Cookie Warning

Warning: This blog may contain cookies. Just as cookies fresh out of the oven may burn your mouth, electronic cookies can harm your computer. Visit all kitchens and blogs (yes, including this one) with care.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Alex Wheeler on Looking Out For Your Friends

Luke Skywalker takes on a dragon
in the Lego-inspired TV series "The Yoda Chronicles."

In Target, the first novel in Alex Wheeler's Star Wars Rebel Force series, the Rebellion has just struck a crucial blow against the Empire. They not only defended their base on Yavin IV against the Death Star, but also destroyed the moon-sized space station in the process. So Emperor Palpatine issues an executive order: find the fighter pilot whose proton torpedo caused the chain reaction that destroyed the space station. 

While the Rebellion's spy network learn that Imperial assassins are following up leads, the leadership on Yavin IV institute new security procedures to protect what everyone on the jungle moon knows: that Luke Skywalker, the young moisture farmer from Tatooine, fired the final shot. But the leadership faces a greater challenge. Princess Leia's father, Senator Bail Organa, was covertly assisting the Rebellion in many ways, one of which was safeguarding their funds. When the Death Star destroyed his home planet of Alderaan, the bulk of the Rebellion's funds were also destroyed. To protect Luke, and retrieve some money held in banks elsewhere, Rebel leaders pay Han Solo to transport Luke and Leia to the planet Muunilinst, the former home of the InterGalactic Banking Clan.

When the Millennium Falcon exits hyperspace, a TIE fighter attacks them before they can land on Muunilinst. They are assisted by a pilot in a Preybird, but his ship is damaged while driving off the TIE fighter, and he crashes on Muunilinst's moon. Han lands the Falcon to assist him, but it takes a while to track down the bleeding pilot. During their hunt, they hear a rumbling which Luke assumes is a moonquake. Then a great beast named a reek emerged from the brush. It rises three times as tall as the Humans on its four tree-trunk legs. Three razor-sharp, spear-like horns sprout from its head. Bellowing, the beast charges on our heroes.

Obi-wan Kenobi used the Force to offer Luke a few words of wisdom after his died, but the late Jedi Knight only gave Luke one lightsaber training session before Darth Vader ended his life. Even with the aid of the Force, Luke has had trouble mastering his new sword. He's failed to protect himself in training sessions orchestrated by his droid R2-D2 on Yavin IV, and knows he's got a lot to learn before he achieves proficiency with the weapon. Still, when the reek charges, Luke activates his lightsaber, and runs forward to protect his friends. 

Han Solo is one of the most down-to-earth characters in Star Wars. He knows who he is, and is comfortable with his strengths and weaknesses. Han's not sure he believes in the Force, and even if he did, he knows he can't wield it. He worries that his idealistic young friend Luke, lacking proper training with the plasma-sword, is a danger to himself and others. So even before Luke whips out his lightsaber and charges the reek, Han's already lining up a shot with his blaster. When Luke trips over a rock, Han fires, and prevents the reek from goring his friend. 

Even though he's itching to leave the Rebellion after this job, and pay off Jabba the Hutt so he can resume his former easygoing, independent life, Han's still looking out for his friend. His loyalty to his new friends will ultimately cost him, but he's beginning to recognize that there are more important things than simply getting by. The Rebellion may have awarded him a medal for helping Luke destroy the Death Star, but he's earning his status as a hero in small, unremarkable actions such as this. Han Solo's like all of us, when we perform all those little, unremarkable acts designed to help and protect our friends and loved ones, even when they don't recognize our attentiveness, or thank us for protecting them.

Heroes, all.

Dragon Dave

No comments:

Post a Comment