hope (the original 1977 movie) and the Empire Strikes Back as Timothy Zahn seamlessly fills the gap by humanizing the storm troopers. The story line is action-packed but character driven by Daric and his men, and the renowned heroic four; but especially fascinating is the triangle between Vader, Mara Jade and Palpatine. Star War fans will enjoy this well written interlude.
 

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