Je n'aime pas dans les vieux films américains quand les conducteurs ne regardent pas la route. Et de ratage en ratage, on s'habitue à ne jamais dépasser le stade du brouillon. La vie n'est que l'interminable répétition d'une représentation qui n'aura jamais lieu.

Star Wars Expanded Universe Chronology: Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire 3: First Encounter!

*Okay, so the war finally starts, thank God. 

*I had forgotten that the story actually gave Ssk Kahor a real ending, but he and one of his henchmen are out cruising around in the Starbreaker 12 when the Sith fleet comes out of hyperspace right in front of them.  So, Ssk Kahor gets the “honor” of being the first Republic casualty.  That’s kind of cool, actually.

*Okay, the action sequences here are pretty good.  The attack on Coruscant especially is beautifully drawn.

*Equally intelligent is the idea of Empress Teta offering pardons to those rebels who fought against her previously if they will now will fight on her side against the Sith.  It’s a nice touch and has actually been used in real life I’m sure. 

*I should also mention that Aarrba the Hutt gets a great death scene (they usually do) and he dies heroically (they usually don’t). 

*He’s all like bellowing “Crush you!” and rampaging over a bunch of Massassi warriors as they stab him repeatedly, but he just keeps going and everything.  It’s easily the one genuinely great moment in this little duology. 

*I should also mention that he’s wearing a fez, but he’s so badass that he actually makes the fez look cool.

*That fez is interesting actually.  I’m just now wondering if he’s based in some weird way on Sydney Greenstreet’s character in Casablanca.  Greenstreet wasn’t Hutt size, but he was larger than usual.  Now I’m going to reread Aarrba’s scenes and try to hear Greenstreet’s voice saying his lines. 

*So Jori shows up just as Gav is bending over the dead Hutt covered in his blood.  She assumes he’s killed Aarrba and attacks him.  Gav flees, rather than simply gaining a little distance and telling her he’s innocent.  And I mean there is a war going on . . . couldn’t you give your brother the shadow of a doubt?

*CANONICAL STATUS: Much more than the prior to entries in this series, First Encounter relies heavily on what appears to be true historic records.  The heroic death of Aarrba the Hutt, for instance, is easily verifiable and the details of the attack on Coruscant on the whole are accurate.  Still, obvious corruptions abound; this work is NOT RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.

** out of **** stars.

Kevin J. Anderson

*Okay, next time, we’ll take a little break in the middle of Fall of the Sith Empire to get a few stories about what’s going on behind the scenes of Sadow’s war.  Next time, it’s Crosscurrent!

Star Wars Chronology!