Old Friends: Lando Calrissian
Synopsis: The 1st installment of the Lando Calrissian adventures introduces the reader to our favorite gambler/card shark as be begins his journey toward the inevitable meeting with Han Solo in The Hutt Gambit. Here, we learn the details of his acquisition of the Millenium Falcon and the pilot droid, Vuffi Ra, and his constant search for the "deal" that will bring him easy credits.
Review: Lando Calrissian does not know how to fly the newly won Millenium Falcon! Arriving on the mining asteroid Oseon 2795 with a rented pilot droid, he is invited to join a Sabacc game and becomes acquainted with Ottdefa Osuno Whett (a professor) and an odd assortment of locals including the constable. Although he wins the game and learns about the Treasures of Rafa, he is also accused of cheating and pretty much run out of town. He has also won a droid, Vuffi Ra, but must journey to Rafa IV to retrieve his prize.
By the time he arrives in the Rafa System, plays a little more Sabacc, wins again, and picks up the droid, he determines that owning his own ship is more trouble than its worth, and decides to sell the Falcon and Vuffi Ra as well. After the game, and set up again, he is hauled into the presence of the Local Governor, Muttes Mer and advised that there charges against him. He will have to earn his release, and a shipload of “mind crystals” by finding the Mindharp of Sharu, or loose his freedom, ship and life. Lando takes the deal and returns to the saloon where his troubles started, only to get into another fight and escapes again with Viffi Ra, and Mohs, an ancient local.
The remainder of this story describe Lando’s search for the Mindharp, the discovery of the mystery of the Sharu, and the real identity of Rokur Gepta, as well as the details of the set-up. His relationship with Vuffi Ra grows as the droid is an excellent pilot, able mechanic and "friend".
The story is made more or less, depending on the individual readers opinion, interesting because it does not take place in any part of our known Star Wars galaxy, and none of our old familiar friends are along for the ride.
The authors style is also much looser, and often tongue in cheek, adding a deepening sense of humor to the gambler/droid relationship. Although possibly modeled after Han/Chewbacca, Lando does become "attached" to the little droid, who constantly bails him out of difficult situations and constantly calls him “Master”. Development of the Rokur Gepta character begins late in the story, but he becomes more interesting than the standard Imperial adversary as the adventure continues.
As the beginning of Lando Calrissian’s back-story, this is definitely worth a read, and is good for quite a few laughs!
Title: Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu