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The Bacta War: Star Wars (X-Wing) [Mass Market Paperback]

Michael A. Stackpole
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1997 Star Wars: X-Wing - Legends (Book 4)
When the Alliance Fleet mounts a major campaign against a deadly warlord, tyrant Ysanne Isard has taken control of Thyferra, intending to use its supply of medicinal bacta to destabilize and destroy the New Republic. Undermanned, deprived of Alliance support, Rogue Squadron must oppose Isard's plans, defeat her Star Destroyer fleet, and free Thyferra from her rule in a winner-take-all battle against a seemingly superior force.

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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

As do I. Corran frowned. Still, my decision has been made.

He'd felt it the greatest of honors to be asked by Luke Skywalker to leave Rogue Squadron and train to become a Jedi. Skywalker had told him that his grandfather Nejaa Halcyon had been a Jedi Master who had been slain in the Clone Wars. The lightsaber Corran had discovered in the Galactic Museum had belonged to Nejaa and had been presented to Corran as his rightful inheritance. Mine is the heritage of a Jedi Knight.

But that was a heritage he had only heard of from Skywalker. He did not doubt the Jedi was telling the truth, but it was not the whole truth. At least not the whole of the truth with which I grew up.

Throughout his life Corran Horn had come to believe his grandfather was Rostek Horn, a valued and highly placed member of the Corellian Security Force. His father, Hal Horn, likewise was with CorSec. When it came time for Corran to choose a career, there was really no choice at all. He continued the Horn tradition of serving CorSec. His grandfather had always admitted to having known a Jedi who died in the Clone Wars, but that acquaintance had been given no more weight than having once met Imperial Moff Fliry Vorru or having visited Imperial Center, as Coruscant had been known under the Empire's rule.

Corran found it no great surprise that Rostek Horn and his father had downplayed their ties to Nejaa Halcyon. Halcyon had died in the Clone Wars; and Rostek had comforted, grown close with, and married Halcyon's widow. He also adopted Halcyon's son, Valin, who grew up as Hal Horn. When the Emperor began his extermination of the Jedi order, Rostek had used his position at CorSec to destroy all traces of the Halcyon family, insulating his wife and adopted son from investigation by Imperial authorities.

Since exhibiting any interest in the Jedi Knights could invite scrutiny and my family would be very vulnerable if its secret were discovered, I probably heard less about the Jedi Knights than most other kids my age. If not for various holodramas that painted the Jedi Knights as villains and later reminiscences by his grandfather about the Clone Wars, Corran would have known little or nothing about the Jedi. Like most other children, he found them vaguely romantic and all too much sinister, but they were distant and remote while what his father and grandfather did was immediate and exciting.

He raised a hand and pressed it to the golden Jedi medallion he wore around his neck. It had been a keepsake his father had carried and Corran inherited after his father's death. Corran had taken it as a lucky charm of sorts, never realizing his father had kept it because it bore the image of his own father, Nejaa Halcyon: Wearing it had been my father's way of honoring his father and defying the Empire. Likewise, I wore it to honor him, not realizing I was doing more through that act.

Skywalker's explanation to him of what his relationship to Nejaa Halcyon was opened new vistas and opportunities for him. In joining CorSec he had chosen to dedicate his life to a mission that paralleled the Jedi mission: making the galaxy safe for others. As Luke had explained, by becoming a Jedi, Corran could do what he had always done but on a larger scale. That idea, that opportunity, was seductive, and clearly all of his squadron-mates had expected him to jump at it.

Corran smiled. I thought Councilor Borsk Fey'lya was going to die when I turned down the offer. In many ways I wish he had.

He shook his head, realizing that thought was unworthy of himself and really wasted on Borsk Fey'lya. Corran was certain that, on some level, the Bothan Councilor believed he--not Corran--was right and his actions were vital to sustain the New Republic. Re-creating the Jedi order would help provide a cohesive force to bind the Republic together and to drape it in the nostalgic mantle of the Old Republic. Just as having various members of nation-states placed in Rogue Squadron had helped pull the Republic together, having a Corellian become a new Jedi might influence the Diktat into treating the New Republic in a more hospitable manner.

Skywalker had asked him to, and Fey'lya had assumed he would, join the Jedi order, but that was because neither of them knew of or realized that his personal obligations and promises exerted more influence with him than any galactic cause. While Corran realized that doing the greatest good for the greatest number was probably better for everyone in the long run, he had short-term debts he wanted to repay, and time was of the essence in doing so.

The remnants of the Empire had captured, tortured, and imprisoned him at Lusankya, which he later came to realize was really a Super Star Destroyer buried beneath the surface of Coruscant. He had escaped from there--a feat never before successfully accomplished--but had gotten away only with the aid of other prisoners. He had vowed to them that he would return and liberate them, and he fully intended to keep his promise. The fact that they were imprisoned in the belly of the SSD that now orbited Thyferra made that task more difficult, but long odds against success had never stopped him before. I'm a Corellian. What use have I for odds?

His desire to save them had increased with a chance discovery that embarrassed him mightily when he made it. In Lusankya the Rebel prisoners had been led by an older man who simply called himself Jan. Since his escape, Corran had caught a holovision broadcast of a documentary on the heroes of the Rebel Alliance. First and foremost among them had been the general who led the defense of Yavin 4 and planned the destruction of the first Death Star, Jan Dodonna. The documentary said he'd been slain during the evacuation of Yavin 4, but Corran had no doubt Dodonna had been a prisoner on Lusankya. If I hadn't thought him dead, I might have recognized him, too. How stupid of me.

Dodonna's celebrity had nothing to do with Corran's desire to save him. Jan, like Urlor Sette and others, had helped him escape. They had risked their lives to give him a chance to get away. Leaving such brave people captives of someone like Ysanne Isard not only failed to reward their courage but repaid them by leaving them in severe jeopardy of death or worse--conversion into a covert Imperial agents under Isard's direction.

"Couldn't sleep?"

Corran started, then turned and smiled at the blackhaired, dark-eyed woman standing in the bedroom doorway. "I guess not, Mirax. I'm sorry I woke you."

"You didn't wake me. Your absence awakened me." She wore a dark blue robe, belted at the waist with a pale yellow sash. Mirax raised a hand to hide a yawn then pointed at the silver cylinder in his right hand. "Regretting your decision?"

"Which one? Refusing to join the Jedi Knights or"--he smiled-- "or hooking up with you?"

She raised an eyebrow. "I was thinking of the Jedi decision. If you have reservations about the other decision, I can relearn how to sleep alone."

He laughed, and she joined him. "I regret neither. Your father and my father may have been mortal enemies, but I can't imagine having a better friend than you."

"Or lover."

"Especially lover."

Mirax shrugged. "All you men who've just gotten out of prison say that."

Corran frowned for a moment. "I imagine you're right, but how you came by that information, I don't want to know."

Mirax blinked her eyes. "You know, I don't think I want to know that, either."

Corran laughed, then crossed the room and enfolded her in a warm hug. "After my escape, Tycho expressed his regrets concerning your death to me. He told me how Warlord Zsinj had ambushed a convoy at Alderaan and destroyed it, including your Pulsar Skate. Everything inside of me just collapsed. Losing you just ripped the emotional skeleton out of me."

"Now you know how I felt when I thought you'd been slain here on Coruscant." She kissed his left ear, then settled her chin on his shoulder. "I hadn't realized how much you had become part of my life until you were gone. The hole the Lusankya created blasting her way out of Coruscant was nothing compared to the void I had inside. It wasn't a question of wanting to die, but of knowing my insides were dead and wondering when the rest of me would catch up."

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Stackpole Does It Again In Book 4 !! July 29 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Once again, Michale Stackpole promises an exciting and suspenseful adventure. Boy, does he ever deliver! As we enter this, the fourth book in the X-wing series, the members of Rogue Squadron have resigned their commissions. Their intentions are very clear - to free Thyferra from the clutches of Iceheart, better known as Ysanne Isaard. They get some help along the way, some of it from unlikely sources.
This novel is rich with action - dogfights galore! And the plot twists! Plus, this novel heralds the return of some of the older squadron members (from the comic book series), as well as expanding on such characters as Iella Wessiri and Mirax Terrik. Booster Terrik puts in his appearance in this novel. And Expanded Universe fans are also given a real treat as Talon Karrde puts in an appearance.
Although some parts of the book are rather predictable, others will blow you out of the star system! But be warned, there is very little in the way of ground fighting in this part of the series. It's almost all starfighting! As far as I'm concerned, this book holds it own with the others in the series, although boook three is still my favorite thus far. Stackpole seems to have ironed out the kinks in the series that he experienced in the first novel. Now the action is fast-paced and intense, enabling the reader to become so engrossed that they nearly finish the novel in one day!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Ending, But Not Without Faults April 2 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Michael Stackpole finishes what he started with this, the fourth and final book in the first storyline of the X-Wing series. Taking what he has learned from the first three books, Stackpole improves on his previous work in many areas. Unfortunatly, he falls short in others, and a few of the faults which define all of his work still remain.
In the plus column, this is possibly the fastest paced of Stackpole's X-Wing books. Very little of the slow, largly uninteresting scenes which plagued the previous three, especially Rogue Squadron. Also, characters other than Corran Horn get some real attention in this book. Iella Wessiri, in particular, recieves the treatment she deserves. Booster is a good addition, even if he occasionally seems to derive some of his traits from Talon Karrde, who makes a welcome cameo here. Mirax is also a great character, tough and independent (note to other males out there: women who can take care of themselves are much more fun than brainless bimbos. Sorry, personal opinion). Gavin is also getting some further devolpment.
On the downside, this books suffers, perhaps worse than the previous three, from what I call "Rebels Always Win Syndrome." Throughout the book, the Rogues suffer no serious losses in their battles. Not one of the main characters dies. Furthermore, it seems like they are having no problems wiping out Star Destroyers left and right with little more than a squadron of X-Wings.
Another issue, one which seems to be ongoing with Stackpole, is the characterization of the Imperials. Honestly, Ysanne Isard, Fliry Vorru and Erisi Dlarit never once seem threatening. Isard is possibly at her lowest point in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It was all right Aug. 10 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was pretty good as it tied up all the loose ends left from the previous books in the series: Mirax and Corran, Isard and the bacta thing, Erisi, etc. (Except for Zsinj, but he gets dealt with later in the series.)
Stackpole keeps up the excellent writing and stays true to what we've seen in these characters before, except Isard. Situations were written extremely well also, and the story flows very nicely. I'm also pleased with the direction of Corran Horn.
I had a few problems with this book, though. In the end battle for Thyferra, I would've liked to see more ground action. If Stackpole is going to include a ground battle along with the space battle, he should describe both in equal amounts. Unfortunately, I thought there was far too much description of things happening in space that didn't need to be there. There's lots of character perspecitve and I got lost a few times. I also think that Stackpole threw everything he'd laid down about Isard out the window. No longer was she cunning and intellegent, but she was cocky and stupid. She just didn't seem to be the same character. And the fact that Bror Jace didn't die after all? It seems to me that the 'Impossible is what Rogues do best' phrase has been overdone. Jace didn't serve a significant role and was better off being a casuality.
As just one book, I didn't like it, but since it's included in a series that seems to just all run together as one book, it was okay. The only reason I read this book at all was because I'd read the others. A good one for fans of the series or for people who have read the others.
Recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lingering injuries maim a good story March 28 2000
By Mike
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Bacta War is almost certainly the best book of the X-Wing series, so if you are one of those people who loved their earlier books than this is a great addition to your collection. Unfortunately, it is still smarting from some of the problems that authors of this series refuse to correct. It still has too many characters, presented to early to keep track of properly. In fact, at some points even late in the book I could not remember what species a character was! Its battles seem either too fast or too slow, like when a Star Destroyer is reduced to ash in just a few short pages, or when dogfights that should have lasted a few seconds at the most drag on for quite some time. This problem, however, is not exactly the author's fault, as the amount of information required to track multiple ships in three dimensions is often difficult to compress. The major enemies are still failing flight school, Isard included, and the Rebels often inflict enormous casualties at very little cost thanks to impractical scheming, luck, or a combinations of both. Even so, the plot was by far the best from the X-Wing series, and compared to say, Wedge's Gambit, the other problems don't show up as often.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars My first time ordering from Amazon - easier than I thought!!
I still don't order a whole lot online, but I couldn't find this book for my husband anywhere ... so I browsed Amazon and found a few copies. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jennifer Dowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Finish to the First X-Wing Set!
The Bacta War was the first X-Wing novel I ever read. It's dynamic storytelling hooked me right away even though I didn't know all the history of the previous 3 books. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Fun!
Set after X-Wing: The Krytos Trap. The Rogues have resigned their post as New Republic "wingcreatures" and have become a band of "Pirates" (Wedge doesn't think... Read more
Published on June 2 2003 by Matt
4.0 out of 5 stars Star Wars, Xwing
This series is interesting. It follows Rouge Squadron through various missions. Corran Horn, along with others, was introduced in this series. Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2003 by A.J.W.
4.0 out of 5 stars Grab a broom and a dust pan...
...because it's time to take out the trash! That's right, now that the New Republic has Corsucant and, because of political reasons, is focusing its military might elsewhere, the... Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2002 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
4.0 out of 5 stars Good conclusion!
This has been, overall, a great series, and this book was one of the best. Tieing up most of the loose ends, (Isard, Mirax and Corran, etc) it also didn't shy away from showing... Read more
Published on March 17 2002 by "kandladin"
5.0 out of 5 stars the best X-Wing book
the bacta war was my favorite X-Wing book.it boasted a lot of action and fighting.the best book of them all. it is a fun book.
Published on Nov. 5 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars A Suitable Conclusion for the first four X-Wing novels.
Mike Stakepole does a nice job of wrapping up the first four books of the X-Wing series in "The Bacta War". Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars This time, the battles are land-based... but still stupid!
Again, the cut-and-dried, bland, Corran-saturated, boring plot as in the first three books... this time about approx. a dozen people freeing a whole planet... Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2001 by L. Korossy
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Greatest X-Wing Novel yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is an action pack book that is the greatest X-Wing book yet. The Rouges resign, all of them, and decide to go one-on-one against Isard who not by chance has settled in... Read more
Published on April 15 2001
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