Terrorist negotiations are not my thing, I’m too wishy-washy to accomplish any resolution!
Art By: Robert Hendrickson
Written By: Karen Traviss
“We prat around for more than three hours, and you clear the room in 60 seconds?” – Jaller Obrim
Omega Squad: Targets is a most interesting and peculiar short story. It’s interesting just on the basis of the actual short story. It’s peculiar because of the oddness at play in how this version of Omega Squad doesn’t quite match up with the other incarnations of Omega Squad. I know that last sentence is a mouthful, but I felt bewildered at times because the characterizations of Omega Squad, as well as Kal Skirata and Null Trooper Ordo, were a bit off. Omega Squad: Targets was an enjoyable read, but I did come away with a very off feeling when I finished reading this particular short story.
I’m convinced that the reason Omega Squad: Targets feels just a bit off is because Karen Traviss was still working out how to transition from the video game tie-in sensibilities of Republic Commando: Hard Contact to the independent minded Omega Squad tales that were to follow. That leaves Omega Squad : Targets somewhere in the middle. Miss Traviss is beginning to move the Commandos away from being characters in a mere video game tie-in novel, albeit a darn good one, and into their own fully realized world. She doesn’t quite get there in Omega Squad: Targets, but I appreciate the transition she is attempting to make.
The character of Fi is a great example of how Omega Squad: Targets is stuck in limbo. He’s cracking wise just as much as he did in Republic Commando: Hard Contact, but he’ nowhere near as deep as the Fi that shows up in Republic Commando: Triple Zero. Yes, the underpinnings of the Fi that is to come are still present and with every interactions he has Fi moves closer and closer to becoming the fully realized character I grew to love.
Omega Squad: Targets exists on its own merits as short little action piece. The shortness of Omega Squad: Targets allows Miss Traviss to flex her tension as action muscles rapidly and often. There isn’t much actual action in Omega Squad: Targets, but it feels like there is because Miss Traviss uses tension as a form of action. When Kal Skirata encounters the terrorists it should be a very static scene. But it isn’t because of the way Miss Traviss splices in Omega Squad and military tactics to create oodles of tension.
As a bridge story in the tales of the Republic Commando’s there’s nothing wrong with Miss Traviss’ work of fiction. There’s nothing truly wrong with Omega Squad: Targets period. The transitory nature of the story does create a bit of an off feeling, but the tension of the story itself more than makes up for said feeling. Omega Squad: Targets is a well written and to the point short story, something I wish I could say about more Star Wars short stories.