Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Jedi Academy Trilogy

Go To
The Jedi Academy Trilogy is a set of books in the Star Wars Legends. The three books, Jedi Search, Dark Apprentice and Champions of the Force, were written by Kevin J. Anderson starting in 1994; in 1998, Michael Stackpole of X-Wing Series fame wrote I, Jedi, but we'll get to that in a bit. It should also be noted that in 1995 Anderson wrote Darksaber, a semi-sequel to the Jedi Academy Trilogy, which we talk about over here.

The Jedi Academy Trilogy deals with Luke Skywalker and a couple of quasi-Jedi, with training even more incomplete than his, setting up a Jedi Academy on Yavin IV, seeking to train a selection of Force-Sensitives including, most promisingly, a prideful leader from a dying world, who rants about a "dark man", attacks Luke, is not reprimanded, and then is found burned to death in his room.

Meanwhile, Han and Chewbacca are sent to the prison world Kessel, where they pick up a lucky, prideful young man named Kyp Durron, escape with him, and find their way to the Maw, a secret Imperial installation where superweapons were designed and made. There they steal the Sun Crusher, a tiny indestructible ship that can blow up stars, and break out, in the meantime cluing in the Maw's carefully isolated defensive armadas to the fact that the Rebellion has won. The leader of the Maw's forces is Natasi Daala, characterized by being a rare woman in the Imperial military, by being prideful, by getting as far as she did by being Tarkin's lover, and by being wildly incompetent.


While Daala wages war, Kyp is brought to Yavin to pitch the Sun Crusher into a gas giant, and it turns out he is Force-Sensitive. Extremely so, in fact. The dark man begins training him. Turns out the dark man is the long-dead spirit of Exar Kun, Dark Lord of the Sith, who has been trapped on Yavin for four thousand years. After snapping at a student who is filking about one of Exar Kun's Jedi opponents and generally being a jerk, Kyp waits until Mara Jade swings by, steals her ship, yanks the Sun Crusher out of its gas giant, and flies away in it, supposedly to fight Daala, destroying entire systems in the process. At some point Luke is put into a sort of coma, able to astral-project but not able to speak to anyone.

Kyp, looking for his brother, swings by the Imperial training academy, a world with twenty-five million inhabitants, and makes its star go supernova when they tell him his brother is dead. Turns out his brother was still alive, was being the operative word, as the supernova weapon is irreversible and Kyp's brother got caught in the blast seconds before Kyp could save him. Oops.


Han Solo tracks Kyp down and Kyp threatens him while Exar Kun moves openly, influencing one of the students to try to kill Luke. The other students stop him, then apparently destroy Exar Kun. With Kun's influence removed, Kyp suddenly realizes how far off the deep end he's gone. Kyp surrenders to Han, then they go to the Maw and pitch the Sun Crusher into a black hole where it really can't be retrieved, drawing the Death Star prototype into the same black hole in the process. Then Kyp is shuttled back to the Jedi Academy to continue his training.

I, Jedi, as a novel, had a lot of firsts. First novel to be entirely written in first-person perspective (and the only such story in the Star Wars Legends continuity). First novel to have as its hero a character who was never featured or even mentioned in the films. First novel to directly retcon events in a previously written book. I, Jedi starts just before the beginning of the Academy Trilogy, encompasses the events of the Jedi Academy Trilogy, and extends a bit beyond.

Corran Horn, Rogue Nine, finds himself with a psychic wound when his wife vanishes while up against the Invids, an Imperial sect that includes Force-Sensitives and is supported by a gang of pirates. Luke coaxes him into being part of the new Jedi Academy, and Corran accepts after disguising himself, since as Corran he's mildly famous and doesn't want extra attention. At the Academy, he is dismayed by a number of things, including the very lax discipline, Luke's refusal to tell anyone if what they are doing is wrong, his commanding officer falling for the scientist who designed the Death Star, and his own inability to move things with his mind, though as it turns out he can make people think things had moved (and he's so good at it that he could probably persuade the thing itself it's moved). He is further dismayed by Kyp, and Luke's focus on his new most promising student. The destruction of Carida is made into something horrifying and traumatic, Exar Kun's actual demise is drawn out and given a bit of thought, and Corran leaves in disgust when Kyp is welcomed back.

Then Corran goes to his homeworld, Corellia, talks things over with his grandfather, and infiltrates some of the pirates who associate with the Invids, in the meantime picking up a Camaasi who is able to straighten out his morals. Eventually he chases all of the pirates off a planet with a campaign of intimidation, faces down the Sith-influenced Jedi sect called the Jensaari alongside Luke, and saves Mirax.

These books provide examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: Exar Kun was later shown to have an epic backstory, but his ghost in the original trilogy was a rather underwhelming villain. I, Jedi upgrades him considerably, both in intelligence and power, by expanding on his role.
  • Albinos Are Freaks: In I, Jedi the albino Shistavenen female Caet Shrovl relates that she was poorly treated by her people on their home world for her condition. As she believed the Empire caused this through an experiment which they performed on her mother, she grew to loathe them for it and joined a pirate group which despised Imperials.
  • Artistic License – Space: Given how much of Yavin 4's sky Yavin fills, Four has to be tidally locked. So there should be only "Twi-night" on that side, and only ever "Truenight" on the far side.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Furgan. He poisoned Republic Chief-Of-State Mon Mothma, sabotaged Admiral Ackbar's shuttle so that it crashed into a centuries old crystal cathedral and killed dozens of Vors, and tried to kidnap the infant Anakin Solo. When caught by the good guys in the kidnapping attempt, he threatened to snap the baby's neck.
  • The Atoner: Kyp, after Exar Kun's control over him is broken.
    Luke: In dedicating his life to being a Jedi, you know Kyp is really under something of a life sentence.
    Corran: I know, and it'll be hard labor, too. Killing him wouldn't make the galaxy any better, so this is likely the best solution. Doesn't mean I like it and doesn't mean my inability to come up with a better solution isn't frustrating.
  • The Baroness: Admiral Tavira, riding crop and all.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Exar Kun doesn't feel that way, but Corran makes a pretty convincing argument of it (at least as far as the Light Side vs. the Dark Side debate is concerned).
    Corran Horn: You don't get it, do you? You've already lost and you're continuing down that losing path. Haven't the last four thousand years taught you anything?
    Exar Kun: I know more than you could ever hope to learn in four thousand years or forty thousand years.
    Corran Horn: That may be. But I know the one thing you don't. You're never going to win. You destroy those who oppose you, and what does that leave you?
    Exar Kun: The faithful.
    Corran Horn: From among whom arises a rival. You have a schism.
    Exar Kun: And I destroy the heretics.
    Corran Horn: Yes, you do. And again and again that cycle repeats itself and you let it go on because you've forgotten the most fundamental truth of reality: Life creates the Force. When Kyp destroyed Carida, he diminished your power. When you destroyed Gantoris, you diminished your power. You're a predator over-grazing your prey, but you can't stop because the dark side fills you with this aching hunger that will never be satisfied.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mara Jade interrupts Exar Kun's Mind Rape of Corran with an awesome Shut Up, Hannibal! moment.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Wedge Antilles was Qwi Xux's bodyguard. Yes, for some reason a general was the bodyguard of a high-ranking ex-Imperial scientist. In I, Jedi Corran was horrified to discover Wedge developing feelings for Qwi and Qwi returning them, since it was terribly unprofessional and he didn't think it would work out at all - actually, he shipped Wedge with his old partner Iella. Of course, when Kyp Durron decided to traumatically destroy Qwi's memories, Wedge wasn't able to stop him. They break up at the start of Aaron Allston's Starfighters of Adumar, with Wedge later marrying Iella.
  • Brick Joke: In I, Jedi, Luke and Corran muse that Mirax and Mara are very similar to each other. Corran jokingly suggests that they should make sure the two women never meet. Fast forward a few years, Mirax finally meets Mara during the latter's wedding. The two become friends fast and Mara ends up becoming Mirax's temporary flying partner, which explains her conspicuous absence at Luke's side in the Young Jedi Knights saga.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • I, Jedi has two references to Tatooine being Obi-Wan Kenobi's homeworld. While this was a reasonable inference at the time (especially given that the novelization of the first Star Wars movie identified Owen Lars as Obi-Wan's brothernote ), unfortunately for Stackpole The Phantom Menace was released only one year later and contradicted it. One of the references was indirect (Kenobi wasn't actually mentioned by name, it was just clearly implied to be him) and the other could be written off as in-universe records having mistakenly said Kenobi was a Tatooine native (the original records showing him being born on Stewjon could have been lost in the destruction of the Jedi Temple).
    • There's also the fact that the mission on which Corran's grandfather died is said to have been sent out by the Jedi shortly after the end of the Clone Wars. Of course, the prequel films released since then show that the Jedi were wiped out/driven into hiding just before the end of the Clone Wars.
    • The romance between Mara and Lando in the Jedi Academy trilogy was retconned into being a cover story in Hand of Thrawn, and given the links between I, Jedi and that duology, it's unsurprising that there's a brief nod to this Retcon in I, Jedi.
    • And of course, with the Legends retcon in April of 2014, these books in their entirety are non-canon unless referenced by a new source, and even then, only to the extent that they're referenced.
  • Caught in the Bad Part of Town: There is one part where toddlers Jacen and Jaina Solo wind up in the dark underbelly of Coruscant, where they encounter malfunctioning worker droids, cannibalistic street wraiths and various other unsavory types.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Oddly, I, Jedi has the lightsaber colors backwards - the Dark Jedi use blue ones and the Light side Jedi seem to use any color but blue. Part of that might be an example of continuity marching on: until Episode I, the idea that all Dark Jedi and Sith used exclusively red lightsabers was Word of Dante, and many fans (apparently including Stackpole) found the idea silly and arbitrary given the rainbow of colors used by light-side Jedi (and ironic considering that the Sith are treacherous and individualist, while the Jedi are so effective because of their ability to work together harmoniously).
  • Compressed Adaptation: The first act of I, Jedi is a P.O.V. Sequel covering the high points of Luke Skywalker's storyline in Dark Apprentice and Champions of the Force.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: The fact that Luke doesn't suppress the knowledge of Kyp Durron's investiture gives the anti-Jedi crowd a huge propaganda coup. Daala's also convinced everyone she encounters is secretly with the Rebellion, no matter what.
  • Continuity Nod: This exchange between Leia and Ackbar in Dark Apprentice.
    [Following an order from Ackbar to leave the shipyards entirely undefended]
    Leia: Is that wise, Admiral?
    Ackbar: No, it is a trap.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Luke walks through lava to get a prospective student to believe in his power. He's using the Force to direct the heat away from him, at least.
  • The Corrupter: Lacking a physical form and therefore very limited in his ability to influence the outside world, Exar Kun acts as this in order to manipulate other Force-sensitives toward the Dark Side so they can act as his pawns.
  • Cowboy Cop: Apparently, all Corellian Jedi and/or Security Force members are this to a certain extent.
  • Designer Babies: Done by the Khommites, who believed their society was perfect, and froze it by cloning themselves for a thousand years. This changed when the 81st clone of Dorsk was found to be Force-sensitive and left to become a Jedi, eventually bringing Khomm into the galactic war they had avoided up to that point due to their planet's isolation and lack of resources that anybody else cared about. Also they are described as being genderless, something they "forsook" when taking up cloning, though only referred to by male pronouns (it appears they mean Khommites have no biological sex, so this wouldn't preclude them identifying that way socially).
  • Didn't See That Coming: An in-universe example becomes a plot-point in I, Jedi. The New Republic is at a loss as to how Tavira and the Invids have managed to avoid every trap the Republic has set to catch them, not knowing Tavira has the Jensaari advising her by using the Force to see the future. But when Tavira leads her fleet in a raid on a shipyard, to their surprise they run into a New Republic task force (including Rogue Squadron) who just happened to be there on other unrelated business. This clues Corran into a weakness in the Jensaari's foresight; they can't predict a threat that isn't directed at them.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Corran's plan for confronting Exar Kun hinges on Kun's seeming inability to interact with the physical world, and need to act through other agents. Corran forgot that Kun had managed to short out the Holocron by himself, and Kun proceeds to do the same with the explosive device that Corran brings with him. Only then does Corran realize his mistake.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Empire's training academy world, Carida, gets blasted into its component atoms courtesy of a supernova induced by the Sun Crusher. The Death Star Prototype later tries to do this to Kessel, but its targeting system is so badly screwed up that it actually ends up destroying the planet's moon.
  • Emotion Eater: In addition to manipulating them into doing his bidding, part of the reason Exar Kun's spirit corrupts people to the Dark Side is that he is strengthened by their negative emotions.
    Kun: Anger is a most sweet nectar. Despair will also suffice.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: Variation in I, Jedi. Trainee Jedi Corran Horn has been unable to use telekinesis, a power which comes easily to most Jedi. He thinks he might be able to break through a mental barrier if he tries to do it with a huge rock, closing his eyes and really focusing. He pictures the rock rising up into the air, opens his eyes... to find the rock has stayed where it was, but everyone else is staring up in the air. He learns that his family have always been poor at telekinesis, but gifted at making illusions.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Played with in I, Jedi, ultimately subverted.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • As a Sith Lord, Exar Kun wields enormous power even 4,000 years after his death, enough that he was even able to defeat Luke Skywalker. However, it never occurs to him that while he might be far stronger than an individual Jedi, a group of them in harmony with each other can cumulatively wield a power that far surpasses his, even if many of those Jedi are still little more than students. This proves his undoing.
    • Tavira's belief that Luke Skywalker ordered the destruction of Carida was because: 1, that's what she would have done to her foes had she a Sun Crusher; and 2, grace such as Durron was shown is completely outside her understanding.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Exar Kun, oh so very much. See Who Dares? below for just one example.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: You know, when you title the last novel in your trilogy Champions of the Force, it tends to remove some of the suspense from the story.
  • A Father to His Men: Luke
  • First-Person Smartass: I, Jedi is the first book in the Star Wars Expanded Universe and only book in Star Wars Legends to be written from First-Person Perspective, and Corran isn't above making wisecracks in his narration. See the opening scene, where he snarks that the basic TIE/LN starfighter is second only to hydrogen and stupidity as the most common thing in the galaxy.
  • Fix Fic: I, Jedi is often assumed to be this, though in a blog post from 2014 Stackpole denied this, noting that he and Kevin J. Anderson were good friends and that the book wasn't intended as a "jab" against what Kevin had written.
  • For the Evulz: The reason Remart was blasting travelers.
  • General Failure: Admiral Daala, whose sole achievements are killing a few dozen refugees on Dantooine, and destroying a floating city on the Mon Calamari homeworld. Not only does this massively pale compared to what Grand Admiral Thrawn managed to achieve with only slightly more resources, even other characters with no military training whatsoever (such as Kyp Durron and Tol Sivron) manage to cause more mass-destruction in this very storyline. This went through several retcons in later material by way of explanation: The Callista Trilogy states that she was a brilliant ground combat tactician, but Tarkin made her a naval officer in order to help hide their affair from his wife, while Death Star states she suffered a traumatic brain injury during a Rebel attack on the Death Star's construction site (damage so severe she doesn't even remember most of the preceding year, including the attack itself).
  • General Ripper: Daala is a sort of hybrid of this and Colonel Kilgore. She's both a paranoid fanatic who lashes out at every little starship or planet she runs into (because they're obviously part of the Rebellion!), and a crazy sadist who just loves blowing things up.
  • The Good Chancellor: Supreme Chancellors Mon Mothma and Leia Solo.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Happens in I, Jedi, and the bad cop is Luke Skywalker himself. He plays the "bad cop" completely silently, just standing there looking intimidating while Coran pretends to be getting telepathic commands from him. And it's HILARIOUS.
    Corran: Just stay over there by the door, and look as malevolent as you can. Keep your face straight and you really don't need to say anything.
    Luke: Malevolent?
    Corran: Think Hutt, but with eyebrows.
    Luke: Got it.
  • Good Feels Good: There's a couple of moments in I, Jedi where characters describe the Light Side of The Force as feeling like every positive feeling they've ever experienced.
    It filled me up in an instant and I imagined it leaking from my eyes, nose and mouth. I wanted to shout and dance with joy because it was everything Streen had described. It was what I felt when Mirax first said she loved me. It was the scent of the perfume my mother wore, and the warm laugh my father used to have when he was proud of me. It was the hearty slap on the back from Wedge after a mission and even a touch of Whistler's triumphant serenades. It was everything that was good and right and positive and alive; and it was waiting for me to bend it to my will.
  • Grand Theft Prototype: Kyp with the Sun Crusher, complete with dealing with its designer.
  • Happily Married: Corran and Mirax.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: During I, Jedi, when a mysterious Jedi has begun wreaking havoc on the mercenary groups working for Tavira, she orders the leader of the Survivors' Bolt Squadron, Jenos Idanian (really a disguised Corran Horn), to find and deal with the Jedi. Unbeknownst to Tavira, Corran is the Jedi.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: What the New Republic decides to do with the Sun Crusher, although they picked a gas giant instead of a sun. At the end of the trilogy, Kyp hurls it into a black hole, where it cannot be retrieved from. The fairly lame suggestion by the New Republic Council that a gas giant would be good enough seemed to be deliberately implying that at least some of them were hoping that someday they'd be able to retrieve the Sun Crusher and use it against the Empire once political opposition to using an Imperial superweapon died down.
  • Informed Ability: Daala's supposedly magnificent military strategies that caught the eye of Tarkin in the past. Handwaved in two ways: she was a brilliant ground commander, so her abilities don't necessarily translate into naval command, and the Death Star novel has her suffer some brain damage during a Rebel attack.
  • Just for Pun: In I, Jedi, when the dual-phase modification on his lightsaber fails, Corran discovers the diamond he'd used for it was, in fact, a synthetic "Kubaz xurconia."
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Kyp. Called out by Corran in I, Jedi, and virtually every EU novel afterward.
    • Daala, to a lesser extent. Despite losing most of her troops and ships, at the end of the trilogy she remains at large. Later reappearances will show that she practically lives this trope.
  • Lampshading: I, Jedi is an ode to Lampshading.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: Luke Skywalker spontaneously develops the ability to walk on lava in the first book.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The planet Eol Sha, where Gantoris originates.
  • Lightbulb Joke:
    Q. How many Corellians does it take to change a glowpanel?
    A. None—if it's dark, you can't see them cheating at sabacc.
    • Apparently "Bothan and gornt" jokes are also a common joke format in the Star Wars galaxy, all of which begin with "So there was this Bothan who walked into a tapcaf with a gornt under his arm..."
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Luke has about a dozen students. While the others will get characterization in future works, only about four or five actually have a personality right now. Some of them weren't even named in the trilogy. To this day, some of them still haven't been named. This was done intentionally by Anderson so future writers could easily put in their own characters if they so choosed. It's why Stackpole was easily able to add Corran in I, Jedi.
  • Made of Indestructium: The Sun Crusher's hull is armored in a material that is, quite literally, indestructible. It's rammed through the bridge tower of an Imperial Star Destroyer and tossed into the heart of a gas giant with zero ill effects. A glancing hit from a partially charged prototype Death Star superlaser seriously damages it, though.
  • A Million Is a Statistic:
    • Kyp Durron used the Sun Crusher to kill a lot of people. But one of those was his brother, he feels bad about that, Han talked him out of being evil, and he almost died sticking the Sun Crusher into a black hole, so... let's bring him back to the Jedi Academy and work on that temper! In I, Jedi, this is what finally drives Corran Horn to quit. Pretty much every other book in the EU to have Kyp has his Karma Houdini brought up, and Kyp himself becomes The Atoner.
    • Since Carida was an Imperial planet and a major Stormtrooper training center, it explains why many in the New Republic weren't all that dismayed by its destruction. Particularly given that the Caridan ambassador had just shortly before attempted to assassinate the New Republic Chief of State (though they did not know that at the time). However, since the Jedi felt the deaths of the planet's millions of inhabitants in excruciating detail, including all the civilian population, some of them were less inclined to be so forgiving. It isn't like everyone on an entire planet is involved with stormtrooper training, after all.
  • Mind Rape: Kyp does this to Qwi. Despite the trauma, she actually ends up seeing it as a good thing, because it erases her knowledge of superweapons like the Death Star, ensuring that she can never be forced to design another one.
  • More Than Mind Control: Kyp isn't possessed or fully controlled by Exar Kun, but his mind is definitely warped and heavily influenced by him. When Kun is wiped out for good, Kyp is described as dropping like a puppet with its strings cut. Corran points out in I, Jedi that if Kyp had been under Kun's complete control, Luke would be dead.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kyp, once confronted by Han.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Lampshaded by Han when Qwi Xux attempts to claim that the Death Star and World Devastators were designed for peaceful applications, like asteroid mining. Han points out that if that were the case, they probably wouldn't have had words like "death" or "devastator" in their names. Corran also points this out to Wedge in I, Jedi, doubting that Qui was quite as clueless as she claims.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Exar Kun wasn't dormant, precisely, since he bred monsters, but an academy of semi-trained Jedi was exactly what the pharmacist prescribed to get him back into intergalactic affairs.
    • Luke should have kept Kyp Durron's investiture as quiet as possible; the Jedi might have had a few more allies when the Vong came along.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: Possibly as a result of a Series Continuity Error. Iella and Corran go out for lunch before he leaves for the Jedi Academy, and she orders a dish made from mynocks (those bat-things inside the space slug in The Empire Strikes Back). Other material establishes mynocks as Silicon-Based Life, which would almost certainly be inedible to humans.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup:
  • Oh, Crap!: Corran gloats to Kun's spirit that since he's already set explosives to destroy his temple, there's nothing Kun can do to stop him because as a ghost he can't affect anything physical (such as the bombs). Kun takes great pleasure in demonstrating that he can in fact influence the physical world (though with great difficulty), especially inside his temple which is what his spirit has been anchored to all along.
    Exar Kun: Ah, then I cannot do this. (Kun melts all the bombs' detonators.)
    Corran: Ooops.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
    • Kyp Durron, a powerful young Jedi who once got either possessed or heavily influenced by an ancient and very evil ghost, and who then fished out an indestructible superweapon that had been dropped into the heart of a gas giant and proceeded to use it to cause a supernova that destroyed a rather populated planet. He was then very quickly and easily brought back into the light and put the superweapon into a black hole, then got off basically scot-free in the trilogy where he originally featured. Basically every book to feature him since then has called him on it, particularly I, Jedi, a sort of Fix Fic trying to get the trilogy to make sense, where the main character leaves in disgust after this mass-murderer is welcomed back into the Jedi Academy for training. Other books paint Kyp as the perpetual Atoner, having it and his lack of punishment constantly brought up.
    • Sometimes (including in I, Jedi) the death toll of Kyp's attack is vastly exaggerated, because apparently killing a few million people isn't bad enough; it's necessary to falsely claim he killed billions so that it can be put on the same level as the destruction of Alderaan (bonus fail points: said destruction is attributed to Darth Vader instead of the man who actually did it, Grand Moff Tarkin). The fact that the majority of the population were Imperial soldiers also tends to be ignored. Of course, Kyp himself doesn't consider that much of a comfort, given that many of those soldiers (including his own brother) were conscripts. And to make it worse, from New Jedi Order onward, Kyp is a Jerkass who's no longer interested in atoning for his sins.
  • Orbital Bombardment:
    • In Dark Apprentice Daala uses her three remaining ISDs for a terror attack on Mon Calamari before a gambit by Admiral Ackbar costs her a second star destroyer and forces her to retreat.
    • In I, Jedi, Corran tells Tycho that if the Jedi apprentices are defeated, to convince Ackbar to order orbital bombardment of Exar Kun's temple, as that would the only way to destroy it while staying far enough way to be safe from mental influence by Kun's spirit.
  • Orphaned Setup: Wedge's joke, "So a Bothan walks into a bar with a gornt under his arm," because Luke's using the joke as a distraction to put Corran in a meditative trance for a mind probe. Lampshaded later by Iella, who's apparently heard several variations on that joke in New Republic Intelligence (given their penchant for espionage, NRI has more than its share of Bothans), but naturally doesn't tell us any of them.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: For obvious reasons, when Corran goes undercover with the Invids in I, Jedi, he starts encouraging the other pirates to practice this to promote cooperation in the future. While a few of the pirates are in it more For the Evulz, most of them recognize the potential of this racket and end up accepting a legitimate security contract at the end of the novel.
    • Later, when the pirate gang has to fight its way out of a confrontation with the New Republic Navy, Corran convinces the crew's leader that they should use ion cannons to disable the Republic fighters... because some forces will have to be diverted to rescue the pilots, distracting them from chasing after the Invids.
    Corran: Yeah, a refueling station might blow up really pretty, and might even set half a city on fire, but that's not the objective here. Look, you can kill a woolly-nerf and make a coat out of its skin, or you can shear the beast's coat and come back year after year for more wool. We play this right, six months from now we show up in the system, send a list of demands and they'll freighter the loot out to us.
  • Pride: You may have noticed that many of the characters introduced for the trilogy are prideful.
  • Posthumous Character: Exar Kun's been dead for 4,000 years. But that doesn't stop him from causing trouble for Luke and his students.
  • Ramming Always Works:
    • The method used by Han Solo, once he has stolen the Sun Crusher, to deal with one of Daala's Imperial Star Destroyers, that is blocking their escape path of the Maw.
    • How Ackbar fends off an attack on Mon Calamari by Daala, using the (unmanned and barely finished) new Mon Calamari cruiser Startide.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: One interpretation of Daala being given command of the Maw Installation is that it's legitimate recognition of her command abilities. Another is that Tarkin pulled strings to give his mistress a good assignment. A third is this trope, where Tarkin, having had his fun, shuffles his now ex-mistress off to the most secret and remote posting he can find.
  • Retcon:
    • I, Jedi was the first novel in the modern EU to directly retcon events of an earlier novel, mainly by establishing that Corran Horn studied at Yavin IV under Luke over the course of Dark Apprentice and Champions of the Force (neither he nor his alias Kieran Halcyon was ever mentioned in the earlier trilogy because Stackpole hadn't even created the character yet). Later Legends material filled in all but two of Luke's Original Twelve (there are are at least four possible candidates for the remaining two).
    • I, Jedi had to be retconned by David Sherman and Dan Cragg's Jedi Trial after the prequels contradicted some of the timing in the Halcyon/Horn family tree, a common problem for pre-Phantom Menace novels.
  • Reverse Grip: The leader of the Jensaari grips her lightsaber in a two-handed variant, with one hand on the grip and the other grasping the pommel, allowing her to lever the blade around by its end using the grip hand as a fulcrum.
  • Safely Secluded Science Center: The Maw Installation, a top-secret Imperial research centre for the development of new Superweapons. It's a Space Station hidden in a black hole cluster, accessible only along classified safe routes; this also keeps the more naive scientists from learning what their research projects are really being used for.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: When Kyp destroyed the Carida star system by causing its sun to go nova, he killed 25 million people. Even if Carida was the only inhabited body in the entire system, that's still a very small number for a planetary population above a bronze-age level. For comparison, as of 2019, New York state alone had a population of almost 20 million. While Carida is described as being quite inhospitable (this being precisely why the Empire chose it for a Stormtrooper training facility), it also had a native non-human population who presumably would be well-adapted enough to their own planet's conditions to produce a larger population than that. Originally, it was "billions" who perished, which sounds more plausible. The lower number comes from sourcebook fluff, and may have been intended to mitigate the backlash against Kyp's actions.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Exar Kun.
  • Seduction-Proof Marriage: At the transition between Acts II and III of I, Jedi, Leonia Tavira tries to seduce Corran Horn, who's gone undercover in her Space Pirate gang to find his wife Mirax. He is massively tempted, briefly tries to rationalize it, then decides it's the Dark Side of the Force talking. But Tavira's made it clear she wants him as her boytoy and won't take "no" for an answer long-term (despite his cover story including a committed relationship), so Corran accelerates his plans to break up her pirate alliance.
  • Self-Deprecating Humor: Corran is badass enough to weaponize it. When a rival from another pirate squadron tries insulting Corran's wingman while he's undercover, Corran deflects it back at him. The rival states that it's typical of Corellians to speak before they think, and Corran launches into an epic recitation of a variety of Corellian-specific barbs the rival could have said instead, culminating in the "light-bulb joke" mentioned above. Corran then No Sells the guy's first punch, insults him again, and knocks him flat on his ass when the rival tries to attack a second time.
  • Sleeping Their Way to the Top: Often taken as the reason why Daala became Admiral. It's kind of confirmed in Death Star, where she's Tarkin's lover and he privately believes that the boost he gave her career is just enough to get her past the difficulties female Imperials have in the military. She takes brain damage in that novel. Even in this trilogy, it's noted that Daala and Tarkin were having an affair, and that he gave her the Maw assignment personally, either as genuine recognition of her ability, a result of this trope, or because he was done with her and wanted her as out-of-the-way as physically possible.
  • Smug Snake: Ambassador Furgan, Moruth Doole, Tol Sivron. Daala's one too.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Back in X-Wing: The Bacta War, smuggler chieftain Booster Terrik, Corran Horn's father-in-law, managed to capture an Imperial-class star destroyer with a lot of subterfuge and a bit of luck, naming it the Errant Venture and turning it into a mobile trade port and casino (the New Republic agreed to let him keep it on condition that most of its armaments were removed). In I, Jedi, Corran visits the Venture to get help returning to Corellia (where he has an active arrest warrant), and finds that the star destroyer has become something of The Alleged Starship: turns out Booster significantly underestimated how much it costs to keep a ship that size in proper repair.
  • Sword and Fist: Corran challenges Luke to a lightsaber duel prior to leaving the academy. Thanks to his prior hand-to-hand experience, he is able to use other techniques against Luke to turn the fight to his advantage. Luke actually picks up on this and makes use of such techniques upon later coming to Corran's aid.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Corran Horn delivers one to Exar Kun in I, Jedi. He gives another to Luke over Kyp Durron, although he does apologize for some of it later.
    • And so, much more devastatingly, does Mara Jade against Kun.
      Ysanne Isard would've had you analyzed, digitized and discarded without a second thought, and she wasn't even Force-sensitive. Darth Vader would've found you amusingly quaint, and the Emperor... well, the Emperor actually succeeded in destroying the Jedi, so he'd see you as the very definition of failure!
  • Three-Act Structure: I, Jedi. Act I consists of Corran's time at the Jedi Academy, ending with him quitting over frustration with Luke letting Kyp Durron be a Karma Houdini. Act II is Corran traveling to Corellia to learn about his family history and then joining Tavira's pirate alliance undercover. Act III? Corran becomes a Force-powered Vigilante Man, smashes up the alliance from the inside, and then smokes out the Sith offshoot sect that is helping Tavira evade the New Republic Defense Force.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: A nonstandard example: Stackpole wrote I, Jedi at the same time that Timothy Zahn was writing The Hand of Thrawn, and collaborated to share characters and toss Call Forwards and Call Backs to each other, making Hand of Thrawn in effect a two-part Distant Sequel to Stackpole's novel. In publication order, Specter of the Past came out first, then I, Jedi, then Vision of the Future.
  • Villain Decay: Exar Kun was a far more effective villain in the Tales of the Jedi comics. The fact that he was alive in those comics probably helped.
  • We Will Not Use Stage Makeup In The Future:
    • Averted. Disguising his identity, Corran grows a beard and uses hair dye. Hair dye which he initially misuses, making all of his hair green and forcing him to call his old partner for help.
    • It gets better. The hair dye is actually a gel which is slathered on all over the body to get all the hair, such as eyebrows and the stuff on your arms. But Corran didn't do it in stages, and left it too long, and he turns his skin as well as his hair green.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kyp plays this straight. He'll do anything to end the Imperial tyranny, including killing Luke and committing genocide. Exar Kun literally getting into his head and encouraging him to always take the course with the highest body count doesn't help.
  • What Have I Become?: Corran wonders this after Kerilt. He knows he's not a monster, at least, but he doesn't know who he really is, what side of his heritage to follow.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Corran gives Luke a spectacular "The Reason You Suck" Speech and quits the academy for forgiving Kyp Durron for... what prefix, exactly, do you use before "-cide" to describe blowing up an inhabited solar system? "Stellar"-cide?
    • Corran does later apologize to Luke for some of the things he said, and he admits that having Kyp serve the galaxy as a Jedi is more constructive than executing him or sticking him in a prison. He still doesn't like it though.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • During his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Luke, in response to a stock Jedi "beware the Dark Side", Corran basically says he faced the Dark Side all the time during his time as a cop.
      • Responding to a 415 family disturbance, he found a domestic abuser had battered his wife severely, and he was so furious that he was sorely tempted to employ Police Brutality, to let the abuser know what it felt like. But he held back.
      • A drug lord offered him a Briefcase Full of Money in the middle of a raid in exchange for Corran saying the kingpin had run out the back before they got there. No one would know. "But I'd know, and I didn't do it."
      • He also tells Luke that when he caught Bossk, the Bounty Hunter who murdered his father, since Bossk was a Cop Killer he literally could've frog-marched the Trandoshan into the lobby of One CorSec Plaza and shot him "resisting arrest", and nobody in the building would've batted an eyelash. Corran also didn't retaliate against Kirtan Loor for cutting Bossk loose.
    • The above rant gets a Call-Back later: If Corran sleeps with Tavira, his ego (and other things) get stroked, she, the leader of the group he's infiltrating, won't be suspicious of him, and he can get closer to finding his wife. Ethically, it's just part of the deception; Mirax is the love of his life and he really would do anything to save her. Plus, Tavira really hates rejection and might well have him killed. But would he really be doing this out of a genuine desire to endure anything for Mirax, or would it be a matter of lust and pride? Corran comes so close to going for it that he realizes Luke actually had a point: he's not nearly as invulnerable to the Dark Side as he previously thought. He ultimately takes a third option: embrace being a Jedi Knight and fight Tavira.
  • Who Dares?:
    Mara: More like who cares.
    • Mirax later has a similar reaction to Admiral Tavira saying much the same thing. After that, Luke decides that Corran's earlier comment about making sure that Mirax and Mara never meet is good advice. They do though, and hit it off massively, becoming fast friends.