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Star Wars is ultimately about family. And this new book aims to dive deep into the most problematic family ever.
It was announced back in January that associate editor of StarWars.com Kristin Baver will explore not only the characters’ lives but also the key events linked to them that changed the Star Wars universe forever. Skywalker: A Family at War will deal with three generations of the Skywalker family across nine films and several other pieces of canon media.
In a new article posted today on StarWars.com, Baver herself talks about her journey writing this book in the midst of the pandemic, and how it served her as an escape from everything that was going on outside of her home. At the end of the day, Star Wars is also about escapism, it is in and of itself an entrance into a much larger Universe in which our problems do not exist. The new article also features the first official excerpt from the book, which is essentially a biography of the family.
Skywalker: A Family at War will be released on April 6, 2021. You can already pre-order it here. Here’s a segment of the first excerpt for the book. If you want to read the rest, head over to StarWars.com:
As the Jedi Council gazed upon Anakin for the first time, wise, diminutive Master Yoda sensed that Anakin was gripped by fear. And fear was a dangerous ally. For the Jedi, fear was a path to the dark side of the Force, an entry point to misgivings that could be nursed into anger and hate. Nevertheless, Anakin’s emotional response to his situation, including his fears, was a very human reaction to the sudden upheaval he had experienced in his life; Qui-Gon believed that, with the proper guidance, Anakin’s natural anxieties would subside and be replaced by a Jedi’s clarity of vision. If Jinn was correct, the boy would bring balance to the Force, defeating the creeping darkness that was already beginning to cloud both the Force itself and the Jedi Order’s abilities to perceive the threat to it.
However, where Qui-Gon saw promise, Obi-Wan Kenobi and many on the Jedi Council sensed trouble. Obi-Wan did not hide his concern, even from Anakin himself. The boy’s raw power in the Force was something to be wary of. He was malleable, and in the wrong hands, such explosive potential could be turned to evil.
Few were surprised that Qui-Gon defied the Council’s initial adverse reaction to his request to make good on his promise and train the child. With Obi-Wan almost ready to become a Jedi Knight himself, Qui-Gon was free to take on a new Padawan, and he was determined that Padawan should be Anakin—once the Council came around to the idea, at least.
Qui-Gon began to gently coax Anakin toward a greater understanding in the ways of the Force. If questioned, Qui-Gon would have argued that he was not training the boy, merely providing guidance as a mentor and guardian in his absent mother’s stead. Just as he had done while helping Anakin into his podracer before the Boonta Eve Classic, Qui-Gon offered the boy the benefit of his wisdom: “Always remember, your focus determines your reality,” he told him. “Stay close to me and you’ll be safe.” Those words would resound in Anakin’s subconscious for years to come, an echo of wisdom—and false hope—forming the basis of his doubts that anyone could truly protect him. And if no one could, his young mind reasoned, he would have to become the strongest Jedi who had ever lived in order to protect those around him instead. If he focused hard enough, he could make it come true.
At this time, the unscrupulous Trade Federation was implementing a blockade on the planet of Naboo, stopping all shipments to the peaceful planet in protest over the taxation of trade routes. However, this boycott was merely a clever cover for a plot to invade. While the Galactic Senate sat idly by, Qui-Gon, Anakin, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the faithful astromech droid R2-D2 embarked upon a mission to protect Queen Amidala and disrupt the Trade Federation’s invasion of her planet. Once on Naboo, Padmé revealed herself to be Queen Amidala and forged an alliance with the Gungan army to mount a counterattack against the Trade Federation invaders. In the midst of their success, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan once more encountered the beastly Darth Maul.
This warrior was strong in the Force and carried a double-bladed lightsaber that burned blood red, betraying his allegiance to the dark side. With his appearance, came irrefutable proof: the Sith, an ancient order of Force-wielders devoted to the dark side, deception, and greed, long thought defeated and destroyed, had returned. Beneath a cloak of secrecy, a new Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, and his apprentice Darth Maul, had risen up, secretly orchestrating the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo as their first act in a scheme that would ultimately lead to the last days of the Republic and give rise to the Galactic Empire. In a duel that pitted the light against the darkness, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan fought Darth Maul, unaware of the true malignant deceit of the Sith at work inside the Galactic Senate. As the Jedi would learn too late, Darth Sidious was really Sheev Palpatine, a placid-looking senator from Naboo who was willing to sacrifice his homeworld to push the peaceful Republic to the brink of war.
As the battle raged, Qui-Gon was pierced by Darth Maul’s blade. Determined to avenge his master, Obi-Wan attacked Maul, but in his anger and despair lost his own lightsaber and nearly his life. Summoning the last of his strength, and empowered by the Force, Obi-Wan called Qui-Gon’s lightsaber to his hand to cleave Maul in two. Thus the apprentice and the sacred weapon came together to avenge the fallen Jinn.
It was too late for medical intervention; no amount of bacta could heal Qui-Gon’s mortal wound. All Obi-Wan could do was cradle his master’s head and heed the Jedi’s dying wish: To train Anakin Skywalker, despite his own deep misgivings.
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