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"Champions of the Force": Book Three in the Jedi Academy Trilogy


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chapter 1


One week after leaving Luke Skywalker for dead on Yavin IV, Kyp Durron pilots the Sun Crusher into the Caridan system. Having already wiped out Admiral Daala’s remaining two Star Destroyers, leaving a message pod behind so the galaxy will know who was responsible and removing the memories of Qwi Xux, the scientist who designed the Sun Crusher, Kyp is now planning to attack the world that houses the Imperial Military Academy.


He demands to speak with Ambassador Furgan, the Imperial who’d insulted Mon Mothma and tossed a drink in her face on a visit to Coruscant, and tells him he wants to know the whereabouts of his brother, Zeth, who was brought here ten years ago an unwilling conscript.


Furgan was in the process of sending an assault team to kidnap Anakin Solo from his hiding place on Anoth. If he can capture the Sun Crusher, too, he would be invincible. While taking the hour that Durron has given him to find his brother, Furgan prepares to attack the ship.


Kyp grows angrier the longer he waits. An officer finally contacts him and explains that Zeth Durron didn’t survive his training, but died during a sudden blizzard that erupted during a mountain exercise. He offers to upload the file to Kyp’s ship.


During this process, TIEs are launched. Kyp uses the Sun Crusher’s impenetrable armor to ward off the attack and destroy all of them. Then, wanting to purge the memory of a brother who died training for an army he didn’t want to join, he launches torpedoes into Carida’s sun.


He contacts the planet and tells them they have two hours to evacuate. Furgan prepares for as many personnel to be evacuated as possible, their computer files to be transferred and for the Anoth assault to be launched within the hour. He is asked if he wants to see if the kid’s brother is still alive. He’d ordered that Durron be delayed so a story was just made up.


As Kyp watches Carida evacuate with satisfaction, he receives an urgent comm. from the planet. His brother didn’t die, after all. He’s been found. Kyp has to recall the torpedoes. Kyp tells them that he can’t recall them.


He flies back, heads to the citadel, but is delayed by Carida’s defenses firing at him. The comm. officer waits with Zeth. When Kyp tries to lower a ladder for them, the officer knocks Zeth down and goes for the ladder.


The delays cost Kyp dearly as Carida’s sun explodes. The shockwave begins and, seeing his brother’s body disintegrated, he punches the sublight engines to get out of the system.

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  • Kyp says that Zeth was brought here 10 years ago. According to Jedi Search, the Durrons were arrested 8 years ago. This was a problem in Dark Apprentice, as well. Two years have not passed since Jedi Search as the Solo twins are still about 2 years old. If anything, only a few months have passed.

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chapter 2:

 

The Millennium Falcon arrives on Yavin IV where Leia, Han, Jaina and Jacen are greeted by Cilghal and the other trainees. They take the Solos to the Grand Hall where Luke is lying in state. He is not dead, but he seems frozen in time, as if his soul is waiting to return to his body.

 

Jaina tries to give her uncle a kiss but it doesn’t make him better.

 

Cilghal explains that Luke had learned she had a talent for healing. He’d shown her a few things before this happened but she’s done all she knows. Han knows that Kyp Durron is responsible for this.

 

Luke had confided to Han that Kyp was dabbling in aspects of the dark side and had taken off with Mara Jade’s ship. Cilghal confirms that the ship was found nearby, but Kyp isn’t on the moon anymore. They realize he must have taken the Sun Crusher. Leia remembers New Republic astronomers reporting an explosion in the Cauldron Nebula.

 

Han decides that he will have to go after Kyp and try to stop him. If Kyp will listen to anyone, it will be him.

 

At dinner that evening, the trainees lament learning without a teacher, especially since two of their fellow students have been lost already. Streen is distraught because the dark man from Gantoris’s dreams has been taunting him.

 

They all consider giving up, but Leia reminds them that they are the new generation of Jedi Knights, the champions of the Force. They must be careful and learn from the lessons Luke taught them. Luke took his training step by step and they should, too.

 

Suddenly, a disturbance in the Force strongly upsets all of the sensitives in the room. Leia knows something terrible has happened.
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chapter 3:


The destruction of Carida sends ripples through the Force and wakens Luke’s mind. He is outside of his body, not dead, but not able to affect much in the real world. He watches his body lying in the Grand Hall, his lightsaber beside it.


R2 comes in, but cannot hear Luke call him. Luke uses the Force to create a noise that gives the droid pause and then dismisses. Luke will have to find some other way to solve this problem.

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chapter 4:


Chewbacca and 3PO prepare to board ship with Page’s Commandos on a mission to retrieve both information and rescue Wookiee slaves in Maw Installation. Wedge is going along, too, in the hopes that they can find ways to fill the gaps in the holes that Kyp Durron had left in Qwi Xux’s memories.


Qwi remembers some things but others are not so simple. She is glad the Sun Crusher data is gone as she hadn’t intended on telling anyone anyway. Watching herself urge the New Republic Council to destroy it, she knows she was speaking the words but doesn’t remember doing it.


Wedge calls her up to the bridge for their departure from the Kessel system into the Maw.

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chapter 5:


On Coruscant, Terpfen hopes against hope that he might be free of his Imperial masters. Like many Calamarians, he’d been taken prisoner and tortured. But his imprisonment was slightly different. Parts of his brain had been replaced with organic material that allowed him to be used as a puppet to do the bidding of Ambassador Furgan on Carida.


In his role as Admiral Ackbar’s chief mechanic, he’d sabotaged the B-Wing that had crashed into the Cathedral of Winds on Vortex, disgracing Ackbar and causing him to withdraw from New Republic politics.


He’d also found the location of the planet Anoth where Leia Organa Solo’s third child, Anakin, is being cared for by her close associate, Winter. Furgan was planning to launch an attack to kidnap the boy.


Terpfen knows he has to do something about this. He wants to go to Leia directly, but she’s gone to Yavin IV. He makes plans to leave immediately and confess everything.


He stuns the mechanics in the hangar, takes a B-Wing and plots a course through the space debris left around Coruscant. He feels badly when one of the pursuing X-Wings collides with debris and detonates, but he cannot go back now.

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  • I suppose sending a message to Leia on Yavin IV was out of the question?

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chapter 6:


Han says his farewells to Leia and the children before leaving to find Kyp.


Meanwhile, Lando Calrissian is giving his pitch to Mara Jade regarding his plans to take over the spice mining facility on Kessel that Moruth Doole has left in shambles. He plans to dismantle most of the Imperial Correctional facility and use droids down in the lower levels. Mara points out that droids can’t do all the work, but Lando has already thought of that. Sullustans, such as his friend, Nien Nunb, would consider the tunnels and caverns a resort.


He asks if she can give him a ride to Kessel as his ship, Lady Luck, should still be there. She refuses that as well as an invitation to dinner. They do make arrangements to meet each other on Kessel in a week.


Han arrives on Coruscant to ask the Council for assistance in helping him track down Kyp Durron. While there, he is told that Kyp has already destroyed the Caridan system with the Sun Crusher. While bel Iblis argues that he’s at least concentrating on Imperial targets, Mon Mothma, weakening by the day, will not allow Kyp to be portrayed as a hero.


She offers a military escort, but Han fears that will scare Kyp off. He will take the Falcon and try to bring Kyp back, cautioning the Council to make sure the Sun Crusher is destroyed this time.


While he prepares to leave, Lando shows up, asking for a ride to Kessel, agreeing to travel with Han to find Kyp.

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  • Why did Han go all the way to Coruscant just to get information about Kyp’s whereabouts?

  • Bel Iblis’s aggressive streak continues in this book. I noticed in Dark Apprentice that he seemed a little off from the man we met in the Thrawn trilogy.

  • Isn’t the reason the Sun Crusher was buried within Yavin because it really can’t be destroyed? I’m not sure what Han expected the Council to do. Who would have thought one of Master Luke Skywalker’s Jedi students would use the Force to yank the thing out of the planet?

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chapter 7:


Luke tries to call to Leia through the Force, but she cannot hear him. He tries Yoda, Ben and Anakin Skywalker to no avail. Exar Kun appears and tells him that they cannot hear him but Kun can. He has had thousands of years to get used to living without his body. Luke will, too, eventually once his own body is destroyed.


Luke reminds him that he cannot touch the physical world anymore than Luke can. Kun points out that he has other ways at his disposal.


The twins wake up, crying, saying that Uncle Luke is going to be hurt. Leia runs with them down the corridors, waking the other students, to the Grand Hall where she finds Streen producing a tornado. She leaps to grab Luke’s body, caught up in the storm, while the others subdue Streen.


She explains that he didn’t know what he was doing. Streen awakens, explaining he was trying to kill the dark man of his dreams. They tell him that he was being tricked and almost killed Master Skywalker instead.


Streen is distraught and says they have to find someway to stop him.

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  • These powerful Jedi students who are learning to levitate and manipulate the weather and all this fun stuff…why do they constantly have to be wakened regarding bad stuff happening in the temple?

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chapter 8:


Tol Sivron resents Admiral Daala abandoning him here in the Maw unprotected. It’s not like he’s a military commander. He’s tried to run things at the Installation as well as possible. This morning, he’s brought all of the division leaders in for a top level meeting.


One of his engineers is working on a metal-crystal phase shifter which could turn the hulls of ships into powder. Sivron instructs him to come up with a catchy name to give to the Imperials.


They are about to discuss new business when a group of Rebel warships appears.


Wedge contacts the Installation to offer terms of surrender. There’s a scary moment when they see the outline of a Death Star sitting there, but it doesn’t fire. They move to eliminate asteroids around the base. One of his ships is destroyed by some type of weapon that weakens their shields and hull.


The asteroid is then destroyed by another set of torpedoes.


Inside the Installation, the scientists are elated that their MCPS worked but disappointed that they won’t get a post-shot analysis. A stormtrooper captain tries his best to explain the need to destroy vital information so the Rebels won’t get it. Sivron has the emergency manual checked and sends one team to go wipe out the power reactor and cooling towers per their instructions. There doesn’t seem to be any plan for getting the team back safely afterwards, but Sivron is sure they can be picked up once everyone moves to the Death Star.


Meanwhile, Chewbacca and the commandoes reach the maintenance facilities and free the Wookiees.


Aboard the Death Star, the stormtrooper captain offers to take over the piloting control as the scientists are clearly out of their element here. Further, a review of the emergency manual shows there are no contingency plans to rescue the team sent to destroy the reactor and cooling tanks, so he thanks them by comm. for their assistance.


Wedge and Qwi shuttle down to the Installation in enough time to watch the Death Star fly out and disappear.

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chapter 9:


Terpfen arrives on Yavin IV and confesses to Leia the Imperial surgery that left him at their mercy. He had given them the location of the planet Anoth but did erase the information after transmitting it. She has to go to Anoth and prevent her child from being kidnapped.


Leia explains that she doesn’t know where the planet is. Only Ackbar, Winter and Luke know. With Luke in a coma and Winter on Anoth, they will have to go to Calamari.

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chapter 10:


In the Caridan system, Han notes how much damage one person can do. He tries to think what Kyp would do next. Lando points out he’s destroyed a couple of Star Destroyers and a training academy. Han realizes the next logical step is into the heart of Imperial territory.


They catch up with Kyp in a small solar system that had held a shipbuilding yard and some archives storage. Star Destroyers are on their way out of the system. When the Sun Crusher spots the Falcon, it begins to move away. Han latches onto it with a tractor beam and is surprised it works.


Kyp tells him he wants to be left alone. When Han refuses to let go, Kyp decides to launch one of his torpedoes at the Falcon.

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chapter 11:


Luke watches his family and students visit his body. They show the children that Luke is safe. They know he is and point to the area above his body. Luke asks if Jacen and Jaina can see him, and they shake their heads. Cilghal, however, doesn’t understand that they don’t mean his body and takes them off.


Streen prostrates himself, weeping and telling Luke that he was manipulated by the dark man. Elated, though, that he can communicate with someone, Luke starts making plans. Exar Kun comes to gloat. The students will fail at saving Luke. He is planning to appear to them as Luke himself and give them instructions that will create another Brotherhood of the Sith.


Luke tells Exar Kun that he has touched darkness and came back from it. Now he’s stronger. Kun has only the dark teachings.


That night, Kun incites some of the carnivorous flying creatures of Yavin to enter the Grand Hall and attack Luke’s body. Artoo tries to hold them off. Luke wakes up Jacen and Jaina who yell for help and run to the Hall.


Jacen tries to chase the creatures away with Artoo’s help. Luke tells him to pick up his lightsaber and shows him how to ignite and swing it at the creatures.


The other trainees come in to see Jacen using the lightsaber like a master, cutting down the creatures. Without weapons, there’s not much the rest of them can do until Jacen is finished.


Cilghal hugs him and he says his Uncle Luke told him how to do it. She asks if he can see Luke. Both twins point to his spirit and say that he’s telling them to stop Exar Kun and he can come back.

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chapter 12:


Leia and Terpfen arrive on Calamari where Ackbar greets them both warmly. Leia explains that the Imperials know where Anoth is. She needs him to tell her its location so they can rescue Anakin.


The Imperial strike force enters the Anoth system. Furgan doesn’t think they’ll get much resistance from a woman and a baby, but still insists upon riding in one of the new Mountain-Terrain Armored Transports.


Winter puts Anakin to bed with the help of a four-armed Nanny Droid before she heads to operations. Something doesn’t feel right tonight. She takes a look over the terrain and finds several eight-legged machines climbing up toward them.

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chapter 13:


The trainees gather in the old war room, wondering if Exar Kun can hear them. Cilghal points out that they have to assume he can hear them anywhere but shouldn’t waste time imagining worse things


Tionne explains that Exar Kun enslaved the Massassi race and had them build these pyramids as a focal point for his power. After he killed his master, the remaining Jedi banded together to come here and fight him. They decimated the forests and obliterated his body but his spirit lived on.


The key seems to be the combined might of the Jedi. They have to do that here, too, and be the champions of the Force Leia said they were.


Meanwhile, Exar Kun continues to show himself to Luke, laughing at what the students are up to. Skywalker’s faith in his friends is dangerous. Luke tells him he’s heard that before.

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chapter 14:


Lando reminds Han that they still have the control codes for the Sun Crusher when they slaved it to the Falcon after encountering it outside the Maw.


Han tries talking to Kyp, reminding him of all they’d been through together. Kyp explains that he learned things in the temples beyond what Master Skywalker was able to teach him.


Han tells him this all sounds like the Dark Side to him. Lando uses the control codes to shut down the Sun Crusher, but Kyp bypasses them quickly. Angry that his so-called friend tried to trick him, he launches the torpedo.

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chapter 15:


Streen guards Luke’s body with the master’s lightsaber. Exar Kun comes to him and reminds him how Gantoris had tried to fight him and failed. Kirana Ti enters with Gantoris’s lightsaber and explains that she will not fail where Gantoris did. Kam Solusar joins her and then Tionne, Dorsk 81, Cilghal and the children.


He tries to taunt them, but they all agree that they will pick up the lightsaber if one falls. They provide the light in darkness. When he tries constricting their breath, Streen uses the Force to bring air to their lungs. They do not hate him…he is a reminder of the weakness of the Dark Side. It has no power of its own, just the ability to play on the weaknesses of others.


They shine brightly in the darkness, joined by the image of Vodo Siost-Baas and Luke Skywalker. Exar Kun is unable to exist in the light and vanishes. Vodo watches for a moment and disappears. Then Luke’s body heaves a breath, he wakes up and is joined by his students.

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chapter 16:


Having been moved by his friend’s words, Kyp hesitated. But when the Sun Crusher shut down, black anger replaces fondness and he uses his mind to rewrite the programming to bring it back on line and squeezes the trigger as the spirit of Exar Kun urges him on.


Then that spirit is suddenly yanked away in torment. Kyp feels like he has awakened from a dream and cancels the firing sequence. He contacts Han and surrenders.

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chapter 17:


The Death Star emerges from the Maw. Sivron is advised another ship entered recently but he brushes it off as remnants of the Rebel ships inside. He wants to find a target soon to test this thing off. Kessel is nearby, but there are some repairs that need to be made after their trip through the black hole cluster.


Sivron had been a member of a head-clan on Ryloth, destined for a life of luxury until one of them died and they were all exiled to the life on the deadly surface. He’d killed the others to give himself a better chance at survival. Walking through the desert, he’d encountered Imperials and met a man named Tarkin.


Tarkin was responsible for putting him in charge of Maw Installation. Considering what’s happened here, Sivron doesn’t want a bad performance evaluation and sets his people to work.

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  • What we’ve seen of Sivron so far is a bureaucratic scientist. What this chapter described was someone capable of making self-serving strategic decisions. While certainly leaving the other team behind on the Maw Installation would fall under that category, this chapter certainly provides a view of Sivron that doesn’t seem to fit with what we know of him.

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chapter 18:


Wedge’s assault team runs into the group of scientists who were left behind to destroy the reactor. They explain what’s happened and that they just want out of here. Wedge contacts his fleet and asks for equipment to rig some emergency cooling pumps for the reactor that will give them enough time to get the data they need.


Qwi enters her lab and feels like a stranger here. She cannot access her information without a password, but her musical keypad feels familiar. She plays a few notes in her head and the computer acknowledges her. Most of the files have been lost due to a computer wipe, but some can be retrieved. She finds herself looking at a life without friends. The Qwi Xux who lived here had not other life beyond solving problems.


Wedge appears and tells her that life is over now. The temporary cooling pumps have been set up so the reactor should be fine for awhile. Then the Gorgan reappears.

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chapter 19:


Winter uses the Foreign Intruder Defense Organism to fight off several of the Spider Walkers before heading to the landing pad where the remainder are entering the base.


In orbit, the Dreadnought Vendetta is apprised of resistance on the surface but they expect to have the child shortly. Then a Mon Calamari star cruiser appears that outguns them. Admiral Ackbar orders them to surrender and release any hostages they have.


Knowing that the Rebels believe they have the child already, the captain is not willing to change their thinking. With the ship firing only to disable, he orders the Vendetta to fly close to the planetoids so the ionization will confuse the sensors.


On board the star cruiser, Terpfen explains that, if they already have the baby, they won’t stick around. Leia knows he’s right but Ackbar continues pursuit.


Between the two planetoids, the ionization charges severely affect the huge metal ship in their grasp. They reach out together with lightning charges that obliterate the ship. The Mon Calamari are saddened. Terpfen surrenders himself for punishment.


Leia tells him that her baby is still on the planet.

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  • One would have thought the Imperials would be aware of the dangers of passing through the heavy ionization fields.

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chapter 20:


Winter shoots off as many stormtroopers as she can before running in the opposite direction from Anakin to draw them off. Furgan orders his men to follow her.


She leads them through labyrinthine passages designed to confuse until she can activate assassin droids hidden in the walls that have been programmed to ignore her and the children. The droids make quick work of the pursuing stormtroopers.


Furgan takes the remaining troopers through the base, searching for the baby which he finally finds behind a locked door. The nanny droid takes exception to this and launches four arms out which turn out to contain heavy blasters. She takes out the troopers before Furgan blasts her with his blaster rifle and takes the baby.

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  • The chapter says Furgan had no combat training or experience. How did this guy get to be the head of a military academy then?


chapter 21:


In the Council chambers, Kyp is confronted by the members, including Mon Mothma, in her medical bed, who has already ordered the Sun Crusher sealed and guarded. They will not debate the strategic merits of what he did. Kyp stole a weapon that they all agreed would not be used and took the liberty of assigning himself the role of judicator in obliterating two star systems, costing possibly billions of lives.


Han reminds the Council that Kyp was under the influence of a Sith Master at the time and, after all, they are at war. Mon Mothma decrees that they are a governing body, not a judiciary. She thinks he should be judged by Master Skywalker.

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  • Despite being influenced by a Sith Master, I do not think that turning him over to Luke is the right way to handle this. It’s 7 years after Return of the Jedi. I’m sure the New Republic has some type of judiciary in place at this point. Just because the Council isn’t able to try him doesn’t mean someone else can’t.

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chapter 22:


Ackbar sends Leia, Terpfen and half the fighters to the nursery to check on Anakin. He has an idea what Winter is up to. When they get there, they find the door open. Furgan backs out with the child in his arms.


She tells him to give the baby back. He refuses to have gone this far to get the child only to give him up. If they don’t back down, he’ll snap the boy’s neck. Everyone backs down but Terpfen whom Furgan is surprised to see found the strength to betray him.


Little Anakin seems deep in thought as Terpfen continues his approach. Furgan backs up toward his Spider Walkers and escape, only to trip on a power droid that rolled up behind him. This gives the fighters the chance to pull up their blasters and Terpfen to grab the falling child.


As he gives Anakin to his mother, Terpfen and the fighter chase after the escaping Furgan.


Ackbar encounters Winter in the corridors and they head back to find Leia.


Furgan jumps aboard a Spider Walker while Terpfen follows him in another, vowing not to let him escape. The MT-ATs are fitting with grasping claws. As Ackbar watches, Terpfen uses his to grab Furgan’s who clearly has no idea how to operate one.


Terpfen tosses the walker over a cliff and prepares to go over subsequently. Ackbar races to the walker and locks the legs in place, insisting his men retrieve Terpfen. The other Calamari says Ackbar should have let him die. Ackbar explains that he still has much to contribute the New Republic.

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chapter 23:


The Falcon lands on Yavin IV where Han is reunited with his wife and children. Kyp Durron is afraid to face Luke who tells him that Exar Kun will no longer influence his training.


The question is what Kyp will do with that. Kyp is surprised that Luke would allow him to continue his training. Luke tells him that he’s had to do many difficult things himself that were not in his plans. He wants to know if Kyp will forsake the dark side.


He chastises Kyp for saying he will try. This is something he must do for certain.


Kyp tells him he wants to be a Jedi.

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  • Here it is. Kyp Durron, 16 (or 18 if you believe this book) years old, under Jedi training for less than a month, attacks his Jedi Master, steals a powerful weapon and takes it upon himself to fly through the galaxy attacking targets. The New Republic does not put him on trial, but sends him back to the Jedi where the Master welcomes him back. If you were someone waffling on whether or not the Jedi should be allowed to rebuild, what would you think about this?

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chapter 24:


Han really didn’t want to ever return to Kessel, much less leave his family for a day, but he did agree to fly Lando there. They are half a day late which Han explains to Mara was required for Lando to make himself look presentable.


She has found the Lady Luck exactly where he’d left it. There is a fleet here from the Smuggler’s Alliance which thought they’d make sure none of the unscrupulous spice lords around here take up operations. Most of Doole’s fleet had been destroyed by Daala, the rest fled to hyperspace. A few relief ships came in from the New Republic to evacuate the remaining prisoners at the correctional facility and the few holdouts in the city.


Unfortunately, Daala thought this was a Rebel base so she did quite a bit of damage.


Lando realizes this will be a huge investment to get things back to operational levels. He decides to check out the prison as a possible base of operations.


Mara warns him that Moruth Doole has holed himself up there and is using the prison defenses to protect himself.

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  • Has Daala never heard of the spice mines of Kessel? Why would she think it was a Rebel base? I’m sure Han’s interrogation covered his escape from there!


chapter 25:


Mon Mothma is removed from bacta treatment where she only has about an hour of energy. She explains to Terpfen that she knows why he’s here. She and Ackbar have agreed that he was not acting of his own will. His willingness to help rescue the child has proven his devotion to the New Republic and she has issued a pardon.


Ackbar mentions that he is requesting a reinstatement of his rank as he now knows that the crash on Vortex was not his fault. His people are strong and he is needed here.


She laments why this illness had to attack her now. Terpfen explains that she doesn’t have an illness. She was poisoned by Ambassador Furgan at the reception when he threw his drink at her.


It’s a slow-acting poison designed to eliminate her as a possible martyr that a direct assassination would have done. Her slow death would lower the morale of the New Republic.


It takes apart her cells one by one. There is no cure.

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chapter 26:


The Gorgon had jumped blindly into hyperspace at great risk, but had no other choice if they were to escape the supernova. Fortunately, they ended up in an uninhabited star system on the Outer Rim. The Gorgon took a considerable amount of damage that Daala had set her people to repair.


After ten years of her constant drilling, they worked well. She analyzed her failures and realized that her orders had been to protect the Maw Installation, not to engage in a private war against the Rebellion. Now, they are limping back into the Maw which is already damaging their shields.


But Kyp Durron had been able to navigate them which would indicate other Jedi Knights could. They arrive to find a Rebel task force already there.


She is determined not to fail this time.

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  • I’m sure that Kyp’s interrogation would have revealed that he piloted them through the Maw, but he wasn’t a Jedi yet so I’m not sure why she thinks he is. Does she even know that the Jedi Order is being rebuilt?



chapter 27:


Luke leads Kyp into the jungle, Kyp wearing Gantoris’s lightsaber. He resists using any of the techniques he’d been taught to make himself more comfortable. Luke leads him to the obsidian temple where Exar Kun’s image is planted.


Luke explains that Kyp will know the light side of the Force from the dark when he is calm. He must examine his emotions to know if his actions are influenced by one or the other. Any action coming from self-advancement, anger or fear is of the Dark Side.


Kyp must go inside the temple and face his demons. He may take the lightsaber with him or leave it behind.


Kyp keeps it and heads inside. It is cold here and he sees a shadow rising before him. Kyp tells the shadow it’s dead. The shadow tells Kyp that he is but that he also lives inside Kyp. Kyp must keep his memory strong.


Kyp starts to use the dark energy to destroy the shadow, then resists, thinking to eliminate it with his lightsaber instead. Finally, he determines not to attack at all and tells the shadow that he will not fight it. The shadow is glad. It’s his brother, Zeth, who is dead but Kyp has freed him.


Outside, the warmth bathes him and Master Skywalker welcomes him back.

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  • This is, of course, a variation on Luke’s test in the cave at Dagobah.

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chapter 28:


Lando doesn’t want any action that will destroy the facility. Mara suggests they bring down Ghent and a few of the Mistryl fighters belonging to the smugglers. Han wants the Falcon as he’s got some stuff aboard it, too.


Ghent comes down along with some Mistryl guards and smugglers and pronounces this should be easy to slice.


Moruth Doole has locked himself inside one of the high-protection cells. Without the miners and the guards, the place is hard to defend. His offspring larvae have broken loose and are running around, probably planning to kill him and the largest one has released all of the captive females in his harem.


He’s dug a hole into the tunnels below but he has to be careful because the Spiders down there have started moving closer. Now he spots a ship landing and one of the humans getting out is that wretched Han Solo.


Doole arms his remaining larvae but they are blind and don’t have any experience. Further, the mechanical eye is winking out.


They find him there and the fighters make short work of the larvae as Doole jumps into his escape tunnel. He doesn’t last long before a Spider grabs him.


Han tells Lando he can start remodeling now.


Lando and Mara spend some time haggling over details while Han just wants to go home. Then they are told that the Death Star has appeared.


Tol Sivron hadn’t liked how much time the repairs took. His colleagues are recording all of this for posterity, but there is some concern about calibration. Sivron points out that it’s a planet. Calibration really isn’t needed. This is obviously the Rebel base so they’ll test it here.


He fires the superlaser and it blows spectacularly the wrong target. He hit the moon instead of the planet. He tells them that the target doesn’t matter. Now they know it works.

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  • Wouldn’t destroying the moon wreck havoc on the planet?


chapter 29:


Leia is amazed to see how Mon Mothma clings to life. She confirms to the Chief of State that her children are safe. Mon Mothma explains that, under the circumstances, she has tendered her resignation to the Council. They have all agreed that Leia is the ideal choice to replace her.


Leia waits with her during the long night.

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chapter 30:


Wedge grabs Qwi and takes her down to operations, asking her if she knows anything about the Installation’s defenses. She points out that the Star Destroyers were the defenses, but they can try to increase the shields here. It’s going to put a strain on the unstable reactor, though.


Wedge remembers they’d taken one ship off line to prop up the reactor and he tells the captain to launch fighters and move everyone else off the ship to one of the others. Daala comms them and says she’s not interested in their surrendering or fighting, she’s going to destroy them.


Qwi tells Wedge there could be ships down the maintenance bay where Chewbacca had gone to free the Wookiees. Some of them would be armored assault shuttles. They are old models that require a piloting droid of some kind.


That’s when 3PO appears.


After grousing about being treated as property, 3PO boards the shuttle with several Wookiees and the navigational systems cross-linked with other shuttles. They are all preprogrammed with attack patterns.

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  • If the shuttles have to be piloted by droids, wouldn’t there be piloting droids here then?


chapter 31:


Leia is glad to see Luke, less glad to see Kyp Durron. Winter goes off to check on the children. Kyp asks if Han is here, but he’s told his friend is at Kessel with Lando.


Luke explains that Kyp has been welcomed back to the Jedi but he has one final test. He has to get rid of the Sun Crusher. They all know it’s a terrible weapon. The plan is to fly it into the Maw and drop it down one of the black holes. With Dr. Xux no longer able to reconstruct it, it will be gone for good.


Leia reminds him that the Council will not want Kyp anywhere near the Sun Crusher after what he’s done with it already. He reminds her that she’s Chief of State now. She has to make this happen.

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chapter 32:


Lando exclaims that they took out his base. Mara confirms that most of the smuggler forces got away. They are going to have to go up against it to keep it from firing on Kessel itself. At least, it will not have most of the defenses the original Death Star had.


Hoping the superlaser cannot target most of their ships, they pull up shields and head toward it.


As Sivron and his compatriots muse about the effectiveness of small ships, the stormtrooper captain explains that the station is supposed to house fighters for this purpose. Sivron is interested in learning who oversaw those preparations and didn’t do it. They get off a shot that destroys a blockade runner, but the laser cannot be fired again for another 15 minutes.


The captain insists they focus on priorities. They cannot allow this weapon to be harried by fighters so he suggest they take it back into the Maw and hide it until a decision can be made about what to do with it.


Seeing the station begin retreating, Lando tells Han they cannot give it a chance to recharge its gun and take out Kessel. They will have to take the Falcon in and hit the power core.


It’s a bumpy ride inside with the station moving. Han latches the ship onto the power core and waits until it stops, hoping they aren’t going back into the Maw.

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chapter 33:


After hours of fighting, Leia emerges and tells Luke that they’d better hurry up or someone on the Council will decide to reopen the debate. The two of them take the Sun Crusher toward the Kessel system.


Along the way, Kyp shares memories of his home and his brother. Luke tells how he had fought himself in a cave on Dagobah and had failed his test. Kyp was successful.


When they arrive, the find the garrison moon gone. The other smugglers bring Luke up to date. The Death Star prototype has retreated back into the Maw with the Millennium Falcon inside it. That was a couple of hours ago.


Luke and Kyp will have to follow it in.


The two of them work together to find the best route. When they emerge at the installation, they find Daala’s Gorgon there.

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chapter 34:
In one of the shortest meetings ever, the scientists, aided by the stormtrooper captain, determine that they must destroy the Installation to keep any more data from falling into Rebel hands. They determine to move the Death Star from its hiding place behind the cluster and head back to their former home.
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chapter 35:

 

He notes the arrival of the Sun Crusher, but Chewie has other things on his mind. The remaining shuttles hit the TIEs before destroying the starboard turbolasers. TIE reinforcements arrive and 3PO suggests they move on.
Luke contacts Wedge and lands the Sun Crusher at Maw Installation. Wedge is unhappy to see Kyp but Luke tells him to take it up with him after this is over. He asks if Han is here yet and explains that the Falcon was last seen heading into the Death Star prototype.
Which has just reappeared.
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chapter 36:


Still attached to the reactor, Mara suggests that they get out in environmental suits and attach timed detonators to it.


Han sets to work on the hyperdrive which has been damaged during their harrowing ride. Sivron is told the Gorgon is back and wonders why it’s the only one. The stormtrooper captain recommends they help Daala as she appears to be under attack but Sivron reminds him that she abandoned them. However, he would like to show her what mere scientists can do.


He’s told that there appear to be intruders at the power core. A ship has attached itself there and two suited individuals are attemting some form of sabotage. The captain offers to get two spacetroopers out there to take care of it.


Lando and Mara set the detonators for twenty minutes which should be enough time to get back to the Falcon and get away. They are interrupted by spacetroopers who seem determined to get in their way. One has a blaster rifle but is reluctant to fire it in the vicinity of the core. Lando distracts him by point to the core and miming an explosion, giving Mara a chance to kick him out of the way.


They get back to the ship, noting the remaining spacetrooper is fiddling with the detonators. He gets six of the seven disconnected before the last one blows.


Daala is unhappy at the way the fight is going. She is elated, however, when the Death Star appears. Then she gets upset that Sivron isn’t firing. One shot and he can take out all of the Rebel ships. She decides to show him how it’s done and orders the Gorgon to fire on the Installation.

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chapter 37:


When the installation begins to shudder, Wedge orders an evacuation. Luke turns around and doesn’t see Kyp.


Kyp has used the opportunity to sneak away, board the Sun Crusher and hope he has enough time to get to the Death Star. When he sees the Millennium Falcon coming out, he decides it’s time to focus his attention on Daala.


The detonation tilts the staton on its axis. Sivron recommends a reprimand for the two troopers who failed to stop the sabotage and asks for a damage report. The captain explains he has space-suited troopers ready to go repair the damage. They should have it back up in 20 minutes.


Sivron hopes that happens as he has so many targets.

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chapter 38:


The pummeling brings the shields down. Wedge and Luke start to race for it, but Qwi tells them that Daala must know Sivron’s password. She is dumping all of the weapons information into her ship’s computer. They don’t have time to stop her now.


Running to the hangar, they jump into a shuttle and take off.


After completing the dump, as Sivron hadn’t changed his password in ten years, Daala orders the Gorgon to fire on Maw Installation’s reactor.


Wedge orders all ships to withdraw and leave the Maw. On the way out, the Gorgon heads toward the reactor, firing madly. It blows and the entire Installation goes with it. Once the smoke and debris clears, there is no sign of the Gorgon.

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chapter 39:


The spacetroopers take lethal doses of radiation while repairing the breach to the reactor. When they finish the job, they drift powerlessly in space to die.


Meanwhile, Sivron is upset that Daala destroyed the facility when he is the one with the Death Star. He suggests a meeting to discuss options. The stormtrooper captain advises them that the repairs have been made and, as he has lost nine good men doing it, it might be a good idea to use it on the retreating Rebels.


Sivron and his cohorts vote on it and agree, making sure to calibrate the weapon so as not to miss this time and target that drifting battle cruiser sitting there doing nothing. They destroy it easily, then decide to fire at another ship coming at them. Sivron recognizes it’s the Sun Crusher. He gets on the comm. and demands the pilot turn it back over to him.


The response is the firing of a torpedo.


Unfortunately, the chain reaction is small and the superstructure remains. Kyp moves in to try to hit it with his last remaining torpedo. The crew of the Falcon had been irritated to see the Death Star remaining intact after they’d flown out of it, troubled to see the Maw Installation disappear with the Gorgon and disturbed to see the superlaser of the Death Star fire on a Rebel ship.


Han recognizes the Sun Crusher heading toward it, though, and knows Kyp is aboard.


Sivron tells the captain that they just have to get close enough to shoot the Sun Crusher down. However, the maneuverability of the small ship coupled with the drag on the Death Star by a nearby black hole causes the gunner to miss. Sivron decides he’s taking over piloting from the captain as he’s read the manual and watched the man do it.


Han watches Kyp continue to fly around the station as its pilot grows more desperate to make that kill without paying attention to its position. Soon, both the station and the Sun Crusher are pulled into the nearby black hole without enough velocity to escape.


Han mourns for his friend. The message cylinder was released ahead of time and he has it picked up before they leave the Maw.

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chapter 40:


They pull the cylinder aboard the ship and open it up to find Kyp has compacted himself inside it, breaking bones and in a Jedi trance.


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chapter 41:


On Yavin IV, Admiral Ackbar prevails upon Cilghal to go to Coruscant and try to use her healing abilities to help Mon Mothma. She reminds them all that she knows a little about healing and nothing about this poison.


Sequestering herself in Mon Mothma’s room, she uses the Force to detect the tiny nano-destroyers that are poisoning her body. Cilghal goes through each one of the millions and drags them away from healthy cells.


For hours, she sits in a trance, as a small drop appears at the tip of Mon Mothma’s finger and falls into a bowl.


Terpfen appears to tell Leia and Ackbar that he wishes to return to Calamari and help with the recovery efforts. Ackbar understands his need to make amends and gives him leave.


At a late hour, an exhausted Cilghal brings in the half-filled bowl, gives it to a guard and tells him to incinerate it. Mon Mothma will heal, but she needs rest. So does Cilghal herself as she falls into a recovery trance.

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chapter 42:


Commander Kratas appears to give Daala the damage report which is extensive. The Gorgan had plowed through the Maw Installation at full speed and escaped during the explosion. But there are critical systems damaged, the external weapons are down, the starboard turbolasers are wrecked and they are down to seven TIE fighters. Crews are sharing quarters and wearing bundled clothes to stay warm.


Daala tells them how proud she is of them for their hard work. She had wanted to avoid going to the warlords who waste time fighting. Now, she plans to convince them to unite against their true enemy. Once the ship can get moving again, they will head to one of the Imperial-held Core worlds. With the data downloaded from Maw Installation, they will have weapons designs and concepts for a long time.

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chapter 43:


Lando and Mara make preparations for the repair of the facilities on Kessel. Nien Nunb is thrilled to come and assist them.


Mon Mothma emerges from the bacta tank which is now effective with the nano-destroyers gone. However, she will not regain her role as Chief of State. Leia is the leader now and she’ll find that Imperials surrender more easily than Council members.


On Vortex, the newly completed Cathedral of Winds hosts its first concert. Leia and Han attend whilePO and Chewbacca struggle to find all three of the children this time.


Admiral Ackbar is uncomfortable at being here but the Vors seem to harbor no ill will toward him. Winter stands next to him. He notices a woman in beautiful jewels nearby and asks Winter if she knows who it is.


Winter believes it’s the Duchass Mistal from Dargul with her consort, a weary miserable-looking young man. Ackbar wonders why he looks so unhappy. Winter speculates he may not be a music lover.


They both agree that they are glad to be back working on Coruscant and to see each other more often.


Qwi Xux enjoys the music, no longer haunted by memories of the Maw and of Kyp Durron’s attack. Wedge invites her back to Ithor to vacation properly this time.


The Winds open up with a crescendo of music.

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  • In Jedi Search, we met the consort of the Duchess, a man named Dack, who had run away from her because of her constant attention.



chapter 44:


Luke walks with his students at sunrise on Yavin IV, thinking of Cilghal’s healing, Streen’s ability to control wind and Kyp’s new attitude. The others will develop their own talents in time. Luke knows he will have other students. Some may be lost to the dark side, but the more he adds to the light, the stronger they’ll be.

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End of Book 3

  • This series was pivotal in introducing the concept of Luke as a Jedi teacher, as well as other elements, such as transitioning the reins of power from Mon Mothma to Leia and the growing Solo children. It does not hold up well. We are beginning a trend that will continue through the next several books: Leia’s dubious ability to lead a government while balancing her home life, Luke’s questionable decisions regarding the training of his students, giving Han Solo something to do and determining how the children fit into the story.

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