Xim Week: The Despotica: Xim at Vontor
*So, we previously looked at The Pirate Prince, which was Part II of The Despotica, a Hyperspace series. This is Part III.
*As you might notice, Xim at Vontor dates at almost 10,000 years after the last post. We’re making time now!
*Let’s see what was going on here on earth between 15,000 and 16,000 years ago, shall we?
*Okay, a few interesting details here. The wooly rhinoceros went extinct right around this time period.
*As an art lover, I really loved this one. Clay sculptures date from this period. Researchers have discovered a clay sculpture of a wisent, a type of bison found in Europe during this period. That’s awesome. Art!
*Last but certainly not least, the invention of bacon! Or, well, the domestication of the pig really. But I’m going to call it the invention of bacon!
*OK, this big jump in time brings something up. If you’ve read previous iterations of this project, you may note that we skipped a couple of things. There are two brief stories in Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force that take place between The Pirate Prince and Xim at Vontor. The first, which takes place at around 25,000 BBY is called Dark Jedi and the second, which takes place around 24,500 BBY is called the First Dark Legion. The first is the story of a kid that’s kind of the first Dark Jedi or whatever. Cope Shykrill. I really didn’t think I would remember that name. The second is a brief story about Danzigoro Potts, a padawan who dies in the First Schism, which is when the Jedi Order has a big war and splits into two groups over some kind of doctrinal thing about the Force. I forget the details.
*So, those appear on DinoJim’s timeline, right? And I previously even wrote up brief posts about both of them. So why am I skipping them now? Well, hopefully this will help you guys clear up the way I’m using the four timelines.
*So, the Wookieepedia Timeline of Media is my primary timeline, right? And on that timeline, Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force appears, but rather than appearing broken up into many different pieces, as it does on DinoJim’s and also Joe Bongiorno’s timeline, it appears as one discrete entity, dated to the Legacy Era (or whatever) when it was in-universe compiled. So, I’m going with the Timeline of Media as my primary source; so even when I come to actual entries on a secondary timeline that aren’t specifically on the primary one, I’m still going to skip them if I’m going to cover them later on the primary timeline. So, because I’ll be talking about both of these stories later, when I read Jedi Vs. Sith in its entirety, I’m not going to put them here. Does that make any sense? No, “Dark Jedi,” the story isn’t on the Timeline of Media as its own entry, but it will fall under another entry later. Cool? Well, whatever. It makes sense to me.
*I will probably just kind of note things I’m skipping in this way, just to kind of help us keep the history of the galaxy straight, at least for a while. I mean, I guess you might kind of be interested to know that the First Schism is a thing and that it’s happened. No? Well, okay then.
*Anyway, back to Xim at Vontor. A brief introduction notes that it’s been over 10,000 years since Lyechusas wrote The Pirate Prince. Xim at Vontor is written by a guy name of Peshosloc, who was a writer/director of holodramas. We are told that Xim at Vontor is still considered a great holodrama.
*We are only given excerpts, not the whole thing.
*So, whereas The Pirate Prince was written in the Greek Tragedy style, this one is written in screenplay format.
*So, as our story begins, we are reintroduced to Xim, Indrexu, the consort he took from his own father at the climax of The Pirate Prince, and Oziaf, Xim’s assistant/companion. The Third Battle of Vontor is just winding down; Xim is stomping the living hell out of the Hutts.
*Then we discover that Jaminere, Xim’s aide de camp (or something) is having an affair with Indrexu. They are plotting to kill Xim at this big victory banquet. All of Xim’s ‘allies’ are in on this as well.
*So, the banquet arrives and I was really sort of expecting the whole point of this story to be that Xim was aware of their treachery and he was going to turn the tables on them in some fantastic, clever way.
*But I was wrong about that. The treachery blindsides him and, long story short, Xim gets shot in the head by Jaminere. Jaminere and his fellow traitors take their leave.
*The wounded Xim drags himself to Oziaf’s workshop. One eye has been completely destroyed by Jaminere’s blaster shot.
*Then, in what would obviously rival a scene from the Saw series were this actually filmed, Xim forces Oziaf to replace his destroyed eye with a droid’s eye. The scene description is fairly graphic. Xim remains conscious throughout the operation.
*Xim remarks on how wonderful it is to see as his war droids see. He tells Oziaf he wants the other eye replaced. Oziaf says the other eye is perfectly healthy and does not need replacement.
*Xim frigging pulls his good eye out of its socket and squishes it in his hand. The scene description tells us that ‘vitreous humor’ squirts in all directions. Oziaf replaces the other eye.
*I could see this being a movie.
*The final scene is of Xim and Oziaf arriving at Lord Tion’s secret lair. Xim is aware that Jaminere, Indrexu and the other traitors are inside the lair. Xim vows that this very day, he will have his vengeance. And then the story ends.
*What the . . . .
*Okay, well, I guess it’s just the excerpts and maybe we get the story of his vengeance later or something.
*Well, this one was quite a bit better than The Pirate Prince. As I say, it was in screenplay format, which works better than Greek Tragedy, as you may recall from my savaging of The Pirate Prince’s faulty premise.
*Anyway, this story actually surprised me a couple of times. I was shocked that Xim was entirely taken in by the treachery of his underlings. And then the eye replacement scene was pretty well a shocker since I really didn’t know any details about Xim prior to reading these two stories.
*The last scene is oddly grafted on. It is obvious to me that Xim at Vontor should have ended with the replacement of Xim’s second eye. His final line in that scene, “Their world is my world now,” is a great climactic line for a story about how Xim’s humanity began to be subsumed by electronics. It would have been a killer ending.
*Now, I recently read The Essential Guide to Warfare and so I’m kind of trying to fit this into the context of the larger story of Xim. If I’m remembering the Xim sections of the Guide, Xim is about to get horribly defeated by the Hutts. Which seems a little weird. I mean, at the end of this story, I genuinely did want to see Xim overcome and get his vengeance. It’s kind of anti-climactic if he goes to get revenge and just . . . loses again.
*Am I getting the chronology wrong here? Some Xim historian needs to fill me in on this. Actually, definitely someone who’s up on the Xim stuff give us some closure here because this story ends on a cliffhanger of a sort and we’re not going to be officially reading anything about Xim for a really long time, so how about kind of giving us some indication of how his story goes from here? Anybody?
*CANONICAL STATUS: Dubious. This story, with its overblown theatrics and gruesome scenes of violence is, surprisingly, probably fairly accurate. Events here are obviously compressed, heightened for dramatic effect and many historical figures are combined into only a few characters here. But the general plot, of Xim’s betrayal, near death and return to life with electronically enhanced eyes, is basically accurate. Still, due to the brief character of this story and the obvious corruptions of part of the narrative, this work is NOT RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
** out of **** stars.
*Next time, we’ll be taking another big 10,000 year jump. We’ll talk briefly about a few things that happen in between, but we’ll be jumping up to 5,000 BBY and get the larger story proper really going. Join me next time for Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith!