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Lit Reading 'Young Jedi Knights' and 'Junior Jedi Knights'

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Darksabre4237, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Darksabre4237

    Darksabre4237 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2018
    So…I’ve been on a bit of a Star Wars literature binge-read for the last couple of weeks (of “Legends”, not nu-canon, since my first introduction to Star Wars literature back in my teens was the then-called ‘EU’)…and I’ve finally gotten to the Young Jedi Knights and Junior Jedi Knights series. To be entirely honest I’m mostly reading them as a preamble to reading The New Jedi Order series, which I consider to be the pinnacle of SW literature, but they’re fun little books and it’s quite entertaining to read them as an adult, considering the fact that they are kids’ books.

    YJK and JJK laid the groundwork for the characterization of the Solo kids’ generation of Jedi in NJO and onward, and I’m always in the mood to ramble, so I’ll be posting some of my thoughts on these books as I work through the two series. If anyone has any thoughts on these books, hop in…it’d be fun to have some discussion! I’ll be reading the series in roughly chronological order and switching back and forth between the two. Here’s my proposed reading order…

    Heirs of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta - YJK
    Shadow Academy by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta - YJK
    The Lost Ones by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta - YJK

    The Golden Globe by Nancy Richardson - JJK

    Lightsabers by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta - YJK
    Darkest Knight by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta - YJK
    Jedi Under Seige by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta – YJK

    Lyric's World by Nancy Richardson - JJK
    Promises by Nancy Richardson – JJK
    Anakin's Quest by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta - JJK


    Shards of Alderaan by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta - YJK
    Diversity Alliance by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta - YJK
    Delusions of Grandeur by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta - YJK
    Jedi Bounty by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta – YJK
    The Emperor's Plague by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta – YJK

    Vader's Fortress by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta – JJK
    Kenobi's Blade by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta – JJK
    Return to Ord Mantell by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta – YJK
    Trouble on Cloud City by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta – YJK
    Crisis at Crystal Reef by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta – YJK


    My thoughts on Heirs of the Force will be up presently…
     
  2. Darksabre4237

    Darksabre4237 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2018
    So…Heirs of the Force. Kevin J. Anderson has never been my favorite Star Wars author (I didn’t care for his Jedi Academy trilogy), but this book was…okay. There’s a certain entertainment that comes from reading a kids’ book as an adult, and I have to remind myself not to judge a piece of literature aimed at 12-15 years olds too harshly! That said, this was a fun little story and it’s certainly amusing to read about Han and Leia’s kids growing up and starting to have their own adventures. I recently read the “Corellian Trilogy” and it’s interesting to see how they’ve matured since then (they were 9 in that series and 13 in HoF).

    I imagine Luke Skywalker had to do some Jedi relaxation exercises when he learned Jacen and Jaina were coming to the Praexum…within the first chapter it’s clear that Jaina is a technological terror and a mechanical genius, and I’d be lying if I said the descriptions of some of Jacen’s pets didn’t give me the heebie-jeebies. Like, piranha beetles, really? *shudders*. Maybe I’m just being a girl, but I cannot understand why anyone would want to keep insects as pets! Interestingly enough, it’s kind of cool to see that Jacen and Jaina are a bit ‘gender-bent’ in regards to their hobbies/interests…mechanical aptitude is generally seen as more of a ‘guy’ thing so it’s kind of cool that it’s Jaina who takes after her father in regards to flying and fixing things.

    The humor in this book is pretty well done…I got a chuckle out of Raynar Thul’s garishly colorful robes, and to be honest, Jacen’s ‘famously-lame’ jokes aren’t that lame. They’re pretty good for a thirteen-year-old kid who’s trying to make his very serious crush laugh. As an aside, I found it amusing just how many times KJA describes just how muscular Tenel Ka is—we get it, Jacen’s crushing on a girl who can pretty much bench-press him. Also, about Tenel Ka…what is the drinking age on Hapes? She talks about drinking ale with her parents on Hapes…isn’t she like 13?

    Something that bugged me about the book…we don’t really get much insight into exactly how the students are taught at the Jedi Praexum. There’s mention of lessons and such, but how are these lessons conducted? Do they have lectures and then practical exercises? How is their aptitude and grasp of concepts measured and recorded? Do they get grades? Are there names for the classes they take…is there a Telekinesis 101? Advanced Meditation Techniques? One thing the Harry Potter series was always really good about was telling the readers what the names of classes were and what Harry, Ron, and Hermione were supposed to be learning in those classes, but in this series there’s pretty much…nothing. Kind of frustrating.

    Something I did find interesting…it’s stated in the book that there are students at the Jedi Academy who are pretty much not Force-sensitive; they are just there to learn about Jedi lore. I’ve had a lot of discussions in recent months with a fellow SW fan about how Luke’s Order missed the mark in NJO and beyond, with both of us coming to the conclusion that the Order needed to be more ‘integrated into society’, both to be more effective and to better resolve the question of ‘who are the Jedi accountable to?’ In light of that, it’s interesting that there are a bunch of ‘Muggles’ at the Praexum who just happen to find the Jedi interesting…it would have been pretty cool to see those people end up kind of helping to ‘bridge the gap’ between the Jedi and the rest of society later on…but it seems like that just sort of got dropped.

    I also found it kind of strange that the Solos are apparently taught by ‘educational droids’ instead of human teachers, back on Coruscant. Yes, they are the Chief of State’s children so I imagine there are…ahem…security concerns (Thrawn did try to kidnap them before they were born!) but I don’t see why Han and Leia don’t put them in school. In the US, the President’s children still attend school…they just have Secret Service agents around. Why don’t Jacen and Jaina go to school, but have a couple of Noghri bodyguards with them? Keeping the twins and Anakin locked up in the Imperial Palace to learn from droids sounds pretty unhealthy for their social development, not to mention I have serious questions as to whether using droids to teach is nearly as effective as employing sentient teachers.

    Another thing that bothered me…it’s stated in the book that Jacen and Jaina don’t understand Shyriwook, and I personally find that pretty implausible. Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin grew up with Chewbacca—I don’t understand why the Solo kids wouldn’t have understood Shyriwook from a very early age. Lowie would definitely need a translator droid to communicate with the rest of the students at the Academy, but Jaina and Jacen not understanding him seems pretty far-fetched considering they were partially raised by a Wookiee. In Visions of the Future, Han and Leia actually send the kids to Kashyyyk with Chewbacca during the ‘Fake Thrawn’ crisis—so I don’t think it makes any sense for them not to understand Shyriwook. Of course, this could simply be one of the many little inconsistencies that pop up in the EU due to having so many different authors, but this tidbit struck me as particularly strange.

    Also…Han came off as a bit de-powered in this book…I honestly can’t see Han Solo, legendary pilot, struggling to shoot down one TIE fighter the way he does in the last few chapters of this book. If the pilot was a healthy Baron Soontir Fel or Wedge Antilles in a TIE Defender…but an injured and not-entirely-sane Qorl? No, I don’t buy it.

    Regarding Qorl…I wasn’t aware that the Empire apparently brainwashes their pilots. Certainly there’s a certain amount of indoctrination that takes place in the TIE pilot and stormtrooper ranks, but plenty of them are quite capable of independent thought (LaRone, Quiller, Grave, Marcross, and Brightwater in Zahn’s Hand of Judgment duology come to mind). Of course, Qorl had also been on his own in the wilderness for 20 years, so he’s clearly not all there and may just be repeating Imperial propaganda because that’s what he’s used to keep himself from going full-on batty for two decades.

    In any case, the book was a fun little adventure and it was cool to see the twins use their smarts to trick Qorl into flying a TIE fighter with no weapons…apparently the Rebels never thoroughly combed the forests around the Yavin 4 base after the Galactic Civil War…yikes. The kids handled being kidnapped pretty well…but then again, that’s been happening to them since like forever…Thrackan Sal-Solo did kidnap and try to kill them when they were nine. As an aside, it’s pretty incredible that the Solo twins aren’t more unbalanced considering how many times people have kidnapped them; at this point they’re still both quite innocent and trusting…pretty heartbreaking when you think about what they go through in NJO.

    Now onto the second installment…Shadow Academy…
     
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  3. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Wow, I think I read some of these books in middle school.
    Brings back some memories.
     
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  4. Darksabre4237

    Darksabre4237 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2018
    There's definitely an aura of nostalgia around these books, lol!
     
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  5. Darksabre4237

    Darksabre4237 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2018
    So…Shadow Academy was a fun book, and in my opinion an improvement over the first installment of the YJK series, Heirs of the Force.

    I got a chuckle out of Jacen playing with Luke’s lightsaber in the first chapter—I remember the Corellian trilogy mentioned that the Solo kids were fond of “experimenting” with their uncle’s lightsaber. However, it does seem a bit…irresponsible of Luke to leave a weapon that can cut through just about anything lying around where a 13-year-old can find it. It would be akin, in my opinion, to leaving an M-16 on the living room table…and this is only one instance of Luke coming off as a rather irresponsible mentor and teacher. At this point the Solo twins still more or less think of lightsabers as fancy toys, and that’s rather sobering in light of what happens to them in only about 3 years…when they’ll be thrown into a war where they literally forced to carry weapons around with them constantly.

    I did really like one Luke quote in the book though: “Don’t always assume the teacher is right without question. You must think for yourself.” I thought that was a pretty profound line about the importance of always being willing to question the status quo. I remember something I read once (paraphrasing) “Once people stop asking questions about something, it’s time to be wary of it.” It’s also rather ironic that it’s Luke who says this, considering how heavy-handed he became in his management of the Jedi Order later in the EU.

    As an aside, Tenel Ka’s plotline of concealing that she is a princess is pretty fun to read about. I liked her quote, “I have done nothing to earn it, choose it, or deserve it” (in regards to the Hapan throne). Her reliance on her physical prowess instead of Force tricks is refreshing…it was pretty cool to see her kick Tamith Kai’s butt with a well-placed karate kick whilst the Nightsister was getting ready to blast her with some fancy Force lightning.

    It’s really sweet that Jacen is a momma’s boy—the first thing he thinks to do with the Corusca gem he finds is to give it to Leia.

    …and, the twins get kidnapped again. It’s almost something of a trope with these two, and it’s actually quite…disturbing. Luke tells Leia and Han to send out spies and probe droids to try to find the twins, but my main question is: “Why there isn’t more security around Yavin 4?”I don’t really know whether the rest of the galaxy is aware that the Jedi Praexum is on Yavin 4, but if that’s fairly common knowledge, the Jedi are pretty much sitting ducks if anyone unfriendly comes to call. The Jedi Praexum should at least have some ground-based turbolaser batteries and a speedy evacuation plan that they should practice on a regular basis (if I recall, this absolute lack of defenses came back to bite them in the butt during NJO when the Peace Brigade and the Yuuzhan Vong attacked). On top of that, I don’t see why the Solos don’t have a couple of Noghri with Jacen and Jaina…they do have targets on their backs due to being Han and Leia’s children, and not having more security around them seems almost…careless.

    Also, the fact that the Empire kidnaps the Solo twins is pretty ballsy because at this point the Imperial Remnant and the New Republic have a truce and violating it by kidnapping the Chief of State’s children is a really bad move…the Imperial Remnant needs all the good PR it can get. At least, that’s the in-universe analysis. Out of universe, the fact is that Visions of the Future, in which the New Republic Imperial Remnant come to a truce was published in 1998, while this book was published in 1995. Such is the problem that sometimes comes up in the EU—books that chronologically take place before others in-universe were sometimes published later, and so on. The fact that the ‘Hand of Thrawn’ duology hadn’t been published yet also helps to explain the conspicuous absence of Mara Jade in these novels.

    I found the names of the drinks Luke and Tenel Ka order when they are searching for the Solo twins and Lowbacca quite funny…”Random Yellow Plague” and “Remote Terminator.” The Random Yellow Plague sounds a lot like one of those ‘ring of fire’ drinks that will leave you retching not just from drunkenness but also disgust.

    Jacen’s empathy really shines through in his dealings with Qorl…even though the pilot betrayed them, he still feels sympathetic towards him. It’s sad to see how kind and considerate he was…considering what the authors put the poor boy through in NJO…and how other authors later assassinated his character in DN and LoTF. He was such a smart and funny kid “Your people aren’t known for their sense of humor” (about the Dathomiri), and “It takes two stormtroopers to change a glow-panel, one to do it and the other to shoot him and take the credit.” As an aside, young Jaina is such a staunch defender of what she believes is right…she’s bright, funny, defiant…it’s a tragedy what happened to her later on.

    A bit of musing about the Force philosophy Brakiss was espousing…he basically said one needs to embrace both the light and the dark. I admit to being an adherent of the ‘Vergere view of the Force’, or ‘the Potentium Heresy’ in that I don’t believe the Force has ‘sides’…it’s not sentient—it’s what the user does that is light or dark. Both the Sith Code and the Jedi Code are horribly flawed, IMO. I personally have never bought the idea that serenity and peace are the only right ways to wield the Force…there are things that should make us angry and sometimes it’s perfectly fine to use anger as a motivator. If someone has been assaulted or cheated, you should get angry enough about it to do something about it. Anger is not inherently of the dark side…it’s just anger. Letting it control you, though—that’s problematic.

    And about the ‘unarmed opponent’ thing Brakiss taunted Jacen with…I’ll admit that part of the “Jedi Way” has always irritated me. If you have successfully disarmed an enemy that has sincerely tried to kill you and is a danger to others…I say, shoot them twice in the head and burn the body for good measure. I am endlessly frustrated by the trope of ‘the hero spares the villain out of the goodness of his heart and then the villain puts a knife in his back’, so, yeah, I think that part of the Jedi way is just…not tactically sound most of the time. Yes, I do realize that, as Corran Horn said in one of the X-Wing novels, ‘Some people deserve to die but you don’t always deserve to pull the trigger’…but if you are in a pinch, mercy may end up getting more people (including yourself) killed because you didn’t act when you should have. Like when Luke was delaying getting on the escape ship so he could confront Brakiss…like, really, that was not the time to be agonizing over his former student. I would say that Luke should have put Brakiss in the ground when he had the chance…but he didn’t and Brakiss ran off to wreak havoc in the galaxy.

    It’s pretty dark how far the torture went in this book…the stuff the Shadow Academy used on Lowie (loud noises, darkness, cold water) definitely fall under the ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ umbrella. Admittedly, having Jaina and Jacen fight each other while shrouded by a holographic projection of Darth Vader was quite inspired…although, shouldn’t they have been able to instantly sense that it was their twin inside the projection? They aren’t fully trained Jedi Knights, but they are twins and I would have thought their Force sense of each other would be strong enough for that trick not to work.

    It was definitely fun seeing Jacen, Jaina, and Lowie working together to escape the Shadow Academy, and Luke and Tenel Ka’s little jaunt was fun to read about. I would still argue that Luke should have called for some military reinforcement of the Jedi Praexum after Jaina and Jacen got kidnapped, or better yet, evacuate the place since it’s clear it’s not safe anymore.

    I found Jacen’s remarks about lightsabers at the end quite profound and self-aware for a 13-year-old. “I’m physically capable. I’m not sure I’m ready mentally. Maybe I’m not mature enough emotionally. It’s such a big responsibility. One mistake could get an innocent person killed.” 13 years old, but already showing the ‘thinker’ personality and ‘preserver of life’ mentality that would fully blossom in the NJO. Luke compliments Jacen on ‘thinking for himself’ to resist Brakiss’s training…if only Jacen had applied the same knowledge two decades later when he encountered Lumiya. Luke also mentions that ‘No one is completely good or completely evil…’ ironic when you think that two decades later, Luke would deem his nephew irredeemable.

    All in all, Shadow Academy was definitely fun…now onto The Lost Ones
     
  6. Nobody145

    Nobody145 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2007
    I have fond memories of these books. Plenty of flaws, even considering what audience they were writing for, but my general impression is that there were at least a few good moments here and there.

    Just to mention, I think most of this series was written before the Hand of Thrawn duology was finished, so at the time, there wasn't an official peace treaty between the New Republic and Imperial Remnant, just a mostly peaceful New Republic and random Imp warlords and factions still out there. And later works would just retcon the bad guys of this series as a mostly independent group separate from Remnant anyway.

    Mostly I just miss the optimism of this era. NJO would take a sledgehammer to the Solo family (and post-NJO would be even worse). And that's not even going into the sequels. There's plenty of logic problems (yet another kidnapping) but its also nice to see stories where the fate of the galaxy isn't at stake.
     
  7. Darksabre4237

    Darksabre4237 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2018
    The YJK books are honestly just...fun to read in a way NJO and post-NJO aren't. There's this assurance throughout that no matter what the heroes go through, everyone is going to come out on the other side okay and come back home, and while that may not be 'realistic', it's enjoyable. After all, one of the reasons we read novels is for the escapism...the ability to have a wild adventure with an assured happy ending.

    It's been pretty fun doing my EU binge-read and noticing some of the inconsistencies between different series...and coming up with my own justifications for those perceived inconsistencies. After all, cleaning up the remnants of the Empire did take years-there were so many wannabe Warlords and Admirals and such running around after the Empire began to fragment at Endor.

    I really feel you on the optimism...I'll have more to say about this later, but a hill I've always been willing to die on is that the Solo family deserved better, if for nothing but the fact that Han and Leia gave and gave and gave to the galaxy. And what did the universe give them for their trouble? Their sons' corpses. That, to me, always seemed unimaginably cruel. You also hit on one of the points that annoys me about the EU post-NJO...the endless wars. Just how many times can you fight galactic wars before the very fabric of the galaxy's society begins to disintegrate? I get that they needed big plots/conflicts to sustain long book series, but after a while it starts to grate. It IS possible to write compelling books and narratives without the entire galaxy being consumed by a war. I mean, if you count the Clone Wars, the galaxy has pretty much been in some state of mass conflict for around 70-80 years by the end of Fate of the Jedi.
     
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  8. ColeFardreamer

    ColeFardreamer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 24, 2013
    I always love YJK and JJK, my fav series. Looking forward to when you reach YJK Lightsabers. Also do not forget to top it off with the short story leading YJK into the NJO as an outtro after the last book.
     
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  9. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I read YJK some time ago, but JJK seemed a bit too young to me.
     
  10. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Same for me, actually. I picked up one of the JJK books ages ago and thought...nah, I'm too far out of this demographic. Which is a bit odd since I was in my early 20's when YJK was being released. I'll let you do the math.

    Ha! JediLover said basically the same thing in one of the comments to a story over in the fanfic section. The books make it seem that these teens were pretty much left to their own devices most of the time. You're always left with: "Who's running this place, anyway?"

    Shoot, I was thinking this as I was reading 'Heir to the Empire' for the first time...before we even know anything about the Clone Wars (other than a mention in ANH). How is the economy surviving all of this?
     
  11. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    It could be that honey ale is the Hapes/Dathomir version of ginger ale? Regarding the protagonists age did I always take them for being around 15/16

    I would not be surprised that the authors themselves was not that certain and therefor left it light in naming and description so they did not write anything that would ned to be retconed away and/or would leave it open for others to fill it in. There could also be that they thought that kind of things would not really be of interest for the intended audience.

    There should really have been a "Tales of the Jedi Academy" anthology.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  12. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Or perhaps like 'butterbeer' in Harry Potter? Of non-specific alcoholic quantity?
     
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  13. Ackbar's Fishsticks

    Ackbar's Fishsticks Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Tenel Ka versus Tamith Kai is one of the greatest archenmities of all time in the Star Wars universe.

    (I almost said "the Shego vs. Kim Possible of the Star Wars universe," but nah, that's being massively unfair to Shego).

    Totally. I was willing to take one of the three dying in the NJO. Another one of them dying, and not only dying but doing so after he'd gone to the dark side and plunged the galaxy in war in a completely unnecessary Darth Vader retread, killing his aunt along the way, and after all that having to be put down by his own sister? For frell's sake. It's just darkness for the sake of darkness.

    At the very least, I feel like limiting things to one galactic war per generation would be quite enough.

    The prequel generation had the Clone Wars, the original generation had the civil war between Empire and Rebels, and their children's generation had the Yuuzhan Vong War. That's more than sufficient. The last thing the universe needed after that last one was to rush straight into the next galactic conflict.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  14. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Regarding ages, Tenel Ka, according to wookieepedia, was born sometime between 8 and 10 ABY. YJK: Heirs of the Force takes place in 23 ABY, which makes her somewhere between 12 and 15. Jacen and Jaina were born in 9 ABY and are therefore 13 or 14 in the book.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. BookExogorth

    BookExogorth Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 4, 2017
    On the subject of ages, I feel like I remember them being 14 in the first arc, then 15 in the next, then 16 in the next. Can't remember if that's actually in the text, but I thought it mentioned their ages somewhere.
     
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  16. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    So Tenel Ka being involved in lethal combat and outright killing people at that age is no big deal but drinking a real beer is?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  17. Darksabre4237

    Darksabre4237 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Luke Skywalker deserves respect for basically re-starting the Jedi Order, but it's an undeniable fact that he has an alarming track record of incompetence in teaching. He should honestly be thanking his lucky stars his academy didn't produce more mentally unbalanced dark-siders than it did. As it was, of his original class, one was vaporized by a Sith spirit, one ran off to join the Second Imperium, and another blew up a sun. "Mara left after one week, dissatisfied by Skywalker's instruction", and Corran eventually left as well when he could no longer tolerate Luke's lack of common sense and questionable instruction.

    I recently read an essay called "The Dropout Rate of Luke Skywalker's Jedi Praexum" that basically pointed out the fact that the Jedi Praexum had no established curriculum, no oversight save for one 30-year-old dude way in over his head…I believe one of the storylines in FoTJ is that Nataasi Daala exiles Luke for dereliction of duty due to Jacen's fall to the dark side…and I would say that the Provisional Council could easily have brought Luke up on similar charges or just straight up disbanded the academy after the Kyp Durron fiasco. If an institution cannot be trusted not to turn out students that destroy suns, it definitely needs an overhaul. It's honestly baffling to me how Luke's order managed to operate so long without any government accountability or oversight, considering the number of dark-siders and fiascos he turned out in the early years. I suppose his "Hero of the Rebellion" status played a role in the Council's cutting him some slack, but the way they let Kyp Durron off makes no sense to me. The dude blew up an entire star system…I can't see Leia or Mon Mothma just letting that slide. The New Republic nearly executed Tycho Celchu when he was suspected of of being an Imperial spy, so having them not execute Kyp make zero sense. At the very least they would have slapped him with life imprisonment and demanded a complete audit of the 'classes' at the Praexum…except, wait, there apparently was no curriculum TO audit! *bangs head into wall*

    With that in mind, I say Han and Leia took a serious gamble letting their kids attend Luke's Praexum, but as you've said, they are written by Kevin Anderson as having an amazingly cavalier attitude towards their children's safety. It's a good thing Jacen and Jaina have good heads on their shoulders considering the sore lack of adult supervision in their lives. Although I suppose the freedom the Solo children were afforded ended up benefiting them in the long run since they would end up fighting a war as teenagers.

    I guess a lot of those details get glossed over because the Star Wars is supposed to be a 'space opera', but for a world-building nerd like me, the lack of attention to realistic economics and political systems can really start to grate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  18. Darksabre4237

    Darksabre4237 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Lol-I didn't think of it that way! It was just a throwaway detail that struck me for some reason. And about her being involved in lethal combat and killing people...it has always discomfited me how comfortable the Jedi Order is with what amounts to child soldiering. Luke was at least 19 in the OT when he fought in the Battle of Yavin 4, but most of the Solos' generation of students were around 16 when the Yuuzhan Vong War started. Of course...there is a precedence for that in the Old Order...they had 13 and 14 year old Padawans on the front lines straight from the beginning of the Clone Wars. Ahsoka was 14 when the 'Clone Wars' series started, I believe. I get that having the Force apparently gives you extra maturity (?) but it still makes me pretty uncomfortable.
     
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  19. Darksabre4237

    Darksabre4237 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Ugh, don't get me started on Jacen's fall to the dark side. It doesn't make much sense for a person who no doubt grew up hearing horrible stories about Darth Vader to go Sith as easily as Jacen did in LoTF. In fact, I would have thought he would be the Solo kid least likely to go to the dark side-personality-wise, I think Jaina would have been a better candidate. She does have a chip on her shoulder and the shortest fuse, IMO. Apparently redeeming Jacen was in the cards at one point, but they decided to go through with the 'twin sacrifice' so Jaina could 'fulfill her destiny as the Sword of the Jedi'. Which is just absolutely sick.

    In my mind, the Yuuzhan Vong War should have been the "war to end all wars", so to speak, at least for a couple of generations. They should have given the galaxy a "thousand years of peace" before another massive galactic conflict. Any conflicts in subsequent books should have been small and localized--it's impossible that there would be peace everywhere in the galaxy, but there needed to be some time to rebuild.
     
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  20. Darksabre4237

    Darksabre4237 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Jan 3, 2018
    So…about The Lost Ones. Definitely not as much action as the previous installment, and honestly quite boring at parts, but it’s a quick read and has some flashes of brilliance.

    Jacen and Jaina’s crushes on Tenel Ka and Zekk, respectively, are an endless source of amusement for me…it’s quite endearing but also reminds me why I don’t miss being fourteen. We get some fun Solo family bonding; it’s nice to know they occasionally take the time to be a normal family amidst all the kidnapping, dealing with dark-siders, fighting the Empire, etc.

    This novel does attempt to do something not a lot of SW fiction does—address the matter of economic inequalities and class differences. Because our SW heroes are usually so busy fighting evil, there’s usually not much time to delve into the socio-political complexities that accompany any society. It’s occasionally mentioned in the EU that Leia and Han come from drastically different backgrounds…she’s a Princess from Alderaan and he’s a former smuggler, but little is made of it. Well…except for when Wolverton very clumsily attempted to address the issue in the infamous The Courtship of Princess Leia…a book which was both stunningly awful and supremely entertaining at the same time. It did give us the Hapans, and the Dathomiri Witches, so it had that going for it, but otherwise…even when I was fourteen I thought that book was…ahem…dumb. Anyway, back to the point of class differences…the socio-economic divide between Zekk and the twins becomes an important factor in the novel’s plot. As an aside, I found it rather funny that Han refers to Zekk as “scruffy-looking” considering he was much like Zekk in his youth…although it was a nice callback to Leia’s insults in ESB.

    Again, I continue to find Han and Leia’s cavalier treatment of their children’s safety to be quite difficult to rationalize. The Solo family lives deep in the Imperial Palace so they can be safe, but apparently it’s fine for the twins to wander around Coruscant on their own for hours. Admittedly they don’t tell their parents they are going into the lower levels, but plenty of kidnappings happen in broad daylight. I realize that the kids have to ditch their parents or any security guards in order for the adventure storyline to work, but from a logical standpoint the freedom the twins are given to roam Coruscant as they please is…unrealistic.

    Now, about Zekk…or shall I say, Kyp Durron 2.0? It seems that Kevin J. Anderson really likes black-haired, green-eyed young Jedi who run off to join the dark side at the first possible opportunity, because Kyp and Zekk are shockingly similar. Both orphans, both scrappy, same physical description, etc. etc. Apparently having one green-eyed dark-sider in Luke Skywalker’s original Jedi class wasn’t enough—Kevin Anderson liked his super special Jedi Kyp so much he decided to give the Solos’ generation their own personal miniaturized version. Minus the Sun Crusher, of course, because there’s only so many times you can use the superweapon plot…something The Force Awakens should have taken into account. Ahem.

    That being said, it’s pretty interesting to read about Zekk’s interactions with the Solos. Han and Leia have raised Jaina and Jacen to be humble, which is no mean feat considering they are essentially the New Republic’s Royal Family and the Royal Family of the Jedi Order (of course that never brought them any happiness, but still). The twins see and treat Zekk as an equal, but Zekk clearly has an inferiority complex, which is actually completely understandable. As he says, “Down here you can see how I live every day. I don't have anyone to wash my hands for me or cook my meals, you know. And I don't have the luxury of worrying about how to amuse myself. Every day is a search—I'm just lucky I have a special knack for finding things.” From their first interactions in this book, Zekk’s jealousy and inferiority complex are quite obvious—and Jaina innocently offering financial help doesn’t help either.

    Zekk doesn’t want charity, which is understandable, but I do find it hard to understand why the Solos haven’t done more to help the kid. I’m sure they could pull off some “anonymous donor” magic to get the kid off the streets, into safer housing, and into a respectable school if they tried. It’s said in the book that they’ve known him for around five years (and I’m curious as to how they met in the first place), and it seems pretty out of character for them not to have done something about his situation during the half decade they’ve known him. There could have been some diplomatic way to go about securing him a better life, I’m sure—especially when he was younger.

    I imagine that over the five years Jacen and Jaina have been friends with Zekk, the resentment that occasionally flashes out during their conversations and eventually leads to him accepting Brakiss’ offer just grew and grew—if they’d helped him earlier those feelings might not have had time to solidify.

    This failure to do something about Zekk’s poverty also seems especially out of character considering how tactful Leia was during the “bouquet incident” when Zekk accidentally ate a bouquet, thinking it was a salad, at a diplomatic dinner. She had everyone else eat the bouquets to spare Zekk embarrassment—I’m sure she could have pulled off an “intervention” earlier. I did feel very badly for poor Zekk during the whole diplomatic dinner incident—the poor child was really way in over his head.

    Needless to say, Zekk’s resentment and inferiority complex made him very easy prey for Brakiss to manipulate. The Dark Jedi gives Zekk the “chance to be someone” he craves and thinks his friends can’t understand because they’ve “always had too much.” There’s something to be said about how Jaina and Jacen may not have realized how the privileges they take for granted make Zekk feel, although there’s also the “all that glitters is not gold” aspect of things to take into account as well. Being the children of Han and Leia isn’t all fun and games—it’s meant that the Solo kids were targets for assassination, kidnapping, and in Anakin’s case, possession by a Sith spirit before they were even born. So while Zekk makes some dumb choices in this book (although it is worth noting that he’s no doubt quite ignorant about just what being a Dark Jedi is going to entail, and he was captured), they are definitely very understandable choices in light of the fact that he’s a 15-year-old kid with a poor sense of self-worth. So at least his ‘fall to the dark side’ is more convincing than Kyp’s, who if I recall, decided to learn how to be a good little Sith from a dark spirit that had already killed one of his classmates because he was Very Angry with the Empire.

    Jaina and Jacen return to the Jedi Praexum at the end of the novel…which seems to me to be the least safe place they could be since the Shadow Academy knows where it is and the Praexum has no defenses. But as previously established, safety is not something that is considered in these books…and apparently not quality assurance either…more on that later.

    Anyway, onto The Golden Globe. I imagine I’m going to be rolling my eyes a lot reading that.
     
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  21. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    I blame later authors for crating a constant stream of fallen students. I personally find it a bit lacy and unthoughtful regarding the implications.

    no he didn't, he was already a member of the Second Imperium, he ran of to rejoin them.

    I don't remember but did he not do that before he becom a real student of Luke's?

    We can't judge the YJK or TCW by the same standards as we judge NJO or TTT, just like we can't judge Kim Possible or similar by the standards of NCIS or World on Fire. Media made for a young audiences normally have them doing cool stuff with the acceptance of the grownups that would never be kosher in RL and would possibly lead to PTSD
     
  22. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Technically the Second Imperium didn't exist when Brakiss was raised in the Dark Side.

    So, it could be said that he was a member of the Empire, who fled back to the Empire, then left it (Brakiss is very much independent in The New Rebellion) and only after the Empire made peace with the New Republic, does he join its splinter faction, the Second Imperium.
     
  23. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    To be even more technical so was Brakiss backstory in The New Rebellion not created by that time but something later established. If I remember right so was it presented in YJK that Brakiss was an imperial spy with no established foreknowledge how the channel/use the Force, even if with great potential, before joining Luke's academy.

    And I admit that I have no really memorised the many different names for the Imperial Remnants and what differentiate them.
     
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  24. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    At least in The New Rebellion, it's unambiguous that Brakiss was taken from his mother, as an infant, specifically because he was Force-Sensitive. In Heirs of the Force, Brakiss's backstory is vaguer - "corrupted long ago" and "one of the Imperial remnants' own students". but IMO the groundwork is already there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  25. ColeFardreamer

    ColeFardreamer Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 24, 2013

    If you need exact character ages some birthdates are dated down to the month exact thx to Leeland Chee and others we got settled back when I asked him about Tenel Ka who indeed is younger than the twins born during Dark Empire and thus closer in age to Anakin than the Twins.

    Twins are 14 in 23ABY when the books start. Born 9ABY.
    Tenel Ka is born 10-11 ABY and about 1-1.5 years younger.

    It really comes down to what month they are born cause beginning/end of year or middle make a huge difference when going into details.

    Got my old topic as ceiranharmony still on TFN that settled the debate! Just search Tenel Ka and age.. might link it when back home later.
     
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