Star Wars: One Thousand Levels Down
Author: Alexander Freed
In keeping with the theme of late, Star Wars: One Thousand Levels Down, the newest short story to hit Star Wars Insider Magazine, fills in the spaces between the original trilogy films. Set just after the destruction of Alderaan, this tale features none of the main characters we have become accustomed to seeing in Star Wars fiction.
On Coruscant, in the days after Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star, being an Alderaanian is a dangerous thing. A peaceful people, the Alderaanian's protest the unprovoked murder of their people and the destruction of their planet through peaceful demonstrations. However, doing so on Coruscant, the epicenter of the Empire and home to Emperor Palpatine, means doing so at a perilous risk.
As various Alderaanian's begin to disappear, Anandra and Santigo's mother prepares for the worst. She instructs her teenage daughter to take Santigo to Level 3108, deep into the Coruscant underground, in hopes that a family friend might take the children in and keep them safe. But that route's a dead end. A smuggler is enlisted by the individual to take the children off world, but that plan doesn't work out either.
Now, Anandra, still a child herself, must find the strength to protect her younger brother against the dangers of the lower levels of Coruscant while hiding from the stormtroopers and other Imperial agents who are hunting them. Will Andandra and Santigo ever find peace and a place to call home?
Though Star Wars: One Thousand Levels Down doesn't contain characters we Star Wars fans are familiar with, it does contain an engaging story fraught with historical meaning. When we look back into our history and the "stormtroopers" of our time, we realize what those of Jewish descent and anyone who didn't agree with Hitler's philosophy must have gone through all those years ago. Hiding became a necessity, but there were few who could be trusted or who would be willing to place themselves at risk to protect the "undesirables."
This tale offers up a new perspective on an event in the original Star Wars Trilogy's history. We get to see things through the eyes of the younger survivors of the Emperor's purge - not the purge of the Jedi, but the purge of all those opposed to his policies. Quite an interesting story that is well worth the read for all Star Wars fans.