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Flashback: Star Wars – Rogue Planet

April 24, 2007

Rogue Planet by Greg Bear Obi-Wan Kenobi and the twelve-year-old Anakin Skywalker are sent to investigate the disappearance of the Jedi Knight Vergere. Her mission was to Zonoma Sekot. She was to buy one of their fantastic ships, and she has not been heard from in a year. Zonoma Sekot’s ship are special in the fact that they are living entities. Their uniqueness has caught more than just the Jedi’s interest. Tarkin has recruited the successful and talented ship builder, Raith Sienar to obtain a ship, by brute force, on behalf of certain parties.

Era: Republic, 29 years Before the Battle of Yavin
Author: Greg Bear
ISBN: 0-345-43540-0 (Del Rey)

Rogue Planet is a bridge novel in more than one way. The book was written to fill the gap between Episodes I and II, and was released the year after The Phantom Menace. The story allows the fans to see more of Anakin’s basic goodness and his deep connection with other living beings (i.e., the food kin, the seed partners, the Jabitha). Yet, he and Obi-Wan are still trying to connect. Obi-Wan is still uncertain of his abilities to teach such a gifted student as Anakin. Anakin feels that Obi-Wan is too serious and restrictive. Eventually, Anakin comes to a point that he could not conceive of a universe without Obi-Wan, and Obi-Wan begins to experience the hopes and fears a father would have for a son. However, the darkness is approaching. Anakin’s anger and hatred has caused him to kill.

What makes this book a true “bridge” novel is the fact it was written to serve as a connection between the prequel era and the New Jedi Order. Vergere, Zonoma Sekot, and the “Far Outsiders” were destined to play major roles in the new series. The writers decided to take advantage of the opportunity, and introduced elements important to the story line in an Old Repulic novel before they were needed in a post-Galactic Empire setting. So much of the EU is “reversed engineered” (i.e., Outbound flight, Han and Leia’s marriage, etc.), that it was nice to have a plot element appear chronologically on the EU time line and in the real world.

The weirdest thing to accept: Tarkin and Sienar kidnap Anakin. Nearly thirty years later, Anakin is serving with Tarkin on the Death Star and flying one of Sienar’s fighters.

Favorite Quotes:
Obi-Wan did not fear dying, but he resented what this kind of death implied: a failure of technique, a lack of elegance, a certain foolhardy recklessness that he had always tried to eliminate from his character.
— Obi-Wan’s feelings about dying in the garbage pit race.

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