I picked up The Force Unleased 2 at the library this past weekend on a complete whim. I read the first one a couple years back figuring ‘How bad could a book based on a video game be?’ In the case of the first book, not bad. This one was a little dodgier. It seemed like it was forced(ha ha) together, with as many popular Star Wars characters tossed into the mix as possible. It was a light read, so if you’re looking for a masterpiece I’ll cut to the chase: skip this one.
The story begins with one of the protagonists from the first book, Juno Eclipse, overseeing a covert mission for the rebellion. It soon expands into a small space battle with the rebels being forced to flee. Basically showing what has happened to our cast from the original since it ended. It soon picks up that our lead, Starkiller, is alive, or at least a clone of him is. The whole novel spends a lot of time trying to throw doubt on that and I was honestly not interested enough to try and figure it out.
It soon becomes a chase to Juno and Starkiller eventually meeting again with a climactic battle on Kamino(where he was supposedly cloned), a battle with Vader, and the inclusion of a few Star Wars supporting characters which reads as a veritable who’s who of secondary players.
Cameos of Bail Organa, Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, and Wedge Antilles are all included, and while the first three can be seen as fitting in the story, I felt that the latter two were forced. It seems like this was a video game thrown together in a lab with a whole bunch of Star Wars characters and terms thrown at it in an effort to make it seem like the real thing, when in the end it just came across as forced( I can’t help it) and contrived.
I’ve read a few Star Wars novels in my time, and while none of them hold a candle to Timothy Zahn’s works, this one is by far the weakest. It was clearly contrived to capitalize on the success of the original video game, and while the game may be fun(haven’t played so I have no idea), the book was underwhelming at best. Too bad there wasn’t an Order 66 for shitty Star Wars novels.