Story: The plotline of “Vector Prime” is very standard sci-fi fodder, not even remotely original. Retreading the plots of such venerable SF franchises as Star Trek: The Next Generation (Conspiracy) and Blake’s 7 (Star One), the book involves an invasion of the galaxy by hostile aliens from the nearest neighboring galaxy. They’ve already slipped a few agents into our heroes’ galaxy to make sure the alarm doesn’t go up, and by the time Luke, Han, Leia and the others find out about the invasion, it’s almost too late.
Review: Sound familiar? It should. Virtually the only difference between this story and the above examples – among dozens of others – is that the aliens are invading the galaxy of Tattooine, Endor, Hoth, etc., rather than invading Earth for once. Speaking as a citizen of the planet Earth, I’m relieved about this development, but as a reader, I found the plot hackneyed and all too predictable.
I’ll admit, I gave up on Star Wars print fiction at the end of the third book written by Timothy Zahn. “Vector Prime”, the first book in the New Jedi Order series 25 years after Return of the Jedi, reminded me exactly why I gave up on Star Wars print fiction.
I don’t mind at all the idea of chronicling Luke Skywalker’s attempts to reform the Jedi Council (thus far, seen only in Phantom Menace), or the Solos’ children entering their teenage years as powerful potential Jedi with conflicting views and skills of the Force. These things interest me a great deal. Trudging slowly through a refried invasion-from-the-next-galaxy plot doesn’t interest me at all.
I’d warn SF readers in search of innovative storytelling away from this book in a cold second. I can really only recommend it for Star Wars completists.
Author: R.A. Salvatore
Publisher: Del Rey