Following The Freemakers: The Tower Of Alistan Nor

Hey Star Wars fam! You ready to talk Freemakers? I know I am! ‘Cause The Tower Of Alistan Nor has quickly become a favorite among favorites and I can’t wait to discuss all that has intrigued me and inspired me! Read on!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Steps Into Shadow and Freemakers episodes The Maker Of Zoh, Return Of The Kyber Saber, Trouble On Tibalt, and The Tower Of Alistan Nor

It’s an age-old battle I know well from playing with Legos; you get an image in your head of the perfect design… and then you lose it, and the entire building experience from there is spent trying out every brick in the box until you get something close to what you had in mind. Rowan’s got the same problem, except it’s worse because the future of the Rebel Alliance rests on making the image in his head a reality. Also for him it’s not just building a cool plastic model, it’s about building an actual serious war machine. No pressure! No pressure at all! Quarrie casually mentions of a beautiful, inspiring ancient city called Alistan Nor that might stir up some creative juices, and Ro’s off like a rocket!

Meanwhile, “Time to check on M-OC!” Palpatine is me whenever I sit down to a new Star Wars something. I do the little dance and everything XD And M-OC’s got himself a new set of blades… inquisitor blades. It actually makes a lot of sense, because just like the Jedi hunters we’ve seen before, these spinny ‘sabers of death are a more efficient method than learning all the Force-y moves. Unfortunately this is bad news for Rowan… he’s only fought blade-to-blade before, not blade-to-spinning-blade-to-blade. Elsewhere in the galaxy, while in carbonfreeze, Naare sensed her former master was treating a droid better than her XP WELL DROIDS DON’T BETRAY THEIR MASTERS, NAARE!
Well… normally.

Rowan’s ready and rarin’ to go to Alistan Nor, but the sibs happen to be considerably busy. Kordi’s in her prime bosslady mode, sharing her tips on cost-efficient living with her fellow Rebels, while Zander proves he’s the Wedge Antilles of repair — he can fix anything! Though Rowan isn’t pleased to catch them so so busy, I still love how easily the older kids have found their place here. Kordi knows what it’s like to live life running on fumes and pinching pennies, and offers a lot of know-how I’m sure the Rebs could use a refresher on, as well as just offering up a lot of common sense and direction that comes with running a business and looking out for your family at such a young age. (Let’s cut Ackbar some slack tho, he is an aquatic species, guys! Their skin must get awful dry!) And I love that Zander’s earned himself quite a reputation ’round Home One, as well as the respect of Valeria and the other pilots. It may not be where he wants to be in the Alliance, but he’s still giving the daily grind his all, and that’s nothing but admirable. But if you think his family’s work is going to keep Rowan from finding the inspiration he desperately needs, you’re dead wrong. He’ll fly there himself! Guys it’s a miracle that he didn’t damage the StarScavenger. Completely. Totally. Entirely. I kept thinking about what happened to the Phantom and was afraid of a repeat of that. I was really glad he put in those hyperspace coordinates right, too, ’cause yikes. I know I should’ve given him more of the benefit of the doubt, but he’s still a kid, and this is still a fair-sized starship, so… the odds weren’t great. Good thing Rowan has this habit of defying the odds 🙂

Also that Freemaker-branded lunchbox is great. I might need to custom my own! Can’t believe Quarrie went and ate the whole lunch though. “COPILOTS GET FIRST DIBS!” No they don’t, Quar 😑 Oh yeah… apparently mon calamari can digest bones? Unless that was a boneless fried noona leg he scarfed down, which it didn’t really look like… ok so that might not be a canon fact, but it makes you wonder, right?

Despite Quarrie’s slightly frustrating habit of not conveying all the information until the very very last second it’s needed, and a bit of a perilous run-in with a pack of gundarks (but what great Lego sculpts tho!), Alistan Nor is everything the old shipbuilder promised and more. Literally this city is everything. It is utterly utterly awe-inspiringly beautiful. Sometimes I forget that the great Doug Chiang designs for the show, but this was a powerful reminder. I mean… the design looks like it was intended for a movie or Rebels! I can’t help but hope a little that they might throw it in future 100%-canon Star Wars stories. And the concept alone! The idea of a city built by a unique order of Jedi is just amazing! It’s so Lego, but so believably SW at the same time! And we’ve gotta talk about the idea of Forcebuilders. Ever since SWR introduced the idea that certain Jedi can have special Force abilities, I’ve been completely fascinated by this expansion of the mythology, and as you may well know if you’ve read this blog for a while, I have been comparing Ezra’s Force-connecting talent to Rowan’s connection to kyber crystals. Only during the first season finale did I realize the Force must also have enhanced Rowan’s ability to build, and now this confirms it. I’ve spent days pondering what it must’ve been like to live in a city created by Jedi, and I imagine well-populated with Jedi as well. I’ve wondered about what made their order different from traditional Jedi, what gave them their creative energy, what was at the crux of their beliefs, and finally… what became of them. Also I had an interesting theory cross my mind: the Forcebuilders were specifically a branch of the Jedi, so what would happen if one turned to the dark side? We were introduced some time ago to the idea that the light creates and the dark destroys, so would a dark Forcebuilder be extremely adept at destruction? Or would they just build dark weapons? I actually pondered if maybe Naare had been a Forcebuilder Jedi previously, if that’s what gave her her terrible destructive capabilities. It’s certainly something worth chewing on. Anyway, watching Rowan see the city in its majestic, sparkling prime overloaded me with warm fuzzy feels. Basically everything about this entire scene can only be defined as “swoon-worthy”. It’s just. that. solidly. good.

Of course, I also was thinking “if M-OC destroys anything here I’m gonna cry for days”.
Was really really glad he only did a little property damage. But more importantly, I’m really really really glad nobody died. I will say, the fact M-OC uses his ‘quisitor blades separately is pretty cool though. It shows you how good he is… he doesn’t need much practice from what I can tell, he just uses ’em outright and in the most deadly efficient way. The Inquisitors wished they were this good. Forget what I said earlier about the spinning function working better for him. He don’t need it. It’s the things M-OC can’t predict that usually give our heroes a leg up, like falling balconies and gundark stampedes. I feel bad for the gundarks though… 😬

Can I just say again for the millionth time that I love this family? For all the responsibilities Kordi and Zander have now, they still dropped everything to fix up an old wreck to bring their brother home… an old wreck that would ultimately be mowed over by the Starscavenger anyway. But there’s nothing in this galaxy that a precious family hug can’t fix! It’s amazing really. At this point I basically turned into a pile of moved-to-happy-tears mush, and then made a mental note to hug my family more often than usual. Guys, this is nothing but real pure family love ❤ ❤ And now that Rowan has an exact mental picture of the Arrowhead in mind, they’ve made the first step on bringing the fight to the Empire! Augh I’m just so ludicrously happy right now X3

Though I really can’t say that for that Imperial graycoat who got tossed out the window. *Shudders* That’s totally Vader for ya.

Anyway, I think this post turned out really nicely, and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you today. Now go and give your family and basically-family-friends the Freemaker-style hug they deserve! 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Uncovering The Lost Missions: The Disappeared Part 2

Hey friends! The wait is over — we’re about to get in deep on The Disappeared‘s second part! Aw man I’m so sorry it took me this long to get it out… just haven’t been too much in the blogging spirit lately, kinda… but whatever! I’m blogging now and ready to uncover the next of the Lost Missions!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from the Clone Wars Microseries, and the TCW episodes The Lawless, The Wrong Jedi, The Disappeared Part 1, The Disappeared Part 2

So as you know, Mace Windu and Jar Jar Binks have just gotten in knee-deep in a crazy cultist conspiracy, and on top of that, kinda have to save the awesome Queen Julia from these cultists before all darkness breaks loose across the galaxy. So yeah no pressure or whatevz. And yeah considering these bad guys are literally stealing the Force right out of their victims, the clock is ticking faster than our heroes want it to. As the two fly offworld to save the day, Mace starts figuring that they’re up against something way worse than just a bunch of masked wackos…
Meanwhiles, the cultists have arrived at their destination with the captive queen. And though everything should be going to plan, they’re a little worried as to the fact that their boss, this “Great Mother”, knows that they’ve got a Jedi on their tail. But the lead guy’s like “Psh whatever! There’s no way anyone’s going to ruin our epic plans! And the boss’ll deal with the Jedi either way!”. I don’t know about you, but I’m sure hoping they’re wrong. And off they walk, ready to get things set up for the final Force-removing finale. What they don’t know is that Mace and Jar Jar just arrived not too far away. The race is very much on.
So the second they landed, Representative Binks was pretty much ready to spring into action instantaneously, but Mace pulls on the brakes and takes a moment to use the Force to find the Queen. Yeahh Jar Jar wasn’t too much of a fan at the time, and for good reason, considering the state of the galaxy is in his hands… and the general fact that his ladylove is in an incredible amount of danger and stuff. But he’s more fond of it when Master Windu knows exactly where to look, and it’s officially off to the races! I seriously wish I had the patience this awesome Jedi had. Of course, I also wish I had a purple lightsaber but that’s not entirely likely to happen either… the closest thing I have to anyone in the room right now is Jar Jar’s penchant for sarcasm 😛
So anyway the twosome find themselves searching in the market square, and bummer that things don’t always go as smoothly as planned. Mace heads to the rooftops for a better view, and then Jar Jar spots the fiends in question and the damsel in distress, but happens to be swarmed by these short blue guys attempting to sell fruit. Jar Jar pushes through that crowd and runs, Mace sees the Gungan dash off and runs after him, Jar Jar manages to chase them through a lovely herd of those gangly camel-ish things (ugh forgive my not knowing their official name at the moment), gets through only to realize “oh hey! there’s a whole bunch of cultists out here — all with spears!”. Well, I guess there’s something to be said for Jar Jar’s determination! Not so much for his wise decision-making, but let’s be honest… most of us would’ve done the same in a similar situation. So Mace was trying to follow him but got a little swept up in the herd, he did his awesome thing of walking over the critters, and then there’s Representative Binks, running away from cultists like Indiana Jones running away from angry natives (only Dr. Jones came off a lot more in control of that situation; see Jar Jar’s panicked screaming). And Mace is all *facepalm* and starts fighting them off. Jar Jar, with a lot less to panic over at the moment, takes a bit of a shortcut, following two in-charge-looking baddies in hopes they might lead him to Julia. His hunch is right, of course again, the problem of “greater numbers” rears its ugly head when it happens to be a bunch of them hauling off the Queen, but again, thank you Mace for stepping in and giving those creeps someone to fight as Jar Jar returns to catching up with the cultists. Jar Jar manages to find them again, only to be yet again faced with ANOTHER PROBLEM! That problem being the fact these weirdos somehow got ahold of a laser cannon and have a lot of fun firing it in Binks’ direction. I mean, like, seriously, the dude’s laughing while he’s shooting. Who does that?! Most SW bad guys just point and shoot, or point and shoot and say something witty or give a sly smile, and maybe laugh a little but not a lot like this crazy guy. And on top of that, he just shoots everything that stands in between him and Jar Jar… a more high-quality Sith or bounty hunter would probably’ve just tried aiming from a different angle, though in his defense that was a pretty big cannon for a Bardottan his size. Ooookay now I’m getting off-point. Mace once again finds himself darting off to save the Gungan’s skin. Just as Jar Jar was about to make a heroic move, Mace steps in and K.O.s the guy at the gun’s controls. Ah well, it’s the thought that counts, Jar Jar 🙂 Oh BUT IT ONLY GETS WORSE! Then as Mace is about to catch up to the bad guys, THEY SIC TWO STINKIN’ GUNDARKS ON THEM! Dude, saving a Queen from a bunch of cultists shouldn’t be hard! OK maybe a little… but I’m kinda starting to feel bad for our heroes right now; it’s always something! Like how Master Windu pulled out his lightsaber but then Jar Jar accidentally rammed into him and knocked him over and one of the cultists’ buddies used his whip to snatch the weapon right out of his hands. And on top of that, the rest of the cultists get in their train-ish things and drove off into the far reaches of the desert and leave our heroes to fight with what they’ve got. Yeah, it’s always something… but thankfully, this is Mace Windu we’re talking about; the guy who destroyed super battle droids with his bare hands, so I think he’ll be OK. Though major kudos to Jar Jar for being awesome and fighting the cultists’ buddy and getting Mace’s lightsaber back… with his tongue. MAJOR. KUDOS. Of course I’m sure a small part of Master Windu’s a little grossed out by the fact he has Gungan saliva on his lightsaber but whatever; after that the Jedi makes quick work of those gundarks. And then Jar Jar clocks the buddy in the face awesomely. The guy makes it clear that this “Great Mother” don’t mess around and she’ll handle Mace the way only she do and Mace is like “Lol nope.” (except minus the “lol” part) and knocks him out for reals. But with the bad guys already long gone, our heroes mount a couple of steeds (a camel-y thing and another species I’ve seen before but can’t identify off-hand) and gallop off into the desert, continuing in their quest to save the queen!
So as for the bad guys, they’re back to setting up shop for getting the queen’s Force. Some of the dudes are all “You know, I’m kinda worried about that Jedi though…” and again their leader’s like “Don’t be, my visions tell me that he won’t do any damage to our plans!”. This had me a bit scared, as I really don’t want another rescue mission to fail or another awesome character lost (I’m still recuperating from the shock I got from The Lawless…), but thankfully, you know how this ends, and Mr. High-And-Mighty-Cultist Guy isn’t too good at predicting stuff as he might want to be.
Meanwhile, our heroes were galloping across the desert on the backs of their awesome beasts… and Jar Jar was making all these rather hilarious calls to his critter that get on Mace’s nerves quickly XD I swear that eyeroll/sigh combination says it all! Mace plays it cool though, just reminding Jar Jar to keep his focus where it belongs. His plan is simple; he takes out the bad guys, Jar Jar saves Julia, and we all go home heroes! Yeah I still can’t get over what a great team they make 🙂
Not far away, a ship docks near the bad guy’s hangout, and out of the ship walks an all-too-familiar black-streaked white face… this “Great Mother” is Mother Talzin! And just as creepy (but cool) as ever. The witch is pretty thrilled as to how things are going, after all, she’s the one who’ll be getting all this fresh-off-the-grill Force power! She knows that there’s a Jedi on their tail, but she don’t care. Yeesh this is getting all kinda scary! And not just because that freaky echo on her voice still gives me the shivers a bit. Anyway, the cultists set up this temple-thing and have Queen Julia tied up at just the right spot for de-Force-al, all they have to do now is wait on the lenses on their Force-removal-doohickey to align just so and boom! Mother gets herself a new pair of Force-y shoes! In the meantime, Talzin makes a bit of a cliche villain move and decides to do a bit of monologueing on her plan to, you know, make herself more powerful than Jedi or Sith alike and start a new order and junk. I mean, what else does she have to do right now? Savage is dead, Ventress is probably doing her own thing right now, and Maul? Eh, who knows where that guy is. Well, cliche or not she’s really good at monlogueing. Thankfully, Master Windu and Rep. Binks just arrived not too far away… but yeah they hardly begin to make the trek to the temple before they duo catches the eye of the bad guys’ stone guardians. And yeah these guardian guys are seriously cool… they’re like Transformers crossed with terra cotta warriors! What can I say? Serious coolness. Oh yeah, and they have blasters, which is seriously cool but also poses yet another problem for our good guys. With a little lightsaber-flinging and some dismembered-stone-guardian-blaster-shooting, the two make it out alive and continue in their race against time. Plus, now Jar Jar’s armed to the teeth with that blaster-thing, so we’re pretty good. Mace actually tells him “nice work”, which is impressive, because that’s as much of a compliment you’re going to get out of him for anything. And then BOOM! In walk the Jedi and the Gungan on the baddies, like. a. BOSS. Mother Talzin plays it cool for a second but then unleashes all her green magicky fury. Mace pulls out his lightsaber, ready to take on the Mom, and Jar Jar has basically one lense flip left to save Julia. It is about to get crazy up in here, people! And Talzin doesn’t play fair either; she makes a flamey sword-thing out of thin air and her magic! OK well, maybe she’s playing fair since this means she and Mace will both be dueling with a similar weapon, BUT NOT THE POINT! It’s one of the coolest duels I’ve ever seen! Green vs. purple… you won’t see that every day! And Mace is just too good at laying down legit quips to Mother’s backtalk. Meanwhile, Representative Binks is making quick work of those cultists with his stone blaster at his side. The clock is ticking, the de-Force-al thing is coming down to the wire, Jar Jar’s about to set the Queen free, and then ONE OF THE CULTIST DUDES GETS UP! Jar Jar gets Julia out of harm’s way, but then the cultist dude I just mentioned starts a fistfight with the Gungan, and right in the path of the thing! The sun’s powering it up, about to rip the Force right outta whoever’s unfortunate enough to be in its path, and at the last second, Julia runs and shoves Jar Jar out of the way, leaving the bad guy to fry. And as the Gungan and the Bardottan fly off the platform, the glass ball of Force rolls off its pedestal and shatters, causing a ginormous green explosion! Our heroes duck out of the line of fire just in time. And welp… let’s just say that Mother Talzin doesn’t come out unscathed. In fact she kinda got “fried” herself… guess that’s what you get for tampering with the Force, lady. It’s a little bit of a shock to see this has-everything-under-control, is-too-cool-for-you, sees-everything bad girl bite the dust, but we really don’t need to be worrying about her causing trouble in Rebels or something. Her story has come to its appropriately just end.
So Jar Jar and Julia have a cute moment as she tells him she knew her beau would save the day (and literally because that was part of her vision she had back last episode), but Jar Jar gives all the cred to his Jedi friend. And thus, the Queen decides that the Bardottans and the Jedi can totally be friends again. And then Jar Jar calls out for their steeds (I love how Mace is all “There he goes again…” and Julia’s all “ERMAGOSH HE IS SO CUTE WHEN HE DOES THAT!”), and our amazing heroes saddle up and do the awesome thing of riding off into the sunset! Now that’s how you do a happy ending! 😀
So yes! What a great, fun series! Excitement and intensity well-balanced by levity and (dare I say it) FRIENDSHIP! Star Wars awesomeness once again at its best! And now we have coming our way the finale to end all finales! Ahhhhh I got the feels just thinking about it! Until next time…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Star Wars Reads Day ’13 – Jedi Prince #2: The Lost City Of The Jedi

Once you’ve made the jump to light read, anything can happen…
Today is Star Wars Reads Day, one of the newest and most fun SW holidays! So naturally, I spent today reading an awesome SW book. I had intended to read a new book for SWRD, but I didn’t get the chance to run by my local library. So for this year’s SWRD, I’m taking you back to the world of Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series. If you like, you can go and read my Closer Look on the first chapter, The Glove Of Darth Vader. Now, we’re going to find out what The Lost City Of The Jedi is all about. You haven’t heard of the Jedi Prince series? It’s the series that once made the Kesel Run in six paperbacks (Named so for Carl Kesel, who illustrated the books; I warned you about how bad the SW reading puns were going to be…). It’s also a great series written in some of the earliest days of the Expanded Universe (1992, to be exact). And it’s currently one of my favorite SW series. So if you’re planning to run to the library and do some late SWRD reading, but don’t know what to read, perhaps you should join me on a trip to the Lost City with Luke and the gang… of course, I’m sure most of you are reading Heir To The Empire, or Kenobi, or even Jedi Academy, but all the same, let’s open up something a little different today…
Cover Art for The Lost City Of The Jedi
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Jedi Prince Series #1 The Glove Of Darth Vader, #2 The Lost City Of The Jedi, Episode IV, Episode V, and Episode VI
Our tale starts out with Luke and his droid duo on a mission for SPIN. Apparently, Bespin is short on snacks because SOME folks felt the stormtroopers needed it more. So Lando Calrissian (…who’s recently become Cloud City governor… whuut??) called them here to lend a little hand (and some fancy WADDs, or Warning and Detection Devices). As you might remember, Han was headed to Cloud City last we saw him to make himself a home, and that’s where are story opens, with Luke visiting his buddy and his buddy’s wookiee buddy.
And yeah, that’s why Han is here — he’s making an epic floating mansion! A house in the clouds! Luke caught Han working on his soon-to-be home, and it is BIG. The whole “floating house” thing is a “Solo originale”; never been done before. I seriously want one just reading about it now. Of course, you have to make sure it’s not floating too high when you take out the trash, or go out to get the mail, or mow the lawn, or go out to the car or… yeah, I think Han’s got all of that covered (if your house floats, would you really even have a lawn to mow? Just a thought). Did I mention the size of this place? Luke noticed… and rather wondered if a future family might be on Han’s mind when he built it to begin with. Han’s all like “Whaaaaaat…? Ha ha, no of course not…”. And Luke is like “Mmm-hmm, I’m sure…” Oh you guys, you’ll just have to see where this series goes X3 Also, you will learn from reading this that Corellian food is awesome food. At least, it sounds like it. I have no idea what a Zoochberry pie tastes like, yet I seriously want to eat it. Well, it could be for the fact that as I write this I’m getting the munchies myself, but props to the Davids’ ability to describe stuff awesomely! I love it when we have moments like these in the SW Galaxy… when characters are chill and enjoying life… eating with friends, sharing dreams, laughing and crying together, celebrating victories… annnnddd then… there might have been a bomb on Luke’s ship right before he left and it might’ve nearly killed him. That’s part of the reason I love those moments so much — because they don’t usually last too too long before get back into the “Wars” part of Star Wars. But Luke wasn’t too worse for the wear –except that his robotic hand was toast. So with Luke injured and minus a Y-wing, Han put his housework aside to help his friend. #FriendshipComesFirst
Also you’ll learn from reading this that kowakian lizard-monkeys have nine lives. Now you know a SW factoid most people probably don’t know! Now, Luke was almost gundark-ear-pulling-well when he had a vision that would alter the course of this entire series. One minute he was flying over the Yavin rainforest, the next thing he knew, the forest was on fire. Freaky, I know. By the time he got to the ground, he found himself at an ancient stone wall with a tubular transport. And Obi-Wan was there! And as you know, when Obi-Wan shows up in Spirit form to Luke, it’s kinda important. Ben briefly lets him know that this transport leads to the Lost City of The Jedi, and that there’s someone down there Luke needs to meet, and also he gives Luke a soon-to-be-useful code. And that’s when Luke woke up. He grabbed his airspeeder, trusted in the Force, and started looking for this mysterious city. ‘Cause bro, you do NOT question Master Kenobi, especially when he left his Force Spirit Realm game of canasta to tell you something like this (Uh… I have some weird theories on what passed-on folks do in the Force Spirit Realm…).
Meanwhile, we turn our attention to someone new… in the very place Ben made mention of, there was a tween boy named Ken…
Ken was having the morning most twelve-year-old boys do,
1. His pet waking him up earlier than he would’ve liked (except most kids on our planet don’t own mookas like Zeebo; if you do, you are awesome)
2. Getting out his schoolbooks (except that it’s more like a digital tablet; ironically those would exist in our world twenty years after this book was written)
3. Keeping an eye out for his snoopy Homework Correction Droid, HC-100, who kinda just grades what he sees (OK, I admit, that’s not quite normal…)
4. Planning his secret journey to the big world above the Lost City (Also not normal for most)
5. Getting cleaned up and dressed for the day ahead… with help from his droid buddy Chip (Oh don’t we WISH this was normal…)
6. And getting into trouble with one’s teachers (Though it is a different situation when your teachers are droids)
Now, Ken is one of my favorite EU characters. He’s seemingly just an ordinary kid living in an extraordinary world. The illustration of Ken in his room is a lot of fun to look at… it has a SW-ish-looking PC, a modular wall unit, bookshelves with actual hardbacks, and my favorite, I kid you not, SW action figures and vehicles! He’s got a little X-wing and a little TIE fighter and a little Millenium Falcon and a miniscule Darth Vader, Jabba The Hutt, and what looks to be a Boba Fett, even! (‘Cause duh, everyone loves Boba…) I have no idea where he got them from… perhaps they were for educational purposes, so history could “come to life” (even if that history was like, a couple months ago). Or maybe he made them. Though the vehicles were probably model kits or the SW equivalent of Hot Wheels; no matter the planet, we like collecting cool vehicles! 🙂
Anyway, one thing that makes Ken really cool is that he’s sort of a reflection of young, Episode-I-era Anakin and the dreamer and adventure-seeker that Luke was back in Episode IV. He’s probably like a lot of us would be if we stepped into the SW Universe, meeting our Rebel Heroes and actually joining the Alliance. And he has a mysterious past that will be slowly uncovered piece by piece, chapter by chapter, in this series. Also, I find it cool that he’s into the color silver; from his silver attire to the mysterious silver pendant around his neck (which just might be a key to his past). Ken seriously wants to see the world beyond the City, but the droids are practically singing Mother Knows Best from Disney’s Tangled at every turn (“Bounty hunters! The Empire! Men with pointy teeth!” 😆 #DisneyReferences). And that is why Ken just happened to have found the secret code that will activate the tubular transport to his Topworld freedom. Though you can understand why the droids are a tad overprotective of him… he’s a descendant of Jedi royalty; a Jedi Prince. Also he knows a lot of classified info from that ancient Jedi library… that too. I know what you’re thinking… Jedi ROYALTY?? I have a theory or two on that and how it could be canon, but I’ll tell you later when we’ve read through the series some more. So back to Ken’s plight: the droids know about his origins, but they aren’t telling. Not yet anyway. We feel you, Ken bro… and that’s why we’re excited for him as he steps into that elevator-esque transport tube.
On the other side of the galaxy, Trioculus and his little gang of Imperials were headed out to get the new Emperor his dark blessing from Supreme Dark Side Prophet Kadann. Everything oughta go as planned, after all, Trioculus has Vader’s glove now, and that’s what Kadann had said the new Emperor would have. But until then, everyone’s all like “Why should we work with you? Why should we allign ourselves with you? Why should we even remotely trust you? I don’t think you’re really Palpatine’s little boy…” Trioculus isn’t too happy. Especially considering he really ISN’T Palpatine’s son. Which also may be a problem considering no one’s ever lied to Kadann and survived. Ugh… have you noticed that 99% of the time, SW bad guys are always at the mercy of someone a million times badder than they are? You have to wonder how Sidious and Kadann managed to get to the point that their word was always the final word.
So when we last left Luke, he was zooming over the forests, madly looking for that Lost City. And by the time we got back to him, he was still doing just that; letting the Force be his pilot. And suddenly he found that the Force had led him to the feet of an ancient Temple. Which then led him to meeting a curious guy named Baji. Nine feet tall, green, speaks solely in rhyme, good with plants and natural remedies, a Ho’Din healer. Which, in turn, led Luke to meeting Ken and his wasn’t-really-supposed-to-have-joined-him droid Chip. And once Ken knows who he’s talking to, the great and awesome Commander Skywalker, Ken’s head practically explodes in the awesomeness of the moment. “OHHH MYYY GOSH YOU’RE LUKE SKYWALKER!!! APPRENTICE UNDER MASTERS KENOBI AND YODA, SON OF ANAKIN SKYWALKER, BROTHER OF PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA!!!” Dang man, the kid paid attention in his classes. But the two barely have time to exchange life stories before he showed up. Ken’s droid teacher, DJ-88. Somebody’s in trooooooooubllllle…
And after a brief scolding, Dee-Jay, with Ken and Chip, makes a quick smoke-shielded getaway. And Luke has realized that Ken would be able to help him find the Lost City, but they’ve vanished into thin air… oh, nuts.
Back to Trioculus, who’d just arrived at Space Station Scardia. We get a chance to now meet this Kadann we’ve heard so much about. You know that whole thing about “size matters not”? That definitely applies to the Supreme Prophet; he’s super-short, but super-nasty. He drinks gross, boiling tea made from Endor tree bark for his first future-foreseeing method, but otherwise just hires spies, and sometimes uses the same spies to make the prediction happen. And yet the Empire listens to this loony bird? And they actually care what he thinks? Well, if he can hire spies to kill you, then I can sort of understand why.
So how did the meeting with Kadann go? Eh… not so well at first. Kadann pretty much knew from the get-go that Trioculus is a faker as far as his daddy is concerned. Apparently, Trioculus didn’t get the memo that Triclops, the real heir, has one of his three eyes on the back of his head. And just because Trioculus hung out on Kessel didn’t mean he was the Imperial royal son either — Triclops was a slave, Trioculus a slavelord. Grand Moff Hissa (friends call him “Troff”, believe it or not) pleaded the case that Triclops would’ve doomed everyone in the Galaxy if he’d been allowed to sit in the big chair like his dad, so having a fakey was a good thing. And once Trioculus showed off his lovely glove, Kadann was pretty cool with it and gave him his dark blessing. But also a warning… that there was a certain Jedi Prince who’d spell his doom if Trioculus didn’t get to him first. So after spending the entirety of the first book trying to get the glove, now he was off to find the Lost City of The Jedi. And all the while, something’s messing with his vision. But ignoring that, he decides to send the good guys a message that could help him find what he’s looking for.
The SPIN meeting didn’t get started for a bit since Luke was out looking for Ken… again. Han and Leia are a little worried about his sudden weirdness about this so-called “Lost City”. And just then, Trioculus’s probe droid crashed the SPIN party. Ironically, the meeting was on these new probe droids. So now, the new Emperor could let everyone know what he wanted. With Han and Luke unable to take the probe down, everything was going according to plan… and then he saw Leia. He’s completely stunned by this Rebel girl. Unwilling to bend to the Empire or not, Trioculus has himself a not-so-cute crush on the Princess. And then back to reality: Luke was about to make quick work of the probe droid, and Trioculus still had some questions to ask (and then he’d sorta vowed to Kadann that he’d kill Luke) But despite he asked nicely and was going to use the probe to blow up the Alliance Senate, Luke was able to hone in on his Jedi abilities and knocked the thing in two right before it self-destructed. Time for Trioculus’ Plan B… burn the forests until the Lost City is in plain sight. With an armada of Treaded Neutron Torches shooting their firey neutron blasts, nothing could possibly go wrong for the seriously-bad bad guy… except, of course, for his suddenly going blind. So he had intentions to get ahold of a certain Ho’Din who had no intention of helping an Imperial: Baji.
Meanwhile, Ken had snuck out Topworld again, at least to retrieve his digital notebook that he’d lost last time he was here. He ran into Baji again, who’d actually found it and had held onto it for him. Watching the flames rising in the distance, both the Ho’Din and the Prince went their separate ways. Right before stormtroopers captured Baji to heal the strangely blinded Emperor. And Ken saw the whole thing.
Turns out that the glove was at fault, or at least, the fakey Force-Choking and Force Lightning abilities, were. The controls were messing with his nerves and didn’t do his eyes too much good. So once Trioculus took off the glove, his sight began to return… and so was revealed a disgustingly withered hand (the illustration is just wonderful NOT). Yeah, all in all, Baji was just restating the obvious in his diagnosis. The Ho’Din prescribes rare kibo seeds, right before making mention of the fact that Trioculus kinda commanded his stormtroopers to BURN THE FORESTS which would include the kibo flowers HE NEEDS TO MAINTAIN HIS EYESIGHT!!! He’s like “…Uh… I gotta go. BRB!” and he runs into Baji’s burning hut to grab his stash of seeds and let’s just say the guy makes it out, but doesn’t look too pretty.
But thankfully, the forest fire didn’t go unseen, the Alliance headed out to put out the fires and take down Trioculus’ base. Something that didn’t happen too easily as the Falcon took a nasty hit from a neutron fireball. But just when Luke and Han needed it, Ken and Dee-Jay were there, with an escape route to the Lost City in mind. And yeah, Ken nerded out meeting Captain Solo just as much as he did Luke 😀 But the trip to the Lost City was more than just a quick escape: it was a way to save the forests! I won’t fully explain it here, but the only reason this moon isn’t frigid and lifeless is because of the ancient Jedi who found a way to manipulate the weather with advanced technology. And all that has to be done is to kick up the rainy season! Without the code from Obi-Wan that Luke had remembered, the device wouldn’t have worked. Thanks to our heroes, the fires went out, and Yavin Four’s rainforests would have the chance to grow new life once more.
Like say, Trioculus wasn’t happy. He also lost his good looks in all that fire. Not to mention that had only, like, one ship that hadn’t been blown to smithereens by the Rebels. He made a few last requests as he and his team headed off: a) An imitation Vader glove, b) to lay waste to SPIN, and c) to let the lovely Leia live.
But on a happier note, Ken was now allowed to leave the Lost City for good, and to join the Rebel Alliance. Giving fond farewells to Dee-Jay and HC, Ken and Chip were about to take their first step into truly a much-larger world. And thus begins even more adventures with our familiar Rebel friends and this young Prince with a mysterious past.
So, wow! What an awesome book, am I right? Seriously, the Davids are so talented at writing SW stories! And this is only book #2, the story’s far from over, and I’m glad I could share it with you this wonderful Star Wars Reads Day. Hopefully it won’t be long before we dig into the next chapter in this series, but until then, I hope this made your SWRD a little more delightful!
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight