Thursday, December 30, 2010

Circa 300 - 100 BBY: The Apprentice: Star Wars Tales Volume 5

I’ve made my way back to the path I deviated from many months ago, and I’m ready to engage with Star Wars history in its correct chronological order once again.

We’ve moved ahead somewhere between 371 and 571 years in Star Wars history, away from the Pirate Prince of Xim, and towards the end of a great galactic conflict between the Jedi and the Sith. The Apprentice, found in Star Wars Tales volume 5, is a concise comic short that tells the story of a small aspect of the darkside of the Force.

Set sometime between 300 to 100 BBY, Master Finn, a Sith Master and terrorist who “operated during the final years of the New Sith Wars” (wookieepedia) defines Sith philosophy in terms of a negative relation to Jedi teaching: “Empathy leads to understanding. Understanding leads to compassion. Compassion leads to love. There is no place for love for a Sith. Only hate.” These, or course, are Master Yoda’s words played in reverse.

Master Finn’s less-than-Sith-like apprentice learned this lesson the hard way, and was summarily ‘out-eviled’ by an apparent slave girl.

Wookieepedia states that this story occurred during the end of the New Sith Wars, or Draggulch period, an epoch in Star Wars history that has not been explored in any exhaustive detail. This period in history is defined by a “thousand year conflict between the Jedi and the Sith” a “spectacular rise of the Sith” and “a growing militancy in the Jedi Order”. The story of The Apprentice can then be book-ended by the Knight Errant series by JJM – the latter occurring at the beginning of this immense Jedi/Sith conflict – a story which itself gives credence to the line ‘a growing militancy in the Jedi Order’.

As it is, Master Finn’s apprentice – weak willed and prone to Jedi mind tricks – is summarily dumped from the top of a building by a “slave girl” he was attempting to rescue like a lost puppy. She then, deservedly, becomes Sith Master Finn’s new apprentice. Like I said, Finn’s apprentice was not very Sith like. Surely his fate would have been better had been recruited into the Jedi Order. Finn’s apprentice seemed like a confused young man, wanting to be an anti-hero, yet more afraid of the goodness within him than the empty existence awaiting him down the path of the darkside. Finn’s apprentice seems like a young man who was “searching for a Yoda”, to use the words of Dick Staub, but instead found a Charles Manson.

Brief and satisfying, these comic shorts are like a perfectly made cup of coffee drunk at 2pm in the afternoon.

For my next post I’m going to engage with Legacy of the Jedi, and skip past the flashbacks in-between. Until then my friends, have a happy New Year, and may the Force be with you.


  1. Note that there's a section of Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force that's set at 232 BBY on pages 133-134.
    Note also that Legacy of the Jedi doesn't really have flashbacks. Rather, it's a story that is set at several different time periods. There's a Dooku section, then a Dooku/Qui-Gon section, and so on. It wouldn't be difficult or confusing at all to do the different sections at their respective places in the timeline.

  2. There's this amusing scene in the movie Kung-Fu Panda where Po has resolved himself to climb the thousand plus steps to the top of the mountain to watch master Shifu choose the Dragon Warrior. As the sun moves in the sky and Po has been struggling for hours, the camera pans out to reveal he's only moved up the giant hillside about 10 steps. A funny gag and exactly how I feel right about now.

    With regards to Legacy of the Jedi, I’m most likely going to deal with the book as a whole and make one post about it rather than three – for the sake of expediency, and to take three steps at once up the giant staircase to meet Master Shifu. To be honest I’m losing a little heart, as I find the minutiae of my life is becoming greater and has already started to overwhelm me. At this point in the project, engaging in Legacy of the Jedi as a singular entity seems like a good idea. As of this response, I’ve almost finished reading it.

    The pages of 133-134 and the story of the scout finding Darth Rivan’s stronghold on Almas has already been dealt with on a post I made in October, and it’s still good to know you’re keeping me honest :)

  3. Wow, it's been long enough that I forgot you'd already commented on that section. I feel dumb. :P
    As for Legacy of the Jedi, that policy makes sense. I totally understand how daily minutiae can start to take over (I've been working on making my way through the chronology for years!).