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X-WING #7 Solo Command
By Aaron Allston
6.5 years after ANH

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This is the seventh book of a series of eight (so far) which highlights the exploits of the star -fighter pilots who get the job done when the fight against the Empire demands action-sequences.


The first four books, Rogue Squadron, Wedge's Gamble, The Krytos Trap, and The Bacta War, all written by author Michael Stackpole, formed a four-book arc involving the Rebel capture of the ruling planet Coruscant, and the defeat of the evil Imperial Security Chief, Ysanne Isard. Solo Command is the concluding book in the second story-arc, a 3-book series by writer Aaron Allston.

In book one of this series, Wraith Squadron, we were introduced to the group of misfits and malcontents who happen to have the special-ops skills required to handle the sneakier missions in the larger plan to vanquish the ruthless Warlord Zsinj. In book two, Iron Fist, the New Republic continued the search for Zsinj and his Super Star Destroyer-led fleet, and the Wraiths went under-cover as pirates to trick Zsinj into letting down his guard. In book three, Solo Command, Wraith Squadron joins up with the main New Republic task force led by General Han Solo to seek out Warlord Zsinj and defeat him once and for all. Several sub-plots established in the previous two Wraith books……the spy in the Wraith ranks and her ultimate allegiance, the details of the Imperial experiments that led to the creation of the bio-engineered Gamorrean pilot, and the plethora of personal crises-of-faith that have been on-going in this trilogy….. all have their resolutions.


Solo Command takes a half a step up from writer Aaron Allston's first two Star Wars efforts. Some of the contrived plotting and melodramatic characterizations of his previous books goes by the wayside in order to make room for an intricate, multi-tendrilled story. There are still enough heavy-handed moments to keep Allston out of the "hall of fame"….over-wrought descriptions of action or emotion, strained comedy sequences, a pilot that conveniently is suddenly able to access Force powers after two books of self-professedly no skill or even attempts to do so….but events move swiftly and most of the plot-lines tie up in neatly wrapped, satisfying packages.

The concluding chapters of the saga of Imperial spy Lara Notsil are especially engrossing, and how she attempts to negotiate her situation and right the wrongs in which she was complicit are suspenseful and touching. (Personal note: Lara's plite has inspired me; I would really like an R2 unit as a best pal/pet! Read the book, and you'll see what I mean). It helps this book immeasureably too, that Han Solo, Wedge Antilles, and Wes Janson take much larger roles in the proceedings. For some reason, Allston seems to write better for the established characters than for his own creations. Perhaps we (Star Wars fans) bring more to the table and fill in the blanks for these characters of whom we already have a sense , than for the ones Allston has "birthed" and not fleshed-out. But that foreknowledge is a double-edged sword; if you mess up when you're writing for our much-beloved protagonists (as some of the EU authors have done), it is jarringly noticeable. To Allston's credit, he writes for Han and Wedge exceptionally well, and some of the best scenes in the book involve one or both of these men. Solo Command is not only an important segment of the saga, it is a very entertaining book. Perhaps its biggest drawback is that it cannot completely finish-out the Zsinj story-arc as that task is left to/had already been handled by the next novel in the timeline, The Courtship of Princess Leia.