Star by Star
||This article does not follow Wikipedia's guidelines on the use of different tenses. (August 2012)|
|Cover artist||Cliff Nielsen|
|Series||The New Jedi Order|
30 October 2001
1 October 2002
|Media type||Hardcover & Paperback|
|Preceded by||Edge of Victory: Rebirth|
|Followed by||Dark Journey|
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (May 2008)|
In this dark and dangerous time for the New Republic, the cruel Yuuzhan Vong continue their mission: galactic conquest. The Yuuzhan Vong have begun cloning voxyn, creatures capable of hunting Jedi through the Force and killing them. Former Chief of State Leia Organa Solo faces a difficult crisis; the Yuuzhan Vong want to know the location of the secret Jedi base, and if the New Republic does not provide this information within one week, they will violently destroy millions of refugee ships.
As the Jedi Knights mourn the victims of the voxyn, Anakin Solo prepares a dangerous plan. He will lead a strike force made of his Force-adept friends into the core of an enemy worldship over Myrkr in attempt to kill the original voxyn. There, he will come into contact with evil, sorrow, the destiny of the New Republic ... and himself. The book also saw the creation of the deadly YVH 1 Droids that were built as a response to the Yuuzhan Vong invasion and the Fall of Coruscant.
The Mission to Myrkr
The Jedi find themselves in considerable danger when the Yuuzhan Vong unleash feral creatures called voxyn on them. These voxyn are aggressive, intelligent, and extremely difficult to kill, and worst of all for the Jedi, they can hunt through the Force and have been engineered specifically to hunt down Jedi. Leia Organa Solo captures one such beast but not before she is severely wounded. It is then discovered that all voxyn are clones of an original genetically modified beast native to Myrkr, the location of the Yuuzhan Vong voxyn cloning facility. In order to foil the threat posed by the voxyn, Anakin Solo and the Jedi Council consider sending a specialized all-Jedi strike team to take out the cloning facility. The idea faced some resistance, mainly from Han Solo who rightly believed that the mission was dangerous and was unwilling to send all three of his children right into Yuuzhan Vong territory. Ultimately, the choice was Luke Skywalker's, who is currently leading the Jedi, who thought that it was their only chance and volunteered himself for the mission. Anakin rejected his offer on the grounds that he was too valuable to the New Republic and the Jedi, as well as being too important and strong for the Yuuzhan Vong to consider taking alive. Instead, Anakin volunteers himself and others follow his lead. The final group comprises Anakin, Ulaha Kore, Jacen Solo, Jaina Solo, Tenel Ka Djo, Zekk, Tahiri Veila and Alema Rar among others.
While the initial part of the mission went smoothly, things began to get out of hand once the team landed on the worldship orbiting Myrkr. While they were there, they were repeatedly ambushed by voxyn and Yuuzhan Vong warriors commanded by Nom Anor and Vergere. They also ran into Nightsister Lomi Plo and her Shadow Academy apprentice Welk. After some debate, Anakin decided that Lomi Plo and Welk should join them, although Zekk predicted that they would be double-crossed by the Dark Jedi.
There were several casualties along the way to the original or 'queen' voxyn, but the biggest blow fell when Anakin was injured. Already weary and injured, the Jedi soon came under attack once again and although they escaped, the damage to Anakin had already been done. They soon learned that Welk and Lomi Plo had made off with the spacecraft Anakin had intended to use for their getaway, taking with them Raynar Thul, an old friend of Jaina and Jacen. This effectively means that the group are stranded aboard the worldship with a worsening Anakin. Anakin soon realized that his condition would result in the entire group's death. He died later fighting off many Yuuzhan Vong, destroying all of the voxyn cloning samples, and buying the time his comrades needed in order to escape the Yuuzhan Vong. His death was felt by his uncle Luke Skywalker and his mother Leia Solo, the former noting that before his death, Anakin had already become one with the Force. Before his death, he left his brother Jacen in charge of their group.
After a brief period of mourning during which tensions within the group rose, Jacen and Jaina decided to split up. Jaina wanted to retrieve her brother's body while Jacen decided to finish off their original mission; the killing of the voxyn queen. On his way there, he met the mysterious Vergere who showed him the way to the voxyn queen whom he fought and defeated. After this, she turned on him and delivered him right into the waiting hands of the Yuuzhan Vong.
Jaina, meanwhile, had successfully retrieved her brother's body and reluctantly led what was left of their group off of the Myrkr worldship via a stolen Vong frigate, leaving Jacen behind with the Yuuzhan Vong. Before her departure, she had already begun to show signs of dark side tendencies that rose from the loss of Anakin.
The Fall of Coruscant
The Yuuzhan Vong warfleet attacked Coruscant from the OboRin Comet Cluster, having assembled at such staging positions like Borleias. They used refugee ships containing prisoners from earlier battles to shield the Vong fleet. Even with the efforts of legendary leaders such as General Garm Bel Iblis (commanding Fleet Group Two), Admiral Traest Kre'fey (commanding Fleet Group One), General Wedge Antilles (commanding Fleet Group Three), Supreme Commander Sien Sovv, and Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, the Yuuzhan Vong were too plentiful to be thwarted. It was said that the Vong fleet numbered "tens of thousands", and that half of the New Republic space navy was present. Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya made Admiral Sovv command the battle in front of a full session of the Senate. As a result, the New Republic forces had no effective overall strategy, and discipline broke down. When Sovv ordered that the fleet hold their fire in order to not hit the refugee ships, Iblis flat out ignored him, and his Fleet Group operated solely under his command for the rest of the battle attacking the Yuuzhan Vong head on and suffering enormous casualties. The refugee ships, which were piloted by Yuuzhan Vong, were deliberately smashed into Coruscant's shields to weaken them. This tactic worked, as eventually whole shield-grids failed, and the surface shield-generators exploded. Coruscant did have extensive mine fields, but these didn't have quite as large an impact as desired—the defenders at Coruscant disabled the mines to avoid slaughtering the refugees. The Vong also used the refugee ships to batter the city planet's surface, causing terrible damage below. Even the orbital defense platforms could not stop the advance of the Yuuzhan Vong. Soon Coruscant's skyline was burning with crashing vessels and plasma fire from the battle above. Even Orbital Defense Headquarters was crippled, and fell out of orbit to the surface. During the battle, Luke Skywalker and other Jedi from the Eclipse base targeted the enemy war coordinating yammosks, and managed to destroy four of them.
Meanwhile, Han and Leia Solo, aboard the Millennium Falcon, attempted to rescue Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya, but were tasked with rescuing Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade Skywalker. The second assault wave were thousands of yorik-trema dropships, tsik-seru airskimmers, swarms of yorik-vec assault cruisers and coralskippers, rakamat and fire breather walkers, legions of Yuuzhan Vong warriors and Chazrach support troops. In desperation, the New Republic military fired on the hostage refugee ships but to no avail. At the Imperial Palace, Tsavong Lah's aide Romm Zqar tried to force Borsk Fey'lya to surrender. When he refused, he was killed. But before the Chief of State died, he had planted a bomb in the Imperial Palace triggered by his heartbeat. This resulted in the deaths of the Chief of State, 25,000 Yuuzhan Vong warriors, the destruction of a portion of the Imperial Palace, many surrounding buildings, and several Yuuzhan Vong vessels. Prior to his death, Fey'lya had ordered the data towers to be destroyed to prevent valuable information from getting into the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong.
The battle lasted for several days with heavy casualties on both sides. Many of its citizens were forced to flee the former capital world of the New Republic while those who did not manage to escape were forced to flee into the city-planet's lower levels. Many Senators, fearing for their lives, commandeered bits of the fleet and escaped to their sectors as the battle progressed. The New Republic navy was somewhat diminished as a result. Some think that if this had not happened, then the New Republic might have won the battle. The third wave was a biotoxin in the form of green algae released by the Yuuzhan Von which devoured many of the buildings, including dead bodies, and the algae also left behind black spots. Coralskipper and yorik-vec squadrons bombed the devastated city world causing damage to the defenders. The Yuuzhan Vong eventually captured Coruscant and had it terraformed and renamed Yuuzhan'tar after their primordial homeworld. Overall, the Yuuzhan Vong won because of their utter ruthlessness.