Category Archives: Star Wars Reads

SW Summer Reads – Jedi Prince #5: Queen Of The Empire

It’s not only the first Star Wars Summer Read of the year, but it’s also a very special one! The fifth installment in Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series, Queen Of The Empire, was among the first SW books I ever read. And sometime this month, it will officially have been FIVE YEARS since I first read it! Yeah I was dumb and read the series a little out-of-order, but that didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed it. If you want to refresh your memory on the last four adventures, read my previous posts on The Glove, The City, The Revenge, and The Mission, right here. And now let’s find out what this whole Queen deal is all about… ’cause in all technicality, wouldn’t the official term be “Empress”? I guess Empress Of The Empire doesn’t sound as cool though… who cares let’s just read already.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, The Glove Of Darth Vader, The Lost City Of The Jedi, Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge, Mission From Mount Yoda, and Queen Of The Empire.


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

Project Decoy, we haven’t heard a lot about it at this point. But as our Rebs head to the secret labs in the bowels of the Mount Yoda base, we readers are about to get some answers at long last. Scientists Fandar and Fugo are happy to introduce Leia Organa Mark II, an exact droid replica of our favorite previous-princess-future-general! Everyone is impressed, though Han is all “Well this is just creepy” XD Leave it to SW to perfect the perfect human droid! For all we know they might be running around the Resistance now and we’d never even know it O.O Hmm that’s actually kinda a scary thought. So maybe it won’t catch on as a normal everyday droid in the galaxy, but it can be useful when you’re as… um… popular as Leia is right now. And by “popular” I mean she’s been captured or nearly killed three or four times lately. So yeah I can approve the decision. Takin’ a note from her mom’s book 🙂 So yeah Mark II’s got Leia down right to her voice and gestures, except for the small fact SHE CAN SHOOT LASERS OUT OF HER EYES. A useful feature, unless of course it misfires and hits you in the chest. Yeesh poor Fandar. Ho’Din boss healer Baji gets him stabilized, but a heart transplant is absolutely needed. With little time to lose and the Falcon the fastest way to the Chandra-Fan homeworld, Han’s got this, and Leia’s going with. And they make it there 22 standard timeparts later. Sooo is a standard timepart like a minute? I’m assuming something like that. Ahsoka coined the great term “mynock minute”, so I guess that makes “minute” the official-canon term, but either way it works. Hehe the conversations we have here at Padawanline 😛 Though problem, you would not believe the weather they have out here on Chad. They have a pretty bad amount of methane going on and that leads to some pretty bad hurricanes. Oh goody more ship repair bills for Captain Solo… not to mention the fact that landing in a hurricane is incredibly dangerous. Oh, and Threepio got a dent in his arm! Oh heaven forbid! Yes because the perilous landing is the least of our worries right now XP But yeah they made it juuuuust barely, thanks to Han’s mad skillz and a little help from the Force. Leia is all “A little help?” XD Whatever the case, Fandar now can get the medical help he needs and that’s the most important thing here. Oh and then one thing led to another and Han basically got caught in a rockslide. Thank you, no thank you stormy atmosphere and your lightning. It just gets better and better out here! Also, new great SW-ism “…like a drunken alien on hoverskates” yep makes all the sense in the world. Use that one often XD
So anyway, by the time Leia got the security guard out of her hair she turned around and found that rockslide mess. She can sense he’s still alive (always cool seeing the Princess making quiet use of the Force), but for how long is the question. So Leia doesn’t waste a second before she takes control of a boulder-dozer. The image of her at the controls of this massive machine, which is really just a laser cannon with treads, is too awesome. NO DUMB ROCKSLIDE’S GONNA MESS WITH HER MAN! Miraculously, Han comes out relatively unscathed. He’s all “Dang that rockslide ’bout ruined my plans for us!” to which Leia raises an eyebrow “What plans?”. YEEEES, WHAT PLANS CAPTAIN SOLO?? Then he derps out “Oh cool a boulder-dozer! Corellian-made isn’t it?” Pfff a little nervous maybes? Also not that anyone cares but Artoo’s OK. Except for the fact he’s still short-circuiting from the incident earlier that led to the rockslide thing. That’s still a problem.
Back at the DRAPAC Luke, Ken, and Chewbacca were keeping an eye on their dear guest, Triclops. The seemingly decent human being who just happened to have Palpatine for a dad. It’s soon evident why the Empire kept him around despite seeing him as a threat — he sleep-invents terrifying weaponry. Good guy by day, potentially dangerous evil genius by night. Also it seems he knows things about the Reb’s Project Decoy in his sleepy mumblings. One thing for certain, the man is an enigma. Is he Force-sensitive? Just crazy? Super-talented? Who knows. And I’m serious I haven’t read these in a while so I don’t remember the answers to these questions or if these questions are answered at all. Either way, as I’ve said before, much mysterious…
Back on Chad things were looking up. The skies cleared and Fandar was good as new and it looks like R2-D2’s up and running. What next? “WE’RE GOIN’ TO HOLOGRAM FUN WORLD!” is Han’s answer. Leia’s like “Um… no we’re not” to which Han replied “Well if we’re goin’ to elope we are!” and then Leia’s all “WHUT.” I could totally see this happening for reals. Han’s confidence mixed in with his feelings with a little nervousness thrown in makes for one awkwardly adorable proposal that’s so cute I don’t dare rehash it my own words. *Dies fangirling* ❤ Once Leia gets where he's coming from, she's all good though. Soooo good. THreepio walks in on that PDA and he’s all “NOPE” XD Though the princess has no questions about marrying her prince, she was sorta hoping for a more grandiose wedding (hey, what girl doesn’t?). Han assures her they can have an official party later, but for now, with no idea what the future might bring… THEY’RE GOIN’ TO HOLOGRAM FUN WORLD! And there’s an astonishingly gorgeous ancient Corellian wedding band awaiting her, too :3 AHH I CAN’T. IT’S TOO PRESH. I’ll be honest when I first read this I dropped everything and drew a pic of them. Still have it too. ‘Cause AHHHHH DANGIT THEY’RE ADORABLE. *Cough* OK hitting pause on the fangirl button.
So you guys remember Zorba right? Jabba’s dad with a vendetta, current governor of Cloud City, has crazy head of hair? You know him. Well, since he became governor things haven’t been going that well. Business has dropped like a billion times, mainly on the fact that the city’s become a dump next to Hologram Fun World. I don’t think it’s necessarily just the fact that people want cool virtual world experiences over casinos, but probably a lot to do with the fact it’s controlled by a Hutt. So now he’s heading to said Fun World with a handful of bounty hunters, ready to make it look like a dump next to his turf. NUUU WHY YOU GOTTA TAKE IT OUT ON THE INNOCENT HAPPY PEOPLE?!
So Hologram Fun World sounds like a blast. May sound kinda far-out but hey, a galaxy without theme parks wouldn’t be much fun now, would it? Thrilling VR experiences through state-of-the-art holograms. You want to go hoverskiing down the side of an exploding volcano? You can do that! As someone who loves to hunt out cool vacation spots and collects travel brochures everywhere she goes, I most definitely want to take a visit there. Unfortunately, it’s popular enough that one particular show’s been sold out for six months. Dude if there’s a magician out there who’s that good, let me know ’cause I’m not sure anything is worth being sold out for that long. Except SW stuff, anyway 🙂 Also the line to the droid repair shop’s pretty cray. But Han’s more than OK with this, and actually pays a little extra to keep the droids out of his hair. Threepio will not interrupt them again — at least not tonight, anyway. Also, we get to see our good buddy Lando again, now the baron administrator of HFW! Maaaan he done well for himself. The Force most defs be with him considering it wasn’t that long ago when he lost his governor’s position. And he gives them quite the grand tour. THAT STAR DRAGON RIDE SOUNDS AMAZING. I NEED TO RIDE IT. ESPECIALLY IF A STAR DRAGON IS ANYTHING LIKE A VARACTYL. ANNDDD NOW I’M SHUTTING UP ABOUT THIS. And they even get to walk down the streets of a virtual Alderaan. OH SWEET MERCIFUL HEAVENS THE FEELS…! After the fun, the power couple just about had everything together for their exchanging of vows… except for their birth certificates. D’oh. Ugh can you imagine the paperwork you’d have to go through if your certificate was destroyed along with your homeworld? Lando promises he’ll get things set up by the next rotation, and until then, he’ll continue to give them the best Fun World experience he can muster, including front-row tickets to that sold-out magic show I mentioned earlier. #Benefits But while they’re having fun… lo and behold Zorba stepped into HFW (or sloshed into, I guess) and had his own kind of “fun” with his scoundrel crew. Theft, destruction, graffiti, the whole dang shebang. He was having an absolute wonderful time until one of his hunters mentioned seeing Leia — and she’s very much alive. So Zorba’s done; he’s gonna personally take to ending her this time. OmO
Gotta say as slow as the Hutts are they sure work fast. He gets a bounty hunter to disguise himself as the magician and quite literally makes Leia disappear. Once again another nice pleasant day ruined by a bad guy. Han and Lando are on the move.
I don’t need to tell you for you to know that Leia’s negotiating skillz are on-point. Too bad she was negotiating with someone who can’t be negotiated with. What the law states and what she was in her right to do don’t matter a centimeter to Zorba, you kill his son you pay the price. Regardless it didn’t get her anywhere I still applaud Leia for defending her honor and throwin’ sass all over that jerkface like she did. But yeah how she’s gonna get outta this one? She’s not entirely alone though… look it’s carbonite Trioculus! Remember him? Wait OMG TRIOCULUS?? EX-EMPEROR WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD? Zorba wins at everything, evidently. At least when it comes to revenge anyway.
The real magician heard everything, so Han and Lando know where they need to go to get Leia back. The Pit of Carkoon on Wonderful ol’ Tatooine! But they’re not alone on their mission, ’cause Luke and Ken popped in with Leia II. The Alliance could tell that the Falcon and the Zorba Express in the same place was trouble. Also everyone knows about the Haneia engagement now so Luke wouldn’t miss a chance to say congrats 🙂
So what do you get when the Grand Moffs have a conference? A MOFFERENCE! No seriously that’s what they’re calling it. Pffff sounds so dignified don’t it? Yeah the Moffs decided to discuss some business right outside of Tatooine so you know things’ll get interesting later. The business they’re discussing is their problem with new Emperor Kadann, who not only killed Trioculus but is planning on demoting all the moffs. The Moffs no likey, especially not Hissa, who was left to die by one of the dark side prophets and now bears two mechanical arms and is permanently confined to a hoverchair. So once they see Zorba heading their way, they decided to play the revenge game themselves. So now the number of people Han and crew have to save Leia from has doubled. Wonderful. Basically all heck broke loose in the moffship. Somehow with enough stormtroopers, they managed to apprehend Zorba. And wow man Zorba looks absolutely huge in the illustration. Comparably it looks like he could sit on four Hutts and hold Rotta in the palm of his hand. Granted, Mama The Hutt could probably still skoosh him (I believe she’d be Zorb’s aunt, if my memory serves me well), but still! He’s a monster! Somehow didn’t stop the Imps though. The Grand Moff and his crew were quite happy to see Trioculus frozen, but alive. Zorba was pretty smart to only keep a decoy in public. But now… oh boy… the dark, scarred ex-Emperor rises, and he’s got some unfinished business to attend to. But first he takes a walk down memory lane with Hissa as he looks at their lovely weapon stash. Ah, the countless lives he’s destroyed! Slaves, settlers, tourists that took a wrong turn… such good times! Yeesh. GET. A. HOBBY. TRIO. And then Zorba makes a deal he knows the three-eyed gent can’t refuse: his freedom for Leia. Trioculus couldn’t seal that deal soon enough. Once again, Leia fearlessly speaks her mind to the dark dude, but somehow all that doesn’t sway the dark dude’s feelings. Trioculus offers her all the power and position as his bride and the opportunity to watch Zorba eaten by the sarlacc, but she just keeps negotiating like a boss (seriously they wrote amazingly for her). So Trio makes an offer she can’t refuse — to stay with Zorba or with him. Leia finally says “yes”. But only ’cause she’s buying time to look for a way out. ‘Cause bro Princess Bosslady is taken mkay?
As the Falcon crew prepared the rescue, Trioculus put on his show and sent the old Hutt to the mouth of the Sarlacc. Trio’s pretty sure he saw Leia smile, though it could’ve been a grimace… he’s not really good at understanding emotions. He uses it an excuse to convince her the Dark Side’s a done deal, and even pulls out the “your dad’s Darth Vader” card again, but Leia’s still all kinds of NOPE. Which for him means it’s time to start the wedding! Poor guy has no clue what social cues are, does he? Being engaged to two guys in two days might sound kinda cool like “wow I’m so fabulous everybody’s fighting over me”, but for Leia, it’s really really not. Especially when she only loves one of those two guys. But surprise! Said guy and company were waiting in the wings and they’re goin’ home! And now four more stormtroopers are gonna wake up in garbage today. Hehe XD
Now it’s time for the royal Imperial wedding!! Squeeeeeeee!! Well, I’m pretty sure the talk dark dork was the only one squeeing today, but that’s all that matters to him right now. Oh, the wedding was beautiful, you should’ve seen it… the black zinthorns, the turbolaser access shaft they used as an altar, all the moffs abuzz with the belief that Leia’d gone to the Dark Side, and of course, the wonderful moment where it turned out to be the replica droid and her gaze literally pierced his heart. Aww I told myself I wouldn’t cry but… that was a beautiful plan! Trioculus died with the knowledge he’d been played… with the destroyed Leia II by his side. Fitting. Verrry fitting. Though whoo I bet the Grand Moff’s not gonna be happy about this…
So our heroes head back to Mount Yoda alive and well. And the conversation turns to new wedding plans and whether “best man” can apply to someone who’s not human (politically correct, that should be “best male being”). But there might be a small problem they don’t know about yet… and by “small problem” I mean BIG because look who crawled his way out of the Sarlacc? Zorba The Hutt, and he’s still gettin’ the last laugh…
Ohhh myy that was fun! Theme parks, lots of villainy, and HanXLeia sweetness! So many fun memories reading this, and I’m thrilled I was able to read along with you now. Until the next post is up…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Star Wars Reads Day ’15 – Jedi Prince #4: Mission From Mount Yoda

If you’ve been keeping track, you know what today is… Star Wars Reads Day! Anytime is a good time to read a SW book, but it’s nice to have one special day a year to do so as well. So like we did a couple years back, we’re digging into Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series. Reading the fourth chapter in this exciting and intriguing adventure, Mission From Mount Yoda! You can catch up with the last few chapters here, here, and here. Now let’s get started!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode VI, The Glove Of Darth Vader, The Lost City Of The Jedi, Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge, and Mission From Mount Yoda.


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

We find ourselves in the midst of a meeting amongst the Dark Side Prophets in Space Station Scardia, where the big cheese of the DSPs, Kadann, is about to make a few predictions. Really creepy stuff here. The idea of the dark side being a bit of a cult is quite fascinating. Though it was written before the Prequels explained more about how the Sith work, it makes a lot of sense even now. Honestly I could see this kind of deal existing officially-canonically. Kadann comes out and makes mention of a few little things; first, he now speaks for the dark side, second, he’ll destroy all that is good in the Force, and finally, he also mentioned something akin to “when the dragon pack perched upon Yoda’s stony back receives a visitor pierced by gold, then come the last days of the Rebel Alliance”. Yikes. Much yikes. And you know Kadann… if his predictions don’t come true, he makes them come true. Rebs beware.
But the Rebs don’t know nothin’ of this, they’re vacationing on Z’trop! Because if anyone deserves a vacation, these guys do. Especially since Leia caught the unwanted attention of Zorba The Hutt and stuff. Han so badly wanted some down time with his princess, but so far they’d just started back down the bickering trail. Over pointless things I might add, like whether Septapi are carnivorous or herbivorous. I’m thinking a bit of this has to do with the fact that he’s got nerves since considering a certain proposal 🙂 But that intelligent conversation doesn’t last for long, because as usual, cue the Empire. Artoo may have spotted an assault vehicle not too far from the sunny shores. Turns out, upon further inspection, that there’s no ‘trooper to be found, however, Luke does find a few holodiscs marked with the Scardia symbol. Either way, the vacay’s over as they head back to their secret base on Dagobah’s Mount Yoda. Though seriously how cool is it Yoda got a mountain named after him?! A little something the Rebels did in honor of him. I’m sure he brags about it to Anakin and Obi-Wan often 🙂 The Mount Yoda base, known as DRAPAC (the Defense Research And Planetary Assistance Center), is pretty sweet digs for being located on the highest peak in a slimy mudhole. Not completely finished, but still impressive with levels upon levels of everything the Alliance could need. Right down to their top-secret project known as “Project Decoy”. The Rebs don’t waste much time before looking into those holodiscs, which happen to hold Kadann’s most recent prophecies on there. It doesn’t take long for Luke and Leia to decipher that it’s talking about Mount Yoda and DRAPAC. And Luke queries whether a gold knife, also found in the missing Imperial’s belongings, might have something to do with that “pierced by gold” bit. Wonder who owned that stuff to start with. Maybe dude was just stopping for a smoothie and then came back to realize his assault vehicle was broken into. His boss won’t be pleased… whoever that boss of his is right now since Trioculus became a museum exhibit.
Speaking of Trioculus, yeah the Empire wants the guy back and a little less frozen. Thankfully, Zorba’s out of town, making his dream of converting the palace into an extremely profitable prison a reality. When the lothcat’s away the womprats will play (Completely weird thought: I kept referring to lothcats as tookas for a while because of their similarity, before that I was calling them “mookas”, which this book actually refers to as in “purring like a mooka”. I know the name “tooka” came from Dave Filoni’s cat but where did “mooka” come from? Either way yay cats in SW!). The Stormtroopers and their chief have little problem walking into the museum and coming out with the Emperor. Honestly they did the folks of Bespin a favor… who wants to pay money to look at that ugly mug? He’d scare the kids man! And what exhibit would that go into anyway? “Cloud City Museum presents… The Hall Of Carbonite!” 😛 But yeah unfreezing him might cause more problems than a few unhappy museum attendees. Just as Grand Moff Hissa was about to free him, our friends from Scardia showed up. High Prophet Jedgar demands Trioculus turned over to them since Kadann’s in charge now. Jedgar and Hissa have a nice long debate over the ex-Emperor as well as the politics between the Prophets and the Empire. But Jedgar played dirty and revealed just how much dirt he had on Hissa and ultimately the Grand Moff had no choice but to switch his loyalties. So the Prophets now have the three-eyed bro and you can figure they have no intentions to let him live…
Back on Dagobah, things are also taking a downward turn. At least for Ken, anyway, who’s about to start his studies and DRAPAC’s Dagobah Tech. He’s never been a fan of such things, so yeah he’s not too happy about this. Luke tries to give him a little encouragement, talked about how much he wanted to go to the Academy back in the day, but to no avail. First day of school should’ve been easy, right? Nope. Tests on the first day, and only a portion of them on stuff he understood. Random fun thought: since this school is run by Rebels, who would teach what classes? Maybe Sabine could teach languages and art appreciation? I could totally see that. OK random fun thought over ’cause not long after Ken’s tests were over a ship nearly crashes down right into DRAPAC! The driver of said ship is a Duro named Dustini, who comes off a pretty nice mannerly guy, but also not doing so well. That’s because his planet isn’t doing so well… it’s become a hazardous waste dump and it’s being looted for its treasures by the Empire, mostly because Kadann really really likes shiny things. Also yeah this book seems to refer to the planet as Duro and not the species as a Duro so since I have no clue what the planet is called canonically I’m just gonna refer to it as the “Duro homeworld”. So yeah Dustini came here for help so they could help save his people, who have gone into hiding for fear of being turned into Imperial slaves. He takes a moment to showcase a few of the DH’s priceless artifacts, only to accidentally trigger a poisonous booby trap in the crown of their ancient king. So that would explain the “pierced by gold” bit… Kadann’s better at this predicting thing than I thought. While medical droids work to heal the poor guy, Artoo plays back one of Dustini’s holodiscs explaining the mission at hand. Onward to the Duro homeworld!
The next day, Ken was supposed to be at school. He just wanted to say goodbye and may-the-Force-be-with-you to his friends before his classes started, but one thing led to another and before he knew it he was trapped in the Falcon‘s cargo hold just as they set off to the DH. Wellllp… at least he won’t have to do any tests today. What no one on the Falcon knows is that Hissa and Jedgar have them in their sights. First gunner to destroy the Millennium Falcon gets to dine with the Prophets! The Falcon‘s firepower isn’t enough to match their opponent’s and their hyperdrive is kaput, much to Han’s chagrin, so flying for their lives seems like the best option for now. Artoo finds out that a bit of the trouble has something to do with a locked cargo hold. It takes Luke using the Force to get that door open, and inside he finds, not an Imperial spy, but a young Jedi Prince. It’s a miracle Ken was able to convince Luke he hadn’t stowed away on purpose. More of a miracle was that Threepio was able to do a minor repair and fixed the hyperdrive and quad cannons again. Seriously, THREEPIO JUST FIXED SOMETHING. *Slow clap*. Instead of immediately hitting the hyperspace outta there, Han makes a risky move and takes aim at the baddies’ ship. Which unfortunately doesn’t end too well for our heroes. With quite a few new holes in the ship, Han decides now would be a good time to hit the hyperspace button.
Speaking of things not going too well, we soon find Kadann at the other end of a laser, completely decimating the carbonite-frozen form of Trioculus. And now he himself wields Darth Vader’s glove. All is proceeding as dude’s forseen. After all, Kadann is never wrong, right?
The good news is the Falcon managed to survive its near-crash on DH, the good news is that Duro mechanics are awesome at what they do, the bad news is that the estimated repair bill is a whole lotta credits. Ouch indeed. Mechanic dude makes an offer to trade the hunk of junk in for something new, but Han calls no deal. Thankfully Leia believes SPIN’ll pick up the tab on this one. You gotta love Han’s legit undying loyalty to that ship. It’s clearly still lookin’ good thirty years later! 🙂 So they head back to their destination in a rental, where Artoo accesses a map from Dustini’s holodisc to the Valley Of Royalty. It’s where all the archaeologists are that they need to set free. Also of note nearby is an Imperial Reprogramming Institute… wherein lives the mysterious Triclops, the true son of Palpatine who the Empire fears but keeps alive anyway. Ken decides to divulge a little of what he knows on the subject of this guy, but what this guy has to do with Dustini’s mission we do not know. Shortly thereafter our heroes headed off, originally not with Ken, but the kid knows how to persuade, especially when he pulled the “Obi-Wan said our destinies are connected!” card out. So Leia stayed behind to watch the ship and Ken went on. Smart boy 🙂 Honestly I think Obi-Wan could sympathize with Luke on this one.
Guess who also just arrived on Duro? A certain grand moff and dark side prophet. Jedgar reveals the nature of their mission, to recapture the escaped Triclops. Yeah just what Hissa wanted to do this weekend… chase down a madman on a toxic waste-covered planet! ‘Course, you think they have problems… Luke and the gang were facing down giant mutant Fezfe beetles! Somehow they managed to slice and shoot their way outta that mess, and we must thank Ken for saving his master’s life in a moment of crisis. Yeah fun planet right? They continue on through into the bowels of the Valley, facing steep stairways, treacherous turns, and toxic gunk falling from the ceiling as they go. Not to mention encountering the man of the hour himself — Triclops! Bro’s pretty chill for someone who escaped a correctional facility. Escaped with the help of a reprogrammed Imperial assassin droid, for good reason too since he very nearly got a lobotomy. Yeesh. Tri has no problem helping out our Rebels and leading them to the imperiled archaeologists. He’s very interested in Luke’s Jedi ways, as he mentions knowing a Jedi once. And also seems to know something about Ken, about the silver charm he wears, about his past… much intrigue. Tri is all kinds of much intrigue. But even so, he’s clearly nothing like his dad, so let’s just be glad for that 🙂 Doesn’t take ’em long before the find the rest of the Duro dudes, all working to get their relics together before they leave their festering stinkhole planet behind. For sure they’re eternally grateful for SPIN’s help, happy enough to hug it out with Captain Solo, though Han had slightly differing opinions on that matter XD So from there on out everybody starts working together to get the loot back to the planet surface and under the care of SPIN until the Duros relocate. In the midst of this, Han receives a little something courtesy of the Duros — an ancient Corellian wedding ring. Oh wait that sounded really creepy. What I meant was that Dustini’s cousin gave it to Han as a “thank you” gift, that it could eventually be given to the one he loves. Han doesn’t elaborate too much on where he is in that stage of life, but accepts it all the same, just in case. Hehe yesss all the forces in the universe are working to get the power couple to tie the knot already X3 But aboveground, Imperial interrogator Defeen has quite literally needled the truth out of a Duro, revealing the whereabouts of a certain Valley. That’s trouble. And as if we needed more trouble, Hissa and Jedgar showed up with a gaggle of ‘troopers and a big boring mechanism. In the midst of the chaos that ensued, the bad guys nearly nabbed Ken, but that’s where Triclops came in… and bro’s third eye is hypnotic. And we mention he hand-to-hand fights like a boss? He could’ve easily finished Hissa off, but a sudden rush of toxic sludge did his job for him. Grand Moff Hissa + toxicity – Jedgar’s help = 60% less Grand Moff. Eww. Dude this is intense! Our heroes make a narrow escape from the cavern and Leia and Chewie arrive with their ride outta here just in time! So go off our Rebels, along with the Duros, their treasure, and Triclops in tow. By the time they return to DRAPAC, things all fall together nicely; Dustini is alive and reunited with his people, the Falcon is better than new, and everyone’s all together again. Things are looking up. But one thing still remains unanswered; Triclops is being held for questioning for now… but he is really the real pacifist anti-Empire good guy deal? What did the Empire want with him? Much intrigue… much intrigue indeed.
So there you go! Another fun Star Wars Reads Day and a fun post to go with it! Now, I’ll be seeing you next week with some new Rebels awesomeness! Until then…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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SW Summer Reads: A New Dawn

The pressure’s on my friends… because today I’m writing my first SW Summer Reads post on a full-size undoubtedly-canon book! I apologize in advance if this comes off like a big fat mess of fangirling. Then again, that’s pretty much what all my posts come out like! But it would be a crime not to write about the amazing book known as A New Dawn. We’re talkin’ some serious action, adventure, heart, and of course all the deliciously delightful Kanera banter :3 So let’s go ahead and cut to the chase to see what interesting things I found in reading John Jackson Miller’s exciting SW tale!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, A New Dawn, and Rebels episode Fire Across The Galaxy

Cover art for A New Dawn
(Image credit: Amazon.com)

Every saga has a beginning, including that of the saga of the Ghost crew and the Rebel Alliance. And it all starts with a young, scoundrely guy working in a mining facility. That guy would be Kanan Jarrus. I’ve gotta tell ya, I never thought the term “scoundrel” would apply to him. Han, yes. Lando, naturally. But Kanan? Kanan the strong, selfless, wise Jedi master? Never! I mean, sure, he’s as quick with his sarcasm as he is with his blaster, sure he doesn’t fit the role of a conventional Jedi, but he’s not a scoundrel or anything! But before he was a rebel, before he was a master, he was a gunslinger, a drinker, a big-time flirt, and could punch your teeth out if you got on his nerves. At this juncture, the bro’s left all traces of his former life behind and drifts from one job to the next, just aimlessly doin’ whatever. But though he puts on this tough act, Kanan’s heart of gold still shines. He quietly lends a hand to his fellow workers every now and again and helps out his sweet old landlord Okadiah. It takes a few unexpected turns, a few new friends, and the Empire’s craziness to help him find a new purpose and a new ‘tude that eventually turns him into the Rebel we know and love. Mr. Miller does an excellent job at writing from Kanan’s perspective, bringing out that fun side of his as well as his heart in just the right way.
Of course, the second player in this game would be Hera Syndulla. While Kanan’s changed quite a fair amount since this story took place, Hera really hasn’t changed a bit. Perhaps she’s become a little more learned since she’s seen and done a lot since then, but otherwise, she still has her epic piloting skills, her drive for change, and her kind heart for others. And Miller does an awesome job telling us about her but not telling us everything. We don’t know what she was doing beforehand and how many other rebel-sorts are out there working with her, all we know is that she dropped by to Gorse and Cynda to meet up with an informant. And turns out she came back with more than she expected… including a new crewmember.
Oh, and then there’s our chief villain, Count Vidian. The guy’s relentless, calculating, and did I mention a human cyborg? I absolutely love what a great villain he is! He’s a perfectly creepy guy who will do anything to stay on top and keep his high political standings, even destroying Cynda. I love that he’s a more political-based baddie than most we see in SW, but yet he’s still a genuine threat. Heightened senses and a mostly robotic body are quite a deadly combination for our Rebs. Plus, the fact he talks through a computer and not his own mouth is the icing on the terrifying villain cake! Before Kallus and The Inquisitor were problems, and before our heroes ever tangled with Darth Vader, Vidian was the Imperial-nasty-of-the-day. And Miller played him out and wrote for him perfectly. I could only dream of creating a bad guy such as him!
But the good thing is, villains have this bad habit of not winning, and aside from Kanan and Hera, we have two others to thank for that, Skelly and Zaluna. Skelly is a slightly-messed-up Clone Wars veteran, and one of those guys who made the mistake of getting on Kanan’s nerves. He does the demolition work for the Cynda mines, but he’s strongly against the methods they use, as he fears it will destroy the moon. Bro does some nutty stuff to get the Empire’s attention, and maybe doesn’t think through his plans as clearly as we would, but sometimes a wild card who knows how to throw around explosives is useful when you’ve got an Empire to fight 🙂 Zaluna was once one of the Empire’s eyes and ears — and not just because she’s a sullustan. She was quite content to go about her day watching people and alerting the Empire to potential troublemakers, but when her friend gets arrested and needs a hand getting some info where it needs to go, it sends Zaluna right to Hera. And she soon finds herself on a path she can’t return from as she joins up with these would-be rebels to save their world. And I suppose we could count a third person who helped bring down the Count, someone not even on our side, Rae Sloane. Rae’s an up-and-coming captain for the Star Destroyer Ultimatum who finds herself driving Vidian around a lot. And though she’s still an Imperial through-and-through, she don’t really like the guy’s moon-destroying plans. She’s a fascinating character and I would really like to see where her story goes, ’cause it almost seems there’s a chance her destiny won’t lie with the Empire. Mr. Miller created quite a wonderful batch of new characters for this story, who complement well our primary heroes.
Now let’s just talk about Kanera for the rest of the day, OK? Obviously I wasn’t about to not fangirl over discuss this wonderful element of the story. Yessss that meetcute I can’t even… ^w^ She’s pretty and she can fight thugs with the best of ’em! Kanan defs be crushin’! Hehehe who am I kidding of course I’m going to fangirl over this. He’s generally a pretty smooth operator but his flirts fall flat around her, and a few times her own charm leaves him with nothing to say. Their banter is music to my ears, something I absolutely eat up in the show, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg in regards to what makes their thing so great in this book. It’s ultimately Hera’s determination and spirit that makes Kanan decide he’d follow her anywhere. And while Hera isn’t impressed with Kanan’s “smoothness”, she is a bit impressed with his generous, kind Jedi heart. It’s interesting to look at their relationship from this angle and then look at it from Rebels around eight or ten years later. They’re much more in sync as they both have a similar focus to helping those affected by the Empire. Kanan’s more of a nice guy now, and Hera does most of the flirting, which I find adorably hilarious XD Their bond is comfortable and has a unique chemistry all its own. But mannnn when that hug happened… you can see that Kanan doesn’t see Hera as just another girl, she’s someone worth treasuring :3 And Hera might be a little more impressed with her copilot these days 🙂 I’m sorry but AWWWW! This book has heightened my love of these twosies to a ridiculous level that I had no idea I could achieve since I already loved them so much! So yeah I can’t wait ’til Rebels comes back so I can fangirl over them some more!
Really everything about this story is amazing. I love just how much we get to experience the inner thoughts of these characters, how much more of the galaxy we see, how multifaceted the plotline is! It was hard to put down, as it felt like I was watching a really long episode of Rebels and every time I had to take a break from it (because it was maybe a little bit late and I needed to go to bed) it felt like I had to keep putting the episode on “pause”. And of course, the amazing coolness that is the fact it’s undeniably 100% canon, that our characters lived through these events and that these elements Miller invented for the book really exist and could easily show up in another show or movie. My only big question regarding its canonicity (which is weird considering I don’t usually have these kinds of questions with the stories I personally consider canon) is that it nods to Kanan having been 14 at the time of Order 66, which is odd considering I’m pretty sure Kanan is 34 and would’ve been 19 when it happened. The big question now is who is right… official SW social media or this book? I’ll stick with what I know firsthand for now, though it would be interesting if Kanan ended up being a bit of a street kid at 14 just like Ezra was. But regardless, A New Dawn is one incredible book. Now I really want to hear more stories about Kanan and Hera’s adventures! I want to know what their first few missions were like and how they met Zeb and Sabine and how Chopper came to be and if they ever sang along with the radio while in hyperspace! (Sorry I know that last one is weird) Until then, I’m definitely very excited to read more Star Wars stories in the future! Guess I better go look into getting Tarkin now…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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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? 🙂 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


(Image credit: Amazon.com (I think?))

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! 😛
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 🙂
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… 😉 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 🙂
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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SW Summer Reads – Jedi Quest #2: The Trail Of The Jedi

Don’t ask me why, but summertime and reading go hand-in-hand. Well, anytime of year and reading go hand-in-hand really, but here at Padawanline it’s special because we do Star Wars Summer Reads every year! They’re like my normal Closer Looks on TCW and Rebels episodes, just with some of my favorite SW books! And this post is especially exciting because this is the first new SW book I’ve read since… I guess since the third Secret Missions installment! And that was in 2012! So yes today we’re diving back into the incredibly amazing Jude Watson’s Jedi Quest series with its second chapter (or third counting the prior-to-the-series first book) The Trail Of The Jedi! If you’ve never read Miss Watson’s stuff you really ought to. Vivid descriptions, exciting, intriguing storylines, the incredible way she gets into the heads of Anakin and Obi-Wan… seriously one of my favorite series ever. It’s canon as far as I’m concerned! If you want to read my Closer Looks on the first two books The Path To Truth and The Way Of The Apprentice feel free, though ye be warned they are trainwrecks since they were done back in 2013 XP Anyway, let’s see what we can find on The Trail Of The Jedi! Whoops I did it again…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode VI, Rebels episodes Rise Of The Old Masters and Fire Across The Galaxy, The Path To Truth, and The Trail Of The Jedi

Cover Art For Jedi Quest #2
(Image credit: Amazon.com (I think))

We find ourselves rejoining the young master and padawan team of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they prepare to land on the gorgeous planet of Ragoon-6 for a Jedi bonding trip. And pretty much as soon as you know it’s for a bonding trip with these guys you know this thing’s gonna explode with feels… but then again, all in the series do that 🙂 Ragoon-6 sounds like a planet deserved to be titled “the jewel of the galaxy”… nothin’ but miles and miles of untamed, unspoiled beauty under a blue-violet sky! Miss Watson has an amazing talent for making some epic descriptions, bringing to life whatever the world, whoever the person, and the feeling of the Force itself, and everything about this shimmering world makes me want to go there right now! The goal of this trip will be for Anakin and Obi-Wan to track Jedi teacher Wren Honoran through the planet’s forests and jungles. Ah yes Wren is one awesome dude. He’s a government teacher at the Temple and the not-so-easy-to-catch prey on these sorts of things. He takes his teaching pretty seriously, but he knows how to have fun… especially when schooling overconfident padawans, such as Anakin, who has full intent to find Master Honoran before the day’s end. For now, Anakin and Obi-Wan are giving Wren a head start before they start the “hunt”. And they have a bit of a picnic in a flowery meadow in the meantime. Seriously anyone else need to go here now?! Obi-Wan tells Anakin about the last of the two times he and Qui-Gon had been here. Which sounded like fun up until it was cut short when a good friend of Qui-Gon’s was in danger, something Obi-Wan doesn’t divulge too much to his padawan. In the awkward silence that follows, Anakin starts to wonder why exactly Obi-Wan had felt the need to do this bonding exercise. And he starts to wonder if maybe that need was to build a bond between them that wasn’t just because of a desire to fulfill a master’s dying wish, because perhaps Obi-Wan wasn’t feeling the same connection to him the way he and his master had. Aww don’t think that Anakin! You guys are bestest friends! OK not quite yet but give or take 5 years or so!
But as it is, Obi-Wan’s not looking to compare relationships, if he’s got any doubts, it’s that he might not be good enough for an energetic, brilliant, wants-to-get-things-done student like young Skywalker. Can’t help but notice some similarities here with Rise Of The Old Masters. After all was said and done, Kanan and Ezra talked through it, but Obi-Wan’s not sure what he and Anakin should talk through or not. Looking back, Qui-Gon chose sometimes to answer Obi-Wan’s questions and sometimes not to, sometimes to tell him what he was thinking and sometimes not to. Certainly Master Jinn didn’t tell him exactly why they had to leave that last bonding trip so fast. That reason was a girl named Tahl, a smart, funny, kindhearted Jedi. And he certainly didn’t mention that HE LOVED HER. That didn’t reveal itself until her last breathing moments when that mission… sniff… failed. Mergosh that is so sad… but even so, I absolutely am obsessed with QuiTahl now and absolutely can’t wait to learn more about her. Sorry, point is, even though Qui-Gon didn’t always tell Obi-Wan everything and that bothered the padawan sometimes, it did nothing to hurt their bond, and Obi-Wan so badly wants this strength of relationship with his padawan now. Especially remembering something Qui-Gon had said on that last bonding trip… “It seems there is always time when you are young, but you cannot hold a moment, padawan. It runs out like water in your fist. You must seize it when you can, even as it falls away” (hey would you look at that a Qui-Gon Jinn quote! Happy now Google searchers? 😛 Though in all seriousness SUCH FEELS). But in keeping in the here and now, it soon is time for the hunt to begin. Aw dude I’m so sorry my mind’s all over the place I’m just drowning in feels over here!
So things go pretty well for a while as Anakin does a fabulous job of finding clues leading in Wren’s direction, but the tracking gets trickier and trickier as they go along. And there’s a problem when it leads Anakin right into a cave full of ferocious furry malia who were right in the middle of a nap. Perhaps the planet’s not as perfect as it looks from a distance. But then again, what planet is? It takes quite a bit of lightsaber-swinging but master and padawan manage to get out of that soup with their lives. Anakin feels dumb for running in there, but both he and Obi-Wan aren’t quite sure why Wren would leave a clue that could be so easily misread. Even so, they continue onward and are led this time to a hidden cavern. It’s an absolutely gorgy cavern but (there’s always a “but” it seems) it has its fair share of flash floods. As you can imagine, Anakin really really feels dumb about misreading a second time, and the fact that Obi-Wan makes no comment on his mistake doesn’t make him feel much better. It’s as there going along from there that Anakin finally bluntly states “you never tell me anything” to which Obi-Wan diverts from that and corrects him for throwing around absolutes. Obi-Wan felt bad for it and knows it hurt Anakin’s feelings, but he still wasn’t sure what to tell him or not, especially as he further considers foul play in this game. Anakin’s convinced now that Obi-Wan’s not interested in trying to achieve the same level of communication he had with Qui-Gon with him. Aw man all you wanna do right now is step in and get them to talk all this over, but of course we can’t do that, we just have to let the story tell itself and our characters work it out on their own. But of course neither of them are going to talk about this right now, they’re just going to continue the hunt. And it’s there that they run into A GIRL WITH A BLASTER! Er… a hydrospanner. So maybe the all-caps freakout wasn’t necessary? Meet Floria, poor kid got separated from her friends on a survival camping trip and believes them to have been killed in their ship’s explosion. Naturally, Anakin and Obi-Wan are willing to help her out, but they’re both aware now that something is up on this planet. Before they know it, there’s a bounty hunter aiming a stokli spray stick at ’em. And that’s a bad thing because it’s basically temporary paralysis in a can. Anakin distracts the hunter while Obi-Wan sneaks up on him and they pretty much win. They even, though accidentally, hit said bounty hunter with his own weapon! Obi-Wan and Anakin: 1, Tursha bounty hunter: 0 (unless perhaps we’re counting that he’d likely left those clues from earlier and that would make the score 2-1 in his favor, unless you count that Obi-Wan and Anakin survived both and that would make it 3-0 in their favor… oh you know what this is getting ridiculous never mind). Floria fears that this hunter was responsible for whatever happened to her comrades, and Anakin is quick to comfort her, not terribly happy with Obi-Wan’s seemingly indifferent attitude. But Obi-Wan’s just trying to piece this puzzle together between the bounty hunter and a bunch of kids. Plus, Wren might be in serious trouble. Anakin and Obi-Wan butt heads over the matter of helping Wren and helping Floria, but ultimately they come to an understanding, at least for a bit. They decided to head back to their ship and try contacting Wren on their comlinks, but again things go south and suddenly there’s another bounty hunter firing at them! Sooo much fun, right? But there’re worse problems — Obi-Wan finds a bomb aboard. So that went about as well as you’d figure it would. And in the midst of the explosion’s aftermath, a new problem presents itself. Well, the other bounty hunter is Floria’s brother Dane… and that makes Floria — you guessed it — a bounty hunter, too. I’ll be honest, I really did not see this coming. I really bought into Floria’s innocent act! Some days I see it coming and some days I don’t. Though the kids’ story is kinda sad even still… they lost their family and found themselves doing whatever they could to survive, including taking up bounty hunting. Dane and Floria were players in a Jedi-hunting game set by a fellow named Granta Omega. The two bickering bounty-hunting siblings weren’t interested in hurting anybody, just getting the ginormous reward for capturing the master and padawan. But now that some other hunter brought in a bomb, the game just got a bit more dangerous. Yeahh I think Anakin and Obi-Wan are gonna need a vacation after what was supposed to be a fun bonding trip. Whoever this Granta Omega guy is he seriously ought to have more to do than send hunters after off-duty Jedi! Obi-Wan decides to have Dane and Floria come along for the ride as they search for Wren and the hunter who must have him. And the “ride” includes such things as maneuvering through a field of thorny flowers, defeating a second bounty hunter, climbing mountains, following clues (We now know the Jedi Temple has muffins. It would be a sad galaxy indeed if they didn’t have sweets of some kind, so yay to that! 😀 ), and quite a few holograms of Wren. Completely normal, right? Oh right that thing with the Wren holograms… that’s a problem, isn’t it? It slows ’em down but not for long because the Force. But it’s still not that easy because that bounty hunter was still using Master Honoran as bait and this guy knows his way around the trees in this neck of the woods and he’s armed with plenty of poison darts. Thankfully, a well-aimed surprise attack and the aid of some angry giant birds comes in handy. Wren’s alive, though not in the greatest shape, so Obi-Wan and Anakin decide it’s time to borrow a ride and head for home. But Teleq’s ship isn’t of much use since Dane disabled it in case the hunter made it out of the fight and the Jedi didn’t. So it’s time for another hike to find the third hunter’s ride. Floria is not into all this walking… I getcha there, girl. Along their way, Obi-Wan and Anakin have a moment of understanding and honesty as young Skywalker tries to figure out why his Force-sensing has been off today. It’s all about experience and patience, my friend. But things take a turn for the darker when they find the Tursha hunter from earlier has been poisoned, and the killer left no trace.
Wait… where was I? Sorry I just watched this cool video about Ahsoka on StarWars.com and I totally got off track. *Hit by brick* SORRY SORRY I’LL GET BACK TO BLOGGING ON THE BOOK! SHEESH EXCUUUSE ME FOR LOVING OF ALL THINGS STAR WARS! So anyway, Obi-Wan decides it’s time to play this game their way and gets Dane to call the great Omega himself and let him know they captured the Jedi, or so it will seem. On their way up the mountain to meet the big boss, our heroes run into the third bounty hunter, Hunti Pereg. Dude’s been stuck up here since he got his legs paralyzed by a poison dart, so he poses no threat other than freaking us out with his scarred face. In fact, he comes off pretty decent. So the Jedi and the young hunters just hang around for a while waiting for Granta Omega to meet them. After a while, it seems he’s not coming. But what does come is — of course — a few thermal detonators and a few attack droids. Somehow Jedi can’t go anywhere without a few of those on their tails! It’s not long after that before the mysterious armored bounty hunter shows his face. A battle on the snowy mountainside! Exciting! Well, it might be exciting but I don’t think it’s fun for the Jedi fighting it. Their best move is to make a dash for a thermal pool that could overload the hunter’s detonators. It’s not easy getting there, but they do get there. Obi-Wan gives the hunter a chance to escape, a chance to avoid a fiery death, but the hunter refuses, claiming to know something about a very powerful boss, a pyramid, and the fact that “there are things far more frightening than death”. Much ominous. Anakin doesn’t get why Obi-Wan tried to help the guy. His master explains that Qui-Gon’s greatest enemy Xanatos chose to die the same way, and even then, Qui-Gon had mourned him. Of course Obi-Wan doesn’t mention the fact that Xanatos was Qui-Gon’s former padawan who went to the dark side. But it’s true, from, you know, “a certain point of view”. Anakin still doesn’t really grasp it, but he adds it to an apparently long list of things to meditate on back in the Temple. I’m totally sure he’ll remember to do so… totally! /sarc/ Sorry that wasn’t fair I know forgive me. But the fact remains that any guy you wouldn’t want to face after failing must be some nasty, powerful guy. But either way, they now have a ride home. Anakin happens upon something interesting, however… the ship belongs to Hunti Pereg, not the guy they fought. Soon it becomes clear to Obi-Wan that that paralyzed hunter guy was Omega. So yeah definitely not “pretty decent”. Somehow that guy knew their whole ruse to begin with! And Anakin recalls he got no sense of darksidery or living Force from him, what Obi-Wan describes as a void, a way for someone with serious power to trick a Jedi. So yeah safe to say that Granta Omega is terrifying. And he just got more terrifying as Obi-Wan finds Omega left something for them… a Sith artifact, shaped like a pyramid, that happens to holoproject unspeakable, horrifying things. He really doesn’t want to tell Anakin about it at first, afraid for how he would react to it, but he chooses to let Anakin in on it, finally coming to his own realization that he is not his master, and he needs to make his own decisions. YUS they’re finally starting to figure this out! Obviously, Omega don’t play… this guy, though not a Sith, is most definitely a threat.
Back on Coruscant, things get wrapped up pretty quickly, they get Wren some professional medical help, the hand the pyramid over to the Jedi Council, and Dane and Floria are heading off to find a new start in the foster system… or maybe not… probably not, let’s be honest these are two slippery kids, nice as they are 😛 Anakin really wanted to go after Omega as soon as they’d found the artifact and had been pretty bummed when Obi-Wan decided against it. But it doesn’t mean Obi-Wan’s given up, no sir. Because they’re going to grab some info at a familiar eatery. Didi and Astri have since moved on, now guess whose place it is? Dexter Jettster! Yay I love getting to see the progression of things that eventually lead us to Episode II! Obi-Wan and Dex aren’t yet on a hugging-level of friendship, or even perhaps what you could call a friendship, but the big guy still has no problem keeping an eye out for info on this dark dude, and getting them some juma juice 🙂 Obi-Wan finally gives Anakin an official apology for not telling him stuff, explaining that he’d felt similarly as a padawan. He let him know that Anakin had helped him understand that he just needed be the best master he could be instead of trying to be Qui-Gon. And Anakin finally came to be at peace with his concerns with their relationship, whether he and Obi-Wan would have the same bond as he and Qui-Gon had had didn’t matter, what mattered is that he would be the best padawan he could be, and the bond would follow. And after all, they would become quite the dynamic duo in the end 🙂 Awwz! Love happy endings!
Oh right… but in the shadows of the diner, a figure happens to be watching. That figure is Omega. And he means business. Much ominous, indeed.
And so it’s done after nearly five straight hours of work! But I think it turned out pretty well in the end, and I definitely cannot WAIT to continue this series, as well as all of Jude Watson’s incredible SW tales, and all the many SW books I want to read, period! Ahhh I love this series so muchhhh… uh sorry anyway, look forward to reading along with you next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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