Caught in the crossfire of war on the jungle planet of Haruun Kal, Shatterpoint, a Star Wars novel, follows Mace Windu on a personal journey during the Clone Wars era.
While looking back on a Legends novel may seem like a trivial pursuit, Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover, ranks among the top Star Wars books written as it perfectly captured the tone of the Clone Wars following Mace Windu on a rescue mission to his home planet of Haruun Kal.
The first book in the Clone War series (and probably its best), Jedi Master Windu is tasked with tracking down his former padawan and current member of the Jedi Council, Depa Billaba, after she has seemingly fallen to the dark side after a Separatist mission gone wrong. Shatterpoint, as a force power, also came to be during this novel as we see Mace put his clairvoyance to use in various situations.
One of our opening looks into how the war would impact the Jedi mentally, Shatterpoint paints the picture of a conflicted Mace Windu as he battles his own demons just as much as any enemy he faces throughout the story. Caught in between a civil war between the native Koruun and the immigrant humans, the Balawai (and the Separatists), Windu has the tall task of eliminating the evil on both sides while also trying to save his old Padawan.
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Not only is Haruun Kal a hotbed for Force Users, but it being Windu’s home world, just adds to his issues during his time on the planet. He is a Koruun of the Windu tribe and encounters the last of his kin, who also doubles as one of the book’s antagonists. The other Windu in the story is Kar Vastor, an elite force user, who bares responsibility for Depa’s conversion to the dark side and takes Mace to the test, both physically and mentally, on numerous occasions.
The inclusion of a character like Vastor brings up an intriguing aspect of the Star Wars universe, the idea of non-Jedi using the Force. In The Clone Wars series there are sightings of the Force being manipulated by races like the Dagoyans and the Nightbrothers and sisters of Dathomir, but rarely has there been an encounter with one so strong in the Force (and not being a Sith) that they can handle a Jedi.
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It takes all of Mace Windu’s strength, both physically and mentally, along with the help of fellow Koruun, Nick Rostuu, to survive the ordeal. Nick, a future member of the Grand Army of the Republic, adds some comic relief throughout the novel as Mace’s partner in crime and also provides the one of the few redemption stories.
There is a poignant moment early on in the book when Depa tells Mace that in order to do what needs to be done to win the war, and war in general, she can no longer be a Jedi.
This scene mirrors a commonly touched upon theme from The Clone Wars series, specifically when it comes to Anakin Skywalker. That type of mentality, ultimately drew Skywalker to Emperor Palpatine and also was a point of friction between him and Padme throughout their later years together. Palpatine’s manipulation of the Jedi and their code by forcing them into war was the main driver in their downfall. Incidents like the one seen in Shatterpoint are perfect examples that the Jedi, as Mace Windu said in the novel, ” … are keepers of the peace, not soldiers.”
For every Obi-Wan Kenobi, there are a litany of stories of a general gone bad (we’re looking at you Krell) during an intense military mission. That Windu edict is easier said than done as the Jedi came to understand a little to late to save themselves.
Without further eating into the storyline, Shatterpoint provides a unique perspective for what was to come during the Clone Wars layering foreshadowing with a sense of dread around the future of the Jedi.
Vacillating between a third-person narrative and excerpts from Mace Windu’s personal journal, Matthew Stover’s novel is a must read for all Star Wars fans.