Friday, August 28, 2009

3998 BBY - 3996 BBY: Ulic Qel-Dorma and the Beast Wars of Onderon

The focus of my next many posts will be the years 3998 BBY – 3996 BBY, as I have many different sources to read through in this time period. Refer to Joe Bongiomo’s website here to see what I’ll be examining.

Moving on to my first source of study in this time frame…

When it comes to authoring in the comic book format, it seems to me that Tom Veitch is a superior author to Kevin J. Anderson. Ulic Qel-Dorma and the Beast Wars of Onderon was a well crafted tale, told with confidant narration, excellent dialogue, and sequences of events which all made sense.

The story takes place 8 years after the Hazzen /Barrison incident (see my last post), and is situated in the year 3998 BBY. The Beast Wars of Onderon tell the story of three Jedi learners who are not quite knights (the term Padawan was not in use at this time). They are students of Master Arca Jeth, and they have been sent on a mission by him to bring peace to the planet of Onderon.

Onderon is a planet in the midst of civil war. At war are the citizens of the great walled city of Iziz. They represent civilization and prosperity. On the outside of the city walls are the beast riders, who are often referred to by the citizens of Iziz as barbarians.

For four centuries these two factions have fought.

When the three Jedi knights enter the city of Iziz, the beast riders broke the city’s defenses and kidnapped the daughter of the queen. The Jedi were unable to defend her. The Jedi did, however, follow them into the wilderness outside the city walls. When they finally caught up with the queen’s daughter, she was marrying the head Beast Lord of Onderon of her own accord. The Jedi were confused, by Ulic Qel-Dorma, the main protagonist of the tale, thought this a great opportunity to bring peace to the planet.

Ulic managed to convince the princess to reveal her marriage to the queen, hoping that the queen would see this as an opportunity for peace. Unfortunately though, the power of the dark side of the force was strong with the queen and the citizens of Iziz, and when the marriage was revealed, the largest war in the history of the planet Onderon began.

The queen used darkside battle mediation to turn the tide of war in her favor. She called upon the power of Freedon Nadd, a Jedi knight, who four centuries earlier, fell to the darkside of the force. It seems that four centeries ago Freedon Nadd was unable to defeat his Master, the Dark Lord of the Sith, so he left where it was he came from, declared himself King of Onderon upon his arrival there, and since then, he decedents ruled the city. The Beast Lords, who were branded criminals by their society and were thrown out of the city walls to face certain death, were actually attempting to defeat the darkside of the force.

It took the arrival of Master Jeth to turn the tide of war in the Beast Lord’s favor. When master Jeth arrived in the city, he and his three students faced the queen, who died when the darkside of the force left her. The light of Master Jeth had defeated the dark. The Republic sanctioned the marriage between the princess and the Beast Lord, and peace ruled the city of Iziz.

The story ends with Ulic asking his master how a Jedi, trained in the ways of the light, could fall to the darkside of the force. His Master tells him it has happened more than once in history, and to be wary that the same fate does not befall him.

Some foreshadowing I see here on the part of Veitch.

For my next post I'll be moving on to the Saga of Nomi Sunrider, also written by Tom Veitch.

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