*This story was originally published in an Adventure Journal. It was one of the Adventure Journal stories that didn’t get a reprint in either of the short story collections of the period. It was eventually reprinted on Hyperspace; since Hyperspace went defunct, I’m not aware of it being reprinted anywhere else.
*Should you so desire, you can buy the original Adventure Journal on Amazon. For $246.00.
*Should you so desire.
*TOS, right, guys? Can’t really give you any other advice about finding this one.
*It should be noted that the timelines I’m using differ just slightly on placement here. The Wookieepedia timeline places it here, around the time of the Beast Wars. DinoJim’s timeline places the story just after the Sith War’s conclusion, but before Ulic’s return to Yavin 4 in the epilogue to The Sith War. Joe’s timeline and Rob Mullen’s timeline, on the other hand, place it just before the Sith War, but after Dark Lords of the Sith, so after Ulic and Exar have joined forces but before they have begun their assault in earnest.
*It’s really a coin toss as to where you place it. The story is said to take place ‘a few thousand years’ before ANH, ‘back in the high times of the Old Republic, when the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and blah blah blah . . .’
*Anyway, I went with the Wookieepedia placement, but anyway, it happens somewhere around here.
*So, the frame story here is of a couple of folks swapping stories as they flee Yavin in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of the first Death Star. This story is one of the ones they tell.
*So, the story is of sixteen year old Vici Ramunee, Jedi Padawan. As the story begins, she has just completed her lightsaber, under the instruction of Mistress Tannis, her Jedi Teacher.
*So, she calls her Mistress. In other texts, the term Jedi Master seems to apply, regardless of gender (or, in some cases, the lack thereof). I think I like the across the board use of Master better than trading off between Master and Mistress. I mean, like, that dude from the story of Cope Shykrill that was a Jedi Master, but also just a big green gaseous cloud . . . situations like that, how would you even know the gender? I think it’s better to have the title be fixed.
*So, Tannis sends Vici on a quest to find the Cave of Truth where she will face her most dangerous foe.
*Here, on the very first page of the story, it should be entirely obvious to anyone with half a brain where the story is going. But it will still take nine languidly paced pages to get there. For some reason.
*If you don’t get it when Tannis says that Vici must face her most dangerous foe, you’ll definitely twig to where this is going, when Tannis instructs her to leave all tools, including her lightsaber behind.
*So, her ten year old brother, Veni, follows her out into the wilderness, against her wishes and without her knowledge. He also helpfully brings her her lightsaber, thus screwing up her little quest beyond all repair without even knowing it. God, little brothers, right?
*So, this giant monstrous creature comes upon Vici and Veni in a rocky canyon and Vici pulls her lightsaber. The creature then reveals that, contrary to his appearance, he is in fact a great Jedi Master sent to aid Vici on her quest.
*Wow, so a Jedi Master who doesn’t look like you’d expect that’s going to help you face your most dangerous foe and things would be better if you didn’t take a lightsaber, but apparently you did? They really should have just called this story The Empire Strikes Back since that’s basically what it is.
*So, she eventually enters the cave and has some strange visions, like a table full of food and a rotting corpse wearing her clothes and medallion and you know things like that.
*So, then she ultimately gets trapped in this mirrored room and gets incredibly angry because she can’t figure her way out. She then catches a glimpse of her face, twisted in rage, in one of the mirrors and suddenly realizes that *GASP* she herself is her most dangerous foe!
*Alfred Hitchcock, beware, Angela Phillips may yet take your crown as master of the completely unforeseen, out of left field twist. You’re reeling, aren’t you?
*Anyway, that’s the end of that.
*I didn’t mention any of the color images here. There are four or five, done by Mike Vilardi. They aren’t bad at all; neither are they really of any note.
*Much like the story they accompany.
*Predictable fluff. Has no purpose. Will not hurt you to read it, if you’re bored. Will also not do a thing for you. Inoffensive enough, but also completely unnecessary and superfluous.
*CANONICAL STATUS: This story is an obviously fictitious fable with no connections to any other surviving works from the period. It is NOT RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
** out of **** stars.
*Okay, next time . . . well, we’re finally done with 4,000 BBY. We’ll move into our next year with Tales of the Jedi: The Saga of Nomi Sunrider!