SW Summer Reads: The Rebels Novelizations, Part 1

It’s time again for some Star Wars Summer Reads! Or I guess Summer-ish Reads for some of you guys. Anyway, the first Star Wars novel I ever read was a Clone Wars novelization compilation called Grievous Attacks. It was a really fun experience and a great introduction to SW books, so I decided it’d be fun to revisit some classic Rebels season one episodes in junior novel form! Let’s talk about Michael Kogge’s takes on Machine In The Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement, Property Of Ezra Bridger, Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and Rise Of The Old Masters!

I honestly forgot until I read these how fun novelizations can be. You get to dive further into the story you’ve seen on-screen, learning more little things about the SW galaxy, as well as the chance to delve into what’s going on inside the characters’ heads. Mr. Kogge did an excellent job at this, especially inside of Rise Of The Rebels, the shorts compilation. He writes a lot of depth into these already-deep little stories as we explore different perspectives (like those of Chopper or a stormtrooper), and even adds some nice new lines and moments that compliment the source material rather than overcrowding it.

Droids In Distress was a very well done compilation as well, though Spark Of Rebellion suffered a little. But I’m not really complaining; it can’t be easy trying to fit a richly-written 44-minute episode in less than fifty pages! So due to the format, Mr. Kogge was forced to skip over some of the best lines and rush much of the story. But the following novelizations were near-perfection!

Both compilations have hiccups in story compared to the actual episode, but most likely that’s because these were written before the episodes were completed. Doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed them, though! Of course, half the fun for me was just revisiting these great early episodes! The other half, well… I’ll let you in on a secret: ever since Grievous Attacks, I read all SW books out loud to myself. I just can’t pass up an opportunity to practice my character impressions! I found out reading these that I do a pretty mean Grand Inquisitor 😀

Anyway, if you love SWR and want to explore these stories from a new angle, I totally recommend. And they’re definitely great if you’re new to Star Wars books and need a light, easy introduction. Plus, the Sabine-like graffiti artwork dispersed throughout the books is an epic bonus 🙂

Now, for the fangirl-musings commentary portion of the post.

Contains spoilers from the original Rebels shorts and episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and some important elements from the seasons beyond.

– Apparently “understatement” is a distinctly twi’lek sort of humor? I must be part twi’lek then.
– I really appreciate also that they simplify some of the technical terms a little bit. Definitely the difference between a potential first-timer’s SW story and something intensely detailed for the long-timer like Tarkin. But it’s still not oversimplified, it’s just right and makes for a pretty easy read.
– Kanan, master of a thousand one-liners. True dat.
– Considering how much they argue in this short, I might not’ve guessed that Hera was actually worried about her copilot for a moment. Awwz #feels.
– We actually get a chance to get inside Chopper’s dome in this book! Some seriously funny stuff here. Now give this hard-working little droid an oil bath already!
– This book seems to imply that Chopper’s exact “words” couldn’t be understood by organics. Always Two There Are confirmed for me that “droid” is a language you can learn. I originally thought that this fact was just something I missed in the other films and shows, but this seems to mean I wasn’t the only one who was unclear on the do-people-actually-understand-astromechs-or-are-they-just-assuming-what-they’re-saying-like-when-people-talk-to-their-pets situation. Or maybe Chopper’s comment is true, and though you can learn basic astromech, a sentient being will never understand the fine details. Knowing Chop’s ‘tude, perhaps this is a good thing…
– Apparently Ryloth is known for their firework shows. I could see that.
– Chopper has good relations with the Phantom, while the Ghost tends to be pretty rude with him. Things only ‘mechs know!
– “A thousand thousand worlds sparkled in the night sky above the capital city of Lothal.” I absolutely love how Mr. Kogge writes for Sabine. He captures so well her fiercely artistic mindset with heavily poetic descriptions. I can’t help but be a little bummed they didn’t make more of these novelizations.
– Sabine has heard the tales of Boba Fett! I still almost can’t believe we never got to see them in a face-off, but I suppose the writers knew that would be far too easy and more of a what-the-fans-want than a what-the-series-needs. But I suppose there’s nothing to say it still couldn’t happen…
– I really hope TK-626’s number was a Lilo And Stitch reference.
– The idea of the Empire specifically recruiting known bullies as Imperial Cadets at first sounded a little too obvious, but then again, remember Oleg? Frankly, I can imagine a lot of storms might’ve been ne’er-do-wells in grade school. Perhaps it’s not what the Empire is looking for alone, but it doesn’t hurt…
– “Artists were almost as bad as rebels. They could draw, paint, and create things he couldn’t. And for that, they deserved to be crushed.” Oh you guys, I think I figured out why TK-626 was a bully. THIS POOR STORMTROOPER CHILD!! I actually feel really bad for him! Thank you Mr. Kogge for helping me consider the human inside the inhuman white armor.
– I think it’s neat that Mr. Kogge paints (so to speak) Sabine as an artist first and a warrior second. Sometimes it’s easy for me to think vice versa, considering her warrior Mandalorian heritage, but when you think about her close relationship with her artistic dad, and consider the life she maybe knew before the Imperial Academy and then the mini-Alliance, it makes sense that art is her first love, and what she wants to do for a living once the war is over. Maybe once she gets Ezra back home, she’ll finally get her chance 🙂
– Apparently, Zeb isn’t all that fond of his nickname. There’s a certain way his people roll their Rs in the lasat language that most just can’t match. I like this angle. I wonder if this is a fact decided upon by the Story Group or an early assumption Mr. Kogge made. It certainly is a fascinating idea! I didn’t know they spoke anything beside Basic! Well aside from the ancient chants, but maybe that should’ve clued me in.
– Imperials don’t know many languages beyond Basic. Didn’t know that, but makes sense in retrospect.
Whoa I didn’t remember the stormtroopers being that mean to the salesnaught. All the more reason Zeb is one noble dude.
– We learn reading this that Zeb isn’t fond of ugnaughts or astromechs, but all the same, he can’t turn a blind eye to their troubles. It makes this already-amazing little story even more meaningful. AHHH SO SO NOBLE :3
– The Empire made slaves of the lasat? My first reaction was “THAT’S NOT ACCURATE! THEY WERE KILLED OFF!“, buuuuuut what if slavery was where it started? Something to consider, anyway. But I gotta say, it’s hard to imagine lasat being good slaves. The wookiees don’t work well under Kessel heat, making them less of a threat, but I imagine that wasn’t as much of a problem for the less-fuzzy-but-still-deadly lasat…
– “My old gran’s a better fighter, and she’s only two meters tall!” Pfft that’s a good one, Zeb. Wonder if this was purely Mr. Kogge’s clever writing or an unused line they recorded. But they actually elaborate further on Granny Orrelios, saying she’d lived for “three hundred dust seasons” (I’m assuming that’s 75 earth years, depending how long a dust season lasts and how many seasons they have). This is the first time we’ve ever heard of any family Zeb had, and it makes me super happy to know an inkling of his personal life before the Empire.
– I love the idea Ezra’s already had a few moments where the Force came into play before he finds himself avoiding TIE fighter fire. It makes sense, and kind of makes you wonder what adventures (and misadventures) he might’ve had on the streets of Lothal.
– Interesting that Ezra’s pretty willing to take any sort of reward, even an Imperial rescue! But hey creds are creds. Perhaps it’s this pilot’s snobbiness that drives Ez to decide to just rescue the helmet instead…
– Considering not long from now Ezra’s back to stealing food, I guess those parts didn’t get him as much cash as he hoped. Or they were stolen. Or maybe food on Lothal these days just costs a lot.
– “A sitting hawk-bat“… could that also be comparable to a lothbat?
– The second book has cool alternate episode titles: “Ezra’s Story”, “Disrupted”, and “Old Masters”.
– Sabine was drinking blue milk?? Obviously I haven’t been paying attention. Or that maybe that’s because her cup wasn’t a clear glass. Question: if blue milk is from banthas (which I’ve been led to believe), since banthas don’t live on Lothal (that we’ve seen), does that mean the Rebs are getting their food supplies from offworld? That makes sense enough. Guess I didn’t need to waste a whole paragraph on it…
– You know, unless my memory fails me, I thought the Rebels merely rescued the wookiees on Lothal before their were transferred to Kessel. I was pretty sure after seeing the hopeless world in Solo that my assumptions were for sure right. This novelization says they actually went to Kessel. I’m starting to think these books were written before the shorts and episodes were completed. That must’ve been confusing to do.
– I’ve never heard of a silverback wookiee before, but that’s a neat concept!
– I’ve always wondered what a nerf sounded like. Apparently they’re a lot like Amda Wabo…
– “Chopper recognized the astromech’s response as typical of the new R2 series. Compassion was the biggest flaw in their programming.” Suuuuure Chop, it’s a thing about their programming! ‘Cause we know you certainly don’t have a soft side!
– Also if he considers him a new R2, then how old does that makes Chopper? Well, I’m not saying he’s old, but I think I once saw a droid that looked like him in a trailer for KotOR. *Chopper soundly zaps me for the bad joke*
– In Chopper’s words, he’s only “a few decades past his expiry date”. But he knows there are far older droids than him.
– It’s rather unusual seeing Threepio and Artoo’s roles in this story flipped, with Threeps a little more confident and Artooie a little less than happy. But an interesting twist for a story I already know well.
– Knowing that Zeb had been having horrific nightmares when he shut Ezra out of their room… even though I’ve watched this episode seven times, and though I know his story doesn’t end here, I can feel his pain as strongly as ever.
– I love the creepy last line Kallus gets in as he’s about to strike down Zeb…
– But more so, I love the way Mr. Kogge describes the Force throughout these novelizations. He makes it feel very tactical, very real, this undeniable spark!

I don’t know about you, but I had a ball reading these. I’ll be taking next week off for my birthday, but after that, you should expect some more Star Wars Reads posts to arrive!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Advertisements

Rebel Transmissions: Spark Of Rebellion

Welcome my friends to the maiden voyage of what I’m calling Rebel Transmissions (you have to say it in a cool radio voice whenever you read it out loud). As you may have guessed, this is basically a fancy name for my closer look posts on the episodes to come of Star Wars Rebels. And uh yeah I’m pretty much hopelessly obsessed with the show now. Sooo anyway, we’re about to dig into the exciting new world of the Ghost crew in the show’s fantastic pilot! Get on board and buckle up as the first Rebel Transmission hits the airwaves!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III and the Rebels episode Spark Of Rebellion.

Rebel Transmission 101 Title Image

Soooo it was an ordinary day on Lothal… and then oh look, an Imperial Star Destroyer. And guess who they flew right over? An old communication tower where lives a kid named Ezra Bridger. Ah yes! It doesn’t take long for Rebels to pull you in, for sure. Honestly I can’t really put this opening into words that would do any justice to it… but give me a break! It’s the first episode, people! Of the first Star Wars anything I’ve gotten to be a part of since its beginning! I was a late bloomer in the SW fandom… saw the Originals about thirty years after they came out, the Prequels between five and eleven years post their release, the Clone Wars three years after they debuted… it’s a huge deal right now to be coming alongside a new chapter in the Star Wars galaxy as it happens. So if any of this blog comes off bumpy and off-kilter, pleeeease understand that I’m having trouble not nerding out entirely. But yeah, anyway, returning to the episode…
It’s a crazy thing to think about… going about your business in the town square while TIE fighters fly overhead. If the massive Star Destroyer didn’t already make you keenly aware of what a big deal the Imperials are right now, then those TIEs definitely do. It’s also crazy thinking that Stormtroopers could come along and crash your party whenever they want. One minute this poor old Gothal was making some spare cash and the next thing he knows he’s being arrested for treason. Unfair. And these Imperials just don’t care! Jerk Imperial #1 just takes a bite out of the guy’s fruit and is all “Yeahhh and what are you gonna do about it? We’re the Empire and you’re not!”. And everyone else in the vicinity is kinda too scared to get involved. But enter Ezra: riffraff, street rat, scoundrel… you’ll love him. He’s in and out before you know it — snatching up Jerk Imperial #2’s comlink without anyone noticing. And thens comes in a call to one of the Imperials and they have to ditch the “traitor” for an emergency. And ugh Jerk Imperial #1 still leaves his mark on the oldster by throwing his fruit basket back on him; honestly, it’s often the little things the Imperials do that really makes my blood boil. But surprise… Ezra’s doesn’t just have sticky fingers, but he’s also a master of imitating Imperials, as the Gothal looks up and sees the kid on the other end of the com. Andddd then Ezra kinda ruins his short-lived good guy streak and nabs a few fruits. But hey, he only steals what he can’t afford! Ah I’m sorry but seriously Aladdin and Ezra are almost the same person… both thieves with a heart of gold who find themselves suddenly in the midst of something much larger. And a bit akin to the other “street rat”, Ezra makes his exit climbing atop the buildings, catching a glimpse at the confused Imperials while he’s at it. But then our hero’s attention is mysteriously drawn to a figure in the streets. And that someone kinda picks up on it too, but moves along anyway. Methinks something Force-y is going on here. That “someone”, is who we know as Kanan Jarrus, at the moment, though, Ezra just knows him as some dude in the crowd. But as Ezra keeps watching, it starts becoming clear that something’s up as Kanan exchanges a signal with another guy (that would be Zeb) and Zeb exchanges that signal with a girl (that would be Sabine) and then Sabine in turn casually blows up a ‘trooper’s ride. The Imperials freak out and make a point to get their cargo to safety asap, and Ezra takes that as a hint something valuable might happen to be in those crates. Needless to say, things are about to get craaaaazyyy…!
Once the ‘troopers come out, Kanan and Zeb show up. Kanan handles that blaster of his like a boss, and Zeb gives them a taste of his awesome Lasat strength. And their combined awesome makes them come out on top pretty quickly. Of course, neither of them expected this street kid to “borrow” the Imperials’ speeder… and the crates with it. This plan didn’t call for any chase scenes, but now Kanan and Zeb are on the move. Hehe is it wrong I love watching these guys plow over the Stormtroopers with their cargo-laden speeders? Those white-armored guys go down like dominoes! XD
But guess who was one jump ahead of Ezra’s perfectly executed steal? Sabine. The Mando girl made a perfect landing on his boxed loot and made an expert blasting off of one of the crates, but not without wishing him luck first. Yeahh he’ll need a lot of luck if he’s going to outrun these two. The chase leads them through more ‘troopers, through town, and onto the highway. And that in turn attracts a couple of “traffic cop” ‘troopers who start shooting. So now Kanan and Zeb have yet another problem, trying to get the “cops” off their tails while trying to catch up with the kid. And one of those troopers’ blasterfire hits Ezra’s speeder and now he’s trying to keep it under control while accidentally navigating on a one-way highway. Zeb finally has to pull out his electric prod like-what-magnaguards-use thing and give to the traffictrooper the old-fashioned way. And Kanan hands over a nice shiny explosive to the other one. So now, Kanan drops his cargo over to Zeb to focus on getting the last crate from Ezra. Zeb does not entirely approve. Ahhh I love how his ears add to his emotive abilities! Hehe sorry.
So after jumping the divider, Kanan finally gets in front of Ezra and forces the kid to pull over. They have a brief conversation that really doesn’t get either of them anywhere. And Ezra’s gone again! Our young friend clearly sees this whole thing as just two robberies plain and simple, so he’s not making Kanan’s job any easier. Andddd to top it off there’s a TIE fighter and it blows the guy’s speeder to smithereens. Thankfully, Master Jarrus has another ride on the way…
Meanwhiles, Ezra didn’t really make as clean a getaway as he’d hoped; driving out into the fields, a TIE fighter started coming after him. And it squarely hit his speeder and threw him off. That TIE probably would’ve got him too had not a ship taken aim at the TIE first. And on that ship stands Kanan, offering a ride. Considering the fact that a bunch of TIEs are coming up behind, any reluctance Ezra has is pretty much gone. And he makes quite a fantastic jump, all the while keeping a hold on that last crate. And it’s a jump that likely only a Jedi could’ve made. Interesting…
But if Kanan’s even a little impressed, he sorta forgets that as soon as Ezra starts nosing around the lovely expensive weaponry in that crate. And then Zeb starts going off on him and Ezra returns the argument and Kanan has to do a little intervening… anddd then he has to head topside to do some co-piloting, leaving young Bridger in the somewhat capable hands of Zeb and Sabine… yeah I don’t know if that was the best “parenting” there…
So now we finally get to meet Hera and Chopper, who are doing all the flying and naturally trying to avoid getting blown up by them TIEs. Hera’s all “Sooo how’d it go?” and Kanan’s all “It’s been one crazy morning…”. I could very easily see him getting a cup of coffee right now, of course with the Ghost having to manuever like it does, hot coffee in the lap would not be a pleasant addition to get slammed around in the cockpit XD So once he finally gets situated, he explains to Hera exactly what went down, as she continues dodging the Imperials gaining behind.
So it takes Ezra about two seconds to start getting on Zeb’s goat again. And it took about a minute before Zeb threw Ezra into a closet. Hey once you start talking smack about how he smells, you can expect nothing more than getting thrown into something! And by the time Kanan checked in with them… Ezra’s made a little escape from said closet. Zeb’s expression of “aw dang I’m so busted” is absolutely priceless. What they know only shortly after is that our little friend’s in the vents now. But only until he falls through and finds himself in a cockpit with a big ol’ window. And through that window is the gloriousness that is outer space. Ezra’s mind is officially blown. And who wouldn’t be? This moment is seriously amazingly amazing. And then along came the TIE fighters. Ezra’s response is so so so hilarious I could do it no justice redescribing it here 😆 But then Sabine shows up and shoves him out of the seat so she can, you know, fire back at the bad guys. Ezra might’ve had something to say, but thennnn she took her helmet off and it turns out, she’s kinda sorta really pretty, and he’s momentarily at a loss for words. So he picks that moment to throw on the charm… “hey my name’s Ezra, what’s yours?” and Sabine’s all *eyeroll* XD Oh, and then Zeb comes in, not looking too happy, but all the craziness comes to somewhat of a halt as our heroes fry the TIEs and the Ghost heads off into hyperspace. Victory!
Meanwhile, the Empire’s got a lot of cleaning up to do on Lothal. And that’s where Agent Kallus stands assuring Jerk Imperial #2 that their guard’ll be up the next time these renegades show their faces. It’s pretty clear that Kallus likes everything his way and definitely doesn’t like “rebel” sorts. And he has awesome sideburns, but that’s aside the point. Kallus means business, peeps. BUSINESS.
Back to the Ghost crew, Ezra is pretty intent on heading back home, and Hera and the crew intend to take him back home, once their work for the day is done. And today, their work takes them back to Lothal, but not to the in-decent-shape-considering-all-things city that Ezra calls home, but pretty much a dump of a community nicknamed Tarkin Town, where the residents seriously lost everything they had to the Empire. But now here come Zeb, Sabine, and Ezra, bringing crates full of food to the misfortunate people, and we start to see maybe the smallest hint of change in Bridger’s view on things. On the other side of town, Kanan and Hera brought over the crates of weapons to their um… friend, I guess(?), Vizago. The guy is clearly not in the business of being a decent “human being”, but he gets some points for giving them credits for the weapons, and perhaps some dirt on the Empire. Such as the fact that they’ve captured a bunch of Wookiees who are all headed for a life of slavery. Sounds like our rebel friends know their next move.
So Ezra had a lot to think about regarding this very new and unusual perspective called “helping others just to help others”. He was sitting outside the Ghost, just thinking, and then suddenly the Force starts talking to him again. He makes a point to listen and follows it back into the ship. Where it ultimately leads him to Kanan’s quarters. After a bit of lock-picking and nosing around, he happens to find two veryy interesting things… a strange little cube that we know as a holocron (but of course he takes it anyway, not knowing what it is) and a lightsaber. A glorious blue-bladed lightsaber. Such a rare sight in this day and age, and for a street kid like him! And then Kanan came in. Busted. I love his first response to Ezra… “careful, you’ll cut your arm off.” yeah that happens a lot don’t it? And Chopper looks to be laughing his bucket-dome off; either that or he’s questioning the kid’s sanity. Ezra’s all “Well… would it be entirely crazy if I told you that it sorta called me?” and Kanan’s like “Yeah. It’s entirely crazy. Get out.” and thus Ezra gave him back the lightsaber and left the room… still holding the holocron in hand. But clearly Kanan and Hera know more than what they’re letting on…
So Ezra casually walked back to the kitchen (seriously I love that this ship has a kitchen of sorts) where he found Sabine getting a drink, and they started talking. First in finding they have common ground where their whole “following the rules” thing stands, but that turns into a whole conversation as Sabine starts explaining a little of who the five of them are… a small, somewhat mismatched family of a crew, all in some way hurt by the Empire, and all trying to fight for the right thing. She was about to ask for some of Ezra’s backstory, but Zeb dropped in, letting Sabine know that Kanan had called a meeting. And he (perhaps not so) wisely put Chopper in charge of keeping an eye on the boy. But before she left, Sabine finally answered his question from earlier and gave him her name. Ezra gives this slightly goofy smile back and was about to follow her and thennn he rammed right into Chopper XD XD OK I have no clue whether this’ll go anywhere, but I rather adore the prospect of these two together. Just the fact that they’re striking up a real friendship right now is a wonderful thing. Whether or not “Sabezra” is to be the case anytime soon is unknown, but where they stand now gives them a good chance at least 🙂 But in the here and now, Chopper just grumps off at Ezra, either saying “You couldn’tve watched where you were going, could ya?” or “Dude, you know you a guy like you and a girl like her have like zero chance right?” and Ezra just shoots the little droid a look.
So in their “family room” of sorts, Kanan and Hera caught Sabine and Zeb up to speed on the Wookiee situation and start making a plan to rescue them… and then they find Ezra listening in on their discussion in the closet. He tries to duck back in through the vents but this time Zeb yanks him out and dumps him back on the ground. Chopper comes in and he’s all “Before anyone blames me, he snuck through the vents and I’m short, so that’s no one’s fault but yours!”. Zeb’s pretty much done dealing with Ezra’s junk and is all “Can we pleeeease get rid of him now?”. Sabine seemingly took Ezra’s side on this, but well… “No we can’t, he knows too much”. Hera calms the waters, restating that they don’t have time to worry about him, and she decides to take the kid with her to the cockpit to keep an eye on him.
In the cockpit, Ezra comments that he can’t imagine why these guys go around taking on the Empire to help others, but Hera makes her point in the best way possible and kinda shuts up Ezra without having to say much at all. As they come out of hyperspace, they drop by an Imperial station. Naturally they want to know what’s up and Hera pulls of this genius cover story of having captured another Wookiee. Ezra keeps shooting her these looks that say “You can’t be serious! It’s not going to work!”, but it totally does. Hera: 2, Ezra: 0.
And thenn come aboard the Stormtroopers. Who were expecting a Wookiee and got a Lasat instead (well, he would’ve been one if they’d used the older McQuarrie designs, but not the point). Kanan and Sabine play it cool, but I just can’t help but adore Zeb’s complete and utter awkward Wookiee impersonation, and he’s clearly aware of the awkwardness of it all. And then he gives up and slams the two ‘troopers with his fist. Onward our heroes go, but only after the three have left does Hera realize that their communication’s been jammed. And then in came a Star Destroyer. It’s clear to Ezra and Hera pretty quickly that it’s a setup. Hera tells him to follow the three onboard the transport and warn them. And yeahhh Ezra didn’t like that plan so much at first, but Hera knows how to convince. I love how awesomely she makes her point, “if all you do is fight for your own life then your life is worth nothing.” BOOM. She needs to keep at the ship’s controls, and Ezra right now is their only hope. And even though Ezra’s still not too keen on risking his life for people he doesn’t know… he makes a dash after our heroes all the same. That is one of those moments where you can’t help but get up and cheer, as Ezra’s finally starting to make the right choices and understand the weight of what these rebels are doing. Go and save them Ezra! Go!
So Kanan and Zeb were just doing their thing and slapping detanators where they need to go when Ezra comes running in, making Admiral Ackbar proud shouting “IT’S A TRAP!”. And just when things seemed to be going their way…! And then in case you still doubted him, enter in a bunch of Stormtroopers. And the boys make a run for it as Ezra gives the ‘troopers a taste of his laser-slingshot thing. As they continue running, Sabine and Chopper were elsewhere, working on temporarily disabling the artificial gravity, and before long, our heroes are airborne. And thus commences an awesome battle between Kallus and the Stormtroopers and our threesome with laserfire going this way and that! Oh, and then Sabine blanketed the control room with detanators, which will likely be an issue later. But just as all our heroes were out in the clear, Zeb’s frustrated shoving of Ezra sends the kid into the arms of Agent Kallus and his gang. And with no way seemingly to get a good shot at the baddies, Zeb runs off to rejoin the crew, leaving Ezra behind. And this is the part where we all go “NO WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING ZEB?!”.
The Ghost was off on its way with almost everyone on board, leaving the Imperials with a nice “goodbye” explosion, courtesy of Sabine. And Zeb is clearly feeling the weight of his split-second decision. I love how they were able to make us both partially mad at Zeb, but also made us hurt for him, knowing he really felt bad about leaving Ezra. By the time their all situated in the cockpit again, the crew starts to realize that someone’s missing. And our Lasat friend knows who. I love that Hera really and truly embraces her “mom” position in all of this and shouts out his full name… yup Zeb’s in trouble.
Meanwhile, Ezra was in the Imperial slammer. Funnn. And getting a talk from Agent Kallus himself. Ezra doesn’t make it easy on the guy, though, firing off a little snark where he can. Kallus tells him that they’re using Ezra as bait for the rebels. Young Bridger just shrugs, believing that the crew wouldn’t waste their time coming back for him. But Kallus…? Eh, who knows what he thinks. He’s not exactly an open book. He just struts out of that cell without another word and tells the ‘troopers to search him. And after all of that, the only thing Ezra still has is that weird little cube knickknack. Whilst questioning why he ever tried to help them, he pitches the holocron across the cell. In a moment of quiet though, Ezra finally just follows along with the Force. And like so many things, it’s not what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside that counts as that box proves to be more than what it seems… kinda like a familiar lamp (OK sorry no more Aladdin references). Because it’s, of course, a holocron, and in that is a recorded message from the one and only Obi-Wan Kenobi! The message he sent out to all the Jedi who survived Order 66 at the end of Episode III! Whoaaa!
Back on the Ghost, it looks like Hera is determined to head back to save their new friend. Zeb isn’t thrilled on the prospect whatsoever. Sabine knows that the Empire would be expecting them and doesn’t think it’s the safest move. But Chopper’s with Hera on the whole “saving Ezra” thing (or so Hera says…), and well, Kanan doesn’t have a lot of choice on the matter, I don’t think… Hera kinda wears the pants in the family 🙂
“Wait until my uncle the Emperor finds out that you’ve been holding me against my will! He won’t go easy on you!” Bwahahaha I’m sorry that’s the best ever XD But all that ranting Ezra was doing was actually a kickstarter for a clever escape. The ‘troopers come in, Bridger goes out, and the ‘troopers get locked in. Nicely done, Ezra! Nicely done. While he’s out there, retrieving his pack and stuff, he also borrows a spare ‘trooper helmet, and while it’s on, he hears a little more dish as he now knows exactly where the Imperials are picking up their Wookiees, as well as where they’ll be dropped off — the spice mines of Kessel. But then things get kinda crazy… one ‘trooper tells Kallus that Ezra escaped, Kallus doesn’t let him clarify that the kid escaped on his own and assumes the rebels came back, Ezra hears this and thinks that the crew did come back… well, good thing they actually are coming. Just a question of when. In the meantime, Ezra puts his voice-acting skills to use and uses the helmet to throw in some last-second thoughts on the situation, so maybe they’re won’t be quite as many Stormtroopers at the door when our heroes arrive.
Anddd it doesn’t take long for our heroes to arrive. Kanan, Zeb, and Sabine make a dash into to hangar, and suddenly there’s Ezra, making an exit from the vents, and wearing his helmet. And then Zeb socks a good one on him. He says it was because he couldn’t be sure it was him because of the helmet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was just all that bottled-up frustration with the kid. I mean, how many ‘troopers wear an old orange flightsuit?? Either way, good thing Ezra was wearing that “bucket”. Yikes does Zeb have a couple of fists on him! And then along came the Stormtroopers and Kallus once again. Our heroes make a dash for the ship, laserfire blazing left and right, and make it aboard just in time. Oh, and Sabine left them another surprise… a nice painting of what will be the icon of the Rebel Alliance on the floor of the hangar… painted with explosive paint. Yup now that is one of the coolest weapons I’ve ever seen 😀 Kallus lived, but he was none too happy.
So now cruising along through hyperspace, Ezra gives an awkward “thank you” to Hera for coming back. Hera’s making a point to take Ezra home to his family, but then he makes mention that he doesn’t have one. And Hera’s expression is just the most compassionate and caring at that moment, I could just cry, man… you can tell beyond a shadow of a doubt that her heart goes out to this kid. But then the rest of the crew gets situated in the cockpit and the moment’s kinda over. Ezra decides to tell them what heard about the Wookiees, and knowing what they know about Kessel, and what would happen to those Wookiees on Kessel, they have no time to lose. And Ezra is quite fine with joining along for the ride this time 🙂
So the next thing we know, we’re seeing a bunch of really sad Wookiees, and there are few things sadder than a bunch of really sad Wookiees. They’re just trying to do their good thing and now they’re headed off to the worst place everr. AND THERE’S A LITTLE ONE! AND HIS DAD! Ohhh good night, if your heart doesn’t hurt for these guys at least a little bit you can’t possibly have a heart. And then from above comes the Ghost! Hurray! So while the crew is exchanging laserfire with the Stormtroopers, Ezra sneaks off to go and help free the furry fellows. And once the “walking carpets” have their cuffs off, they start doing a little old-fashioned Stormtrooper bashing as well! But just when you think they’ve saved the day, enter the TIEs, working on blasting the Ghost. Hera sends Chopper to the guns to make quick work of the baddies, but only one goes down before enters in another, bigger Imperial ship, in which are our friend Kallus and his ‘trooper buddies. Yeesh the guy just doesn’t give up! And in the midst of the mess, the little Wookiee is still cuffed and is trying to best he can to keep out of harm’s way. His Dad goes after him, but only to be met by Stormtrooper blasters and is wounded. Zeb comes out to help him, but the little one’s now caught the attention of one of the ‘troopers. And in the midst of it, Ezra knows he’s got to do something. But at the moment things are continually getting crazier… our heroes are surrounded by bad guys and Hera can’t get to them safely. So Kanan has to do what he has to do… he does the incredibly awesome thing of walking right up to those ‘troopers and pulling out… oh yes… his LIGHTSABER. Ezra’s knocked for a loop, the Wookiees are in awe, even the Stormtroopers are like “Whoa that dude has a lightsaber! What the heck!”. Kallus is a bit unsure of his next move at first; I mean, yeah, he’s probably never even seen a real Jedi before this! Or maybe he has but either way, he just points the way for his gang to shoot. And naturally Kanan’s lightsaber does what it do as it deflects just about everything the Imperials throw at them 🙂 Zeb leads the rest of them and the Wookiees into the containment thing that Hera will pick them up in, and that’s where Ezra’s attention comes back to the little Wookiee, whose father is reluctant to leave behind. And now Ezra has to do what he has to do. Now Zeb is more than a little frustrated with this new dent in the plan, as he watches the kid run off after the Stormtrooper in pursuit of the little one. But Ezra does pretty darn awesome as he does an epic probably-Force-aided jump in front of the ‘trooper and takes aim with his slingshot, which quickly sends the unfortunate buckethead off the side of the bridge. But just as Ezra starts working to get the cuffs off of his little friend, along comes Agent Kallus. Kallus knows he’s got this. He just sorta takes a moment to talk some smack and then comments briefly on Ezra seemingly being a padawan. Ezra’s like “Psh no of course not!” and that’s when the Ghost showed up, with Kanan standing tall atop it, lightsaber unsheathed! And thus a well-aimed deflected laserblast hits Kallus on the shoulder and knocks him clean off the bridge. With that, off go our heroes and the Wookiees! Not before, of course, Kallus, still hanging on to the side of the bridge, gives them a dirty look. And then the ‘trooper from earlier still hanging below innocently asks “First Jedi you’ve ever seen, sir?” and Kallus slams his boot into the Stormtrooper’s head XD The perfect capper for this whole crazy battle, I’d say!
Aboard the ship, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when the Dad Wookiee reunited with his little one. Wookiee hugs are some of the best hugs :3 And it was all because of this diamond-in-the-rough street rat (andd there I go again with the Aladdin refs), who chose to do something entirely selfless in a moment of great peril. But now that their mission is over… Ezra’s going home, right? Just like they planned? Nobody seems thrilled about the prospect. Though Ezra does still managed to snatch Kanan’s lightsaber… again…
It’s sort of an awkward departure for everyone. D’aww Chopper’s actually waving goodbye! Zeb tries to lighten the mood, but doesn’t really pull it off the way he’d hoped. Ezra does give Kanan back his holocron before giving his final farewell. But that turns out to be a bigger deal than any one of them would’ve thought — Kanan takes one look and sees that this holocron… was opened. And as we TCW veterans know, only Jedi can do that 🙂
Ezra had finally gotten home into his control tower and was about to shelve his new lightsaber with the rest of his doodads, and then, just like that, Kanan shows up behind him. Filling the kid in on his quiet ponderings of the Force. Ezra now has a choice — to stay here and let the lightsaber gather dust, or join the Ghost crew and learn how to use that lightsaber, and learn what it means to be a Jedi.
Ezra made the right decision.
We close out on the words spoken fourteen years ago by Master Kenobi, as he encourages all the remaining Jedi to trust in the Force, and be ready to take on all the challenges they’re to be faced with. You can just hear in those words spoken the weight that must’ve been on Obi-Wan’s shoulders… I mean, he was putting this out just after he lost tons of good friends, his way of life, and his best friend/old padawan on top of that! But here he stands, even though only a virtual image, carrying on this small ounce of hope to all who hear him. And now, that small ounce of hope is being carried through two young Jedi who both have a lot to learn, and through their four amazing friends in the Ghost crew.
And thus begins a new, glorious chapter in the SW universe.
Oh yeah, and not to alarm you, but Agent Kallus happened to have let The Inquisitor know that he’d found a Jedi or two and so… yeah… that could be a problem later… o.o
So WOW what an episode! What an amazing show! What an amazing way to start this incredible series! And not a bad blog post overall, even if it did take me like four hours to do. So looks like I’ll be catching up with you guys again in a week to talk about the next episode! See ya then, fellow Rebels!

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

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

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