Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover, is a Clone Wars novel following Mace Windu on a bad, scary mission to his home world. I read Stover’s novelization of Revenge of the Sith and it was a really good adaptation, so I was excited about this one.
The best compliment I have ever heard about a Star Wars novel was when the first Zahn novel was realeased. It was something like, “I could hear the John Williams soundtrack as I read it.”
I did, in fact, hear the John Williams soundtrack, as I read Shatterpoint.
Shatterpoint, incidentally, is the weak spot. The tiny point of weakness that you don’t even have to hit very hard on the strongest thing to get it to break. Master Windu’s gift is to see the shatterpoint in freaking everything.
The narrative started out rather slowly. There was fight after incident after fight as stuff got worse and worse. But Stover fleshed out this character, Master Windu, just as I imagined him. He answered one of the questions that had been bugging me for awhile:
You know all of the “don’t get attached” “learn to let go”-whatever that Yoda is always preaching? We know that Anakin flunked that class. We know that Obi Wan had a pretty damn hard time, too. Did any of the othe Jedi struggle with that concept?
Anyway. Stover addressed a “what the hell” question from Episode II:
“Instead of sending in all the Jedi to die, why didn’t someone just drop a bomb on the arena. Sacrifice one senator and two Jedi to end the war before it started?”
The answer, of course, is that Jedi don’t drop bombs. But the philosophical debate was pretty interesting. Geonosis messed Master Windu up. But, whoa, can he fight.
One of the best scenes was at the end, in Palpatine’s office. Master Windu was talking about how jedi were not designed for war. He said:
“It’s war. Not just that war, but war itself. When every choice you make means death. When saving these innocents means those innocents die. I’m not sure that any Jedi can survive those choices for long. “
Then Palpatine says:
“Who would have thought that fighting a war could have such a terrible effect on Jedi? Even when we win,” he murmered. “Who would ever have thought such a thing?”
The scene continues and I found it chilling. Which is pretty damn good for a Star Wars book.