Razor’s Edge Review

Leia in Razor's Edge by Martha Wells

Razor’s Edge surely implies where Leia finds herself as a mission to trade for supplies for the new Hoth base takes a dark twist. Between being attacked by the Empire, an Imperial spy among the rebels, and just to top it off, a band of pirates, Leia, Han and her crew are now in terrible danger. The band of pirates are flying an Alderaanian gunship that once protected the Alderaan system. It isn’t enough now to escape alive. These pirates have made this personal for Leia, and she isn’t going to give up without fighting to convince her fellow Alderaan survivors to mend their ways and correct their mistakes.

Razor’s Edge is by Martha Wells.

In one way she was glad Viest had tried to kill them and threatened the ship, that their situation was now clear, that their was no reason to pin their hopes on negotiation.
It meant Leia could stop playing nice with pirates and slavers and start playing for real.

This book surprised me, because given the timing of it’s release I went in skeptical. I had seen some definite slips by the continuity editing the last year or so. But this one, while easy for new readers, also holds true to what is already there. And it gives a rousing adventure when doing it. We haven’t really had a chance to explore Leia’s emotional pain at losing Alderaan much during the Rebellion years. There are other books set in this time period, but there are far more comics. Those don’t really allow room for it.

Without ever mentioning the prequels it still reminded me greatly that even though Leia doesn’t know it yet, she is the daughter of Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker. Her refusal to be a mere figurehead and lead from the front are very like them both. Meanwhile, her attempt to redeem the down and out Alderaanians who turned pirate are very like both her mother and brother, who refused to give up even on Anakin at his worst. Her sheer impulsiveness in her reaction to the pirates reminded me of an Anakin thing to do.

I did enjoy Han’s part in Razor’s Edge, as the author wove in his expertise in the shadier aspects and used them to the benefit of the Rebels. It’s clear in this he is still expecting to be paid (in parts if not cash.) But he his loyalty is unquestioned. His skills in adventuring are shown at their peak here.

The pirates in Razor’s Edge kept me guessing because it was impossible to know which way any of them, including the Alderaanians, would choose to jump when push came to shove. C3PO and R2 only have a brief mention, unfortunately. Luke and Chewie do have a somewhat larger role, and I did appreciate how expressive Chewie was. Luke’s role wasn’t great but at least it explained why he was there as opposed to off with his squadron (in spite of being obviously part of Red Squadron and a fighter pilot, most books and comics set in these years don’t bother to mention why he seems to rarely be with them.)

Honestly the only thing I didn’t like in Razor’s Edge was the silly ‘legends label’ on the cover and the advertisement for Disney canon in the front. I may cover both. I also am a bit saddened at the standard photo or photo edited cover in comparison to the amazing cover art of previous years. But that is the cover, not the story.

The one regret I have is that because this book was written right before the cancellation of the Expanded Universe, we never got to see any of the characters again. There are just a couple that would’ve been nice to see again, if only in small roles.


Razor’s Edge Continuity

This book is set after Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and Honor among Thieves, while they are setting up Echo Base on Hoth. The only issue I have with this is that the timeline lists it as post Choices of One, yet right before The Empire Strikes Back, yet Han’s role in that suggests he has chosen to commit more to the Alliance

Razor’s Edge suggests he is still at the purely mercenary level (or at least some think so) of only hanging out with the rebels for friends and whatever they can supply in return. It would make more sense if set before that. In spite of the sheer amount of comic books in this era, there was never anything to say he wasn’t more committed than what Razor’s Edge is hinting at before this point.

The Empire Strikes Back suggests he had a deeper commitment then Razor’s Edge shows and that it was only the bounty hunters that Jabba kept sending for him that convinced him he had to pay off that old debt. Given that the book is set while setting up Echo Base, right before the movie, it seems clear this belief he was strictly a mercenary at this point was off track, unless it’s meant to be just one man’s point of view.

General, I’ve got to leave. I can’t stay anymore. ~ Han
I’m sorry to hear that. ~ Rieekan
Well, there’s a price on my head. If I don’t pay off Jabba the Hut, I’m a dead man.~ Han
A death mark’s not an easy thing to live with. You’re a goodfighter, Solo. I hate to lose you. ~ Rieekan

Han Solo and General Rieekan in The Empire Strikes Back

I thought you decided to stay. ~ Leia
Well, the bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell changed my mind. ~ Han

Leia and Han in the Empire Strikes Back

In spite of that, Razor’s Edge is a good starter book for the Expanded Universe in that it acknowledges it and uses it without a new reader feeling they are missing information. It was meant to be, as were Honor Among Thieves and Heir to the Jedi, the latter of which got hijacked and put in Disney canon instead. (And no, it will not fit in ours post editing to fit the Disney Canon).

Han Solo’s adventures are kept vague, but the Corporate Sector mentioned began in the Brian Daley stories. More importantly so did the Lorddian’s and their culture, with their abilities. Those are important in this book.

Luke, unlike the other story meant to be part of the set, does match up with where and what he should be at this point in time. At least it doesn’t contradict. It directly mentions that he is part of Red Squadron with Wedge Antillies. (With, not under him as the other story implies.) Being set while they are setting up Echo Base, Red Squadron would be under Commander Narra (who actually dies on a mission after they are there.)

Leia has at least two other specific instances of dealing with Alderaan survivors and their reaction to her, and the realization that the Organa ties to the Rebellion might be why it was destroyed. One was the Rebel Forces young adult series. The other was in one of the Marvel comics, issue 86 the Alderaan Factor.