SW Summer Reads – Jedi Prince #1: The Glove Of Darth Vader

There’s all this exciting news buzzing about in the SW Universe, and I chose to write a blog about a book written twenty years ago. Yes, I am kinda weird, I know. But who am I to postpone the finale for this year’s SW Summer Reads blogs? So, patience! I’ll write my thoughts on those things another day. Right now, I’m taking a nostalgic look back on the first book of Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series: The Glove of Darth Vader.
Ah yes, the Jedi Prince series… this was the first series and currently the only series I’ve read that takes place post-Episode VI. Back in 2011, shortly after reading my first SW fiction Jedi Quest, I picked up book five, Queen Of The Empire, at my library. Yes. I actually kinda read them backwards. Somehow, I didn’t notice the obvious number “5” on the weathered old hardcover’s spine. I am really really glad that I didn’t end up reading book six first. However, despite that I read them out of order, I couldn’t help but enjoy them. You could sit there and be all “they’re not serious enough” or “they’re not legit enough to be Expanded Universe” or whatever it is that critical SW fans think, but I love them. Not to criticize Expanded Universe books myself, but I too often hear of SW books that are darker than I’d prefer. I know that SW has its dark moments and tragedies and I’m OK with it, but you likely won’t see me reading anything where a main-main-hero character gets killed, a main-main-hero character goes all Sith on us, or anything centering around a super-evil bad guy. Not saying I might not ever, but the Davids have their own lighthearted, exciting, intense, well-written, epic in scale, and easy-to-read-for-those-of-us-who-still-are-learning-about-Star-Wars SW stories that I already am into. This particular one, The Glove Of Darth Vader, was published in 1992, which, if I’m correct, was the renaissance of Expanded Universe fiction. This series, as you may already know, takes place after the events of Episode VI with our familiar Original Trilogy friends (I’m finally talking more about the Original Trilogy! Yayyyy!!). So go find the book and read it if you haven’t, and join me and we can rule the galaxy as… wait, what?! No… I meant, and join me on reading The Glove Of Darth Vader!
Cover art for Jedi Prince #1: The Glove Of Darth Vader
(I’ll let you take a minute here and enjoy the epic cover art)
NOTE: Contains spoilers from The Glove Of Darth Vader and Episode VI
Before we get into for real, can I just say that I love how they start off the story with “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”? It just makes it even cooler to read! πŸ˜€
Not unlike Episode IV, our story starts off with the droids. And as usual, Threepio Is complaining about something. Luke is prepping the two for a spy mission to Kessel, and any droids that draw as much attention to themselves as these two do are in need of a makeover. In this case, as nasty-looking, green Kessel mining droids. Artoo’s all “Dude, I make this outfit look good!” Theepio is not impressed, nor is he thrilled at losing his golden sheen.
What’s their mission’s objective? Mon Mothma, leader of the Senate’s Planetary Intelligence Network (SPIN, to the cool kids), breaks it down. As you most likely know, the Emperor is out of office, shall we say, and Vader’s not around to take his place. But somehow, the Empire’s still hanging around despite their leaders are gone. So they’re looking for a new potential emperor at a meeting on the lovely planet of Kessel. Not only that, but there’s a fair chance that the new emperor will wear the ultimate symbol of evil — the indestructible right-hand glove of Darth Vader. At least, as far as Dark Side Prophet Kadann predicts (as you’ll learn, he’s a little less than reputable). Yikes, what did they make that glove out of?! It managed to make it out of the exploding Death Star and halfway ‘cross the galaxy! (I bet Vader never had a problem opening pickle jars πŸ˜› Of course, if you want to get technical, having the robotic arm in the first place… oh never mind! Just chuckle at the last joke and move on!) Off-topic note, but I actually found out that this event has ties with the Droids animated series/comics! Cool, right? But we’ll get into that later. So, off go Threepio and Artoo to Kessel, one of the nastiest planets in the SW Universe.
Prior to this, Han gives his goodbyes to Leia as he heads out to Bespin to work on a new house in the clouds. Leia’s not particularly thrilled considering he’s temporarily leaving his place with the Rebel Alliance and she’ll miss him like heck. But she gets him too much to keep him from putting together his first real home… aww… :3
Sorry, I just had to make mention of that… anyway, back to the droids! They had a bit of a rocky landing on Kessel in their disguised pod, but none too worse for the wear as they make their way through a slave escape tunnel to Kessendra Stadium, where the Imperials await to find out who’s the new Emperor. Kessendra Stadium has such a nice name; it’s a shame it’s a) on Kessel and b) it’s loaded to the brim with bad guys. Oh right, and they also hold gladiator games with the slaves. Lovely…
Introducing our new Emperor is Grand Moff Hissa, who is both powerful, respectful, and seriously creepy. Oh, and duh, evil, but you knew that. His most obvious physical trait is his teeth, which have been sharpened into fangs (every villain knows he has to look at least a little evil to be evil). I don’t know why, but I imagine his voice to be like Malcolm McDowell. But the guy introducing the new Emperor isn’t nearly as important as the new Emperor himself… and that new guy is Trioculus. And he just so happens to be the son of Darth Sidious. *Audience gasps* Trioculus is the nastiest slavelord on Kessel, so he’s got the whole “powerful” thing down that’s crucial to Emperors. He’s tall, dark, and… uh… handsome, I guess? IDK about that… the third eye in the middle of his forehead probably keeps a lot of fangirls at a distance (it also probably means he has no fangirls… πŸ˜› ). Hey, I’m just referring to what the book described him as, people! All villains have a tragic backstory, and that’s certainly the case for Trioculus; he was raised by his alien mom (he um… got his mom’s eyes) and his third eye made him became a natural bullying target as a kid, thus he became the most feared bully at any Kessel school and grew up to become one of the most feared men on the planet as well. He’s a natural shoo-in for Emperor, right? He’s got the look, the personality, the Grand Moffs as supporters, and the birthright even! But everyone’s wondering about that whole “Vader’s glove” thing… perhaps they shouldn’tve brought it up to him. The less-than-fortunate grand admiral and royal guard got themselves a mouthful of Force Lightning. Ouch.
A short time later, the Imperials were having a lovely dinner with Trioculus when the new Emperor made it clear that he needed that glove. After all, he wanted to make certain the dark prophecy was about him and no one else. Also, what if a Kowakian lizard-monkey found it first and Kadann declared him the fulfillment of the prophecy?! Do you know what kind of terror one of those little guys could cause in the Emperor’s seat?! XD So yeah… they decided to get a new base on Hoth and continued to further their search for that glove.
Meanwhile, Threepio and Artoo had a couple of unexpected delays getting back to the Alliance (meaning their pod getting destroyed by a stormtrooper and prior to that, the two getting lost in the streets of Kessel), thankfully, Luke and Admiral Ackbar dropped by to give them a lift and returned to Mon Calamari with barely a hitch. And that’s about when Trioculus got a message from a guy named Captain Dunwell… who is this Captain Dunwell, you ask? A poacher, basically. Illegally hunting Calamarian whaladons for those with discerning taste in fine dining and obviously, no heart. Whaladons are kinda like Earth whales, but bigger, white, and lumpy-looking. The poor things are critically endangered, and we can thank Dunwell and the Empire for most of that dirty work. But thankfully, there’s a Jedi, an Alliance leader, and two droids with dirt on the Empire on their way to the planet now! And this particular whaladon, Leviathor, knows exactly who can help them (good thing Ackbar is a whaladon whisperer; heheheh talk about a tongue twister!).
At the exact same time just about, Trioculus and his entourage arrived on the planet, too, ready to hear about Captain Dunwell’s little discovery. Perhaps “little” is an understatement: the Captain found Death Star debris on Calamari… including a certain glove. Trioculus is all “YAYAYAYAYAYYYYY!!!” (Well, on the inside…)
So das hunt is on. Trioculus wants Vader’s glove. Luke and Ackbar want to help save the whaladons. As Threepio would say, “Here we go again.” πŸ™‚
As Dunwell’s ship goes on to find Trioculus’ treasure, it manages to get ahold of four more whaladons, including Leviathor! (Insert dramatic, Obi-Wan/Luke-esque “NOOOOOOOO!!” here) But do our heroes give up?! No! If one thing’s for sure, it’s that Luke Skywalker never gives up! (Except, maybe, for that third grade math test, but… uh… that’s not the point!)
So as they were trying to rescue the whaladons, they found they’d caught The Emperor Jr. in the midst of finding his new fashion accessory. And the next thing you know, they get accidentally sucked into the ship with a giant Calamarian squid.
Meanwhile, Trioculus finally had the glove, but, like a kid who just received a defunct toy for Christmas, was shocked to find he couldn’t Force Choke people with it. In fact, as is revealed through Trioculus and Hissa, he can’t really use Force Lightning either, because, apparently *spoiler alert*, Trioculus isn’t actually Palpatine’s son. Palpatine’s real son is for some reason (as we will soon find out) in the Imperial loony bin, and Hissa figured that since the rightful heir is insane, they can just use Trioculus as the next best thing. So despite he’s got the (not-so) unlimited power with his fake Force Lightning and the best seat in the Empire, he’s still none too pleased. Thankfully (or… uh… not-so thankfully), Force Choking can be faked, too. But, holy plot twist, Dunwell overheard everything! And he barely turned around before he ran smack into a certain Jedi… and it’s not smart for anyone to mess with a Jedi, you all know…
Give Artoo a few seconds, and he’s got the terrible hunting ship on self-destruct and is about to free the whaladons. He is totes awesome. And then suddenly in walks Trioculus. Trioculus tried fake Force Choking, but didn’t get the chance. He then tried fake Force Lightning, but well, he realized all-too soon that fake Force Lightning in one’s hand has some… painful side effects. Plus, Luke and his lightsaber > Force Lightning πŸ˜€
In the long run, Luke managed to get off the ship, back into their minisub, free Leviathor and the whaladons, and all ended well. Trioculus? Well, as is the case for most SW villains, you don’t just kill them off in the first story. He’s currently ignoring his sudden eye problems and just happy as giant clams that he has the glove. I mean, does it even cross his mind that, now that the core supplier of whaladon meat (the self-destructed ship and the Captain, who got the “reward” that every Sith-y sort gives their hired scum) is destroyed, they’re probably eating canned ravioli for dinner! But he doesn’t care! He just gots his glove! Well, he’ll most certainly be back. And so, Luke and the droids got the chance to see a beautiful and majestic-sounding whaladon concert, which sounds insanely awesome. But as Luke is thinking himself, this battle was only the beginning…
So that, ladies and gents, is The Glove Of Darth Vader! And that was also the last of this year’s SW Summer Reads. But this won’t be the last book I give my commentary on, no sir! After all, there are plenty more stories to read and, of course, all of these series have more stories to share (and for me to blog about). So anyway, I personally love this series and each of its chapters are a sheer awesome delight to read. Ahhh why did the Davids never write any other SW series?!?! (Well, at least, not to my knowledge…) But anyway, the next post will be most likely more laid-back. In that case, it’ll probably take way less time to write… πŸ™‚
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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