Lol! This prompt works better in the past tense, as I rarely re-read books that make me sad.

Anyways, one book that made me very sad was Vector Prime by by R. A. Salvatore. Yes, yes… I’m incredibly nerdy, reading Star Wars Extended Universe novels. I’ve been invested in the EU since I was in Junior High, starting with Kevin J. Anderson’s Young Jedi Knights series.

A typical Star Wars novel operates under one of two premises: either a dark Jedi is wreaking havok or an Imperial soldier is trying to resurrect the Empire. Either way, Luke goes in with his Force Powers and Han joins him with a blaster and a Wookie and they stomp the stuffing out of the troublemaker and we all go home happy.

I went into Vector Prime expecting this type of plot and encountered a totally different one. One that included killing off Chewie. Yes, they killed Chewbacca! It stopped me dead in my tracks; I even re-read the passage to make sure I hadn’t missed something. Then, I pitched the book across the room.

To be entirely fair, Salvatore was very reluctant to kill our beloved Wookie friend and did so by dropping a moon on the planet that he was helping to evacuate – a very fitting death. I heard later that Salvatore got quite a bit of hate mail for Chewie’s death and was quite distressed by it. I felt really bad for him – especially after reading an interview where he out and out stated that he was just as unhappy about the whole plot device as we were.

Beyond the death of a favorite character, Vector Prime made me sad because it heralded the end of an age. Gone are the bright and cheerful times of lightsaber-weilding goodness – Star Wars has gone the way of the dark and gritty with mass political maneuvering, Jedi searching for grey areas that allow them to justify torture, and dozens of main characters dying. Now, I get it, I really do. Vector Prime is the first book in a series about a long and brutal war – characters are going to die, lines are going to be crossed, etc. I was just sad to see this writing trend take over a world that I grew up loving and feeling safe in.

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