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"Jedi Search": Book 1 in the Jedi Academy Trilogy


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chapter 15:


After accidentally locking down the first shuttle they try to steal, Han, Chewie and Kyp get in the second one and fail to avoid a patrol before they burst off of Kessel. Kyp pulls the ship up fast, after grabbing the controls, before the shield is put back up, trapping them here.


They get interference from the garrison on the moon. The shuttle has no arms and minimal shields. Han orders all power diverted to the shields. Kyp recommends they head into the Maw. Han reminds him that there are a million ways to die in there, but Kyp assures him that he can guide them through it.


He has some ability to see where to take them. An old woman named Vima Da Boda spent time in the mines with him before being hauled away. She taught him a few things about using this Force.


Inspired by this and angered at seeing Doole using the Falcon as part of his fleet, Han determines not to be captured and heads into the Maw.

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  • The chapter refers to Han and Leia’s encounter with Vima Da Boda on Nar Shaada.

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chapter 16:


In a projection room, Leia shows Gantoris images of Dantooine where the Rebels used to have a base. It is largely agrarian with few nomads along the coasts but no volcanic or seismic activity. Gantoris agrees it is the perfect place for his people to settle.


Mon Mothma arrives and agrees that the world was one of the more pleasant bases. She mentions that the Caridan ambassador will be here in two days. Leia has moved the reception from the Imperial palace to a botanical garden in the hopes of both avoiding annoying Furgan by greeting him at the site of Imperial power and of keeping him away from one of his presumed sight-seeing stops.


Mon Mothma reminds her that they are doing a lot of good here even if it something seems that conflict never ends.


The children cry as Winter prepares to leave to go back to Anoth to resume taking care of baby Anakin. She firmly reminds them that Leia is their mother and they will need to look to her now.


She takes them to Streen who has set up in an abandoned building. He tells her that the children’s minds are simple and don’t bother him. He’s noticed that Leia’s mind, however, is very focused for an adult. He hopes that Luke can teach him that kind of control.


Later, she tries to get the children to take a bath but they are used to Anoth and the way Winter does things. She considers this preparation for dealing with the Caridan ambassador.

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  • Understanding that the Solo children are Force-sensitive, they are still quite advanced for two years old. In many cases, they are speaking in complete sentences, something that is unusual for a child of two.

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chapter 17:


Kyp exerts himself guiding the shuttle through the dangerous Maw. He finds a place where they can stop safely and make repairs only to find four Star Destroyers sitting there.


At first, the Destroyers think that the shuttle has been sent by Governor Tarkin. They’ve not had news from the outside for awhile and request Han’s security code. Han, of course, cannot provide it which results in the shuttle being tractored in.


Clearly, they’ve been out of the loop for a long time if they think Tarkin is still alive. In the docking bay of the Gorgon, they are greeted by an unusual sight. A woman in the uniform of an Imperial admiral. She introduces herself as Admiral Daala in charge of Maw Installation and tells them they are in trouble.

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  • We first met Daala in Death Star where we were told she was in possession of four Star Destroyers guarding Maw Installation, as well as being the mistress of Governor Tarkin. While it is certainly believable that they would go for long periods of time without communication from the Empire, it has been 11 years since Death Star! One would think they’d have taken a peek out to see if everything was still okay.

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chapter 18:


The Lady Luck arrives at Kessel where Lando poses as a man named Tymmo who won a lot of money on Umgul and is interested in investing in the spice mines.


He introduces himself to Doole and claims Luke is an associate. Doole explains a new vein of spice opened up a couple of days ago but they are dealing with a collapsed tunnel and the loss of a couple of their crew. Lando gets him to allow Artoo a brief look at his profit/loss ratio which the droid uses as an opportunity to search for record of the Falcon.


Unfortunately, any such records appear to be wiped clean. They are taken on a tour of the facility. The collapsed tunnel holds the body of the spider-creature that seems to be responsible for creating the glitterstim itself for use as a web. There are others of the creature down here.


Lando and Luke express concerns about deaths, which Doole brushes off and gives a hard look to a guard who mentioned a missing Wookiee among several others. Luke reaches out with the Force to try to find Han among the miners here, but, if his friend even made it here, he’s not present now.

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chapter 19:


Han Solo had proven to be difficult to interrogate but they finally got the story out of him. After the Death Star destroyed Alderaan, the Rebel Alliance had, in turned, destroyed it and Daala’s superior officer/benefactor/lover Tarkin with it. After a few more years of fighting, the Emperor himself and Darth Vader were killed aboard a second Death Star over Endor.


The Rebel Alliance has set up a new government while fighting off remnants of Imperial rule which had only lasted a few decades.


Daala was ordered not to leave the Maw and she has obeyed it. Ever since Tarkin plucked her from the menial job that she was stuck with due to the Emperor’s prejudice against women, she has determined to continue to prove her mettle.


She and her skeleton crew have been here for over a decade with no word from the outside and virtually no entertainment. She’d kept order with a few grisly executions as year after year of baby-sitting the scientists at Maw Installation passed.


She and they are itching to do something.


She heads to the Installation to speak with Tol Sivron. Tarkin had sent scientists here to create new superweapons out of view of anyone, even the Emperor. The ones who were allowed to leave were given faulty navicomputers that plunged them into the black hole so there were no loose ends.


She meets with Sivron and tells him about the prisoners they interrogated. He starts planning to solve the Death Star problem immediately before she tells him that Bevel Lemelisk was on the outside and helped construct another one that was destroyed, too. The Empire is gone and she is planning to destroy this new Republic system by system. She needs the Sun Crusher now.


He protests that it’s not finished yet. She reminds him he’s had two years to perfect. The prisoners are going to be kept around as they are her only link to the outside. As it is, Qui Xux already wants an interview with them. But Daala is taking the weapon right now.

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  • How is Maw Installation supplied with food and medicine if they’ve had no word for 11 years? How do they get the equipment and the resources to build their weapons?

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chapter 20:


Ambassador Furgan is every bit as combative in person as he is over the HoloNet. He dismisses Leia’s position in government, refuses any refreshment not provided by his own supplies and demands a tour of the Imperial Palace at once.


Mon Mothma refuses to allow even unarmed stormtroopers near here but consents to having two of them outside the chamber without their helmets.


She shows Furgan a map of the galaxy that shows the ever-diminishing Empire. None of this impresses him. He continues his abrasive treatment throughout the day as she sacrifices time with her children.


At the reception, she determines enough is enough and brings the twins. They all submit to scans by Furgan’s bodyguards before entering. She notices no one speaking to the Ambassador so approaches him with the children. He compliments them and hopes they will not be used as pawns by her government.


Personally, he is sorry the Emperor did not finish the job and get rid of all the Jedi. She asks what he opposes about them. Furgan offers that technology has improved to the point that no one should have to rely on mystical powers to prop up an aging government.


The Emperor himself was entitled to such powers and, as Darth Vader turned out to be a traitor, it only proves his point.


Mon Mothma quips to Leia that it didn’t hurt to try.

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  • Through this chapter, Leia frets over having to spend so much time with Furgan that she is losing time with her children. Well, you know, you can delegate someone else to babysit the Ambassador for a couple of hours, right? Unless, of course, Leia is the equivalent of the Secretary of State and this task is hers and hers alone?

  • And, missing her children notwithstanding, why would she even want to expose them to an Imperial ambassador and his guards by taking them to the reception?

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chapter 21:


Han is brought to the Maw Installation where an alien scientist named Qui Xux is eager to hear all about both the first and second Death Stars. He refuses to answer any of her questions, much to her chagrin, until he finds out what happened to his companions.


She uses her access to find that Chewbacca has been sent to work as labor while Kyp is still in a detention cell. Han isn’t very helpful as he saw only limited parts of the first station and then only minor systems.


He wonders why she wants to know all of this and she explains that she designed most of the Death Star. In fact, they have a prototype here, minus crew quarters and other non-essentials. It’s not hyperspace-capable, but it does work.


In the meantime, Kyp sits in his cell, frustrated at his powerlessness. He wasn’t able to tell the Imperials anything. Once again, the Empire has arranged to make his life more difficult. He’d been eight years old and living with his family on Anoat when stormtroopers had arrested his parents, brother and himself for the Durrons’ political activism.


They’d been sent to Kessel, with the exception of Zeth who was conscripted into the Imperial Academy at Carida. After a little more than a year, the spice mines were in turmoil and the criminals took over. His parents had been killed then, but no one noticed Kyp, still laboring in the mines.


Vima Da Boda had given him a few lessons in controlling his powers before she’d been taken away, too.


He wishes she’d given him more as he might use the Force to escape. After eight years, he’d had a chance at freedom at last, but the Empire has stepped in again. He tries to use the Force to toss his food tray. He thinks his anger and frustration causes a slight affect on the tray but not enough to help. If he ever gets out of here, he’s going to find someone who can help him.


Han can’t believe how naïve this Qui Xux is. She explains that she was taken from her homeworld of Omwat when she was young, one of ten children who were groomed by Moff Tarkin into designers and engineers. She was the only one to get through the training and was brought her to work with Bevel Lemelisk.


She tells Han that they invent useful devices here, such as the Death Star which was supposed to break up dead planets and mine their metals without polluting inhabited ones. She also wonders what ever happened to the World Devastators which were supposed to turn metals into machines. She’d sent that one off to Tarkin after he’d taken Lemelisk away.


Han tells her that the very names of her inventions should clue her in on their purpose. She refuses to believe that the Death Star destroyed an inhabited world or that the World Devastators crushed part of Mon Calamari.


She has access to his debriefing and none of that was in it. He points out that she probably didn’t get the entire interrogation report. Qui explains that she only invents the machines. Even if what he says is true, she cannot be responsible for what an irresponsible person on the outside does with them.


She’s working on something else right now. A small ship with the ability to shoot a projectile into a star that will cause a supernova. It’s called the Sun Crusher.

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  • Tol Sivron, Bevel Lemelisk and Qui Xux had all been mentioned in chapter 2 of Death Star.

  • And I’m assuming that Qui Xux helped design some of the internal systems or things like that but we all know that the Death Star had been bandied about since before the Clone Wars. In fact, it was as far back as Rogue Planet that Tarkin was given the idea.

  • The Sun Crusher sounds suspiciously like the device that Rezi Soresh was attempting to use in Rebel Force #6: Uprising but we never saw it actually work.

  • If Kyp was 8 at the time of his arrest and spent 8 years at Kessel, then he’s 16 now. He was also arrested about a year before the Battle of Endor.

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chapter 22:


Doole shows Lando and Luke the entire facility, explaining their profits are enormous now that they aren’t under the yoke of the Empire. He doesn’t want to risk the same thing happening with the New Republic so he’s not prepared to work with them or their puppets, the smuggler’s coalition put together by Talon Karrde.


Lando isn’t committing to investing and Luke still cannot sense Han or Chewie here. He asks about defenses and is told there is a fleet for that purpose. Luke suggests they take a look at the Imperial Correctional Facility on the moon to see what these defenses are.


Doole isn’t particularly eager to do this but gives in on the pain of losing potential investors.


On the moon, they look over the ships and Lando is certain he recognizes the Falcon. He insists on randomly inspecting a ship to make sure they are up to snuff and chooses the Corellian freighter.


Inside, he finds modifications only Han made and confronts Doole, who pulls out a blaster and fires wildly before running down the ramp. Luke points out they should have kept him as a hostage. Lando says they can’t help Han and Chewie now. They’ll have to go back and Leia can send a task force.


Their escape is made much more difficult now that Kessel’s defenses are alerted. When the Falcon takes off from the moon, the fleet goes after it.

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  • Would Luke have really taken a hostage?

  • Why, in Heaven’s name, did Lando just grab Doole and jump down his throat about Han and Chewie? If Han and Chewie had been on the base somewhere, all it would have done was put their lives at risk after the Falcon took off. And there may not have been enough time to send help back for them.

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chapter 23:


Tol Sivron comes to see Qui Xux and asks her to submit her final report on the Sun Crusher since they are past the deadline. Qui has already submitted five final reports but Sivron is always asking for another simulation of something. She will just send him the last one.


She works on cracking the passwords for the debriefing Han Solo was given. At first, it was just a challenge but now she is genuinely curious about what he told her. She knows she has put the reality of the devices she’s helped create in a box and hidden it. She may have told her what they were intended for, but Solo had pointed out that she had to realize what they actually could do.


She breaks into the debriefing video easily and finds that there was much more than what she’d been provided with. She’d never been denied information before. That was the antithesis of the open sharing of information that Maw Installation was supposed to be about. There, in the horrible interrogation he was going through, Solo revealed the destruction of Alderaan, the battle of Yavin, the ambushing and cutting down of the Rebel fleet at Endor by the second Death Star and the carnage on Mon Calamari at the hands of the World Devastators.


She’d focused on problem solving for too long. Anything else would have been disastrous. She and the other Omwati children were brought to Tarkin because he’d learned that Omwati minds were very pliable when young. They’d been crammed with engineering data on the pain of the destruction of their homes. She’d been the only one to emerge from the training intact, but had learned Tarkin’s other lessons very well.


Chewbacca is forced to work on servicing hundreds of Imperial ships as Admiral Daala seems to be in a hurry. He doesn’t know why but he has to be careful not to risk any chance he has to escape and rescue Han, so he keeps working.


Qui had learned to ignore stormtroopers over the years. All the drilling seems pointless as she learns something and doesn’t forget it. She is surprised when she is escorted by a group of them to Admiral Daala.


Daala tells her she will provide whatever assistance Qui needs to finish the Sun Crusher. The Empire is wounded outside the Maw and the Rebellion doesn’t know that they are here. With four Star Destroyers and the Sun Crusher, they can destroy the Rebellion system by system.


Realizing that this is exactly what Han warned her about, Qui knows she has to make a decision immediately.

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chapter 24:


Leia is trying to find a new home for Luke’s Jedi Academy, deal with two sick children and the myriad minor requests that keep getting shunted to her. She almost screams when Mon Mothma appears.


Mon Mothma had been a young senator in the early days of the Rebellion who’d sparred with Bail Organa on the Senate floor. They’d become allies by opposing Senator Palpatine in his bid to become President. His self-promotion to Emperor set her to speaking of open rebellion which did not happen until Bail Organa was persuaded by the Ghorman massacre that the Republic he’d served no longer existed.


She offers her sympathy for the children’s illness and is concerned Leia had not told her about Han and Chewie’s failure to return from Kessel. Leia assures her that Luke and Lando are looking into it.


She admits feeling overwhelmed by her duties. Mon Mothma doesn’t want her to blame herself for the Caridans’ attitudes. The reception went as well as it could have. In fact, she has been thinking about Luke’s speech and has a suggestion for Leia about the location of his academy.


She calls up a world on the screen that has a good climate, privacy and facilities already in place. Leia doesn’t know why she didn’t think of it before.


Then she gets an irate call from the vice-chairman of a committee whose meeting she did not attend nor submit her report for. He chastises her for allowing a couple of runny noses to keep her from her duty. Leia reminds him that, if he’s more interested in mindless devotion to duty over caring for people, he should have stuck with the Empire.


She turns to Mon Mothma and expresses her frustration about not having time to devote to her duties, much less her children and the Jedi training Luke wants her to have. Mon Mothma consoles her that she has other important things in store for her.

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  • Unless we are willing to consider the latter days of the Republic the early days of the Rebellion, then the timeline is a little off. Mon Mothma was a senator in the last days of the Republic and was one of the Delegation of 2000. We saw nothing in the Clone Wars novels to indicate that she and Bail Organa were rivals.

  • Additionally, neither of them had anything to do with Palpatine’s bid for the position of Supreme Chancellor, not President.

  • The Ghorman massacre was mentioned in The Hutt Gambit and Rebel Dawn. It apparently took place right after the New Order was proclaimed and involved Tarkin’s ship landing directly on protesters on Ghorman, causing their deaths. If that’s what spurred Organa to support a rebellion, it goes against what we know about him at the time: he was taking Padme’s advice and laying low.

  • Leia is the Minister of State of the New Republic. I believe that would be the equivalent of our Secretary of State as Leia seems to get stuck with a bunch of diplomatic assignments. Can you imagine someone calling up our Secretary of State in front of the President and railing against him for not showing up to a meeting because of a sick child? I’m not seeing that happen either! The Leia I knew prior to her giving birth would never have allowed that man to get as far as he did.

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For some reason, we never see any kind of support staff during this initial post-Jedi period. Poor Leia just gets dumped on.

 

chapter 25:
Han is satisfied to see a haggard-looking Qui Xux enter his cell. She asks the stormtrooper office to accompany her while she interrogates the prisoner. Once inside, she shoots him.
Qui tells Han that Admiral Daala is mobilizing her fleet and the Sun Crusher with the intent of taking it out of the Maw and wiping out the New Republic. Since Kyp Durron is also scheduled to be executed, she has decided the time is appropriate for an escape. Han begins pulling on the stormtrooper armor.
With Han’s help, Qui marches to Kyp Durron’s cell, then to the maintenance bay where she uses first Han’s muscle, then her authority to spring both Kyp and Chewbacca. They head to the hangar to grab a ship.
But she’s not taking just any ship. After taking them through all of the security checkpoints and providing proper authorization at each step, Qui gets them on board the Sun Crusher. She’s not about to let Admiral Daala take eight years of her work.
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chapter 26:


Luke gets them past the shield but they are running straight into Doole’s fighters and, though the sublight engines seem to be in perfect working order, the navcomputer is not.


Doole insists all his ships be sent to keep New Republic spies from getting away.


Luke directs Lando to enter the Maw. He can use the Force to get them through safely.

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chapter 27:


Admiral Daala prepares her Gorgon, Basilisk, Manticore and Hydra for launching. She has no desire to rule the Empire, she just wants to cause its enemies pain.


Commander Kratis reports that both Han Solo and Kyp Durron have escaped from their cells. Qui Xux used authorization codes provided by Daala to get both of them plus requisitioning the Wookiee for a higher-priority assignment. Daala realizes they are after the Sun Crusher.


Han is surprised by the primitive insides of the ship but Qui assures him most things are just window dressing. The ship has been ready for years so it’s a good thing the Empire didn’t get back to them.


They don’t have time to get the shields up but the armor is reinforced to the point that nothing will ding it anyway. Han can fly anything so he lifts off right through the roof.


When the Sun Crusher takes off, Daala orders all fighters scrambled and the Star Destroyers moved to intercept and cut off. They will sacrifice anything they have to in order to get that weapon back.


The TIEs try to intercept, but the armor on the Sun Crusher is so strong that a suicide run by one fighter just bursts off it. Han decides to test how strong this thing is and blows it through the control bridge of the Hydra. As they fly out the other side, the Hydra begins its descent into the Maw itself. Han turns the controls over to Kyp to get them out of here.

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chapter 28:


Ordering the remaining three Destroyers to pull out, Daala is fuming at losing a quarter of her command while pursuing four escapees. Sivron contacts her and insists on evacuating the scientists, too.


Daala is tired of babysitting these beings. She tells Sivron he’s on his own. It’s time her people acted like Imperials.


Qui is astounded at how Kyp can navigate the stresses of the Maw. Han isn’t sure her scientific processes can explain the Force but it works.


Cut off from a direct course into the Maw, Luke and Lando take fire from a cruiser. Luke still thinks the best route would be into the Maw but then a small ship bursts from it, followed by three Star Destroyers.


Han can’t believe they’ve escaped the Maw only to find Doole’s ships still trying to pursue him. He’s also livid when he sees that his ship is still out here being flown by someone else. However, it’s pointed out to him that the Falcon seems to be the one being pursued. Several of Doole’s ships cannot pull up in time to avoid hitting the Destroyers. The others start firing.


Daala is certain the forces meeting them are the Rebel fleet. Obviously, Solo has misled them.


On the Falcon, the comm. pings. Lando and Luke get an angry Han Solo threatening whoever is flying his ship. Once it’s determined who is on what ship, Lando explains the Falcon’s navcomputer is not working and they cannot make the jump to hyperspace.


Han arranges to dump the coordinates from the Sun Crusher into the Falcon and they can fly in tandom back to New Republic space. They make the jump, leaving Daala’s forces destroying Doole’s.

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chapter 29:


Han is joyously reunited with Leia and his children. Kyp is overwhelmed by the sight of an actual city while Qui is somber at the loss of the Sun Crusher to New Republic scientists.


Meanwhile, Lando is finally forced to meet with an investigator who’s been trying to get in touch with him. He warns the man that he can afford the best legal representation regarding whatever he still owes from Bespin, Nkllon or any other scheme he had going.


The investigator explains that he is only here to bring the reward from the Duchess Mistal.


A recording from the owner back on Umgul accompanies the reward. He explains that the Duchess was so delighted at having her consort, Dack, back that she insisted Lando have the whole reward and is building the owner himself another subsidiary Blob stadium that will be named the “Dack Track”. He invites Lando to come spend some of his earnings on Umgul.


Lando is glad to be solvent again. He thinks that there might be some good in investing in Kessel’s spice mines. There are plenty of legitimate uses for spice and he can replace the slaves with automation, using supercooled droids in the deep caves where the spiders are.


Plus, he has to have a new ship since he left Lady Luck behind.


Meanwhile, Wedge Antilles supervises the relocation of the Eol Sha colonists to Dantooine, telling Gantoris to go off and become the best Jedi Knight he can.


The paddle display shows a bright aura around Kyp and, when Luke probes his mind, he is pushed flat on his back. Kyp is most certainly very powerful in the Force and Luke welcomes him to Jedi training.

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Epilogue:


Luke stands in the Great Temple on the fourth moon of Yavin which had most recently been used as a Rebel base. He will have to reconstruct Yoda’s lessons from Dagobah, but he also has the Jedi holocron Leia stole from the resurrected Emperor and the repository of knowledge given to him on Dathomir from the Chu’unthor.


Here, he will bring Gantoris, Streen, Kyp, Mara Jade, Kam Solusar and some of the witches of Dathomir. He worries that he may lose one of them to darkness. There’s still the mysterious dark man from Gantoris’s dreams. But Yavin IV is still going to be a great place to train Jedi.

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  • So, it’s confirmed that Luke still has the records from Dathomir and the holocron from Dark Empire. I don’t suppose any of them gives him information on how the Jedi lived and trained?

  • And they may not tell him that Yavin IV was not a particularly pleasant place to be in the old days. The moon appeared in several Dark Horse Comics’ series. Our old friend Naga Sadow whom we may remember from our perusal of the Old Old Republic books came there. He was followed by other Sith. This is not a place I would think would be good to train Jedi if Luke is concerned about keeping them away from Dark Side influences. Of course, Luke may not be aware of them.

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