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.