Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight is the first installment of the Coruscant Nights trilogy by Michael Reaves. It starts three months after the events of Revenge of the Sith, and was released June 24, 2008. Jedi Twilight has some crossovers and references to Evasive Action: Prey by Paul Ens, as the two were developed at the same time. The novel was completed and edited as of April 2007, but was not released for another year.
Jax Pavan is one of the few Jedi Knights who miraculously survived the slaughter that followed Palpatine's ruthless Order 66. Now, deep in Coruscant's Blackpit Slums, Jax ekes out a living as a private investigator, trying to help people in need while concealing his Jedi identity and staying one step ahead of the killers out for Jedi blood. Others search for the elusive Jax too. Hard-boiled reporter Den Dhur and his buddy, the highly unorthodox droid I-5YQ, have shocking news to bring Jax—about the father he never knew.
But when Jax learns that his old Jedi Master has been killed, leaving behind the request that Jax finish a mission critical to the resistance, Jax has no choice but to emerge from hiding—and risk detection by Darth Vader to fulfill his Master's dying wish.
The novel starts with former Jedi Master Even Piell running through the Coruscant underworld, chased by stormtroopers. Piell is cornered in an old abandoned building and is forced to confront the stormtroopers in a violent battle. He is killed, but the building is then raided by members of the rebel team Whiplash, led by Nick Rostu. The Whiplash members defeat the stormtroopers, and in his dying words, Piell tells Rostu about a droid dubbed "Bug-Eyes" that contains information vital to helping the Whiplash underground in its battle against the Galactic Empire. Before he dies, Piell also tells Rostu to contact his former apprentice, Jax Pavan, and inform him about Bug-Eyes.
Jax Pavan is living in the underbelly of what was once Coruscant, and is now dubbed Imperial Center by rule of Emperor Palpatine's Empire. Jax, in disguise as a regular citizen, acts a freelancer, accomplishing various jobs so he can go on living through the days while he is also secretly working for the Whiplash. One of his most notable contacts within the Whiplash is the unorthodox Twi'lek Jedi, Laranth Tarak.
The sentient protocol droid I-5YQ and his Sullustan partner and friend, Den Dhur, travel through the Coruscant underworld in search of Jax. This is to fulfill I-Five's duty to his late partner Lorn Pavan, Jax's father, to find and look after Jax.
I-Five and Den eventually locate Jax, as well as Laranth, and they escape the clutches of a Hutt crime lord named Rokko, while subsequently leading to a double-chase with Imperial forces. Jax, Laranth, I-Five and Den lose the Imperials, and when Jax learns about I-Five's nature concerning his father, he is distraught and disbelieving. Nevertheless, he allows I-Five and Den to be in his company.
Meanwhile, Black Sun crime leader Dal Perhi holds a contest for a replacement in his position as Black Sun leader, between the Falleen Prince Xizor and the professional assassin, Kaird of the Nedij. However, in reality, Perhi intends to keep his position as Black Sun leader longer than he says he does, and he tells Kaird that if he assassinates Xizor, then Kaird will be allowed to go back to his home world, and Black Sun will never bother him again. Kaird is to track down and kill Xizor on Imperial Center.
Thanks to the machinations of the Elomin dispatcher, Haninum Tyk Rhinann, who is a direct employee of Darth Vader, Nick Rostu is captured and brought to Vader. The Sith Lord reveals that he is aware of Rostu's Whiplash connection, and threatens that if he does not get Jax Pavan into Vader's hands, then he will see to it that Rostu's Ghôsh on his home planet, Haruun Kal, will be destroyed by orbital bombardment. Rostu does meet with Jax and tries to lead him into an Imperial trap for Vader to grab him during Jax's mission to locate Bug-Eyes.
Eventually, Jax's mission and Kaird's attempt at assassinating Xizor, which goes horribly awry for the latter, both lead to an abandoned nuclear factory at a far, abandoned side of Imperial Center. There, at the factory, where Bug-Eyes is, and where Xizor is hiding, and also where Rostu has set the trap for Vader to capture Jax, the group is attacked by rogue factory worker droids. Nevertheless, Jax's company finds Bug-Eyes and retrieves the information for the Whiplash. In the process, Jax gets into a fight with Xizor, where the latter uses Jax's lightsaber, and Jax uses a lightwhip. At the end of the fight, Xizor flees as the Imperial forces arrive for Jax. Though Jax has figured out that Rostu betrayed him, he lets him go of any punishment or consequence. Jax then tries to lose Vader by dropping his own lightsaber into the factory's nuclear core, which will cause a chain reaction that will lead to the factory's destruction and make Vader believe, at least temporarily, that Jax died in the explosion. Haninum Tyk Rhinann sees that the failure for Jax's capture will lead to his own demise at Vader's hands, so he departs Vader's service for Jax. Jax, Laranth, I-Five, Den, Kaird, Rhinann and Rostu all flee the factory before it explodes.
In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Citadel Rescue," Even Piell was killed on Lola Sayu, before his appearance in Jedi Twilight. This novel also contains several erroneous references to Even Piell having more than one eye (or retina, or eyelid) affected by extremely bright light. Piell lost one of his two eyes years previously, and this is mentioned in the novel, only pages prior to the aforementioned mistakes.
I-Five has appeared in all of Michael Reaves's novels except Death Star. The character is used to link the author's stories together, as the droid often relates his previous adventures to his current companions.
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This is a gallery of the cover variations of Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight.