The Diversity Alliance Story Arc Review

This Young Jedi Knights story arc, about the Diversity Alliance, hits harder in 2022 than when it was released in the late 1990s. It’s the second arc in the series, so you might want to read that first if you are worried about spoilers. It picks up right where the other left off. Warning: review has minor spoilers for the previous arc as well as this one. Also these are young adult books. A lot of adults like them but don’t expect the same kind of detail as the regular adult stories.

Description:

young-jedi-knights-diversity-alliance-raaba

The Jedi are rebuilding after a fierce conflict on Yavin 4, when a new crisis arises for a student. Raynar Thul, introduced in previous stories, finds out his Father, Bornan Thul, has gone missing. The head of a trading fleet, has stumbled upon a deadly conspiracy by a charismatic leader. While pretending to help the downtrodden alien species of the galaxy, in reality she is fomenting hate for humans and blaming the whole race for every crime against non humans perpetrated by the Emperor.

Lowbacca the wookiee is ignorant of all these details when his old presumed dead friend returns and is working for the Diversity Alliance. He is in danger of being entangled in their web. Meanwhile an old friend of the Solo kids comes with a dire warning about just how far the Diversity Alliance is willing to go.

. his threat is against every human in the galaxy at the least, and could tear the New Republic apart if it isn’t foiled by the Young Jedi Knights.

This Young Jedi Knights arc by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta includes:

  • Shards of Alderaan
  • Diversity Alliance
  • Delusions of Grandeur
  • Jedi Bounty
  • The Emperor’s Plague

My Opinion

The Good:

It was refreshing to have a story where these young Jedi were facing a dangerous threat that wasn’t another Imperial want to be. This is not my first read through, but as I said above, this particular story and threat really hit hard now. The Diversity Alliance sounds like an innocent political movement. But then, Palpatine seemed a nice guy and good politician too!

The story gives more room for the characters to grow, especially Raynar Thul and Zekk. New characters are filled out nicely. The Solo kids and Tenel Ka don’t change as much as they did in the first arc though. The motivation of the kids is too help their friends. In this case, some of them are going to find that which cause to follow will need discernment. What seems a good cause can have hazardous currents.

The Young Jedi Knight books start when Jacen and Jaina are 14. It’s hard to determine how long after the first arcs the Diversity Alliance threat hits. So they might still be that age. It seems young for all of these heroes to be running alone, or rather a pack, in the galaxy. Then again in the prequel era (which wasn’t even out yet) we find that padawans as young as 13 were out with their Masters or other apprentices in dangerous situations.

The Bad

The only downside is that of course, there is a lot of repetition. While these were later combined into omnibuses, it was initially assumed a reader of the Diversity Alliance arc might not have all the books. So there were elements repeated for those who missed something, or had forgotten between the releases. Only one of the original books is actually called the Diversity Alliance, but the omnibus is called ‘The Fall of the Diversity Alliance”

The Shocking

I am rereading these books in late 2022, while watching people push ‘racial diversity’ in a way that reminds me alarmingly of the Diversity Alliance. The whole ‘blame a whole group because of skin color’ is very like ‘blame all humans’ to me. Keep in mind I read these books when they came out. And it would never occur to me, then or now, to blame all of one group for the actions of a few. Fortunately in the story the heroes (of course) find a way to stop the villain but meet the needs of those who felt they had legitimate complaint.

Star Wars itself has always been a story of the most unlikely people being able to overcome no matter the circumstance. The villain is to blame for their own actions, and only they can choose to change. All Jedi or all humans (no not even the fair skinned ones) or all natives of Tatooine were not to blame for the crimes of Darth Vader. And circumstance doesn’t have to prevent even the slave boy, the orphan farm boy, the spice (aka drug) smuggler, the con man or even Princess who lost it all, from overcoming all obstacles and becoming a hero. Diversity Alliance arc is part of that greater story.

I’d really prefer these situations stayed in the book, where we have Jedi of all shapes, sizes, colors and ages, to correct the situation! As well as some selfless President Leia Organa Solo to sort the real needs from the villains who take advantage. But this is the virtue of books. They can be entirely fiction and yet help us see things in the real world in a new light.

Conclusion:

I can’t recommend this enough. This arc is hard hitting and it doesn’t hold back on the danger to the characters. It kept me on the edge of my seat when it first came out, waiting for the next part. It still does long after I first read it. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but leave Earth behind, set aside preconceptions, and let the Galaxy Far Far Away show you situations from a different point of view. It’s an entertaining way to grow and learn, and even if it doesn’t change your ideas, you’ll understand others better.

Continuity Highlights

Raynar Thul was first introduced in the first Young Jedi Knights arc. The Thul’s are also mentioned in the Han Solo Trilogy by AC Crispin. But you can meet the whole clan of his ancestors playing Star Wars the Old Republic.

A character returns from the Crystal Star

Many of these characters go on to the New Jedi Order series and beyond.