One of the great pleasures from New York Comic Con was listening to author Kevin Shinick talk about his new book, Star Wars: Force Collector, during the "Join the Resistance" publishing panel. The book, which takes place just before the events of The Force Awakens, is part of the prelude to "The Rise of Skywalker" series and follows a young Karr Nuq Sin as he attempts to learn as much as he can about the Jedi using a strange ability he has to see an objects past.
Here's the summary...
In this Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker young adult novel set just before The Force Awakens, a restless teenager sets out to discover what connection his mysterious Force powers have to the fabled Jedi and what the Force has in store for him.
In this exclusive excerpt that Kevin himself posted over at Polygon, we see friends Karr and Maize looking over many of the objects Karr has collected, while explaining to her this strange obsession he has with the Jedi...
“Let me show you something.”
Before Maize could either agree or protest, Karr pushed aside a curtain in his own bedroom to reveal a closet full of seemingly random objects from all walks of life: belts, staffs, blasters, comlinks, helmets, and more — all of it meticulously cataloged. Scribbled on the walls and shelves beneath the objects were erasable flimsiplast notes with dates, like he’d been trying to map out a whole galaxy using just this oddball collection of stuff.
“Whoa!” she exclaimed. “Did you do all of this?”
He couldn’t tell if she was impressed or horrified. “Yeah.” He cocked his head toward the shelves that held his treasures. “And some of these things have shown me their past.”
Maize took a closer look. She gently picked up a kloo horn and turned it over in her hands. “How does it work?”
“Well, you’ve seen it in action. Sometimes I touch something and everything gets loud and...and both bright and dark at the same time. It’s hard to explain. It’s sort of like being on fire, but then other things come through: voices, pictures, colors — and then...then I black out.”
“It is, sometimes,” he said. “I’m still not sure what causes the flashes, but they’re always something big. It’s almost like some objects are witnesses and they want to tell me what they saw. Does that make sense?”
Maize looked at him blankly, so he decided to keep talking.
“Like this, for example,” he said, picking up a mouthpiece that looked so old it definitely shouldn’t go in anyone’s mouth. “This is an A99 aquata breather that belonged to a fishing merchant. The guy who sold it to me said that the merchant got it from a Jedi that used it for marine reconnaissance. I’d hoped it would show me something about the Jedi, but no matter how hard I concentrate, I can’t get it to zap me with a vision. So either it didn’t experience anything big —”
“Or the guy was pulling your leg,” she interjected.
“There’s a lot of people out there who will take advantage of you, Karr.”
He ignored her and moved on. “But this, on the other hand . . .” He held up a wooden staff, or at least part of one. The top was a silver handle that looked like it had been smoothed in a furnace. The bottom was shattered and fragmented, indicating that it had been longer in its heyday. It was completely blackened and charred, but something kept it from crumbling.
“The first time I touched it, I passed out, fell down, and chipped a tooth.” He flashed her an oversized, slightly jagged smile. “I thought for sure it must’ve belonged to a Jedi, because it affected me so strongly, but in the vision, at least from what I could tell, the owner didn’t wear traditional Jedi garb and I didn’t see a lightsaber anywhere. What’s weird, though, is that he clutched the staff as if it was one ... and I swear I could hear him mumbling about the Force. And he was in the middle of what I think was a big battle.”
Maize gave him a sideways glance. “You hear what you wanna hear, I guess.”
Karr took slight offense. “Maybe. But I don’t always see what I want to see, otherwise I would’ve seen a Jedi by now, wouldn’t I? Anyway, I think that’s when I understood that the items that give me visions always show me things that are significant. Important,” he added, having found a better word. “Fortunately, the Jedi have seen a lot of action, so I search for their things specifically — with the added hope that I can also get a lesson out of the deal — but sometimes I’ll reach for random things as well just to see if they can show me anything.”
“So you still haven’t seen any Jedi then? In life or in your visions,” she said.
He deflated a little. “No. But they were real.”
“But you can’t prove it,” she countered.
“I don’t need to prove it. I know what’s true, and I don’t care if you don’t believe me,” he fibbed. “I swear there’s something in me that guides me toward this stuff. And it can’t just be an unhealthy interest!”
“If you say so.”
Maize slowly walked around the room, running her hands over a few objects as if checking them for dust. She stopped when she spied a datapad on his bed, the screen still faintly glowing. She picked it up and read aloud, “Antique Military Collector’s Guide. What did this tell you?”
“That I’ve been overpaying for this stuff,” he said with a laugh. “I only got it a month ago, and I’ve been spending too many credits. Now I know better.”
“You bought all of these things?”
“No, not all of them. I found some. People gave me some. And yeah, I bought some. After a while I realized I might have some luck looking through junk shops, or bartering with pilots and tourists. Now this handy guide lets me know what something’s worth before I lose too many credits.”
Maize stood with her hands on her hips. She paused and took everything in one more time, as if she was a judge about to present the award for Best Jedi Museum. Then, with an air of authority, she said, “I think you’re crazy.”
Karr was about to argue with her again until he saw the smirk on her face. “I’m just teasing you. Sort of,” she added, sitting on a chair in his room. “Look, the truth is, I only know what I know from my family’s experience. CeSai did really well under the Empire. Then the New Republic kicked the Empire out, and there was no one left to run the planet. Everything fell apart. As for the Jedi, who knows who they were or what they did. I’ve always assumed it was folklore, but” — she looked at him with a glint of adventure in her eyes — “prove me wrong.”
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