I’d be dead in a war right away, I never take good care of my equipment!
Written By: Matthew Stover
“Take care of your equipment, and your equipment will take care of you.” CT-6/774
A short story like Equipment is a tough story to judge. To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot of meat to Equipment. What meat there is doesn’t happen to be the hardiest of meat. I can’t dismiss Equipment as being a waste of time, nothing written by Matthew Stover is ever a waste of time. However, I do believe that Equipment is a victim of the time when it was written.
When Mr. Stover was writing Equipment the Clone Troopers were nothing but that. They did not have personalities, nicknames, desires, or any of the traits that are associated with humanity. They were machines in all but form, existing as chess pieces to be moved on a board game called War. This comes through in Mr. Stover’s prose for Equipment. The Clones in Equipment aren’t easy characters to get behind. They are lacking personalities, most of the time. I say most of the time because there are moments when Mr. Stover imbues some personality into the Clones. But, on the whole they lack the necessary personality and character traits to make Equipment a story that fits with the characters the Clones eventually become.
I appreciate what Mr. Stover was trying for in Equipment. His short story still had the raw energy and darkness that I have comes to love from his writing. Equipment is by no means the best work of Matthew Stover in the Star Wars universe. The bar Mr. Stover has set for himself is very high, and Equipment falls well short of that bar, but still ahead of many other Star Wars short stories.
Equipment is not an altogether bad short story. As far as short stories go Equipment is very brisk and lacks the thematic content that can be found in a good short story. Mr. Stover’s Equipment lacks inertia, and ultimately it lacks both a reason for existing and is out of step with the way the Clones were eventually portrayed. I can’t fault Mr. Stover for writing the Clones as they were being written everywhere around the publishing time of Equipment. That doesn’t mean I found Equipment to be a riveting or great story. Equipment is a serviceable short story, but it never rises to anything more than that.