The Lost Ones is the third book in the Heirs of the Force series.
The twins are on vacation from their Jedi training, along with Lowbacca and Em Teedee. They plan to meet an old friend Zekk. When they start their adventure with Zekk, he takes them to a city on the lower level of Coruscant, where he starts to scavenge for various things, and explaining that is what he considers his job to be. . They head home, only to be confronted by a group of teenagers who call themselves the Lost Ones. They get away, and Jaina invites Zekk to a dinner that’s being held for a new ambassador. His alienation with the formal world shows at the banquet. He runs off, only for a strange woman to come up to him, asking him a few questions. She scans him with something, and has two men abduct him shortly after. Zekk comes to, and is greeted by Brakiss, who attempts to recruit him for his Shadow Academy.
Jacen and Jaina keep trying to contact Zekk, but continue to fail. Even Zekk’s roommate Peckhum does not know where he is and joins the search effort. Jacen and Tenel Ka go to search the Undercity for him again. They eventually find him giving a speech to Lost Ones, who have been subdued. One of Brakiss’ goons stuns the pair, and they awaken to find no trace of their friend or assumed enemy. Lowbacca and Jaina manage to relocate the base and try to send troops after the Academy, but the members manage to escape. However, they have left behind a pod containing a message. The twins and their friends retrieve the message, in which Zekk explains his motives in wanting to be trained in the Shadow Academy. His friends are devastated by his choice, but they don’t have much time to miss him. Shortly after, Luke takes them back into training, completely aware they’re in for a tough fight ahead.
To this day, I’m not quite sure what to think of this book in the series. The writing was good, Zekk was a great character, but while the story progressed steadily, it still managed to feel like it was dragging on. As a writer who doesn’t take kindly to stories that feel too long, I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the story completely for that last part. Once again, it’s worth a read, but more to keep up with the series’ continuity more than anything.
When it comes to the Star Wars: Extended Universe, I’ve always been partial to The Young Jedi Knights series, focusing on the next generation of the heroes from the original series, as well as their friends. The stories follow Han and Leia’s twins, Jacen and Jaina, along with their friends Tenel-Ka and Lobacca, their cousin Ben Skywalker, Luke’s son with a woman by the name of Mara Jade, and other various people along the way. I en joy this bunch the most because I already felt emotionally attached to these characters immediately because I loved the former generation so much. The series is straightforward and made what would eventually end up being a cliché storyline a success that I didn’t mind it being cliché at all. If anything, it fit the series well.
The twins have been training to be Jedi for a month. A new recruit, Chewie’s nephew Lobacca comes across a T-23 ship and he, the twins, and Tenel-Ka go to investigate. They eventually find it and toy with it, along with the wreckage of a TIE fighter. They remain oblivious that the fighter’s pilot, Qorl, is watching then. The man’s been trapped there for years and is bent on being able to return to the civilized world to destroy the rebellion. Jacen puts the pieces of that mystery together too late, because Qorl takes them hostage moments after Jacen tries to warn his friends. Lowbacca and Tenel-Ka escape, and the former tries to free them, but fails. He still gets away and goes to inform Han and Leia of the situation. Meanwhile, Qorl take Jacen and Jaina to his home. They catch him up on the twenty odd years he has missed. He insists they repair his ship so he can still return to the Empire. They do and he takes off on the ship with every intention to destroy the Jedi academy. The twins are left behind. Han and Chewie arrive for a rescue mission with Lowbacca and Tenel-Ka in tow. They pick up the twins, but the threat that Qorl is on his mission still looms in the air.
The first few books in the Young Jedi Knight is geared towards children and young adults, so it’s a simplistic, easy read. It’s worth it, as well. Even if you just want to meet most of the characters to see what happened after the original series, it’s fun, and takes no time at all. This is one of my favorites in the bunch just because of the nostalgia it caused me as a kid, and it will probably have the same effect on most Star Wars fans.