1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Lit Join Me and Achieve Perfection: A Reread of The Glove of Darth Vader

Discussion in 'Literature' started by instantdeath, Apr 18, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 8, 2004
    Did I need to quote the whole of that? Yes, yes I did, because just like the Davids, I understand that it is absolutely necessary to explain everything in case someone is unfamiliar, maybe they nodded off during that part of the movie, maybe they only saw the start of Return of the Jedi but got scared off by the scary Ewok cannibals, who knows.

    There is, however, a key point here -- JJ Abrams and Arndt take note!!! -- that Star Wars: The Lost City of the Jedi (no, it should not be abbreviated or referred to as anything less, that might confuse) proves that you can never get too long or too detailed when it comes to opening crawls. So do you hear me Michael Arndt? You need to make sure the opening crawl to Episode 7 details everything that corresponds to what has happened before in the lives of the main characters. Everything. If that means the film being six hours long, with the first four a detailed account of every single fact on Luke Skywalker's Wookieepedia page, then so be it.
    And this is what happens when I've just been talking about Abrams... I read the phrase "lens flare" there at first and had to reread the entire sentence again because It. Made. Absolutely. No. Sense.

    But, then I found it was just a metal lens, not a metal lens flare, and the sentence made sense after all. :oops:
    This is the same man that wielded the Glove of Darth Vader. The Glove! How can such a man be anything except eternally evil?

    Sure, maybe he also had a heart or something, but that doesn't change the fact that he's still evil. Even evil butchers can have a heart too, you know. @};-
    Ouch. Artoo-Detoo has moved up to capital letters now? I don't remember him getting that vulgar in the first book.
    My first response was going to be: "Huh? Which tools? You need to tell us! Readers may not know what tools!" And, hey, even I don't know what tools you'd need to build a floating SKY HOUSEMANSION (Han's really trying to impress the ladies now, isn't he? He's upgraded from a simple house to a MANSION).

    Well, that was going to be my question...

    But then I thought about it. And I realised. What. The. Heck. Am. I. Meant. To. Be. Picturing? I mean, seriously? It's a floating sky house. Where's Han? And where's Luke? Is Luke floating in midair, looking down at Han? Or is Han lying on Marty McFly's hoverboard underneath the unfinished sky housemansion (if it's unfinished, how is it already floating...?). I'm all confused. :confused:

    I guess that's the magic of the sky mansion though, so I'll just go with it.

    I am disappointed, though, that in the Grand Tour, I saw no mention of any consideration that had been given to environmental concerns. Does the sky mansion have a room for animals? Does it have special sensors so that it does not fly into any airsquids or beldons? After all, Bespin is their planet, so Han should have considered their needs before where to keep his shag rugs, and he doesn't want to fly into a poor little airborne algae sack and pop it, does he? DOES HE?! [face_shame_on_you]
    Am I alone in thinking that if I was reading this for the very first time, and it was my very first step into the world beyond the films, that Luke losing his artificial hand sounds like a setup for Luke inheriting his father's indestructible doomium-plated gloveThe Glove of Darth Vader (sorry, for a second there I forgot it's poor taste to refer to The Glove of Darth Vader by anything other than as The Glove of Darth Vader)?

    There was just so much focus on Luke's hand that it seemed like they might have been planning a plotline where he took his father's heirloom back from the Evil Emperor Trioculus and redeemed it, so that The Glove of Darth Vader could become a Force for Light. [​IMG]
    You can be hit by a non-exploding car, or hit by an exploding car... so by the same line of thought, does it not stand to reason that you can be hit by either an exploding or non-exploding bomb? :-B

    The bomb may just have been, you know, thrown at Luke or something, but been a dud and not exploding. Leia needed to know the full story (just like we need the full opening crawl for Episode 7).
    Give the poor Butt Monkey a break... these are Food Pirates, dude. Food Pirates.


    Don't pretend you wouldn't be equally scared if one of those targeted you.
    I concur with this dark idea of boldfacing every dark statement in this dark novel that is filled with so many dark greetings and dark blessings.
    You're clearly just a callous minded technomonster who fails to appreciate the beauty of the jungle dwelling civilisation of Yavin IVFour and how its tree roots and holy sites are far superior to the metallic polluting monstrosities of Cloud City. [face_not_talking]
    Barriss_Coffee and instantdeath like this.
  2. Starkeiller

    Starkeiller Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 5, 2004
    I am very impressed indeed. =D=

    Keep up the good work.

    Food pirates.... Obviously, in the Davids universe, crops cannot be grown by evil people, since they are made of nutricium, yummyummium, healthium etc. Maybe the Earth Spirit is involved as well, I don't know.

    Seriously, how can someone write so bad? Sometimes I think they're doing it on purpose. Many a hack writer has vented their frustrations about their hack job by inserting purposefully ridiculous details into their hack works. But this bad? This is writing so bad it crosses over into art, completing the circle. This is a true hacksterpiece. Hacks the world over should hail the Davidses as their intellectual parents.

    Edit: By the way, I meant to say "so badly". It is indeed infectious. Soon, we'll all be babbling.

    Luke is ashamed to talk about sexual intercourse, although he is decidedly interested in the matter. Considering that he's never had sexual intercourse at this point in the timeline, that is understandable. We already knew he avoids sex from the Marvel comics, but who'd have thought such an insight into Luke Skywalker's sexual development would come from the Jedi Prince series?
  3. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2012
    I love the idea of Alec Guinness saying the phrase "JE-99-DI-88-FOR-00-CE". I mean, I can't even imagine that phrase being said in his voice.
  4. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    Curious that the droid who's always going on about how he's familiar with over six million languages needs to be educated on anything regarding language. Even Threepio comes out of this series just slightly demeaned.

    OF COURSE. It all makes sense now. The Sky House. The bad neighborhood. The chef's apron. The Sky House is a front for Han's drug operation. Han and Chewie are into some Breaking Bad ****.

    You know, it's sad... I was so tired last night I didn't even notice what that code was spelling. That. Is. Amazing.

    Indeed. I had wondered if he had done that before. He's becoming more creative with his vulgarities. He's had decades to learn, after all.

    From the way I picture it, the Sky House is already floating, and there's a panel underneath it that Han is working on, or something.

    You ever seen one of those bad afterschool specials, where some concern is being preached- be it environmental, anti-drug, or simply about the power of friendship- and there's always the "bad kid", the kid who thinks he's too cool to fall in and do the right thing, but at the end he comes around and realizes it was actually cool to help the environment (or whatever the theme is) all along? Han's that kid. The man's a scoundrel, and he wants to escape responsibility, but as we'll learn, we all have to take responsibility sometime.

    Wow, I love that. Now I wish that was a recurring element in the EU. Can we go back and retcon every single work that features Luke after this book? All we have to do is note that he's wearing The Glove of Darth Vader in all of them. Remember his kickass scene in The Unifying Force? That was simply Luke finding the confidence to use the Glove to its fullest potential. It certainly explains why Luke is so incompetent here, but not at all later (depending on the timeline, Shadows of Mindor may even take place not long after Jedi Prince; that's your explanation for Luke's awesomeness in that book).

    And there's even more potential there. Was LOTF precipitated by Jacen Solo stealing the Glove, in an attempt to seize the power for himself? Was he consumed by the Glove, his personality irrevocably changed?

    Luke is obviously trying to find a polite way to ask if he can watch.

    That's the magic of great literature. It expands your imagination.
    cthugha, Zorrixor and Barriss_Coffee like this.
  5. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003

    This dialogue. You can't even try to plagiarize something like this.

    Han's gonna get his ass handed to him in a lawsuit soon against Pixar.

    Whoh ho ho -- this reminds me of a terrible action figure webcomic I used to run about Han & Chewie's culinary battle against Xizor's Pizza:


    No wonder the Jedi were being hacked right and left by Palpatine and his minions.

    Why did you make me try to think something like that??
    instantdeath and Zorrixor like this.
  6. cthugha

    cthugha Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 24, 2010
    I somehow imagined all this still taking place inside the (probably huge) warehouse Luke went into earlier... which Han somehow transformed into a dry-dock for his sky mansion.
    Also, if you're going to build a sky house, the first thing you make is a floating base, obviously. :p

    Oooh, and...
    I can totally see this one beating up Luke "Jedi n00b" Skywalker.
    instantdeath and Zorrixor like this.
  7. Lugija

    Lugija Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 3, 2009
    I try to read everything as Marc Thompson would in an audio book, in his most dramatic voice. We have to send a million letters to Random House Audio and ask them to make a Jedi Prince audio book.

    And here Davidses, in Zahn-like wisdom, take an element from the movies and show how they make more sense. How does Obi-Wan give information to Luke on Hoth? "You must go to Dagobah system. There you will find Yoda, a Jedi Master who I once was married to - sorry, I can't help my lying instinct" That's helpful Ben, surely Luke can find one guy from a medium-sized system. It's not like he will just crash-land a short walk from his house. If Davidses wrote that scene, it would have been more like:
    "Luke, you must go to Dagobah system. It's in galactic coordinates 77-YO-66-DA... are you writing this down? Good. On planet the coordinates are..."
  8. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 8, 2004
  9. cthugha

    cthugha Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 24, 2010
    Don't forget that only a few lines after that remarkably specific dream, Luke finds himself, quote, "thinking about Obi-Wan's mysterious words", unquote.
    Mysterious, my shebs.
  10. AdmiralWesJanson

    AdmiralWesJanson Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 23, 2005
    I actually think that Zahn remembered the Obi-Wan password scene- look at Allegiance, when Obi-Wan tries to teach Luke to use the force then gives up and tells him the code? Maybe this time he knew not to bother and just gave him the code straight away.
  11. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    My dark friends, I bid you dark greetings and welcome you to a very special dark update to my dark reread of the ever-so-dark Jedi Prince series. And special it is. As you all are well aware, Paul and Hollace Davids most concern themselves with telling an entertaining, meaningful and educational story, they are also catalysts of great innovation, in concern with characterization and of the writing craft in general. Thus, they reveal their latest avant-garde development: introducing the main character of a series in the second installment. You've heard whispers about him. Now it's time to meet him. The man himself, Ken Palpatine.


    Majestic, yet humble. I like that in a messiah figure. Let the dark games begin!

    Chapter 2: Ken's Secret Journey

    It's just like this series to start with a mystery, get them hooked right away. Who the hell is this Ken person? What journey is he taking, and what's so secret about it? If nothing else, it's a masterful demonstration of the meaning you can convey using only a few words.

    Ken was sound asleep when his pet mooka leapt onto his bed and licked his face, trying to wake him. It was like this every morning. When would his mooka learn that boys didn’t like to get out of bed in the morning? Especially twelve-year-old boys like Ken who always went to bed late.

    Ken, you scoundrel you, going to bed late. Something tells me Ken and Han will hit it off right away.

    "Kshhhhhhhh," the mooka cried. "Kshhhhhhhh."

    "Down, Zeebo," Ken said, pushing his mooka away. "Get down. How many times do I have to tell you not to bounce onto my bed in the morning. Do you think I like your feathers getting all over my pillows?"


    "And stop kshhhhing in my ear," Ken added. "You do that every morning too. Just once I wish I could hear the bark of a dog, or the meow of cat, instead of the kshhhhh of a mooka."

    Zeebo made a whining sound.

    "Oh, c’mon, Zeebo-I didn’t mean it." Ken pet his mooka behind one of its four pointy ears. "Don’t be jealous. You know I love you. Besides, I’ve never even seen a cat or a dog-except in pictures in the Jedi Library."

    Notice how the Davids' are ever so subtly giving us information about Ken in this exchange. In what, to the characters, is simply routine, is character development for us.

    Also, that Zeebo's a card. Here's a picture.


    Ken tiptoes out of bed and grabs his computer notebook, which has a handy data screen used to write essays and organize his assignments (you heard it hear first: the Davids' first thought of the Ipad). Being the little scoundrel that he is, he keeps it carefully hidden away HC-100, his "homework correction droid". HC-100, as Ken points out, resembles a famous droid that he had studied, See-Threepio, who belongs to Luke Skywalker. HC-100 was designed by another droid, DJ-88, the "very knowledgeable" caretaker of the library. Got all that?

    Ken presses a button on his fancy device, bringing up his latest report, "The Moons of Yavin". But he only got a 65! HC-100 also left a helpful note, advising Ken that he can do much better, and that he should try adding more detail about moons 1 and 2.

    We get another brilliant combination of natural character development and info dumping.

    "Oh no!" exclaimed Ken. "This isn’t fair at all, Zeebo. HC obviously snuck into my dome-house, found my computer notebook, and graded my report, even though I didn’t even finish it yet! He gave me a 65; that’s practically failing! HC is turning into a spy and a nuisance and-and I won’t miss him a bit when I leave today on my secret journey Topworld."

    "Kshhhhhhh. . ." Zeebo whined, jumping into Ken’s arms and licking his face affectionately.

    "Of course I’ll miss you," Ken said. "And I know you’ll miss me. Chip and Dee-Jay would probably miss me, too, if droids could have real feelings."

    Ken considered Chip, short for Microchip, his best and only friend. Ken often wished that Chip were a human boy, rather than just a metallic droid who was programmed to act like a boy and keep Ken company.

    Dee-Jay, Ken’s nickname for his caretaker, DJ-88, was a droid that Ken deeply admired. But Ken didn’t really consider Dee-Jay a friend, since he was also his one and only professor. Dee-Jay taught Ken astronomy, ecology, computers, and about fifteen other subjects.

    Ken seems rather harsh when it comes to droids.

    He continues to reveal his peculiar habit of throwing large amounts of information at once at his pet Mooka.

    "In a way, Zeebo," Ken said, "it was thanks to Dee-Jay that I finally discovered the code to make the tubular transport leave here and go Topworld. Of course Dee-Jay doesn’t know that I know it. I peeked into one of his files-a file he told me was none of my business. I know it was wrong. But I’ve been waiting all my life to take a journey Topworld, and none of the droids will let me. Just think what it will be like-getting to see the rain forests of Yavin Four, riding a starfighter with the Affiance, and maybe even-"

    Suddenly, without even a knock, the door to Ken’s dome-house popped open, and Chip hurried in carrying a tube of vaporizing tooth-cleaner and a canister of foam soap.

    "A very pleasant wake up to you, Ken," said the boy-shaped silver droid, who had flexible, ribbed arms and legs that could bend in almost any direction. "I see that you’ve hardly even begun to get ready to go to the library for your lessons with Dee-Jay. I’ll have to stop trusting the mooka to wake you up on time."

    Ken took the hint and began to get dressed. He took off his silver pajamas and then put on his silver school clothes. He didn’t know why, but silver was his favorite color. Maybe it was because of the semitransparent, silvery crystal he always wore around his neck. Or maybe it was because silver was the color of Chip. And Chip had been his droid friend and helper for as long as he could remember.

    Can I just quote this whole chapter? Oh, fine. Chip's "boot-shaped feet" (boot shaped?) lead Ken out of his room. There, we see the natural spring, as we learn that water never stops flowing in Ken's home.

    The boy-droid, who was about the same height as Ken, picked up a bowl and began to fill it.

    "You should have vapor-cleaned your teeth and combed your hair half an hour ago!" Chip exclaimed.

    Ken ran his fingers through his moppy, light-brown hair. "I happen to like my hair when it’s messy," Ken explained. "And I don’t think a twelve-year-old boy needs help vapor-cleaning his teeth. Do you?"

    "Master Ken, you know very well that I don’t think. I follow my program. And my program is quite strict. Wake Ken. Wash Ken. Feed Ken. Tell HC whether or not you’ve done your homework. And speaking of homework, look out the window, Ken!"

    I want to make it known that I'm deeply uncomfortable with the term "boy droid". Makes it sound like Ken's personal sex toy.


    ... never mind. He kind of looks like one. He's even got that hole for a mouth...

    ... yeah, moving on.

    Ken doesn't have to look out the window to know that his mean old homework droid is approaching, as he can tell by his metallic steps (really?), that almost resemble a soldier marching. Continuing the soldier imagery, when HC speaks, he resembles a sergeant in the Rebel Alliance army.

    "Time for homework corrections!" HC-100 declared. "And I certainly hope you’ve given more attention to your other assignments than you did to your report on the moons of Yavin."

    "I wasn’t even finished with that report, yet, HC!" Ken protested. "And you snuck in here and graded it already!"

    "Excuses, excuses," replied HC. "It looked finished to me!"

    "Well it wasn’t," Ken insisted. "For your information, I was planning on adding stuff about moons one and two. I wish you’d stop coming into my dome-house when I’m not here and grading my computer notebook before I’m ready."

    "You know the rules," said HC. "I’m allowed in here for a surprise homework-check at any time."

    Is HC more annoying than Threepio? Absolutely.

    "Let’s see, for Jedi philosophy you’ve written an essay on the Force. Well, that’s a very worthwhile subject to write an essay about," HC said, nodding his head enthusiastically. "And I see that you’ve finished your quiz on the history of the Great War against the Empire. You’ve learned to spell Emperor Palpatine’s name correctly. He certainly was a horrible emperor, no doubt about it. The galaxy is better off now that he’s dead. And what have we here-hmmmmmm, you’ve correctly described Darth Vader’s role as Emperor Palpatine’s second-in-command, but, oh no, you’ve made a serious mistake in your quiz on the Rebel Alliance. Luke Skywalker didn’t pilot the Millennium Falcon in the first battle against the Death Star. It was Han Solo, and Chewbacca was his copilot. I thought you knew that, Ken!"

    Dammit Ken, you need to get your hero worship straight. Ken's excuse is that he was daydreaming. HC is curious what he was daydreaming about. Ken briefly considers how much he should tell him about his daydreams, as he slowly handles the crystal around his neck, a crystal "shaped like half a sphere, veined with deep blue lines and attached to a thin, silver chain". Ken had worn this crystal as long as he could remember, since he was brought to the place he's currently living (their keeping all mysterious-like for now), and had no idea who had given it to them.

    "I guess I was daydreaming about actually meeting Luke Skywalker and Han Solo and Chewbacca," Ken said finally. "I wonder what it would be like. Imagine, flying off with them in the Millennium Falcon!"

    What, he doesn't want to meet Princess Leia?

    "Honestly, Master Ken, you worry me sometimes," HC said, shaking his head. "Imagine, a boy of your age, wanting to go gallivanting around the galaxy with the Alliance! Remember what Dee-Jay told you. Down here where we live, there’s no evil. But up there, Topworld, the spies of the Empire are everywhere, and the Dark Side is strong!"

    "I’m not afraid of the Dark Side," Ken said, as he finished getting dressed. "I’m old enough to go Topworld. I want to find out for myself what the real world is like."


    After The Man is finished putting Ken down, he begins to go through his school files. The boy-droid dutifully sticks his toothbrush into Ken's mouth (so this is what being mentally scarred feels like). He begins to lecture Ken, telling him that he should trust that HC knows what's best, and he can go to the surface when HC say's he's ready, and not a moment sooner. He also reminds Ken that he's a "very important boy", and reminds him that it is the place of droids to protect him.

    Like all the great Chosen One's, Ken is doubtful. He yanks the toothbrush out of his mouth and demands to know why he's so damned special.

    "Well, for one thing, because we raised you," HC replied. "It isn’t just any boy who can say he was raised by caretaker droids of the Jedi Knights. And we’ve allowed you to learn many Jedi secrets, I might add! Why do you think we treat you like royalty here? Like a prince-a Jedi Prince."

    "Personally, I don’t think real princes have to put up with getting tooth-cleaner pushed into their mouths every morning by some droid. And real princes have banquets, they don’t just drink vitamin syrup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner."

    "My, how you exaggerate," Chip said.

    HC continues to be passive aggressive as he grades Ken's homework. Ken is feeling especially curious today, however, and asks what's obviously meant to be the big no-no question; how did he get here? Who were his parents? His only answer is that only Dee-Jay knows, and Dee-Jay will tell when he's ready.

    "Dee-jay likes to keep secrets," Ken said. "He probably won’t tell me until I’m as old as Commander Luke Skywalker; or maybe not even until I’m two hundred and seven, like-"

    "Chewbacca is two hundred and five," HC interrupted.

    HC would kick ass at Star Wars trivial pursuit.

    Chip put the vaporizing tooth-cleaner into Ken’s mouth once again, and Ken promptly took it out.

    "Did you ever stop to think that I might be tired of being cared for and protected all the time?" Ken demanded. "Especially by droids."

    "I’ve told you a thousand times, Master Ken, I don’t think," Chip said. "You certainly should know that by now."

    "And I don’t think, either," HC added. "I merely evaluate and process information-and give grades, of course. Fortunately, one doesn’t have to be able to think in order to give grades."

    That, uh... screw it, more in the commentary.

    Ken isn't done being a smartass.

    Ken hopped back into his bed and positioned his pillow under his head. "Well maybe if you droids could think, it would occur to you that I’d like to have some friends who are my own age."

    "Why, Master Ken, I was manufactured the same month you were born," Chip replied. "I am

    your own age."

    "I meant a human friend. Not a robot-not a, a droid."

    You know, if these droids had feelings, I would think they would have found Ken's many, many comments about droids hurtful. Or maybe they would have strangled him. I already am rooting for the latter.

    Chip chooses to be the bigger man here, and calmly tells Ken that he only needs to be patient, that he's not ready to be thinking about these things. Then, he efficiently shatters whatever serenity he had offered Ken by suggesting he wash his face, clean his ears, and drink some vitamin syrup.

    Ken's clean, and he's not hungry, so he all but gives them the finger and walks out on them, on his way to the library where Dee-Jay teaches.

    Ken traverses through the underground cavern, and notes that he wants to get a good look, as this might be the last time he see's his home for some time. He notices domes of all sizes, bubble lights (the hell is a bubble light?), travel tubes, computer cubes (love the rhyme there), and droids of many different designs, all carrying about their programming.

    A moment later, Ken reaches a literal crossroads; conveniently, there's a split path, with one end leading to the Jedi library (as we finally find out that Ken lives in The Lost City of the Jedi), and the other leads to a traveling tube that leads to the surface. In the same way that Luke Skywalker was confronted with a choice, to leave his home and accept destiny or to run from it, Ken is faced with the same life-changing dilemma.

    It was not even a contest

    Ken boards the traveling tube, opens his computer notebook, and pulls out the ID card that he had made in Droid Repair class (they teach you to make fake I.D.s in Droid Repair class?).

    He clenches his teeth, and hope this works.


    The tubular-transport door slid open, inviting him to step inside. This was the moment Ken had been waiting for!

    Suddenly he heard the clatter of metal feet approaching him from behind. "Ken, this is very irregular!" a familiar voice cried out.

    Ken glanced over his shoulder-it was Chip!

    "It’s worse than irregular," Chip continued. "It’s forbidden. You know full well you’re not permitted to enter the tubular transport and go Topworld until you’re a man. Besides, you didn’t take your vitamin syrup. How do you expect to ever become big enough and strong enough to defend yourself?"

    "But I hate the taste of vitamin syrup," Ken protested. "I want to find out what real food tastes like for once in my life. I want to have some dessert for a change. And I don’t mean vitamin mints, either-I mean real desserts, like ordinary kids get to have. I want to see the sky, and the rain forest. I want to travel to other stars and planets."

    "What would Dee-Jay say about this if he found out?" Chip interrupted in a very annoyed tone. "I’ll tell you what he’d say. He’d say I neglected my duty and let you run off where you could be killed by Imperial stormtroopers, or eaten by wild beasts, or-"

    "Chip, I’m going Topworld," Ken said insistently. "And don’t try to stop me. But as long as you’re here, you might as well come along. I may need a droid to help me."


    That sound is the traveling tube's passenger signal, signifying that all passengers should board.

    "You don’t know what you’ll find up there in the Topworld!" Chip said in a panic-stricken voice. "What do you know about bounty hunters, or, or-" Chip stammered, "or stormtroopers, or Imperial grand moffs, or Mynock bats, or Rancor creatures. There are alien boy-sellers who might steal a boy like you and sell you into a life of slavery in the spice mines of Kessel!"

    Ken ignored Chip, and grabbed the silver droid by the arm, tugging him into the tubular transport. Suddenly the door slid shut. Ken pushed the button that said TOPWORLD, and the tubular transport began to rise like a rocket.


    Higher and higher it zoomed. Ken stared out the window. Faint lights seemed to be dancing out of the blackness, like sparks of colored fire. It was the glow of luminous rocks.

    "Relax, Chip," Ken said. "This will be fun."

    "Fun, Master Ken?" Chip said. "Droids aren’t programmed to have fun. You should know that by now."

    "Believe me, I do," Ken said in a disappointed voice.

    Suddenly Ken felt as if his stomach were flying away from him. The tubular transport was going so fast it seemed almost out of control.

    The boy and the boy-droid hold on to each other, as Chip laments that he was never programmed to take the trip Topworld. Ken closes his eyes and holds his breath, and just when he thinks he can't hold it any longer, the door opens.


    Ken takes his first step into the lush, green forest of Yavin IV, and the first step towards his destiny.

    Ken had a faint memory of having seen this rain forest before. Perhaps it was when he had been a very small child, on that fateful day that the droids had only hinted to him about, when the Jedi Master in the brown robe had carried him down to the safety of the city built by ancient Jedi Knights. There the Jedi Master had left Ken, with no reminders of his past, nothing except the crystal he wore on the silver chain around his neck. Ken didn’t even have a hologram photo to remember what his mother and father looked like.

    Ken continued to walk forward, leading Chip through the thickets of trees and vines, without knowing where they were going. Ken’s ears welcomed the sounds of the jungle-the cawing and chirping that filled the air like a song. It wasn’t long before they completely lost track of where they were and how to get back to the round stone wall of the tubular transport!

    Oh noes. Could be he didn't think this one through.

    Commentary: As one can expect, the introduction of Ken marks a change of tone in the book. Granted, the book was kiddy before, but that notch is turned up to 11 and ripped off at this point. It hits all the beats you expect to find in a particularly juvenile YA novel; the good hearted but rebellious and impulsive student, the overbearing authority figure, the reluctant yet loyal best friend.

    Which brings me to my next point. It's not hard to figure out why so many YA novels have kids like Ken. They're there to be a mostly blank slate for kids to project themselves onto. Kids, theoretically, want someone similar to them to read about. With that in mind, I have to question the wisdom of introducing the arguable main character (the series is named after him) in book two. You could argue that it makes more sense for a brand like Star Wars, where there are established characters, and you want to reintroduce them, particularly since Ken's whole schtick right now is that he's been studying them. Still, I remember my elementary school book fairs. If a kid doesn't like the first book of a series, you can damn well guarantee they won't be picking up the next one. I don't know, maybe young kids don't have a problem with identifying with Luke, but it feels like they're really mussing up their core demographics here.

    On the typical YA note: HC is so that teacher that the kids are supposed to just hate. I actually think Harry Potter did this very well, with Dolores Umbridge; I wanted her dead when I was a kid. What about here, though? Eh, hard for me to say. I haven't exactly grown up yet, but I am slightly past first grade maturity level. Still, I think I can see a kid reading about HC and thinking, "oh, that's so like this one teacher I have". Maybe?

    While I'm on the subject of the droids, I just have to say, Ken really laid on the droid hate this chapter. I wouldn't be surprised if he decapitates droids for fun and hides them in his closet. Felt like I was reading propaganda at times. Also, I find it strange that every droid thus far has had their named spelled out, but HC is referred to simply by his letters. Maybe they simply didn't know how to spell it. I know I don't.

    It's even worse because it's so obvious that the droids placed a lot of trust in Ken. I mean, they had a surface car just right there, not so much as a guard droid, and he's able to just waltz out of there. I don't know if the kids liked Ken right about now, but I sure don't.

    The issue of whether droids can think and feel beyond their programming is, obviously, something hit on in a lot of sci-fi, but oddly enough, only occasionally in Star Wars. It was a favorite topic of Marvel Star Wars (as well as the subject of one of Alan Moore's stories), and from what I understand it's an aborted plotline in the NJO, but for the most part, it seems to simply be accepted that droids are only a step below sentients in terms of the ability to express free thought. The SW galaxy is, after all, littered with droids with very colorful personalities; R2 and 3P0, HK-47, I-5... TCW even makes a few of them generals. It just seems very odd that the whole "droids don't have feelings" angle is repeatedly hit on in this chapter, in a work where a non-speaking droid arguably has more personality (and certainly more wits) than all of the speaking characters put together. Perhaps its a setup for Chip proving Ken wrong later?

    But anyway, let's talk about Ken and his destiny. I'll get something out of the way: I've read this book series, and I don't have the slightest idea what the "Jedi Prince" is, what its significance is, or have any idea just what Ken is expected to do. I know Anakin set the precedent for being a "Chosen One" with a very vague, undefined role, but Ken has him beat hands down in that department. I also can't remember what that crystals significance is.

    Heh, I remember who that robed Jedi that brought Ken to the Lost City is, but I'm hesitant to spoil it. Nonetheless, it doesn't take too much thought to figure it out. There are precious few options at this point. Let's just say I'm looking forward to it being dramatically depicted in an upcoming novel.

    And that's that. Tune in next time to watch two forces collide. A chosen one, and a son of a chosen one...
  12. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2012
    I wonder if the alien boy-sellers are in cahoots with the Imperial food pirates?
  13. cthugha

    cthugha Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 24, 2010

    Am I the only one who gets a sort of Desmond Hume vibe from this chapter?

    Also, cats and dogs join ducks and hot chocolate.

    Reading this after grading two dozen grammar tests while talking to my son and browsing Lit at the same time, I can confirm that this is probably the truest sentence in the entire series (excluding the Prophecy, of course).
  14. darth fluffy

    darth fluffy Jedi Knight star 2

    Dec 27, 2012
    "OMG Tionne is so hot."

    I know why he hates droids! He's Atton Rand in disguise!
  15. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    Of course. It's the perfect business model. Remember how your grandmother would always tell you that growing boys need to eat? Well, the food pirates and the boy sellers enter into a partnership with the Kessel spice mines. The boy sellers supply the boys, the food pirates supply enough food to ensure those boys grow up to be healthy, productive slaves, and the spice mines profit. Everybody wins.

    Also, they should totally be called "Boy Salesman"
  16. Lugija

    Lugija Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 3, 2009
    And if they get more food than the kids need, they can sell it forward! Yummy Jammy Mouthwatering Cereal - made for you by healthy kids and cool pirates! Yarr, it's spicy!
  17. cthugha

    cthugha Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 24, 2010
    1. Pirate Food
    2. Sell Boys
    3. PROFIT!
  18. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 28, 2003
    Someone tag me when Ackbar, Chauffeur-in-Chief of the Rebel Motor Pool, appears. [face_tee_hee]

    --Adm. Nick
  19. Starkeiller

    Starkeiller Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 5, 2004
    Please stop referring to the kid as "Ken Palpatine".

    Sharing someone's genes has nothing to do with one's surname. Otherwise all clone troopers would be called "___ Fett", or, in real-life terms, all humans would be called "___ Most Recent Common Ancestor".

    -- Hello, Mr Most Recent Common Ancestor, how's Mrs Most Recent Common Ancestor?

    -- Mrs Most Recent Common Ancestor is great, Mrs Most Recent Common Ancestor! And how's Mr Most Recent Common Ancestor?

    Don't do it.
  20. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    He's actually referred to as "Ken Palpatine" for a portion of the series, once he supposedly discovers he's Palpatine's son, and I find it too hilarious not to refer to him as such [face_devil]
  21. Starkeiller

    Starkeiller Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 5, 2004
    He's not Palpatine's son.... He's the son of a guy supposedly created by Palpatine in a lab.

    If he ought to be anything, that'd be Palpatine's Monster, Jr.
  22. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 12, 2012
    So if this was the best code the grand Jedi order could come up with, how fast you think it would take a garden variety slicer droid to hack it? Obviously it was the will of the Force.
  23. AdmiralWesJanson

    AdmiralWesJanson Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 23, 2005
    Maybe that would help explain why Boba Fett has to appear in absolutely Star Wars publication...

    If the Dashes are included as part of the password, I could easily see it being someone's annoyed response to one of those "The password must contain at least 15 characters, including a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols" Especially when it seems to be the door code. It's easy to remember for something used commonly, like using 1-2-3-4-5 as the code for luggage and atmosphere shields.
  24. Jedifirefly5

    Jedifirefly5 Jedi Knight star 2

    Sep 5, 2012

    How is it you know so much about Luke's sex life? Marvel comics are dreck. I can see why he'd avoid all the floozies and gold diggers with an agenda. He hooked up with lots of nice girls. And anyway, who cares so much?
  25. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    If I remember correctly, that's a revelation reserved for the final book in the series. And considering Triclops does not have a surname, that makes the issue of Ken's true surname even more problematic [face_thinking]
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.