The Jedi Academy trilogy
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The Jedi Academy trilogy is a trilogy of science fiction novels set in the Star Wars galaxy. The series was written by Star Wars author Kevin J. Anderson. The books are a part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and occur around seven years after the events of Return of the Jedi, in 11 ABY. The series chronicles Luke Skywalker's early attempts to rebuild the Jedi Order after the defeat of the Emperor. Some of the events in the trilogy are retold from a different perspective in I, Jedi by Michael A. Stackpole.
Books of the trilogy
- Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
- Dark Apprentice by Kevin J. Anderson
- Champions of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson
List of characters
Admiral Natasi Daala
Natasi Daala's first canonical appearance is in Jedi Search, in which she is already in charge of the Maw Installation. Jedi Search also relates her backstory: she is one of the very few high-ranking females in the Imperial Navy. Though she is a talented student and officer at the Imperial Academy, she believes she is continually passed over for promotion simply because of her gender.
To take out her frustrations toward the male-dominated military, she makes herself a false computer identity. Daala defeats many a high level officer and more than a few of her own instructors. This wins her the attention of Grand Moff Tarkin. He investigates the talented young officer and is pleasantly surprised to discover that she is female. Tarkin, with whom she begins an affair despite the fact he is married and is her commander, takes her on as his protégé, helping her to ascend to the rank of Admiral. Many of her fellow officers quietly complain that she is sleeping her way to the top. When one of those remarks makes its way back to Tarkin, he searches out the offending officer and ejects him into space over Carida, with his suit intercom on so that all of Tarkin's subordinates are forced to listen to his slow demise.
As Tarkin's most trusted officer, Daala is tasked with overseeing and protecting the Maw Installation, birthplace of the Death Star, World Devastators and the Sun Crusher. This facility is hidden away even from the rest of the Empire, and no less than four Imperial Star Destroyers are stationed there. Tarkin orders Daala never to abandon her post or to break communication silence unless he returns. After Tarkin's death aboard the first Death Star, Daala stays isolated in the Maw with no news of the galaxy outside and no one in the Empire aware of her existence.
When Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Kyp Durron escape from the mining planet of Kessel in Jedi Search and accidentally discover the Maw Installation, Daala captures and interrogates them, learning for the first time about the destruction of the Empire and the death of Tarkin. Daala knows that her orders are obsolete and it is time to strike back at the Rebel Alliance, who have now taken control of the galaxy as the New Republic.
When Han, Chewie, and Kyp escape, they destroy one of Daala's Star Destroyers by ramming it with their vehicle, the Sun Crusher; this loss greatly decreases her firepower.
Furious, she wrathfully attacks the proving grounds of Dantooine, slaying a colony of civilians. The AT-ST and Imperial walkers commanded by Commander Kratas destroys the colonists easily.
Eventually, she unleashes her hatred against the Mon Calamari for their fleet support and troops to the Alliance. Her campaign is foiled, however, and one of her highest-ranking officers is killed by Admiral Ackbar.
At the end of Dark Apprentice, after planning a kamikaze attack on Coruscant using the Basilisk, Daala's final mission is foiled when Kyp Durron (now a Sith apprentice to Exar Kun) using the Sun Crusher, causes the Cauldron Nebula, which two of her ships, the Basilisk and the Gorgon, are resting in to go nova; this destroys the Basilisk and cripples the Gorgon.
Daala and the Gorgon spend most of the following novel, Champions of the Force, limping back to the Maw Installation to protect it against the Rebels who would no doubt eventually try to seize it. They arrive after the Rebels have already captured the Installation. Daala immediately attacks the Rebel fleet, but is outmatched; the Installation is indefensible, and Daala is forced to destroy it after making backups of the data stored within. The explosion of the Installation's reactors conceals her escape from the Maw, convincing the Rebels that she has finally died.
When next Daala resurfaces in Darksaber, she has joined Supreme Warlord Harrsk's forces. Under his incompetent command, Daala realizes what shambles the Empire is in. Feuding over what was left of a formerly galaxy-spanning government, the various warlords are destroying everything they have left. Daala forces the most powerful warlords to meet, finding only Warlord Teradoc's subordinate, Vice Admiral Pellaeon, a worthy enough commander among them to live. Together they murder the warlords, sealing them in a room and poisoning their air, the two conspirators wearing the only rebreathers.
Daala takes command of all their forces, consolidating the scattered fleets of Victory-Star Destroyers, Skipray Blastboats, and even a single Executor-class Super Star Destroyer, the Knight Hammer. Her glorious fleet lasts just long enough for an attack against the New Republic and Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy. Her old nemeses Kyp Durron and Admiral Ackbar defeat her once again, with the assistance of another: on the Knight Hammer, Daala confronted the former Jedi Knight Callista, who has effectively sabotaged the vessel. Callista intends to kill Daala as well, but she hadn't reckoned on Daala's skill with a blaster - instead of firing a normal bolt (blockable with a lightsaber), Daala instead fires a stun bolt, consisting of unblockable rings, rendering Callista unconscious. Despite the damage Callista has done to her plans, Daala lets her live, impressed by her aggressiveness. Defeated for good, Daala promotes Pellaeon to the rank of Admiral, handing her rank insignia and remaining fleet to him, and resigns from Imperial service.
Afterwards, she returns once more to the Deep Core looking to establish another fleet. Though she makes an attack against the Republic a short time later, General Garm Bel Iblis defeats her soundly and she makes a blind hyperspace jump; though she is presumed dead, New Republic Intelligence refuses to take her off the threat list.
She reappears in Karen Traviss' Revelation, which is the 8th book in the series Legacy of the Force, commanding the Maw Irregular Fleet; this is where her first name is given. She has a son and a granddaughter, possibly with Liegeus Vorn. In Invincible, she becomes the Chief of State of the Galactic Alliance, promising to create a just and stable government that will no longer need to rely on the Jedi for security.
In the follow-up series of Legacy of the Force, Fate of the Jedi, as Daala leads the Galactic Alliance back into temporary stability, as psychosis breaks out among several Jedi Knights. She has two of these Knights, the Horn siblings, Valin and Jysella, put in carbonite, but most of the other victims of this psychosis are harbored for treatment by the Jedi Order. This harsh treatment of the Horns, and her other hardline stances against the Jedi (including sending the Mandalorians to siege the temple, twice) only sow more trouble for Daala.
Meanwhile, Daala had Luke Skywalker, leader of the Order, exiled from Coruscant, blaming him for Jacen Solo's actions throughout the course of Legacy of the Force; so Luke and his son, Ben, search the more obscure regions of the galaxy in order to follow the trail that Jacen took in his five-year Force-searching sojourn following the Yuuzhan Vong War. Meanwhile, as Daala's conflict with the Jedi escalates thanks to the Force psychosis, a conspiracy circle consisting of Imperial Moff Drikl Lecersen and several other Galactic Alliance officials begin plotting against Daala so that she could be replaced.
One of the tipping points in this conflict for Daala is when slave revolutions throughout the galaxy break out, and she chose to use Mandalorians to put these riots down. In part because of this, the Jedi openly turn against Daala, send a fleet to help Luke fight against the dark side entity known as Abeloth and the Lost Tribe of the Sith. Then they overthrow her in a coup before the Imperial-Alliance conspiracy could figuratively pounce on her. For her crimes, Daala is imprisoned, but is shortly after busted out by Boba Fett, who reveals to her that the slave revolutions were thanks to Moff Lecersen in his plan to overthrow Daala.
So she returns to Imperial space, gathers up the support of all the Moffs, including Lecersen, on threat of exposing him to the galaxy and killing him. She prepares to overthrow Imperial Head of State Jagged Fel so that she could rule the Imperial Remnant and, subsequently, the galaxy. However, thanks to the treachery of Moff Tol Getelles, Jagged Fel is able to force Daala to submit to an election, after a long feice battle. Deception and cunning by Fel manages to sway the election away from Daala (who had become a pawn for Abeloth), and himself.
- Jedi Search, 1994. Kevin J. Anderson, ISBN 0-553-29798-8
- Dark Apprentice, 1st edition paperback, 1994. Kevin J. Anderson, ISBN 0-553-29799-6
- Champions of the Force, 1st edition paperback, 1994. Kevin J. Anderson, ISBN 0-553-29799-6