Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley Review

Han Solo Adventures Book Cover Han Solo Adventures
Star Wars Expanded Universe
Brian Daley
sci fi/fantasy, movie tie ins
Del Rey
1979-1980
hardcover and paperback

Han Solo soars again--in this awesome trilogy of his extraordinary exploits. Ride with him as he rides to the rescue, narrowly escapes certain death, and foils evil in its ruthless tracks!

Some of the oldest stories in the Expanded Universe, before it had an official name or continuity. In fact, at the time of writing they their was no original trilogy, just one movie called Star Wars. Brian Daley did a fabulous job of staying true to the movies. Han’s early adventures introduced the Corporate Sector, an area of space that the Empire largely left to its own devices for a piece of the action. But that doesn’t it make a freer place than the Empire, on the contrary. Speaking out against the Corporate Sector and stealing from it the take very seriously, and they are just as likely to exploit, if not more so, the natives.

Han Solo Adventures trilogy by Brian Daley

Han Solo Adventures trilogy by Brian Daley

The Novels:

Han Solo at Star’s End

The first of the trilogy involves Han and Chewie doing their thing, being smugglers. Finding themselves disadvantaged by the new tech the Authorities have, they seek out to pay debts and get new upgrades. This leads them to a quest to find lost people, those who spoke or acted against the Authority. It also leads to some hints that Han is a more complex character than he has a chance to show in A New Hope.

It’s a rip roaring adventure with some tense moments. You know the heroes must survive. But what about their new allies, who you come to like just as much?

Speaking of the modern marketing term diversity, Daley was doing it back in the ‘70s. Rekkon was a black man, and it also features critical roles for Jessa, leader of the outlaw techs and Attuare, a feline female ranger.

Han Solo’s Revenge

The second book features Han and Chewie desperate for cash and taking a chance that leads to near disaster. Tangled up with a fight against slavers alongside an Authority Exec looking to shut them down, they find themselves once more on the run and finding foes and allies in strange places. They aren’t always who you’d expect.

Chewie has a great role in this one. Many stories treat Chewie as the big hairy sidekick. This one gives him a chance to shine on his own, being creative to survive.

It also introduces a great female character: Fiolla of Loord. She is described as having rich brown skin and black hair. She isn’t just some female love interest…instead she is a determined young woman seeking justice working within the system.

It also introduces Gallandro, a real gunman. He doesn’t get much play yet.

Han Solo and the Lost Legacy

This third book is a real treasure hunt. Han and Chewie meet an old pal hard on his luck and needing help to find a treasure that could bring him out of poverty. This leads to the planet Dellalt, home of the fabled treasure of Xim the Despot. But their is competition and someone has already died for it. When the enemy gets ahold of the Falcon, they are forced to trek across the planet, fighting a cult of Xim worshippers as well as the local competition…and then there is the enemy they made last time. Gallandro is on the trail and he wants revenge.

Once more we meet new characters and species. Badure is a former officer and flight trainer who reveals more hints of Han’s military past. Hasti, his friend and ally, whose sister was murdered at the hands of the competition and Skynx, a ruurian historian who will one day metamorphous into a newer but less active life form.

Tie Ins

Han solo at Stars End comic 1 small

Han solo at Stars End comic 1 comic

Han Solo at Star’s End Comic Strip.

Only the first story was adapted into a comic strip, later turned into a comic book and colored by Dark Horse Comics. As a comic strip in and of itself its a decent story but as an adaptation it suffered in 2 ways.

While the line art is generally good in this, it suffers some that the artist had apparently not seen the movie in awhile. Everyone who has will remember the Falcon’s game board and know its round and surrounded by a couch. It is not a flat square table with a regular Earth game of checkers.

The second issue is specifically for those who read the books. If you only read the comic it may not matter. But the entire opening is cut short and altered, perhaps its too long or difficult to illustrate. At the end, the story is altered drastically in how they escape. Again maybe they thought it more exciting or easy to illustrate. Or maybe they just had a limit of how many strips they could do and couldn’t fit it in. All told though as an adaptation it suffers for it. Also is the detail that trianni don’t wear clothes according to the book. Why they felt a need to clothe them in the comic might be explained by modesty standards, but only if one ignores that Chewie is also furry and has none.

It’s a decent comic, if cheesy and dated. It’s just not a great adaptation.

Fiolla of Lorrd: Wizards of the Coast and Death in the Slave Pits of Lorrd.

It’s unfortunate that for some reason artists got her totally wrong. The one most guilty of this is Wizards of the Coast, which ignored the ‘rich brown skin’ description. They may have gotten the idea from the short story “Death in the Slave Pits of Lorrd”, a hyperspace feature that short story available only to subscribers of starwars.com. In the story Tash Arranda (of Galaxy of Fear series) is telling of an adventure where she met Fiolla. Her scribbled picture had lighter skin. This however could be the in universe equivalent of not having the right color of crayon. Wizards of the Coast chose which version to use. This is a shame. (Except for color the artwork is otherwise good.)

As it fits into the Expanded Universe, the other stories very effectively use Brian Daley’s set up. The radio drama’s he also wrote reference Han in the same way. The Ann Crispin Han Solo Trilogy brilliantly interweave with it, actually explaining why Han went to the Corporate Sector in the First place and showing it as interludes while explaining what was going on that would effect him back in the Empire. The Dark Horse comics story Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse, we get to see Imperial Agent Jahan Cross hire Han for helping his adventure while in the Corporate Sector (something Han says yes too since they were academy friends.) Much later, a few of people and species from these will show up as cameos in the New Jedi Order series.

West End Game also did a Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook.

These stories were released individually in hardcover and paperback, as well as 2 omnibuses.

Women Authors of the Expanded Universe

Most of us know the characters already. But what about the female writers who invented them? Without them, these heroes we know and love would not exist. This is not a comprehensive list.

HanSolo-Huttgambit

Ann Crispin

Han Solo Trilogy:

  • Paradise Snare
  • The Hutt Gambit
  • Rebel Dawn

With a rare brilliance, she not only wrote the Han Solo trilogy and introduced us to his earliest influences, but managed to masterfully weave the rest of his Expanded Universe life into it. She interwove rather than overwrote,  Brian Daley’s Han Solo adventures,  Xaverri of the Crystal Star and Thrakin Sal-Solo of the Corellian Trilogy, she mapped out the incredible beginnings of the most famous (or infamous) smuggler in universe. His first meeting with Lando Calrissian is here, interweaving with the Lando Calrissian Adventures by L. Neil Smith, his introduction to smuggling, first clashes with Boba Fett and dealings with Hutts.

TruceatBakuraKathy Tyers

  • Truce at Bakura
  • New Jedi Order: Balance Point

The true aftermath of Return of the Jedi for our heroes started only hours after the second Death Star exploded. Her tale weaves the beginning of them dealing with their feelings on this, on Leia and Han and her feelings about Darth Vader being her biological father.  Luke struggles with the loneliness of being a Jedi. The first truce with the Empire is here, on Bakura. The character of Gareil Captison will be one of Luke’s first loves after becoming a Jedi.

Crystal-StarVonda N. McIntyre

  • Crystal Star

Her Original Trilogy character knowledge may not have been shining in The Crystal Star, but the personalities for Jacen and Jaina Solo began right here, in her one novel for the expanded universe. The Jaina who would be the pilot, the sword of the Jedi and a tinkerer starts now. The Jacen in love with animals is born here too. This book may not be the best or anywhere close to it in the Expanded Universe, but it was the foundation for great things.

Legacy of the Jedi, from Dooku to Anakin

Jude Watson AKA Judy Blundell

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • Jedi Quest
  • Last of the Jedi

She tells the tale of a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in Jedi Apprentice, as he first teams up as Qui-Gon’s apprentice. Based on Obi-Wan of the Phantom Menace and a mere few words in The Empire Strikes Back to Luke, Obi-Wan has to overcome his own impatience and anger to become the padawan able to defeat Darth Maul.

She follows up with Anakin under Obi-Wans tutelage, taking him from the confident slave boy to the lonely, eager to please but growing in power (and ego) young man in Attack of the Clones. His struggles are made real and easy to relate too in a way the movies simply had no time for.

In Last of the Jedi she follows up on Anakin’s rival, former padawan Ferus Olin, after Order 66. As a matter of fact, hints that Ferus Olin might be gay were confirmed by the author on Twitter. So she earns the fame (or infamy, depending on your point of view) of being the first author to even hint at that in one of the kids series.

Young Jedi Knights Lightsabers the Solo kids are told the story of Nomi from Tales of the Jedi

Rebecca Moesta

  • Junior Jedi Knights Series
  • Young Jedi Knights Series

She wrote the last 3 Junior Jedi Knights books and cowrote the second, expanding further on Anakin Solo, Tahiri Veila, the Jedi Tionne.

She also co wrote Young Jedi Knights where Jacen and Jaina Solo, Tenel Ka, Lowbacca, Raynar Thul would train as the future generation of Jedi Knights. Continuing on from McIntyre’s characterization, the Solo twins are growing toward their destinies.

These stories reference things from The Illustrated Star Wars Galaxy, a book author Kevin J. Anderson was also involved in.

Junior Jedi Knights the Golden Globe we seen a device left by Exar Kun during Tales of the Jedi

Nancy Ann Richardson

  • Junior Jedi Knights

She wrote the first two Junior Jedi Knights books and cowrote the third, introducing Young Anakin Solo as he begins training and his good friend, Tahiri Veila, who was raised among the sand people,

Children-Of-The-JediBarbara Hambly

  • Children of the Jedi
  • Planet of Twilight

Love her works or hate them, she started to bridge a connection between the as yet unwritten old Republic / clone wars era and the  new, via a battleship and a trapped Force Spirit. Her most notable invention however, is Belsavis. Her descriptions of an icy world with volcanic rifts led to its creation as a playable world in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Republic Commando - Triple Zero Clones

Republic Commando – Triple Zero Clones

Karen Traviss

  • Republic Commando Series
  • Legacy of the Force:  Bloodlines, Sacrifice, Revelation

Some love her. Some hate her (for murdering Mara Jade). But she delved deeper into the ethical issues of a clone army and the Jedi’s lack of questioning than anyone. She also seriously boosted Mandalorean culture by filling out a language and culture that had only seen snippets in old comic books, even interweaving pieces out of old Classic Marvel comic books into a rich full warrior culture with its own customs and honor.

Dark JourneyElaine Cunningham

  • New Jedi Order: Dark Journey

Short Stories:

  • The Crystal
  • The Apprentice
  • Red Sky, Blue Frame

Jaina Solo suffers in the New Jedi Order when tragedy strikes her family. Delving into Jaina’s temptation with the Dark Side, the aftermath of this story will be felt in the future stories, post New Jedi Order.

classic-marvel-comics-graphicnovel-7Mary Jo Duffy

Classic Marvel comics Star Wars issue 24 (a ‘remembered’ Obi-Wan Clone Wars story)  issues 70 -170 (the end)

This classic marvel comics writer who wrote the first story with Zeltrons and brought back Shira Brie as Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith.

TCW-No-PrisonersKaren Miller

Most of her work was involving TCW but she also did the short story Roll of the Dice for the Star Wars Insider, based on Aaron Allson’s Mercy Kill. Not yet aware of how TCW would confuse things in the Expanded Universe, her few stories of TCW  actually were based on it, including such characters as future Admiral Pellaeon. She also brought in Callista from Children of the Jedi, introducing her unique Force talent with machines, and Djinn Altis sect of Jedi who believed in marriage, introducing them to Anakin Skywalker. This explained the reason the post Return of the Jedi era Jedi introduced shows no mention of the ‘marriage ban’ of the Old Jedi, given that most of the survivors and heirs found were more likely to be non Coruscant based splinter groups. It was a valiant attempt at bridging the post Return of the Jedi era with the prequel one, taking advantage of, rather than ignoring, established continuity.

* I credit her with trying to keep in continuity, which had to be a growing challenge as Dave Filoni apparently kept throwing a monkey wrench in. Not only was he altering established events as he saw fit, he also wasn’t even filming the show in ‘in universe’ chronological order, which also threw off even the books based on the show’s place in the timeline.

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.

Clones & Cloners

In the Star Wars Galaxy, Kaminoans are the most famous cloners but not the only ones.  The Clone Armies of the Republic too, are famous. But again, they are not the only clones.

Clones:

Jango Fett clones:

Republic Commando - Triple Zero Clones

Republic Commando – Triple Zero Clones

While the first clones were born on Kamino and trained by mostly Mandaloreans, later clones were born on Centax 2. The latter were grown using a different method with Spaarti cloning cylinders. They had less physical training and more flash imprinting to get them ready for the job. They were trained differently, without the respect for the Jedi as leaders and even led to believe that Centax 2 was Kamino. This led to the realization by some of the early Mandalorean trainers that the someone in the government was about to pull something, while the Jedi seemed not to notice.  Some of the original clones, resentful of being used as a slave army, realized the threat would affect them as well and deserted. They had the aid of their own trainers as well as a few Jedi who had decided on their own that the Jedi relying on ‘bred for war’ clones was a violation of their beliefs. On their own, these clones sought out a cure for the Kaminoan genetics that sped up their aging for a cure.

Eventually some of the Kaminoans, realizing the Empire were a threat to them, created some of these with loyalties to the Kaminoans. This led to the Imperial Fleet and the Vader’s Fist Imperial 501st to do battle with the Kaminoan clones. It also led to the clones being phased out and different clone ‘templates’ being used for the DNA. The Spaarti method proved to have downsides as well, as the forced speed of growing clones often led to mental instability.

Jango Sources:

Attack of the Clones
Hero of Cartao
– Timothy Zahn, Star Wars Insider 68 Short Story – 2003
Republic Commando – LucasArts Video Game – 2005
Republic Commando Series by Karen Traviss, Del Rey Books -2004
Battlefront 2 – Pandemic Studios & LucasArts Video Game

Morgukai Clones:

The Morgukai Nikto were born and bred to fight Jedi. Their numbers were few, so the Separatists grew clones of them on Saleucami into a Shadow Army. They were stopped by the Republic and Jedi from leaving the planet. They were trained by the Anzati.

Morgukai Sources:

Republic Trackdown – John Ostrander & Duursema, Dark Horse comics
Republic Seige at Saluecami – John Ostrander & Duursema, Dark Horse comics

Starkiller Clone:

Starkiller's Clone

Vader captured by Kota and Starkiller’s Clone in The Force Unleashed 2. This story arc was not given an ending.

Galen Marek was cloned by Vader and the Empire as his secret Apprentice. Until this time, cloning of Force Sensitives had repeatedly failed, always ending with a mentally unstable clone.

Starkiller Sources:

The Force Unleashed 1
Book by Sean Williams – 2008 – Del Rey Books
Graphic Novel by Haden Blackman, Brian Ching, Bong Dazo, Wayne Nichols – Dark Horse Comics -2008
Video Game by Lucasarts

The Force Unleashed 2
Book by Sean Williams – 2010 – Del Rey Books
Graphic Novel by Haden Blackman, Omar Francia,  Manuel Silva – Dark Horse Comics 2010
Video Game by Lucasarts – 2010

Thrawn clones:

Thrawn had himself cloned in case anything happened to him, with the goal of defending the Empire from threats in the Unknown Regions. The timer was set to not release the clone unless the timer ticked down 10 years.

Mount Tantiss Clones: Thrawn chose the best of his troops for the Mount Tantiss cloning project, in order to have a ready made fleet for his captured Katana fleet. This would have proven a huge threat the New Republic but for his error in relying on his ability to control the discovered clone of Jedi Joruus C’baoth, who subverted his efforts by easily breaking the mind’s of the clone templates. Ultimately the entire cloning chamber was destroyed by a New Republic strike team.

Thrawn’s Jedi Clones:  Thrawn’s purpose for these is as yet unknown. However Jaden Korr discovered Clones that apparently combined Palpatine’s Sith DNA with those of numerous Jedi of the new Order, including Kam Solusar, Mara Jade, Kyle Katarn and others. It’s unknown how he got all of this DNA, though some was certainly from former Imperials. Katarn, Mara and Solusar had once served the Empire. These clones proved to have a serious genetic illness. They also proved mentally unstable, killing the scientist who created them.

Thrawn Sources:

Dark Force Rising – Timothy Zahn – Bantam Books 1992
The Last Command
– Timothy Zahn – Bantam Books 1993
Vision of the Future
– Timothy Zahn – Bantam Books – 2013
Crosscurrent – Paul S. Kemp – Del Rey Books – 2010
Riptide – Paul S. Kemp – Del Rey Books – 2011

The Emperor’s Clones:

Emperor Palpatine discovered how to clone Force sensitives with Vader’s experiments using Starkiller, along with his own Master Darth Plagueis’ training. The ability for the Sith to transfer their spirit to another had originally been lost, but he reclaimed that knowledge from a Jedi called Ashka Boda and a Jedi holocron. Using the cloning, he planned to ‘jump’ to a new body when the old wore out or was damaged. This was foiled by treacherous doctor’s paid off to sabotage the clone DNA as well as Luke Skywalker destroying the inactive clones.

Emperor’s Sources:

Dark Empire – Tom Veitch & Cam Kennedy, Dark Horse comics – 1991
Crimson Empire – Mike Richardson, Randy Stradley, Paul Gulacy – Dark Horse Comics, 1997
Crimson Empire 2 –  Mike Richardson,  Randy Stradley, Paul Gulacy -Dark Horse Comics, 1998

Khommites

Khommites froze their culture at the level they felt was ‘perfect’ by using cloning. Rather than procreate as other species, each individual was cloned and trained by their predecessor. They were differentiated by a number. Rarely did things change, even under the Empire.  However a massive change occurred when Dorsk 81 found that he was Force Sensitive and went off to become a Jedi. He successor also followed in his wake. Khomm civilization received a serious cultural blow when the Imperial Remnant led by Admiral Daala attacked their world, causing damage to the cloning facilities and stored clone DNA.

Khomm Sources:

Jedi Academy Trilogy – Kevin J. Anderson – Bantam books – 1994
Dark Saber – Kevin J. Anderson – Bantam books – 1995

 

Ultimately, cloning is a complicated business in any galaxy. Cloning a person has moral implications that in all probability, they will question if misused. Cloning for slave labors doesn’t mean they are not sentient with rights, intelligence and feelings. The Kaminoans also bred the shovel handed miner slaves of Subterrel, they had no ‘moral’ problems as they considered all species but their own inferior. Using cloning even to clone oneself has problems as well. For what if your ‘double’ does not wish to be a true duplicate? And basing an entire culture and society on cloning risks stagnation, which will be threatened when the unexpected (such as Imperial attack or unavoidable natural disaster) occur. The expedience of using a mysterious clone army nearly brought about the end of the Jedi Order in the prequels. The blind belief that paid for Kaminoan scientists would never question the danger to themselves caused the clone on clone battle for Kamino.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mandalorians

Mandalorians on Galidraan, from Jango Fett Open Seasons, Dark Horse ComicsThe explanation of the Mandalorian culture goes all the way back to a species known as the Taungs. While they died out, there culture lived on.

The Mandalorian Culture was based on fighting against worthy foes in battle to gain honor. They accepted members based on adoption. Anyone of any age could be adopted in either by choice or conquest. They were strong believers in family and took them with them even into combat.

Their homeworld, such as they accepted, was Mandalore, though they also had colonies. Among them was Concord Dawn. But Mandalorians were largely nomads.

From ancient times, they collided with The Old Republic and Jedi, sometimes siding with the Sith. In the more modern era, they were hired as mercenaries and known for their skill. Their ancient besalisk war droids were famous, as were their ship skills and armor skills.

Eventually, Jaster Mereel attempted to restore honor to the Mandalorian by reinstituting warrior codes long forgotten. This was resisted by a group called the Death Watch. He was eventually killed.

Jaster’s surviving group members where betrayed by a man who hired them. Jedi, tricked into believing them terrorists, killed all but one on Galidraan, who had been duped into believing them terrorists. More than half the Jedi were killed. One of the surviving Jedi was Dooku. The surviving Mandalorian was Jango Fett, who was sold into slavery by the man he was delivered too. This would have long term consequences for everyone. Dooku’s disillusionment with the Jedi began when he realized the mistake. Jango Fett swore revenge and eventually escaped.. By joining forces, Jango provided for the newly christened Lord Tyrannus the DNA for a clone army…which would be used to betray the Jedi. He also demanded in payment one unaltered clone: Boba Fett, who he raised as a son and would become a famous bounty hunter.

Due to The Clone Wars TV show Mandalorian history becomes confused. In the show they are depicted as blond humans on a world destroyed by war and enclosed by domes, led by a neutral non warring government. However, even in the show it’s revealed that this is not how they always were and many are dissatisfied.

The Clone troopers of the Republic in  many cases were trained by Mandalorians and adopted their culture, as Jango Fett was Mandalorian by adoption.

The true leader was known as the Mandalore.

During the Imperial  years, the Empire cracked down on the world and enslaved its people to mine its famous iron. Fenn Shysa became Mandalore and formed a resistance. After the war, Fenn Shysa’s dying wish was for Boba Fett to become Mandalore, which he did.

Fett led them into a two sided battle during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, pretending to work for the enemy but secretly aiding the New Republic. The retaliation devastated the world but the Mandalorians scattered throughout the galaxy heeded the call to return and rebuild it.

Central to their way of life was the Resol’nare’, 6 important codes of conduct and honor. These included:

  • speaking the Mandalorian language
  • wearing the armor
  • defending the family and self
  • raise your children to be Mandalorian
  • contribute to one’s clan
  • rally to the call of the Mandalore

Actions are far more important to being Mandalorian than one’s past history or birthplace. For someone to become Mandalorian, their past is considered wiped clean to begin anew.

Famous Mandalorians Include (but aren’t limited to):

Mandalore the Indomitable  who was defeated by Uliq Qel Droma and joined the Sith in the war led by Exar Kun.

Canderous Ordo – fought both against and alongside Revan. Mercenary

Rohlan Dyre – aka Rohlan the Questioner

Demagol – war criminal

Jaster Mereel – created the supercommando codex, seeking to restore the honor of the commands though bringing back the warrior codes.

Tor Viszla – founder of the Death Watch, a warrior group who opposed Jaster Mereel’s reforms.

Jango Fett – adopted by Jaster Mereel after the death of his family, Mandalore, and template for the Clone army of the Republic.

Fenn Shysa – Mandalore during the Imperial years and after

Boba Fett – didn’t at first care to learn his heritage, but eventually returned to it and became Mandalore.

Kal Skirata – trainer of Clones, he went on to help set up a system for clone defectors trying to flee both the Old Republic and the Empire at the end of the Clone Wars.

Stories involving Mandalorean Culture (note: not including multiple Boba Fett strictly about Bounty hunting stories…saving that for the Boba Fett character page.) :

The Mando’a language is commonly used in the stories. Here is a Mando dictionary.

Dark Horse Comics

Knights of the Old Republic: Daze of Hate

Knights of the Old Republic: Knights of Suffering

Knights of the Old Republic: War

Star Wars: Jango Fett

Star Wars: Zam Wesell (note, this is sequel to Jango Fett and does include him.)

Jango Fett: Open Seasons

Blood Ties Jango and Boba Fett

Blood Ties Boba Fett is Dead

Bantam

The Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy

A Barve like That (Tales from Jabba’s Palace)

Del Rey

Republic Commando: Hard Contact

Republic Commando: Triple Zero

Republic Commando: True Colors

Republic Commando: Order 66

Imperial Commando: 501st

Legacy of the Force Bloodlines

Legacy of the Force Sacrifice

Legacy of the Force Revelation

Scholastic

Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive

Boba Fett: Crossfire

Boba Fett: Maze of Deception

Boba Fett: Hunted

Boba Fett: A New Threat

Boba Fett: Pursuit

 

 

 

 

 

Kenobi Review

Kenobi Book Cover Kenobi
John Jackson Miller
Del Rey
2013
Hardcover

The Republic has fallen
The Sith Lords rule the galaxy.
Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has lost everything.
Everything but hope.

Tatooine—a harsh desert world where farmers toil in the heat of two suns while trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from the marauding Tusken Raiders. A backwater planet on the edge of civilized space. And an unlikely place to find a Jedi Master in hiding, or an orphaned infant boy on whose tiny shoulders rests the future of a galaxy.

Known to locals only as “Ben,” the bearded and robed offworlder is an enigmatic stranger who keeps to himself, shares nothing of his past, and goes to great pains to remain an outsider. But as tensions escalate between the farmers and a tribe of Sand People led by a ruthless war chief, Ben finds himself drawn into the fight, endangering the very mission that brought him to Tatooine.

Ben—Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the Clone Wars, traitor to the Empire, and protector of the galaxy’s last hope—can no more turn his back on evil than he can reject his Jedi training. And when blood is unjustly spilled, innocent lives threatened, and a ruthless opponent unmasked, Ben has no choice but to call on the wisdom of the Jedi—and the formidable power of the Force—in his never-ending fight for justice.

How does a Jedi Master, a servant of Justice disappear? Not easily, when the Force keeps putting him right in the middle of trouble.
Wanting nothing more than to blend in, Obi-Wan finds himself discovering (or rediscovering) that for some people, there is trouble and drama enough in their neighborhood and those struggles are enough without galaxy wide wars, Empires and Republics and Jedi and Sith.

This is truly a ‘western’ of the Star Wars galaxy, with the colonists a mishmash of species (though mostly human), Tusken Raiders replacing the Native American Indians, and the Hutt henchmen for the outlaws.

The story is told from Anileen’s point of view, except for Obi-Wan’s meditations. It would be nice to have more of him, but it does work. We get to see where ‘crazy wizard’ idea began.

Obi-Wan finds an unlikely new friend in Anileen, who needs him as much as he needs her. It’s not a romantic friendship. But it is awkward as he can’t afford to be noticed. And just as an additional jolt her nickname is Annie…reminding him of the ‘Ani’ that he lost. He is wrestling with his own guilt, regret and loss of family as well as how to disappear and still watch over the young Luke Skywalker. How can he still be Kenobi, the servant of light and justice, yet sit by while injustice is done before his very nose?

This book is a nice change of pace. Obi-Wan himself is struggling with that very ‘change of pace’ he is so unaccustomed too just as we might wonder if a book without the blasterfire of rebellion, the starship action and lightsabers is really interesting enough.. But being here gives him the opportunity to grow to understand Anakin Skywalker, belatedly, in a way he never did before.

In regards to continuity, it makes some nice compensations for the changes the prequels made.
For instance:
In the Illustrated Star Wars Galaxy and in Junior Jedi Knights it was established that tusken male and female were equal, both were warriors and they couldn’t always be told apart.
In Attack of the Clones, however, the distinctions were obvious: males were the warriors and wore different gear.
By making use of  the influence of Sharad Hett from the Dark Horse comics (Asharad has apparently not reappeared at this point) we see how a transition began. Anakin Skywalker’s reaction to his Mother’s death definitely clinched it. Taking what was a contradiction and using that very contradiction to explain why things changed.
It  also mentions that Qui-Gon told Obi-Wan stories of Jedi, separated from the Order, and how they lived: Kerra Holt (Knight Errant) and Zayne Carrik (KOTOR Comics). Siri (Jedi Apprentice) is mentioned as Obi-Wan’s first test on turning away from love for duty. Satine of The Clone Wars is mentioned, but no details given so if you aren’t into The Clone Wars its not really a problem.

Other Stories about these Characters and Places

Other stories that touch on Kenobi’s life on Tatooine:

  • The Last One Standing – Jude Watson, only available in the paperback combo version of Legacy of the Jedi & Secrets of the Jedi
  • The Last of the Jedi: Desperate Mission – Jude Watson, book 1
  • The Last of the Jedi: Reckoning – Jude Watson book 10 (one chapter)
  • The Life and Times of Obi-Wan Kenobi – Ryder Windham
  • Legacy: Claws of the Dragon 3, 4 : John Ostrander (Author) Jan Duursema  (Artist) Dark Horse Comics issue 16

Stories about Obi-Wan before Tatooine:

  • Jedi Apprentice – Jude Watson
  • Last Stand on Ord Mantell – Dark Horse Comics
  • The Aurorient Express – Dark Horse Comics
  • Jedi Council Acts of War -(Dark Horse Comics)
  • Stark Hyperspace War – (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Legacy of the Jedi – Jude Watson
  • Secrets of the Jedi – Jude Watson
  • Episode 1 : Obi-Wan Kenobi – (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Rogue Planet – Greg Bear
  • Jedi Quest – – Jude Watson
  • The Approaching Storm – Alan Dean Foster
  • Precipice (Hyperspace short)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars video game
  • Star Wars: Republic 50: The Defense of Kamino (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Republic: The New Face of War (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Republic 53: Blast Radius (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Clone Wars Micro Series (TV/DVD)
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 1 – “Blind Force” (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 8 – “One of a Kind” (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Storm Fleet Warnings
  • The Cestus Deception
  • The Hive (add on to paperback of The Cestus Deception)
  • Star Wars: Republic: The Battle of Jabiim (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Republic 59: Enemy Lines (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Republic 62: No Man’s Land (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Boba Fett – The Fight to Survive
  • Star Wars: Republic 67: Forever Young (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Changing Seasons – Timothy Zahn, Star Wars Insider
  • Star Wars: Republic: Dreadnaughts of Rendili (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Obsession (Dark Horse Comics)
  •  Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 4 – “The Brink” (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 9 – “Appetite for Adventure” (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 10 – “Thunder Road” (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Brothers in Arms  (Dark Horse Comics)
  • The Last of the Jedi: Dark Warning
  • Labyrinth of Evil – James Luceno

The Clone Wars TV series also has many episodes (some contradictory) involving Obi-Wan
Novels based on that include:

  • TCW Gambit: Stealth – Karen Miller
  • TCW Gambit: Seige – Karen Miller
  • TCW Wild Space – Karen Miller

Other Stories involving Tusken Raiders/Tatooine:

  • Star Wars Republic: Outlander (Dark Horse comics)
  • The Illustrated Star Wars Universe – Kevin J. Anderson, art by Ralph McQuarrie
  • The Life and Times of Luke Skywalker
  • Tales of the Mos Eisley Cantina (Anthology)
  • Tatooine Ghost, by Troy Denning
  • Junior Jedi Knights 3: Promises – Nancy Richardson Fischer

Qui-Gon Jinn Extended

Qui-Gon prepares for battle.

Qui-Gon prepares for battle.

Qui-Gon Jinn is a Jedi considered a bit of a maverick by the Jedi council because he doesn’t always follow the Code. He focused more on the Living Force than on the Unifying Force. He was secretly learning how to be able to allow himself in the living Force after death.
Qui Gon Jinn was trained by Dooku, who later left the Order and fell to the Dark Side. Qui-Gon had at least 2 padawans. His first, Xanatos, left him and the Order. This is detailed in a Dark Horse Graphic novel called Dark Side and several of the Jedi Apprentice books.

His second was Obi-Wan Kenobi. The two balanced each other.  They shared many missions, including missions to restore peace, expose corruption, and taking on pirate gangs. They shared battles during the Stark Hyperspace Conflict, the attack by the Yinchorri against the Jedi, a plot against Valorum on Ord Mantell and activities involving the Trade Federation and the piracy of Nebula Front.

Spoiler for Jedi Apprentice: The Ties that Bind
Qui-Gon pledged his love to his dearest friend, Jedi Knight Tahl. She was murdered shortly after.

Qui-Gon Jinn and Tahl, Dark Horse's Dark Side Comic.

Qui-Gon Jinn and Tahl, Dark Horse’s Dark Side Comic. Artist: Stéphane Roux

Legacy of the Jedi, from Dooku to Anakin

Legacy of the Jedi a story spanning from Dooku & Qui-Gon to Obi-Wan & Anakin, by Jude Watson

On his last mission, it was Obi-Wan who sensed distant danger on going in to negotiate with the Trade Federation to end the blockade of Naboo.  But it was Qui Gon who immediately realized there was no logic to their actions, no apparent gain, when they invaded, given that gain is their usual motive.
Qui Gon Jinn was also the one who discovered young Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine, and urged the Jedi Council to train him.
On Qui-Gon’s death, his last act was to ask Obi-Wan to train him.

Afterward Qui-Gon tried to call out to Anakin when his mother died, alerting Yoda that he was somehow able to connect from the beyond. He appeared in a vision to Yoda, leading young Anakin (though he was grown at this time) into a tree on a mysterious planet to face his fears. He also appeared on Mortis to Obi-Wan and finally Yoda was able to hear his voice in deep meditation. Qui-Gon led him to those who were training him in how to manifest his spirit after death to guide the next generation.

Featured In:

Jedi Council (DH)
Last Stand on Ord Mantell (DH)
Murder on the Aurorient Express (DH)
Dark Side (DH) based on mentioned events in Jedi Apprentice
Stark Hyperspace wars

Jedi Apprentice Series
Cloak of Deception

Appeared Briefly in:
Clone Wars microseries
The Clone Wars Mortis story arc
Darth Maul Shadow Hunter

The Courtship Of Princess Leia: Witches and Hapans

The Courtship of Princess Leia is only one book, and a controversial one at that. Some loved it, others hated it. But it has to be given credit for two of the most popular cultures in the EU. It is set 4 years after the destruction of the 2nd Death Star.

It introduces the world of Dathomir, home of the witches of Dathomir. These Force Users are descended from a rogue Jedi.  Those among them who use the Force or magic for the Dark Side are called Nightsisters. There are also nightbrothers, mostly of zabrak descent. For the most part males of this world are considered inferior and slaves, as few can use the Force or the magic. The world is largely a primitive wilderness, and the witches often use rancors as transportation. In the time of the Empire, it was an interdicted planet.

It also introduces the Hapan Empire, another world ruled by woman. Unlike Dathomir, this is an entire group of planets. Led by a ruthless Queen mother, the people there are human and by most standards beautiful. They are descendents of pirates, the Lorell Raiders. The male pirates kidnapped beautiful woman and took them home. However eventually the pirates were destroyed by the Jedi and the woman and children were left to fend for themselves. They shunned the outside galaxy during both the Old Republic and the Empire.

Chief Characters:

Princess Leia Organa
Han Solo
Luke Skywalker
Chewbacca
R2-D2
C3PO

Augwynne Djo (Head of the Singing Mountain Clan)
Tenenial Djo (Member of the Singing Mountain Clan)
Ta’a Chume (Queen Mother of the Hapes Cluster)
Prince Isolder (Heir to the Hapes Cluster)
Gethzerion (Nightsister)
Warlord Zsinj (Imperial warlord)

Synopsis

Han Solo has been chasing Imperial warlord Zsinj for months. Now he’s finally coming home to his beloved Princess. But on arrival, he finds that Princess Leia’s mission to open diplomatic ties and borrow money from Hapes has had unexpected results. The Hapans have agreed…on the condition Leia marry Prince Isolder, heir to the throne.

To his horror, Leia, torn between how the Hapan worlds reminded her of Alderaan and her duty to the needs of the Republic, seems interested. When Leia refuses to give him equal time, he goes off and in desperation wins a serious sabaac game…the most serious in years. He wins the planet Dathomir.

But the planet is in the presumed dead warlord’s territory. Heartbroken and desperate, he kidnaps Leia and spirits her off to Dathomir. But Leia is furious at his apparent betrayal, Zsinj is not only not dead, but has a prison on the planet, and they get shot down, encountering both the suspicious Singing Mountain Clan (who still keep men as slaves) and the nightsisters who at all costs must not be allowed to leave the planet.

Luke Skywalker has been pursuing leads on long lost Jedi teachings. One leads him to a brief message involving Yoda, a ship called the Chu’unthor  and Dathomir. He abandons this pursuit on hearing of the crisis.

Luke and Prince Isolder team up and race against the Queen Mother, the Nightsisters, and Zsinj to find Han and Leia first.

The After Effects

SPOILER WARNING for the End of Courtship of Princess Leia.

Spoiler for Courtship of Princess Leia

Tenenial Djo marries Hapan Prince Isolder. She is the mother of Tenel Ka, who goes on to become a Jedi Knight.

Tenel Ka in Legacy of the Force, Tempest, by Troy Denning

Tenel Ka in Legacy of the Force, Tempest, by Troy Denning

Prince Isolder marries a woman of Dathomir, their daughter, Tenel Ka, joins the Jedi Academy and is a friend in many adventures with Jacen and Jaina Solo. In the future, these political ties prove to be a great help to the Jedi.

Star Wars Jedi Search (which was released the same year) introduces Kirana Ti, a witch of Dathomir who joins the Jedi Academy.

The nightsisters, decades later are recreated and join with forces with the Shadow Academy.

Allana, daughter of Tenel Ka, has an unknowing influence on the decisions of Jacen Solo in both the Swarm Wars and the Legacy of the Force series.

Spoiler for Swarm Wars and the series following it

Allana’s father is Jacen Solo

 

In Fate of the Jedi, it is revealed that a Jedi Enclave had been formed on Dathomir since the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War. A sith apprentice fleeing Luke and Ben Skywalker hides there amongst the witches, and they find themselves battling nightsisters to survive as well as help the clans.

Affects on the Past
Nightsister of Black Sun

Mighella, a Nightsister working for Black Sun Crime Syndicate

Darth Maul (Dark Horse) reveals a nightsister working with the Black Sun Crime Syndicate

Nightsister

Nightsisters, Star Wars Republic #23 Infinities End by Dark Horse Comics

Star Wars Republic, Infinities End (Dark Horse Comics) introduces the nightsisters attempt to reactivate the Infinity Gate, an ancient device that can destroy worlds (as a side effect!). The first face painted or tattooed versions of the witches appeared here.

The Chu’unthor is also mentioned.

In Darth Maul, Son of Dathomir by Dark Horse Comics, Darth Sidious clashes with the witches and has a one on one battle with the leader of the nightsisters.

In the novel The Last Jedi, Jax Pavan travels to Dathomir to enlist the witches aid and meets with the Singing Mountain Clan and a (younger) Augwynne Djo. This book actually is the first to add The Clone Wars TV interpretation of the Witches of Dathomir, the Infinity Gates story line and the Courtship version of the witches all in one sitting.

Affects on Non Print Media
witch of Endor

The Witch of Endor

The Witch of Endor from the movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, was retconned into being a nightsister.

Felucian Rancor and Rider,

Felucian Rancor and Rider, The Force Unleashed by Dark Horse Comics

The Force Unleashed Game used the idea of rancor riding that was for the Felucians. It originally came from the idea of the witches riding rancors.

Nightsister Witches in  The Clone Wars TV show

The Nightsisters appear in The Clone Wars TV show, working both for and against the Sith

During the Clone Wars, a group of nightsisters make deals with the Sith.

Ventress - nightsister, witch and sith candidate

Ventress, from Star Wars Republic 52: The Face of War by Dark Horse comics

She was originally written as a slave from Rattattak, who had been freed and trained by a Jedi who was slain. The Clone Wars TV series added a twist: that she was born on Dathomir.

Darth Maul and Savage Oppress, in The Clone Wars

Darth Maul and Savage Oppress, in The Clone Wars

Darth Maul was retconned from being an Iridonian Zabrak, to being a Zabrak from the nightbrother tribe on Dathomir, descendents of slaves.

 

 

During the Clone Wars, a group of nightsisters make deals with the Sith.

New Jedi Order Review

NJO Destinies Way

NJO Destinies Way

The New Jedi Order series drove some fans right out the door. But it had a reason. When you know beyond a doubt that your heroes always survive an win, the story doesn’t seem quite so cutting, you know that eventually you turn the page and find them escaping and defeating the foe. The New Jedi Order will make you feel because this time, they are not guaranteed victory.

The New Jedi Order series changed all that rather explosively with a tragedy so big that it hit the newspapers in our world. The death of a main character. A heroic, fitting death, but still, a hero falls. After the Rebellion and the many books dealing with battling the Imperial Remnant, this was a shock wave.

And if it affects us, it affects them. We find the other main characters still reacting to the shock of realizing their string of luck, or fate of the Force, no longer guaranteed their safety. And so grief drives one family apart for a time, young Jedi must become the new heroes of their age, in spite of, or because of their guilt and pain and loss. The Jedi must decide how they will respond when the Republic government continues to play politics at the expense of the people, and what actions should they take in this war.

Worlds and cultures are destroyed by an enemy invisible in the Force itself, so even that constant is being questioned.

Wedge-in NJO Rebel Dream

Wedge Antillies leads the defense-in NJO Rebel Dream by Aaron Allston

Every book begins with trepidation, which of our heroes is the focus? Will they even survive, and at what cost? Some books are more character driven, like Traitor and Dark Journey. Some are sheer heart stopping adventure like Star by Star. Others are tactical driven, the points of the war where the warriors are now in control and determined to defeat or at least hold off the brutal foe until the innocent have time to escape.

The New Jedi Order is both heartbreaking pain of losing characters we knew and loved on the movie screen and from books die. It is soaring courage of watching young Jedi like Jaina, Jacen and Anakin Solo face the temptations of the Dark Side, and find a cause that is their own, not a left over from their parents era.

By the end of the series, one has new heroes. One has wept for the pain of tragedy and horror, from the devastation of worlds, to grieved families and the loss of friends. One has cheered over the triumph of heroes smart enough and wise enough to win without genocide, against all odds.  And that is the essence, to me, of a great story: if its made me laugh, cry and everything in between, than its done something rare and hard to accomplish. And this series does just that.

Vector Prime Japanese

Vector Prime with Japanese Cover Art

 

View the Official Commercial for this Series by clicking the Cover:
New Jedi Order Review