Luke Skywalker Expanded

Luke_ANH-Windham

A New Hope: The Life of Luke Skywalker by Ryder Windham

Luke Skywalker was just a farm boy with big dreams. It looked like would never act on them. But he had a past even he knew nothing about. And a destiny that was greater than he could imagine.

Due to his Uncle’s interference, he kept procrastinating at going away to the Imperial Academy. Falling for his Uncles manipulative (if well meaning, for he knew what Luke didn’t) line that his family needed him.

His naive dream of just becoming a heroic star pilot takes a dark turn when his Aunt and Uncle are killed by stormtroopers. The mere presence of a droid carrying rebel plans they were ignorant of leads Luke on a quest to join with Obi-Wan Kenobi to deliver them and become a Jedi like his Father.

What he didn’t know was that he was destined to not only destroy the Empire’s greatest weapon, but to resurrect the Jedi within Darth Vader, that had once been Anakin Skywalker.

Along the way he discovers the Princess, whose holo message R2 once carried is his sister, gained a best friend in a smuggler, wookiee and a con artist, and sets out to rebuild all his Father once destroyed.

Family

Luke knew nothing of his sister as a child. His Uncle was step son to his grandmother. His mother a Queen of Naboo and Senator who died tragically when her husband fell from being heroic Jedi to a dark lord of the Sith.

Once Luke brought Anakin back from the darkness, he spent some time learning about him in old records.

Luke’s sister Leia had 3 children, Jacen, Jaina and Anakin. Luke went on to train all 3 as Jedi knights.

Eventually, he married Mara Jade, the former Emperor’s Hand, turned smuggler, then Jedi. They had one son, Ben. It is known that he had direct descendants in Kol Skywalker, his brother Bantha, and Kol’s son Cade.

Friends

Luke made a great many friends in his journeys. His closest childhood friend, Biggs Darklighter, joined the Rebel Alliance before him and was killed in the battle over the first Death Star.

Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando became friends who stuck with him through everything for a lifetime, even if they didn’t understand the Force guiding him or how it worked.

In the more ‘normal’ career department, as a pilot Luke made lifelong friends in Rogue Squadron as well including Wedge Antillies, Wes Janson and Hobbie, all of whom survived multiple wars with him.

Accomplishes and Challenges – Character Growth

Luke’s initial dream was to go to the imperial academy to become a star pilot. The imperial academy was the only real shot at higher education. When he bypassed that he jumped straight into a Rebel X-Wing. This test of character growth involved dealing with the loss first of his Aunt and Uncle, then his best friend Biggs Darklighter. He realized his dream of being a hero, but those he loved did not survive to see it.

Military Command

On joining the Rebellion, Luke successfully destroyed the Death Star and went on many missions to scout for new bases, protected (or at least escorted) Leia as she gained new allies, and formed Rogue Squadron, starting it out as Rogue Flight under Commander Narra’s reformed Red Squadron. When Narra and his Renegade Flight was destroyed Luke was promoted to Commander.  Rogue became the squadron name.  As an independent flight group, it was loosely tied to headquarters but available to back up other Rebel groups at need. Rogue Squadron became infamous for any time of mission but the attrition rate was high. When Luke, as Rogue Leader, was unavailable he left Wedge Antillies to run it. After the Battle of Endor Luke knew he would be too busy to handle the squadron and officially turned it over. Rogue Squadron remained loyal friends and allies to both him and the Jedi.

Luke’s first command of a battle group was at Bakura, where he found he far preferred his X-Wing to the command chair. Nonetheless Luke himself was eventually promoted to General.  This felt wrong to him, in spite of Jedi of the past having been General’s. He didn’t feel ready for the responsibility. Orders had him fly a battle group into what he sensed through the Force might be a trap. Doubting his own senses and unsure how to justify or avoid the confrontation he went ahead. The resulting massacre shook his confidence badly. He resigned his commission. While some after his leaving the military still referred to him as Commander, he preferred not to be referred to as General.

Dealing with his fury over the loss of his family to the Empire.

(including, he thought initially, his father.) He was tempted to get revenge over their continued torment of those he cared about. Forgiving his father, once he accepted who he was, was a feat beyond many people. But saving Anakin and inspiring him to kill the Emperor didn’t stop Luke’s destiny.

Restoring the Jedi Order

It was a new beginning. Luke now had an entire Jedi Order to recreate. His crash course was far shorter than Jedi of old who had studied a lifetime, and he could hardly start at one child at a time or there would be a bottleneck. After all, if anything happened to him and that student, there would be no one left! The Empire had done a thorough job destroying old records of the Jedi. But he had the Force to guide him. In the process he learned much of their strategies on how to run, to hide, a lesson he would put to good use later on.

At one point, confronted with a clone of the Emperor, Luke pretended to go over to the Dark Side in order to ferret out the secret of how to find out how this cloned emperor, or transferred essence was possible and prevent it. This did him harm, though there is no evidence he actually killed an innocent, the true initiation to the dark side. Leia helped him break free, as he had once helped Anakin.

Luke’s erratic instruction showed as he tried to train a generation of Jedi. He was torn between the need to protect them from the Dark Side and the mistakes that could destroy them, and the need to allow them to face it in order to grow. He was unprepared in finding himself confronted with the sith spirit Exar Kun that he wasn’t ready for, and students with weaknesses he didn’t know how to help them with. Nonetheless he persevered and overcame, as did they. In overcoming Exar Kun’s spirit, the first crop of Jedi essentially passed their true trial. They overcame the initial setbacks and soon the Jedi were flourishing. As the older students came into their full experience and powers and were able to help instruct, Luke converted the academy gradually for younger students, including his niece and nephews.

While his students became self sustaining at helping each other learn, when one would fall and wreak havoc he would be on the move to help stop them. This included the likes of Kueller, Brakiss and Desann.

A New Enemy

When the Yuuzhan Vong invaders attacked, Luke was confronted with a Republic that he had helped found turning on the Jedi out of fear. He also was forced to let his niece, nephews and the younger Jedi step into war. This led to some painful losses. In counterbalance to this, his son Ben was born.

SPOILERS.
Luke’s wife, Mara, was poisoned by the enemy. The disease could’ve killed her and her unborn child, but she fought back and they both survived. In addition to his friend Chewbacca, many of his students were killed by the enemy, but none hurt worse than losing Anakin. He felt his fall and his own guilt at giving the order (or allowing himself to be convinced to send the teenagers) was a heavy weight to bear. Jacen was captured, and only much later would he realize how badly the imprisonment and torture had opened him to the Dark Side. The former Jedi and current Yuuzhan Vong familiar Vergere’s influence would prove to be poisonous. Jaina also had a brush to the Dark Side, but unlike the others she went on to recover.

Not long after his greatest pain hit: the return of the Sith, in the form of Lumiya, an old enemy, who would be out to destroy his own family by turning someone close to him to the Dark Side and killing another.

SPOILERS.
His old foe, Lumiya, who had been trained as an Imperial agent and served as an Emperor’s Hand was able to lure Jacen to the Dark Side, declaring him a Lord of the Sith, Darth Caedus. In the process, he attempted to lure Luke’s son Ben, first by gradually nudging him to morally grey areas, then into assassination supposedly for the good of the Galactic Alliance. Ben began gradually to resist, when Jacen involved him in a plan that involved getting a man killed that had a young daughter. At this point Ben still did not feel he could go to Luke, who had been trying to get him to leave Jacen. Feeling guilty and confused, he did turn to his mother, Mara. She also was reluctant to tell Luke, so she challenged Jacen herself. Jacen killed her. For this reason, and because Jacen AKA Caedus captured and actually tortured his son, he didn’t feel he could face him without risking falling himself. Jaina ended up being the one to stop him.

Luke fought to find the right balance between serving the Republic/now Galactic Alliance and the Force. After their betrayal by the government, and seeing the corruption it overlooked (because politicians had vested interest in keeping it that way) he withdrew it from their oversight. The battle of the politicians led by Daala to force them to become an official branch of the government forced the issue. The Jedi sought to preserve and protect all, and they couldn’t remain neutral if controlled by people that wanted them used only as warriors or diplomats while ignoring the many who needed them that the government ignored. In addition, the Jedi discovered a Lost Tribe of the Sith and a dangerous threat called Abeloth that only they could defeat. Therefore they had to hold themselves at readiness for enemies the Galactic Alliance and politicians wanted to ignore because it was inconvenient to have such enemies appear.

Yet through it all, Luke never gave up. He focused on finding the positive in everyone and every situation, always there for his friends and family. He remained the determined but still compassionate man that Mara affectionately called ‘Farm Boy’.

crucible by troy denning

Luke, with Han and Leia in Crucible by Troy Denning, 45 ABY and there last story. He was about 64 at the time.

Stories starring Luke Skywalker

Early years

  • A New Hope the Life of Luke Skywalker (all eras)

Movie Years:

  • Star Wars Radio Drama by Brian Daley
  • The Empire Strikes Back Radio Drama by Brian Daley
  • Return of the Jedi Radio Drama by Brian Daley
    (Note these radio dramatization of the movies includes extra and extended scenes not available elsewhere.)
  • Shadows of the Empire
  • Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnakes
  • Rebellion years
  • Galaxy of Fear Series – – by Whitman – Cameos only
  • Splinter of the Minds Eye ( written pre TESB and considered as a possible low budget script. the comic adaptation came out much later and was adapted to fit better into continuity.)
    Rebellion
  • Rebel Forces
  • Allegiance
  • Choices of One

New Republic

  • Heart of the Jedi
  • Truce at Bakura
  • Shadows of Mindor
  • Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton
  • Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn
    • Heir to the Empire
    • Dark Force Rising
    • The Last Command
  • Dark Empire
    • Dark Empire – Dark Horse Comics (full cast audio also available)
    • Dark Empire2- Dark Horse Comics (full cast audio also available)
    • Empire’s End – Dark Horse Comics (full cast audio also available, but only in the collector’s CD edition)
  • Jedi Academy Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson
    • Jedi Search
    • Dark Apprentice
    • Champions of the Force
  • I, Jedi by Michael Stackpole
  • Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly
  • Darksaber by Kevin J. Anderson
  • Planet of Twilight by Barbara Hambly
  • The Crystal Star by Vonda McIntyre
  • Black Fleet Crisis by McDowell
  • The New Rebellion by Kristin Kathryn Rusch
  • The Corellian Trilogy by Roger Allen McBride
    • Ambush at Corellia
    • Assault at Selonia
    • Showdown at Centerpoint
  • Thrawn Duology by Timothy Zahn
  • Specter of the Past
  • Vision of the Future
  • New Jedi Order Era by Multiple authors
  • Dark Nest trilogy by Troy Denning
    • Joiner King
    • The Unseen Queen
    • Swarm War
  • Legacy of the Force Series by multiple authors
  • Fate of the Jedi series by multiple authors
  • Crucible by Troy Denning

Cameos:

  • Dark Forces: Jedi Knight 2
  • X-Wing, Rogue Squadron, Wedge’s Gamble by Michael Stackpole
  • Galaxy of Fear by John Witman:
  • Eaten Alive
  • Army of Terror
  • Chewbacca Tribute
  • Invasion – – Dark Horse Comics
  • Legacy

 

Crucible Review & Continuity

Crucible Book Cover Crucible
Star Wars
Troy Denning
Sci Fi
Ballantine Del Rey
January 1, 2013
Hardcover & Paperback

Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, and Luke Skywalker return in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which will challenge them in ways they never expected—and forever alter their understanding of life and the Force.

When Han and Leia Solo arrive at Lando Calrissian’s Outer Rim mining operation to help him thwart a hostile takeover, their aim is just to even up the odds and lay down the law. Then monstrous aliens arrive with a message, and mere threats escalate into violent sabotage with mass fatalities. When the dust settles, what began as corporate warfare becomes a battle with much higher stakes—and far deadlier consequences.

Now Han, Leia, and Luke team up once again in a quest to defeat a dangerous adversary bent on galaxy-wide domination. Only this time, the Empire is not the enemy. It is a pair of ruthless geniuses with a lethal ally and a lifelong vendetta against Han Solo. They will stop at nothing to control the lucrative Outer Rim mining trade—and ultimately the entire galactic economy. And when the murderous duo gets the drop on Han, he finds himself outgunned in the fight of his life. To save him, and the galaxy, Luke and Leia must brave a gauntlet of treachery, terrorism, and the untold power of an enigmatic artifact capable of bending space, time, and even the Force itself into an apocalyptic nightmare.

The Last Adventure Of Han, Luke, Leia and Lando – the Original Trilogy Heroes

This is the culmination of a lifetime of service that began with the Original Trilogy, as well as a chance to unexpectedly reflect on the past and decide on the future.  Youth has been replaced with age, but also with wisdom and confidence in each other.Han, Luke and Leia are off on a last adventure to help old friend Lando Calrissian.

Luke and Leia had devoted their lives to one thing, fighting the power of the dark side. It was that simple. Wherever the dark side rose, wherever the the Sith had dared show themselves – there Luke and Leia had rushed, never hesitating, never flinching. It had been their destiny to shepherd the galaxy into a new era of hope, and not once had they shrunk from that calling.
~Crucible, by Troy Denning.

From the release of the first Star Wars novelization of the original trilogy, to this, the last book published with Han, Luke, Leia and Lando Calrissian, this quote sums up these characters perfectly. And it’s a story..a story of shepherding in hope, that you can ONLY get in the true Expanded Universe. For there to be hope, their must be more victory than failure, more triumph than tragedy, and love and friendship that overcomes all failings.

The Story itself and what I thought of it:

Our original trilogy heroes have stayed true to themselves through long years in spite of the violent changes. And that means that even though the galaxy has problems, they never forget to make time for an old friend. While the path has been long and winding, while it took terms I didn’t expect (and would prefer not to have been done) this story restores something I’d missed. A sheer adventure, clearly meant to be a last hurrah for the original trilogy heroes, not due to failure of their mission to restore democracy and the Jedi,  but because they had succeeded and it was time to let a new generation lead.

“A Jedi can’t get so caught up in matters of galactic importance that it interferes with his concern for individual people.”  ~ Luke Skywalker, Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn.

Decades later, this is still true. Leia Organa Solo, fully a Jedi Knight is off with husband Han Solo to a meeting with old friend Lando Calrissian, who is having pirate troubles at one of his mining operations. To make matters worse, they may be involved with someone threading Lando’s family. As usual, this leads to some shocking discoveries, an old enemy who Han did not even realize he’d made, and some true villains who are plotting a galactic takeover. Their advantage: vast wealth, vaster intelligence, hired Mandaloreans, and an ally who is of the lost tribe of the Sith. Their weakness: a hatred of Han Solo for a crime he did not commit.

Han and Lando though have an advantage too: allies who are Jedi, including the Grand Master Luke Skywalker who is ready for a little time away from being the Grand Master. He’s also ready to check in with his son, Ben Skywalker and Tahiri Veila, who happen to be in the area investigating a Jedi who is missing. She was off searching for the mysterious Force rich and legendary ‘Mortis’.

There are some surprising new twists in the story, not least of which is the mystery of what the villainous Qrephs have found and are protecting. The battle to stop them from unleashing…something…is a view of not only the sheer toughness of Luke and Leia (no matter their age), but also how Han Solo has come to view them and what he has learned from them, life and the Force.

A little history for the story and it’s continuity:

This book stands alone, but it also ties into both The Clone Wars TV series Mortis story arc and Fate of the Jedi series. While The Clone Wars had continuity clashes that Fantasy Flight Games (RPG) retconned as ‘COMPNOR altering the records’ the Mortis arc stands pretty well on its own, with no specific reference to continuity to really alter.  It is a mysterious place where the Chosen One is challenged by beings known as the Ones who are ancient and those who for eternity have, until the clone wars era, kept the Force in balance.

According to Fate of the Jedi, Yoda did mention this odd adventure of Anakin and Obi-Wan’s to Luke. In Fate of the Jedi an entity known as ‘Abeloth’ who was associated with these ‘Ones’ caused chaos in the galaxy. Mortis seems like the kind of place the New Jedi Order might just be interested in finding. At the same time an ancient tribe of Sith, who had long ago been lost and marooned for generations on a forgotten world return to cause chaos.  Among them: a young Sith named Vestara Khai, whose deception caused deep pain for young Ben Skywalker.

Recent events of the battle with Abeloth, the Sith, the fall of one of their own to the Dark Side (Legacy of the Force), the wars with the Yuuzhan Vong (New Jedi Order series) are mentioned, highlights and tragedies of Luke, Han and Leia. Lando’s wife and son are also mentioned, his wife, Tendra, first appeared in the Corellian Trilogy by Roger Macbride Allen. Chance AKA Lando Jr.  first shows up in Fate of the Jedi series.

A little planned (and canceled) future for the story:

Crucible is the ending of an era, that of the original trilogy heroes taking lead, and the intended setup of another, one curtailed by the Disney purchase. This is where our heroes decide to step aside and retire and why they make that decision. The stories after were meant to be about the next generation, Jaina Solo, Jagged Fel, Ben Skywalker, Tahiri, Allana Solo and their friends. There was just enough mystery left at the end of this to lead to interesting stories for the future. One can but hope those now in charge of the franchise come to realize that these stories deserve to be told.

Crucible-HC - Troy Denning, with the original trilogy trio

There were 2 promotional covers and 3 actual of Han, Luke and Leia for the Crucible novel. The hardcover shows a grayer, older looking Han. The paperback (seen at top) shows a grayer but not quite as gray Han. The third one, the last release, features different art for all 3 characters. But the oddest choice is giving Luke a beard as in the ‘other’ galaxy. Luke in the expanded universe never wore a beard except when needing a disguise.

The Truce at Bakura, Aftermath of Endor, Influence

Truce at Bakura, in the Aftermath of EndorThe Truce at Bakura is the literal aftermath of the Battle of Endor and deals with the emotional and very real strategic fall outs of it. As such, its a great place to dive into the Expanded Universe.

The Truce at Bakura starts immediately after Return of the Jedi. It is literally the day after the Death Star’s destruction and our heroes are still nursing wounds. Luke is feeling the effects of the Emperor’s Force Lightning and the pain at losing his Father. Leia still has an arm injury as well as the new realization that Darth Vader was her biological father.

The Imperial’s Primary Fleet is shattered, with the best of the ships and crews (since Vader only took the best.) The Emperor and Darth Vader being dead, leaves the Empire leaderless, but not yet surrendered. In the aftermath of a hard won victory, even though word is getting out about the battle, many worlds are still under Imperial control.

When the world of Bakura sends a message for help to the now scattered Imperial fleet, the message is intercepted and self destruct averted by Wedge Antillies.  Aliens are invading and the Imperial held world is desperate. So desperate that offering them aid might just win them over to the Alliance..

The Aftermath of Endor for the Heroes

Luke Skywalker

In the aftermath of  Emperor’s Force lightning, Luke is still in the medical ward for treatement.  Then Obi-Wan’s spirit appears, warning him of terrible danger if he does not go to Bakura and deal with matters there personally. This is one of very few appearances of the Force Spirit’s in the books.

Luke is given command of a battlegroup and once more is left unable to fly with Rogue Squadron. This is a step toward passing command to Wedge in the comic immediately following: Rogue Leader. His next step up will be to General in Shadows of Mindor.

His first after the movie era female attraction is here, Gaeriel Captison. She will not be the last, but their friendship will eventually come into play in the Corellian trilogy. His questions about his family are still troubling him here.

He meets his first potential apprentice: a boy enslaved by the alien Ssi’ruuk.

Leia Organa

Leia is still nursing a blaster wound to the arm, much more, she is nursing the shock of finding out Darth Vader is her biological father. He visits her as a Force spirit to apologize. Her confusion and deep seated anger at him is an issue she will have to confront many times in various other books. It will also make her hesitant to have a child.

Leia has reason to distrust Imperial governor’s but she finds herself making the first ever official truce between the Empire and Alliance.

Han Solo

Han has only just gotten to enjoy the fact that he is in love with Leia in she in love with him. Luke is no longer a threatening suitor, but he still finds himself jealous and out of step. When Luke is out of touch, Han will once again end up as leader.

R2 D2 and C3PO

Find themselves called upon to translate the Ssi Ruuk speech. While they don’t know the language, Artoo can emulate do to the whistling, tweeting sound it mimics. They also do their best to cure the Bakuran anti droid sentiment, left over from a Droid Rebellion and the Clone Wars conflict.

Chewbacca

Faces a world largely unaccustomed to non humans. But he doesn’t let it bother him in the slightest, even when it means dealing with Imperials (without bashing heads.)

New Characters, Creatures and Technology Introduced

 Gaeriel Captison (Imperial Bakuran Politician)

Governor Nereus (Imperial Govenor)

Pter Thanas (Imperial Officer)

Senator Orn Beldan (Rebel sympathizer Bakuran)

Ssi Ruuk (invading alien lizards)

Xwee (invading alien lizards, slave race)

Dev Sibwarra – (Force sensitive, human slave to Ssi Ruuk)

Entechment – Devices that steal a person’s Force life energy to power war machines. This is the first mention in novels of a device combining the Force with Technology.

 

Connections in the Books

The Clone Wars: Wild Space: mentions Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker battling Grievous here.

The Tie Fighter captured at Bakura will be used by Tycho Celchu on a recon mission to Coruscant. (X-Wing, Wedge’s Gamble)

Bakura is mentioned in Shadows of Mindor as well as several of the X-Wing series novels, and Jedi Academy trilogy.

The Corellian Trilogy sees the World of Bakura and Gaerial Captison return to the stories, an important player with their special ships that can break through gravity wells that otherwise prevent hyperspace travel.

Bakura is mentioned as temporarily being a member of the New Republic in Black Fleet Crisis.

The New Jedi Order sees Bakura come under the influence of the Peace Brigade, collaborators with the Yuuzhan Vong.

Luke Skywalker’s white shipboard outfit matches that shown in the Classic Marvel Comic book series.

Han’s black uniform with silver trim matches the one he used to infiltrate Star’s End, in Han Solo at Star’s End by Brian Daley.

The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook :

specifically calls the Alliance at this stage, before an official New Republic is formed,  the Alliance of Free Planets, just as the Classic Marvel Comic Books and Dark Force Comics Vandelhelm Mission.

It also lists the Doctor serving under Govenor Nereus as being the same woman who served under Captain-Supervisor Grammel during Luke and Leia’s escape from him on Mimban. (Splinter of the Mind’s Eye)

It also reveals discussions that the Alliance should classify the Bakuran incident, for fear Imperials who discovered more about it would try and attack the ssiruuk and steal the entechment weapons technology. This gives an early explanation why the incident itself is rarely mentioned in other stories.

Luke’s feeling of Pter Thanas future is revealed to be from a vision in the sourcebook. This vision (and the future) is confirmed in the Corellian Trilogy.

Effects on other Media

Dark Horse’s Clone Wars era comics reveal that Dooku had a base on Bakura, where he was encountered by Jedi Sora Bulq and Tholme.

The Clone Wars video game has the Force Harvester used here.

Bakura is used in the Empire at War , Rogue Squadron III and Rebellion video games.

Bakura in Jedi Academy

Bakura in Jedi Academy

Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy video game, the player as Jaden Korr has to prevent the Imperials from blowing up a power station on Bakura.

 

 

 

Rogue Squadron Influence

Keys: M = Movie |  N = Novel |  C = Dark Horse Comics | G = Video Games | R = Audio/Radio Drama

Rogue Squadron was never a planned multimedia event. It became one without any help, featuring novels, comic books, video games and action figures.

In Universe Influence
Baron Fel and Hobbie action figure 2 pack with comic

Baron Fel and Hobbie action figure 2 pack with comic

The most important thing about the Rogues is their pilots. The top gun hotshots of the Rebellion, followed by the New Republic and the Galactic Alliance. They have a long history of serving with Jedi. A few of them actually were Jedi but all, all were skilled in both space combat and ground battle. Rogue Leader is also known as Rogue One and was first held by Luke Skywalker on Hoth. Wedge was the second, and very possibly, the longest to hold the title.

The Rebellion Years.

Red Squadron Leaders
Garven Dreis (A New Hope)
Arhul Narra (Pre-The Empire Strikes Back)

The Empire Strikes Back – M, N, C, R

Arhul Narra, working with Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antillies, formed 2 flights out of Red Squadron. One, Renegade Squadron, he led.

Renegade destroyed at Derra IV on a convoy mission. The other, Rogue Flight, was led by Luke Skywalker with Wedge as his second. Luke was promoted on Narra’s death to Commander. And the Rogues were now more or less a squadron.

Luke led Rogue Flight as Rogue One AKA Rogue Leader in the battle of Hoth. He was forced to cover for others, including Rogue Three, Wedge Antillies, when his own gunner was taken out. Without the gunner, he couldn’t use his harpoon to take down AT ATs directly.

Shadows of the Empire (N, C, G)

rogue squadron game

rogue squadron game

When a lead suggested Boba Fett with the frozen Han Solo was on Gall, Luke and the Rogues attacked the Imperial Navy stationed there to give time for Leia, Lando and Chewbacca to attempt a rescue, which did not succeed. In spite of overwhelming odds and sabotage by a traitor, they only lost a single pilot.

When Princess Leia fell into the snare of Black Sun’s Prince Xixor on Coruscant, Luke went to rescue her. Their retreat was complicated by Xixor’s starfighters, until Rogue Squadron showed up to lend aid. Nonetheless they would not have escaped had Vader not taken a hand in decimating Xixor’s forces for daring to put a price on his son, Luke Skywalker’s head.

During this time, Wedge Antillies was promoted to commander he and Luke shared command, since Luke was off on other missions.

Rogue Squadron Influence
Rogue Squadron Influence

 

Return of the Jedi (M, N, C)

At this point, the rather diminished Rogues were scattered into different ships (X-Wings, Y-Wings) and some to different squadrons. Wedge, taking the lead as Luke was joining the ground assault, temporarily christened the group ‘Red Squadron’ to honor their fellows who assaulted the first Death Star. Just as the previous group, they successfully destroyed it.

New Republic

Wedge intercepted a message drone which led the Alliance to aiding Bakura, temporarily forming a truce with the Imperials in charge. The desperate battle against alien conquerors saw Luke once more out of his cockpit and on the command deck, this time in charge of a battle group.

Rogue Leader (DH)

Luke took a few scattered Rogues on a recon trip to Corellia, not long after Bakura. The Empire attacked Corellia, intent on showing them who was still officially in charge. Wedge’s initial urge to retire evaporated, though Luke informed him that command and his Jedi training would reduce how much time he could fly. Wedge became Rogue One AKA Rogue Leader and a new era began for the Rogues.

Though Luke Skywalker had been with them sporadically of late, his founding of the  squadron left with them an extra edge. Even among the Alliance, not everyone knew he’d stepped aside. His reputation added to the intimidation of flying against such a famous, lucky squadron long after he was gone.

Rogue Squadron, The Phantom Affair

Rogue Squadron, The Phantom Affair

X-Wing Rogue Squadron (DH)

Wedge reformed the Rogues with his few survivors: Tycho, Janson and Hobbie.   New members joined up, some left, and some died. They battled warlords and freed worlds from Brentaal 7 to Eiattu to Mrlsst.  They blazed away for a campaign to the Core Worlds. But the price was high in personnel.

X-Wing (N)

The old core group still survived, though Tycho was under a cloud of suspicion due to being compromised on a mission. The new appointees were excellent pilots but many were politically motivated. Thyferrans represented the Bacta cartel. Corellia was well represented by Wedge as well as newcomer, former CorSec officer Corran Horn. Gavin Darklighter, cousin to Biggs Darklighter who died over the first Death Star joined the team at the tender age of 16. These, among others, would dare to blaze the path to take the capital world without which the galaxy would not recognize the legitimacy of the New Republic.

XWing Rogue Squadron by Michael Stackpole, the first novel

XWing Rogue Squadron by Michael Stackpole, the first novel

Wraith Squadron (N)

During this time, Antillies took the lessons of the Rogues and made a complimentary group. Wraith’s had the commando skills plus piloting skills, just as the Rogues had pilot skills with a touch of commando. They partnered on missions and occasionally even exchanged members. Wedge temporarily took command of the Wraiths, leaving Tycho Celchu as Rogue One. Wes Janson went with Wedge to help set up the group.

Both groups served under General Han Solo’s Command in support of Warlord Zsinj. (Courtship of PL)
Once the Wraith’s were fully established Wedge again became Rogue One and Tycho, Rogue Two. Wes Janson rejoined and they added Kell Tainer, a pilot who had lost his nerve but regained it in the Wraiths.

Thrawn Trilogy (N, C)

The Rogues joined with founder Luke Skywalker and their former General Solo in skirting the provisional council’s authority as embodied in Politician Borsk Fey’lya in seeking to find the Katana fleet first. Only partially successful, they went on to take on the Bilbringi ship and were ambushed by Thrawn’s fleet. With help from the inside, they decimated the shipyards.

Dark Empire (C)

The Rogues with the rest of the New Republic were chased by Coruscant by a devastating surprise attack by the cloned Emperor. Wedge was forced once more out of the Rogue One position to lead as General from the command ships. The Rogues went on to do battle with new ships (E-Wings) in attempt to save Dac from the World Devastators.

I,Jedi/Jedi Academy (N)

Wedge had momentarily had enough of warfare and chose to lead in rebuilding the retaken Capital world of Coruscant, then aiding the attack on Maw Installation and acting as body guard for former Imperial Scientist Qwi zux.
Tycho remained as Rogue One while Rogue Squadron went in hot pursuit of the Warlord Admiral Tavira and her star destroyer, the Invidious, who they had tangled with not long after the Battle of Endor. During this time, Rogue Nine, Corran Horn, had the horrible sense of losing his wife, Mirax. Unable to get her whereabouts from General Cracken who had employed her on a mission, he took a break from the Rogues to join Luke Skywalker’s Jedi academy. From there he infiltrated the pirates who served her and helped bring down her supporters. During the infiltration, he actually found himself facing off against his own Rogue Squadron colleagues. Unaware he was undercover and flying with the enemy, he ended up fighting to survive the encounter with them without killing or being killed. Mirax’s rescue was the downfall of Tavira’s control over both the Invids (the pirate group) and the splinter group of Force sensitives aiding her (the Jensaraii). At this point, it allowed Corran to return as Rogue Nine. Luke Skywalker chose to give Tavira a taste of her own medicine, by helping the Rogues track her.

Thrawn Duology (N)

Once more with the Rogues, Wedge found himself on scene when an Imperial ship attempted to make contact with the New Republic. The attempt was sent my Admiral Pellaon in attempt to feel out the possibility of a truce, but foiled when another uncooperative Imperial swooped in, jamming them and tractored in the ship before escaping.

Meanwhile critical documents falling into the New Republic hands flamed the ashes of interspecies war with the bothans, revealing just enough data to confirm their involvement in a attempted genocide decades ago but without names of the actual criminals. Suspecting Imperial involvement, members of Rogues were sent to their world to look for spies seeking to lower the defense shields. They were close to success when they were forced to withdrawal. The New Republic had chosen attack an Imperial Ubiquorate base seeking the names of the Bothans to defuse the situation, and given it was impossible, of course they sent in the Rogues.

NJO Destinies Way

NJO Destinies Way

New Jedi Order (N)

By this time Tycho was a general and Gavin Darklighter was Rogue One. When the Yuuzhan Vong invaded, the mostly new members of the squadron found themselves rejoined by Corran Horn (now a full Jedi) and Jaina Solo (also a full Jedi). However political concerns and an injury forced Jaina out, while politics and duty to the Jedi once again forced out Corran. Nonetheless the Jedi (from the Rogues point of view) were considered allies. When the Core government fell, Wedge found himself once more in command as a General and even flying. He and the Rogues with Gavin as Rogue One helped keep a retreat passage open for the citizen’s fleeing the enemy advance.

Galactic Alliance Years

Legacy (N)

In this era, the New Republic had been reformed as the Galactic Alliance. At one point both Jaina Solo took a turn as Rogue One. However, Jacen Solo was increasingly becoming involved with politics and was sacrificing freedoms and the Jedi code in his determination to quash the rebelling Corellians. For the Rogues as well as the Skywalker – Solo clan, a division of loyalties would bring them to chaos.

The GA made the mistake of recalling the retired reserve officer Wedge Antillies to Coruscant, and placing him into custody. As a native Corellian they feared he would go over to the other side. In fact, he had already refused but being forced to escape, and seeing his own side betraying the freedom’s he had fought for, led him to join the Corellians.

Meanwhile flying under the Rogue banner for the GA was his own daughter, Syal Antillies.

Rogue One at the time was Lensi, who soon found himself pitted against one of the earliest Rogue One’s and bested in combat.

Tycho Celchu and Gavin Darklighter, both of whom also had at one time or another been Rogue One / Rogue Leader, found themselves caught between an increasingly out of control Jacen Solo and former Rogue founder Luke Skywalker, another former Rogue Leader in Jaina Solo, and Rogue Nine, Corran Horn, as the Jedi, realizing Jacen’s turn from the light, as well as the GA abuses of power, withdrew from the conflict in spite of Jacen’s threats.

Legacy (C)

Legacy by Dark Horse Comics Return of the Rogues

Legacy by Dark Horse Comics Return of the Rogues

Many generations of later the Rogues still flew under the GA, Rogue One Jhorham Bey was succeeded on his promotion by Anj Dahl. But both flew in very trying times. the One Sith Empire had come out of hiding and tricked the Fel Imperial Empire into betraying the truce with the Galactic Alliance. They saw massive action as the Sith attacked and virtually destroyed Dac, home of both Mon Calamari and Quarren.

Known Rogue Leaders usually flying as Rogue One:

  • Luke Skywalker
  • Wedge Antillies
  • Tycho Celchu
  • Corran Horn
  • Gavin Darklighter
  •  Jaina Solo
  • Lensi
  • Jhorham Bey
  • Anj Dahl
Influence on the Media

Rogue Squadron’s brief bit in The Empire Strikes Back opened them to a world of other media.

The video game Rogue Squadron also spawned Rogue Leader and various other sequels. The original game was created due to the popularity of the level playing as a Rogue in Shadows of the Empire.

The comics were spawned by the popularity of the novels, and had the same author.

 Corran Horn is created in Rogue Squadron stories, a pilot with a Jedi history and skills. He would appear in  many future novels and also star in his own popular novel, I, Jedi. His family history is explored further in the prequel era Clone Wars where Anakin Skywalker fights alongside his grandfather.

Mirax Terrik and Booster Terrik would go on to other future stories involving Rogue Squadron and the Jedi.

Winter was originally created as an aid to Princess Leia as well as Rebel Operative in the Thrawn trilogy. However, most stories after that in the timeline only show her as a nanny and the protector of the Solo children. The Rogue Squadron stories are the first to explore her role as an Intelligence operative.

Wraith Squadron was created as a commando equivalent of Rogue Squadron.

Wedge Antillies, Wes Janson and Hobbie Klivian, seen in the movies, are expanded upon and given full personalities, likes, dislikes and interests which carry over into all future (and past) adventures.

Biggs Darklighter, Jek Porkins and other previous pilots of Red Squadron, from which the Rogues were drawn, were expanded on both by the pilots memories and these stories, and the popularity of these which inspired the stories to be further fleshed out in their own comic book adventures. Darklighter in particular got his own comic book story arc in ‘Empire’. Hobbie Klivian also played a part in it.

Alderaan’s destruction is given even more personal impact, through the memories of both Winter (who has perfect recall) and Tycho (who was an Imperial whose family was on Alderaan when it was destroyed.)

Coruscant’s Defenses, which the Rogues are to bring down are a hint of what is involved in Revenge of the Sith when the General Grievious fleet attack the planet.

Bacta – The cure all of medicine, is hardly thought about until ‘The Bacta War’. Rogue Squadron introduces the politics of the Bacta creators and distributors. Much like any medicine, one takes it for granted when you  have it.  But from Medstar I series to the Republic Commando games, to the many tales of the New Republic, the substance and it’s lack can have serious affects.

 

 

 

 

Allegiance Review

Star Wars Allegiance Book Cover Star Wars Allegiance
Timothy Zahn
sci fi/fantasy
Del Rey
2007
Hardcover

Never before has the incendiary mix of action, politics, and intrigue that has become Timothy Zahn’s trademark, been more evident that in this new Star Wars epic. On the heels of the stunning events chronicled in Star Wars: A New Hope, the newly minted heroes of the Rebellion–fledgling Jedi Luke Skywalker, smuggler turned reluctant freedom-fighter Han Solo, and Princess Leia Organa, a bold leader with a world to avenge–must face the harsh realities of the cataclysmic conflict into which they have so bravely plunged. From this point forward, legends will grow, treachery will abound, and lives will be irrevocably altered, in the long, hard fight to counter the fist of tyranny and restore hope to a galaxy too long in darkness.

The destruction of the Death Star by the Rebel Alliance was a decisive blow against the Empire, but Palpatine and his monstrous enforcer, Darth Vader, are no less of a threat. The brutal extermination of Alderaan not only demonstrated the magnitude of their murderous power, but served as a chilling testament to their resolve to crush the Rebel uprising. Standing against them, Skywalker, Solo, and the Princess remain uncertain opponents. Luke is gifted and brave, but unschooled in the power he possesses. Han has doubts about waging someone else’s war–and his contentiousness is one more burden for Leia to bear as she struggles to help keep the Rebellion alive. The three have been sent to mediate a dispute between Rebel Alliance factions in Shelsha Sector–agitating matters by forcing Han to deal not only with pirates, but with his more dreaded enemy, politics. At the same time, Mara Jade–all of eighteen and years away from her fateful meeting with Luke–is serving her evil master, Palpatine, well in her role as the Emperor’s Hand: tracking suspected treachery in the Empire to what may be high places–while trying to stay out of Darth Vader’s way.

But the Rebels will prove to be only one of the Empire’s concerns. For Imperial Stormtrooper Daric LaRone, his faith in the Empire shaken by the wanton destruction of Alderaan, will commit a sudden and violent act of defiance, and take four other enforcers with him, in a desperate bid to elude their masters’ wrath.

Each of these fateful actions, whether sanctioned, secret, or scandalous, will expose brutality and corruption, spur upheavals destined to shake the Empire to its core, and shape momentous events yet to come.

Shannon McRandle as Mara Jade

Shannon McRandle as Mara Jade

My View:

The story jumps between the main trilogy heroes, Luke, Leia and Han,  Mara Jade (AKA The Emperor’s Hand), and the Imperial Stormtrooper group who find themselves on the wrong end of the Imperial Security Bureau. Forced to go rogue, the Stormtroopers name themselves the Hand of Judgement and set out to right the wrongs of corruption.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that its a story about trying to do the right thing for the little person, no matter how hard it is. In this respect, while Mara Jade and the rogue Stormtroopers all believe in the Empire and Emperor, they also recognize their are times corruption has set in. So in their own way, while still not turning into Rebels, they seek to help the little guy. This sets them on a collision course with each other as well as the Rebels. As it turns out…they all have the same enemy this time around.

I really enjoyed how Luke and Leia, both trying to keep a low profile, can’t resist someone in need and take action. It showed that on some level, they think alike. It’s very appropriate for twins. And how Leia is expected to keep a low profile shows a whole new side to her. Luke meanwhile has to deal with the spirit of Kenobi whispering in his ear and guiding him…which also doesn’t help with the low profile business. Their allegiance to doing the right thing by the little guy is the core of being a Jedi, whether they know it (and whether the Jedi always remembered it) or not. Han’s attitude was very much of a guy who doesn’t yet want to admit that he’s really in this, because he believes in it, as opposed to just out of friendship.

The stormtroopers were a nice change, giving face to the faceless and revealing how people honestly believed in the Empire and yet could still end up in trouble with them. And their determination to keep helping the innocent while wearing the armor is heroic. They know, eventually, what may happen when the ISB catches up. Yet they don’t blame the entire Empire for the ISB’s corruption.  They were individuals, definitely not clones, with their own preferences and quirks. Each one had to face the question of what to do when you are given orders you know are criminally wrong. Each one had to decide between loyalty to one friend who was in trouble (and in the right) and whether going along with him was worth their careers and lives. Truly, where does their Allegiance lie? With the government and citizens they are sworn to serve or with it’s corrupt leaders?

Mara Jade’s relationship with Vader gets introduced. They aren’t together much but for those who know how Palpatine groomed Anakin Skywalker, one can see how Vader might react to this girl being treated the way he once was. Of course, she doesn’t know that.  And its also clear when it comes to his passions (Luke), Vader is, to use 3PO’s term ‘not entirely stable’ emotionally. Anyone who gets in between Luke and his father, even the Emperor’s Hand, is in serious danger.

The ending was a nice twist. Just when you think you figure out the stormtroopers, one surprises you. There is also a nice tie in to The Empire Strikes Back, as we see how ‘Ozzel’ ends up under Vader and hints that he’d been given just enough noose to…well, choke himself.

Other Stories about these Characters and Places

This book ties into the sequel ‘Choices of One’.

Mara Jade was introduced in the post ROTJ book Heir to the Empire as the Emperor’s Hand. This story is set before that. She is young in this, no older than Luke, but better trained.

Other stories with Mara:

  • Choices of One
  • Sleight of Hand: The Tale of Mara Jade
  • By the Emperor’s Hand
  • First Contact (Adventure Journal/Anthology)
  • Jade Solitaire (Adventure Journal/Anthology)
  • Heir to the Empire
  • Dark Force Rising
  • The Last Command
  • Jedi Academy Trilogy
  • I, Jedi
  • Mysteries of the Sith (Video Game)
  • Ambush at Corellia
  • Assault on Selonia
  • Showdown at Centerpoint
  • Specter of the Past
  • Vision of the Future
  • Union (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Judge’s Call
  • Survivor’s Quest
  • New Jedi Order Series
  • Dark Nest Crisis Trilogy
  • Legacy of the Force Series

The character Disra, appears in:

  • Specter of the Past
  • Vision of the Future.

The way Mara is treated by the Emperor reminded me of how he treated Anakin Skywalker, in:

  • Jedi Quest, the False Peace
  • Labyrinth of Evil
  • Secrets of the Jedi
  • Attack of the Clones
  • Revenge of the Sith

In these, he acted the part of benevolent adviser to Anakin.

Luke, Leia and Han:

Dark Horse Comics

  • Empire Series
  • Rebellion Series
  • Shadows of the Empire (comic adaptation)
  • Evolution

Bantam

  • Shadows of the Empire

Del Rey

  • Han Solo Trilogy (Ann Crispin)
  • Han Solo Trilogy (Brian Daley)
  • Razor’s Edge (Leia)
  • Honor Among Thieves (Han)
  • Scoundrels (Han)
  • Rebel Forces (YA)

 

The appear in nearly anything post Return of the Jedi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mara Jade

Mara Jade, Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice by Karen Traviss

Mara Jade, Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice by Karen Traviss

Mara Jade’s earliest history is unknown. What is known is that she was taken as a child by the Emperor and trained to be ‘The Emperor’s Hand’. She could hear his voice from across the galaxy. Her training in using the Force allowed her to fight for Imperial justice and take down criminals as well as corrupt Imperial officials. Mara truly believed in the Empire and it’s Justice.

As the Emperor died, he reached out one last time and gave her a false message of both Luke and Vader turning on him and killing him.

After his death she fell in with Talon Karrde, a smuggler chief who began grooming her as his right hand. It was working for him that led her to a meeting with Luke Skywalker which would affect the rest of her life.

“Victims run off and hide. Prey runs off and hides. But I’m not a victim. And I’m not prey. I’m the Emperor’s Hand. I am the ultimate predator. And it’s time for Dequc and Black Nebula to die.” ―Mara during her hunt for Dequc Mara Jade, By the Emperor's Hand, Dark Horse Comics

Mara was introduced in the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn.

Featured in:

Allegiance
Choices of One
Mara Jade, a Night on the Town (Star Wars Tales (DH))
Sleight of Hand: The Tale of Mara Jade – from Tales of Jabba’s Palace
Mara Jade, by the Emperor’s Hand
First Contact – from Tales of the Empire
Thrawn Trilogy
-Heir to the Empire
-Dark Force Rising
-The Last Command
I, Jedi
Mysteries of the Sith (Dark Forces Jedi Knight video game expansion)
The Corellian Trilogy
Spectre of the Past/Vision of the Future Duology
Survivor’s Quest
New Jedi Order
Swarm War

Legacy of the Force, Sacrifice

Spoiler title
Mara Jade made her peace with Luke Skywalker and even briefly attended his Jedi Academy. They were off and on again allies for years. Eventually they married. They had one son, Ben. Mara was killed by Darth Caedus when she went to stop his influence over her son.