I wish I’d read this short story before I read Into the Void.
Dawn of the Jedi: Eruption takes place just before Into the Void, and actually introduces the character of Je’Daii Lanoree, as well as her occasional partner, Hawk Ryo. Just nine pages long, it nevertheless manages to explain several important plot and background points for this early period in the Star Wars Universe that had puzzled me while I was reading Void.
And again, the spoiler warning:
Draigons be here.
Read no further if you’ve not gotten to this story and the longer novel, or for that matter the comics, as yet.
As I mentioned in my earlier review, Into the Void just drops you into this Universe without providing an explanation of key plot points. But after reading this story, I have a relative understanding of certain critical locations — Bogan is a moon, Furies Gate is the last planet in the system (and also the entrance and sought-for exit from the Typhon system), and, apparently, the system itself is in the very Core of the Galaxy.
There is a brief, but I think important, paragaph where Hawk moves from his ‘balance’ into the darkside of the Force in order to fight some kidnappers and save their victim. After reading that passage, I’m left to wonder if the latter-day Jedi are, unknowingly, also stepping to the darkside when they enter a fight. It would certainly explain why, according to anecdotes in books and the comics, many Jedi of the Republic era ‘went bad’ during the War against the Separatists.
It also lends potential new meaning to the prophecy of the Chosen One (Anakin Skywalker). He was, so the prophecy said, meant to bring balance to the Force. Could it be that ‘bringing balance’ required the Jedi to recognize they were using both the light, and the dark, of the Force, rather than insisting one step into the darkside and the darkside would taint you forever? It’s certainly an interesting thought, at least to me. Also, potential fodder for fanfiction – my brain is currently picturing Mace Windu getting into an ‘I-told-you-so’ match with Yoda.
The story itself is rather interesting, if too short. Lanoree and Hawk are attempting to negotiate the settlement of a dispute on a mining planet, where one family controls the operations and the workers want in on the management. The kidnapped victim is the daughter of the family’s patriarch — who, the two sides have decided, will marry the son of the workers’ lead representative. Needless to say, things don’t work out exactly as the Je’Daii — or the family and the workers — had planned.
In fact, I wish the story had been longer, to flesh out the characters more. Especially Hawk’s — I suspect, given the way the story focused on both Lanoree and Hawk, that he will play more of a substantive role in the future. I still don’t like Lanoree, though — she was a little less abrasive in this story, but nevertheless she still came across as cold and calculating. Hawk was much more interesting. I guess I’ll just have to be patient and wait for the next book in this series.
And with this story over, I’m on to the Lost Tribe of the Sith next.