Wednesday, January 5, 2011

89-76 BBY: Legacy of the Jedi

Are Sith Lords made, or are they born? I think in the case of Count Dooku, the latter is true.

After thousands of years of galactic Star Wars history I have finally broken into the century of the prequel trilogy and now find myself at the year 89 BBY. I’m excited to flush out the nitty gritty details of this era and explore in detail the stories of the great Jedi knights and masters of this period.
Legacy of the Jedi is a great little book written by Jude Watson that explores some of the backstory of Count Dooku, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. With children as his intended audience, Watson does well keeping his narrative simple and easy to follow.

For the purposes of this post I’m going to ignore my own advice and only deal with the first two narratives of this book; namely, the story of Dooku as a boy and the master/apprentice relationship of Dooku and Qui-Gon. I know I said I was going to comment on Legacy of the Jedi in its entirety, but after reading the third part of this book and the story of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan I decided I wanted to deal with that story in its proper context – between Jedi Apprentice #8 and the trade paperback The Stark Hyperspace War. It’s a meaty enough story over 100 pages that probably deserves its own post anyway.

Looking at the first story in this book, I enjoyed Watson’s characterization of Dooku as a boy. At first I thought that he had dropped the ball with Dooku’s characterization because I felt that the 13 year old padawan Dooku was no different from the Dooku we first meet in Attack of the Clones. After reading the story I thought ‘Where was the child here? Where was the young boy?’. Minus a few tales of mischief between Dooku and Lorian, it seemed like Dooku was 13 going on 45. However, after thinking about this I realized that Watson’s sketch of Dooku was spot on. Dooku was never a child; he was an adult trapped in a child’s body, carrying the ‘wisdom’ of Jedi Master, all the while maintaining an almost constant control of his emotions – that is, or course, until he doesn’t.

This is a great story which gives us an indication of the workings of Dooku’s mind. What’s interesting about Dooku as a boy is that when we first meet him he’s already working without a moral framework. It seems Dooku’s actions are not defined by what is “right” or “wrong”, but by the perceived rewards or punishments such actions would produce. When talking about the plot to steal the Sith holocron, Dooku’s ‘frienemy’ Lorian rightly points out to the star padawan: “ ‘If you could do it without the risk of getting caught, you would do it’. Lorian said. ‘So the fact that it’s wrong isn’t really the reason you won’t. Maybe you’re not the true Jedi you think you are’” (pg 7).

Additionally, although it was not directly stated in the book, it’s apparent that Dooku bought-in to the mentality of Jedi elitism – even if the Jedi reject such a notion themselves. Dooku always believed because he was strong with the Force he should be treated differently. It also seemed he enjoyed being on Senator Blix Annon’s luxury cruiser as a Jedi Knight – even if such a mission was “beneath him”. He was not impressed with luxury, but did “appreciate elegance”. I verily picture Dooku moving regally through the ship, his cloak flowing with his movements.

As I said at the beginning of this post, it seems to me Sith Lords are born, not made – at least in the case of Dooku. Even going through the teachings of the Jedi Order, which place humility and servitude as virtues, Dooku cannot help but respect strength and power, while distaining those who are feeble. When speaking of the Alains and their current political situation, Dooku says: “ Then they are also weak, which is worse” (79). It’s a testimony to the strength and abilities of Qui-Gon to be able to filter out the teachings of his wayward master, even dismissing his master’s final words to him: “You are always alone, and betrayal is inevitable”(98).

The story of Qui-Gon’s tutelage under Dooku was noteworthy, as at times it seemed like Qui-Gon was the master, while Dooku was the apprentice. If not for his student, Dooku would have easily given into his temptation to kill his old enemy Lorian when he had the chance: “His Padawan had revealed to him what he should have known already. He could not go down this road” (94). Qui-Gon also had no hesitation taking his master to task: “ ‘So what did you learn from the mission Padawan?’ he asked Qui-Gon… ‘That you will withhold facts from me that I need to know’” (95).

For my next post I’m going to look at Tales #13: Stones found in Star Wars Tales volume 4. I know Joe has listed the first chapters of the novels Order 66 and Millennium Falcon, along with some flashbacks from Prelude to Rebellion and the story of Jango Fett in his timeline between these sources, but I think I’m going to engage with Order 66 at the end of 36 ABG – the last source before 37 ABG, and Millennium Falcon at 42 ABY as a retrospective on the ship we all know and love (I’m probably going to the same with the Chewbacca TBP as well). As for the flashbacks in Prelude to Rebellion and Open Seasons, I’ll deal with those at their proper dates, and comment on the flashbacks if need be. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.


  1. Those are very interesting thoughts on Dooku as a child. I hadn't really thought of him as an adult in a child's body, but it makes sense.
    About the author, I initially made the same mistake you did, but Watson is a woman (
    On a different note, I thought I'd give you a heads up: after "Stones," I assume the next story you would hit would be "Survivors" at 47 BBY. However, there is a section of Jedi vs. Sith set at 53 BBY (pages 134-135).

  2. After I declared that I wasn't going to address flashbacks I then went and said that the next story I'll engage with would be a flashbacks (I didn't look at Joe's timeline carefully). So as of now I have confused myself.

    Let me ask you this: Joe has listed Chewbacca #1 at 155 BBY as a flashback, but is the entire comic a flashback, or just a few pages? (I have yet to get my hands on this TBP) If the entire comic is a flashback then I'll forgo leaving it for the end and do a write up on the whole issue.

    Also, why is Vow of Justice listed at 88 BBY and 67 BBY? I really want to avoid too much overlap, so which one do you think I should go with? What's your recommendation on how to handle the Prelude to Rebellion series?

    Thirdly, is it worth doing a write-up on the first chapters of Order 66 and the Millennium Flacon? I'm having second thoughts on how to deal with these texts. I want to follow Star Wars history chronologically and faithfully, but I think I'm beginning to realize just how huge this quest is that I've begun. I oscillate between telling myself that if Joe has set aside a point in history and it happens to overlap on a single text several times that I should be faithful to the timeline and do several posts on it if necessary, yet I'm not sure if I want to write 6 posts on the same novel. Your thoughts on this would be helpful (and all other readers of my blog), as to how I should proceed with these texts.

    Fourthly, like the Chewbacca question, is Open Seasons #1 an entire flashback? Why is Open Season #1-4 listed at 32 BBY, while it is also listed at 58, 52, and 34 BBY?

    I think I need some guidance.

  3. The Chewbacca and Open Seasons comics are complicated. Basically, they have a frame story, but then are composed mostly of flashbacks. So, the frame story of Open Seasons with Dooku and Jango Fett takes place at 32 BBY. However, the comic is full of flashbacks that fill out Jango's past. I think it would be messy to try to comment on each section of the comic, as some of them are pretty short and only make sense in the larger whole. So, my suggestion is to do just one write-up for the whole comic when you get to the frame story. I would say the same for Chewbacca and Vow of Justice. They both contain flashbacks, but I think you could make more insightful comments on them by looking at the whole story and seeing how the flashbacks play a part.
    The Stark Hyperspace War, on the other hand, should probably be tackled in two sections, since the flashback is the majority of the story and is self-contained, whereas the frame story is quite different and could also be commented on by itself.
    As for Order 66, that first chapter is pretty self-contained, but I don't think it would make any sense to you without having read the other Republic Commando books already, so I'd advise holding off on it.
    I can't really say much of help about Millennium Falcon, since I haven't read it yet. My impression is that most of the "flashback" chapters are pretty self-contained and so it would be fairly easy to write about each of them individually. I would suggest reading the first flashback portion and see if it makes sense to you. If so, write about it, but if not, put it off until you get to the main part of the book (way toward the end of the chronology).

  4. Oh, I forgot to ask, are you planning on going back and doing Red Harvest or are you going to put it off until there are a few more items earlier in the timeline that you can hit as a group?

  5. Vow of Justice would be better covered in its entirety at 67 BBY. As for MF and Chewbacca, most of the flashbacks are tied in pretty tight with the main story, so I'd personally save them for the later dates.

  6. Thanks for the advice Plaristes and Anonymous. I think my instincts have served me well, and I'll deal with flashback material in its non-flashback historical setting. Order 66 is going to be complicated because it's spaced out over several dates. I'm unsure what to do with this text as of yet, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. For Millennium Flacon and Chewbacca, I'll deal with those at their end-dates, as I'll probably do the same with the Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader.

    Red Harvest? Is that the Zombie one set in the TOR timeline? What details can you provide me with, as it's not up on Joe's timeline yet?

  7. I haven't read Red Harvest yet (I'm waiting for the paperback), but yes, it's the Sith Zombie story that's set during the same era as the TOR game. I don't know an exact year, however (but it might be obvious from the text).

  8. Sweet! Using amazon's "Look Inside This Book" feature, you can see that on the first page of Red Harvest is the date 3645 BBY.

  9. As far as I know, but again, I haven't read it.

  10. I've now listened one fourth of the audiobook and I'd say it's pretty stand-alone. All character's and most of the places are all-new. Of course this will somehow tie to Death Troopers, but I'm sure it doesn't have any spoilers for that book. All events should happen at 3645 BBY.

  11. Oh wow...there's an audiobook too!?...Ok, I'm going to have to get my act together on this source and get my hands on the print and audio version soon. As soon as I do I'll make a post about it. Thanks for the heads up folks :)

  12. No need to have audio book version if you're going to read the book. It's "just" one person reading the book with couple of sound effects and music from the movies. So it's word to word same. I just took the audio version because I like to listen books before I'll sleep.

  13. Usually if there's an audiobook I like to listen to it while I read along. As of now my public library has Red Harvest on order so it might be a while before I get it, and itunes carries the audiobook.

    From what I've read of plot synopsis it seems like a super interesting premise. I'm looking forward to reading it.