Star Wars Gamer #8
New Jedi Order
by Elaine Cunningham
Published by Wizards of the Coast
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
This short story was published in the Star Wars Gamer magazine. It takes place during The New Jedi Order - Dark Journey.
Tenel Ka, Lowbacca, Jaina, and Kyp fly to the planet Gallinore with a captured pirate who also happens to be a Yuuzhan Vong slave. There is an imprisoned scientist there by the name of Sinsor Khal who is known for his unethical work in genetics and biotechnology. They hope to have the mad scientist study the pirate and unravel the secrets of the Yuuzhan Vong biotechnology.
However, Kyp and Jaina first must sneak into the prison with the pirate. To successfully do so, Jaina drifts further to the dark side by utilizing mind control and even Force lightning. When they meet up with Khal, he ends up holding a secret none of them suspected.
I liked the idea of Jaina slipping toward the Dark Side, and this short story expands on that a little. We get to see her perfect her mind control techniques and we see her use Force lightning, too. I kind of wish that this had been included in the novel Dark Journey, but this is the next best thing. It's good to have these Gamer short stories tie into the New Jedi Order and actually be a significant part of the storyline. It's also cool to see Jaina turn the tables on Kyp and actually be the wild card for once.
Sinsor Khal also gets significantly more attention in this book. In fact, this short story reveals a rather important fact about him - he's a Jedi. Or, at least, a Force user. I don't believe this was revealed at all in Dark Journey. I don't understand why. It elevates him from a simple extra character into something much more interesting.
While being a side story set during the events of Dark Journey, The Apprentice still rehashes a lot of what was covered in the novel. For a story with a limited amount of space, way too much of it was spent simply re-typing material you may have already seen in Dark Journey. From that aspect, it's disappointing. And since Dark Journey had a relatively short page count, I would have much rather seen this incorporated into the novel itself.
The painting of Jaina was pretty bad looking, too.
Jaina in the art.