My good friend Jesse has entered the online blogosphere with his thoughts on all things Star Wars Expanded Universe. I have always enjoyed Jesse’s writing style and his unique take on the things that he becomes passionate about. So…faithful readers of GOO let me introduce you to Jesse. If you like what you read here and want to talk more about Jesse’s take on the Star Wars Expanded Universe, head over to his blog at Star Wars Book Report For the beginning of his top ten favorite moments in the EU, read on!
First, I want to thank Big Honkin’ and the Geek Out Online family for adopting this Star Wars bibliophile, and giving me a platform to share my passion for Star Wars books. It is an honor to join such an esteemed group. Thank You
I have a passion for the Star Wars books. I am not anti-cartoon, anti-comic, or anti-any other Star Wars genre…I just love the novels, and I hope to either develop a passion in you to go read these books, or give you a platform through the comments at the end of these blogs or in the forum, where you can share your passion for this particular corner of the Star Wars Universe. To begin our journey, I thought I would use a top ten list. Nothing gets the passion flowing in the veins like arguing over a good old fashion list, so here is my first list for Geek Out Online…My Favorite Scenes of All Time. I want to share the scenes that reached into my chest grabbed my guts squeezed and twisted them all at the same time…the scenes that I could not stop reading…the scenes that made me love these books.
Number 10 on our countdown comes from Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. It is the scene where Mace Windu finally comes face to face with Depa Billaba in chapter 11.
I am not a huge stickler for the continuity of the Canonical Universe and the Expanded Universe. It does not bother me that Count Dooku cut off Anikan Skywalker’s right hand in the The Attack of the Clones, and Mara Jada makes reference in a novel that the Emperor cut off Anikan’s hand after the failure at the Battle of Yavin in Dark Force Rising chapter 21. I have read and heard several theories trying to reconcile these two accounts, but truthfully I do not care if Mara heard an untrue rumor, or if the Emperor cut off a mechanical hand, or what. One thing I do care about is character faithfulness. After reading dozens of books, you really get connected to these characters and how they act. It can be frustrating when one character acts so differently from what you have come to know and love. Shatterpoint takes Mace Windu in a new direction from earlier books, but instead of hating it, which I am want to do…I thought it was brilliant.
In books I read prior to Shatterpoint, Mace was a calm almost serene Jedi Master much in line with Yoda, but in Shatterpoint, Mace is a bad mutha-shut-your-mouth kind of Jedi. I think that Stover channeled some of Samuel L. Jackson’s other characters like Julles Winnfield, Neville Flynn, and The Guy Who Robs McDowells, and I must admit, I really like the Windu from Shatterpoint. It is a new attitude for the Jedi Master, but it is one that I appreciated. We do not need Mace Windu to be serene like Yoda because we have Yoda. The Universe needed a bad-mama-jama Jedi, and Stover delivers that.
In Shatterpoint, Mace is trying to find Depa Billaba and determine if her actions have been just on her mission and to determine what course Depa should take. Depa was Mace’s padawan, and Mace considers her his closest friend.
To cloud this mission in this book, the power of the force, being so strong in Haruun Kal, effects the people – especially force sensitives. Also, the force is different on this planet. It’s not really dark, and it’s surely not light…the best I could describe it is raw. On top of the strong force influence, the planet is filled with atrocities: the murder of children, the stealing of homeland, a harsh environment, hard lives, war, and much more. These atrocities are performed by both sides of this conflict, so the good guys, if any of them can be called good, are hard to determine. On top of all of this conflict, Haruun Kal is Mace Windu’s home world adding more to his inner struggles. All of this makes finding Depa a struggle, but not just an outer struggle with the problems of finding one person on a jungle planet. It is also an inner struggle where Mace tries to discover right from wrong and the truth from lies.
You get a great look into Mace’s struggles though his journal entries…which were a very nice touch by Mr. Stover. You see Mace question everything: his role in the Jedi, the role of the Jedi on a planet such as this, is Haruun Kal his home world, can he relate to the people of this planet, are the people of this planet good, is Depa still a Jedi or has she turned to something worse, and so on. His struggles are so strong and force is so strong on Haruun Kal that Mace hallucinates fighting with Depa.
You watch Mace face each of these problems down. You watch Mace begin to determine the just course of action. You watch Mace begin to gain confidence in his self. You watch Mace lose his confusion over this situation. You watch Mace finally after 200 pages or so gain control over his thoughts and his situation. It is with this new found confidence and control and direction that Mace finally meets Depa face to face in chapter 11.
The scene start out exactly as you would expect. Mace hands Depa her lightsaber, and Depa very formally and apprentice like states, “I am honored to receive it from your hand.” (p. 231 paperback) This is the last time Depa responds in any fashion that you would expect. She immediately tells Mace he is “arrogant,” “stupid,” and “blind” for getting involved in this conflict without talking to her first because he does not understand the situation enough to act. Mace is immediately confused again. After going through all of his personal struggles and coming out of with confidence, Depa pushes Mace right back into those struggles with this statement, and it only goes downhill for Mace’s confidence from here.
Mace, shrugging off Depa’s accusation of rashness his part, wanting to maintain his control tells her that he is bringing her home. Depa responds with a very elegant sentence telling Mace that home means nothing to them. This was a brilliant response because earlier in the book Mace struggles with which is his home world Haruun Kal where he was born or Coruscant where he has lived the longest, and Depa’s words ring true in all Jedi’s lives with the time they spend travelling the galaxy defending peace. So telling Depa what he was going to do did not get Mace back to his new found confidence.
Mace undeterred and wanting to get control of the situation tells Depa that being his former Padawan and friend she is his business. Again, Depa turns Mace’s words against Mace’s postion. She states “exactly, exactly!” But you have been getting involved in many issues that has nothing to do with me, so you were being arrogant and nosey. I think Depa’s point is very valid.
Next, Depa continues to rock Mace’s beliefs on what is occurring on Haruun Kal. Mace has struggled through his feelings of his friend and former padawan leading a terroristic rebellion, but Depa reveals that there is no organized terroristic rebellion. It is individuals trying to survive. She created a name for an organization, so that the authorities would spend time chasing a ghost organization and not hunting individual families just trying to survive. Her actions were to protect life not to be a terrorist.
Also, throughout this book Mace’s soul mission has been to protect Depa, and he finds out that Depa has been protecting him the entire time. He realizes he is not as in control as he thought.
Finally, Mace, I believe without a clue as how to proceed with how his world was just rocked by Depa, formally arrests her so that he can accomplish his mission, not necessarily what was best for Depa. I think Mace did this because he did not know what else to do, and the scene closes with Depa showing affection for Mace, which made the scene even better because these harsh words that Depa told Mace about how he was arrogant and did not understand the situation enough to act was all told to Mace out of love not hatred or anger.
I loved this scene because Mace finally after 10 chapters began to get an idea of what was right and what he should do and what he should think about the situation on Haruun Kal, and then he talks with Depa, and all of his newfound confidence is thrown out the window by Depa’s poignant words. The carpet again is pulled from underneath the feet of Mace Windu. This is why this is my 10th favorite scene of all time in Star Wars books, and that is your Star Wars Book Report.
Thanks for reading and thanks to Geek Out Online for giving me a platform, and to check out some of my other Star Wars book thoughts, check out starwarsbookreport.com
I would love to hear your thoughts and hear about your favorite scenes. You can always e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Exploring the galaxy one page at a time, Jesse
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