It begins on Coruscant where the Jedi begin their secret invasion of the planet in order to free it from the covert control of the Lost Tribe of the Sith.
They enter the planet, with the likes of Jaina Solo and the Horn siblings, Valin and Jysella, getting past the security checks, which are led by undercover Sith. However, Yaqeel Saav’etu and Yantahar Bwua’tu get into a bit of trouble when they are sniffed out by a Sith.
Captain Suhale, forcing one of their colleagues, Bazel Warv, who had arrived with Seff Hellin and Vaala Razelle, to pretend to be a spicer in order to save their lives, and then escape later. BAMR News cites this as the operations of a Jedi spice cartel afterwards.
Elsewhere on Coruscant, Luke Skywalker, his son Ben, and recently-defected Sith Tyro, and now current Jedi apprentice, Vestara Khai also run into a Galactic Alliance Security patrol, led by the Sith named Ruku Myal. But Luke manages to outwit Myal by dimming the lights of the spaceport they’re in and forcing him to unleash his lightsaber. As Myal deflects the shots headed his way from his own men, who confused him for a Jedi, Vestara manages to kill the Sith by using the Force to plunge his own shikkar into his body. Luke uses the Force to make sure the shikkar kills Myal quickly before he, Ben, and Vestara leave during the confusion.
Since his capture by the Sith, Wynn Dorvan had been tortured for weeks by Abeloth, who, as a disguise, is leading the Galactic Alliance as the latest Chief of State, Rokari Kem, and who has so far been unable to coax any information from him regarding the Jedi Order’s whereabouts. Regardless, she manages to slowly coerce him over to her side as she makes him her co-Chief of State; that way, he could provide advice on matters such as bringing Imperial Lieutenant Lydea Pagorski back into Imperial space. When Abeloth elects to do so, she absorbs Pagorski’s being into herself.
Prior to their upcoming attack on Coruscant, the Jedi Order sends out a widespread message over the HoloNet, asking all Sith to surrender or die. Many Sith elect to fight, but they are quickly killed in the process. Meanwhile, as Ben and Vestara are sent to distract Sith High Lord Ivaar Workan, who is posing as Senator Kameron Suldar, Vestara secretly gives out her identity to her fellow Sith just so that she and Ben can get closer to Workan. As a result, Ben and Vestara are held hostage while Luke and the other two Jedi in the strike team against Workan, Seha Dorvald and Doran Sarkin-Tainer, invade his office. In the ensuing battle, Vestara, not wanting Workan to be captured alive—since his continued existence would lead to an interrogation wherein he would reveal how he figured out that Ben and Vestara were spies, and thus reveal Vestara’s true intentions—tricks the other Jedi into simply shooting Workan dead as he duels Luke. Ben is the one who kills Workan by shooting him in the head.
Elsewhere, at Ossus, Hapan Queen Mother Tenel Ka Djo participates in a Hapan flotilla to help in the evacuation of Jedi from preying Sith who proceed to invade the planet. With Tenel Ka is her daughter, Allana, who was left in her care aboard the Dragon Queen II since her grandparents, Han and Leia, are now participating in the Jedi evacuation as well. Allana has a vision of the nests of the Barabel Jedi in the bowels of the New Jedi Temple being attacked, and she panics, wanting to save the Barabels’ hatchlings. But she tries not to compromise her promise to Tesar Sebatyne and the other Barabel Jedi to her mother regarding the secret of the hatchlings. Tenel Ka reminds her daughter that, in her desperate haste to act upon the visions she receives, she must remember that how she takes it is more important than the actions she actually takes, which reminds Allana of how her late father, Jacen Solo, failed to realize that. Tenel Ka promises her daughter that as soon as the evacuation is complete, they will inform Jedi Master Saba Sebatyne of the danger to the Barabels.
The evacuation of the Ossan students proceeds successfully, with one exception; one of the evacuation vessels is secretly boarded by Sith infiltrators. Thanks to quick thinking on Han Solo’s part, he convinces Tenel Ka to have the ship captured, which forces it to elude the Hapan forces and destroy itself in a suicidal baradium blast. It becomes clear that it was an assassination attempt on the Queen Mother’s life. Following this, Allana argues to come to Coruscant in order to talk to her friend, Bazel Warv, so that she can tell him to warn the Barabel Knights about the danger posed to their spawn—she informs her grandparents of this without spoiling the existence of the hatchlings, and only after Leia’s attempt in contacting Saba (both via commlink and through the Force) fails. Regardless, Han and Leia refuse and apparently take off without her. Only when they arrive at Coruscant, as the battle between the Jedi and Sith rage, do they find out that she stowed away in order to accomplish her mission.
Meanwhile, Jedi Knights Raynar Thul, Lowbacca, Tekli, and their accompanying protocol droid C-3PO visit the Celestial Palace, located on an unnamed world within the Maraqoo sector, specifically in the Reo system. There, the Jedi and C-3PO meet with the Killik hive nest of the Thuruht in order to meet with its queen. They ask the queen what they know about Abeloth, as Thuruht seems to be connected with the ancient and mythical beings once known as the Celestials, which the Killiks claimed to have worked for eons earlier; the Thuruht nest had even imprisoned Abeloth on the unknown world themselves. When the queen asks why the Jedi want to know about Abeloth, Raynar informs her that Abeloth is on the loose in the galaxy and no one knows where to find her. The Thuruht nest then begin performing their duties in a rush, and C-3PO translates for the Jedi Knights that they are doing this because, according to the queen, the End of Time has come. Raynar takes advantage of Thuruht’s panic in order to learn what they know about Abeloth even as he inadvertently slips back into the Killik hive mind. The Jedi learn that Abeloth was once part of the Ones, a group of Force entities who represented the Balance of the Force. When she became one of them, she immersed herself with the Pool of Knowledge and Font of Power, and she was then considered a traitor and abandoned by the other Ones on their first home world as a result. Afterwards, Abeloth became the Bringer of Chaos, an entity who promises to rise whenever the galaxy falls into such uncontrollable strife that she can cause a pan-galactic apocalypse that will renew the galaxy into a new peace, a cycle that repeats itself every several thousand years. The Thuruht’s role in stopping Abeloth in preparation for a galaxy-wide apocalypse is a result of their call-to-arms by the Son and the Daughter, both of whom would team up to defeat Abeloth in order to protect what they cherish most. Unfortunately, it is soon discovered that the Ones had died decades earlier because of a visit made by Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Wynn Dorvan convinces Abeloth that if she wants to defeat the Jedi, she will have to lure them over to the New Jedi Temple, where the Sith can act as defenders and defeat the Jedi in a swift ambush. This, of course, is a ploy for the Jedi to wipe out the Sith in one swift stroke, which they plan to do with the help of Void Jumpers led by Admiral Nek Bwua’tu. A Jedi strike team consisting of the Skywalkers, Vestara, the Jedi Horn family members, Jaina Solo, her astromech droid Rowdy, and several others secretly enter the Temple in order to lower its shields, allow the commandos to storm in, and kill as many Sith as possible. However, because of Abeloth, the Sith prepare for this attack and they strike, killing many of the strike team’s members. In the initial assault against the strike team, Vestara is separated from the rest of the Jedi. Fleeing for her life from a Sith team, she finds herself cornered at the slowly-opening entrance of the Temple’s underground evacuation tunnel. This group reveals that they want to take her alive and torture her for information in order to find out what she revealed about them and/or their plans to the Jedi. Vestara decides to save her own life by revealing that she knows who the Jedi queen is—Allana Solo, going by the false name of Amelia Solo under Han and Leia’s supervision; Vestara had deduced this fact from several other pieces of information she became aware of. The leading Sith of the pact hunting her, Lady Sashal, gives her the opportunity to prove herself when the Solos, with Bazel Warv, appear in the evacuation tunnel after the entrance to it completely opens up for Vestara. She is quickly given a thermal detonator that she can use to assassinate Allana, but she deliberately misses and it blows off the forward part of the Millennium Falcon instead. In the ensuing conflict, as Vestara leaves, with her treachery now known by the Solos, Bazel is killed defending Allana just as the rest of the Solos run away and regroup with Zekk and other Hapan soldiers who finish off the rest of the pursuing Sith. The Barabel Jedi come along and help, allowing for the existence of their hatchlings to go out in the open, especially after hearing that Bazel died so that he could at least try to tell them that their spawn may be in danger.
Seeing how her avatar in Rokari Kem is dying because it cannot take her Force power, Abeloth tricks Wynn Dorvan into killing her so that she can transfer her consciousness into the Jedi Temple’s computer core, where she can control its inner systems against the invading Jedi even as she combats them in one of her other avatars in Lady Korelei. The combat against Abeloth-Korelei elicits a certain amount of hopelessness that allows Luke to promote Jaina to the rank of Master. Meanwhile, as Luke, Jaina, and Corran Horn try to get the Temple’s shields lowered, Ben, the Horn siblings, and Rowdy are sent off to deal with the computer core so that they can open the Temple’s entrances to make an easier invasion for the Void Jumpers.
With Abeloth arriving in the Imperial Remnant as Lydea Pagorski, she allies with Admiral Natasi Daala to begin the first Imperial democratic electoral campaign against Head of State Jagged Fel. Just as Jag has his loyal Admiral Vitor Reige enter the vote against him in order to split the military vote against Daala, he and his bodyguard, Tahiri Veila, determine through some hard evidence that Pagorski is really Abeloth in disguise. So he sends Tahiri to Hagamoor 3, where Moff Tol Getelles’s secret de-aging serum operation was previously in the works, after Tahiri finds a lead on Boba Fett there, which both she and Jag hypothesize could lead to Abeloth-Pagorski due to the latter’s affiliation with Daala—since Daala is also affiliated with Fett, a connection between Fett and Abeloth may very well be possible. Sure enough, at Getelles’s secret factory, Tahiri meets up with Fett, who is looking for the scientists who concocted the nanovirus that plagued his home world of Mandalore three years earlier, and they confront Abeloth-Pagorski. Though they kill her avatar, it occurs just before the orbital bombardment of the facility that Tahiri had previously ordered in the event that she wouldn’t return from her mission in time. The bombardment results in the death of the two scientists, Drs. Jessal Yu and Frela Tarm, who Fett wanted to use in order to bring about a cure for his planet. He does manage to get data on the nanovirus itself so that a cure may be concocted elsewhere.
As Abeloth’s avatar in Pagorski dies, it coincides with Abeloth’s avatar in Lady Korelei suffering inexplicable pain, which has her depart unexpectedly from her fight with the Jedi. Luke, Jaina, and Corran Horn all take note of this. Meanwhile, as Abeloth controls the Jedi computer core, she manages to separate Ben Skywalker from the Horn siblings and Rowdy and brings him aboard the Sith Meditation Sphere known as Ship. There, as Abeloth begins bringing about Coruscant’s apocalypse by commencing earthquakes and volcanic activity amidst the battle between the Jedi and the Sith, she abducts Vestara Khai with Ben and takes them back to her home world as Korelei. Elsewhere, as Luke, Jaina, and Corran succeed in their mission, and the Void Jumpers storm the Temple with their Jedi leaders, the surviving members of the strike team are quickly extracted, healed as quickly as possible to minimal shape, and they have a Council meeting with the other Masters on how to defeat Abeloth and the Sith once and for all. The raging apocalypse amidst the roaring battle only leads to a further sense of doubt and loss for the Jedi once Tekli and Lowbacca, absent Raynar Thul now that he’s back with the Killiks, reveal what they know of Abeloth from the Histories of Thuruht. And with Ben and Vestara traveling back to Abeloth’s planet under her hold, they all determine that Abeloth wants to recreate her family of the Ones, with Ben taking the Daughter’s position in the light side of the Force and Vestara taking the Son’s position in the dark side.
Because of the events on Hagamoor 3, Jag knows that he will not win the Imperial vote. So he signs out, much to Daala’s shock, after he reveals that she was previously sponsoring Moff Getelles’s droch de-aging serum program. Daala loses the campaign against Vitor Reige, and, as a result, Reige becomes the Imperial Head of State just as Jag and Tahiri depart for Coruscant in order to help their allies there. With Saba Sebatyne and several other Void Jumpers, led by Gef Olazon, they move in on the Temple to rescue the Solos, their surviving Hapan bodyguards, Zekk, the Barabels, and their hatchlings. Saba, Tahiri, and their contingent of Void Jumpers then proceed to carry out their mission of killing Abeloth’s computer core avatar just as Tahiri is considered part of the Order again by Saba. Meanwhile, Luke and Jaina depart in the Rude Awakening to rescue Ben and Vestara. Along the way, Luke receives a message from the Solos, which tells him of Vestara’s attempt on their lives. Luke then conveys this information to Jaina.
As the Rude Awakening approaches Abeloth’s world, Jaina engages Ship in combat while Luke enters beyond shadows to find help from his late wife, Mara. But Mara tells him that she cannot help him, and his late, treacherous nephew, Jacen Solo, reminds him of this even as Luke scolds him on account of the fact that his actions in the Second Galactic Civil War were what allowed Abeloth to roam freely in the galaxy. Luke is soon joined by a mysterious Sith who agrees to help him defeat Abeloth, and they soon engage in combat against her. Meanwhile, Ben and Vestara are tempted by Abeloth to immerse themselves in the Font of Power in order to slake their physical thirst for water, but they manage to overcome their temptation and fight her off.
As the three battles against Abeloth commence—in the Jedi Temple, on her own world, and beyond shadows—Abeloth is steadily weakened and killed in each conflict. Beyond shadows, Luke and the mysterious Sith manage to drain Abeloth of her power, and she dies off there. Meanwhile, Saba is able to lure Abeloth out of her computer core avatar and then she kills her by chopping her head off with her fangs. And Ben and Vestara kill off her Korelei avatar after Ben uses the Sith’s own shikkar against her, similar to what Vestara did to Ruku Myal, and then Abeloth-Korelei is finished off when she is then crushed by the fight’s resultant debris.
Beyond shadows, Mara tells Luke that, in spite of the literal spiritual wounds that he and the Sith stranger have incurred in their fight against Abeloth, he must go on in life to lead the Jedi Order toward their future. Luke turns to Jacen and tells him that because of him and his change of the future, Abeloth was set free just so he could prevent the Sith stranger, who both Luke and Jacen recognize in their dreams nearly half a decade earlier, from sitting on the Throne of Balance. The stranger tells Luke not to be so confident in his theory that Jacen merely changed the future, for he could have only delayed it, and the stranger may yet sit on the Throne of Balance. He departs with that, and Jacen finally tells Luke why he didn’t simply come to him in order to prevent his vision—Jacen’s goal wasn’t to stop the Sith from sitting on the Throne of Balance; he merely wanted to make sure that Allana wouldn’t stand next to him when the stranger did, as he saw.
On Abeloth’s world, with Vestara’s treachery well known to the Jedi Order by now, Jaina prevents her from boarding the Rude Awakening and only allows for Ben to see Luke. After Ben sees a horrifying future of shadowy Sith over Coruscant as they wage a war against Allana, the foreseen queen of the Jedi, Jaina informs Ben of Vestara’s assassination attempt on Allana. Ben then completely renounces his trust in the Sith girl before he and Jaina debark to confront her. Meanwhile, because of Jaina refusing to let her aboard, Vestara deduces that the Jedi have found out that she is still a Sith, and Jaina has told Ben of her attempt on Allana’s life. She is soon assured by the approaching presence of Ship, no longer in Abeloth’s control since her demise, that she will be accepted by other Sith who will find use in her because of what she knows of the Skywalkers and the Jedi overall. As Ship deigns Vestara to be a Sith Lord, she stalls off Ben and Jaina from capturing her long enough for Ship to rescue her and take her to the other Sith. She is saddened by what became of her relationship to Ben, but Ship reminds her that her love will only fuel her power in the dark side, thereby making her a stronger Sith for it.
Three months after Abeloth’s deaths, the apocalypse of Coruscant has ceased, but the casualties for civilians alone range in the billions. Because of what happened, the majority of the populace blame the Jedi for what has occurred and they have voted for them to leave against their will. Luke agrees for the Order to leave voluntarily anyway, especially after they learn that, because of what the Histories of Thuruht have determined, Abeloth may return again in another time of great chaos. This is further proven after Sothais Saar and Avinoam Arelis were attacked by a random tentacle, which could only have belonged to Abeloth, that had appeared spontaneously from the Force, and which had disappeared just as quickly. Luke concludes that with the galaxy slipping into darkness and Abeloth’s return all too likely, the Jedi and the Sith must become the Ones in order to ensure the Balance of the Force.
With the Sith survivors knowing full well who the Jedi queen is, Allana decides that it’s time to drop the charade of her moniker of Amelia and fully embrace her role as heir to the Hapan throne, letting the galaxy know who she is. The Millennium Falcon’s forward hull is soon patched up with replacement parts. Wynn Dorvan is left as the temporary Chief of State before a new candidate can be properly elected (which would most likely be him, anyway). A Jedi team dubbed the Ten Knights is sent out to find the Mortis monolith, which is what will allow the Jedi to find the Dagger of Mortis, which, according to legend, is the only weapon that could kill Abeloth for good, in case she ever returns.
But in spite of the Jedi’s knowledge that the galaxy is leaning to the side of darkness, the novel, and the series, ends on a lighter note as its final scene depicts Jaina Solo walking across the hangar deck of the Dragon Queen II, ready to marry Jagged Fel in their wedding. The final few lines depict an unknown woman, who may very well be the woman depicted in the first few lines of the series’ opener, Outcast, lighting a candle against an all-encompassing darkness, symbolizing the glimmer of hope that the Jedi have for the future.
Apocalypse by Troy Denning is the ninth and final novel in the Fate of the Jedi series.
Categories: Star Wars