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Literature: Dark Rendezvous
Yoda: Dark Rendezvous is a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel by Sean Stewart. Set thirty months after the Battle of Geonosis, Count Dooku sends a message to Master Yoda, saying that he's tired of this. Like a prodigal son, he'd like to go home. Being Count Dooku, he sends this in the form of Jai Maruk, a Jedi he didn't let Ventress kill, and the lightsaber of a Jedi he did. Yoda being Yoda, he decides to go see, taking other Jedi in case this is a trap.

A Weak, but Skilled young Jedi apprentice, Scout, conscious of how close she is to being cast out of the Jedi into the Agricultural Corps, takes on all of the other Padawans in a tournament and wins, taking advantage of their unwillingness to seriously hurt her and the fact that a training lightsaber won't cut her to pieces. This lands her a spot as the Padawan of Jai Maruk, who's going with Yoda.

Another Padawan, Born Winner Whie Malreaux, also comes with his Master. The Count's holed up in his family home, and a pair of Malreaux family droids want him back.

Tropes

  • Bad Boss: Darth Sidious embodies this trope, in a spectacular combination of Mean Boss, Manipulative Bastard, and For the Evulz, as he plays sadistic and cloying mind games with Dooku throughout the novel.
  • Badass Grandpa:
    • Dooku not only holds his own against Yoda but brings Ventress to her knees by lifting one finger.
    • Yoda lays waste to Ventress's droids, uses the Force to seal a hole against the vacuum of space, and drives Dooku to retreat in their final duel.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Chateau Malreaux. Also a name to run away from, since "Malreaux" is only a few letters away from "malheureux", which is French for "unhappiness".
  • Born Winner: Whie Malreaux is said to be just one step below Anakin Skywalker in terms of potential, but carries it better - pays more attention to detail, doesn't show as much pride or temper.
  • Breaking Speech: Yoda and Count Dooku get duelling speeches that also serve as each other's Shut Up, Hannibal!. A
  • Cassandra Truth: Both Whirry and Ventress warn Dooku that Sidious is eventually going to eventually screw him over.
  • Choke Holds: Weak, but Skilled Padawan Scout has a particular move where she can grab someone's throat, cut off the blood flow, and render them unconscious in seconds without permanently damaging them. She uses it in Padawan tournaments to great effect.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Scout.
  • Cool Old Guy: YODA.
  • Death World: Vjun, which is steeped in the Dark Side thanks to an atrocity that killed everyone on the planet and rendered most of it otherwise uninhabitable anyway.
  • Determinator: Scout is weak in the Force, but refuses to fail. She's kind of the Jedi Batman - Scout makes up for her weak, unreliable powers by training harder than anyone else, at everything, and by the time the tournament comes around she's studied all of the other Padawans and made plans for how to take them down. She's spent time burning herself with her own lightsaber in order to get used to the pain.
  • The Dreaded: Sidious to Dooku, Ventress to the Jedi Order at large—especially the Padawans.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Whirry Malreaux.
  • Flaw Exploitation: A good part of how Scout wins.
  • Foreshadowing: Common in Prequel-era books. Obi-Wan knows Anakin has someone back on Coruscant and covers for him, though he knows Anakin won't thank him for it later. Dooku's housekeeper Whirry offhandedly foresees Dooku's demise as "death from a high place" and "the easy destruction of a faithful servant", which is mentioned again by Ventress when she tells the Count that Sidious will kill him when he's not useful anymore. Master Maruk, saddled with Scout as a Padawan, thinks that she's incredibly brave and determined but will probably be dead in six months - the book is set exactly six months before Revenge of the Sith.
    • Ironically, Scout does survive Order 66, getting rescued by the Mandalorians.
  • Go Out with a Smile
  • The Greatest Story Never Told:
    "Nobody would ever know how close Jai had come to giving in to the Dark Side. Nobody but Maks would ever know he had resisted at the end. In a few minutes they would both be dead, and to the universe, his choice would make no difference at all. To Jai Maruk, it meant everything. For the next thirty seconds he fought more beautifully than he had in his life, and when Asajj finally cut him down, he was smiling.
  • Guns Akimbo: When Anakin and Obi-Wan arrive at Vjun, the former leaps out of their ship and attacks a squad of battle droids in this way. Considering that he has a lightsaber, this is a rather odd thing for him to do.
  • Heel Face Door Slam: Dooku seriously contemplates turning back to the Light and Yoda makes a serious effort to convince him to do so. Spoiler- he doesn't.
  • I Know You Know I Know: The premise of the novel. Dooku has set a trap for Yoda under the pretense that he wants to return to the Light Side, or is at least willing to negotiate. Yoda knows its a trap but goes in the hope that he can turn him anyway, since as Qui-Gon puts it "He thinks he's lying" and really does sort of regret becoming an evil Sith Lord. Of course, Dooku knows that Yoda will know its a trap and knows that Yoda only comes because he wants to turn him, and in turn Dooku wants to turn Yoda to the Dark Side and possibly justify himself to his old master, since he secretly sort-of knows that he really does want to turn back to the good guys...
  • Jerkass: Darth Sidious, more than usual. Jai Maruk, Mace Windu, and Padawan Hanna to a lesser extent.
  • Last-Second Chance: For Dooku to perform a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Dooku, Ventress, Scout, and Sidious all have their moments.
    • In her battles with Pax and Whie, Scout exploits their kindness to win the contest. Dooku exploits both Yoda's eagerness to end the war and their personal history to lure him to Vjun. Sidious exploits Dooku's jealousy of Anakin by sending Anakin to support Yoda, ensuring that Dooku will be too angry to return to the Jedi. And Ventress exploits Whie's affection for Scout and Fidelis during their confrontation.
  • Mood Whiplash: This novel gets silly at times. And then Ventress and her assassin droids storm in and start killing people to get at our main cast.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Vjun seems to specialize in these. The Chateau Malreaux, built across the Bay of Tears from the city of Bitter End, right next to the mouth of the River Weeping? Best vacation spot EVER!
  • Neck Lift / Neck Snap: Not quite, but Scout is an expert at pressure points and hand-to-hand; she has a perfectly-practiced throat grab that cuts off her opponent's blood and makes them fall unconscious in ten seconds. Invariably.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Thanks to nudging from Palpatine, Anakin and Obi-Wan go to try and help Yoda. Count Dooku learns of this while in the middle of deciding which Master he should ultimately follow, knowing that Sidious will discard him eventually and Yoda will forgive, and when he finds out he and Yoda stop debating and start fighting. Of course, Palpatine is Sidious, so this is possibly a subversion, not so much because the Big Bad instigated it as because Dooku might have deduced who really sent them (then or later) and knew that Sidious was reminding him just how tight the leash is.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Maks Leem, a Gran Jedi who goes with Yoda, doesn't like how the Jedi seem to be moving away from being peacekeepers and towards being soldiers. She often waxes nostalgic about how the students used to have time for gardening, hand-mending their robes, and games; now they have to spend all that time on hand-to-hand combat, small-unit tactical training, and military infiltration exercises.
  • Not So Different: Dooku suggests that this may be the reason he dislikes Anakin to Yoda.
  • Oh Crap: Dooku gets one of these when he gets just a glimpse of what it might be like if YODA ever went to the dark side.
  • Overly Long Name: Tallisibeth Enwandung-Esterhazy. No wonder people call her Scout.
  • Please Don't Leave Me
  • Prophecy Twist: Whie knows he'll be killed by a Jedi, and that he'll be surprised. He thinks this means that he'll go to the Dark Side and someone he knows will kill him. Really he gets killed by Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker in the Jedi Temple, as witnessed by Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Well, for Whie Malreaux, anyway. They're described as terrifying - while he's dreaming, he's stuck in his future-self's head, and says it's like being buried alive in his own body. Sometimes the panic is strong enough to wake him up.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Invoked by Scout, who makes up for her lack of strength in the Force by doing things her opponents don't expect, such as grabbing their (training) lightsaber by the blade.
  • Shout-Out: The character of Evan Chan is a reference to a murder victim in the Alternate Reality Game The Beast (used to promote the movie A. I.: Artificial Intelligence), for which Stewart was the head writer.
  • Tearjerker: The scene where Master Maruk dies.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Scout is this trope.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ventress warns Dooku that Sidious will eventually pull this on him. He doesn't listen.

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alternative title(s): Dark Rendezvous
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