Star Wars: Stories of Jedi and Sith Takeaways and Throwaways | Part One

Star Wars novellas that include anthology stories are always fun reads within canon. The last one I covered, Canto Bight, made the casino planet feel like much more of a real place than the time we spent in The Last JediStar Wars: Stories of Jedi and Sith is a different type of short story collection, focusing more on the characters that envelop the Jedi Order and the Sith. 

Being a Middle-Grade novel, most of the characters whose POVs we are in are younger, which is always a valuable way to view Star Wars stories and the themes and relate that to our world. 

In this novella of stories of light and dark and the in between, let’s go through each of the ten stories and rate them on the promise of the premise, and what may or may not lie ahead for their canon contribution. 

**Mild Spoilers for Star Wars: Stories of Jedi and Sith**

Illustrated by Jake Bartok

1. What A Jedi Makes by Michael Kogge

Canon Era: The High Republic

Familiar Characters: Yoda, Avar Kriss

New Characters: Lohim Nara, Reina Bilass/Reina Ganzee, Detective Tals Trilby

“For though the Jedi and the Force are one, the Force is not what a Jedi makes.”

What A Jedi Makes

Summary: 

Lohim Nara (who is unnamed for most of the story) is from the lower levels of Coruscant and dreams of becoming a Jedi and training in the Jedi Temple. After briefly meeting Yoda he is more determined than ever, but the words of a young Jedi Padawan and the law enforcement of Coruscant keep telling him he cannot be anything other than what he is. He proves them wrong through skill and observation and saves the young Jedi Padawan from an underground gang, earning a place at the Jedi Temple. 

The Promise of the Premise: 

“What A Jedi Makes” is not a tale of Jedi and Sith as it is of someone on the outside looking in. But the reference Yoda gives to a Jedi who was not a Force-user who still contributed some of the most meaningful Jedi text suggests that the Jedi were not always as closed off as they appear during the Fall of the Jedi era. And perhaps that is the point, that tales about the Jedi and Sith rarely operate in a vacuum containing those two, but the struggle of light and dark involves everyone.

Canon Contributions: 

Speaking of that non-Force user, Lyr Farseeker was first mentioned in the Junior novel The Rise of Skywalker. Rey reads a text from the Jedi Master’s Poetics of a Jedi, but he gets more context here. While Lyr was presented as a Jedi Master, Yoda reveals to Lohim that he was not a Force-user. I expect Lyr to continue to be mentioned in various canon materials as we continue to learn more about the history of the Jedi Order.

A new underground gang during the High Republic, the Ganzee is first mentioned in this story. They are a criminal gang that recruits orphans to do their dirty work and of which Reinee was a former member. They can also pop up again in future High Republic content along with Lohim and Reinee.


Illustrated by Jake Bartok

2. Resolve by Alex Segura

Canon Era: Between The High Republic and the Fall of the Jedi

Familiar Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu

New Characters: Prefect Aminar, Abbott, Padawan Lizel Liit

“We are all flawed Lizel. We all make errors of judgment. It’s how we recover from them that defines us.”

Resolve

Summary: 

Qui-Gon Jinn is sent to the planet of Destina to retrieve a Padawan who has run away. While searching for the lost Padawan, Qui-Gon is still feeling the loss of his old Master Dooku, although he is optimistic about his apprentice Obi-Wan. To bring Lizel back safely, Qui-Gon finds he has to navigate the politics of war within Destina between the power-hungry Prefect Aminar and factions working against her. Qui-Gon connects with Lizet over the uncertainty of her place within the Jedi Order.

The Promise of the Premise: 

Qui-Gon is wrestling with a decision that someone else made to walk away from the light. His former Master Dooku was one of the few Jedi in history to decide to leave the Jedi Order and Qui-Gon struggles with not feeling resentment but resolve. It is a direct battle between light and dark and Qui-Gon and Dooku end up on opposite sides. However, Dooku is never mentioned by name in this story so you have to know your canon to pick that up. 

Canon Contributions: 

I doubt we will learn more about Lizel as she is more of a device for Qui-Gon to work out his feelings about Dooku leaving and the Jedi Order. Similarly, I am not sure we will hear from Prefect Aminar or the various factions on Destina again. 

I never rule out a new planet reappearance, but every canon story seems to introduce a new Star Wars planet instead of using the ones already introduced, so who knows. 

Now, there is a spice runner named Zarah Bliss, mentioned as the one responsible for selling Lizet to the Dan’Gar. And Star Wars has shown us that surnames are important, and when a surname that we have heard before appears, it is not a coincidence. Zarah Bliss is most certainly a relative of Zorri Bliss. Zorri is also a spice runner who was first introduced in The Rise of Skywalker. Like her relative, Zarah’s time in canon was brief but might not be the last we hear of her.

But the ultimate contribution here is more about Qui-Gon’s psyche after losing his Master to the dark side. We will see more of this relationship in Tales of the Jedi (which will have a few stories dedicated to Dooku and Qui-Gon), so any background in canon could reveal additional information.


Illustrated by Jake Bartok

3. The Eye of the Beholder by Sarwat Chadda

Canon Era: Fall of the Jedi

Familiar Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker

New Characters: Zohra, Dumuz

There. She’d said it. The terrible truth that people died in wars. It didn’t matter how much you loved someone; that wouldn’t protect them.

Wishes were meaningless, and the fairy tales were just that.

The Eye of the Beholder

Summary: 

Siblings Zohra and Dumuz are waiting for their parents to return home after they have been gone for five days. Their homeworld of Devalok has been recently invaded by Separatist forces and the children are hiding out in their home. Zohra keeps telling her brother that their parents will be back soon while trying to distract him with stories about the Jedi. After a bomb hits their area and battle droids find them and almost execute the children, they are saved by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Amazed at getting to meet the Jedi, Zohra tells them how long they have been alone, and the Jedi offer to help look for their parents if the children can help them navigate the city. 

Zohra believes their parents to be dead and but Dumuz says that he can hear them and knows that they are still alive but getting weaker. Anakin and Obi-Wan tell Zohra to trust her brother’s instincts, which leads them to their mother and father, who got trapped under rubble in a greenhouse looking for vegetables for their family. The two Jedi get them to an evacuation craft heading for Naboo and Dohra, with renewed hope from the Jedi encounter, tells Dumuz tales of Jedi Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The Promise of the Premise: 

Very similar to the premise of What A Jedi Makes, but with two children who are got in the middle of the Clone Wars, The Eye of the Beholder is not a sharp commentary on war or class like the former. It is the least engaging of the ten stories in the novella and, because this takes place during the Clone Wars and the planet of Devalok never appeared in the series, I doubt it will play any importance in future content within this era. But it could in other periods of the canon timeline.

Canon Contributions: 

Devalok could appear again in a story about Uma Kalidi, the Jedi Master who is the subject of Zohra’s stories. Uma’s stories are told as tales, but given that Zohra meets Anakin and Obi-Wan, there is a chance that Uma was a real Jedi who lived many years prior. And there is existing lore surrounding her time as a Jedi on her homeworld. It is not clear what period she lived in so there is a chance it could be during The High Republic. It is a planet of gardeners, so perhaps during a time when the Drengir were active. 


Illustrated by Jake Bartok

4. A Jedi’s Duty by Karen Strong

Canon Era: Fall of the Jedi 

Familiar Characters: Barriss Offee, Luminara Unduli, Tutso Mara

New Characters: N/A

“If she was successful in its completion, Barriss would play a pivotal role in restoring peace to the galaxy. She could help end the war. She could protect innocents from further suffering. She could start the process of healing herself.”

A Jedi’s Duty

Summary: 

Sometime shortly after the Battle of Geonosis, Barriss Offee is fighting the dark side. She is suffering from trauma and no longer feels the protection within the Jedi Temple on Coruscant that she wants did. While her master, Jedi Luminara Unduli, is a general in the Clone Wars, Barriss opted to stay behind and volunteer in the medical clinic to help injured Jedi. But the medical clinic has triggered her own wounds. As she is wandering the temple grounds and observing Jedi Tutso Mara train Younglings, she gets a call from Luminara to meet her in the situation room for a briefing. Luminara tells Barriss it is time for her to return to the war, to return to Geonosis to help destroy a weapons factory (The Clone Wars: season two, episode six “Weapons Factory”). Barriss naturally has fear and anger at being asked to return to the place where so many Jedi were lost, but Tutso Mara tells her that the Jedi are protectors of peace and it is their duty to maintain peace at all costs. Mara helps Barriss meditate by the Uneti Tree and she can focus enough to help with the upcoming mission. Looking forward to meeting Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan, Ahsoka, Barriss is hopeful that she can help end this war and fight back against the darkness.

The Promise of the Premise: 

This is a perfect example of the theme encompassing the struggles of a single person suffering from PTSD. Barriss Offee is reaching out in different ways to others and is not truly getting what she needs. She leans toward the knowledge-seeking part of the Jedi Order and is not a fighter, but she has a master who she looks up to and wants to please. No one is validating her fears of the Jedi Order losing their way (even though we know there are Jedi who share her concerns). And so, she keeps these thoughts to herself.

Canon Contributions: 

 The Uneti Tree outside the Jedi Temple (shown in The Clone Wars) gets more backstory. The tree has a strong connection to the Force and it is why the Jedi Order brought it to the temple. The uneti tree has lurked in the background of some key Star Wars stories involving characters from all eras of the timeline.

Because Barriss’s whereabouts are still unknown after Order 66, she could reappear in future canon series. As I mentioned in my Whatever Happened to…Barriss Offee? post, she was close to Ahsoka, which makes what happened near the end of the Clone Wars all the more tragic. Stories like A Jedi’s Duty and Queen’s Hope add more context to Barriss decision to attack the Jedi Temple. If Barriss does appear in a show like Ahsoka, context will be provided for people who do not know the former Jedi Padawan. However, for canon fans, this story contributes a great story of her internal struggles to keep the dark side at bay.


Illustrated by Jake Bartok

5. Worthless by Delilah Dawson

Canon Era: Fall of the Jedi 

Familiar Characters: Asajj Ventress, Obi-Wan Kenobi

New Characters: Doc

“Shielding her eyes, she stared out at the raging battle, hunting for the familiar brown-clad form of Kenobi, but all she saw were droids and clones, seemingly infinite re-creations of the same two forms, a writhing pit of useless killing.”

Worthless

Summary: 

Asajj Ventress is on an unknown planet ordered by Count Dooku to take back an ancient stronghold from the Republic. However, she gets distracted chasing Obi-Wan Kenobi and lets herself be led into a trap, falling into a massive pit and breaking her leg. Asajj’s connection to the Force is hindered by pain, but she soon finds that she is not alone. A clone trooper named Doc is also trapped in the pit. Naturally, Asajj is rude to the clone, insulting his identity, and Doc and Asajj trade barbs but realize that they need each other to make it out of their situation. The two try and find their way out of the pit, which is a giant maze, uncovering Jedi artifacts and traps along the way as they debate with each other on which side is on the right side of the war. 

The Promise of the Premise: 

Delilah Dawson specializes in writing women who have overcome immense battle scars, figuratively and literally (Phasma, Vi Moradi, and now Asajj Ventress). Asajj is a character, like Ahsoka, that got a compelling arc from The Clone Wars and ended up in a very different place from where she started (physically and mentally) by the end of season six. Asajj had to overcome significant loss and never fully left the dark side behind, which is refreshing. The tendency for redemption stories is for characters to turn from the dark side to the light, but Asajj never did but still made a positive difference near the end of the Clone Wars. Like Reva from Obi-Wan Kenobi, she started the process of healing from being encased in the dark side for so long, and this story hints at that encroaching battle.

Canon Contributions: 

Asajj is gone by the time season seven of The Clone Wars takes place (although I would not put it past Lucasfilm to retcon that). All hints point to her love interest Quinlan Vos leaping into live-action, so Asajj may too (be it in present or flashback form). And there are some foreshadowing elements to the events in Dark Disciple in “Worthless.” Asajj having a run-in with a clone and not killing him adds to the ultimate framing of her being an anti-hero but less likely to see the clone trooper, Doc, who makes his first appearance here.

Aside from Asajj, the pit on the unknown planet once housed what seemed to be a Jedi Temple of a specific species described as “strange, small, slender.” It was also the reason for the Asajj mission, so one side obtained the Jedi artifacts. Maybe one day, we will get confirmation of both the planet and the species.

Part Two: Stories 6 – 10

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