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

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

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  1. Starkeiller

    Starkeiller Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 5, 2004
    Indeed, it's not easy. I couldn't say it fast no matter how many times I tried. I concede. Here's a cigar: [​IMG]

    PS: I just got it. 3 times. I might just light one up myself. :cool:
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  2. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003
    I'm starting to get a distinct Christopher-Nolan-vibe from these titles.......
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  3. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 12, 2012
    His two-eyes glare with the hatred of 1000 undying suns.

    His third eye looks stoned. Or blase about the whole thing. "Dark Greetings? Yeah, whatever dude."
  4. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    Chapter 3 will go up later tonight or early tomorrow.

    Or, perhaps, I'm simply not willing to speak from a position of authority on an object that is, by its very nature, unknowable. I do not understand the glove. The thing is, I know that I don't understand it. I embrace it. What possible right do I have to decisively comment upon the nature of something that is so far beyond me?

    This is an interesting line of thought. Can the Glove actually be called the "Glove of Darth Vader"? Did it truly belong to him? Or was Vader merely the latest in a long line of fools who believed he had the strength of will to control it, and was even presumptuous enough to name it after himself?

    I see we've thought along the same lines. Personally, I like to think it was the Glove that destroyed the Infinite Empire.
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  5. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 12, 2012
    Also Trioculus has a bizarre Superman split-curl hair thing going on. Is he evil Clark Kent or something? Seriously, I could stare at that all day.
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  6. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    Okay, I said either late tonight or early tomorrow, but my insomnia has decided on a compromise between the two. I have a class in a few hours, but who cares? I'll just tell the professor I was up late summarizing The Glove of Darth Vader. She'll understand.

    Before I start, I want to take some time to briefly talk about something that I should have from the beginning: the cover.

    Behold, in all its glory...


    You can say what you'd like about this series, but honestly, the covers are very impressive, if hilarious due to the content (Whaladons swimming in the background! You know you're in for a ride with a cover like that).

    Here's a fun fact for you: the covers of all six books of the series are done by Drew Struzan, the guy who did the film posters for all of the Star Wars films. He's done quite a few other Star Wars books, but obviously these are special.

    As for the cover itself, I have to question why Han and Leia are displayed so prominently. Unless I'm not remembering correctly, they don't have much of a role to play at all in this book. Trioculus looks both regal and dangerous, as one can only expect. The illustration is quite impressive, but I still have to laugh at the lightning surrounding the glove: reminds me of the title of the second chapter, the "lightning power of the dark side". Plus I can't help but feel sorry for those poor whaladons. That electricity can't be good for their natural environment.

    While you sit there and admire the artwork, I'll start the chapter.

    Chapter 3: The Seven Words of Trioculus

    Trioculus departs from Kessendra station, accompanied by his Stormtrooper honor guard and his droid Emdee-Five, in a "black armored landspeeder limousine" to a "black metal palace". Upon arrival, Trioculus wastes no time in setting up a feast for himself, Hissa, and a selection of his most trusted Grand Moffs. Here, we get yet another glimpse at the evil that radiates from these men, this time from their choice of dish: Whaladon meat, a delicacy reserved for the Imperial ruling class and "forbidden to stormtroopers and slaves". Gotta love how Stormtroopers and slaves are put on the same tier.

    Since the Davids obviously do not trust their audience to surmise what a "Whaladon" could possibly be, they offer us an explanation.

    Whaladons were huge whale-like creatures, mammals that lived only in the oceans of the watery planet Calamari. They were highly intelligent and wise, and it was against the laws of Calamari to kill them. Still, a huge, illegal Whaladon hunting operation existed in Calamari’s waters. In fact, even though Whaladons were an endangered species, there were more Whaladon hunters on Calamari than ever before, led by Captain Dunwell, a trusted friend of the Central Committee of Grand Moffs.

    After dinner is finished and the Imperials are enjoying dessert (we are not told if the dessert is made of Whaladon meat), Hissa stands up theatrically and announces that their new Imperial Majesty has something important to say. Trioculus draws himself up to his "full, towering height".

    He spoke seven words.

    "Find me the glove of Darth Vader!" he said in a booming voice. Then he stared at them with his third eye, causing his loyal officers to shudder.

    Hissa muses that he's fully aware of how dangerous this task can be. If the Central Committee of Grand Moffs are unable to find the glove, Kadann may declare that Trioculus is not the rightful heir to the throne (who knew Imperial officials put so much stock into the leader of a cult?). Hissa declares that he will send probe droids to many planets, particularly noting Endor, to search the remains of the second Death Star. Grand Moff Muzzer, "the plumpest and the most round faced of all the Moffs", puts forth the stunning revelation that space is big and glove is small. Hissa assures him that if probe droids are able to find a bomb the size of a mans hand, they can certainly find a glove.

    From here, the topic of discussion is where Trioculus will set up base. Wise and generous Emperor that he is, he asks the advice of his colleagues, and the well traveled men of great experience readily draw from the vast amount of knowledge they possess of the many different planets from every corner of the galaxy.

    A few moments passed before one of the grand moffs grew bold enough to speak. "I suggest the planet Tatooine," said Grand Moff Dunhausen, who wore earrings, little ornaments shaped like laser pistols. "We can take over the Mos Eisley spaceport!"

    Trioculus dismissed the idea immediately. "That useless planet where Jabba the Hutt died? Do you think I want the Empire to waste its time eliminating sand people like the Tusken Raiders and those two-bit traders, the jawas?"

    There was a longer silence before the next suggestion came. "Bespin!" said Grand Moff Thistleborn, whose bushy eyebrows touched each other in the middle and curled up at the ends. "Let’s take over Cloud City!"

    Trioculus sneered. "We already have a barge full of factories for building weapons and mining tibanna gas on Bespin. Besides, Cloud City isn’t a fit place to train our troops."

    "Dagobah?" offered the grand admiral from Gargon.

    "You’re wasting my time!" Trioculus shouted, slamming his fist down on the table. The dishes rattled and a serving flask of zoochberry cream fell on its side.

    "Hoth?" Grand Moff Hissa said hesitantly.

    Trioculus’s scowl changed to a sly smile. "Very good, Grand Moff Hissa," he said. "You suggest the coldest, most miserable of all the frozen ice planets. Give me your reasoning."

    "The new base should be located on a world that the Rebel Alliance wouldn’t consider important," Grand Moff Hissa began. "Preferably a world where Imperial stormtroopers won’t be too comfortable-comfortable men grow lazy and rebellious. There are still bases and military bunkers on Hoth that the Rebels once used before our four-legged AT-AT walkers chased them off the planet," he continued. "All we have to do is move in!"

    Trioculus gave the order.

    The table is in agreement, and all Imperial equipment and personnel are to be transferred to Hoth. However, there is one at the table who feels he knows better in the new Emperor. One of the Grand Admirals stands up, in an attempt to match wits with Trioculus.

    The grand admiral from Gargon suddenly rose to his feet. "You can’t do this, Trioculus!" he shouted. "You’re being too hasty. Until you find the glove of Darth Vader, you won’t be accepted as the new Emperor. What if Grand Admiral Grunger finds it first and-"


    The grand admiral fell forward onto the banquet table and spoke no more.

    The grand moffs looked from one to the other with raised eyebrows. Most of them had expected the lightning power from Trioculus’s fingertips to kill the grand admiral. But it wasn’t Trioculus’s style to exert himself to execute just anyone. He had instructed Grand Moff Hissa to take care of that kind of dirty work, especially in the case of a traitor interfering with a high-level Imperial conference.

    And so the deed was done by Hissa with one short blast from his sidearm laser pistol.

    And that, my friends, is why everyone in the Thrawn trilogy speaks of the Grand Admirals with such respect. Not everyone would be able to openly defy Trioculus like that.

    The scene shifts to Threepio and Artoo, lost on the streets of Kessendra. Apparently, between last chapters cliffhanger and now, they had joined a crowd of droids leaving the stadium. Artoo, as is his custom, begins to curse like a sailor, and Threepio assures him that they'll find their way.

    "Pchoook ftiiiiz mebutung knuzush!" Artoo beeped noisily when they came to the next sign.

    Threepio shook his head in dismay. "Slavelord Boulevard. No, this definitely isn’t Spice Mines Avenue. It seems that all these streets have been renamed since Mon Mothma got that data."

    (okay, that one wasn't important for the plot, but had to quote it; gotta love those street names. Why don't we have any street named Meth Lab Avenue?)

    As the droids try to find their way, we get a surprisingly tender moment between friends, as Threepio relates some of his past.

    "I wasn’t cut out to be a spy," Threepio declared as he finally located a path through the Kesselian trees. "I should go back to working with binary load lifters. That was my first job. I’m still not sure why I left."

    "Deeeeewooop broooop!" tooted Artoo. A tiny radar screen popped out of the little droid’s head and began swiftly spinning around.

    "I certainly hope we get back to Yavin Four," replied Threepio. "Master Luke is going to blow a short circuit when he hears the news about the Emperor’s son!"

    "Tzoooooch briiiiiiiib!"

    "Now what are you beeping about, you hysterical bag of bolts?"


    And, for some reason, that "SHIBOOOOM" doesn't actually seem to correspond to anything at all... it's just kind of there. Threepio and Artoo notice that a few landspeeders are examining a mountain in the distance, near the location of their meteor pod. Threepio concludes that there's a 1,245 chance that the Imperials know they're on Kessel. One of the landspeeders proves this correct, as it blows up the escape pod. Threepio decides that they're doomed.

    But, as it turns out, they aren't. A man in a green slave robe calls out to them from behind. That man is Luke Skywalker! He and Admiral Ackbar (oddly, he points out Ackbar specifically here) decided that the droids might need some help. He leads the droids into a "Kessellian mountain forest), and get into a camouflaged airspeeder. And, at the controls, is none other than our favorite fishy chauffeur, Admiral Ackbar!

    We are then treated to a brief but thrilling chase scene. If you've ever wanted to imagine Admiral Ackbar pulling mad stunts in a chase scene, here's your permission.

    The other Imperial command speeders followed them, firing at them from behind.

    Ackbar and Luke returned the fire. They made a series of spectacular direct hits. One after another their enemies made crash dives, spinning out of control, back to the surface of Kessel.

    As their spaceship soared away from the outer atmosphere of Kessel, Artoo’s radar screen popped up and spun around quickly. "Bzzz tzzzt gniiiz bzheeep dzz dzooop!" he beeped urgently.

    "Oh, dear," said Threepio. "Artoo definitely doesn’t advise that we chart a direct course back to Yavin Four. He’s spotted Imperial probe droids directly in our path!"

    Commentary: The Seven Words of Trioculus... it's a bad sign when I trust the authors so little at this point that I actually have to count the words to make sure it adds up to seven :p. Despite everything else, the Davids have conclusively proven that they can count. I mean, what was with that random explosion noise? Is this a Michael Bay movie?

    This chapter marks the first appearance of the Whaladons, a species that will play a large part in the first novel. For those that aren't aware, all six of the Jedi Prince books have a different enormously hamfisted environmental theme. After all, what good is saving the galaxy if you don't take care of it? But since the Whaladons play a much larger role later on, and for now only really serve a purpose of establishing the morality of the Imperials, I'll talk about them more later. But for now, I'll comment that I personally had to laugh at the description of Whaladons as "whale like". Does that mean whales exist in the Star Wars universe? Why is no one trying to save them? Or were they all eaten by the Whaladons?

    Also of note is that this is the first, rather subtle appearance of a zoochberry. Yay? We'll be seeing a lot of those. Unlike Whaladons, however, zoochberries never, to my memory, play a big role in the plot. They're just the tasty, all purpose snack that everyone loves. And I mean everyone. Think about it. This is a series where black and white morality reigns supreme, even extending to the food. The Imperials are eating Whaladons, so obviously they're just horrible people. A Rebel would never think of eating a Whaladon. Zoochberries, on the other hand, are eaten by Rebels and Imperials alike. It's the one universal element of the galaxy. Makes me wonder why the New Republic and the Empire couldn't just sit down over a big bowl of zoochberries and calmly work through their differences.

    And the dinner party. How could one not love a dinner party of Moffs? The word "Mofference" has not come up yet, so I'm wondering what to call this gathering. Moff meal? Eh, who cares. I just love their suggestions for planets. Speaking of which, how exactly are the Imperials aware of Dagobah, especially enough to almost casually mention it? And why the hell are they suggesting taking over Mos Eisley spaceport? Or Cloud City? What possible use could those be in the war effort? You'd piss off smugglers, I suppose, so if that's your goal, good thinking.

    I also love how casually Trioculus orders the death of a Grand Admiral. Makes the way they're viewed in the Thrawn trilogy hilarious. This could really communicate two things: that Trioculus is so incredibly badass that he doesn't care if he wastes such a valuable resource, or that many of them are politically placed and aren't all they're cracked up to be. Either way, it's pretty funny that one of the most powerful men in the galaxy is killed for, essentially, telling Trioculus to chill and wait a bit. One has to wonder what history would have been like had Thrawn been at this little dinner party. I don't think that "refuse four times" thing of his would have gone over so well with Trioculus.

    And then we get to the Threepio and Artoo plot (let me just say, at this point, how much it annoys me to type their names out... but the book does it, so I'll do it). I get that kids books have to have some kind of cliffhanger at the end of every chapter, to keep the kid wanting to come back for more. But seriously... the cliffhanger at the end of chapter two was completely pointless. It was a total lie. The chapter ended with Artoo and Threepio faced with the problem of getting past stormtroopers. The next chapter, they've completely sidestepped that problem with barely a thought. I almost feel cheated

    And that concludes this chapter, which didn't really have much of an ending, but had a great deal of noteworthy events, with the death of a Grand Admiral being perhaps the least of them. Tune in next time to see the Seven Words of Trioculus carried out. Until then, please don't eat the Whaladons.
  7. cthugha

    cthugha Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 24, 2010
    Or Bureaucracy Lane?
    Extortion Alley?
    This is so film noir...

    Well obviously it's the cue for Threepio to look up at the "pink sky" and see the Imperial speeder -- so I guess we can either interpret it as that speeders supersonic bang or as the sound of protocol droid motivators desperately trying to get his head to look up.

    Well, Endor and Yavin are taken, so Tatooine, Hoth, Bespin and Dagobah are obviously the only noteworthy planets left in the galaxy.
  8. Lugija

    Lugija Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 3, 2009
    "Find me the glove of Darth Vader!" he said in a booming voice. Then he stared at them with his third eye, causing his loyal officers to shudder.

    I'm trying to picture Trioculus himself looking in a completely other direction while his stoned eye stares at the quests.
  9. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    Yeah, it has something to do with the speeder, but a SHIBOOOM? Why would a speeder be making a booming noise? I think a WHOOSH or a ZOOOOM is more called for.

    That's great, as is the description of him speaking in a "booming" voice. Not a quiet or menacing voice. A booming voice. When I think of the word "booming", I think of something very, very loud. So now I picture Trioculus staring at the wall, screaming at his dinner guests, possibly throwing Whaladon meat all over the place. The very image of a charismatic leader.
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  10. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 28, 2003
    Ackbar at the controls of a speeding land speeder shooting back at pursuers with blaster fire all while avoiding crashing?

    Ackbar, you never cease to amaze me. He is such a pro that he was ALSO texting while driving (a dangerous act) to a friend about the importance of donating money to a Save the Waladons crusade. And adjusting the radio. And (presumably) checking with his staff officers on that little side task called liberating the galaxy from the remnants of the Empire. :p

    --Adm. Nick
  11. Starkeiller

    Starkeiller Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 5, 2004
    What I learned today:

    Killing whaladons is enough to make you a trusted friend of the Empire. That's all you need to do. Owning slaves and shooting people for no reason always help, of course, but as long you kill whaladons, you're good enough to hang out with the Imperial crème de la crème.
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  12. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003
    Note to self: don't read this thread at work again in the future. Or while drinking coffee over the laptop.
  13. Zorrixor

    Zorrixor Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 8, 2004
    You forget your place with remarks like that. [face_shame_on_you]

    Do you not remember that it is this novel where Han first tells us his plans to build his SKY HOUSE. [face_not_talking]
    It's a Whaladon feast, so I assume so. Can't have any non-evil desserts.

    Probably something that starts with Dark too, like Dark Whaladon Ice Cream.
    But... but... I'm confused now... Jabba... who? And... what's a Tusken Raider or a jawa?

    The Davids messed up big time here, as they should have included a good paragraph, or preferable a page, for each, explaining in detail who and what these things are to readers who may be unfamiliar.
    Censored it for you. That droid has a vile potty mouth, er, potty vocabulator slot.
    Vocalised lensflare.
  14. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    Don't worry, Jabba will be more than adequately explained later, when Zorba shows up. They're leaving you in the dark for now. Steven Erikson eat your heart out.
  15. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 12, 2012

    Lotta layers in this. First off, the guy is wearing lazer earrings so that basically makes him the Flava Flav of the Grand Moff council. Second of all, a surprising amount of insight my Trioculus here! He realizes A: Why in the heck would you bother with Tatooine in the first place (also why is Moff Flava Fav suggesting it anyway?) B: He has a third eye which offers him insight so Shut the hell up, Flava.
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  16. Parnesius

    Parnesius Jedi Knight star 1

    Sep 8, 2012
    I've got a song that won't take very long,
    Afore we choose our base's location...
    The pudding that we eat, made from endangered meat,
    Is so EVIL it merits ovation.

    I like Whaladon Jellyyyyyy
    Whaladon Jelly for meeeeee.

    I like it for dinner, I like it for tea,
    And my favourite flavour is zoochberry.

    I'm not gonna lie, a cetacean must die,
    To make each vile dessert; that's the main reason why

    I like Whaladon Jellyyyyyy
    Whaladon Jelly for meeeeee.
  17. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2012
    So does Luke end up blowing a short circuit or not?

    I also like that one of the very few non-movie planets mentioned so far is Gargon, and they establish not one, but two Grand Admirals are from there. Very inventive.
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  18. Lugija

    Lugija Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 3, 2009
    Those droids and their mouths. While R2 just swears, 3PO uses innuendo.
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  19. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    I bid you all Dark Greetings! Seems this has fallen to the second page without the Glove's influence. Tsk tsk. Do you truly need something directly in front of your face to remember to worship it?

    So far, a loose Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule is working well for me, as those tend to be my lighter days. I'll see if I can keep that up.

    A warning: this chapter is slightly shorter than the others, and for whatever reason, I think it's even more quote filled.

    Chapter 4: Endangered Whaladons.

    Hundreds of probe droids with clawlike arms searched through space for the glove of Darth Vader.

    Trioculus, having delayed moving Imperial forces to the ice planet Hoth, waits impatiently for any news on sightings of the Glove. Quickly, it becomes apparent that the probe droids seem to be finding everything but the Glove. Trioculus is not pleased, and decides to make this fact known by beings smaller than he is.

    Trioculus released his fury by hunting giant fefze beetles in the Kesselian mountains. He managed to kill three giant fefze, and with each conquest Grand Moff Hissa congratulated him enthusiastically.

    But still Trioculus wasn’t satisfied. In an angry voice he spoke of wanting a bigger hunt, a bigger kill. He proposed a journey to the steaming, ammonia-filled jungles of the planet Cona to hunt star dragons.

    Before talks of this can continue, Trioculus quickly changes the subject, asking if anyone has questioned his right to rule. Hissa comments that some Stormtroopers have been heard to complain. Tricoulus demands their names, so that he can punish them. Hissa also reports that they thought they found the Glove earlier, but it turned out to just be a droids hand. Trioculus orders Hissa to not speak of droid hands to him, and chillingly warns him that his patience for this search is at an end.

    Once Trioculus and Hissa arrive back at their "sleek black palace", a brand new shipment of Whaladon meat arrives. In addition, the agent carrying the Whaladon meat also has a message for His Imperial Majesty from Captain Dunwell, the leader of the great Whaladon hunts. Trioculus demands not to be disturbed while listening to the message.

    Captain Dunwell had a short white beard and a reddish, leathery face. He wore a blue naval uniform with shiny buttons and rows of medals.

    "Dark Greetings, Lord Trioculus," he began. "Here, beneath the oceans of Calamari, I have made an astounding discovery. The Central Committee of Grand Moffs instructed me to contact you directly about this matter. As you may know, I have always been a loyal friend of the grand moffs. I urge you to come to see me on Calamari at once, at the Whaladon Processing Center. Your lordship will not be disappointed!"

    We then change scenes, this time from the point of view of... a Whaladon? Not just any Whaladon, but the King of the Whaladons, Leviathor (I see what they did there). Screw it, I'm quoting this entire section. It's not every day you get inside the head of the King of the Whaladons himself.

    Beneath the oceans of Calamari, Leviathor, the huge, white leader of the Whaladons, swam to the newly created Whaladon graveyard. In just a few years the bones of so many Whaladons had been dumped there by Captain Dunwell’s Whaladon hunters that the sea floor in that region was now white.

    Leviathor beheld the jagged rim of a crater just beyond the seaweed forest. Even from afar he could hear the dreaded machines churning in the huge underwater building at the bottom of that crater. The building was known as the Whaladon Processing Center.

    Leviathor knew all too well that it was here where Captain Dunwell and his walrus-faced crew of Aqualish aliens killed the Whaladons that they captured.

    There were now many young Whaladons who had no mothers to nurse them. And there were many older Whaladons, who used to swim the oceans of Calamari freely, who now hid, fearing for their lives, in the darkness of undersea caves.

    Swishing his great tail fin, Leviathor felt an invisible fire burning within him as he remembered the many learned and wise Whaladons who were now gone forever. No longer would they teach or sing songs-there was nothing left of them but their bones. Leviathor knew he had to save his endangered species before it was too late.

    Just then a bright yellow light flashed behind Leviathor. He had been targeted. They were coming for him now!

    The mighty Whaladon turned in the water and saw the huge new vessel-the biggest Whaladon-hunting submarine ever built-tracking him, following him with his every dive.

    Leviathor raced for his life, his huge heart pounding fast.

    There was a roar behind him and the water swirled with foam. A great suction was pulling at his tail, suction as if from a whirlpool.

    Leviathor dove again. Swimming as he had never swum before, he sailed into the seaweed forest and down into a wide coral cave.

    There he hid until the death machine had passed by. Then Leviathor swam toward the Domed City of Aquarius, the undersea center of civilization on Calamari. He had to find someone who could help the Whaladons, and soon!

    Brutal. Simply brutal. I wonder who he'll contact for help?

    We shift scenes back to Luke and Ackbar, where newly installed shields on their landspeeder "protect them from radiation", allowing them to travel through space... what?! Also, sometime between now and last chapters cliffhanger, they've lost all of the probe droids, so make that another completely pointless and misleading cliffhanger.

    It's only fitting that, after all of this thrill-a-minute action, we get a quiet moment between friends, as well as Ackbar serving as the voice of wisdom.

    "We’ll go to Calamari, Luke," Admiral Ackbar said as he programmed the command speeder on an automatic course toward his home planet. "When we get there, we’ll transfer Artoo-Detoo’s spy data about Trioculus and the Imperial officers into a computer that will analyze it."

    "But Mon Mothma and Princess Leia are waiting for that information now" said Luke.

    "At the moment we’re likely to be spotted by Imperials if we fly near Yavin Four," explained Ackbar. "We’ll wait on Calamari for a while, then send a Calamarian cargo cruiser on ahead of us with the coded data."

    "When we get to Calamari," Threepio asked anxiously, "will there be time for Artoo and me to be modified back to our usual-looking selves at the Droid Repair Shop in the Domed City of Aquarius?"

    "Are you sure that’s what you want, Threepio?" said Luke with a grin. "I’m sort of getting used to you being green-and mean-looking."

    "Honestly, Master Luke, sometimes your sense of humor astounds me."

    We skip forward. Luke and Ackbar have arrived on Calamari, and because of Ackbar's influence, are allowed to dock on a Calamarian submarine, headed for the domed city of Aquarius.

    Though there were many other cities on platforms above the waters, the Domed City of Aquarius was the only one that was located entirely under the sea. It was encased in a gigantic bubble, with the lower half containing rocks, coral, canals, and seawater and the upper half containing air. In Aquarius air-breathers and water-breathers lived above and below one another, in a spirit of brotherhood and equality.

    I'm, uh, pretty sure that's not right...

    The "spy mission team", as they're called, board Aquarius, and disembark. There, Ackbar reveals another hidden talent. In addition to being a brilliant military commander and a badass getaway driver, he also has an ear for music. At long last, we're fully introduced to the central theme of the novel, as Ackbar comes face to face with destiny.

    Admiral Ackbar stopped suddenly. Luke wondered what was wrong. Finally Ackbar said, "Listen to that sound-it’s a Whaladon song."

    Luke noticed it, too. It was a faint, haunting melody, echoing between the tall buildings on both sides of the biggest canal in the city.

    Making his way through the crowd, Ackbar led Luke and the droids toward the canal. There they saw Leviathor, his big white humps sticking out of the water.

    Admiral Ackbar was one of the few air-breathing fishmen who understood Whaladon songs. As Leviathor sang about how the Whaladons were threatened with extinction because of Captain Dunwell’s new Whaladon-hunting submarine, the admiral hung his head in sorrow.

    "Wise One of the Calamarian Seas," said Admiral Ackbar, "you have my solemn promise that I will do everything I can to save you and your valiant species."

    "Tell him he has my promise, too," Luke Skywalker added.

    Commentary: If that final passage doesn't send a chill up your spine, I'm not sure what to do with you.

    As I mentioned, this chapter marks the transition for Whaladons from device to make the Imperials more evil to, arguably, the main plot of the novel. Both the "Leviathor" section, and the interaction between Ackbar and Moby Dick Leviathor, are absolutely buried in melodrama. Nothing reflects that better than the decision to make the Whaladons "sing". Obviously, if an animal can sing, killing it is even more despicable and evil than it would be normally. [face_shame_on_you]

    It's interesting that Ackbar is especially environmentally conscious, even among his own people. After all, he's "one of the few air-breathing fishmen" who can understand the song of a Whaladon. And with that, I'm left with this great image of Ackbar and Leviathor, on two opposite sides of what's essentially a giant fish tank, bowing their heads in reflective images of sorrow. Dammit, not gonna cry, not gonna cry...

    We also get a brief Trioculus section. I'm not sure what impression that Davids are trying to give me, but the one I'm left with is that he's a bit of a child, not to mention a bully. From what I have gathered, it's only been a few days at absolute most, and he's already throwing a tantrum because a Glove hasn't been found. I know it only has like 12 planets, but space is a big place, dude.

    Only other real comment I have on this chapter is that I call so much bull**** on that landspeeder space ship thing. Though it does give me a hilarious image of Luke, Ackbar and the droids cruising in what's essentially a closed top convertible through space, blaring this song

    And that's that for now. If you should be fortunate enough to hear a Whaladon song, please, please listen.
  20. Starkeiller

    Starkeiller Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 5, 2004
    I can so easily imagine Mark Hamill delivering that line. Which is a rare thing in those books.

    You forget that hunting is bad, as this chapter teaches us. The Davidses are clear: good guys eat all those zoochberries because their inner goodness won't allow them to have meat. So, killing any animal for any reason is despicable in itself. I can't see how you would have missed such an important moral lesson.

    You know, it's a good thing I didn't read that when I was a kid. The more the Davidses preached, the more I would have identified with the bad guys. By the end of the series, I'd be making Trioculus costumes for Halloween.
  21. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    I wanna dress up as a Whaladon.

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  22. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2012
    You know, "fishmen" really seems like it should be an in-universe racial slur for the Mon Calamari. No doubt started by the Quarren. Actually, that makes me wonder, are Quarren mentioned at all? And for that matter, do any other Mon Calamari besides Ackbar show up? You'd get the impression that Calamari is basically just entirely a whale planet.

    Also, the fefze beetle and star dragon mention are more evidence that the Davis at least flipped through a WEG sourcebook or two. And on the environmental theme - from what I recall, GODV is the series that established Duros as being basically a toxic wasteland when in the earlier WEG stuff it had been a normal inhabitable planet. So the Davids themselves are responsible personally for destroying the Durosian environment. For shame...

    I'm kind of surprised that in the early period after TPM came out, when so much of the pre-existing EU was being connected to it, no one tried to connect the Domed City of Aquarius to the Gungans somehow. I guess GODV is one of the few things that even TPM couldn't benefit from being associated with. Although I will say right now that my new personal canon retcon is that Calamari refugees from Aquarius were the ones who built the undersea refugee dome on Artorias from the early Invasion issues.
  23. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003
    Huh. So the WEG stuff came out before this series? Interesting. The Davises could get continuity right but our David (Filoni) could not. lol.

    In Aquarius air-breathers and water-breathers lived above and below one another, in a spirit of brotherhood and equality.

    Oh I get it. Must be the Mon Cal Age of Aquarius Hippy Colony.
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  24. instantdeath

    instantdeath Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 22, 2010
    As far as I'm aware, no. The closest we've gotten so far is that they share the planet with the "air breathers".

    If I were to base an impression of Dac based purely on what's given in this book, I'd say that it's jointly shared by a race of "air breathers", and the waters are shared by the Mon Calamari and the Whaladons. Though I do suppose the term "water breathers" leaves ample room for species like the Quarren.

    The Davidses destroyed a planet? If there's such a thing as poetic justice, that's it.

    As for the other planets, yes, they really seem to go back and forward on that. They occasionally seem to namedrop other planets, but in all conversations of substance, only movie planets are brought up. Perhaps that changes as the series goes on, I honestly don't remember.

    Well, getting continuity right might be a wee bit of a stretch. I don't remember any landspeeders capable at traveling through lightspeed in canon :p

    Or, perhaps, everyone else is making a continuity mistake by not including them?
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  25. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
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