Star Wars Galaxy of Fear #11
by John Whitman
Published by Bantam
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
Tash, Zak, and Hoole arrive on Dantooine. They decide to lay low there for a while with the nomadic natives. When their local shaman or magic man sees Tash's Force powers and Hoole's shape-shifting powers, he becomes jealous. In hopes of getting them in trouble, he leads them to some old, and they believe cursed, Jedi ruins. There they run into a group of very mixed up Rebels who appear to have been left stranded....or are they? We soon discover they are clones created by old (and still active) experimental cloning droids used by the Jedi. The clones are made from hair and skin samples left behind by the Rebels. Oh, and did we mention that Vader had visited the ruins earlier, was wounded, and left some blood? As you can see from the cover, Vader soon arrives to face off with his own clone.
Not too many stories have tackled the concept of clones, so it was interesting to see Whitman's take on how they are created and what sort of trouble they might cause. He uses every clone paradox you might think of: switching places with your own clone, questioning if YOU are the clone and not the original, clones using the Force, etc etc etc. All interesting stuff. While not particularly profound, it is an interesting read. I also think that Whitman's use of Vader was well done. You don't often see Vader in full action, so it was a welcome addition.
First up, the book never really clears up if the Dantooine native is a bad guy or not. Tash saw someone start an avalanche, but we never find out who did it (as far as I recall). Second, I personally don't think the Jedi would have ever experimented with cloning. Cloning seems too unnatural and tampering with life, and I don't see the Jedi ever condoning that, much less experimenting with it.
Being beaten to death by an angry mob of clones of yourself. Ugh.