I,Jedi is by Michael Stackpole and he is the primary author of most stories (but not all) stories involving Corran Horn and his family.
Warning going in: this book I,Jedi contains a few spoilers for the X-Wing Rogue Squadron Book Series. It also has spoilers for the Jedi Academy series. This book does stand alone however.
Rogue Squadron pilot Corran Horn has been chasing the pirate group led by Leonia Tavira with his squadron, when he comes home and feels his wife missing. He has to learn to use his until now untapped potential to train to find her, and using that and his earlier Corsec training to rescue her. But he’ll need help from friends new and old to do it and he’ll learn a lot about himself in the process.
I,Jedi has a few firsts to it. It’s the first adult book told from the view of the individual character, sort of like he’s recording his thoughts. The second ‘ is its the first time anyone tried to interweave the story through an already told story. Or at least, I don’t know of any others, although A.C Crispin’s Han Solo story does the same, but was published later.
Rereading this post prequels and after Jedi Trial it hits a bit different. The hint that Corran Horn’s ancestor was a Jedi was revealed in the X-Wing series, but it didn’t delve too deeply into the details, beyond detailing how Corran ended up with the name Horn.
The trigger for the quest is that Corran’s wife doesn’t just go missing, but he feels her cry out his name, and then is feels an inexplicable sense that he’s lost all sense of who she was. Given that the prequels weren’t out yet, I found that interesting given that Anakin Skywalker also ‘felt’ his Mother’s pain as Corran felt his mother’s danger, in much the same way in Attack of the Clones, which wouldn’t be released for years.
Obviously the Jedi of this era are different, Luke has no choice but to start training new Jedi with adult students. Jedi Academy trilogy left us with only some of the original Jedi class named, so Corran fits in fine in that respect. But the fact that Corran is coming in with a missing wife and seeks the ability to find and rescue her, well that blows my mind. It’s an inverse version of Anakin and his need to save his wife before that story was even written, since Anakin was already a Jedi. Corran doesn’t feel he’s in any danger of the dark side, but he comes closer than he expects over the course of events.
I know some people didn’t like I,Jedi as they felt the author (through Corran) was basically acting as if the original Jedi Academy story just didn’t work. I have no idea what the author thought, and I’ll admit I did find Corran’s attitude off putting in spots. However, I think by the end of I,Jedi it comes together and makes for great character growth on Corran’s part.
Contrary to modern media, it’s fine to disagree with people and still be friends, or just plain get along decently and we see the difference in I,Jedi. Corran and Luke, both being Rogue Squadron fighter pilots (Corran being a current member and Luke being the founder), both with a Jedi heritage definitely don’t see eye to eye on some things. But it’s a contrast how Corran reacts to Luke and how Kyp Durron and Gantoris do as well as how Luke himself responds to each situation.
Once I,Jedi reaches the point where Corran has to really dig in and go for his wife, things get pretty wild. We rarely get a story from quite this angle, watching one man, even a Jedi, alone, secretly going after a whole gang. Watching his growth, and his thought process is pretty unusual. The revelation of how the enemy was staying ahead of Rogue Squadron is a great twist of an ending and reveals a lot about the difference between Luke Skywalker and the old Jedi Order.
I very much enjoyed the visit to Corellia and the new allies, plus a few old allies and enemies like Tavira.
I did find two things questionable: the need to pin down exact time frames (ie two weeks to this or that) doesn’t seem to fit in setting up the Jedi Academy. While I normally love the details it also can be trouble when other stories contradict that (particularly the prequels, but more on that in a bit.)
The other doubt I have was including Brakiss. Granted, this character is established as going to Luke’s academy. But when he did so hadn’t been given. From what we know of him, it seems rather unlikely he would resist the temptation that two other Academy members gave into enough to help fight their seductive foe. I,Jedi focus on it in a substantial way that would shed any light on it so I can’t quite see why he was added there.
I, Jedi Continuity
The main events take place post Dark Empire, during Jedi Academy trilogy.
It took the great risk of making elements of the Clone Wars generation of Jedi to be the foundation for current events, before the prequels were released. As such part of it does great foreshadowing but the timeline is off, as is the hinted at implication that Kenobi might be involved. It’s partly saved by being Corran’s point of view in that he at least wouldn’t know any better, he’s acting on incomplete information.
Dates of the Clone Wars
The prequels being still up in the air and unset (50 years before had been given as an estimate by LFL) it turns out setting that in stone was a bad idea. The stories therefore clearly can have taken place, but not where the characters say it did.
One has to recognize the date of Nejaa’s death has to be wrong, it has to be pre end of the Clone Wars, obviously. It should be in the third year as Jedi Trial is a lead in to Anakin’s knighting, and he was involved in that. Also the date mentioned for a certain character’s son being born and going to try and join the Jedi purge also has to be way off. That said I emphasize nothing contradicts the story itself, it’s merely the dates that never got adjusted.
The Third Jedi in Nejaa’s Last Stand
The hints that Obi-Wan is involved are vague, though Corran can be forgiven for assuming Kenobi was of Tatooine earlier in the story as he ended up there for longer than Anakin. It also gives the implication (though not explicitly stated) that Kenobi was one of those on the final mission of Nejaa Halcyon. They did suggest Anakin had given him a Tatooine sand cloak (in Lone Wolf by Abel Pena if I recall correctly. I am sure of the author at least.)
That however doesn’t work well for the following reasons (much as I might like it too)
- The Jedi saw Nejaa’s body vanish. Given that Obi-Wan didn’t have a clue of this ability before Order 66, it’s unlikely he’d not have reacted to that.
- The Jedi said tell his family how he died. Again it’s unlikely to be Kenobi as he had no idea Nejaa had broken the code.
Oddly enough post Jedi Trial Anakin Skywalker himself is a better fit but still not quite right. He has at least heard from Jedi spirits before (Ulic Qel Droma and Qui-Gon). But the body vanishing clearly caught him off guard when he was Darth Vader on the Death Star. But he did at least know Nejaa had a family.
Obviously though there are plenty of other Jedi it could’ve been since the only real detail is a desert Jedi. There is Asharad Hett. The Diath family (though the two of this era we know of died earlier in the war). And of course, Tatooine is certainly not the only desert world, or world with a desert.
Overall the story works, though I am a bit sorry they never got around to a bit more detail or another perspective on Nejaa’s death that would’ve filled in the details and adjust the Corran Horn family timeline. This is otherwise a great story.
For more on the Halcyons
Elusion Illusion by Michael Stackpole
This short story in Star Wars Insider, pairs Rostek Horn and Nejaa on Corellia, trying to prevent it being dragged into the war.
Jedi Trial by David Sherman and Dan Crag introduces us to Nejaa during the Clone Wars, actually in the conflict. It doesn’t adjust the timeline but it does give us how he was dealing with having a family in an Order that forbid such, by putting him alongside Anakin Skywalker. This occurred in year 3 just before Anakin was knighted, suggesting events in I,Jedi were probably close to the end of the war.
Interlude at Darknell by Michael Stackpole– Corsec officer Hal Horn – son of Nejaa, finds himself caught in the middle when ISB agent Isard hunts the Death Star plans while he’s hunting a fugitive. There are elements here that I wonder might not lead to something Corran mentioned in I,Jedi, but it’s left surprisingly vague.
SideTrip by Michael Stackpole and Timothy Zahn– Corran and Hal get caught up between the Empire, a famous bounty hunter and a deadly gang they’ve long wanted to take down. It’s really the only time we get to see father and son in action together.
Missed Chance by Michael Stackpole – On the run from the Empire, Corran is about to lose his cover, while his astromech droid Whistler tries to fix his X-Wing and a local group of kids playing resistance could pay with their lives.
X-Wing Rogue Squadron Novels by Michael Stackpole – Corran joins the New Republic and becomes a part of the elite fighter squadron founded by Luke Skywalker, just in time for the push to take Coruscant from the Empire.
Jedi Academy trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson is the story that I,Jedi interconnects with.
A.C. Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy has a nod to this series in it. It’s a fun little Easter egg regarding one of the names.
Corran Horn and his family is also in the several of the New Jedi Order, Dark Nest Trilogy, Legacy of the Force, and Fate of the Jedi
Tavira was first introduced in the X-Wing comic arc, Warrior Princess arc.
Mirax Terrik was introduced in the X-Wing Comic arc the Phantom Affair, and also appeared in the book series.