Suicide by Star Wars Apocrypha: The Pre-Republic Era, Part 3

Prisoner of Bogan, One

(Suicide by Star Wars Apocrypha is a vast, largely insane attempt to investigate the entirety of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Click here for the Introduction.  Click here for the Archive.)

SW3 Image 3

Author: John Ostrander

Artist: Jan Duursema

Medium: Comic

Publication Date: November 2012 – May 2013

Timeline Placement: 25,793 BBY

Series: Dawn of the Jedi

It’s been two months since the concurrent events of Force Storm and Into the Void, and Predor Skal’nas, evil Rakatan overlord, is starting to wonder why he hasn’t heard anything from his brainwashed human slave, Xesh, and the Rakatan spies sent to Tython. Since we learn at the end of this story that Skal’nas had psychically programmed Xesh to murder his master and everyone on their ship, you’d think he might suspect that has something to do with why they haven’t called him back.

Another of Skal’nas’s slaves, an albino alien chick named Trill, reveals that she and Xesh were childhood BFF’s before they were forced to fight to the death and Xesh refused to kill her, thereby betraying her? I don’t get it. But Trill claims this former bond of theirs will allow her to track him so her boss sends her to join the plot.

Meanwhile, Xesh is hanging out on Bogan, the Evil Moon of Tython, with nothing to do but watch the Good Moon, Ashla, pass overhead every month. There is only one other prisoner on Bogan: an insane Je’daii named Daegen Lok, who was teased in both Force Storm and Into the Void and is finally about to make his debut and pull this series back from the brink of failure. He attacks Xesh for some reason, even though he wants his help. Xesh is about to kill him (which would put a real damper on his plans, I suspect) but Lok reveals that, like the three Je’daii Journeyers in Force Storm and Lanoree Brock in Into the Void, he too had a vision of Xesh’s arrival on Tython. Xesh is intrigued and the two agree to team up to escape their imprisonment.

Back on Tython, the Three Caballeros—Sek’nos Rath, Tasha Ryo, and Shae Koda—are being despondent about Xesh’s exile and how the Je’daii Council ignored their visions, just as they did Daegen Lok’s seven years ago (twist!). A minor character from Into the Void, Master Tave, tells them to grow up and quit their bitching, then sends them on various trivial assignments.

Elsewhere, we are introduced to General Rajivari, so far the only Je’daii Master we’ve met who dresses identically to the Jedi in the prequels. His character originated in BioWare’s aesthetically derivative MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, where he was named as one of the founding members of the Jedi Order. I assume he’s included here by way of apology for the lore inconsistencies in the previous volume, because he does dick-all in this book. (Also revealed in TOR is that Rajivari eventually went insane and was killed trying to destroy all of the Jedi, so at least there’s a happy ending to his character arc.)

Master Rajivari, the dullest first Jedi imaginable.

Master Rajivari, the dullest first Jedi imaginable.

Daegen Lok takes Xesh to a crashed starfighter that he’s managed to mostly repair. Lok reveals that, seven years ago, he and his best friend, Hawk Ryo, ventured into the Chasm, a seemingly bottomless abyss on Tython rumored to drive insane any Je’daii who travels too far into its depths. In the Chasm, Lok had a vision of Xesh (although he believes it to be himself) leading an army and holding a “sword of flame,” which from what Xesh has told him he now believes to be Xesh’s Forcesaber. The Je’daii Council declared Lok mad and exiled him to Bogan until he recanted his vision, which he refused to do.

Lok asks Xesh if he can build more Forcesabers, but he’s unable to do so without a specific type of crystal. As luck would have it, Krev Coeur, the convenient crystal planet, is nearby. Xesh generates Force lightning to recharge the starfighter’s depleted power cells and they jet off to take their revenge.

At the Forge, Tython’s weapons manufacturing temple, the Je’daii are studying Xesh’s Forcesaber, which is basically a lightsaber that will only work if you use the dark side, and trying to figure out how to turn it on. Being Je’daii, practitioners of harmonic balance, they mostly fail. They give it to Shae to try, since she was the only one able to activate it before, but I guess she’s not on her period anymore so she can’t do it. Hawk Ryo walks in and turns it on without a problem, revealing that he was once exiled to the Evil Moon of Bogan and learned to master his own dark side there.

While Shae and Sek’nos dick around with that, Tasha Ryo, the most boring character from the first arc, gets the much more interesting task of investigating the alien remains recovered from Xesh’s ship. Unable to find anything in the Je’daii archives, she is taken by librarian Ters Sendon to an underground chamber and series of passageways that predate even the Je’daii’s 10,000-year-old library.

Here, Master Sendon shows her a floating crystal shaped like a Tho Yor. Tasha touches it and for the first time in Je’daii history the crystal comes to life, emitting a small hologram of a dude that looks like DC’s Darkseid after joining a monastic cult. The figure introduces itself as Master A’nang, last of the Tython Kwa, and offers to answer any questions they might have. Why this millennia-old recording speaks English (or “Basic,” as I guess it’s called in Star Wars) and uses the same name for Tython that the Je’daii use is conveniently not addressed.

A’nang reveals that his people, the Kwa, once traveled throughout the galaxy from their homeworld of Dathomir using technology called “Infinity Gates.” They settled on many worlds, spreading civilization and advanced technology to the more primitive races of the galaxy. Having read Into the Void, we know that not long ago there was a huge kerfuffle with some nut searching for a Gree hypergate beneath a ruined city. So why did ancient Tython need to be settled by both the Kwa and the Gree using nearly identical technology? Storytelling 101: Keep it simple, stupid.

Master A’nang prepares to lead a group of Kwa through an Infinity Gate.

Master A’nang prepares to lead a group of Kwa through an Infinity Gate.

Tasha shows Master A’nang an alien skull from the crashed ship. After flipping out and retreating inside his holocron, which is basically a flash drive you can access only by talking to Clippit the Microsoft Office Assistant, A’nang’s holographic avatar eventually explains how the Kwa unwittingly unleashed the Rakata on the galaxy. One of their Infinity Gates took them to the Rakatan homeworld, Lehon, where the Kwa tried to uplift the Rakata as they had other species. The Rakata repaid them by using their technology to take over the galaxy. The Kwa destroyed all their Infinity Gates and retreated back to Dathomir, powerless to stop the Rakata’s bloody conquest. So basically the whole history of Star Wars happened because of Seerow’s Kindness.→