|Art by John VanFleet|
The solo surviving Solo sibling steals the spotlight in the next Star Wars series, set after the Fate of the Jedi novel series. Star Wars: Sword of the Jedi (SotJ) will star Jaino Solo-Fel.
Way back during the New Jedi Order series when the galaxy was crumbling under the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, Jaina Solo was one of a group of young Jedi apprentices to be knighted by Luke Skywalker. At that ceremony, the Force spoke through Luke as he knighted and announced his niece the "Sword of the Jedi."
"I name you the Sword of the Jedi. You are like tempered steel, purposeful and razor-keen. Always you shall be in the front rank, a burning brand to your enemies, a brilliant fire to your friends. Yours is a restless life, and never shall you know peace, though you shall be blessed for the peace that you bring to others. Take comfort in the fact that, though you stand tall and alone, others take shelter in the shadow that you cast." ~Destiny's Way by Walter Jon Williams
Not exactly the cheeriest destiny and certainly one that makes it seem like it's Jaina's lot in life to suffer.
Having to kill your twin brother after he becomes a Sith Lord can really ruin a persons day. On the plus side she has a spunky niece and a brand new hubby to help her find a little bit of happiness in that crazy galaxy far, far away.
In Legacy of the Force we saw Jaina do her best Rocky IV training montage, with Mandalore replacing the Soviet Union.
In Fate of the Jedi, I think we finally got the most balanced and satisfying characterization for Jaina. That is not to say that Jaina has not had some highlights in the SWEU, I particularly enjoyed Dark Journey. On the whole however the adult Jaina's story features far to much of the Zekk/Jaina/Jag love triangle.
I would like to see more of the Han side of Jaina's personality, the tinkering with electronics and ships. I like this idea of physical activity as a coping mechanism. This is something that both her father and her grandfather on her mother's side did.
The upshot of the Fate of the Jedi series for Jaina is that it finally elevates her to the level of Jedi Master and it finally resolves her love life with her marriage to Jag.
This means that Jaina is ready for her next big challenge. She has already grown as a Jedi and proved herself as one of the best Jedi of her generation.
She now also has her domestic life in order. Jaina is driven by duty, but in submitting to love she has allowed herself to reap the rewards of her labors. The healthy relationship between Jaina and Jag follows in the example set by Han/Leia and Luke/Mara.
It will be interesting to see Jag and Jaina play off each other. As a non-Force user Jag is in a similar role to what Han is in with Leia. How does a non-Force user keep up with a Jedi?
Of course Jag because of his Chiss upbringing has a very different personality than Han.
Jaina as part of the marriage feels a lot like Mara Jade to me. I certainly hope we see some of that same sort of playful teasing that made Mara such an endearing character.
Author Christie Golden is getting a huge opportunity and as one of the newer (relatively) authors in the Star Wars bullpen, I am a little surprised she was given the trilogy. Of course given the job I think she did in the FotJ series, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised.
I was very disappointed in Ms. Golden's first Star Wars novel. It was a good story but the book was simply to short for a hardcover book in a series that was stretched out with so much time in between books.
I do think that Ms Golden did a very good job with the character of Vestara in the FotJ series and I think her books come off very well.
I am really curious what the major threat and antagonist will be in this series.
I think it would make sense to get the story away from Coruscant. Whether that means it is set in the Imperial Remnant, which I would love and think is an underused setting. Or whether it is set in Wild Space, the Outer Rim or some other far off part of the galaxy remains to be seen.
In the last few series we have seen (1) a major external threat, i.e. the Vong invasion, (2) very alien threat, i.e. the Killiks, (3) a major internal threat i.e. Jacen's fascism and Sith path, and (4) a mixture of internal and external threats with Daala, the Lost Tribe and Abeloth.
It feels like it may be time for a super-weapon of the week kind of story, but in any event I just hope we get away from every series involving the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance and focus more on more personal struggles and battles on a smaller more intimate level.
Stay tuned to Lightsaber Rattling as I will bring you the latest on this series as we learn more.
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Image Sources: Wookieepedia