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Plague of Doom
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Episode VIII
The Darkness Within
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Episode IX
Duel of the Fates
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The Riddle of the Pirates
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The Prophecy
And in time of greatest despair,
there shall come a savior,
and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN.
And he shall bring Balance to the Force.
"Journal of the Whills, 3:12"
Welcome to
Roderick Vonhögen's
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Episode VIII : The Darkness Within
by Nathaniel Reed and Scott Swearingin
version 01/2009
A few years have passed since Luke Skywalker triumphantly retook the old Jedi Temple on Coruscant for his new Order of Jedi Knights. Emperor Mas Amedda and his aide Sly Moore, revealed to be Sith Lords, fled the Imperial Palace, allowing the political leader of the Galactic Alliance Mon Mothma to take up official residence within the Senate Rotunda. The Imperial commander Kane paid the price for his twisted loyalty and greedy ambition, and the plan to unleash a plague of mind-control doom upon the galaxy was thwarted by the Alliance military.
With Amedda still at large and directing operations, the new threat lies with the Imperial master strategist, Admiral Vantos, and his flagship, 'The Wraith', armed with a perfected cloaking device, and supported by the increased numbers of stormroopers. Since the majority of these are being created at the cloning facilities on Kamino, it is decided that this threat needs to be neutralised at its source. General Han Solo, Admiral Ackbar and the rest of the executive council liase with rebel Kaminoans to formulate a plan of action.
Meanwhile, Leia Solo, accompanied by Artoo Detoo, journeys to her mother's homeworld of Naboo to entreat the Queen to resume a more active role in galactic affairs. She also discovers family still residing nearby, and visits her aunt Sola. Whilst there, Leia stumbles into a crumbling old mansion, where she discovers ancient Sith records detailing experimenting with the creation of life. However, the estate is not empty, for red-robed Royal Guards defend it ! Drawing upon her Force skills, she barely escapes their clutches !
Back on Coruscant, Luke has been struggling with the notions of the "no attachments" rule of Jedi Code, as espoused by the seven Master Elders who sit with him in the Council Chamber : he knows it's right for Leia to be a Jedi, and be married to Han. He learns from the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan of a great falsehood in the histories of the Order, created to protect the Order... but which in turn pre-determined its fate. As he ponders this news silently, the number of Jedi apprentices slowly increases, and among them are Alana Seren and the Wookiee Chewbacca, who have been in training since The Battle of Kessel.
Without warning, a daring surprise attack is unleashed by The Wraith, and Imperial Air Commandoes descend upon the Jedi Temple. The onslaught is repulsed, but the Jedi suffer many casualties... and tender romance : in the midst of battle, Luke and Alana discover they share an attraction for each other !
Later, at the Jedi Temple, Leia is congratulated on what she found on Naboo and how she dealt with it, and is encouraged to travel to the Ilum moon in the Kyber system to divine a crystal for her laser sword and build her own lightsabre, thus completing her Trials as a Jedi Padawan. Shortly after she leaves, reports arrive that Admiral Vantos is hiding on Kettlebrae. The Jedi Council quickly resolves to ambush him and bring him to justice.
Meanwhile, Leia and Artoo briefly stop at Aquilae Base on Mon Calamar, where she wishes her husband well. Han is preparing to infiltrate Tipoca City on Kamino disguised as a bounty hunter, where he will coordinate with the rebel Kaminoans, and ferry away their condensed technology ; General Lando Calrissian will lead a small submersible strike team to fire into hidden explosives, ensuring Tipoca City will tumble. As Han anxiously watches his wife depart for Kyber, he urges Chewbacca to follow her and provide further protection.
Luke leads most of the Jedi Elders and their padawan clans, including See Threepio, to Kettlebrae, a misty mountainous world with hot pools studding the sheer sides. They come across the languid lemur-like Wottnotts, who direct them down into the ravines and into the mountain. A sudden avalanche rips through the party, killing many of the Jedi ! Master Lettow is at the head of the group, and he and his twelve padawans continue into the mountain ; bringing up the rear, and fearing that Alana may have been killed in the cascade, Luke's party returns to the Wottnott village. Here, they eat while they patiently wait for a second entrance, hidden by pool water, to reveal itself.
Inside the mountain, Lettow's group discovers that Alana had survived the avalanche but had been taken captive by the more aggressive cousins of the Wottnotts. Lettow reveals his true colours, announcing that he had overheard that the restrictive Jedi Code of 'No Attachments' was a deliberately perpetuated falsehood, and that Alana and Master Luke were in love and hypocritical of their Code. With a Sith agenda, he goads them into taking revenge.
Meanwhile, on the crystal moon of Ilum, Leia wanders through the amazing glittering caves, and comes to divine her sword crystal. Drawing again upon the Force, she handcrafts a lightsabre hilt unique to her. As she returns to Artoo and their ship, the Sith Lord Darth Kayos arrives ! The two ferociously duel, and Kayos knocks Leia into a chasm, where she rains lightning down upon the Jedi and the red and blue crystals around her, transforming the exploding crystals into deadly shards of purple ! Leia cries out in pain, and loses consciousness. Satisfied, Kayos leaves Leia believing her to be dead.
On Kamino, Han meets with the rebels and discovers that they have distilled their most eminent scientists into liquids contained in vials ! As he makes his escape ahead of the timed explosives planted by the rebels, he espies Vantos' warship ! Grabbing the opportunity, he docks with it and draws on his mechanical knowledge to remotely sabotage it enough to disable the cloaking device. Withdrawing, he attracts attention, and a chase ensues as he flees back to his starfighter. Just as the detonations begin to rock the city, Han skillfully pilots his ship away. Admiral Vantos also lifts away, and Emperor Amedda instructs him to take the Grand Moffs he is carrying to Kettlebrae. Underneath the crashing waves, Lando's team have arrived and fire upon the support stilts. Thinking they have scored a great success, they are dismayed to see a black cloud lift up from a secret cloning base on the seabed : the mass resolves itself into the ancient Bogan, resurrected Sith creatures of fearsome abomination. As the swarm engulfs Lando and his team, the General bravely fires his missiles down into the hatchery, destroying it. Yet he and his team are the first victims of the terrible Bogan.
Luke and his padawans enter the mountain, and come face to face with Lettow and his enraged group. Realising that Vantos is not present, he quickly frees Alana, but cannot pacify his former students : a great lightsabre duel erupts within the melée, and Luke leads his party in retreat. The Jedi reach their starship, and quickly flee the trap, licking their wounds despondently. En route home, Luke and Alana confirm their love for each other.
The loyal Chewbacca arrives at Ilum, and briefly engages in a duel against Darth Kayos. His lesser skills are no match for her, and the Wookiee is buried under a landslide. The Sith Lord receives instruction from her master, and she leaves to rendezvous with Vantos. Artoo is left to free Chewbacca and haul Leia to the surface.
Vantos arrives at Kettlebrae expecting to retrieve "renegade Jedi" crucial to Amedda's plans. Once Lettow and his angry padawans are aboard The Wraith, the Jedi kill the Admiral and Moffs. Darth Kayos appears, and congratulates the Jedi. The Sith Lord reveals to the Jedi that Lettow had betrayed them too by mercilessly playing with their emotions. Enraged, the twelve padawans turn on their former master and kill him.... and they embrace the Dark Side of the Force. She offers them a new path with her powerful Master, Darth Monstross, and they agree. They rendezvous with the Emperor, where they kneel before him to be invested with Sith titles.
Meanwhile, at Aquilae, Han gazes mournfully at a hologram of his dead friend, and nurses his wife back to health with the help of Luke and Alana. Luke is intrigued by the purple shards removed from Leia, and by a black crystal in particular. The future of the New Alliance and the Galaxy looks grim. Although the endless waves of cloned Imperial troops have been stopped, a new and even more insidious force has risen in its place.......
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