"So It's Come To This: Dave's THE RISE OF SKYWALKER VISUAL DICTIONARY Deep-Dive Thread"

Hello and welcome to the latest in this line of ridiculously long threads that defeat the whole point of Twitter.
If you haven't seen these threads before, this is what you are going to find: an in-depth analysis of a Star Wars lore book. References, inside jokes, particularly clever ideas... anything I can find.

Never complete, always thorough!
This thread is a special one because TROS is the one Star Wars movie I hate. Yes, I didn't care about some of the earlier movies, but TROS actually hurts me just by existing.

Still, I'm going to take the text completely at face value. We are professionals here.
Does that mean I'm not going to throw shade or make sarcastic aside? Of course it doesn't. I mocked Rogue One during the R1VG thread, because that's who I am: a fucking clown.

But I'm not going to rant about the movie. It's been one year, and no one wants to read that.
So anyway (long intro, sorry, although this is a good preview of how long these things get), the usual rules stand: we go page by page, no pictures from the book until strictly necessary, usually at least one (hopefully sourced) image per tweet.

Expect many typos.
The guide starts with eleven (11) random illustrations that I'm assuming didn't fit anywhere else. Good sign! There's no lack of content (sorry) in this guide.

We'll get back to them if we remember, but let's get to the meat first.

Sorry, not today, Wizzich Mozzer!

I don't think I've ever stopped to read this, actually. What? Sorry! Let's see...

Okay, it's actually a nice intro where he talks about his love of the ROTJ Sketchbook when he was little. More than understandable! It's so good!

We ware warned that this book is big. And oh yes: it is. 200 pages.

We start off with a massive timeline that covers the whole saga, TPM to TROS. It follows a BSI/ASI calendar, SI being the "Starkiller Incident."
Let's see if we find any interesting morsels hidden here...

52 BSI (one year after Episode III): the Empire takes over Ilum and starts terraforming it. We'll see this with more attention in the future, but it firt confirmed a long-existing fan theory.
30 BSI (just after ROTJ): we learn that belief in the Sith was kept alive both by the Exegol cultists from this movie and by Yupe Tashu's Acolytes of the Beyond.

The AOTB are from the Aftermath trilogy and we recently saw an indication of their origins in SW Adventures.

And... honestly, I think it's better if we see all these events as they are described later on.

Because the first chapter of this book is the main reason I decided to do this. It's a look at the whole trilogy (almost)
And there's where we'll start next, with a look at the First Order: its origin, its agenda, its history, and its leaders.

See you then!

The First Order is the result of a vast conspiracy decades in the making with a shadowy mastermind at its center.

I think it was Abrams who compared it to ODESSA Nazis creating their own successor state.
The galaxy first became aware of it when a bloc of New Republic systems, who wanted a return to centralism, seceded from it.

We see the seeds of this separatism in the excellent novel Bloodline by Claudia Gray. Still one of the best things to come from this era.
This maneuver was dismissed by the Republic as mere political games (very chill!) when it actually covered decades of military expansion in secret.

The book says that this brought the return of "tyrannical fascism" to the galaxy, probably angering Those Dudes if they could read.
So, a quick summary, in case the trilogy's lack of apparent worldbuilding left you scratching your head.

First, we have Imperial leaders escaping to the Unknown Regions after Endor, following a plan by Palpatine himself. This is seen in Empire's End.

No, the other one. Better.
Then we have these conspirators in the shadows, this Space ODESSA, slowly seducing disaffected worlds, pushing the New Republic towards fracture.

In the meantime, a massive army and fleet are being built in the Unknown Regions while the confident New Republic disarms itself.
These disaffected worlds eventually form their own state, called "the First Order" because, I don't know, "The Illuminati" sounded too obvious. A cold war starts, but no one expects the First Order to be this swole.

That's why Poe Dameron puts on that surprised face in TFA.
And that's when the movies begin.

Better now? Hope so, because we are moving on!

We get a picture of the terrible three: Kylo, Hux, and Phasma. We hear that the Order's zealous leadership is strikingly young, formed of people who never experience the Empire firsthand.

Draw your own real-life parallels here.
That doesn't mean that the old guard is not there, of course. Far from the front lines, nostalgic survivors of the Empire watch approvingly.

I try to keep politics out of these threads but ugh. So hard.
But there's yet another layer, the whiskey core of this fascistic cake (I have such a way with words!). The true leadership rules from the shadows, driven by the ancient tenets of the Sith Order.

Yes, this is all very Dark Empire. No one is pretending otherwise.
We get a small vignette about Starkiller Base, including a mention of the infamous "quintessence physics" mentioned in the TFA novelization.

That its firing could be seen through the whole galaxy was intentional, a devastating psychological side-effect that worked for many.
We get another vignette, this time featuring the Finalizer, Kylo's destroyer in TFA.

Hidden shipyards managed by greedy corporations produced a new generation of star destroyers for the First Order, the Resurgent-class, as well as even larger dreadnaughts.
And finally, stormtroopers. Wearing white as the clones that saved the galaxy during the Clone Wars, the First Order happily appropriating this heritage.

The First Order stormtrooper program, built by Hux's father, trained and brainwashed soldiers from early childhood.
And of course, each world the First Order annexes only brings new recruits for their program)

Authors really latched into this facet of the First Order, probably because of how inhuman it looked to recruit children. Let's take a look at this evolution.

(Pic unrelated)
We saw the origins of this program in @jasoncfry's excellent Servants of the Empire quartet. We see how Brendol Hux (Armitage's father) started his small brainwashing program at Arkanis Academy.

Of course, Brendol was among the escaping Imperials seen at Empire's End. Dun-dunnn!
We saw Brendol's demise in Phasma. So long.

Battlefront II (well, its Resurrection DLC) would show us that the First Order stealing children before TFA, even using mercenaries for it. This was called "Project Resurrection.

Because, you know: resurrecting the Empire.
And of course, the movies themselves touched into this. Perhaps not with the depth we would have wanted but ah well.

This is it for the first page. Oh yes, this was just a page. You didn't know what you were getting into, eh?
Next, we get a small timeline of the First Order, that I'm going to try to summarize.

First, the Death Star II goes boom. Ewoks party, weird people cry. One year later the Empire is rooted at Jakku and all is well.
For the next ten years, named "the taming of the Unknown", surviving Imperial forces and "secret reinforcements" start building up in the Unknown Regions.

I assume these "secrets" to be Palpatine's Sith forces, but the bok plays coy, as it had to keep the surprise.
Fifteen years later (and now we are five years before TFA) the centrist systems secede and the First Order is publically formed.

And then, we have the movies: Starkiller, Snoke bisected, somehow Palpatine has returned.

The old leaders that had escaped Jakku and fled into the Unknown Regions would eventually make way to Supreme Leader Snoke, heir to the Contingency.

The Contingency was Palpatine's "open in case I die" plan detailed in the Aftermath trilogy.
These old leaders?

General Brendol Hux, who we've already seen.

Allegiant General Pryde, who we we'll be seeing.

Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, who appears in 50% of all published novels and comics and whose name weirdos write in all caps.
Sloane first appeared in A New Dawn, the very first novel in the new continuity. Then she was shown as taking care of the Imperial fleet after Endor in the Aftermath trilogy.

And then... the Kanan comic, Battlefront, Star Wars Squadrons, the Alphabet trilogy... you name it.
Apparently, Snoke came out of nowhere, but his knowledge and ability in the Force made him the undisputed heir to Palpatine.

He never claimed the title of Emperor, strangely, something that maybe should have made people wonder.
Snoke was reclusive and spiritual, happy to leave political and military matters to his most trusted underlings. He often refused to meet in person, always staying on the move inside his megadestroyer, the Supremacy.
Still, Snoke acts personally on a few occasions, usually involving Rey or Luke Skywalker.

The latter's continued existence is a loose thread that Snoke refuses to ignore, devoting considerable resources to making sure the Resistance never finds him.
The section closes with Snoke's datafile, where we learn that his species is "unknown; quite possibly unique" and that he was born in Exegol.

Pickled Snokes! $2!
So what the hell is up with Snoke? What's a Snoke?

Well, this book won't shed any more light on it, but "Sith creation" is a good summary. Further sources would explain that he's a strandcast (an artificial construct) concocted by Palpaclone to be his proxy.
The Star Wars Book indicates that Snoke himself might not be aware that he's just a puppet!

And were those things in The Mandalorian 2x04 also Snokes?! I don't know: leave me alone.
So this is it for the First Order.

Next, the bright counterpart to I Can't Believe It's Not The Empire: I Can't Believe It's Not The Alliance!

The Resistance!

See you next time!

"It seemed like Leia Organa alone saw the coming storm."

She didn't consider the First Order secession and the scandal that had her fall from grace to be separate events.

This scandal, the reveal of her being Vader's daughter, is from Bloodline.
These events were intended to sideline her but they gave her something that hadn't counted on: they gave her freedom.

So of course, as one does, she built herself a private militia.

Of course, she first talked to Rebel Alliance veterans. She talked to them about the First Order's militarization and how toothless the New Republic was. They listened.

The section then talks about four of these veterans.
We have, of course, Gial Ackbar, alias "Admiral Meme." You know him from ROTJ and, well, the memes. You saw him die in TLJ. Nowadays you see weird people use him as a tool to talk crap about Holdo.

Nevertheless, he's a classic.
Caluan Ematt is next. You met him in both TFA and TLJ, and novella Smuggler's Run first showed us his past with the Alliance.

He was portrayed by Andrew Jack, one of the movie's dialect coaches, who sadly passed away last May.
Next is Admiral Statura, alias "Admiral Friends With JJ", who you also met in TFA talking some delightful technobabble.

Other sources have him hail from Garel, a world that was briefly a Rebel base as a seen in Star Wars Rebels.
And finally we have Nien Numb, seen in ROTJ, TFA and TROS. You remember him being Lando's copilot and later on an X-wing pilot.

His name comes from "number nine" and his speech is literally Kalenjin. But we'll leave these BTS details for another day.

Another classic!
These four were among the first veterans to join Leia's paramilitary group, but more would return to the fight as the war against the First Order became a certainty.
Among them, Carlist Rieekan, commander of Base Echo, from ESB.

His return to the Resistance happened between TLJ and TROS, and was shown in the novel Resistance Reborn.
Then we get Wedge Antilles, and you know him from the Original Trilogy. He was one of the pillars of the old Expanded Universe, for best or for worst.

He appeared in a bizarre little cameo in TROS, and his return to the fight was also shown in Resistance Reborn.
And finally, Lando Calrissian.

But more about him in the future.
Now the book brings in one of those strange subplots from TROS. Many of these old commanders had been targeted for assassination before the First Order's rise (good so far) or emotionally stunted by manufactured tragedies (oh no, this is the kidnapping thing, right?)
Yeah, there's a weird thing here where the First Order stole "heroes' children" and turned them into stormtroopers because, I don't know, they are like totally evil.

But more about that in the future!
The new generation is honored to work side by side with these old legends.

Poe Dameron is particularly honored to serve besides Ackbar, having grown up hearing tales of his feats. That's... probably part of why he reacted how he did during Holdogate.

The Resistance is underfunded and understaffed, often relying in what others throw away.

That's the case of the T-70 X-Wing: better than the old T-65 (from the OT) but nothing compared to the New Republic's T-85 (seen in the Resistance cartoon)
They have to be careful to not collect all their resources in a single place. For example, during TFA, only the starfighters can participate in the battle. The fleet and the bombers are on missions elsewhere, as seen in Cobalt Squadron and its companion book Bomber Command.

A grim reminder that Han Solo is dead and Leia is grievously injured during the D'Qar evacuation.

The fate of the galaxy tends to be intertwined with the fate of the Skywalkers.

It becomes apparent that a new generation of Resistance leaders must emerge...
*back after having screamed about Rey Nobody out of the window for five minutes straight*

This double-pager also includes a small timeline of the Resistance. It was founded one year before the First Order publicly left the Republic, and was there for the whole Cold War.
This rather interesting era, the Cold War, hasn't been seen in many sources. The most important ones are the Poe Dameron comic and the Star Wars Resistance animated series.

Perhaps some day!
And that's it for the Resistance!

Next, we'll be taking a look at Rey's origins, her life as a scavenger, and her "awakening"!

See you then!
I was talking to Marv about this yesterday and I realized that I hadn't posted it here: my copy of this book is currently in storage and not easily accessible. Long story, but I'm temporarily living in a boat, like McGyver.
Anyway, unless I find a way to retrieve it, the thread is suspended until I move to my next permanent residence. And it could be a while!

In the meantime, I don't know, look at this gif.

We'll be back!

In her 19th year, the life of young Jakku scavenger Rey changes radically: her monotonous life of hard work becomes one of adventure that will make her join legends like Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, or Han Solo.
She's always seen herself as a nobody "picking through the bones of grand galactic history." But of course, that can't be. Snort. A nobody. Imagine!

Sorry, it's been a while. Avanti!

Jakku's economy at the time of the sequels, or what passes for one, consists of raiding the ruins from the Battle of Jakku.

This battle, the final fight between Empire and New Republic, has been seen in many sources. A few can be seen below.
Rey hones her piloting skills through reactivated flight simulators and becomes technologically-savvy by having torn into pieces a lot of said technology.
Rey brings her wares to the most despicable man in Jakku: Simon Pegg.

That's Unkar Plutt, mean-spirited junk boss of Niima Outpost. He's known Rey since she was abandoned in the world and has used her skills over and over again.
Of course, her meeting with first BB-8 and then Finn will change everything for young Rey.

Despite being reluctant to leave the planet, Rey steals the Falcon from Unkar and helps her new friends. It's the first time she pilots anything outside of Jakku's atmosphere.
A sidebar mentions that the Falcon has been in Unkar's possession for years and hasn't been used in very long.

Also that competing scavengers immediately claim the things he leaves behind: her speeder and AT-AT home.

Rey's lack of identity becomes her greatest weakness. Kylo Ren exploits these fears by painting her parents as indifferent.

Also as alcoholics that would send her for Pabst money.

Honestly, that sequence totally rips.
We take a look at some of her iconic gadgets, like her goggles made from a stormtrooper helmet or her quarterstaff made from a space power cable, both present the very first time we see her on screen.
Rey of course has heard of the Force, but she prefers to think it's just a legend. She doesn't know that her innate piloting abilities, for example, point to an innate connection to the Force.
Next, we'll take a look at the events that close the second act of TFA. Welcome to Takodana!

We continue this quick summary of the events in TFA!

After leaving Jakku, Han and Chewie quickly find their long stolen ship thanks to "sensors long-attuned to listen for the Falcon's telemetric cry." They really like that ship!
Han's new ship, the Eravana, literally swallows the Falcon. Finn and Rey tell him about their quest for Luke Skywalker, leaving Han reeling.

His past is finally catching up to him.
Still, Han agrees to take the kids to Takodana, where his old friend (?) Maz Kanata will be able to deliver them and their data to Leia.

The encounter with Guavians and Kanjiklub only merits half a sidebar. Will somebody please think of the Rathtars?!
The other half of the sidebar tells us that Han quickly empathizes with Rey. An orphan with no family name? And she's good with ships? Duh!

This is what we call "the benefit of hindsight."
The rest of this page shows us four moments from the events in Takodana.

First, we see Rey finding Anakin's old lightsaber. The saber acts as a "vergence" in the Force, a term first used by Qui-Gon in TPM to describe Anakin himself, and lets her have a forceback.
Next we get a shot of Kylo's shuttle landing next to Maz's castle, as well as a brief summary of Hosnian's destruction and the First Order's attack on Takodana.
The third picture has Finn blandishing Anakin's lightsaber. Was this red herring necessary? I'm sure you have an opinion.

Interestingly, the text tells us that Finn has "an instinctive feel" for the ancient weapon. And this is the kind of thing that makes this section so cool.
The last picture, titled 'First Encounter with Darkness", tells us a bit about Rey's mindset when she flees Maz's castle. She feels too small, too insecure to have anything to do with the powerful visions she's been given.
But Kylo Ren finds her, having been tasked by Snoke to find her: her awakening in the Force is a portent of something bigger. She takes her prisoner, confident she can extract Skywalker's location from her mind.

The pirate queen gets a whole page to herself.

Homeworld? Unknown.
Species? Unknown.

Come on, she's this trilogy's Yoda. I don't expect anything less.
Maz is one thousand years old and she's seen civilizations rise and fall and the balance of the Force change from the light to the dark and vice-versa.

She's wise and old, yeah, but likes living a life of comfort. The hermit life is not for old Maz!
Maz is known as a legendary retired pirate, a confident and friend to many in the fringes of society. She has a long story with both Han and Chewie and with Leia, and she's well aware of the tragedies that the Skywalkers have endured.
A small sidebar shows us her meeting Rey and Finn. And guess what? She's intrigued because she knows of the significance of "a pair in the Force."

Yup. This is a small tease of the controversial "Force dyad." That sneaky author!
We get Maz's personal timeline. She was born 1,007 years before TFA, so here's your 973 BBY for you timeliners.

We get mentions of her appearances in Forces of Destiny and in Battlefront II.
Her personal timeline moves through the events of TFA, the "labor dispute" mentioned in TLJ, and ends up telling us that she takes a position as Leia's advisor at the Resistance base on Ajan Kloss, where we'll find it when the movie starts.
And I nearly forgot about Maz's personal items! Thanks, Marv!

Her belt pouch is filled with hard confectionary, perhaps very appropriate for a character inspired by JJ Abrams' old teacher.
She also has a beckon call, an object first seen in Legends in the classic novel Heir to the Empire, by Timothy Zahn.

You click a button and you summon your ship to you. Like the Lone Ranger whistling, you know?
Her ship is called the Epoch Swift, appropriate for such a long-lived character.

We get a VERY SMALL look at this ship in the 2016 reissue of Star Wars: Complete Locations.
Finally, her bracelet is made of ancient Uphradean volcanic ore.

The Uphrades system is from MMORPG The Old Republic. It used to be a verdant agriworld until... well, Sith happened.
And now yes, we are done with Maz and Takodana.

Join me next time as we travel to Starkiller Base and discover its dark connections to a well-known world from Star Wars lore!

Welcome to the machine.

Even after the fall of the Empire, their military researchers continued working and new and more devastating energy superweapons. Starkiller becomes their crowning achievement.
After retreating into the Unknown Regions, the Imperial remnants find fragments of experiments long undertaken by the fallen Empire.

The tapping of quintessence energy.
The delivery of said energy through hyperspace.
The whole terraforming of a world.

All pieces of the puzzle.
So let's stop here for a second: yup, Starkiller is a name from Lucas' drafts for Star Wars. The EU used it a couple of times, most notoriously in this chud.
We discovered that Abrams and Kasdan were using this old name in the then-upcoming movie when a certain actor accidentally talked too much during a fan convention.

Back to the book: it took the nascent First Order many decades to build SKB. Many worlds were cored and destroyed in the pursuit of this knowledge.

This probably a reference to Najra-Va, the planetoid seen in Star Wars Resistance.
Starkiller Base fires only once. But that's enough to practically destroy the New Republic. Using "the gravitational lens of a nearby star" and blah blah technobabble, it sends a torrent of energy through hyperspace. It emerges in the Hosnian system.
The energy follows "spacetime curvature into planetary gravity wells" and, long story short, the whole system is destroyed.

I'm not sure who thought of all this technobabble first, but some of it was present in Alan Dean Foster's novelization.

(That's a quote from Hux)

But how was Starkiller Base actually built?

It used this little thing called kyber technology. Yeah, just like lightsabers, Sith superweapons, and the Death Stars.
During the reign of the Empire, it controlled several kyber-rich worlds, funneling their crystalline bounty to the Tarkin Initiative, the think tank that we met in Rogue One (and check my R1VG thread for a stupidly in-depth look at it!)
There was a particularly unique world deep in the Unknown Regions that actually possessed a pure kyber core, making it ideal for the Empire's purposes.

The name of this planet?

The Empire excavated Ilum for decades, accessing its vast kyber deposits.

The First Order would go one step further.

One of the ancient sacred Jedi worlds would be twisted into a horror of galactic proportions.
So let's take a break from the book here and talk about Ilum.

Because Ilum it's a world with a really rich history in Star Wars lore!
As far as I can tell, "Adegan crystals from Ilum" being the core of a Jedi lightsaber were first mentioned in the Dark Empire backmatter back in 1992.

Videogame Rebellion twisted this by mentioning "Ilum crystals from Adega" because that's how Rebellion rolled!
These Adegan crystals appeared in Tales of the Jedi as well, particularly as part of Nomi Sunrider's backstory, but the planet Ilum wouldn't appear until a PT tie-in called Jedi Quest: Path to Truth cemented its place as the location where Jedi build their lightsabers.
A tie-in to that tie-in (phew), the comic Jedi Quest, first depicted Ilum as the frozen world we all know and love. And that's how all the pieces fit together.

Ilum would become an integral part of Legends Jedi lore for many years.
2003 Genndy Tartakowsky's Clone Wars microseries would feature Ilum in three episodes, perhaps bringing Ilum to the larger fandom (you know, the ones unlikely to buy tie-ins to a tie-in to a movie)
And of course, Ilum was the focus of a story arc of Clone Wars, that brought all the lore we are familiar with: The Gathering, the Ilum Temple, the psychedelic experiences.

Oh, as well as the fact that "Adegan crystals" were properly known as "kyber crystals"
Thanks to TCW, Ilum made the jump to the new canon nearly untouched.

And we started getting hints that Ilum's future was not particularly bright since very early on. The TFAVD, for a start, had Starkiller Base in pretty much the same position where the Atlas had had Ilum. Uh-oh.
The Ahsoka YA novel had our heroine visit Ilum and see massive trenches being dug on it that were visible from space. Uh-oh.

And then, well... Jedi: Fallen Order happened. I made this picture at the time, and I think it speaks for itself.

Uh. Oh.
Still, this is the first source to confirm that yes, Ilum *is* Starkiller Base. Why did it take them four years? Who knows. Perhaps they wanted to keep the JFO surprise intact, or perhaps there's a different reason. I don't think it matters much.

I'm sorry, Ilum.
And as this detour took way too long, let's take a break and we'll finish this two-pager next!
The page has a few insets.

One tells us that Ilum is smaller than a dwarf planet, despite being several times larger than the Death Stars.

Another one shows us Han and Chewie planting charges, as well as Han's destined meeting with Kylo. Just as the TFAVD told us, those charges are pyro dentons, pyro being the explosive and dentons being the charge model.
The next page covers the end of Starkiller Base. We see Finn's battle against Kylo, as well as Poe's trench run towards the thermal oscillator.

We also find out that the "microstar hyperspatial singularity" that used to be Ilum has been informally named "the Solo." Ooookay.
Finally, we get a timeline of Starkiller's history.

It opens 4,000 years before the movie, when Darth Tanis is said to have created kyber superweapons in the world of Malachor.
We saw this superweapon in the "Twilight of the Apprentice" two-parter in Star Rebels. 4,000 years would place this in the Old Republic, pretty close to the time when events in the classic TOTJ comics and KOTOR videogames took place.
Malachor appears in the episode, but it's a reference to Malachor V, another superweapon planet from KOTOR 2.

Ahsoka didn't even pretend to hide it. So, so meta.
And Darth Tanis? Probably the voice in the Malachor Holocron, a "presence" that we know Dave Filoni actually named even if it went unnamed in the episode itself. Nothing confirmed, though.

She was voiced by Nika Futterman, the same voice actress that voices Asajj Ventress.
The timeline continues, jumping to Project Stardust, from the Geonosians involvement to Orson Krennic's first maneuvers. Pretty much the events in the excellent Rogue One tie-in novel Catalyst.
The Empire occupied llum immediately after the Clone Wars, something that as mentioned previously we see in the novel Ahsoka.
Then we see the birth and death of the Star Wars, another brief reference to the Resistance episode "The Core Problem," and Starkiller Base finally goes boom.

Not soon enough!
That's it for this section.

Next, we'll finally jump to the events of The Last Jedi and the Resistance's desperate retreat!

The Resistance has little time to celebrate the victory over Starkiller Base: their base at D'Qar has been compromised and they need to leave ASAP.
The First Order arrives in force before the evacuation can proceed: Star Destroyers escorting a massive siege dreadnought, the Fulminatrix.

Poe Dameron flies a suicide solo mission to buy the Resistance enough time to start their retreat.
This guide doesn't get into detail, but the Fulminatrix is a Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnaught.

This is a wink to the Mandator-class that Dr. Saxton created for the AOTC cross-sections. Fleet junkie stuff. I don't get it either.
A few insets show us details from the Battle of D'Qar. We start seeing for the last loadlifter, commanded by Kaydel Connix and Huetrin Jones, leaves just before the Fulminatrix erases the base from existence.

Their hurried escape means they leave their fuel reserves behind.
We are now introduced to the MG-100 Starfortress, the Resistance's bulky bomber. We are told that TIE Fighters swarm the two bomber squadrons, Cobalt and Crimson.

Cobalt is Paige Tico's squadron, and had its own small adventure book.
We get a description of Poe's risky mission that ends up with the destruction of the Fulminatrix but also with the loss of countless Resistance crews, including all but one bomber.

Leia is not happy about it.
We get now a small inset about Finn: we are reminded that he only got in the Starkiller mission to rescue Rey. He tries to escape the Resistance fleet to keep his friend out of danger, but get Rose'd.
And now we are introduced to Vice Admiral Holdo of the cruiser Ninka, who temporarily assumes command of the Resistance.

Her unorthodox style and secretive nature make Poe distrust her from the start.
Our queen is wearing Gatalentan somatohue earrings.

Gatalenta is Holdo's homeworld, as first revealed in Leia: Princess of Alderaan.

Somatohue... I could guess it's a neologism that means they change color with movement. But that's just a guess.
We now jump to the Resistance's flagship, the Raddus, named after Rogue One's Churchill-esque admiral.

The Raddus is a retired New Republic ship. It's an MC85 Star Cruiser, a trusted Mon Cal design.

Its advanced shields can extend far from the hull. Plot point!
Mon Cal ship classes are almost always named "MCxy"

The Profundity from R1 was an MC75.
The Home One from ROTJ was an MC80.
We've seen smaller cruisers named MC40.
The Legacy comics showed an MC140 in the far future.

It's a thing.
In any case, the Resistance discovers that the First Order can track them through hyperspace thanks to a new technology (that was first alluded to in Rogue One!)

When they decide to stop jumping and wasting fuel, Hux aboard the Supremacy leads a sublight chase.
Unaware of Holdo's secret plan to take the fleet to Crait, thinking her a traitor or worse, Poe stages a mutiny that soon Leia herself puts down.

Holdo then sacrifices herself to protect the fleet's passage to Crait by pulling the ultimate SFX sequence on Snoke's flagship.
(A small aside. This quick summary somehow fits in one single page but it's making me realize just how dense TLJ is.)
The initial jump placed the Resistance within sublight distance of an old Rebel Alliance base in the world of Crait. Only a few ships manage to make planetfall and prepare for a last stand.

These ships are U-55 Orbital Loadlifters, by the way. A simple, pleasing design.
We are taking a break, but next we'll reconnect with Rey and her search for a master!

Rey's search takes her and Chewie to the Unknown Regions, to the world where the first Jedi temple was built thousands of years in the past.

This is where Rey hopes to find Luke Skywalker.
And find him, she does. But she expected to find a larger-than-life legend, not someone so defeated and "so human."

When Rey offers him his old lightsaber, he nonchalantly tosses it off the cliff.
Luke's experiences make him hesitant to take another apprentice. His very first apprentice, Leia, stopped her own training upon seeing a different path upon her.

We will learn in TROS that this involved a confusing prophecy or vision about Ben's death.
After this disappointment, Luke spent many years piecing together as much Jedi lore as he could, just as he would often do in the EU.

When he felt capable he took on students, starting his who would become his best apprentice: his nephew Ben Solo.
Ben's betrayal... well... hit hard.

The next section is named NIGHT OF FIRE, and I'm afraid I have to leave this link here.
I'll leave the original text here:

"For Luke, it was a moment of instinct---a flash of defensiveness in response to a dark vision [...] For Ben, it was an unspeakable betrayal that confirmed every worst fear he had about his family."
That clash of lightsabers was the culmination of years of misunderstanding, mistakes, and things left unsaid.

Luke tried to protect Ben from some dark truths, accidentally isolating him. "And in that isolation, a dark voice twisted Ben's fears into reality."
If you want to learn more about what canonically happened that night, you can check the comic book The Rise of Kylo Ren.

It's a good comic, but I find its take on the Night of Fire (yeah!!) to be a bit divisive among fans.
And now we get a timeline of Luke's post-ROTJ life. Ooohhh!

I'm going to translate the timeline to years after Endor and try to give some context to when everything happened.
0 years after Endor: Luke begins training Leia, but she soon says enough. I assume this was after Jakku,

This was revealed in TROS and gave some background to Leia's Force abilities shown in TLJ. Not that it was necessary, but hey: Leia with a lightsaber is always cool.
1 year after Endor: Luke begins traveling the galaxy looking for Force lore.

This definitely happened after Jakku, although Battlefront II shows that he was doing this during the last year of the Galactic Civil War anyway.

Don't overthing this. It's a sidebar.
11 years after Endor: Luke takes on his first apprentice, Ben Solo.

And no, I don't know if this means anything at all about Grogu, who he picked up 5 to 6 years previous. There's a new season incoming, remember.
24 years after Endor: Ben Solo goes Ben Loco and destroys the Jedi Temple. Luke goes into exile and Artoo into hibernation.

This happens the same year that the novel Bloodline did. Discovering his "Vader heritage" probably did Ben a number.
So yeah, Star Wars In Numbers:

Luke's Jedi Order lasted 13 years.
Luke's exile in Ahch-To lasted 6 years.

30 years after Endor: the sequel trilogy happens and Luke becomes one with the Force.

And that's the point we are in.
This page still has a couple of insets.

One of them introduces us to the porgs and to how they've spread far after stowing away into the Falcon.
The other one mentions that when Luke finally begins training Rey, she's instantly drawn to the dark side.

I hate that this is now foreshadowing, but what can you do.
The next page focuses on Rey's brief training under Luke.

We see training with the lightsaber, perhaps with too much energy, accidentally splitting a rock formation called the Windwailer.

The fish nuns are thrilled. Thrilled!
The text mentions that these lightsaber drills were called cadences in ancient lore.

Very appropriate, as cadences appear in WEG's much-loved Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim.

It had been a while! I don't know how we survived without these sweet WEG pulls!
We take a quick look at the First Jedi Temple, including the mosaic of the mysterious entity known as the Prime Jedi.

This mosaic, of course, symbolizes the duality of the Force.
Rey has come to realize that what she thought to be luck and intuition is actually something deeper: the Force. She feels doubts and fears her own dark inclinations, so she's desperate to find a mentor.

Luke is not eager to become one.
Luke has come to believe that Jedi are locked in an endless cycle of destruction and rebirth, and that every time this happens they take the galaxy with them. That's why he tells her that the Jedi must end.

This is so meta that I need a drink.
Luke will get sudden inspiration from his own old mentor: Yoda, whose spectral apparition tells him that a new generation must always grow beyond the past one.

They join together in contemplating the old Uneti tree burn, as Rey leaves them to rejoin her friends.
Uneti trees are old friends in canon: there was one at the core of the Coruscant Jedi Temple per TCW, Chirrut's cane was made on Uneti wood, and of course the old library from TLJ was built inside one.

Anything to do with the Neti aliens from Legends? Who knows!
And even though Rey leaves Ahch-To feeling lost, Luke will eventuallly find her again...
That's it for now. Next, we'll take a look at Kylo Ren. We are getting closer to the actual movie!

The heir to the Skywalker bloodline has ended up embodying its darkest traits. Once Ben Solo, Kylo Ren now sees himself as the heir of Darth Vader.
Kylo never met his grandfather, of course. Everything he knows about him, he knows through Snoke's twisted words.

When Ben's family discovered the way Snoke had latched into the boy's insecurities and fears, it was already too late.
Ben adopted the garb and title of the Knights of Ren.

Who are they? Well... pretty much space bikers with a primitive command of the dark side. "Force Dreadnoks", pretty much. The Rise of Kylo Ren shows us how a younger Ben met them, and how he ended up leading them.
The next section tells us of how Ben struggled with what was expected of him for being a Skywalker. Even though Han and Leia tried to build a normal life for him, it soon became apparent that he needed Jedi training, so Luke took him under his wing.
First they traveled together looking for Jedi lore, and he eventually became the first of Luke's new Jedi temple.

With Luke's attention now divided, Snoke found a way in.
Next we get a series of shots of Ben during TFA.

We see him alone: his power has made him isolated. He has no friends. He hates his only master, and can't trust the ambitious underlings who would happily see him fail.

(Concept art from James Clyne)
When he penetrates Rey's mind, he doesn't know that they form a... sigh... a Force dyad, a prophesized couple in the Force.

His act creates an unbreakable connection between them.
We get an interesting point of view of Han Solo's murder: Kylo was unknowingly fulfilling a Sith trial of ascendancy by sacrificing a loved one.

You are free to extrapolate from here.
Kylo was not only angry because Finn was brandishing the Skywalker lightsaber: Snoke had promised him a future with no Jedi to hold him back, and the lowly stormtrooper dared defy that vision.
The last inset in the page reminds us that Ben inherited Leia's Force talent but also Han's reflexes and piloting ability.

Also that his lightsaber is so extra because it's powered by a dangerously powerful cracked kyber crystal.
On to the next page!

Ben's frustrations with both Luke and Snoke "holding him back" (how Skywalker of him!) has given him a very destructive worldview: the past needs to die, and he's more than happy to be the hand that kills it.
He's spent his whole life living in the shadows of two powerful mentors, and he desperately needs to forge his own destiny.

Becoming the Supreme Leader of the First Order is a big step in that direction.
Yet even with all this new freedom and power, he still feels somehow shackled to a fate he can't determine.

His search will soon show him that the past is not that easy to kill.

Especially the Sith part of that past.
We know get Kylo's personal timeline.

He was born 29 years before TFA in Chandrila, as we see in the Aftermath trilogy. Luckily for him, Joruus C'Baoth didn't try kidnapping him. A small EU joke! Ha ha!
As we saw in Luke's entry, 6 years before the movie he falls to the dark side and destroys Luke's temple.

Then during TFA and TLJ, he kills Han Solo and Snoke. Boy, other than being born, all of his entries are about killing someone!
And then, one year after TLJ, he discovers "Exegol and its Sith secrets."

Remember that this guide had to avoid mentioning Palpatine. We don't want to spoil that Fortnite reveal, after all.
That's it for Kylo. Well, not completely. The next section deals with the climax of TLJ and Snoke's noble end... I mean, Snoke's bisection.

See ya then!

Fate (or the Force!) conspires to ensure that Rey and Kylo stand before Snoke at the same time that Finn, Rose, and the untrustworthy slicer DJ infiltrate the Supremacy to try to deactivate its hyperspace tracker.
And fate also conspires for these two efforts with Holdo's hyperspace collision. The Raddus split the Supremacy in two at the same time that Kylo betrays Snoke and DJ betrays Finn and Rose.

A smorgasbord of betrayals!
The fallout of these actions is immediate: Kylo becomes Supreme Leader, Rey rejects his offer to become his apprentice and instead becomes his sworn enemy, and the stage for the Battle of Crait is set.
Slicers, by the way, are the Star Wars equivalent to our hackers. I know, I know, not too creative. Whatever.

The term is ubiquitous but comes from the venerable WEG roleplaying game, of course.
The Supremacy is Snoke's enormous megadestroyer. 60 kilometers wide, crewed by millions of goose-stepping goons, and used as both a massive factory and as Snoke's command headquarters.
A small inset tells us of Finn's confrontation with his former commander, Phasma, who he finally kills.
Holdo's suicidal maneuver (a perfectly timed jump that causes the Raddus to intersect the Supremacy at lightspeed before it fully enters hyperspace) is dubbed... well, the Holdo Maneuver.

This was a fan term that ended up in TROS.
We see now the Praetorian Guards, Snoke's faceless and faithful final line of defense.

These eight anonymous warriors are highly-trained in martial arts and wield dangerous specialized weapons.

They are, by the way, "presumably human."
Their red armor evokes the Royal Guard of the Old Empire but it's even more reminiscent of the scarlet Sith symbology found on Exegol.

They are cool.
But speaking of Snoke!

His whole existence has been built for this moment, to be the final test for Kylo Ren.

It's clear that he constantly tests Kylo's worthiness as a disciple... but he's secretly also evaluating his capacity to inherit the Sith legacy.
Snoke is no Sith, the poor strandcast, but he's of the Sith (my wording): a pawn of the Sith Eternal, designed to groom and mold Ben Solo.

We'll see more about the Sith Eternal in the future.
Another subtle retcon: Snoke gloats in his victory because Rey and Kylo being together before him means the Sith Eternal lore is right: they share a unique bond in the Force.

So it would seem Snoke, if not aware of the Sith manipulation, knows a little bit of Sith Eternal fic.
Snoke's unexpected death leads Kylo and Rey to fight together against his Praetorian Guard.

The text explains that their bond strengthens with every passing moment, their abilities amplifying each other's.
And we'll finish this section with a visual dictionary classic: funny captions!

Snoke's eyes are captioned "singular focus, imposed by his unseen master." Yes, that's Palps.
And his belly is captioned "vulnerable midsection, soon to be parted."

I admit I chuckle every time. I know captions are often chosen purely according to available space, so humor like this is appreciated.
Next, the final two-pager of this initial section: the Battle of Crait. We are getting close to Episode IX!

As the last survivors of the Resistance barricade themselves inside an abandoned Rebel base, Crait becomes the stage for the last stand of Leia's freedom fighters.
Resistance soldiers take cover in old trenches and power up artillery pieces never fired in combat before.

These cannons are Speizoc v-120 and v-232. This manufacturer was first mentioned in the classic Imperial Sourcebook by WEG.
Our heroes power up ancient V-4X-D ski speeders, impractical but cool-looking vehicles with light armor and just laser cannons as weaponry.
Against them... well, the might of the First Order.

First, a superlaser siege cannon pulled by massive AT-HH walkers. I know some people around here (cough) laugh at the idea of miniaturized Death Star technology, but that's what this is.
Escorting this cannon, new and upgraded AT-ATs and the new and massive AT-M6 walkers.

Yes, camels and gorillas.

The line also counts with the support of TIE Fighters, until Rey and Chewie triumphantly swoop in and lure them away.
Things look desperate until... Luke Skywalker shows up. And he appears to be untouchable by the First Order's heavy fire, luring a very angry Kylo Ren into a duel and giving the Resistance time to organize an escape.
Jinx! It's not Luke in the flesh!

His presence exists only in the Force. He's projecting from Ahch-To using an old Fallanassi technique known as Simulfuturus.
And what an EU pull! Fallanassi are a Force cult from the criminally underrated Black Fleet Crisis trilogy. They are a pacifist sect of Force-users that specialize in illusions.

This book told us in clear terms that Luke looked for Force lore, not just Jedi. And here it is!
Similfuturus (sorry for my previous typo) is an Old Galactic (read: pig latin) word to describe what is also known as "Force doppelganger."

We first saw Luke use this power in the EU, in the pages of Dark Empire.
The term *I think* was first used in Dan Wallace's The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force.

And wait, what is Rian Johnson doing in this picture?!
In any case, the technique requires extreme concentration to bridge the extreme distances, and Luke pretty much gives his all to the cosmic Force and passes into the great beyond.

As foreshadowed by Kylo's "the effort would have killed you" earlier in the movie. Details!
The vanishing of his doppelganger is witnessed by incredulous First Order soldiers, and word spreads beyond Crait.

Luke Skywalker, who Rey found to not be like the legend she had heard of, finally became one.
This two-pager is rounded up by a few insets: we see Rey lifting boulders to let the Resistance, who have followed the path of the crystalline vulptices, escape.

She now knows the Force to be real and has complete faith in it.
We also see Luke contacting Leia through the Force and saying goodbye to his twin sister.

And Luke experiencing his last binary sunset, just like the ones he often experienced in Tatooine as a youth.
(Luke's bio says that he was born in Tatooine when he *snorts* very clearly is born in Polis Massa in ROTS)
And, as expected, Luke's garb and hair color match Kylo Ren's last memories of his former master.

Some masterful trolling.
Kylo, the angry boi that he is, completely misses the implications of his master looking like this. This gives Rey and co time to escape.

This quoted closes the section: "The Rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I will not be the last Jedi."
And that was it for "the story so far"

Next, we'll start our look at The Rise of Skywalker, starting with one of my favorite things: a galaxy map!
Addendum: I need to mention that the walkers on Crait are said to use "classic Veers Formation."

So yeah. That Veers guy.

More next time!

(Pic source: @VeersWatch)

The First Order is triumphant. The New Republic is dead. The galaxy has capitulated to its rule.

Not entirely: one small village of indomitable Gauls still ho-- I mean, words of Luke's defiance in Crait have spread. Resistance is on the rise.
Luke's last stand has ignited a spark that his sister Leia has worked to fan, rebuilding the Resistance while in hiding.

Rey continues her Jedi training, although her path is uncertain.

Kylo seems to have discovered a secret within the First Order.

The saga comes to an end.

Yay! Galaxy map!

The sudden emergence of the First Order's war machine was the culmination of decades of planning in secret. But the truth is deeper than even the First Order's leaders suspect... for something lurks deep within the Unknown Regions.
So let's talk about the Unknown Regions!

Zahn was the first to mention in his original Thrawn trilogy that a significant chunk of the galaxy was unexplored. This has become accepted lore through all of Star Wars continuity(es).
Of course, there has to be a reason explaining why such a big portion of a galaxy that people can traverse side to side in a matter of hours is unexplored.

The EU spoke of a hyperspace barrier, perhaps built by Ancient Aliens to contain some Lovecraftian threat.
This movie has its own take on the nature of the Unknown Regions, making them hard to traverse in a very visual way. But we'll see that soon!

What matters is that within the Unknown Regions an old friend has been amassing a terrifying war machine, patiently waiting.
The First Order is just the tip of the spear... and they don't even know it.

Yes, that's a running topic, that of the First Order being patsies of the Palpster. I guess there was no other way to reconcile things.
The section continues with a look at the three main political-military forces in the era.

First, the First Order, which rules large swathes of the galaxy. We know that early drafts had their capital be an ashy Coruscant, but who knows if that's still the case. Why not, I guess?
Supreme Leader Kylo Ren has ordered all Resistance collaborators be crushed without mercy, but he's become distracted himself. He's discovered hints that point towards the First Order's true origins...

Maybe he plays Fortnite!
And that takes us to the second group in conflict... the Sith Eternal.

"Wait", you see, "this name was not used in the film." Yeah, I know. Was it a last-minute change? Did someone decide that Last Order was oh-so-much-better?

As most things surrounding this film: who knows.
Last Order? I mean Final Order. My bad.

Deep in the Unknown Regions lies the dark world of Exegol, where Sith cultists continue the work of Darth Sidious to bring about a New Empire.

Their shipyards have been busy creating a vast fleet.
So if you're an EU follower, this concept might sound very, very familiar. I don't know if Abrams/Terrio took inspiration from the EU, or if it's just the logical place to go when you need to pull a Sith fleet out of your ass, but let's look at some of its "spiritual ancestors."
First, of course, we have Dark Empire (1992).

The whole comic is about a resurrected Palpatine having a fleet hidden in the galactic core and secretly striking from a dark world where dark side cultists create horrid abominations.

Yeah. No, really. I'm not exaggerating.
Then we have the Prophets of the Dark Side. You know, from Glove of Darth Vader (1992), a goofy but inoffensive series that everyone loves to mock.

The series presents a clergy of dark side followers who survived the fall of the Empire.
Later material retconned the goofy prophets into something considerably darker, the survivors of a Secret Order of the Empire, a concept hinted at in sources as diverse as the TIE Fighter videogame or the RPGs.

Usual suspect Abel Peña tied these sources together with a neat bow.
And I love this concept to bits! The Dark Empire Sourcebook already mentioned that a dark side theocracy was the secret final objective of the Empire, a time when dark sorcerers would replace military leaders.

The Sith Eternal are pretty much an heir to that idea.
Finally, Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011) played with a similar idea, having the Sith Empire from the Knights of the Old Republic games be succeeded by another Sith force, one that had grown in secret in... the Unknown Regions.

I'm telling you. This happens *a lot*
The game even has this Empire be based on Dromund Kaas, the same planet the Prophets of the Dark Side would call home in the future.

Sith conspiracies, man.
This book takes a good look at the Sith Eternal, so we'll see more about it in the future.

Will it feature several Easter eggs in the form of references to these "spiritual ancestors"?

Ha, what do you think?
Finally, we have the Resistance.

Nearly routed at Crait, this small group of freedom fighters is almost back to fighting shape thanks to the myth of the last Jedi.

Now it's time for them to take the fight to the First Order once again.
Now we have pictures and small capsules of the six main planets and moons in the movie: Ajan Kloss, Mustafar, Exegol, Pasaana, Kijimi, and Kef Bir.

All of them get in-depth looks in the book.

Everyone loves planets! New Atlas when?!
And one of these planets will be our next stop: Ajan Kloss, once a Jedi training world, now the obligatory jungle base for the Resistance! Until next time!

The jungle moon Ajan Kloss was charted by Alderaanian scouts prior to the outbreak of the Galactic Civil War. This world and other worlds considered viable as future Rebel bases (like Dantooine or Yavin IV) were then hidden from the Imperial Senate.
We've heard of these explorations before, and saw them in Leia: Princess of Alderaan (manga adaptation cover depicted).

This novel and its tie-in, Marvel's Storms of Crait, showed that Crait from TLJ was also one of these.
Ajan Kloss was located in a poorly explored region off the Celanon Spur, a trade route created by our friends at West End Games alongside its namesake planet Celanon.

Due to the Galactic Civil War's chaotic development, Ajan Kloss was never used as a Rebel base.
But it was used as a New Republic outpost! Kinda.

This is the world that Leia chose to be trained by Luke in the year after the Battle of Endor. So yeah, I retract my previous statement: that definitely happened before Jakku. I guess it happened between Aftermath books!
Three decades later, Ajan Kloss would serve a similar role, as the place where Rey would continue her training, this time under Leia's tutelage.

The Rebel Alliance had a policy: don't settle on planets with indigenous populations, as they can become the target of the Empire's reprisal.

The Rogue One Visual Guide (and my thread!) taught us that this was caused by massacres at Garel and Ghorman.
Ajan Kloss fits that category: although it's a verdant paradise teeming with life, no civilizations dot its surface.

Still, it would appear they once did. The Resistance has termed these extinct local culture "the Kloss."
Their resident scholar, Beaumont Kin, thinks that the cave they have chosen as their hideout was, fittingly, once some kind of refuge or storage area.

Ah, Beaumont. You gave us this movie's most enduring quotes.
The base is still at its earliest stages. Leia's command ship, the... sigh... the Tantive IV, is landed inside the cave and pretty much serves as headquarters for the Resistance.
The tie-ins to this movie, by the way, delighted in showing the Resistance housing in different worlds before settling on Ajan Kloss.

They've been to places like Ryloth, Anoat, or Batuu, always on the move. So ragtag, so relatable.

A corner of the cave is reserved for Rey to do her Jedi weirdness. She's started studying the Jedi texts and she built a workshop that she's used to reconstruct the Skywalker lightsaber, discovering the way to heal a broken kyber crystal.
We see some of her tools: a crystal growth tray, a nanoforge, a harmonics counter, a heating pedestal, and a tool caddy with things like a quarkdriver.

Damn, I can't find a picture of the workbench. Ah, well, use your imagination here.
Next we get Ajan Kloss's planetary profile.

The world orbits a gas giant called Ajara. It's placed inside Cademimu Sector, an Outer Rim sector first named by WEG's Alliance Intelligence Reports as the place of operations of a small criminal group. From so little, to Episode IX!
The area in the moon where the Resistance is hidden is called "The Klosslands" by the Resistance.

Come on, just fess up and admit that Beaumont Kin made up all these names.
The fact file tells us that there are no large predators in Ajan Kloss, but that insects, fungal infections, and unpredictable weather are still dangerous.

In fact, the planetary profile shows us a massive mesocyclone about to make things messy.
Resistance technicians work around the clock to adapt all the delicate electronics to the very moist conditions of the moon.

I like to think one of them was a veteran who had to do the same kind of thing at Hoth and who grumbles all the time.
We get a picture of a local critter, the arboreal chameleonic zymods.

Yeah, chameleon monkeys. What about it?
And finally we learn that the jungle moon teeming with life makes it ideal as a Jedi training ground.

The same reasoning that Luke used for Yavin IV in the classic Jedi Academy Trilogy, by the way. What was old must become new again.
And that's it for Absolutely Not Yavin.

Next, we'll get an update on Rey, including her training under Leia. See you then!

Rey's awakening made her a target from the very start, an obstacle to both Snoke and Kylo's ambitions. Snoke knew of Rey and Kylo's connections, their being a prophesized "dyad" connecting two individuals.
Although she initially felt sympathy for Kylo, a combination of both their mystical bond and Rey's isolated existence, she withdrew after the events of the last movie.

Rey managed to eventually persuade Luke Skywalker to train her in the ways of the Force, even as he warned her of the Jedi's questionable past.

Dark voices and visions have started appearing in her mind, cracking what used to be a deeply held faith in the Force.

We take a look at R-- Ana-- L-- at the Skywalker lightsaber. Originally Ani's saber, built at the onset of the Clone Wars, it was thought lost in Cloud City until Maz... found it, I guess?

Kylo and Ren split it in two last time, but she's fixed it.
The EU also had the Skywalker lightsaber resurface, this time in the hands of evil clone Luuke (don't snicker!) as seen on Timothy Zahn's The Last Command. Luke then gave the sword to Mara Jade, his future wife.

Very different stories here, for sure.
Also, and apparently, one of this movie's earlier drafts had Rey use the shattered kyber to build a double-bladed lightsaber similar to her old quarterstaff.

That would've been interesting! I wonder if Dark Rey was a nod to that idea, or if both were "Maul r00lz!!!" fan service.
There's not much else to say about the saber, other than we can see how Rey fixed it: there are weld marks and some leather strapping.

Fine details I would've never have noticed without this book.
This page has a few insets as well.

One shows us Rey about to perform that somersault from the first trailer that fans like so, so much that they never recorded 2 hour-long videos about why it was dumb.
We see some of Rey's bling.

First, the husk necklace she gets from Nambi Ghima in Pasaana and that ends up playing a small role in the film.

We also read that Rey is particularly comfortable in desert worlds, for obvious reasons.
Then we see her LPA NN-14 blaster, one of many aboard the Falcon. We first saw this model during TFA as Rey's first pistol, so we can assume she likes the model.
And finally, we see her hugging Leia.

The very compassionate Rey admires inner strength, so she pretty much idolizes General Organa, who has become her second Jedi trainer.

After Luke became one with the Force, the task of training Rey fell to Leia.

Leia walked that path once before, although she turned her back to it more than 30 years ago and decided that her path was a different one.
And would you believe her character went down a similar route in the EU!

Both Heir to the Empire and Dark Empire made a point of showing her as a lightsaber wielder, but the Jedi Academy Trilogy had her decide she preferred politics, to some fans' disappointment (mine)
Many years laters, EU authors rediscovered the joy of Leia With A Saber and had her decide that Jedi was a good career after retiring from politics.

Thus ended a decade of aliens screaming "Chief of State Organa-Solo!" at her while everyone else was off having fun.
The text continues by reminding us that Rey's training is happening in the same place where Leia briefly trained under Luke. Just serendipity, or perhaps the will of the Force.

I would have assumed that it was Leia's call to head to Ajan Kloss, but maybe not!
The rainforests of Ajan Kloss form an obstacle course where both her mind and body are tested.

Leia has even recovered some of Luke's old training tools.
She has, for example, a training helmet with a blast shield, like Luke once wore. This one is a repurposed A-Wing pilot helmet from the defunct Rebel Alliance, a KSE-H44.

KSE here probably means Kuat Systems Engineering, makers of the A-Wing in the current continuity.
Leia also has some old Marksman-H training remotes. The same model that Ben used to train Luke!

She will often have Rey try to catch ribbons from trees while several remotes try to stop her. The red remote is apparently particularly obnoxious!
This page ends up telling us that Rey's brand new capelet "evokes Alderaanian style."

I choose to think she took it from Leia's closet, and I won't change my mind.
That's it for the brief training sequence, and we'll resume this thread next time.

But don't worry, because that's not it for Jedi fun! Because next comes what may be my favorite part of this visual dictionary...

So this is going to be a long one. Brace yourselves.

The sacred Jedi texts are eight volumes collecting tenets, theories, tips, and tales (alliteration regretfully mine) dating back to the very dawn of the Jedi Order millennia in the past.
This wisdom was collected in actual bound books, an exceedingly rare format in a galaxy that has embraced high-tech information storage formats.

Like, say, data tapes.
The Jedi Masters of the Old Republic encouraged future students to amend and add to the books so they would be an evolving tapestry of the Order's history and knowledge and not just a static collection of ancient ways.

Luke continued this tradition.
Luke collected the eight volumes during his travels across the galaxy and now Rey is their current caretaker.

Because she stole them.

Yes, yes, Yoda was okay with it and even cracked jokes at Luke's expense. But! She still stole them. Bad Rey!
I joke, of course, but it's a marked break from old depictions of apprentices' thirsting for knowledge beyond what their masters want to teach them. Back in the EU days, she would have turned Sith in 0.032 seconds!

But I digress.
The book justifies Rey's taking the books as her scavenger instincts taking over. In any case, she saved them from the burning.

She knows they are not containers of any ultimate truth, but values their place in history. She's lost hours reading through them.
She currently keeps the books in her little personal corner in the Ajan Kloss base, kept inside a dehumicoil to make sure the rainforest's moisture doesn't ruin them.

She loves reading about meditation techniques and lost Force techniques.
The sturdiest of these texts have pages made of uneti wood pulp, that we've mentioned before in this and previous threads.

In case you forgot: the "Force tree" from TCW, Shattered Empire, and TLJ, as well as the material Chirrut's staff is made of.
Rey has had Artoo scan and store every page from the eight volumes to make sure they survive if they were to, say, be set on fire at some point in the future.

This fits remarkably well with Artoo's place as the saga's teller, a role that the sequels rarely lean on.
As expected, the Jedi scripture is not readily legible, as most of it was not written in Galactic Basic but in archaic languages that need to be translated first.

So yes, Threepio's time to shine.

(Panels from Poe Dameron comic)
Of course, Threepio wastes as much time translating the books as he does waxing poetic on ancient grammar and conjugation rules.

That's our boy.
Rey also uses translation programs available on most datapads.

So yeah, the GFFA has Google Translate by the time of TROS!

This approach is not very nuanced, so she has to trust her instincts when it comes to the multiple metaphysical concepts within the esoteric texts.
And finally, she has the help of Beaumont Kin, our favorite Armchair Historian, who's also a linguist and happy to help with the most obscure and technical sections of the sacred texts.

(Pic: original Star Wars D6 rulebook)
So, the sacred Jedi texts.

There are eight volumes, but AFAIK, only five of them have been revealed.

This book shows us the Rammahgon, the Aionomica (two volumes), and the Chronicles of Brus-bu. The junior novelization would add The Poetics of a Jedi.

(Pic: Art of TLJ)
The Aionomica and the Rammahgon were first named by @jasoncfry in the pages of his TLJ novelization.

The Chronicles of Brus-bu shows up in the junior novel and here, but it's hard to determine which source named it first!
Before diving into each individual volume, the visual dictionary shows up a page of an unidentified Jedi book, one that describes the Force as "a twisted ribbon lining the perimeter of all reality."

Ah yes, this is my kind of poison.
According to that text, transit between distant points is achievable by traversing this ribbon through "the Netherworld of Unbeing."

This could be the Netherworld of the Force from the old Marvels, a "World Between Worlds" from Rebels nod, both, or neither. You are welcome.
Force teleportation, by the way, is always a touchy subject. The EU rarely touched it: it was in books like Children of the Jedi and comics like Infinity's End, but always as a rare sight.

(Pic: The Dark Woman from the Dark Horse Comics series, notorious teleporter)
In canon, other than being theoretically possible through the World Between Worlds (more about it later on), we see Witches of Dathomir being adept at it.

Mother Talzin did it all the time (at least while lacking a body) and Merrin from Jedi: Fallen Order also has this ability.

The Rammahgon is a well-known and very influential Jedi tome.

Both pages and spine are made of uneti wood, and the cover is made of "clay" made of gasses harvested from the interstellar space in the Unknown Regions.
These red gases are probably the ones from the Red Honeycomb Zone, the chaotic area of space that Kylo Ren uses to pierce the Galactic Barrier and reach Exegol.
The Rammahgon was thought destroyed over fifth millennia ago, but Luke Skywalker found it during his exploration of the subterranean ruins of Ossus.
Ossus! This is a world very familiar to EU fans, or anyone into the Old Republic era.

First seen in Tales of the Jedi, Ossus was the site of the Great Jedi Library, a Jedi center of knowledge and pretty much the Order's headquarters before the Sith Wars.
Ossus was destroyed during the Sith War, when Exar Kun's forces made the whole Crone Cluster go nova just to get rid of the world. Sith are always so extra.

And guess what? Luke explored its ruins during Dark Empire II.

Dark Empire references!
Ossus ended up hosting the Jedi Temple during the Legacy era after someone held a contest to design the ugliest temple ever [citation needed]

So yeah, an important world in EU Jedi history. The current continuity has referenced it and its library quite often.
(Addendum: Grammarly decided to ruin my life by changing "Cron Cluster" to "Crone Cluster." You get an extra reference for the inconvenience: the destruction of the cluster was a tie-in to the Cron Drift, a massive asteroid field from Brian Daley's Han Solo novels.)
What about its contents? The Rammahgon collects four origin stories for both the cosmos and the Force, as well as precepts derived from them.

And yes, these creation myths are often in conflict, as these things tend to go.
The red eye on the cover isf from the Fourth Precept, a poem that describes deities battling during the formation of the universe.

And wow! This is a reference to The Fourth Precept, a comic by ROTS concept artist Stephan Martiniere and part of comic anthology Visionaries.
Visionaries gave us jewels like the first look at Robo-Maul, a story starring Nute Gunray, Durge's origin story, and well... the gorgeous Fourth Precept, perhaps the one tale most likely to make you go "...what did I just read?"

You need it in your Star Wars library.
Was it the Rammahgon where Rey found about the Sith wayfinders?

Well, the visual dictionary does not go there for obvious reasons, but maybe? It has a red cover, right? I think so.

The Aionomica is a two-volume "combination of codex, correspondence, and scrapbook" that collects many of the earliest accounts of explorations and formalizations of the nature of the Force.
The Aionomica was collected by Jedi Master and historian Ri-Lee Howell.

This is a touching tribute to UNC Charlotte student and Star Wars fan Riley Howell, who died saving his classmates from a gunman. You can read the story of this tribute here: https://time.com/5755064/riley-howell-shooting-hero-star-wars-jedi/
Most of the Aionomica's contents were eventually transferred to Jedi holocrons, but these were eventually lost.

The Aionomica endured, some of its pages hand-written by the original sages, all carefully preserved by Master Howell.
The two volumes of the Aionomica are known as Aionomicum I and Aionomicum II.

They have sturdy organo-silicon hide covers (organosilicon is a real-world thing and yes, it's used to make fake leather)
(Also, just to make this thread awkward, it just dawned on me that the "Force teleportation" talk in the pages of that book that could be one of the Aionomica was probably a nod towards the Force dyad shenanigans in TROS. Duh.)
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