*This short story can be found in Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, the book by Ryder Windham. This is the first time we’ll be looking at something from this book, but far from the last.
*So, I guess everyone is familiar with the basic premise of this book. It’s a gorgeous folio sized book with loads of full color paintings. It purports to be a historical record, cobbled together from various holocrons with sources as varied as Tionne Solusar and Palpatine himself. It is an in-universe work.
*So, the third section of the book is given over to The Dark Side. This section, titled Dark Jedi, is the first section of Part Three.
*The third section has been entirely put together by Tionne Solusar. So, she speaks briefly about the origin of the term Dark Jedi and how it isn’t the same thing as a Sith.
*She doesn’t bring up what exactly a ‘Grey Jedi’ is. You remember when that one dude said Qui-Gon was a Grey Jedi? Was it in Stark Hyperspace War? Or Acts of War? I don’t remember. Somewhere. Was it the Wookiee Jedi from Acts of War who said it? Someone look this up for me.
*So, then we get a three page story (large pages, double columns) about what Tionne says is the very first Dark Jedi in recorded history.
*This dates from around 25,000 years before Yavin. This is around the time of the founding of the Republic. It is about a hundred and thirty years after the last work we looked at, The Despotica’s Pirate Prince.
*The story is narrated by Sar Agorn, “a most unusual being, an apparently bulbous, soft creature who lacked limbs or facial features, and had greenish gases continually surrounding his form.”
*So, your basic blogger?
*I kid because I love.
*Anyway, this is the story of when Sar Agorn found this young Force Sensitive candidate name of Cope Shykrill in the outlying Corellian Sector. They take him back to train him, but this Jedi named Nuck Lyu begins to wonder if all is as it seems with young Cope.
*Nuck Lyu? WELL THE SAME TO YOU BUDDY
*So, then Sar Agorn comes upon Shykrill telling a shadow story to three other young trainees. He’s using his hands to make figures on the wall and telling a story about two brothers, one good and one bad.
*Agorn begins, strangely, to envy Shykrill’s hands and his ability to tell a story. Agorn is disturbed by this reaction and leaves quickly.
*Twenty-three minutes later (that’s an oddly specific interval, don’t you think?), screaming is heard. Upon arriving at the scene, they find Shykrill and two of the trainees covered with blood. The third trainee has apparently slashed them with a long blade. As the Jedi converge, the trainee with the weapon screams that the shadows are in his head and then he slits his own throat.
*So, let me just say here that in my ideal Star Wars project, an epic long form television/movie series, this would definitely be an episode of the series. It would all be leading to this bravura scene.
*Anyway, the three trainees die. Shykrill survives. After Shykrill recovers, Agorn confronts him about the events of that horrible night. He asks Shykrill if the shadows speak to him. Shykrill says that they do and that he knows that they spoke to Agorn as well that night, spoke to him of envy.
*Shykrill then tells Agorn that he and the shadows are the two brothers of his story. Agorn asks if he is the bad brother or the good one. Shykrill says this is irrelevant and that it is time for Agorn to join the shadows.
*Luckily, Agorn has Nuck Lyu standing by. As Shykrill tries to assume control over Agorn with the Dark Side, Nuck Lyu attacks from the rear and beheads Shykrill.
*I gotta tell you, Nuck Lyu’s method of dealing with the Dark Side just kicks the ass of Mace Windu and the prequel Jedi. “Cope Shykrill, it is not my duty to inform you that you are under arrest. In fact, you are already dead.”
*Agorn investigates and finds that Shykrill had a twin who died mysteriously when both the boys were very young. He muses on the shadows and wonders if they came from within Shykrill or from some other source. He ultimately decides that he does not want to know. The shadows have, for the moment, been dispelled and that is enough.
*So, this is a very brief little story and hardly significant in terms of the larger arc of the timeline. But still I enjoyed it. It’s a perfectly crafted little horror tale and its rife for expansion in some format. The storytelling scene and the horrific aftermath of the story is great drama, told with economy and skill.
*If all the little sections of this book are as good as this one was, then I’m going to enjoy Jedi Vs. Sith very much.
*** out of **** stars.
*Next time, we’ll jump up about five hundred years to find out about the next major event in the rise of the Dark Side. We’ll be reading the story that directly follows this one in Jedi Vs. Sith, The First Dark Legion. Join us for that one.