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Star Wars: Labyrinth of Evil
by James Luceno


p.22 In peaceful times Anakin might have been able to bridle his rage, but now he relied on it to drive him forward, to transform him into the person he needed to be.”

p.49-50 Bail motioned to the identichip he had already slotted in the scanner. “It’s all there, Sergeant. I’m a member in good standing of the Republic Senate.”
     The helmeted noncom glanced at the display screen, then looked down at Bail. “So it says. But I’m still going to need to see further identification.”
     Bail sighed in exasperation and fished into the breast pocket of his brocaded tunic for his credit chip.
     The new Coruscant, he thought.
     Faceless, blaster-wielding soldiers on the shuttle landing platforms, in the plazas, arrayed in front of banks, hotels, theaters, wherever beings gathered or mingled. Scanning the crowds, stopping anyone who fir the current possible terrorist profile, conducting searches of individuals, belongings, residences. Not on a whim, because the cloned troopers didn’t operate like that. They answered merely to their training, and the duties they performed were for the good of the Republic.
     One heard rumors about antiwar demonstrations being put down by force; of disappearances and seizures of private property. Proof of such abuses of power rarely surfaced, and was quickly discredited.
     The omnipresence of the soldiers seemed to bother Bail more than it did his few friends on Courscant or his peers in the Senate. He had tried to attribute his agitation to the fact that he hailed from pacific Alderaan, but that explained only some of it. What bothered him most was the ease with which the majority of Courscanti had acclimated to the changes. Their willingness--almost an eagerness--to surrender personal freedoms in the name of security. And a false security, at that. For while Coruscant seemed far from the war, it was also at the center of it.

p.51 Before the war, widespread corruption had stifled the legislative process. Bills languished, measures sat for years without being addressed, votes were protested and subjected to endless recounts...But one effect of the war had been to replace corruption and inertia with dereliction of duty. Reasoned discourse and debate had become so rare as to be archaic. In a political climate where representatives were afraid to speak their minds, it was easier--and thought to be safer--to cede power to those who least appeared to have some grasp of the truth.

96 “In their eagerness to perfect me, I’m afraid they’ll wipe my memory!” the droid said.
     “Would that be such a bad thing,” Anakin said, “after what you claim to have been through?”
     “How can I be expected to learn from my mistakes if I can no longer remember them?”

p.128-129Admit us, Viceroy. Or shall I instruct my elite to lay waste to everything to stands between me and you?
     Haako spun on his heel and hurried for the suite’s rear hatch.
     “Where are you going?” Gunray said. “Running will only make us appear guilty!”
     “We are guilty!” Haako threw over his shoulder.
     “He doesn’t know that.”

p.175 “Separatist bastions, they are,” Yoda said. “But so remote, so insignificant.”
     Mace ridiculed the idea. “When the body is damaged, it prioritizes. It doesn’t rally its defenses to deal with a pinprick when the chest has been holed by a blaster bolt.”

p.176 With a slurping sound, Anakin’s right leg sank almost to the knee in the muck that passed for Naos III’s main street. An equally onomatopoeic sound accompanied Anakin’s reclaiming of the leg, and expletives flew from his lips as he hopped off on his left foot toward solid ground. Crossing his right leg over his left while standing, he tried to shake some of the filth from his boot, then pointed to a pinkish strand that refused to let go.
     “What is that?” he asked in almost disgust, with breath clouds punctuating his every word.
     reluctantly, Obi-Wan leaned in to peer at the slick boot, not wanting to get too close.
     “It could be something alive, or something that was once alive, or something that came from something alive.”
     “Well, whatever it is, it’s going to have to catch a ride on someone else.”
     Obi-Wan straightened and shoved his hands deeper into the sleeves of his robe. “I warned you there are worse places than Tatooine.”

p.205 “Galvanized by your State of the Republic address, the Senate was.”
     “My address was a reflection of the spirit of the times, Master Yoda, I spoke from the heart.”
     “Doubt you, I do not. But too soon, your encouragements came. Celebrates imminent victory, Coruscant does, when far from ended the war is.”
     Palpatine’s frown contained a hint of warning, of malice. “After three years of fear, Coruscant craves relief.”
     “Agree with you, I do. But how from the seizure of Outer Rim worlds is relief sustained? Too many new fronts, the Senate urges us to open. Too dispersed the Jedi are, to serve effectively. A reasonable strategy, we lack.”
     “My military advisers would not be pleased to hear you categorize their strategy as irrational.”
     “Need to hear it, they do. Say it to them, I will.”

p.210 Dooku had taught Grievous well, and Grievous had taught his elite well. Coupled with Dooku’s coaching, their programming in the seven classic forms of lightsaber dueling--in the Jedi arts--made them lethal opponents. But they were not invincible, not even Grievous, because they could be confused by unpredictability, and they had no understanding of finesse. A player of dejarik could memorize all the classic openings and countermoves, and still not be a master of the game. Defeat often came at the hands of inexperienced players who nothing about the traditional strategies. A professional fighter, a combat artist, could be defeated by a cantina brawler who knew nothing about form but everything about ending a conflict quickly, without a thought to winning gracefully or elegantly.

p.224-225 “Lower your weapons,” Mace told the commandos. “And someone bring that interpreter droid forward!”
     Mace’s command was relayed down the line, and a moment later a highly polished silver protocol droid tottered into the tunnel, muttering to itself.
     “I don’t know how I’ve gone from serving the Separatists to serving the Republic. Did I undergo a partial memory wipe?”
     “Consider yourself lucky,” one of the commandos said. “Now you’re on the side of the good guys.”
     “Good guys, bad guys. . . who can tell anymore? What’s more, you won’t be so quick to say that should someone compel you to shift loyalties at a moment’s notice.”

p.248 It was unfortunate for the Jedi that they believed the Force was theirs alone to use and honor. That sense of entitlement was evident in the way Kenobi and Skywalker called on the force in their fervor to help him: opening doors with waves of their hands, clearing obstacles from their path with similar gestures, moving with what appeared to be numinous speed and agility, flourishing their blue blades as if they were powered by the will of the Force itself. . .

p.275 The fact that the man had made no attempt to mask himself assured and comforted Dyne that he was about to die, and shortly after the realization, he did.

p.333 Palpatine’s voice was sinister when he spoke. “You can display me, but I won’t speak.”
     Grievous nodded at what seemed an obvious statement. “I’ll display you, but you won’t speak. Is that understood?”
     “You will do all the talking.”
     “That’s correct. I will do all the talking.”
     “Very good.”
     For no apparent reason, Grievous felt uncertain. “Lord Tyranus will soon be here to take charge of you.”
     Palpatine smiled without showing his teeth. “Then I am assured of being greatly entertained.”