Star by Star
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|Cover artist||Cliff Nielsen|
|Series||The New Jedi Order|
October 30, 2001
October 1, 2002
|Media type||Hardcover & Paperback|
|Preceded by||Edge of Victory: Rebirth|
|Followed by||Dark Journey|
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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 goes smoothly, things begin to get out of hand once the team landed on the worldship orbiting Myrkr. While they are there, they are repeatedly ambushed by voxyn and Yuuzhan Vong warriors commanded by Nom Anor and Vergere. They also run into Nightsister Lomi Plo and her Shadow Academy apprentice Welk. After some debate, Anakin decides that Lomi Plo and Welk should join them, although Zekk predicts that they will be double-crossed by the Dark Jedi.
There are several casualties along the way to the original or 'queen' voxyn, but the biggest blow falls when Anakin is injured. Already weary and injured, the Jedi soon come under attack once again and although they escape, the damage to Anakin has already been done. They soon learn that Welk and Lomi Plo have 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 realizes that his condition would result in the entire group's death. He dies 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 is 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 leaves his brother Jacen in charge of their group.
After a brief period of mourning during which tensions within the group rise, Jacen and Jaina decided to split up. Jaina wants to retrieve her brother's body while Jacen decides to finish off their original mission; the killing of the voxyn queen. On his way there, he meets the mysterious Vergere who shows him the way to the voxyn queen whom he fights and defeats. After this, she turns on him and delivers him right into the waiting hands of the Yuuzhan Vong.
Jaina, meanwhile, has successfully retrieved her brother's body and reluctantly leads what is 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 has already begun to show signs of dark side tendencies that rose from the loss of Anakin.
The Fall of Coruscant
The Yuuzhan Vong warfleet attacks Coruscant from the OboRin Comet Cluster, having assembled at such staging positions like Borleias. They use 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 are 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 have no effective overall strategy, and discipline breaks down. When Sovv orders that the fleet hold their fire in order to not hit the refugee ships, Iblis flat out ignores him, and his Fleet Group operate solely under his command for the rest of the battle attacking the Yuuzhan Vong head on and suffering enormous casualties. The refugee ships, which are piloted by Yuuzhan Vong, are deliberately smashed into Coruscant's shields to weaken them. This tactic works, as eventually whole shield-grids fails, and the surface shield-generators explodes. Coruscant does have extensive mine fields, but these doesn't have quite as large an impact as desired—the defenders at Coruscant disable the mines to avoid slaughtering the refugees. The Vong also use 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 is burning with crashing vessels and plasma fire from the battle above. Even Orbital Defense Headquarters is crippled, and falls out of orbit to the surface. During the battle, Luke Skywalker and other Jedi from the Eclipse base target the enemy war coordinating yammosks, and manage to destroy four of them.
Meanwhile, Han and Leia Solo, aboard the Millennium Falcon, attempt to rescue Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya, but are tasked with rescuing Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade Skywalker. The second assault wave are 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 fire on the hostage refugee ships but to no avail. At the Imperial Palace, Tsavong Lah's aide Romm Zqar tries to force Borsk Fey'lya to surrender. When he refuses, he is killed. But before the Chief of State died, he has planted a bomb in the Imperial Palace triggered by his heartbeat. This resultes 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 lasts for several days with heavy casualties on both sides. Many of its citizens are forced to flee the former capital world of the New Republic while those who do not manage to escape are forced to flee into the city-planet's lower levels. Many Senators, fearing for their lives, commandeer bits of the fleet and escape to their sectors as the battle progresses. The New Republic navy is 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 captures Coruscant and have it terraformed and rename Yuuzhan'tar after their primordial homeworld. Overall, the Yuuzhan Vong win because of their utter ruthlessness.
Star by Star reached 11 on the New York Times bestseller list on November 18, 2001.
- "Sellers: November 18, 2001". New York Times. November 18, 2001. Retrieved March 16, 2015.