Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Outcast
Boy, am I ever falling behind in my Star Wars reading. With Star Wars authors coming up with new and exciting adventures in all areas of the Star Wars timeline, itís hard to keep up. I was just starting to catch up on my Clone Wars reading when they came out with a story set just after Return of the Jedi. After reading that, I discover that I am four books behind in a new Star Wars series that takes place after the Legacy of the Force series. I now set out to read the first book of the new series, Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Outcast.
Taking place shortly after the events of Millennium Falcon, Outcast presents us with a new incarnation of the Galactic Alliance rising from the ashes of a galactic civil war. This new Galactic Alliance, run by Chief of State Natasi Daala, is made primarily up of former members of the Imperial regime, an empire none to friendly to the Jedi. Somewhat proving this point, one of Daalaís first acts of office is to arrest Luke Skywalker. According to Daala, as Grand Master of the Jedi, Luke should have been able to see the changes in Jacen Solo before he became a Sith and began his reign of terror throughout the galaxy.
While fighting these charges, Luke canít help but wonder if Daala isnít right. Things get even worse when Luke discovers two of his Jedi have now gone rogue and one such Jedi, Valin Horn, seems to be consumed by some sort of madness which has him attacking his own family, believing them to be imposters. In a compromise to the situation with Chief of State Daala, Luke agrees to a period of exile which will afford him time to trace Jacen Soloís path to enlightenment, taken prior to the Dark Nest crisis, and perhaps discover what led to Jacenís downfall.
Meanwhile, Lukeís exile as Grand Master isnít the only restriction afforded the Jedi. The Galactic Alliance rules that all Jedi must be accompanied by observers and that all of their missions must be Alliance approved. Ducking these restrictions, Leia, Han and Allana head out to Kessel to assist Lando and Tendra Calrissian and Nein Numb with some mysterious groundquakes threatening their business and the lives of all those living on the planet.
History comes full circle with the Fate of the Jedi series as Natasi Daala seems to be taking an Imperial stand on the ďproblemĒ of the Jedi. Citing that the Jedi believe they must answer to no one, not even Galactic Alliance authorities, she seeks to control the Jedi and their movements to her own end, hunting down and imprisoning rogue members. Controlling the Jedi and pushing negative views of them toward the public, Daala seems to be taking a very similar path to Emperor Palpatine. How soon will it take before she begins to order Jedi executions? Anyone see a return of Order 66 in the near future? I do!
Aaron Allston is one of my favorite Star Wars authors, having penned half of the X-wing series. And of course, having penned that series, it comes as no surprise that we might find some older characters from that very series coming to the aide of Lando Calrissian at Kessel. Aaron Allston is known for his terrific action sequences and Outcast is no exception. Not only are there great hand-to-hand and lightsaber combat sequences, but there are speeder chases, starship acrobatics and so much more to keep you on the edge of your seat.
While I am not fond of the stripped down covers featured in this new series, Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Outcast is a fast moving and engrossing read filled with action and intrigue. Just as you have finally accepted the idea of Jacen Solo as a Sith Lord, this new series poses a new question, besides the birth of his daughter, what pushed Jacen Solo on this path? Was it his contact with Vergere or was it something he came across during his travels searching for enlightenment with other Force using orders? Weíll just have to wait and see as the Fate of the Jedi series continues.