For the next instalment in my quest to achieve a PhD in Star Wars-ology, I revisit the role-playing game text, Tales of the Jedi Companion. In this post I’ll be recording my thoughts on chapters 1, 2, 5, the chapter headings of 6 through to 12, and chapter 13.
As I said in my last post regarding role-playing game texts, I love going through them for the nitty-gritty details they provide on Star Wars history.
Chapter 1 is simply a summation of the stories The Beast Wars of Onderon, The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, and The Freedon Nadd Uprising. I was already familiar with the information presented; the only bit that stood out for me was the mention that Freedon Nadd had murdered his old master. I was under the impression that he had not murdered his teacher. I thought that he simply left wherever it was he came from, found the planet Onderon, and proceeded to dominate the beings on that planet. I guess I was wrong. On page 11 of the text it says: “Arca then tells his students that Freedon Nadd apprenticed himself to a Dark Lord of the Sith. Since there could never be more than one Dark Lord, Nadd murdered his teacher and assumed the title”.
What I find interesting here, and I’ve mentioned it before, is that Freedon Nadd’s teacher remains shrouded in mystery – at least in the chronological order of Star Wars history. I know in my last post I said I’ve been steering clear of Wookieepedia to discover if his master is indeed unknown for fear of having something ruined for me. I finally relented and discovered that Wookieepedia listed Naga Sadow as Nadd’s teacher. What is more, it also said that Nadd destroyed Sadow. I found this somewhat surprising, and I look forward to coming across this information, and exactly how this drama played out, in an original source text.
Moving on, chapter two was more interesting, as it provided some very fun and informative history on the group of Jedi involved in the above tales. Nitty-gritty detail is again the theme here, as I was enlightened regarding the history behind Andur Sunrider, and his Jedi Knight grandfather, Jev Sunrider, who fell in the line of duty. I was enthralled with the story of Jedi Master Arca Jeth, and the skirmish behind the first time he used his battle meditation and saved his fellow knights; of Cay Qel-Dorma, and how he uses his humour to hide his true feelings; of Master Chamma’s battle with the dark side, and his subsequent century long self exile; of Dace Diath overcoming his self doubt; of Kith Kark’s calling to Jedi Knighthood; of Ood Bnar’s ability to sever himself from the Force and learn about the darkside without being seduced by it; of Oss Wilum realizing that his actions do make a difference in such a large universe; of Qrrl Toq’s beginnings as a royal price; of Shoaneb Culu’s desire to bring the teachings of the Jedi Way back to her home world; of Master Thon’s desire to constantly test himself against the darkside; of Tott Doneeta being rescued from slavers by Master Arca; and finally, of Ulic Qel-Dorma’s penchant for quickly becoming bored with whatever he is learning. It’s these nitty-gritty details that give the Star Wars universe life.
Chapter 5 dealt with Sith powers and Sith artifacts. Beyond discovering that it is nearly impossible to destroy a Sith amulet, this chapter told the story of Vora Nreem, a Jedi who tried to destroy the darkside of the force, but was quickly defeated by it, and left trapped in a shroud of eternal agony. In her final moments she regretted underestimating the power of the darkside.
Chapter 6 through 12 provided mostly technical game details on species, planets, weapons, and organizations.
Chapter thirteen, the last chapter of the book, was a single player role-playing adventure. Remember reading “Chose your own Adventure” books when you were a kid? Well, chapter thirteen was an introduction to the role-playing game, but instead of simply making choices and turning to a page, one must make dice rolls, and the outcome of the dice roll dictates where the adventure goes.
The story is about a Jedi Knight named Kevel Raffan (who you play) and his quest to retrieve a bag of coins from the ‘Ruins of Kabus-Dabeh’ (the title of the adventure and chapter). Through your choices and dice rolls, Kevel manages to retrieve the bag of coins, and prove himself worthy as a mediator to the Muzara tribe and their dealings with the settlers on the planet.
I have now basically read this book from cover to cover, and I look forward to when another role-playing game sourcebook crosses my path in the Star Wars Chronology Project.
For my next post I’ll be moving outside of Joe Bongiomo’s chronological list to the Tales of the Jedi audio drama. This source was brought up by one of my readers as something I may not want to pass up, and in the spirit of this project, something I’ll defiantly examine. Until then, may the Force be with you.