Aaron Allston: Rebel Dream


Aaron Allston’s Rebel Dream is the eleventh installment of The New Jedi Order and the first in his duology Enemy Lines. After the fall of Coruscant, Wedge Antilles leads what is left of his command and what troops he can pick up to Borleias. This world is situated close to Coruscant and can be used both as fallback point and staging area for attempts to retake the former capital planet. Due to superior numbers and firepower, Antilles can take Borleias easily and starts to dig in. It soon becomes apparent that what is left of the New Republik is ready to give up and does not care for further aggression against the Yuuzhan Vong; Antilles has to play all his cards not to be stripped from both forces and command. Being under constant Vong pressure he has to find a way to trick the enemy commanders into both underestimating him but also considering Borleias valuable enough to come for it.

Realizing that the New Republic has essentially fallen, Antilles decides to do what he and his friends know best: form a new Rebellion, a resistance movement organised in isolated cells, in order to imploy guerilla tactics on the Yuuzhan Vong. With utmost secrecy, the Insiders prepare to gather material, form cells throughout the galaxy and methodically misinform the enemy using his own spies against him. Meanwhile, Coruscant is vongformed at an amazing pace. Billions of people that were not able to flee die to Vong warriors, falling wreckage and starvation. Luke Skywalker feels through the Force that something Dark is stirring on Coruscant and decides to set out with an intelligence detail to do what he can to prevent an even worse catastrophe than the one that is already happening.

I have yet to read Allston’s X-Wing books but if he stays true to Stackpole’s style even remotely there I can say that he was the right guy for this book. Both his descriptions of battles and intelligence operations are believeable and thrilling. His character display and, in one case, development is well done. But the real master move is dropping the New Repulic’s carcass and reestablishing the Rebellion, in a sense. It enables him to lose scope, to focus more on key characters and events, and stay feasible at the same time. You really feel that all important things happen on Borleias, we do not miss anything. We do not have politics to care about, only the fight. This is what Star Wars became big with and, I suspect, what many Star Wars authors do best. Consequently, this book might change the series for the better and is written well at the same time — thank you, Mr Allston!

Comments are closed.