Showdown at Centrepoint by Roger McBride Allen Audiobook Review

With Centrepoint charging for another Supernova blast, the Solo/Skywalker family and friends are in a race against time to uncover the truths behind the events that n the Corellia Sector.

Roger McBride Allen really brings ‘The Corellian Trilogy’ to a stellar conclusion with ‘Showdown at Centrepoint’, with all of the leads reuniting to end the Corellian Conflict.

After splitting up on various missions, Han helps Dracmus pilot the homemade ship to Selonia followed by Leia and Mara. After coming under attack, the Selonian ship crash lands in friendly territory.

Luke and Lando, with Gaeriel and Kalenda go to Centrepoint Station where they meet the lone inhabitant of the massive station, Jenica Sonsen who takes them on a tour of the facility. They pass through the massive central core of the station and after learning about two previous flares and a third one starting to charge, Lando deduces that Centrepoint is what is the Novamaker that has been causing starts to explode.

On Drall Chewie, with Anakin, Jania, Jacen, Q-9, Ebrihim and Marcha keep a watch over the Planetary Repulsor. Through his tinkering, Anakin activates the station causing an underground lightning storm that damages the Falcon and Q-9. It also alerts ‘The Human League’ as to its whereabouts and an assault is launched, led by Thracken Sal-Solo. Chewie, the Children and the two Drall are captured but Q-9, who had been repaired had been hidden in one of the Falcon’s hidden compartments.

Sal-Solo records a message to Han and Leia, being held as hostages/prisoners by the Selonians, the spokeswoman for the Overden (the Selonian ruling council), Kleyvits, demands that Selonia should be freed from the New Republic and dates that the Solo’s and Mara Jade would be held until Leia agrees. The message shows Sal-Solo stood with Han and Leia’s children, wanting Leia to grant Corellia its demands of leaving the New Republic.

With the Interdiction Field down, a fleet of ships from Sacorria arrives. It starts to come clear that the whole plot involving the revolts in the different planets and the disdain between the three native species was generated by the Triad, the ruling power on the planet, made up by a Human, Drall and Selonian. Their intention was to make the Corellian Sector autonomous under their rule.

The Bakuran ship ‘The Intruder’ attacked ‘The Human League’ on Drall and freed ‘Sal-Solo’s prisoners, capturing Han’s cousin and taking control of the Repulsor.

On ‘The Intruder’, the Solo family is reunited as well as with Luke and Lando. Together, the Bakuran Admiral, Ossilege, Gaeriel and the rest form a plan to thwart the Triad. Luke and Lando stay with the fleet as fighters. During the space battle, Ossilege uses ‘The Intruder’ as a weapon against the Triad’s fleet, destroying the ship and killing himself and Gaeriel but winning the battle.

Han, Leia, Chewie and the rest of their motley crew return to Drall in time for Anakin to interact with the Drall Repulsor and used it to stop the third Supernova blast from Centrepoint Station.

After the conflict, after the previous Governor-General was killed in the conflict, Leia appoints Marcha as the new Governor-General of the Corellian Sector, with Ebrihim acting as her aide. Lando and Tendra reunite and their romance gets underway in earnest.

I have to say that ‘Showdown at Centrepoint’ was a thrilling and satisfying ending to ‘The Corellian Trilogy’, there’s suspense, drama, intrigue and romance and it’s all wrapped together in a fantastic package. The mystery around Centrepoint Station and those who are using it as a weapon is well played out, however, the reveal that The Triad is running the whole plot feels like it came out of nowhere, however, that could have been more down to the abridgement rather than the storytelling itself.

One thing that did bother me however, was the flirtatious interplay between Lando and Jenica. Lando has spent the past two-and-a-half (audio)books head over heels for Tendra, the key to spend a substantial amount of time flirting with another woman, only to tell her he’s in love with someone else. I get Lando is flirty, we all know that, but for some reason it just didn’t sit right with me. What could have been interesting would be if Jenica was flirting and Lando didn’t really notice, only for Luke to mention it at a later point. I think something along those lines would have sat with me better and would show some great character development. Sure, Lando shows growth here but not at the same level that could have been.

Allen does fall on a well used trip of the EU when Thracken manages to take the Solo kids hostage. We’ve seen them be kidnapped or almost get kidnapped before and it feels a bit played out, however it does allow us to get a great scene between Han and Thracken which is the juxtaposition of a scene they shared in ‘Assault at Selonia’, and we also get to see Anakin using his technical abilities to free himself and his siblings. His ability to understand technology and how things work has been a big focus in this trilogy and really comes to a head when he is able to use the Drall Repulsor, that has essentially linked itself to him, to stop the Triad from destroying the next Star on their hit-list.

I have to admit that ‘The Corellia Trilogy’ certainly reinvigorated my interest in the 90’s era EU (audio)books. Granted I’m not listening to them in release order, but rather chronological, but I was feeling very apathetic towards them after ‘The Callista Trilogy’ and ‘The Crystal Star’, none of which I enjoyed and found them to be tough to get through, even though they were only three hours each.

Allen certainly brings ‘The Corellia Trilogy’ to a satisfying conclusion that wraps up all the plot lines and mysteries that stem from it. This series is certainly not in the same league as Zahn’s ‘Empire Trilogy’ but Allen holds his own and delivers some great Star Wars stories with his contributions to the Galaxy.

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