Wednesday, August 26, 2009

5000 BBY - 4999 BBY: The Lost Tribe of the Sith - Skyborn


Someone must have told Miller that his work was hard to read, because I found the second installment of the Lost Tribe of the Sith series a little easier to comprehend. It could also be that my mind found the key to unlocking the code that is his prose. In any case, I got through this particular text a littler easier. You can find part two here. These pieces are short in length. I think the term being used for these stories is “mini-novel”, which I think is too substantial for them. I might even call them ‘novellas’, but I think even that term suggests a grander scale than what is actually present. Short story might be more fitting.

Skyborn begins with an introduction of new characters. Before Yaru Korsin descended the mountain on which he killed his half brother, and before he re-entered the campsite to face Devore’s widow, he saw flying in the air a large winged reptilian with a rider perched upon its back. We learn that this rider’s name is Adari Vaal, and Skyborn begins with her story, and how it intersects with the fate of the marooned Sith.

Adari is fleeing persecution from her people, the Keshiri. She is a geologist who is teaching something contrary to her culture’s beliefs on the origins of creation. Her culture believes the “Skyborn” – the designate term for ‘gods’ or ‘deities’ in her culture, started all life on Kesh (the planet the Sith have crash-landed on). Adari’s study of rocks has lead her to a different conclusion.

While Adari is in the middle of a Salem witch trial type hearing, she and the rest of her village look up into the sky to see a giant ship crash-land atop a mountain. The village elders take it as a sign and an omen that, in fact, Adari is a heretic, and the “Skyborn” have spoken. Torches and pitchforks quickly come out, and Adari flees on the back of her deceased husband’s Uvak – the reptilian flying creature.

She flies to the husk of the Omen embedded in the mountain, and eventually comes across the camp of the stranded Sith. The Sith quickly take her prisoner, and begin to read her mind for answers (this is done in a very invasive way). Yaru Korsin takes Adari under his wing, and convinces her to bring the Sith to her people. She agrees, and brings the Sith back to her village. Quickly the Sith are accepted as the “Skyborn”, treated as Gods by her people, and take over her village. Adari now occupies a position of authority in her town.

Yaru Korsin declares to the Keshiri that he will build a temple around the crash-landed ship, and that all the Keshiri should worship he and his people. The story ends with Adari feeling that the Sith are going to be occupants of her home world and village for a very long time.

Unfortunately a couple of things are still bothering me in this tale. It seems the entire crew of the Omen carry lightsabers. In the last part, the navigator who made the hasty jump to hyperspace had to defend himself against Devore with his lightsaber. I mean, even the navigators – the rank and file – in the Sith Empire carry lightsabers, which implies they are sensitive to the force. Once again my understanding of the mythology of Star Wars comes into questions here. I always thought that force sensitivity was relatively rare, and that such sentient beings were few and far between in the vast galaxy that encompasses the mythos of Star Wars. I’m sure that even the rank and file of the Republic doesn’t carry lightsabers, only Jedi. Yet here, even miners in the Sith Empire carry them. Perhaps in this particular setting, lightsabers are not viewed as a rare and elegant weapon, but just as a tool for getting things done – a utilitarian approach I guess. In this context it makes a little more sense. Maybe not everyone in the Sith army is force sensitive. Maybe they are issued lightsabers as regular G.I. equipment.

One particular line stood out at me in this e-book. When looking at the Sith through the eyes of Adari, Miller states: “They argued, they envied, they killed”. Adari does not see them as gods, but as flawed powerful being. I found this very similar to how the gods in ancient Greece are viewed today (and perhaps in the past as well). They are powerful beings, but powerful beings with very “human” emotions.

Part 3 of the Lost Tribe of the Sith is scheduled for release on February 9th 2010, and t I’m looking forward to it.

For my next post I’ll be moving on to The Fall of the Sith Empire.

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