*Exar Kun, baby, Exar Kun!
*Vodo Baas, baby, Vodo Baas!
*Sylvar and Crado, baby, Sylvar . . . and . . . you know, these guys aren’t important really . . . never mind.
*So, I like this early scene where Vodo Baas fights Exar Kun using only his staff as defense.
*Kun loses his temper and utilizes TWO lightsabers. He manages to break Vodo’s staff. Kun says he’s the best and Vodo hilariously admits it: “Yes, with your two lightsabers you have managed to break my humble staff.” Sick burn!
*Satal and Aleema, the youngsters who the spirit of Freedon Nadd anointed as the next generation of the Sith in the previous comic, take over the Empress Teta system by using Sith illusions. Including making a man think his tongue is a worm. This is perhaps not as menacing as choking the life out of someone with a gesture, but they’re young.
*Exar Kun, having left his master, comes to Onderon to investigate the Sith artifacts. Despite knowing that he is interested in them primarily so that he can toy with the Dark Side, Master Arca allows him access, stating that “A Jedi is free.” This is the first instance of a totally idiotic and ludicrous philosophy that runs through the Jedi mindset here, wherein you have to let people do what they want, even when they end up causing incredible amounts of pain to innocents. It’s like Kant with a lightsaber. Except even stupider.
*The Jedi however move against Satal and Aleema with a battle fleet which seems to run counter to the leeway they just gave Exar Kun who is also toying with the Dark Side. Is it because Satal and Aleema aren’t Jedi? Are Jedi given more human rights than others?
*Anyway, Ulic is grievously wounded by shrapnel when a ship crashes into the bridge of the Republic flagship. Hilariously, this just sprays shrapnel around and doesn’t make anything depressurize or vent into space or kill anyone or anything. Which is not how it would actually work.
*So, a meeting is called of every Jedi in existence. To deal with two kids who can’t do anything but create illusions. All the actual violence comes from plain old weapons, weapons constantly referred to as out of date. Why are the Jedi having a hard time with these jokers?
*So, Exar Kun saves a couple of followers of Freedon Nadd from an angry mob. Again, we’re supposed to believe that Kun is falling to the Dark Side when he’s only guaranteeing free speech. Are the author’s trying to say free speech is more evil than censorship? Bastards. This story is doing something none of the others have done: ticking me off. Let a Jedi go his own way even though the Force tells you that he’s falling to the Dark Side and will be responsible for the death of thousands. And, oh, yes, defending someone’s right to speak their mind is the same as agreeing with them. Yeah, this seems like a fairly logical moral code. I’m surprised the Jedi lasted as long as they did.
*So, the tomb of Freedon Nadd is constructed out of material that a lightsaber will not cut through. Unless the person with the saber tries really hard? How does that work again?
*Well, I guess when you’ve got a name as drop dead stupid as Freedon Nadd, it’s going to be tempting to resurrect the character just for laughs.
*Geez Louise, Odan Urrr (the scholar Jedi from The Golden Age/Fall of the Sith duology) is still alive? His master prophesied that he would live to be one of the most ancient and respected Jedi, but over a thousand years? Even Methuselah didn’t hit that milestone.
*Okay, in what frigging galaxy would droids be able to attack a gathering of every Jedi in the galaxy and actually take names?
*And in a bit of irony so subtle that Wes Anderson is shaking in his boots, Master Arca gets blown away from behind while lecturing Ulic on how a Jedi must always be watchful and never turn his back on an enemy . . .
*So, the Jedi masters believe that Ulic is going down a dangerous path by going to avenge his master’s death, but they say that he must be allowed to go his own way. They don’t even attempt to argue with him! Despite the fact that he flatly states that he’s going to investigate the Dark Side in order to gain his revenge. These guys are just way to laissez faire.
*In a nice scene, Freedon Nadd makes Exar Kun fall to the Dark Side by breaking all of his bones and promising that the Dark Side can heal him. If only the rest of the story had been so bleak and horrifying.
*In a nice twist, Satal and Aleema know that Ulic plans to destroy them, but they take him in anyway, for the challenge.
*I also like the challenge set up between Exar Kun and Satal and Aleema as to who will be the next Dark Lord.
*The Jedi Masters try to dissuade Nomi and Cay from going to snatch Ulic. Again, Ulic has fallen to the Dark Side, helped Satal and Aleema update their weaponry and cut all his ties. What does it take for you guys to decide it’s time to put a stop to someone?
*After confronting Ulic, Nomi says that, after mounting this huge rescue operation, that they must leave him to follow his own path (again with that crap!), stating that a Jedi must pay for his decisions. What, I wonder, about all the innocent people that are going to die because of Ulic’s upcoming actions? How do they fit into this “A Jedi must be allowed to take his own path” thing?
*And did I mention there was this whole multi-part rescue mission launched to get to Ulic? And so after this massive battle with fighter pilots and blaster fights and all kinds of stuff, then Nomi’s just like, “Well, let’s head home.” I think it’s a real misnomer to call this a “rescue” mission. If you can call it a “mission” at all.
*This was several years ago now, but there was a whole thing once about everybody listing their twenty favorite EU moments. That probably cycles around, but this was because of some official Star Wars.com blog entry or something, I don’t remember. Anyway, I did my top twenty and also my bottom five, ie. the twenty best moments and the five worst. And this scene was somewhere in that five worst list. I don’t even remember the other four and I have no idea where it was on the list, but, yeah, that should tell you something about how I feel about this series.
*Exar Kun shows up and joins forces with Ulic, pushing Aleema onto a second tier, I guess. How . . . menacing, I guess. Okay, anyway.
*CANONICAL STATUS: This document is clearly based on true events, but it is full of distortions, fabrications and outright deceptions. While figures in this text are based on real historical figures and many of the events here are more or less based on the events that led to the Sith War, this book is mostly inaccurate and is NOT RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
*Strongly warned against. ½ star.
Kevin J. Anderson
*Next time, back to the audio dramas as we get an audio adaptation of this story. Oh, man . . .