Crosscurrent: The Past
*So, far and away the bulk of this new novel takes place 41 years after Yavin and follows Jaden Korr. But there are four sections of the novel that flash back to the Great Hyperspace War and so we’ll talk about those four sections now.
*There is a section labeled The Past in chapters 1 – 4 and also chapter 8.
*The first section is in Chapter One and actually opens the book. We are introduced to Saes, a former Jedi now working for Naga Sadow. His ship, Harbinger, and another ship that we’ll talk about quite a bit later, Omen, are picking up some Lignan crystals or something for Sadow to use in his war against the New Republic.
*I’m just glad they weren’t Adegan Crystals. I got my fill of those in the Nomi Sunrider audio drama. More on that later.
*So, Saes’ old master, Relin, and Relin’s new Padawan, Drev, are en route to try to smash up Saes’ plan to get the Lignan Crystals to Sadow in time for his invasion of Kirrek.
*The invasion of Kirrek is what closes issue three of The Fall of the Sith Empire, I think, hence the story falling here on the timeline.
*Drev is an Askajian. And Kemp can’t stop talking about how fat he is. I don’t know what an Askajian is, but I find this whole lingering on his morbid obesity a little strange.
*Seriously, this mother is huge. I mean, massive.
*So, Memit Nadill, Odan-Urr and Sadow all get name checked, but none of them appear.
*So, the Dark Side is so strong in the system where Harbinger and Omen are that when Relin and Drev arrive in system via hyperspace, Drev instantly vomits all over himself.
*See, fat people are disgusting.
*What’s even more hilarious is that the normally humorless Relin can’t help but laugh about this, leading Drev to comment that he’ll try to employ scatological humor more often if it’ll keep his master in a good mood.
*Is a vomit joke scatological?
*Regardless, a Jedi Master cackling madly at his vomit-covered Padawan is an image I did not expect to see in Star Wars EU. You know, after the demise of Star Wars Tales.
*So, Relin sneaks aboard the Harbinger to confront Saes, while Drev attempts to take out Omen from their Jedi fighter.
*There’s a wonderful bit where a Massassi stops Relin and questions him. He asks him who is superior is and Relin flatly says, “Memit Nadill.” The Massassi says he doesn’t know who that is and Relin says he’s a Jedi Master on Coruscant. The Massissi says, “What . . .” and then Relin kills him.
*I should note that not only does Relin carry a blaster, he uses it about as much as he uses his lightsaber during this whole sequence on the Harbinger. Which I kind of dig. I like my Jedi uncivilized.
*This story is essentially one long action sequence as Relin ducks and covers around Harbinger as Saes tries to find him and Drev tries to attack from space and Los Dor, Saes’ second in command, tries to get the ships to jump into hyperspace.
*And I will say this: Kemp writes great action.
*So, there’s this great moment when Relin rounds a corner and comes face to face with six hulking Massassi. He speaks one word to them: “Run.” They don’t; he kills them all.
*This action sequence is really great.
*So, we’ve seen all the tricks with a lightsaber: double bladed, one in each hand, etc. But this is how I like my Jedi: saber in one hand, blaster in the other. That is how you wade into a melee and just kick ass.
*I should note that at the end, there is one surviving Massassi who has only been wounded in the foot. He asks Relin to kill him so that he will have the honor of having died in battle rather than just being wounded.
*And Relin does it! That kind of floored me.
*I’ve always hated the Jedi of this period. But this Relin cat . . . he’s got it goin’ on. I could stand more of this guy.
* ‘“Not like this! Kill me! I demand it!” “As you’ll have it, then,” Relin said, and put a blaster shot in his skull.’
*So, Saes arrives after Relin plants bombs in the hyperdrive. Saes wears a strange sort of form fitting mask which will doubtless be important later. The two fight.
*Anyway, long story short, the hyperdrive blows up, Drev crashes into the Harbinger’s bridge, Relin escapes on an escape pod, the Harbinger and the Omen butt heads causing a lot of damage. But the hyperspace process is already underway and Saes is unable to stop it.
*The Past section of Crosscurrent closes as the horribly damaged Harbinger leaps into hyperspace, pulling Relin’s escape pod in after it.
*As we will discover, should we press on through the Present section of Crosscurrent, Saes and Relin jumped through space and time. They both cross paths with Jaden Korr 41 years after Yavin.
*But for now, we won’t talk about that. So what we have here is a sort of short story length work, about fifty pages or so.
*As I said before, Kemp writes great action. And in Relin, he creates an entirely new kind of Jedi and one that I wanted to read more about.
*I enjoyed this a lot, actually.
*CANONICAL STATUS: While little is known of the details of Sadow’s larger war, the events surrounding the Omen and the Harbinger have been well documented and verified. This work is RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
*** out of **** stars.
Paul S. Kemp
*Next time, we’ll take a look at what happened to the Omen, the other ship in this fracas as we follow the Lost Tribe of the Sith to their Precipice. Be here for that.