Tag Archives: loss

Growing Up Too Fast

This post was intended to be my third article in my New Jedi Order series of posts.  I didn’t have the chance to write it until February 2015, and quaintjeremy has not yet had time to review it and get it posted.  With his permission to copy my series over to my own blog, I now present the third installment of my review and thoughts on the book series.

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It has been a long time now since last you heard from me.  Between an over-demanding schedule at work, and an increased apathy after getting home from said schedule, I’ve been negligent even to my own personal blog.  But, I am resolved to reactivate myself in the blogosphere.  To that end, I return to a topic I began in August of last year: the death of Chewbacca.

Having examined Han’s reaction to his best friend’s passing, I wish now to look at Anakin Solo’s life after Chewie’s death.  If you need a quick reminder of what’s going on, you might want to check out my first and second sci-fi posts for the Thoughts.  The short version, Anakin was the one who decided the needs of the many out-weighed the needs of the one and leaves Chewbacca on the doomed world of Sernpidal, despite Han’s vehement protests.

After his father outright blames him for Chewie’s death, Anakin withdraws almost as much as Han from the world around him.  The loss of his protector and friend hardens the young Solo’s resolve to do anything in his power to prevent the loss of any more close friends or relatives.  Anakin becomes so focused on this ideal that he devotes himself to finding ways to fight back against the Yuuzhan Vong. In this pursuit, Anakin rediscovers the lost Jedi art of the battle meditation.  The battle meditation does play a pivotal part in the war at various battles, but I will examine that another time.

After a time, Anakin even develops a vague “Vong-sense” after some alterations to his lightsaber made during his captivity on Yavin IV. Anakin is able to take his lightsaber and attune it with a lambent crystal inside. Lambents are living crystal used by Yuuzhan Vong as sources of artificial light. Anakin struggles through a lot of mental turmoil before getting the weapon to work. When he finally ignites the now purple blade, he realizes that attuning the lambent to the lightsaber has provided a sense of the Yuuzhan Vong similar to Force sense of other people, but to a lesser degree. To get Anakin to Yavin IV, however, I must digress.

Upon learning that the Yuuzhan Vong have targeted Yavin IV as their next target, Anakin charges off to the planet, against the counsel of his uncle, Luke Skywalker, to warn the Jedi Praxeum. This is where Luke has established his training center and home for young Jedi-to-be. However, Anakin arrives to find that the Peace Brigade, a collection of dissidents who side with the Yuuzhan Vong thinking they will be allowed to survive the takeover of the galaxy, have already begun an invasion of the planet.  Anakin stays to fight, along with Tahiri and Ikrit, buying time for many of the children to escape.

During the fighting, Anakin’s long time friend and classmate, Tahiri Veila, is captured.  Anakin is still haunted by his decision at Sernpidal and decides to go after her in a poorly-planned rescue attempt.  He manages to get himself captured and is put to work as a slave with the Shamed Ones, the lowest caste of the Yuuzhan Vong’s society.  Shamed ones are without honor and deemed cursed by the gods.  Often they are Shamed by an implant not taking hold properly, or in the case of warriors, perform some act that strips them of their honor.  I will look more specifically at Tahiri’s story another time.

Anakin is eventually able to convince one Shamed One, Vua Rapuung, to assist him in freeing Tahiri, after Rapuung tells Anakin that she will be shaped into a Yuuzhan Vong.  During the ensuing Shamed uprising, Anakin and Rapuung fight side by side, instilling an ideal in the Shamed Ones that greatly affects the latter months of the war.  Anakin does eventually rescue Tahiri, but he still doesn’t feel that he has atoned for his perceived sins.

Several months later, the Yuuzhan Vong have created creatures that are part vornskr, part fero xyn: voxyn.  Voxyn are shaped and cloned for one purpose and that purpose is to hunt down and kill Jedi.  The voxyn combine the Force-sensitivity and hunting skills of a vornskr with the even-more ferocious hunting skills of the fero xyn.  Voxyn could smell Jedi through the Force and track them over great distances, even from one sensing the Jedi on other ships through the void of space.  They possessed 8 legs, a poisonous scorpion-like talk, and could spit acid and produce sonic blast-wave screeches.  These creatures were truly one of the most deadly adversaries the Jedi Order ever faced.

The Order was able to learn that the voxyn were all being cloned from a queen, who was being kept at the Yuuzhan Vong worldship in orbit around Myrkr.  After losing several Jedi to the creatures, something had to be done to stop them.  Most of the ordained Knights and Masters were occupied with other war efforts.  So, a strike team of young Jedi was assembled, despite Luke’s misgivings, and sent on a mission to kill the voxyn queen.

The strike team and the voxyn. Image uploaded from http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mission_to_Myrkr?file=SbS_Fallen_hr.jpg
The strike team and the voxyn. Image uploaded from http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mission_to_Myrkr?file=SbS_Fallen_hr.jpg

Anakin Solo lead the strike team including his twin siblings, Jacen and Jaina Solo, Tahiri Veila, Tenel Ka, Lowbacca, Alema Rarr, and several other young Jedi.  The strike team also included several YVH droids, and eventually included to Dark Jedi the team encountered on the worldship.  The mission was successful, but at a great cost.  All of the YVH droids were destroyed, and roughly half of the Jedi were killed, including Anakin.

The strike team was trapped in a corridor and being hunted by several dozen warriors and a few voxyn.  While the two Dark Jedi stole the ship the strike team intended for their escape, a severely-wounded Anakin took it upon himself to fight off the warriors and buy time for the strike team to escape.  He was determined that no more of his team would die on the mission and began to draw heavily on the Force during his fight.  As he drew more of the Force into himself, Anakin began to glow and emit a brighter and brighter light.  Pulling a thermal detonator to himself with the Force, he was able to kill the remaining voxyn chasing the team.  Ultimately, the amount of Force energy Anakin drew into himself was of such magnitude, that he became one with the living Force and vanished in a blinding white light of pure Force energy.

It is my firm belief that Anakin would not have felt compelled to meet his end in such a manor had Chewbacca not died on Sernpidal.  The death of someone so close to Anakin, combined with the subsequent deaths of other Jedi and innocents at the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong, pushed Anakin, and indeed all the young Jedi of the mission, to grow up too fast.  They formed in their minds a responsibility that would normally befall persons much older than them.  However, the culmination in his death at Myrkr was set in motion by the events and actions of Sernpidal’s destruction.

Tell me your thoughts on Anakin’s life and death in the comments below.  May the Force be with you.

Rage, rage against the dying of a planet. (complete post)

Greetings again, readers.  As stated previously, here is another of my posts from quaintjeremy’s blog.  This is a direct follow up to my first post on the subject of The New Jedi Order book series.  It was originally posted August 5, 2014.

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In my last post, I commented briefly on how Chewbacca’s death had set a grim tone for The New Jedi Order book series.  I would like to take some time now and examine that a little more in-depth in the first post on this topic.

In Vector Prime, Chewbacca, Han Solo, and his son Anakin Solo, go to the planet Sernpidal at the request of Han’s “old buddy” Lando Calrissian.  Lando has asked them to pick up a shipment for him, but things are not well when they get to Sernpidal.  The moon, Dobido, looks awfully large and seems to be moving awfully fast through its orbit around the planet.

They are approached by the former mayor, who tells them the moon is on a collision course with the planet. Then Han and Chewie begin loading up people onto starships to get as many folks off the doomed planet as possible, while Anakin runs off with the former mayor to try and see what’s causing the moon to behave this way.  As it turns out, the Yuuzhan Vong are behind it all, using a dovin basal to manipulate gravity and literally pull the moon into the planet.

When Anakin is knocked away from the Falcon, Chewie runs after him and gets him back up on the ship.  Han asks Anakin to take over so he can help Chewie up onto the boarding ramp.  However, the planet is beginning to come apart at the seams.  The ground is in violent upheaval, the winds are hurricane-force, and the moon is about to make contact with the planet at any moment.  Despite Han’s protests, Anakin makes a hard decision to leave Chewbacca behind, to save themselves, and the dozens of people on board, all of whom are now homeless refugees.

Han watches, disbelievingly, as the Falcon flies away, and Chewbacca howls defiantly at the moon as it crashes into him and the planet.

Chewbacca howls defiantly in the face of death. Image from http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090626185056/starwars/images/f/f6/Chewbacca_Sernpidal.jpg
Chewbacca howls defiantly in the face of death. Image from http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090626185056/starwars/images/f/f6/Chewbacca_Sernpidal.jpg

Han is furious with his son and so overcome with grief-fueled anger, that he goes as far as to blame Anakin for Chewie’s death.  Han Solo, revered and hated throughout the galaxy, became a man consumed by grief.  He spent weeks alone in the Solos’ apartment on Coruscant, with the lights off and a bottle in his hand.  His family and friends feared that he would never come out of his grief.  They all tried to pull him back into the fold, to be there for him, comfort him, but he would just push them away.  Even after Chewbacca’s funeral on Kashyyk, Han was nearly inconsolable.

This whole ordeal causes a massive rift to form between Han and his family, and he goes so far as to fly off in the Falcon, leaving Leia and the kids to their own devices.  Even with a new temporary sidekick in the form of a Ryn named Droma, Han still refuses to even take comm messages from his wife for several weeks.  It is a full four books after Vector Prime before Han begins to return to his old self, but even then, it is not entirely his old self.  Chewbacca’s death breaks one of Han Solo’s most endearing qualities: his sense of invincibility.  For several months after Chewie’s death, Han second-guesses himself and errs on the side of caution much more than he ever did.

It is also some time before Han actually apologizes to Anakin for the blame Han placed on him.  Yet, even with his father’s apologies, Anakin is forever changed by the guilt he feels.  With or without Han’s blame, Anakin feels responsible because he made the decision to leave Chewbacca behind.  It is Anakin’s reaction to Chewbacca’s death that I wish to examine next time.  For now, how did Chewbacca’s death affect you?  Do you agree with Han’s reaction, as developed in the series?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

A life is like a garden

As you should know by now, the legendary Leonard Nimoy passed away last week.  Like many of you, I was thoroughly shocked and profoundly sad upon hearing the news of his passing.  I’ve had a week now to come to terms with this loss, and find myself aching from it still.  Never before in my life have I felt the death of a celebrity as personally as I have Mr. Spock’s.  Several times last Friday, I found myself on the verge of tears and finally broke down that night as I was laying in bed watching the funeral scene from Wrath of Khan.  So, for the rest of this post, I will do my own little tribute to Mr. Nimoy, a man who truly did live long, and prosper.

The final tweet from Leonard Nimoy's Twitter account.
The final tweet from Leonard Nimoy’s Twitter account.
Image from https://www.facebook.com/NukeTheFridgeWebsite?fref=nf
Image from https://www.facebook.com/NukeTheFridgeWebsite?fref=nf
My Facebook post regarding Leonard Nimoy's passing.
My Facebook post regarding Leonard Nimoy’s passing.
Honestly, I can't recall where I found this, but I will officially state it is not mine.
Honestly, I can’t recall where I found this, but I will officially state it is not mine.
This one though, I did make from a picture I found at random on the internet.  I made the meme on icanhascheeseburger.
This one though, I did make from a picture I found at random on the internet. I made the meme on icanhascheeseburger.

Rage, rage against the dying of a planet.

Here’s my 2nd post for the Thoughts on Quaint Jeremy’s blog. Give it a read and let me know what you think!

quaintjeremy's thoughts

In my last post, I commented briefly on how Chewbacca’s death had set a grim tone for The New Jedi Order book series.  I would like to take some time now and examine that a little more in-depth in the first post on this topic.

In Vector Prime, Chewbacca, Han Solo, and his son Anakin Solo, go to the planet Sernpidal at the request of Han’s “old buddy” Lando Calrissian.  Lando has asked them to pick up a shipment for him, but things are not well when they get to Sernpidal.  The moon, Dobido, looks awfully large and seems to be moving awfully fast through its orbit around the planet.

They are approached by the former mayor, who tells them the moon is on a collision course with the planet. Then Han and Chewie begin loading up people onto starships to get as many folks off the doomed planet…

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