This week I’ve been charging through Clone Wars: Wild Space, a Legends novel by Karen Miller. It’s part of a series of Clone Wars books she wrote in the early 2000’s. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet, lol. It’s compulsively readable, and that’s why I’m tearing through it; but the characters seem to be a bit…off, I don’t know. All they seem to do is argue with one another, constantly, for one reason or another. I picked up the book because of some fan art I’d seen a few weeks ago, of Bail Organa and Obi-Wan Kenobi:
Naturally, I had to know what was going on here. The plot seems promising, if they could all just calm down and stop butting heads with one another. It’s kind of annoying. But we’ll see; I’ll probably finish it this week and post my thoughts on it on The Star Wars Reader.
I’ve also started to re-read Light of the Jedi, by Charles Soule, just to refresh my memory on the events of the book, in preparation for The Rising Storm, coming out June 29th. Man, I can’t wait for this book! I need to know what’s going to happen to my guy, Loden Greatstorm. As I mentioned before, I’m quite anxious about him. He’s my favorite High Republic Jedi, and at the end of LOTJ he was captured by the nefarious Nihil. (Don’t you hurt him, you sleemos! Lol. But oh, I know they will).
On the Disney+ front, I enjoyed the latest Bad Batch episode “Cornered,” and will have my thoughts on it posted probably Monday. And I finally finished Resistance–yay! As I mentioned earlier, the last few episodes of Season One got more compelling, and all of Season Two was quite good. I’ll write a post about both seasons sometime this week.
The podcast continues to be fun, and this week I’ll do one on Heir to the Jedi, by Kevin Hearne. It’s a Luke-centric story, taking place between ANH and ESB.
So on Thursday, I got my second Covid-19 shot and planned to take it easy on Friday, maybe watch a few movies (I was in a prequel kind of mood), since a lot of people report feeling tired, etc. the next day after the second shot. Well, I was tired–so much so, that I slept most of the day! Not even enough energy to watch a movie. In truth, I felt like I got hit by a truck, lol. Some body aches, headache, no appetite, etc., but mostly exhausted. So no Star Wars, just dreamland. By Saturday, I was completely fine and back to work. Totally worth a lost day to finally feel safe against Covid.
Finally, for my non-Star Wars indulgence, I watched Halston on Netflix, and I LOVED it. I suppose it’s not for everyone, but Ewan McGregor proves (as if he has to) that he’s an actor on an Emmy Award-level. He just blew me away with is portrayal of fashion designer Roy Halston, a brilliant, tragically flawed man who “changed the face of American fashion.” The five-episode series was quite a ride!
What have you been up to this past week? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
Star Wars obviously has some great main characters, but it’s also filled with intriguing minor characters as well. So I thought it would be fun to do a series on these small but significant characters in the various Star Wars films.
The first one that came to mind, and seemed the most interesting to me, was Lor San Tekka (played by Max von Sydow). If you’ll remember, he was the person Poe Dameron met on Jakku at the beginning of The ForceAwakens and received some important information from him. It turned out to be a partial map that led to Ach-To, location of the first Jedi Temple, and of the missing Luke Skywalker as well.
When I first saw TFA, I had so many questions about this character: who was he, actually, and how did he acquire this information? How did he know Leia? How did Poe find him? And what the heck was his name (it was never mentioned in the film)?
We learn his name in the The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, along with some other vital information about him. I don’t have that book, but learned some things about San Tekka during the course of my own research.
It turns out that San Tekka is a member of The Church of the Force, which is a group of beings who are not Force sensitive but believe in the power of the Force, and that there can be no balance in the Force until the Jedi return. The Church was forced to go underground during the Imperial era, but had more freedom during the New Republic. The village he was in on Jakku, Tanual, was made up of members of the Church of the Force (who unfortunately were all killed by Kylo Ren’s forces, as well as San Tekka himself).
Speaking of Kylo Ren, Lor San Tekka makes an appearance in the comic The Rise of Kylo Ren. San Tekka is an explorer, and one of his missions as a member of the Church of the Force is to locate ancient Jedi artifacts. Luke Skywalker, after the Battle of Endor, explores the galaxy also looking for Jedi artifacts before he begins to rebuild the Jedi Order. San Tekka accompanied Luke on several missions, including in The Rise of Kylo Ren. This is presumably how Leia knew him, and Kylo Ren, of course.
Kylo Ren: “Look how old you have become.”
Lor San Tekka: “Something far worse has happened to you.”
From The Force Awakens
So how did Poe find him? This is recounted in the comic Star Wars: Poe Dameron. In it, Poe and his team, Black Squadron, follow in San Tekka’s exploratory footsteps. They meet with a spiritual people called the Creche, whom San Tekka lived with for a time to learn about their culture.
Light of the Jedi Spoiler Alert!
Lor San Tekka is an explorer, and he comes from a long line of galactic explorers. One thing I found very interesting in the High Republic novel Light of the Jedi is that we meet some San Tekka ancestors. Marlowe San Tekka and his husband Vellis are visited by Jedi Knights Avar Kriss and Elzar Mann, during their investigation into the Great Disaster. Since the Disaster occurred in hyperspace, they went to the San Tekkas, who are the head of the San Tekka empire: the family had made their fortune in hyperspace prospecting, finding routes through the wild spaces of the galaxy. It was dangerous work, but the San Tekkas seemed to have a knack for it and sold the navigational data for a fee.
There’s another San Tekka in the book, one that Marlowe and Vellis know about but don’t share with the Jedi: Mari San Tekka. She was a relation who had been kidnapped by the Nihil when she was young, and is now over 100 years old. Mari has a special talent: she can find routes through hyperspace with her mind alone, and can navigate a ship through these paths with her mind. The Nihil–specifically, Marchion Ro and his father before him–have used that ability to give the Nihil the gift of the Paths and made them strong. It also caused the Great Disaster, orchestrated by Marchion Ro.
So Lor San Tekka comes from an important, and formerly wealthy, family (they might still be wealthy, I don’t know) connected to hyperspace lanes. He comes from a long line of explorers, people who may have had a special (Force connected?) talent in finding these routes.
I find this information about a minor character from a Star Wars movie all very fascinating. It took me a few years to figure out who the guy actually was and get my questions answered, lol, but that’s okay. I’m very eager to find out more about the San Tekkas in later installments of the High Republic novels.
What do you think of Lor San Tekka? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
So I usually review Star Wars books on my other blog, The Star Wars Reader, and I try to make them spoiler-free in case people haven’t read them yet and think they might want to. The point is to give a general idea of what the book is about so one can decide if they want to read it, without giving away major spoilers.
If you’re looking for a spoiler-free review of Light of the Jedi, you can go here to read it. Go there now, and don’t read any further. You’ve been warned.
But I wanted to also write a spoiler review for anyone who’s curious about the High Republic and what it’s all about, but doesn’t necessarily want to read the books. It’s a big, new addition to the Star Wars universe, and kind of a big deal as far as Canon goes. But not everyone wants to get into the books. If you’re that person, this post is for you.
This is more like a recap rather than a review, so to prevent this from being one looooong post, I’ve decided to break it up into three parts. This post will cover Part One of the book, The Great Disaster; another one will cover Part Two: The Paths; and another will cover Part Three: The Storm. Ready? Here we go:
Part One: The Great Disaster
Light of the Jedi takes place during the High Republic, roughly 200 years before The Phantom Menace. It’s a golden age–the Republic is at peace (their motto is “We are all the Republic”) and the Jedi are at the height of their powers.
But then the “Great Disaster” occurs: a transport ship called the Legacy Run encounters something in their path during hyperspace–something that is supposed to be impossible. In trying to avoid it the ship falls apart, and its debris scatters throughout neighboring space at near-lightspeed, threatening billions of lives in inhabited nearby systems.
One such system is the Hetzal system: an agricultural planet called Hetzal Prime, and its two moons, the Fruited Moon and the Rooted Moon. Minister Ecka on Hetzal Prime sends out a distress call, knowing full well there’s probably no time for anyone from the Core to arrive in time to help. He also knows there’s not enough time or ships to evacuate the billions of people on the planet, but all he can do is send out an evacuation order anyway and hope for the best. He and a group of techs, including a young genius named Keven Tarr, decide to stay on the planet and do what they can.
Luckily, a Republic ship called the Third Horizon is nearby, on its way back to Coruscant from the new space station called Starlight Beacon. It’s headed by Admiral Kronara, and a group of Jedi led by Jedi Master Avar Kriss.
Avar stays aboard the Third Horizon while a group of Jedi fly out in their Vectors, mosquito-like ships that the Jedi can control with the Force. They and a couple of pilots, Joss and Pikka, are planning on destroying a piece of debris headed straight for one of the moons. Avar, on board the Third Horizon connects to the Force and mind-links with the Jedi, to support and guide them. (In Legends, I believe this is called Battle Meditation).
One of the teams include the Jedi Master Te’Ami (a Duros), Nib Assek and her Padawan Burryaga, and Mikkel Sutmani (an Ithorian). The Padawan Burryaga, a young Wookie, has a special talent for feeling the emotions of others to a very strong degree. He tells his master, Nib Assek (who has learned Shyriiwook to better communicate with her Padawan), that there are people inside the debris fragment, terrified people who had been travelling on the Legacy Run.
Suddenly the mission has gotten much more complicated–not only must they prevent the fragment from smashing into the moon, but now they must somehow save the people inside that fragment.
Meanwhile, Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm and his Padawan Bell Zettifar fly down to the surface of Hetzal to help in any way they can. They find a mob of people trying to get through a tall gate surrounding a private residence that harbors a ship–one that can hold many more people than the family that owns it. But the family have put armed guards on the wall to keep the desperate people out. Loden confronts the guards and nearly convinces them to let the people in, but then they are attacked from behind by another group wanting to get on the ship. Meanwhile, time is running out as the debris fragments get ever nearer.
In another part of the system, Captain Bright, a Nautolan, of the Republic ship Aurora IX, and his two lieutenants Peebles and Innamen, arrive at a solar array that has been hit by a fragment. The array is quite unstable, but Captain Bright feels they must look for survivors. They do find injured survivors, but the array is dangerously close to exploding. They find a way to delay the explosion, and Captain Bright sacrifices himself to give the others time to get the injured off the station and onto the Aurora.
Meanwhile, Te’Ami’s team have come up with a plan to save the moon and the people on board the fragment: together, the Jedi will slow and hold the fragment with the Force, while Joss and Pikka attach cables to it to further slow and stop it. It would be difficult, but they have to try.
It works, but there’s a new threat: Avar Kriss senses a fragment heading toward one of Hetzal’s three suns, but there’s something about it that makes her uneasy; she senses something through the Force. After consulting some scans from Keven Tarr, it’s shown to contain liquid Tibanna. The LegacyRun had been hauling it, but now it was careening toward the sun and once it reaches it, it will explode–and the sun along with it, and presumably the rest of the system. Total annihilation.
Avar again links all the Jedi in the system, and then even more Jedi farther away, in different systems. Together, they all strain to move the fragment enough to make it miss the sun. It’s immensely difficult, and some Jedi even die in the attempt–but they make it work. Through the Force, they manage to move the fragment so it misses the sun, and continues on harmlessly into space.
I found this line interesting: “Across the galaxy, cheers of relief and joy. Yes, scowls from those who lived in darkness, hoping for the Jedi to fail, to be crushed, to die–but they were few.” A reference to the Sith in hiding? That’s what I’m assuming, an acknowledgment that they’re out there somewhere, but they’re not a part of this story. So far, anyway.
The Great Disaser is over–at least in Hetzal. But in the Ab Dalis system further along the hyperlane the Legacy Run had been traveling on, more fragments emerge. One hits a densely populated world in the system, and twenty million people die. This is the first Emergence. It’s assumed that many other Emergences will occur, and this is obviously a problem.
During the Ab Dalis Emergence, we are introduced to the Nihil. These are the space mauraders that are the villains of the story, and they take advantage of the situation here to raid some transports trying to get away from the destruction of the planet. The Nihil destroy several of the transports, then use poison gas kill the passengers of the others as they board them, wearing their terrifying masks.
So, going into Part Two, the Republic and the Jedi have two problems: the Emergences, and how to predict and deal with them, as well as the Nihil, who have become a growing threat to the galaxy.