Crystal Starr Light's Reviews > The Last Command

The Last Command by Timothy Zahn
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Jul 11, 10

bookshelves: simply-the-best, star-wars, so-good-it-s-awesome
Read in April, 2010

"Your destiny is in your heands...in the end you're the one who makes the decisions"
The final entry in the esteemed Thrawn Trilogy!
The Katana fleet is Thrawn's and he has been using it quite liberally--along with a new breed of clones--to slow take back all the ground lost to the New Republic. The New Republic is scrambling desperately, but to no hope. The Republic's only chance of warding off the Empire is to destroy the unending supply of Imperial clones. And it will take the collaboration of long-time enemies to win.
NOTE: Spoilers from the previous two novels may appear.

I Liked:
Another tough section to write as I want to include everything from the previous two novels!
In this third book, Zahn steps up the threat of Thrawn by allowing him to capture the Katana fleet and be successful in his takeover of worlds. Too often, a villain is "dangerous" or "evil" because the author writes it. But the villain never does anything that really threatens the heroes and makes the reader wonder who will come out on top. This is certainly not so with The Last Command. I was a bit worried earlier on in the trilogy, when Thrawn's expertise was lauded and yet he seemed to fail at every venue. While this was notable in making Thrawn fallible, it was also possibly hurting his reputation and believability as a true villain. I shouldn't have worried. Zahn followed up with a nice little win for Thrawn, and now the stakes are truly high and our heroes do have something real to worry over.
I've talked endlessly about the characters, Luke, Leia, and Han, so I won't really add anything, other than they are, as always, fabulous. I also love how Zahn gets the credit for creating the Solo twins, who would make such an impression in the New Jedi Order and the Legacy of the Force series. But I also love the path that Mara's story is taking. In many ways, the Thrawn trilogy is her trilogy. She grows, from a nomadic smuggler, running from her past, to a Rebel embracing her future. Mara realizes the Empire is dead and will never return, that the Emperor may not have always told the truth, and perhaps she doesn't want to kill Luke after all. Her growth in this trilogy is truly amazing. And while she does tread the Mary Sue line, well, I can handle it.
I really like how Zahn brought in the clones and references to the Clone Wars. While much of our knowledge of the Clone Wars has changed with the prequels, I like seeing how his ideas still fit or can be worked into the "new" universe. It's also interesting to think about how the Force behaves around clones. I hope someone gets a chance to talk about that.
Also, I applaud Zahn for his nice, crisp conclusion. Not too long and preachy, hopeful, yet tinged with solemnity. The universe has been saved...but the New Republic still has a long way to go.

I Didn't Like:
I really have to be nit-picky yet again in order to come up with anything for this section.
While I like the clones, Zahn doesn't give them much of a personality (apparently, a plague of being bred in an ysalamiri environment) nor does he give much indication of what happens to them afterwards.
The concept of the ysalamiri even seems to have changed since Heir. In Heir, Luke never senses the dark void the ysalamiri create, allowing himself to be captured. Here, Luke and Mara can sense that Mount Tantiss is shrouded in darkness, meaning they wouldn't be able to use the Force.
Petty, but I was a little perturbed that the Solo-Skywalker clan can jail-break Mara and receive no repercussions. Just another thing that makes me wonder if the New Republic is going to be quickly corrupted.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
None.
Leia gives birth to her twins and breast-feeds them.
Several characters die. Luke, Han, Lando, Chewie, and Mara are sent to Wayland to destroy the cloning facility.

Overall:
Some things age well with time, others don't. I've read a few older Star Wars novels that just haven't quite stood the test of time. I can happily state that the Thrawn Trilogy isn't one of them.
As a review of both the last book and the series as a whole, the Thrawn Trilogy is in short brilliant. There is no doubt at all that this is Star Wars. Lightsaber battles, Jedis, Imperials, smugglers, new worlds, new aliens, new technologies, new characters, Han, Luke, Leia, the Force...all are here and are masterfully written. The minute you begin reading, you are enveloped in the world and are startled when you realize you are reading Star Wars and not watching the movies! I cannot give these novels enough praise. If you are a Star Wars fan, these need to be the first novels you read.
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