SW Summer Reads – Jedi Prince #3: Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge

It’s time for another edition of Star Wars Summer Reads! And we’re returning once more to the epic post-Episode VI galaxy as written by the great Paul and Hollace Davids in the third installment in the Jedi Prince chronicles! I read this last SW Reads Day but didn’t get a chance to blog on it since, you know, all the other things I was blogging on, but now I am doing so, so yay! Ah, the exciting adventures in this series! They may be a little older than some books but they’re still among my favorites… and are currently all I know about this era in the SW universe (I know I know shame on me! XP ). If you want to read my take on the previous chapters, jet on over here for that thing with Vader’s glove and the whole lost Jedi city debacle. So enough chatter let’s find out exactly what secrets and fascinating tidbits we can discover in the midst of Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge! Ahh those crazy Hutts am I right? πŸ™‚ I mean just look at that crazy hair he’s got on the cover!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode II, Episode V, Episode VI, The Clone Wars Movie, Rebels episode Idiot’s Array, The Glove Of Darth Vader, The Lost City Of The Jedi, and Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge

So we reunite with our heroes as they’re heading off to a party! Han Solo’s housewarming party, to be precise. And even more precisely, for Han’s super-amazing floating skyhouse in Cloud City (pretty much everyone’s dream house, am I right?). As it seems though, Luke hadn’t really thought of a housewarming gift until literally the last second, so he and his young Jedi prince ward, Ken were spitballing gift ideas. But what do you give the Rebel hero who has everything? Turns out Ken has the winning idea — a housekeeping droid! Threepio, Artoo, and Chip are in on the idea. Luke’s not sure how keen Han would be on the idea, considering he’s a bachelor and junk (not to mention his short temper with Threepio some days XP ). But Threepio believes it would definitely be in Captain Solo’s best interest to have someone help keep that place of his in shape, considering he’s… a bachelor and junk. Haha so true. Luke finally decides to go with it and he and his comrades take a detour to the Tatooine Droidfest to do some shopping! It may not be the brightest spot in the galaxy, but Droidfest has the best selection and the best prices. Like Black Friday, but… no, on second thought it’s pretty much exactly the same as Black Friday! Right down to the chaos that ensues before long. The shopping was the easy part, finally settling on KT-18, or Kate. A friendly, top-of-the-line housekeeping droid who’s worked for a number of Corellian pilots and turned them into gentlemen (RUN HAN RUN!! XD ). Not cheap in the slightest, but worth the moola for sure. Oh, and then there came the chaos… Tusken Raiders on Banthaback having a land dispute with the Jawas. And Luke gets caught up in the middle of it while Ken and the droids dive for shelter in a sandcrawler. See? Exactly like Black Friday! That’s why you should’ve done this earlier and done it online, Luke! I know you’re a Rebel hero and stuff but you should be able to make time to do nice things before they become a burden! πŸ˜›
Quick history lesson: do you know what became of Jabba’s Palace after the Rebs did him and his whole crew in? It just sorta sat there ’cause there was no will and now it’s owned by the government. Makes you wonder where Rotta is right now (hopefully living a slightly more respectable life than his dad did, I would hope). Whatever the case, Jabba’s dad Zorba didn’t get the memo about anything that happened these last few months. So big daddy Zorba ain’t too happy about not being let into the palace (apparently the government’s sanctioned it off as a “No Hutts Allowed” zone #uncool) and not knowing where his kid is. He heads off to the Mos Eisley cantina for some answers, but doesn’t come back liking those answers too much for, well, obvious reasons. So Zorba decides to hire some scum and villainy on the spot to hunt down Jabba’s killer — Leia Organa. And on top of that, Zorba happens to know exactly where that will is: right inside an old droid. The Hutt’s back in business and he’s got a score to settle! This could be a problem…
But Luke and the gang already have a few problems of their own. Remember what cray happened at the Droidfest? Yeah Commander Skywalker finally was able to join Ken and the droids in their sandcrawler hideout. It’s hot and slow but it gets them out of that mess in the end, even though it happens to be night by the time they get out. Then new problem: someone else hired bounty hunters that day — Trioculus. Now not only is Luke gonna be late for the party but now he’s got to fight a pair of hunters! The Twi’lek and the Aqualish hunters put up a bit of a fight, but Luke put up a bit more of one and lightsabered them like a boss. On their way back, Luke asks Ken if he knows something as to what the new Emperor wants with him. Ken really really doesn’t want to tell him; DJ-88, the teacher droid who raised him, had warned him not to spill anything he learned in the ancient Jedi library to anyone, not even his mentor. He finally decides to tell him at least a little something… that he knows quite a bit of dirt on Trioculus, stuff that would only put Luke in further danger. Luke doesn’t press on further in that, but he still hopes that someday Ken’ll open up to him more. And in other news I just adore Luke and Ken’s relationship! While not officially a master and padawan, you can very much see the similarity. And Luke makes a really great master for someone who’s never done it before πŸ™‚
They finally make it to Bespin, though. The description of the lovely city in the clouds makes me so badly want to see more of it. *CoughputitinthenewtrilogypleaseCough* They’re met by Rebel, ex-scoundrel, and governor Lando Calrissian, who quickly befriends the young prince. They have a pretty nice view of where Han’s place lies, with the exception of the serious air pollution going on. Yes indeedy this series definitely reminds you that sometimes the Star Wars galaxy has the same problems we do here in the Milky Way side of town. Though at least we don’t have to worry about Imperial factory barges causing said problems, which is why lovely Bespin isn’t so lovely to breathe right now. Lando shoots a rental his friends’ way and promises he’ll join the party after he handles some trouble at Holiday Towers Casino. Fun seeing how much this ol’ smoothie’s grown up, isn’t it? He used to break the rules and now he makes the rules!
So clearly Han’s housewarming party was the event of the year. Swarms of Han’s friends from throughout the galaxy made it and it truly sounds fabulous. And Leia happens to have the best (read comfiest) seat in the house through it all. The Captain himself is pretty busy, between chatting with friends and serving refreshments, it’s no wonder he stuck Chewbacca on cooking duty (I really really hope they make hairnets that big… it’s best not to think about how much hair might’ve gotten in the food). ‘Course he did get some breaks, there are dances with Leia to be had man! #Priorities! And of course Luke, Ken and the droids arrive fashionably late. And turns out Han is definitely into Kate. Quite frankly I’m jealous I don’t have a droid who can zap stains off the ceiling without breaking a sweat– er, circuit. It was worth all the trouble they went to to get her! In the midst of the housewarming, Ken, with the aide of a set of long-range macrobinoculars, happens to spy what appears to be a Huttian ship entering Cloud City. Well, this really could be a problem…
Yes, Zorba’s come for a visit, but not yet to the princess. First, he’s got some legal biz to tend to at the casino. Technically he owns the place… well, sorta, Jabba used to own it, but after he bit the dust nobody else knew that so Lando owns the place now but Zorba ain’t havin’ it. The only way to settle this is with a friendly game of sabacc. What could possibly go wrong, right? And as far as Lando can tell, big daddy Hutt don’t got game. So betting the entire future of Cloud City is hardly something to worry about right? I’ve said it before… sabacc has a higher ratio of misses than hits… when you see guys playing this game, be aware somebody’s losing their fabulous Corellian ship, or their fabulous C1-1OP, or in this case, an entire city and role as governor. It’s not entirely Lando’s fault, I mean, who would’ve guessed that Zorba’s deck had markings that only he could see that could help him win? But the end result is still the same… Lando seriously seriously lost, and a Hutt now owns the place — the entire place. As in, the whole city. Well, this really is a problem…
However, things were going along quite swimmingly at the skyhouse. The party was over, but the rest of the gang was still hangin’ around. And Kate had the place sparkling as if a party’d never happened! It’s all good… and then Lando called. “Soooo here’s the thing… I’ve heard the theme park business is booming right now…” jk I’m glad that’s not quite how it went down (though he’s totally serious about the theme park thing. I mean, we are talking about the guy who smuggled a puffer pig on a chance he could make a quick buck… he’s an entrepeneur, after all). And the final blow of bad news is that he may’ve overheard Zorba talking about the whole “revenge” thing and yeah… as Mace Windu once said, “This party’s over.” O_O So Han’s thinking getting Leia off-planet would be their next best move, and then to add to the chaos Kate takes a fall off the skyhouse observation deck! Luke and Leia jump into action (and a sweet cloud car convertible) to save their droid friend. But Luke handled that car in a way that would make his dad proud and managed to save Kate before she hit the planet’s liquid core. But while they’re down there, Luke spies Trioculus’ sail barge. A floating factory that makes a pretty scary array of Imperial weapons… and a pretty scary amount of braze. They come down for just a little look and that’s when the laser defense system comes on and now we really really have a problem! Crashed car, stormtroopers all over the place, Luke gets trapped in a tunnel filled with poisonous gas, Leia gets taken hostage… fun right? Though yeesh I’m glad Luke got outta there that was pretty scary.
Of course Han and Ken had no idea as to what had conspired, so we find the Han showing off his awesome racecars to the young prince. Yeah racecars plural. The Rebel Alliance must give him some kinda paycheck! Then Luke sent Han a distress call and Han made the huge mistake of leaving Ken alone with his gorgeous super-fast racing machines. Ken’s clearly a good kid, I’m certainly not saying he’s not, ’cause he is. But heck, you couldn’t leave me alone with one of those things and expect me not to at least try and drive it a little! So I don’t really blame the boy for taking it out for a spin (and admittedly, it was kinda an accident). Problem is is that he’s kinda not the legal age to drive and… yeah… cops come along, and then they’re all “hey whaddya know the Emperor’s been looking for you!” and Ken’s all “aw dang.” because who wouldn’t be right now?
And guess where Leia ended up? On a very much unwarranted “date” with Trioculus. Ohhh yes. Bro tries to be smooth, but Leia answers that with a sound and well-deserved slap to the face. The only reason she can’t take her eyes off him is because his scarred three-eyed face is downright horrifying. Obviously Trioculus doesn’t pick up on that red flag. He’s certain he can win her over with his tall, dark[sidery], and (perhaps not so) handsome self. He’s like “C’mon I’m not so bad bae. It’s not like you haven’t killed someone before” and she’s all “IT WAS IN SELF-DEFENSE AND IT WAS JABBA I WAS WELL WITHIN MY RIGHT!” and he’s all “Psh you totally want to kill me now right? See it’s not hard. So how’s about getting married?”. Oh yeah real classy Emperor, really classy! Despite her complete and utter disinterest (and disgust), he’s willing to wait for her to figure it out. Well, he’ll be waiting forever ’cause dude that ain’t happenin’! But as we know, Trioculus here isn’t the only one who wants Leia… and that is seriously a problem.
Zorba’s glad to be back in some sort of seat of power, but he’s not lovin’ the braze Trioculus brought with him. One of his hunters, however, may have brought him the key to getting all his scores settled. Leia’s on Trioculus’ sail barge, a kid named Ken was taken in by Cloud City police… a trade is in order, I do believe. Ken wasn’t about to talk to the old Hutt, but that’s where having sweets covered in truth serum comes in. You gotta give Zorba credit for being prepared though, I mean, not everyone just carries around avabush spice every day. I’m pretty sure most people don’t expect to need to get the truth out of someone on the regular. So good for you Zorba– er, not good for you! Making the young prince spill the fact that he’s very much a Jedi Prince! And then in turn imprisoning him in the casino basement! Duuuuuude! When Trioculus shows up for the trade, he’s hardly impressed with this great and mighty Jedi Prince being a boy… up until Ken in a rather sleep-deprived state points out just how much dirt he knows about him, including the fact that Trioculus is not the rightful Emperor and isn’t Sidious’ kid. Yeah Trioculus definitely gets why now he needs to kill this kid. But he’s not feeling the trade. They have quite the… intellectual conversation (read: a lot of yelling that doesn’t get either baddie anywhere) and basically there is no trade. They entered casual acquaintances and left mortal enemies. And Zorba’s somehow too fast for the the Emperor’s ‘troopers. Yeah that must’ve been a real blow to their confidence. You don’t mess with Zorba, ’cause this all ended with the Emperor in a block of carbonite. Ken played the mind trick card on a prison guard and a taxi driver and made it back without much problem ultimately. Though Han and Luke had a slightly harder time busting Leia out of the Emperor’s place, mostly on account that Zorba was in on the chase too. Zorba had no idea though that they’d rescued Leia so as far as he knew, he’d gotten his sweet revenge on both of his worst enemies! Though unfortunately for him it won’t be the last he sees of either of them…
So the good news is Trioculus is out of commission. The bad news is, Leia’s gonna have to lay low to avoid Zorba and his hunters. But Han really has no problem with this; he’s all there for his girl, even if he has to leave his skyhouse behind for a bit. He’s aiming for somewhere hidden away from Imperials and hunters alike, somewhere kinda romantic. Hehehe Han let Luke drive after that. He had other things to tend to… πŸ˜‰ While having this brief sweet moment with his princess, he allows the thought of a proposal to cross his mind. If he can find the right words for it… just maybe… ❀ *Fangirl squees loudly* Yus while the danger's not behind them yet, there are plenty of good things in front of them, for Jedi, Jedi Princes, and Rebels alike πŸ™‚
Awwww… I know right? Ah this series is so much fun! They may take a while but I'm glad to be writing these book Closer Looks again! Also ALMOST ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL REBELS SEASON 2!! GET EXCITED PEEPS!!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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