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An e-book novella by John Jackson Miller (2009, Del Rey)
Lost Tribe of the Sith, Book 1
Set 5000 years before Star Wars: A New Hope

A group of Sith in a supply ship for Naga Sadow's war against the Jedi crash-lands on an alien planet.



Read on December 27th, 2009.  
    This short story reads like the first chapter to a novel. I wonder why it was published this way, instead of being part of a novel, itself. The reason could be as simple as marketing. Those of us who will read the Fate of the Jedi novels will be intrigued, and get more of a backstory on the Sith who will apparently take center stage. Those who saw a free e-book on-line will perhaps learn about this group of Sith, and be intrigued enough to start reading the Fate of the Jedi.

If the main characters from the Fate of the Jedi series are indeed descended from this group of Sith, then I would indeed be interested in finding out how they survived the five millennia in between. The timeframe is during the war described in Fall of the Sith Empire comics, as the Sith rediscovered the galaxy at large, and Naga Sadow planned to destroy the Republic. Yaru Korsin commands the Omen (which I notice is the title of a FOTJ novel), a ship carrying Lignin crystals, which I believe either amplify Sith powers or can be used for lightsabers.

The Omen is caught in a trap by the Jedi, and its sister ship, Harbinger, collides with it, but their navigator pulls them into hyperspace to avoid the bulk of the collision. Korsin debates with himself whether their contact, a fallen Jedi, was actually fallen at all, or if he double-crossed them.

Korsin's ship crashes on an alien planet, where the local animals appear to be poison, and they are isolated between mountain ranges and the sea. There is nothing they can use to get off their little island of solitude, so they will starve if they can't get word back to the Sith Empire, which will undoubtedly come searching for its missing crystals.

Korsin and the others on the ship are Force-sensitive; most appear to be powerful Sith. All the Massassi shock troops they had carried with them succumb to some airborn illness within hours of the crash, and the Sith fall to bickering amongst themselves. Yaru's brother Devore is also on the crew, and they hate each other. On the planet, they disagree on what should be done, and Devore beats Yaru back to the ship when it stops burning, where they both find that the transmitter is dead. Devore, high on spice drugs, attacks his brother with a lightsaber, who uses a few tricks to defeat him, and sends him tumbling, dead, over the edge of a cliff.

Devore's lover, Seelah, whose infant somehow survived the crash in his mother's arms, hates Yaru with a vengeance. There is some character development to be mined, here, and she presumably knows that Yaru killed Devore, and she can't do anything about it until her son is much older. The Sith don't care who pays the price.

In thirty pages, the story gives us enough information to begin understanding the characters, but not much more. As a story, I felt that it was interesting, and well written. Only time will tell whether that is enough.


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