Old Friends: Garm Bel Iblis, Hal Horn, Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, Shada D'ukal, Durga the Hutt, High Inquisitor Tremayne, Boba Fett, Adalric Brandl, Kyp Durron
New Faces: Aach, Moranda Savich, Armand Issard, Ysanne Issard, Trabler, Dankin, Chin, Ja Bardrin, Sansia Bardrin, Chay Praysh, H'sishi, Sargent Jai Raventhorn, Dirk Harkness, Platt, Tru'eb, Fenig Nabon, Ghitsa Dodger, Dunc Tr'acen, Jovan Vharing, Selby Jarrad, Daven Quark, Major Cobb Vantos, The Storyteller, General Gaege Xarren, Rivo Xarren, Solum'ke, Diergu-Ren, Fabel Astin, Deke Holman, Jaalib Brandl, Zeth Fost
Places: Darkknell, Anchoron, Torpris, Zelos II, Ryloth, Nal Hutta, Nargis'I, Verkuyl, Ladarra, Vryssa, Iscera, Trulalis, Prishardia
Synopsis: In 1998, the Official Star Wars Journal was edited by Craig Cary. Joining forces with Peter Schweighofer, they have selected another collection of short stories. This group has a distinctive take on the Rebellion, as the last "Tales From The Empire" was driven by the Imperials. This is fine writing, excellent characters and more adventure for the reader of good Star Wars stories.
Interlude at Darkknell
Review: Garm Bel Iblis is on Ancheron to make a speech to the Senate exposing the dark deeds and excesses of the Emperor. This event takes place just before the destruction of Alderaan. Prior to his speaking, Bel Iblis receives an urgent message from Bail Organa that "Tarkin's project has been located." Garm must send his best operative to pick up the information. Unfortunately, the Senate building is blown up before he can speak, his family is all killed and he takes on the mission himself. We meet Hal Horn and Ysanne Issard, who willl figure into future sories, as well as an interesting thief. Again, an excellent effort by Zahn and Stackpole.
Review: Mara Jade is working for Talon Karrde when she and her crew are captured by an unscrupulous corporate bigwig. All he wants is for Mara to rescue his daughter from a Drach'man slaver. In return, he won't kill her or her crew. Off we go to Torpris where we meet H'sishi, the Togorian, and Chay Praysh, the bad guy. As usually happens in these Timothy Zahn stories, things change as you read. This is more good back-story on Jade, fun with Talon Karrde and his unique way of doing business, and a feisty daughter with a fast ship.
Review: Harkness is a mercenary - Jai is a rebel intelligence agent working for Crix Madine. Somehow they end up together in an interrogation cell on Zelos II. Sharing memories of friends dead and alive, they struggle to hold onto sanity and hope of rescue. Meanwhile, Harkenss' two associates cook up a creative plan to get them out. These guys, Platt and Tr'ueb, are good new characters, as are Harkness and Jai. This is a simple story and very well told. Once again, we make some new friends we'd like to see again.
Hutt and Seek
Review: Fen and Ghitsa are an odd pair. Fen is an independent smuggler and Ghitsa, a Hutt Counselor (read the story for that explaination). Teamed up with two Mystryl hunters including old friend Shada D'ukal from Mos Eisley, the 4 ladies are enroute to Ryloth to pick up some cargo - Twi'lek dancing girls destined for Nal Hutta and Durga the Hutt. The dancers are a problem, as is Ghitsa's attitude, the Mystral work ethic and Fen's sense of right and wrong. This is not just a "girl story", it is an excellent one.
The Longest Fall
Review: Captain Vharing serves aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer Interrogator. Unfortunately, so does High Inquisitor Tremayne (we have met this guy before). A graduate of the Imperial Naval Academy, Vharing was in command when a suspected Rebel garrison was hit by his TIE fighters. Too bad that some Imp citizens were killed and he must now meet with Tremayne. The outcome is obvious, bu the journey through his thoughts is a compelling one. This is an interesting look into the Imperial mind.
Conflict of Interest
Review: Selby Jarrod and Cobb Vartos are part of a small Rebel unit sent to the Outer Rim to begin the liberation of the Verkuyl homeworld. Controlled by the Empire, the planet is home to huge bacta producing interests. Charged with starting the process of removing the Imperial presence, Selby finds herself in a fix when she realizes that the man helping her, isn't. A short story that raises questions about choices - the Rebellion or the Empire - which is best in the long run, for Verkuyl. This is a "food for thought" story.
No Disintegrations, Please
Review: An old man in a deserted town on a backwater planet makes a living telling stories to children. This time, its a tale of Boba Fett. An Imp general takes custody of his brother, an unscrupulous slicer and embezzeler. He not only stole from the Empire, but from Jabba the Hutt's bank account. Hidden in an impenetrable garrison, the brothers batten down the hatches - the best bounty hunter in the galaxy has accepted the job - track down and capture Rivo Xarren. Read on and enjoy pure Boba Fett!
Day of the Sepulchral Night
Review: Two Weequays off on a romantic vacation on Zelos II decide to join the search for a treasure. This adventure takes place on the ocean, at night, in the company of a not very honest local. The two lovers are shanghaied by a pair of Corellians. Although things don't work out quite as planned, there is still a future for them with a lucky break or two. Another "nice" story with a twist or two - an easy read.
Uhl Eharl Khoehng
Review: We are again caught up in the family problems of Jaalib Brandl and his father Adalric, the Fallen Jedi. This short story follows an earlier entry in this anthology, as well as the initial episode in "Tales of the Empire". This time, a young Force sensitive woman becomes involved with Jaalib when she travels to Trulalis looking for a Jedi Master. She should have gone to Yavin V instead. This is another unusual story with an unexpected conclusion. The author has a total control over these characters and it shows.
The Last Hand
Review: Nyo is a young, naive boy caught up in a loosing Saabac game when an old gambler appears to help him out. Kinnen Vo-Shay has a lucky charm and an interesting story to tell. After the game is over, Kinnen and Nyo travel to Nal Shadda in search of a lightsaber, shoot some bad guys and play another game of Saabac. "The Last Hand" is a very straight forward tale, but the characters are well written and the ending is quite satisfying. Another case of wanting to spend more time with them after the story is over.
Review: Our old friends Fen Nabon and Ghitsa Dogder are stuck on Prishardia with a broken ship and a month long wait for parts from Corellia. Bored and impatient, Ghitsa digs into her bag of tricks and comes up with a Jedi robe. Her plan - to impersonate a Jedi Knight and pass the time running her scam till the parts arrive. In the meantime, a strange young man arrives after hearing about this new Jedi. Hooking up with Fen, off they go in search of Ghitsa who, as usual, needs some rescuing. Kyp Durron is well integrated into this story, and it leads right into the beginning of the 3rd volume of the Jedi Academy Trilogy.
Title: Tales From The New Republic