Novels > Post Original Trilogy Novels > The New Jedi Order
Walter Jon Williams
October 1, 2002
The New Jedi Order
Star Wars Saga Timeline:
In the war against the ruthless Yuuzhan Vong, the fall of Coruscant leaves the galaxy on the verge of bowing to conquest. Those who steadfastly refuse to surrender—Luke, Han, Leia, and their children and comrades-in-arms—are determined to seize victory against overwhelming odds. But the New Republic is crumbling, divided by internal strife, and intrigue runs rampant: in the heated political race for Chief of State…in the shadows where Yuuzhan Vong spies plot assassinations…and in the inscrutable creature Vergere, a Jedi whose allegiance is impossible to predict.
Now, as Luke Skywalker sets about reestablishing the Jedi Council, the growing faction opposed to the ways of the Force unveils a terrifying weapon designed to annihilate the Yuuzhan Vong species. The opposition must be stopped, before dooming the New Republic to becoming the very thing it has sworn to fight against—and unleashing the power of the dark side.
The story opens to Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo flying in space in the Millennium Falcon when Leia feels a flash in the Force that feels like her son, Jacen's, presence. Leia tells Han Solo that Jacen might be alive after all, and Han pretends to believe this for Leia's benefit, despite she knows about her husband's deceit. Han and Leia meet up with Vana Dorja in an agreement that the Solos can go to the planet Bastion and work out a deal with Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon for the Empire to join the New Republic in the war against the Yuuzhan Vong. However, while riding to Bastion, the Millennium Falcon gets pulled out of hyperspace by a dovin basal mine and is confronted by several coralskippers. Nevertheless, Han rides the Falcon around and close to the mine in a battle that destroys nearly every coralskipper and Han, Leia and Dorja are saved by Jagged Fel and a group of Chiss.
The novel shifts to Obroa-skai where Jaina Solo leads a strike force against a giant Yuuzhan Vong worldship belonging to the Vong leader, Supreme Overlord Shimrra. The battle first starts off as an advantage for the New Republic forces, but it soon becomes a stalemate until Hapan Battle Dragons, lead personally by Queen Mother Tenel Ka Djo of Hapes, turn the tide of the battle for the Republic's favor and destroy the worldship. However, it turns out it didn't belong to Shimrra, and that it was actually the worldship commanded by Supreme Commander Komm Karsh, who is second rank to Warmaster Tsavong Lah. And during the battle, Jaina felt a little flash in the Force that felt like her twin brother, Jacen's, presence, like how Leia felt at the beginning of the novel.
The book later reveals that after the fall of Coruscant and the operation at Borleias, the New Republic moved its assets and its Senate to Mon Calamari. Pwoe, who replaced the late Borsk Fey'lya as Chief of State of the Republic, was vetoed out as the ruler and the Senate began a vote for Chief of State, with Fyor Rodan in the lead as being voted. The Jedi are trying to help Rodan's opponent, Cal Omas, into being voted so he can establish a new Jedi Council. Luke Skywalker feels Jacen's presence, and says out loud, "It's the turning point." Meanwhile, Jacen Solo and Vergere, piloting Nom Anor's stolen coralcraft from their escape from Coruscant/Yuuzhan'tar, are heading for Mon Calamari, and before their arrival, Vergere tells Jacen about how and why she joined the Yuuzhan Vong.
Vergere reveals that fifty years earlier, she was a Jedi Master in the Old Republic Jedi Council and she was sent to investigate a strange alien group known as the Far Outsiders, which would later become known as the Vong. She went to a mysterious planet called Zonama Sekot which had all kinds of life, particularly plants and vegetation. The Vong attacked Sekot and resulted in a grand scale battle which lead to the death of the Magister, Zonama Sekot's leader. But the Magister's soul was actually reincarnated into the planet of Sekot itself and it literally became a living planet. Vergere later met with the Vong that were concurring Sekot and she was angered she couldn't sense them in the Force when she met them. However, she saw how the Vong valued life in their own perverse way as one of the Vong had an avian pet similar to Vergere and Vergere fooled the Vong by displaying her powers and saying it was the power of Zonama Sekot. The Vong were pleased they found a living planet, and decided to go back to their own galaxy to collaborate on the full scale invasion of the Star Wars galaxy. But instead of going back to the Jedi Council and report this to the Old Republic, Vergere decided to go with the Vong and study them in their own galaxy, but before she left, she left a message for Sekot to display to any Jedi who went to Sekot to find her about the Far Outsiders. As for Sekot, it turned out the planet had repulsorlifts that let it travel further to the edges of the Star Wars galaxy. Vergere states it is unknown if any Jedi received her message (this is revealed Anakin Skywalker received this message when he and his Jedi Knight Master Obi-Wan Kenobi went to find her on Sekot in the novel Rogue Planet). Vergere says that because of her choice to go with the Vong, she started the galactic invasion by the Vong.
Jacen and Vergere come to Mon Calamari and Jacen reunites with his friends and family in a vacation given by Admiral Traest Kre'fey on the water planet while Vergere was being detained by New Republic Intelligence to see if she were a spy for the Yuuzhan Vong. All of Jacen's friends and family, including Jaina, Luke, Mara Jade Skywalker, Han and Leia, all hate Vergere for torturing him back in Traitor. Vergere also reveals she avoided revealing her Force potential to the Vong yammosks by using her mastery in Force potential to hide her Force abilities and even rearrange molecules for different purposes, which is how she created her healing tears that cured Mara of her coomb spore disease earlier in the series. The wise old Jedi even gives Luke her opinion that the Yuuzhan Vong actually do exist in the Force, but they are out of every Force-sensitive's perception to sense them. It is also revealed that Danni Quee and her team of scientists have found a DNA pattern in all Vong-formed life, even the Vong themselves for that matter, have a special pattern that makes them invisible from the Force.Commander Dif Scaur of the Republic used this knowledge to create a secret project called Alpha Red which is an airborne virus that will only kill the Vong and all the life they created with their bioengineering.
Meanwhile, on Yuuzhan'tar, after Jacen's manipulation of the planet's World Brain, the Vong themselves are having trouble adapting to their new environment. The Bothans have declared ar'krai, a total state of war, against the Vong, meaning the Bothans won't stop killing the Vong until the invaders are all dead to the last individual. Nom Anor's agents learn that if Cal Omas is elected Chief of State of the New Republic, he will establish a new Jedi Order that will make a bigger threat for the Vong. So Anor sends two of his agents to assassinate Cal, but the plot is foiled by Mara Jade Skywalker who happened to have been investigating for Vong infiltrators using Yuuzhan Vong Hunter technology from Lando Calrissian and Talon Karrde of the Smugglers' Alliance. Lando and Karrde also manage to blackmail most of the Senate into cancelling their votes for Fyor Rodan and make them vote for Cal Omas by threatening them into revealing their corruption to the public. With Omas now as Chief of State, he manages to make the military on good terms with the Senate since the military was planning on mutiny against the Republic for all the losses they've taken in the war. The Jedi Council is also reestablished with half the members Jedi and the other half good trusting members from the Senate and military, so it is established as the High Council. At this time, Scaur reveals his Alpha Red project, and Admiral Ackbar, now old and dying with Winter Celchu taking care of him, returns with a plan to wipe out the Vong.
Han and Leia's attempts at getting the Empire to join with the New Republic fails in one meeting with Admiral Pallaeon. Supreme Overlord Shimrra is heavily displeased with the discomforts created by the World Brain and has Master Shaper Ch'Gang Hool executed for his incompetence, and is angered by Tsavong Lah at the heavy casualties the Vong took in the war so far, so he tells Lah to have the Vong hold back on major offenses until they can repopulate, and has all warriors sixteen years or older reproduce. The Vong Shamed Ones are also beginning to have a new, blasphemous faith against the Vong by believing that the Jedi will be their saviors. Hence, Nom Anor begins to investigate the new blasphemous religion while Shimrra states that the Shamed Ones should learn that the Jedi won't save them, but if they won't listen, they should be killed on contact.
Jaina manages to train the rookies that have decided to join the fight against the Vong very well, and when Ackbar reveals his plan to destroy the Vong, he finds out about a hidden Imperial fortress in the Deep Core of the galaxy known as Tarkin's Fang in the Ebaq system. There, on the gas giant of Ebaq's ninth moon, Ebaq 9, there is an old abandoned factory the Empire was saving up in crucial times in its war against the Rebellion more than two decades earlier. Ackbar plans to lure the Vong there using bait they can't resist in capturing or killing. Later, Cal Omas decides that Jaina, Jacen and all the other Jedi who survived the Mission to Myrkr (not including Ganner Rhysode, who died in the previous novel) be promoted to full Jedi Knights in a public ceremony. Those who died at Myrkr, including Anakin Solo, are remembered, and every one of the Jedi apprentices are knighted, especially Jaina, whom Luke declares the Sword of the Jedi, the bravest Jedi ever. After all the Jedi are knighted, Vergere learns of Scaur's Alpha Red project and sabotages it, then escapes Mon Calamari to an unknown location. Vergere's sabotaging is realized by New Republic Intelligence, and Jacen is called through the Force by Vergere to Kashyyyk. Vergere asks for Jacen's help to find a place in the galaxy where the New Republic can't find her, but this plan is foiled when Jacen realizes that it is now the new Jedi Knights' top priority to find Vergere and capture her. And while Jacen keeps Vergere's presence a secret from everyone else, he leads Admiral Kre'fey's fleets into battle and tries to teach Tahiri Veila how to sense Yuuzhan Vong since she was captured and experimented by them back on Yavin IV. Jaina, Lowbacca and Tesar Sabatyne, as well as their pilot teams are placed on Ebaq 9 as bait for the Vong.
Meanwhile, as the New Republic reforms itself as the Galactic Alliance, Nom Anor, disguising himself as a lower-class worker on Yuuzhan'tar, figures out that the eighth cortex of Vong-life shaping doesn't exist and Supreme Overlord Shimrra hired Nen Yim and a team of her shaper caste to actually create the eighth cortex. Also, the Republic finds out it has Vong spies among them so they trick Nom Anor's agents into making them think the Vong aren't being baited to Ebaq 9 and promises to Shimrra if the Vong are lead into a trap that will result in an epic catastrophe, Nom Anor will die. So five large squadrons, lead by Tsavong Lah himself, attack Ebaq 9, but during the resulting battle where Jaina's forces fight back, they are aided by the Smugglers' Alliance, lead by Han and Leia Organa Solo, and other New Republic divisions. While Luke Skywalker persuades Garm Bel Iblis into joining the Battle of Ebaq 9 from Fondor, a large portion of the Vong forces are destroyed in the battle, and Tsavong Lah realizes if he keeps on having the Vong fight the New Republic, they would all die. Meanwhile, Nom Anor becomes aware of the results of the battle from Yuuzhan'tar and escapes from impending doom he promised Shmirra. Back on Ebaq 9, Lah commands most of his remaining members of the squadrons to attack Ebaq 9, with the other Vong to retreat to preserve their lives for the future of the war, as the voxyn he brought with him to the battle tell him about Jedi being on the moon. The Republic does its best to hold the Vong off the moon, but the invaders get through and hunt down Jaina, Lowbacca and Tesar, as well as all the surviving pilots in their squadrons that made it out of the battle alive. Most of Tsavong Lah's retreating ships are killed by New Republic forces participating outside the battle. Jacen, who leads the Jedi meld into Vong battles on Admiral Kre'fey capital ship, Ralroost, realizes about Jaina's danger and goes against Kre'fey's orders to fly to the moon to help Jaina and her comrades escape. Vergere fails to stop Jacen from taking his X-wing to the moon, and Tsavong Lah invites all Jedi to join in the hunt on the moon while all non-Jedi will be killed by the Vong forces if they proceed to the moon. Jacen safely lands and is hunted down by Vong forces. However, while Bel Iblis and his forces arrive in the battle, Vergere, knowing Jacen wouldn't survive in the hunt, steals an A-wing from Ralroost and crashes it onto Ebaq 9, destroying its air supply immediately and killing nearly every Yuuzhan Vong on the moon, as well as herself in the resulting explosion of the A-wing. However, before she died, she cast a Force projection of herself to Jacen to warn him about the resulting loss of air supply, so he builds a Force bubble around him that gives him his oxygen and after talking to the projection, he realizes Vergere is dead. Meanwhile, Jaina, Lowbacca, Tesar and several Republic pilots survive the air loss by quickly activating their vacuum suits.
Tsavong Lah turns out to become the only Vong survivor of the air loss since his dying warriors applied an ooglith cloaker on him that let him survive the air loss and fall unconscious. He woke up, wounding Lowbacca and sticking Jaina, Lowbacca and Tesar in blorash jelly, and this results into a fight between Jaina and Lah. The battle ends as Jaina defeats and kills Lah by impaling her lightsaber through his throat while Tesar was treating Lowbacca's wounds. Later, many days after the Battle of Ebaq 9, Jaina is the last one to return to the newly-formed Galactic Alliance and reunites with her friends and family. Her last words in the novel being that "being the Sword of the Jedi really stinks." The final scene of the book has Shimrra place a death mark on Nom Anor for Yuuzhan Vong to hunt him down and kill him after the disaster at Ebaq 9, and the novel finally closes with Shimrra and his Shamed One underling, Onimi, laughing maniacally after they both realize they have to redouble their efforts in defeating the New Republic since Ebaq.