This book by Barbara Hambly had some interesting moments and made good use of the original trilogy characters. Once more there is an abundance of creepy bugs, but there is also a well balanced use of old characters as well as some new ones. There is a lot of mystery and suspense in this package.
Planet of Twilight has mysteries within mysteries, the biggest being the odd connection to the Force of Nam Chorios. But there is also a question of what the villains plan is, and why, and who in fact is the main villain. There are several to choose from and not all are obvious.
Leia has the prime role in this, a case where she should’ve heeded Jedi warning over political needs. But this leads to her once more having to confront her heritage. She’s really gotten past her fear of Vader in an external sense. Accepting Anakin Skywalker as being related to her, and having become Vader, unnerves her as she realizes that if he could fall, she could too. Now her very life and the lives of many others depend on her confronting this fear within.
My favorite moment in Planet of Twilight is Leia’s battle- we get to imagine her in action with a lightsaber in a rare moment. We haven’t seen this since Dark Empire.
Luke is on a quest to find his lost love Callista, something that leaves me wondering about the path not travelled. What might have been done with Callista, how could it have worked out with the revelations on the Jedi of the prequels? We’ll never know. Blending in on the world he seeks her on is easy as he used to be a farmer himself, and leaves him with an opening to discover that this world has a great mystery in the Force.
Han, Chewie and Lando are in a frantic hunt to find Leia as crises of plague and invasion pipe up all over the Republic. As for R2 and 3PO, they have all the answers but getting that information to the right people is a great challenge for a droid or two on their own. I really enjoyed them getting a chance to shine, in Planet of Twilight. It reminded me of the old Droids and Ewoks Adventure Hour cartoons.
New characters introduced in Planet of Twilight include Seti Ashgard, Dzym, Beldorion, Taselda and Ligeus. I particularly thought Beldorion an interesting invention. A Hutt, born with Force powers, is a formidable foe.
The story is kind of horrifying in a eewwww creepy fashion.
Planet of Twilight Continuity
Nam Chorios ‘life forms’ and how it connects to the Force is a mystery given the revealed midichlorians in the prequels. However, Planet of Twilight is not the first to bring up crystalline life forms. There were the Iron Knights for one. Also, the Jedi’s lightsaber crystals usually also have some form of Force connection. These are usually Ilum or Adegan crystals. There is more on that here.
Another interesting reflection, is how this relates, as did Children of the Jedi, to the prequels. Just like his father Luke has issues with letting go of one he loves both in that and this. But we also get the centrally controlled droids going in this story arc. The synthdroids and the special crystals in both them, and certain weapon ships are all controlled at a central location. This is just like the droid armies of the Trade Federation, though used with greater effect due to the newer designs.
And then there is the plague. Released and allegedly controlled by a mad being. That said it’s not unknown in Star Wars either. The Falleen homeworld was devastated when an Imperial bio weapon got loose, the Rakghoul plague was invented by the Sith and finally during the Clone Wars, one devastated Oma Dun (the gungan moon) as well as Honoghr (in a more advanced form.)
Seti Ashgad does get further mention, as a former Senator of the Old Republic. The timing of his exile is a bit iffy but he is mentioned in Labyrinth of Evil though given no further development.
Callista has a short story set after Planet of Twilight, Murder in Slushtime, in Star Wars Adventure Journal 14. She later gets mention in Fate of the Jedi series.
I did find some things in this that distracted me in a way they didn’t originally. The problem is ‘Earth’ has more taken clues from the villains in ways I never imagined. But I was still able to escape into the fantasy of a galaxy far far away in Planet of Twilight, enjoying its continuity with the original movies, and that is the most important thing of all.