The Great Comics Con Queso Star Wars Expanded Universe Reading Experiment – Entry # 6 : Imperial Commando – 501st
This book can be viewed from a few different standpoints, most notably as the fifth part of an ongoing story or the first part of a new series that never went any further. Either way you look at it you can’t help but come away feeling a little disappointed at all the loose ends left when you reach the final page. There is so much setup here that gets no payoff because the rest of the series was scrapped, which is a shame because a lot of effort has gone into the crafting of the books from the start and for internal politics to derail what could have been one of the finest extended universe sagas, it’s just a crying shame.
The book does a great job of showing what the Star Wars universe was like in the transition from the Republic to the Empire. It’s something that we haven’t seen in the films or dealt with much in any of the other novels in the series. It’s a very vivid description of a place that doesn’t seem too far fetched in the era of the Patriot Act and domestic security issues that we’ve seen recently. That is an element of great sci-fi and genre fiction, where the real world is present in the corners of the imagined to make the extraordinary feel possible. Author Karen Traviss has never been one to shy away from making the books emotionally engaging and never once do you not feel the consequences that loom over the characters. An element carried over from the earlier books which, as I’ve said before, do a great job of building emotional attachment to the cast.
I hate that the series ends on a forced cliffhanger, and I wish that we could get the end to the story, but it doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the novel as a standalone entity as it’s quite well-written and shouldn’t be ignored because of the way things are (not) wrapped up.