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Literature / The Approaching Storm

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A Star Wars Legends novel by Alan Dean Foster. Labelled as a prologue to Attack of the Clones, The Approaching Storm is the story of the "border dispute on Ansion" that Obi-Wan Kenobi has just returned from dealing with when he and Anakin Skywalker are assigned to protect Senator Amidala.

Together with Jedi Knight Luminara Unduli and her Padawan learner Barriss Offee, Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent to the tiny but strategic planet of Ansion to resolve a border dispute between the world's nomad tribes and the city-folk that will cause the city faction to secede from the Republic if a compromise is not reached. The reason that the Republic has sent four Jedi to settle a seemingly insignificant dispute is that Ansion is enmeshed in so many treaties that if it secedes, a great number of other Republic worlds will have no choice but to join the Confederacy.

On their quest to broker an agreement between the townspeople and the Alwari Nomads, the four Jedi encounter many obstacles, including ravenous wildlife, several kidnapping attempts and having to provide the entertainment at a banquet in their honour.



  • Big Damn Heroes: Obi-Wan and Anakin arrive just in time to aid a flagging Luminara and Barriss in the fight against a group of Mooks that attacked them in the streets of Cuipernam.
  • Bullying a Dragon: A gang of men decide they want to take a look under Luminara's robes. Then they realise that she's carrying a lightsaber.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Luminara, Barriss, Obi-Wan... Even their narration is snarky at times.
  • The Dragon: Ogomoor to Soergg the Hutt.
  • Exact Words: Obi-Wan uses this ploy when the Jedi are asked to intervene in the war between the two most powerful Alwari tribes.
    Obi-Wan: You asked us to help you deal with your traditional enemies... Nothing was ever said about helping you defeat them.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Two mentally disabled nomads who Soregg hires to kidnap Barris end up as native guides for the Jedi after she heals their afflictions.
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  • Hidden Depths: This is the reason that the Yiwa ask their guests to provide the entertainment at feasts in their honour. In doing so, they prove that they, like the Yiwa themselves, have souls and thus the clansmen as far more likely to listen to their requests. Barriss proves that a lightsaber can be a thing of beauty when she uses it as part of a dance based around the points of the compass, something of particular meaning to the nomadic Yiwa. Anakin sings a song that his mother used to sing to him as a child, surprising both himself and Obi-Wan as he's never shown any aptitude for music before. Obi-Wan proves to be a brilliant storyteller, not only crafting a tale that keeps everyone entranced, but doing so in the Yiwa's own dialect. Luminara creates a swirling sculpture out of sand, levitating herself in the centre of complex interlocking shells of the tiny particles and showing that she possesses spectacular control of the Force.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Although Soergg the Hutt is apparently responsible for the various attacks on the Jedi, he is actually working for Shu Mai, a future member of the Separatist Council. But even she reports to Count Dooku.
  • The Napoleon: Tooqui. He's a member of the Gwurran species which, is the Ansionian equivalent to Neanderthals (the group we see even live in caves). However, he is highly intelligent and ambitious for a member of such a species. Upon learning that the traveling nomads he tried to steal from are from another world, he wants to join them on the adventure, for his own ego at first. He also had to frustrate the Jedi in rhetorical debate on the subject. He does prove his worth later by masterminding a stampede of wild livestock against a traveling camp that captured the party.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: When the main characters were breaking free after being captured by a clan of Alwari and had a fight with the guards, Anakin was toying with a guard before killing him. When Obi-Wan noticed it and demanded explanation, Anakin answered innocently that "he was faster than I thought". Seeing perfectly well that it was a lie, Obi-Wan says finally “Have a care, lest next time your opponent is even faster than that.” Though intended to be only an admonition, it turns out to be true enough - the next Anakin's opponent on that planet was a pair of lightning-fast local predators, that wounded him and could get him killed, if it were not for Luminara who saved him.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Councilors Volune and (after his Wizard Duel with Luminara) Tolut defend the Jedi when the rest of the council contemplates writing them off after the Jedi depart for an extended period. Volune points out that the arrival of the Jedi shows that the Republic is taking Ansion's grievances more seriously than it did in the past and convinces the others to wait a few more days before voting on secession.
  • The Watson: Barriss, and Anakin to a lesser extent. Also Ogomoor with respect to Soergg's plots.
  • This Cannot Be!: Used by Soregg late in the game. This use is Discussed Internally by Ogomoor:
    Adroit fellow that he was, Ogomoor was able to divine several things simultaneously from his master's exclamation. First, when someone declares loudly and violently that something is not possible, it is probably an accomplished fact. Second, things that are supposed to not be possible that become reality almost always imply negative consequences. And third, there was no point in hurrying from the room because in all probability he would immediately receive an order to return.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When the boastful thief turned Sixth Ranger Tooqui realizes his companions have been captured or killed, he reflects that he can simplly flee back home without endangering himself. He will even have a perfectly true story to tell about the adventure he’s just had. Ultimately, he chooses to go back and see if he can help them.
  • Wizard Duel: It isn’t an actual fight, but Tolut, an obstinate, Force-sensitive local councilor, levitates a pitcher of water (with great effort) to demonstrate that the Jedi are nothing special. Luminara then effortlessly lifts several pitchers of water significantly higher than Tolut managed to and dumps them on his head. Tolut sheepishly concedes that he was wrong about how powerful Jedi are.
  • Zerg Rush: The technique that a group of hired assassins try to use on Barriss and Luminara, and one of only two strategies that such a group could use that would actually pose a treat to the two Jedi, the other being lulling them into a false sense of security.


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