Star Wars Cloak of Deception Book Summary
A Clever Conspiracy Novel
Cloak of Deception is a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel by James Luceno.
Cloak of Deception is set 1,000 years after the events of Path of Destruction and 32 years before Star Wars: A New Hope.
Cloak of Deception Synopsis
The book opens with a daring smuggler raid on the Trade Federation freighter Revenue. The Trade Federation, the largest shipping conglomerate in the Galaxy has found itself increasingly under attack on the edges of civilized space as it has forced smaller operations out of business. This has resulted in long simmering resentment over Trade Federation business practices and more recently, terrorist acts directed against Trade Federation ships. Led by Captain Cohl, the terrorist organization known as the Nebula Front is successful in boarding the Revenue and escaping with a large amount of money in the form of precious metals. Their escape is not a clean one, however.
Jedi Master Qui-gon Jinn and his student, Obi-wan Kenobi have been following the activities of the Nebula Front for quite some time.
Meanwhile, Viceroy Nute Gunray, the head of Trade Federation has entered into a partnership with a shadowy figure named Darth Sidious. The recent attack on the Revenue has signalled an escalation of the conflict that the Trade Federation finds itself ill-equipped to deal with. Sidious has come with an offer of help, claiming to have powerful friends in the Republic and influence in the Senate.
At the centre of everything are Qui-gon and Obi-wan, trying to discern the true motives of the Nebula Front, who they believe will attempt to assassinate Supreme Chancellor Valorum at an upcoming trade summit, following a failed attempt on his life.
Meanwhile on Coruscant, the Republic’s capital world, others are also attempting to turn recent events to their own advantage. Chief among them is Senator Palpatine. Palpatine begins using the recent attacks on the Trade Federation and Chancellor Valorum as the opportunity to execute a series of carefully laid plans designed to place doubt on Valorum’s ability to lead the Republic. He arranges for large sums of money to be transferred into Valorum’s account from anonymous bank accounts. His plan is to make it appear that Valorum stands to personally benefit from the planned taxation of trade routes in the Outer Rim.
In the meantime, Qui-gon and Obi-wan, along with Masters Mace Windu and Ki-Adi-Mundi have tracked Captain Cohl to the planet Asmeru, where they discover that the Nebula Front is planning on attacking Chancellor Valorum again, this time at an upcoming trade summit on the planet Eriadu. Unknown to the Jedi, however, the Nebula Front is also planning to assassinate the Trade Federation’s senior leadership. Through the skilful manipulation of Darth Sidious, a battle droid has been smuggled into the conference hall on Eriadu. This model is more advanced than the security robots normally employed by the Trade Federation and is capable of overriding their programming and imprinting its own.
As the summit is about to begin, Nute Gunray and Senator Lot Dodd, the Trade Federation’s voice in the Senate are suddenly called away to deal with a problem concerning Gunray’s shuttle. This too is part of Darth Sidious’ carefully crafted plan, which the Jedi are unable to stop. Qui-gon Jinn is forced to watch helplessly as virtually all of the Trade Federation’s ruling council is killed.
The Tipping Point
The assassination also has side effects. Valorum has been completely disgraced by his inability to protect a key member of the Republic. On Eriadu, Lieutenant Governor Willhuf Tarkin has intentionally allowed the investigation to stall, giving key witnesses time to leave the planet.
On Coruscant, the Jedi have come to realize that there is a single hidden hand guiding the recent events.
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- March 26, 2009 / 11:53 pm
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