Champions of the Force (Jedi Academy #3)-Should You Read It?

latest (409×686)

Genre: Science-fiction

Rating: 4/5

Champions of the Force is the final volume in the Jedi Academy trilogy, following Jedi Search and Dark Apprentice. While the first book was pretty exciting, the second was a bit lacking. This book makes up for the lack in the second novel by far. 

With Luke in a coma, the Jedi apprentices struggle to find a way to bring him back. While they perceive Luke as defenseless, his Force ghost fights the evil Sith Force ghost of Exar Kun. Only one can see and hear Luke in his Force state: Jacen Solo, a mere toddler. While Exar Kun uses the forces of Yavin 4 to kill Luke’s physical body, little Jacen makes a stand to keep his uncle safe.

Meanwhile, Kyp still has the Sun Crusher and aims to save his brother and destroy any solar systems with planets with Empire loyalists. Han is the only person who might be able to get through to Kyp, but when he almost has the Jedi apprentice back on the good side, his trick to get him there angers Kyp even more.

The Maw instillation is officially being searched and taken by the New Republic force led by Wedge. They aim to gain the technology and resources that may be useful to them, and then destroy the Maw, but some of the scientists have escaped in the Death Star prototype!

On Kessel, Lando and Mara Jade are aiming to become business partners using the mines of Kessel for its glitterstim in more legal ways than Doole. Speaking of Doole, he is still a problem, having locked himself up in his own facility. Mara and Lando aim to get Doole out, but when the Death Star prototype shows up, they have a bigger problem at hand.  The scientists want to test their prototype on Kessel, but their practice round misses the planet and hits the moon instead, lucky for Mara and Lando.

Maw Instillation turns into a massive battle site where Kyp aims to use the Sun Crusher on it, the Death Star prototype returns to collect their research, and Admiral Daala, who narrowly escaped the scourge of the Sun Crusher, returns to destroy everything in the Maw, including all the New Republic citizens therein.

With Kyp’s quick thinking, the Death Star Prototype falls into the black hole cluster, and Daala manages to escape…AGAIN.

Back on Coruscant, Mon Mothma no longer hides her illness, and Leia is nominated as Chief of State. With the new Jedi, one may be able to heal Mon Mothma, who was poisoned by Furgan. Furgan, who escapes the Sun Crusher and aims to take Anakin Solo from his safe planet. Luckily, Winter has a number of massive tactics and defenses for herself and the infant until help arrives.

In this book, we learn a bit more about the different Jedi apprentices and some of their more unique abilities. It was a good conclusion to the trilogy and leaves a lot of open-ended things that will be explored in further novels, which is nice. We will see Daala again eventually, and we will get to learn a lot more about the Jedi apprentices in both I, Jedi, which takes place during the events of the Jedi Academy trilogy (from a different perspective), and Jedi Academy: Leviathan.

Overall, while the series has its high and low points and is not quite as good as the Thrawn Trilogy, it is still a great installment to the expanded universe and leaves the reader wanting to know more about Luke’s new Jedi apprentices, Han and Leia’s Jedi children, and the New Republic’s endeavors. Overall a wonderful addition to the Star Wars universe that any fan would enjoy!

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 15)

There are many, many comics in the world of Star Wars. The ones I have here vary in era, art, publication date, publisher, and style, but they are all interesting releases both to the old Expanded Universe as well as the new canon. They are listed in order based on the Battle of Yavin. Just remember, this is a highlight on a small fraction of a larger whole.

 

SWKotORV8

Knights of the Old Republic: Destroyer (3963 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Brian Ching, Bong Dazo, Ron Chan, et. al.

This is the eighth volume of the KotOR series of graphic novels. It contains “Masks,” “The Reaping” parts 1 and 2, and “Destroyer” parts 1 and 2. “Masks” is short and revolves around Malak, one of the Jedi Zayne and Jarael previously met in their adventures. Now he is recruiting for the war against the Mandalorians, but Zayne won’t go and he will not allow Jarael to go either. They end up discussing her past of being a Slaver and how it affects her in the present. “The Reaping” had Zayne and Jarael searching for the Crucible, a slaver group that Jarael was once a part of, if nothing more than to bring the group down from the inside. When Zayne brings eighty slaves abourd, his hidden motives are revealed to Gryph, and Jarael reveals who she once was to the rest of the group. “Destroyer” features Zayne being purposely taken in the the Crucible group so that he can get an inside glimpse. When one of Jarael’s enemies manipulates him with the Force, Zayne questions Jarael’s character and why she still have the name meaning “Destroyer,” but Jarael tells him the name has a different meaning: “Protector.” With Zayne and Jarael looking to go their separate ways, what will become of the Crucible?

The art is a bit different in this one (different artists do different issues of the comic). The story is interesting in that we get more on the mysterious Jarael, and leads the reader into wanting to find out more and to see what will be come of Jarael…and Zayne.

 

latest (1200×1867)

Star Wars: Darkness (30 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: John Ostrander

Artist(s): Jan Duursema, Ray Kryssung, et. al.

This graphic novel consists of issues 32-35 of Star Wars. It features Quinlan Vos and his padawan Aayla Secura after having lost their memories. Quinlan had to be retrained, and when a Guardian from his home planet seeks only him for a mission, the Jedi council is wary, since Quinlan has touched the Dark side and is still very close to darkness. Meanwhile, Aayla hates Quinlan for what he has done in the past, but all Quinlan wants is to find his lost padawan and restore her. When Anzati wreak havoc, and show Quinlan some disturbing memories, he must fight his greatest fear once more, and save his padawan from the darkness!

I was very excited to come across this at a comic book store. I always check the Star Wars selections from the original Dark Horse publications, and I had actually never seen this one before. With the same writer and artists as the Clone Wars, this was a great edition to Quinlan Vos’s character, adding even more detail to an already phenomenally interesting Jedi.

 

516841._SX360_QL80_TTD_.jpg (360×553)

Star Wars: Yoda’s Secret War (0 ABY, Flashback to before the Clone Wars)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Jason Aaron, Kelly Thompson

Artist(s): Salvador Larroca, Emilio Laiso, et. al.

This is the fifth compiled volume of the Marvel Star Wars series of comics which contains issues 26-30 as well as Annual #2. “Yoda’s Secret War” begins in the present time of the series with C-3PO having been captured by a special squad of stormtroopers and Luke following R2, who refuses to leave his droid friend behind. In his travels, Luke reads from Obi-Wan’s journal and learns of a mission Yoda once went on to save a planet. Luke feels drawn to the same planet and sees the remains from what Yoda left many years earlier. It is a Force-heavy planet with great stone giants that are like mountains, and the people of the planet fighting each other over Force and terrain. “Annual #2” features a bystander, a female engineer, who ends of helping Leia from a tight spot, despite her not really liking Leia.

Overall, the art is splendid in this compilation, but the story is lacking. The “Annual #2” was an interesting addition to Leia’s adventures, but the arc with Yoda was boring and seemed like a tangent in comparison to the new Marvel Star Wars as a story, which was disappointing. I am hoping the next installment will continue with the main story, rather than a past event that was very lackluster.

 

latest (325×500)

Poe Dameron Volume 2: The Gathering Storm (30-34 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Charles Soule

Artist(s): Phil Noto, Joe Caramagna

The second installment in the Poe Dameron graphic novel series features Poe continuing his work for Leia and the Alliance, but knowing that there is a potential spy among his Black Squadron is almost too much to bear. When See-Threepio seeks Poe’s help, he finds himself bringing back a droid that may or may not have vital information on Snoke and the First Order, while being followed and tracked by ex-stormtrooper Terex. Terex has his own plans in mind when he aims to bring the entire Alliance to the First Order!

While I enjoyed the first graphic novel, this one seemed to be lacking; but it wasn’t! It was even more interesting than the first volume, with higher stakes for Poe and his Black Squadron! Phil Noto does not disappoint. As he is both the cover artist and issue artist, you can easily judge this book by the cover, because the art is phenomenal, and Marvel knows what it is doing when contracting for the new canon comics!

 

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 14)

There are many, many comics in the world of Star Wars. The ones I have here vary in era, art, publication date, publisher, and style, but they are all interesting releases both to the old Expanded Universe as well as the new canon. They are listed in order based on the Battle of Yavin. Just remember, this is a highlight on a small fraction of a larger whole.

Kotor_tpb_7

Knights of the Old Republic: Dueling Ambitions (3963 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (6 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Brian Ching, Bong Dazo, Dean Zachary, Michael Atiyeh, et. al.

This volume of KotOR features “Prophet Motive” parts 1 and 2, “Faithful Execution,” and “Dueling Ambitions” Parts 1-3. “Prophet Motive” Gryph, Zayne, and Jarael have a long-running plan to dismantle a shady auctioning syndicate that utilizes slaves. When their plans are found out, Gryph and Jarael must disguise themselves, and their Mandalorian friend finds himself in a bind for refusing to remove his armor. In these issues, Jarael demonstrates a potential to use the Force, and Rohlan pushes her further to utilize these newfound powers. “Faithful Execution” is a short issue featuring unique art by Dean Zachary, art that makes the characters appear softer, rather than having the sharp angles. This issue involves Zayne and crew coming across a ship of suffocated people, with a lone survivor and a droid. When Zayne suspects the droid of the murders, the real murderer comes forth when Jarael is in trouble. In “Dueling Ambitions,” Zayne finds himself face-to-face with one of his childhood icons in a dueling arena, excited to race and be a part of the duels, even though they can be very deadly. When the truth is revealed, that those in the duels are slaves that are forced to fight and race, Zayne makes it his ambition to free them, but he also learns Jarael’s secret of the past!

Having the different artist in one of the issues was an interesting and pleasant twist, and this new arc of Zayne, Gryph, and Jarael’s adventures shows promise. For the first time, I am extremely eager to see what happens next in this series, especially where Jarael is concerned.

 

Leviathantpb

Jedi Academy: Leviathan (12 ABY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (4 Issues)

Writer: Kevin J. Anderson

Artist(s): Dario Carrasco Jr., Mike Heike, Ray Murtaugh, et. al.

When a mining planet sends out a distress signal, Leia calls Luke to send out some of his Jedi Trainees to investigate. While Kyp and Dork 82 arrive too late, they find that the planet is inhabited by ancient monsters that seemingly collect the souls of those they devour. While the Jedi are too late, Kyp knows that he must defeat the leviathans and release the souls of the victims and rid make the planet safe for the next settlers who choose to live there.

This is a single volume following Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy (and is preferred to have read I, Jedi and the Callista trilogy as well). It features some of the main Jedi that Luke brought to his new academy on Yavin 4 including Kyp Durron, Kirana Ti, and Streen, and introduces us to Dorks 82, who hopes to have some connection with the Force as his predecessor did. The art is good and the story adds just a bit more to the training of the new Jedi.

 

doctor-aphra-1-cover.jpg (1488×2256)

Doctor Aphra: Aphra (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist(s): Kev Walker, Marc Deering, Antonio Fabela, et. al.

Doctor Aphra is an archaeologist. After faking her death with Darth Vader, she now continues to hunt around the galaxy for rare artifacts that she can sell for a high price. Black Krrsantan still helps her out in hopes of getting what she owes him, but when her Doctorate is disabled by her father, she must comply to his wishes before she can be reinstated. Searching for hints to a lost civilization on Yavin 4 brings the Empire down on them,. but unlocks a great historical mystery.

This is one of the best installments to the new canon with a great character. Aphra is a fantastic edition to the story: her character is interestingly developed with her own unique qualities that make her stand out from other characters in the series. The art is superb, as usual, and I cannot wait for the next one!

 

22828.jpg (600×923)

The Star Wars (No Timeline)

Publisher: Dark Horse (8 Issues)

Writer: J. W. Rinzler

Artist(s): Randy Stradley, Mike Mayhew

This is Star Wars before it was revised to become the beauty that it actually is, based on the original draft by George Lucas. The story is pretty much completely different, featuring the Jedi-Bendu who once guarded the Emperor before the rise of the Knights of Sith.  Annikin Starkiller is the hero of the story with an older Luke Skywalker as the mentor/master. Annikin and Luke must now protect the princess of Aquilae, Leia, from the Empire. In this version, Han is a Urellian, a race that hunts Wookies on their home planet of Yavin. Darth Vader exists but is off screen most of the time, commanding his Sith from afar.

Despite the original story by George Lucas being awful, they at least got some of the top artists from the Star Wars line of comics. There is some action, but the story itself is so dry compared to its multiply drafted-over counterpart. While this is an interesting piece in the creation history of Star Wars itself, it is not worth the read if you are looking for extended universe qualities about characters you are already familiar with and want to know more about.

 

 

Star Wars: Rebel Rising-Should You Read It?

rebel-rising-jacket.jpg (1300×1958)

Genre: Young Adult Science-fiction

Rating: 4/5

Rebel Rising is a part of the Rogue One story line in the Star Wars franchise. This book can be found in the young adult section of your local book store, and is written for more of a teen audience, which made this a fun and unique read in addition to the Star Wars collection of books.

This novel features Jyn Erso for the ten years she spends between the time of her mother’s death and the time that she truly joins the rebellion. When Jyn is taken from her hiding place by Saw, a Clone Wars veteran, she finds she could learn to care for him as if he were family, but Saw has treated Jyn as a rising rebel rather than a daughter. At times, he does claim her as his daughter and he ingrains into her that she must never share her true identity, since her father is working for the Empire.

Jyn learns how to use a blaster and how to fight and defend using hand-to-hand combat. She becomes antiquated with a number of rebels that begin forming small strikes against the Empire, and she even demonstrates her strength against them, proving her worth to join Saw and the rebels on a mission.

When a mission goes sour and the rebels find a traitor in their midst, they must be careful. When the wrong person is accused, the real spy makes himself known, and Jyn is separated from Saw. She spends a year with the Ponta family (Hadder and his mother, Akshaya), finding new meaning to life, and even romance.

Even though Jyn constantly warns Akshaya that the Empire will eventually come down on their planet, the trader does not listen. When the Empire strikes, Jyn must make a new start yet again. Finding jobs hard to come by, Jyn resorts to working codes for the Empire and even selling out rebels, until she lands herself in the Imperial prison on Wobani.

This book is fun and fast-paced with the perfect type font, line spacing, and writing style for a young adult audience and it works for any Star Wars fan as well. There are some time skips that make the book feel rushed, which was noticeable and a bit of a bummer, and there isn’t anything that particularly stands out that makes the book great. Rather, it is the build and background that is placed upon Jyn’s character that makes this book more interesting, especially since we know the events that happen right after the books ends.

All in all, I would recommend this book for Star Wars fans of all ages, whether they be new fans to the franchise or veterans. It was a great installation to the series, to be sure!

Dark Apprentice (Jedi Academy Trilogy #2)-Should You Read It?

latest (406×685)

Genre: Science-fiction

Rating: 3.5/5

11 ABY

Happy 40 year anniversary to the release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, released on May 25, 1977! In honor of the anniversary, I ensure that a fresh Star Wars Post makes it onto my blog on May 25th. This post features the second novel in the Jedi Academy Trilogy: Dark Apprentice, preceded by the first in the trilogy, Jedi Search. While not quite as interesting as the events and characters in the first novel, this one still has quite a bit of merit.

The New Republic has taken the Sun Crusher, and in retaliation, Admiral Daala is wreaking havoc across New Republic worlds, including Akbar’s home-world. After his ship is tampered with during a peaceful political talk with a new planet of people, Ackbar crashing into their sacred building has the New Republic remove him from his post, no longer an admiral. Now residing on his home-world, Leia and Ackbar fight against Daala’s assault.

While this battle rages on Mon Calamari, Luke is on Yavin 4 training his new Jedi apprentices. Little does Luke know that a couple of his Jedi are looking to the Dark Side. Gantoris on the Eol Sha people sees visions of dark power, and when he chooses to embrace the Dark Side, it is too much, and his body gives out. Now this dark being has found its way to Kyp Durron, who claims the Sun Crusher can be used against Daala and the rest of the Empire remnants, and that Luke is not teaching his new pupils what they need to know.

Meanwhile, Leia is aiming for peaceful negotiations with various planets while trying to be a good mother at the same time, and the one who sabotaged Ackbar’s ship has found Anakin Solo’s whereabouts!

When Luke finds out about the destruction of the Eol Sha people, wiped out by Daala in an act of pure guerrilla warfare, Luke cannot keep up with the fading Empire remnants and his pupils turning to the Dark Side. When Luke aims to fight whatever this looming darkness is, he falls into a comatose state, leaving his apprentices to fend for themselves, and leaving Kyp to do as he pleases with the Sun Crusher as he aims to exact revenge and save his brother.

All in all, this book was still pretty decent. I was not as interesting as the set-up and character introductions in Jedi Search, it has potential to lead into a climactic finish, and it does keep the reader wanting to know what will happen with many of the characters, including Luke, Kyp, Anakin, Daala, and Mara. Yes, Mara Jade make an appearance in this novel, as Luke is aiming to get her to join his Jedi Academy, and the plays between Mara and Lando are hilarious. Overall, a decent sequel to a decent Star Wars trilogy that any fan would find interest in.

Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 12)

There are many, many comics in the world of Star Wars. The ones I have here vary in era, art, publication date, publisher, and style, but they are all interesting releases both to the old Expanded Universe as well as the new canon. They are listed in order based on the Battle of Yavin. Just remember, this is a highlight on a small fraction of a larger whole.

 

20342.jpg (300×461)

Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi (Guide(36,453 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (1 Issue)

Writer: John Ostrander

Artist(s): Jan Duursema

This single issue is very unique. Rather than a story arc of any kind, this in a short informational issue with accompanying art work that portrays some of the Dawn of the Jedi era. This single-issue informative comic gives background details about the Je’daii code, temples and the planets they are one, what the temples main affiliation is, ships from the era, and some of the iconic masters.

Despite not having a story, this is an interesting issue to own for any Star Wars fan in that it add some history and context to the early era of the old timeline, not to mention it is a pretty hard to find issue these days.

 

51Avqnv+VLL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg (325×499)

Knight Errant: Deluge (1032 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (5 Issues)

Writer: John Jackson Miller

Artist(s): Ivan Rodriguez, Michael Atiyeh, et. al.

This is the second installment of the Knight Errant series of comics: Deluge. When Kerra returns to her home-world, Aquilaris, she finds that her world is still in havoc. Not only is the Hutt crime lord Zodoh fighting Sith Lord Daiman for the planet, but Zodoh has sent an emissary to smuggle drugs in and out of the planet. The smuggling involves one drug in particular: deluge, a drug that gives people a more blissful feeling and an apathetic manner of looking at life, not giving a care about the circumstances surrounding them. Now Kerra must stop the Hutt and reclaim her world for her citizens.

As always, the art in this series is appealing, and Kerra is a fun female character to follow. This is a nice extension to the Knight Errant series and adds just a bit more flavor to the conflicts in the Old Republic era.

 

Star Wars The Clone Wars Volume 8 (20-19 BBY)

Publisher: Dark Horse (6 Issues)

Writer: John Ostrander

Artist(s): Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons, Brad Anderson, Thomas Giorello

This volume contains the Star Wars Republic issues 72-77. “Trackdown Part 1,” and “Trackdown Part 2” Quinlan has gained some vital information that can change the events of the war. The problem is, we as a reader are just as conflicted about his loyalties as his own Jedi brethren are. Many still do not trust him, but Aayla is keen on finding out just what side he is on. When they join together to search for their master, Tholme, it is apparent that many Jedi have already turned to Dooku’s aid. Aayla and Quinlan must save their master and determine who the other Sith Lord is, and Quinlan thinks he knows just who it might be. In “The Siege of Saleucami” Parts 1-4, Quinlan forces the idea that Sora Bulq must be the other Sith and aims to track down the Anzati Jedi. In the mean time, Quinlan is being hunted down by Dooku’s men. The Jedi form a small battalion to face off against Bulq and other turned Jedi in hopes to end the war. When Aayla enter’s Quinlan through the Force, Quinlan must face his Dark Side and conquer it before he can return to the light and fight for the Jedi. An interesting betrayal from someone close to Quinlan adds for an exciting ending, and a lead-in to the final chapter of The Clone Wars.

Being the Quinlan fan that I am, I loved how this volume really revolved around him. We get to see his internal struggles with the choices he has made and the Jedi he has become, as well as see more in-depth connections between him and his fellow Jedi…and his girlfriend!

 

Star Wars Volume 4: Last Flight of the Harbinger (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Jason Aaron, Chris Eliopoulos

Artist(s): Chris Eliopoulos, Mike Mayhew, Jorge Molina

The Harbinger is a Star Destroyer, and guess who plans to take control of it? Leia has planned to take the Harbinger to aid a planet in need of help from the Empire, a planet with a blockade of other Star Destroyers surrounding it. To get through, Leia plans on using the Harbinger to get into the planetary orbit and release the planet from the Empire’s blockade. When Sergeant Kreel, a lightsaber-wielding Stormtrooper, is sent to reclaim the Harbinger, Luke must fend off the enemy. In the meantime, Han and Leia fight over the position of captain of the new ship! In this volume as well is included another of Ben Kenobi’s journals. In this issue, the Whookie bounty hunter, Black Karssantan, is sent by Jabba to find out who has been thwarting Jabba’s men. Of course, Kenobi may know a bit about that, as he has been ensuring that Luke and his family do not have problems from others through his interventions.

This volume was not as exciting as some of the previous volumes, but the art is still phenomenal; Mike Mayhew never ceases to amaze in the Star Wars comics. Kreel is an interesting character, so getting to see some background and development of a Stormtrooper as an actual character was fun. While Kreel may not have succeeded in receiving Luke for Vader, we are left with a captured C-3P0…great…

Star Wars: Jedi Search (Jedi Academy Trilogy #1)-Should You Read It?

latest (288×475)

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 4/5

Jedi Search is the first novel in the Jedi Academy Trilogy, a good series to read after the Thrawn Trilogy and the Dark Empire graphic novels. Many of the characters we meet within those books make an appearance in this book (or later books) and this book opens up a new door of adventure for Luke, Han, and everyone.

This novel opens with Han and Chewbacca sent on a mission to the spice mining planet of Kessel, where they aim to bring the remnants of smugglers over to the New Republic. When they are shot down, Han and Chewbacca find themselves enslaved by Moruth Doole, who won control of the spice mines after the fall of the Empire. The luminous glitterstim of Kessel is highly sought after, but dangerous to excavate.

Meanwhile, on Coruscant, Luke has gained permission to begin his new Jedi Academy and he has a few candidates he has found through his travels, but he just needs to find a place for the school, which Leia is slaving over. As Leia explores potential planets for Luke’s academy, Luke ventures to places with rumored candidates who may be strong in the Force.

Luke travels to the volcanic world of Eol Sha where he meets Gantoris and his people. When Luke pleads his case with the people of Eol Sha, and Gantoris has Luke fight through some dangerous trials before agreeing to go with him, his people guaranteed to have a safer planet to reside in the Republic. Afterwards, Luke finds Streen on Bespin, a man who is so sensitive to the Force that he can’t keep the voices quiet in his head, which Luke promises her can train.

Lando is searching for a Jedi lead on Umgul well-known for its blob races. When a man is suspected of using the Force to win big, Lando and Artoo hunt him down, only to find that he was not a force user, although he was wanted by his Duchess, ensuring Lando leaving with a major consolation prize.

Leia is dealing with a bunch of political and diplomatic stuff while taking care of her twins, Jacen and Jaina, who could finally be with her on Coruscant since they turned two, and juggling finding a planet for Luke’s academy. When Han is late in returning, Leia sends Luke and Lando to find out what is going on.

Back on Kessel, Han and Chewbacca are stuck in the spice mines where they meet Kyp Durron, a young Force-user who helps them deviate an escape. Even though they cannot get the Falcon back, the trio manages to escape with on of the spice transports. When Doole’s men go after them, they escape into the Maw Cluster, a dangerous series of black holes. Kyp’s use of the Force guides them through to the center where four Star Destroyers sit in waiting. Apparently Admiral Daala did not get the memo of the Empire’s fall, being stranded in a place that cannot get fluid communication. When she questions Han, she finds his truth to be devastating and has a hard time believing him.

Of course, our trio finds a way to escape: the Sun Crusher, a tiny ship with more power than the Death Star and can annihilate solar systems. It’s developer, Qui Xux (an Omwati), didn’t really think she was doing anything bad by creating these devastating things, only knowing the lies Tarkin told to manipulate and use her intellect.

When Luke and Lando finally find the Falcon and that Doole had done something with their friends, they steal back the Falcon, get caught up in a space brawl, and narrowly escape (after meeting up with the Sun Crusher) when Daala’s Star Destroyers enter out of the Maw onto Kessel’s air space.

With Han home, the Sun Crusher in Republic hands, and the perfect planet, Luke can now take his candidates and begin training a new era of Jedi, but what will come of Daala and her sought revenge for the Empire?

This was a very fun novel and continuation of events after the fall of the Empire. It had a bit of a slow start, but the appearance of Daala and all the new Force users are interesting additions that have potential to be in the books chronologically from here on out. So my question, when reading, was “Where’s Mara Jade? She’s my favorite, isn’t she going to be in this?” Yes, she is mentioned, but she doesn’t make an appearance again until Dark Apprentice, the second book in the trilogy.

Some people go straight to The Hand of Thrawn Duology after the Thrawn Trilogy, but Luke and Mara are growing close in  that series, and I didn’t want to just jump into their relationship without seeing how they arrived there through the other events chronologically, so while the pace is slow-going, it is interesting to see her interactions with Luke in the Jedi Academy Trilogy.