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Literature / Dark Nest Trilogy

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"Bugs! Why did it have to be bugs?"
Han Solo

A Star Wars Legends novel trilogy. Featuring:

The Killik, an insectoid race capable of absorbing non-Killik species into their Hive Mind via brainwashing. They launch an invasion on Chiss territory, prompting the Chiss Ascendency to retaliate with aid from the Galactic Alliance. When the Jedi get involved, a number of them are brainwashed by the Killik into becoming Joiners. Luke and Mara's son, Ben Skywalker, also begins growing up and developing as a character in this series.

Written by Troy Denning, this trilogy is noticeably bloodier than most Star Wars Legends books.


This work has examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: Jacen uses the Force to obliterate Hapan Queen Mother Ta'a Chume's mind to protect Tenel Ka and their daughter. Ta'a previously tried to sabotage the Hapes Consortium's joining the New Republic, had her Dathomiri daughter-in-law poisoned during the Yuuzhan Vong War, and then hired the Dark Nest to have Tenel Ka killed. No great loss.
  • Big Bad: The Dark Nest, led by Lomi Plo.
  • Bigger Is Better: The Killik ships are kilometers long, understandably dwarfing the Galactic Alliance and Chiss ships.
  • Bug War: Unsurprisingly.
  • Bus Crash: Chak Fel, one of Soontir Fel's sons, a pilot who gets angry about injustice and knows when to put aside his pride and who is just generally awesome, is casually mentioned to have died in a war that's now over.
  • Covers Always Lie: Luke doesn't use Force lightning (or it’s Light-affiliated variant Electric Judgment) in The Swarm War.
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  • Credits Gag: In the Dramatis Personae for The Swarm War, Lomi Plo is listed as "Lomi Plo: Gorog Queen (female human. . . mostly)". She's had numerous Killik parts grafted on to her body, some to compensate for injuries, some apparently just for fun (like an extra set of arms).
  • Darker and Edgier: Arguably marks the start of a growing trend towards this in the SWEU.
  • The Dragon: Welk, later Alema.
  • Discount Lesbians: Zekk's interesting thoughts about Jag when Joined to Jaina.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: The Gorog lay their eggs inside of prisoners and let the larvae eat their way out of their unfortunate victims. The other Killiks are noted to be disgusted and horrified by this.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Alema had been skirting the edge of the dark side ever sense her sister got killed in Star By Star, but here she crosses over to it for good.
  • Forever War: Jacen sees a vision of one between the Killiks and the Galactic Alliance. He uses this to justify preventing it by being a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Alema Rar, a Twi'lek Jedi who had a Start of Darkness in Star By Star and becomes one of the Jedi Joiners. Luke expels her from the order over her behavior and she ends up becoming a recurring minor villain before ultimately (apparently) being Eaten Alive by a critter.
  • Hive Caste System: There are a number of different types of Killik, many of them radically different in appearance and tactics. While each type is connected mentally, they apparently have a different Hive Mind for each type, and so when the Jedi Joiners are sent to assist a different type, they find their Joiner-ness weakening. Being Joiners, this horrifies them.
  • Hive Mind: Killiks, and the Joiners who get absorbed into it.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Zekk, hiveminded with Jaina, agrees with her feelings towards Jag.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The first two books are The Joiner King and The Unseen Queen; the third is The Swarm War. Also all three begin with a definite article.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The 'logic' that any Killik uses absolutely reeks of this. Especially because they're being unconsciously manipulated by Dark Jedi Lomi Plo.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: A Jedi variant. Luke realizes that between her experiences in the previous war and the Killiks, Alema Rar is too far gone to save, and takes her lightsaber from her and removes the crystal from the hilt to disable it. She insists she'll replace it, and he calmly tells her he'll do the same to her next one, and the one after that.
  • Longest Pregnancy Ever: Invoked by Tenel Ka when Jacen gets her pregnant. She uses the Force to stretch the pregnancy out to twelve months to keep the fact that Jacen is the father from her Decadent Court.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Killiks get splattered across the landscape with alarming frequency.
  • Mind Rape:
    • Jacen does this to Ta'a Chume after she's implicated in the Dark Nest's assassination attempt against Tenel Ka and their daughter, obvious Foreshadowing of his fall to the dark side in the next series.
    • Lomi Plo and the Dark Nest do a low-key version of this to the entire Killik species. Including Raynar Thul.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Alema Rar. In every single scene she's in, special attention is paid to describing how sexy her wardrobe is, even in a hazmat suit (which is two sizes too small, so it clings to her like a second skin). At one point, she shows up in a Killik-silk outfit that is completely sheer, except for one solid panel. . . over the wound she took in the previous book.
  • Predation Is Natural: At the end of book one the Killiks settle a world that turns out to have a native organism that attacks them. The Alliance ultimately seeds this organism onto the Killiks' other planets as a way of keeping their population under control and preventing further conflicts.
  • OOC Is Serious Business/Precision F-Strike: Luke Skywalker, of all people, drops the EU standby "kriffing" out of frustration at one point.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Luke Skywalker, torture victim, advocating torture.
  • Shadow Archetype: The Dark Nest is this to the whole Killik species.
  • Shout-Out: To Raiders of the Lost Ark. "Bugs. Why did it have to be bugs?"
  • Start of Darkness: Jacen becomes a Well-Intentioned Extremist in this series, setting him up for Legacy of the Force.
  • That's No Moon!: Han comes within spitting distance of quoting himself when he, Luke, Juun, and Tarfang stumble upon the Killik nest ship fleet.
  • Theme Naming: "Killik" is a palindrome. All Killik species have palindrome names, from Aebea to Yoggoy.
  • The Virus: Joiners are victims of this from the Killik.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The Jedi who become Joiners think that the bugs are awesome and hiveminds are awesome and Chiss are meanies for not, you know, letting the bugs take over. The New Republic is also wrong, for not supporting them one hundred percent. And of course, the Killiks couldn't possibly slow down their reproductive rate and remove the exponentially increasing overpopulation problem and the constant food crises. That's the only reason why they're invading, of course.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: Averted. The Chiss show Leia a camera feed of Han getting his ear cut off, but he's not being tortured at all. In fact, Han breaks into the room Leia's in, sees "himself", and quips about it.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Han of course
  • You Can't Go Home Again:
    • The Killiks, since Wilhuff Tarkin blasted Oroboro to asteroids. An explanation might be required: Oroboro is the Killik name for Alderaan.
    • Jagged Fel is banished from Chiss society because of the damages Lowbacca inflicted while under custody.
      • Not so much the damage he did while in custody, but the fact that he was released under a promise that he would stay out of the fighting... and then joined Jacen in the assault on the Chiss base that started the war.
  • Zerg Rush: The primary Killik tactic; they're described as dying in the millions when facing entrenched enemies.