The universe revised and edited as necessary for sanity.
On the Nature of Evil
Something odd happened the other day. While siting on the phone enthusing about Michael Stackpole's Onslaught, I realized that I didn't hate Corran Horn. No, wait--it was worse than that--I actually liked him.
This was obviously a catastrophe of the first order. The foundations of the universe itself shifted. The fabric of space-time unraveled... Lizzie said "I told you so." There are some things so basic, you can take them for granted. My disgust for Corran Horn used to be one of them. This couldn't be happenning--I need immediate reassurance--call it CPR for a SW junkie. Desperate times call for desperate measures... I jumped up and dashed to the VCR, popped in ANH and pressed play. Perfect timing... the dulcet tones of "But I was going to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters" drifted out. I smiled and relaxed as I fought the urge to utilize some power converters on the owner of that voice. The galaxy righted itself. As long as I still hated Puke Skywhiner, life as we knew it could continue.
What could have caused so radical a change?
I mused. I pondered. I paced the room, considering and discarding dozens of possibilities. Was it a Jedi mind trick? Was I posessed? In a coma? Had Liz's vigorous defense of the diminunitive lieutenant finally penetrated my mind? (for those of you who were worried, I soon realized that I'd already decided against the coma, and my admitting that Lizzie's right about anything would indoubitably require such an event) At last I was forced to conclude this: at some point in our long association, Corran Horn had grown up. How? Why? When? There was only one thing to be done: some Corran-style introspection.
I think the root of my dislike could be traced back to the very first X-wing book. Rogue Squadron was purchased to entice my brother to read. Bang-bang Star Wars shoot-em-up novels would be a good way to tempt him. I had no use for the thing... I didn't even like the dumb movies (which I had been dragged to kicking and screaming by a sw-obsessed friend of mine), why would I want to waste my time with the merchandising, much less actually enjoy it? IMPOSSIBLE! Then came the great book drought: I had NOTHING to read... trembling, I picked it up.
THUS IT BEGAN
My much-abused SW friend had tried to explain that SW was much more than Luke and Leia (Yeah, right. Like I was going to believe that), but all of a sudden I was blasted by Wedge and Tycho. The second scene of the book, when Wedge goes toe-to-toe with General Salm over whether or not Tycho was a traitor--it blew my mind. These guys STUCK TOGETHER! I was entranced. The Rogues had me firmly in their power. (Like I said, it was impossible) The only problem I saw was the oh-so-obvious Jedi-like tendencies in the main character, Corran Horn. "He's gonna be another Puke Skywhiner," I observed as I tossed the book at Liz.
Stackpole listened to me. Although Horn got more smug and infuriating with each book, my fascination with the other characters kept me coming back. It also didn't hurt that every thirty or forty pages Corran would do something stupid and get told off. (My personal favorite--Corran: Those short pants are kids clothes. Bror: On you, who'd notice?) Booster Terrik quickly became a much-loved individual, as did Iella Wessiri--at least until she got pushed towards Wedge, but that's another Canon). It was Whistler, though, that took the cake. (Corran: Next time could you get a little more suit and a little less me?)
I fought against I, Jedi. I fought the general idea of it (another book about Jedi? KJA had permenently soured me on such things). I fought a book about Corran Horn. I fought having to see Wedge with Qui Sucks. I fought a book in which Wedge was a general. I still don't remember exactly why I finally gave in. I can say with great certainty that it was one of two things: 1) liz informed me that Luke gets told off or 2) liz and lali (corranites, both of them... with friends like these, who needs enemies?) had both read it and there was NO WAY they were getting ahead of me.
I laughed. I cried. Then I read it again. Wow. My favorite line popped out at me (the book actually falls open at this part now): "What Tycho did, what Wedge did, without being able to use the Force made them far more special than any Jedi. They flew with heart and brains and their entire being." Thank you, Mr. Stackpole. I'd been saying the same thing for years, but you made it canon. Then I groaned (well, I have to be honest... I groaned, and whined, and grumbled, and complained, and rolled my eyes), when Corran became one with his lightsaber. Despite that, though, I was pleasantly suprised. Corran Horn hadn't been too obnoxious, Wedge and Tycho had been glorified, and a favorite comix bad guy--Tavira--was back. I even chuckled to think of Luke as a Hutt with eyebrows. Cool.
Soon after that, I said goodbye to the Rogues. I'd heard from someone that they later got decommissioned/destroyed, and I assumed that it was over. Starfighters of Adumar was a treat--in about a thousand different ways. I didn't know it was coming, it didn't have anyone except the Core Four (Wedge, Tycho, Hobbie, and Wes), I got to read it on the same beach where I'd read the original Rogue books two years before--everything seemed right in the world. It was a good sendoff.
An evil, evil little man I went to school with answered my plea with, "Well, right now Wedge has a smoking crater in his chest." You see, he had Vector Prime and I didn't... and I knew they were killing people off. Seemed like a good idea at the time, so I went psycho on my informant and then reluctantly bought Onslaught during a fit of masochistic depression. For the next four hours, I was incapable of coherent speech. When I was dragged to dinner by my friends (they have no sense of priorities--read/eat... read/eat...easy question), I sat there glassy-eyed and babbled on about retirement and telekenesis. They didn't disturb me again. I truly believed that Wedge was dead, but I couldn't accept that MY Stackpole would write a Rogue out so completely. I took some small consolation in watching Jedi Corran scorn the others, the "Real" Jedi. I'd always liked the fact that his talents were different... watching him rub their faces in it didn't hurt at all. I had some nasty moments when I read that Tough Squadron (the rakish pilots who had a Gamorrean in thier squad) was wiped out, and when major amounts of people couldn't be evacuated from Lando's world (as a political science major, I firmly believe that people must be preserved at all costs). My heart even missed a beat when Corran sacrificed himself for the two stupid university students (only one beat, though... it's Stackpole... you expect me to believe Corran's dead?). Then I had the happy ending (TOO OLD TO FLY? That was good for an hour of screaming at the ever-patient liz, not to mention anyone who stopped to listen), and the "Leia's actually gonna kick ass for the first time in 17 years" scene... not to mention the glorious return of yours truly. Hey, who else could the free-thinking Bothan teacher have been? At the end, though, I was forced to admit that Corran had transcended his Jedi heritage... he'd lost the tough-cop attitude. He became a true Rogue--you lay it all on the line for your squadmates and don't expect praise. He grew up.
Canon According to Ali.
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