- "Whatever Jacen has become, he was a hero once. Jacen Solo saved the galaxy."
- ―Leia Organa Solo
Darth Caedus, born Jacen Solo, was a human male Sith Lord who turned against his family and friends, betraying his former principles and leading the Galactic Alliance he once championed into a reign of terror as he attempted to bring order and stability to a fractured galaxy. The son of Han and Leia Organa Solo, Caedus was once a leading Jedi Knight who proved crucial in defeating the Yuuzhan Vong and protecting the galaxy during the Yuuzhan Vong War. It was Solo's desire to protect the galaxy and his increasing willingness to accept any cost in that cause that facilitated his fall to the Sith, a trait that had similarly corrupted his grandfather, the Chosen One Anakin Skywalker, into Darth Vader.
Born in 9 ABY, Jacen Solo spent most of his early years as the target of various kidnapping plots and schemes against his famous parents. When he was thirteen, he and his twin sister Jaina began attending the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, where their uncle Luke Skywalker taught them the ways of the Force. There he made several friends, among them the Hapan princess Tenel Ka Djo, to whom he became strongly attracted. While training, he and his friends defeated numerous plots against the New Republic and, in 24 ABY, he and his younger brother Anakin were apprenticed to Skywalker.
A philosopher who struggled with the idea of employing violence to fight violence, Solo entered a personal crisis with the outbreak of the Yuuzhan Vong War. He preferred to serve off the front lines, but felt obligated to volunteer for the strike team assembled to eliminate the voxyn queen at Myrkr. There, Anakin Solo was killed and Jacen Solo stepped up to lead the team, killing the queen and ending the voxyn threat before he was captured by the Yuuzhan Vong.
Solo spent nearly a year in captivity, during which he was tortured for weeks at a time. Solo struggled with his circumstances and with the teachings of his captor and mentor, Vergere. He slipped to the dark side before returning and embracing the idea of responding to the universe with unconditional, all-encompassing love. He escaped Yuuzhan Vong custody with Vergere, a former Jedi of the Old Republic, and rejoined the war effort. In the final battle of the war, Solo stormed Supreme Overlord Shimrra Jamaane's Citadel and defeated Onimi, who was mentally controlling the Supreme Overlord, while Solo himself experienced a moment of unity with the Force.
Afterward, he spent five years visiting and learning from various Force-using sects. During his time with the Mind Walkers, he experienced a vision of a dark figure ruling the galaxy and became determined to prevent its fulfillment. He returned to the Jedi during the Dark Nest Crisis and, armed with a more ruthless philosophy of accepting various sacrifices in the name of the greater good, conspired to eliminate the Killiks to prevent another vision of galactic war and protect his infant daughter Allana, secretly conceived with Tenel Ka Djo. In 40 ABY, Solo agreed to become the Sith apprentice of Lumiya after probing the future and finding that, if he did not do so, he would kill Luke Skywalker and the galaxy would be consumed by chaos.
He embarked on a year-long descent into the dark side, slowly turning against the Jedi and his family as he grew darker and more extreme. After seizing control of the Galactic Alliance, killing Mara Jade Skywalker, torturing his former apprentice Ben Skywalker, committing multiple atrocities, taking Tahiri Veila as his official Sith apprentice, and ascending to Sith Mastery as Darth Caedus, he was finally killed by his twin sister Jaina.
Target from birth
- "I was just thinking about children. Trying to imagine what it's like to try to raise them. Wondering how much of their character a family can mold, and how much is innate in the children themselves. Wondering if the evil in a family's history can be erased, or whether it always passes itself on to each new generation."
- ―Leia Organa Solo, to the maitrakh of clan Kihm'bar
Jacen Solo was a figure of galactic political significance before he was even born. The son of former smuggler, retired general, and Rebel icon Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa Solo of Alderaan, the New Republic Minister of State, Jacen Solo and his twin sister Jaina were immediately matters of public interest, and news of the pregnancy was spread throughout the New Republic. Taking a different sort of interest in the developing twins, Grand Admiral Mitth'raw'nuruodo, the new leader of the Galactic Empire's military, promised Organa Solo's powerful Jedi children to Joruus C'baoth, the insane clone of Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth, as his to raise and make his apprentices in exchange for C'baoth's participation in the Grand Admiral's schemes. This resulted in several kidnapping attempts by Grand Admiral Thrawn's Noghri agents against Organa Solo during her pregnancy. Organa Solo evaded all of them and was able to appeal to the Noghri to change their allegiance to her, exposing Thrawn's manipulations of their people and playing on their reverence for Darth Vader, the man who had been Organa Solo's father.
As Jacen and Jaina Solo developed in their mother's womb, it was immediately apparent that they were Force-sensitive, and Organa Solo was able to make mental contact with their developing minds through the Force. She did so frequently to calm them when they were agitated. When Jacen Solo was born in 9 ABY in the medical ward of the Imperial Palace on Coruscant, Organa Solo did the same throughout the ten-hour labor, until Solo, born after his sister, had emerged from the womb a brown-eyed, brown-haired infant.
The children were raised in the Solos' Imperial Palace suite, with Organa Solo's adoptive sister Winter serving as their nurse. Their uncle, Luke Skywalker, tested their Force potential and found it astonishing. Shortly after their birth, they were the targets of another kidnapping attempt by an Imperial Intelligence team. Trapped in their suite, they were nearly captured before smuggler ally Mara Jade intervened and saved the family. After that incident, when the Solos, the Wookiee Chewbacca—who owed the Solos a life debt—and Skywalker had to leave Coruscant on a mission that saw the defeat of Thrawn and C'baoth, they were left with Winter and a cadre of Noghri bodyguards, having sworn their lives to the defense of Vader's line.
Shortly after Thrawn's defeat, a new threat presented itself: Emperor Palpatine reemerged from the Deep Core and conquered Coruscant. The twins were evacuated from the planet and hidden away from the resurgent Empire and the growing threat of the dark side of the Force on the uncharted safe-world of New Alderaan. Winter cared for them, and a squad of Noghri warriors provided security. They only saw their parents twice in 10 ABY before Han and Leia Organa Solo arrived on the Millennium Falcon to stay in seclusion with the children for the birth of a third child, Anakin Solo. They were quickly followed by members of Palpatine's Dark Side Elite, who sought to kidnap the children for the Dark Lord of the Sith. Defended by the Jedi Kam Solusar, Empatojayos Brand, and Rayf Ysanna, the twins were still snatched by Kvag Gthull before Ysanna freed them and their mother killed Gthull, causing the rest of the Dark Jedi to flee. With the arrival of Imperial All Terrain Armored Transports, Organa Solo had to take the children and flee. Evacuated to Nespis VIII, the twins were present when their brother Anakin was born. They were once again forced to flee when Palpatine targeted Nespis VIII, the site of the New Republic's hidden headquarters, with the Galaxy Gun superweapon. Traveling to Onderon, they were followed by Palpatine, who managed to sneak into Organa Solo's room, seeking to transfer his spirit from his dying body to that of Anakin. Brand sacrificed himself to defeat Palpatine once and for all, and the Empire's resurgence was ended.
As Skywalker feared that the young Solo children could be permanently affected by any further exposure to the dark side, they were once more taken into hiding, this time on the remote world of Anoth, the coordinates of which were known only to Winter, Skywalker, and Admiral Gial Ackbar. Only the children and Winter lived on the inhospitable rock, into which had been built a home provided with advanced security systems. Visits from their parents took place every few months until, in 11 ABY, the twins returned to Coruscant to live with their family, having turned two years old and, in Skywalker's judgment, passed the point of greatest vulnerability to the dark side.
Winter flew Solo and his sister back to Coruscant, where they were greeted by their mother. Having so little contact with her for so long, they were more attached to their nanny Winter. They were given a tour around the Imperial Palace and their new home before being put to bed by C-3PO, whose attempts to tell a bedtime story Solo rebuffed. Later that week, Skywalker returned, and Solo got to know his uncle. When Winter left to return to Anoth to care for Anakin, Solo was extremely distressed by the separation from the woman who had raised him, and it required much adjustment to get him used to his new routine and caretakers.
Organa Solo was called away from the children to receive the Caridan ambassador, Furgan, the next day. Angered at having to spend time away from her children, she took them to the diplomatic reception held that night at the Skydome Botanical Gardens, with C-3PO shepherding them. Solo and his sister quickly slipped away from the protocol droid and into the botanical exhibits, where they slipped past the spines of a tentacle-cactus to rest safely against its center. When C-3PO attempted to recover them, they sneaked away safely as the tentacle-cactus caught the droid.
Only a few days later, Han Solo returned from his diplomatic mission to Kessel, which had seen him captured first by Moruth Doole and then by Admiral Natasi Daala of the Empire; thus reunited, Jacen Solo could begin to reconnect with both of his parents. Han took the children to Coruscant's polar region, where they could play in the snow with C-3PO, but their vacation was cut short by the need to return to the capital region to greet their mother, who had been involved in a tragic crash during a diplomatic mission to Vortex.
Organa Solo was safe, and the young Solo eventually settled into the new routine of dinners, baths, and bedtime stories. Yet another Solo family crisis intruded on their life when his mother was stranded on Mon Calamari during the renegade Imperial admiral Daala's attack on it and Han Solo rushed off to save her; Jacen and Jaina were left with C-3PO and Chewbacca. To occupy the twins, C-3PO and Chewbacca took them to the Holographic Zoo of Extinct Animals. There, the young Solos quickly became bored and evaded their guardians. Wishing to go home, they took a turbolift, thinking that, like the turbolifts in the Imperial Palace, it would take them home. Instead, after Solo hit the button for the first level, it took them to the long-abandoned surface of Coruscant. They wandered through the derelict and deadly undercity, attempting to use the lessons learned from their favorite bedtime story, "The Little Lost Bantha Cub," to reach their home. Eventually, they were captured in a trap set by one of the underdwellers to catch food. Rather than be eaten, they cooperated in using the Force to pull out the pins holding their cage together. Pursued by the creature's ferocious pet, they were forced to take shelter in a small crack. Moving through a small tunnel, they came upon a camp of undercity residents. Onibald Daykim, the king of the refugees from the Empire who had created the settlement, took an immediate liking to the children. He gave them food and then, using ventilation shafts and other utility systems, carried the twins up the many stories of Coruscant's worldwide city and safely back to their home, where they found their parents had returned.
When Skywalker was felled by his corrupted student, Kyp Durron, the Solos flew to his Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4 within the week. Skywalker lay in state, comatose, and no efforts had been able to revive him. At dinner with Skywalker's Jedi trainees, Solo and the rest of the Force-sensitives were struck by a wave of death felt in the Force, the result of Durron's destruction of Carida with the Sun Crusher superweapon. Han Solo set off to track down and talk down Durron, leaving Organa Solo and the twins on Yavin 4. Solo and his sister, exploring the ruined Massassi temples, encountered a pack of woolamanders; through the Force, Solo was able to "speak" to them, a fact that greatly intrigued him. That night, both Solo twins felt through the Force that Skywalker was in danger. Their cries woke their mother, who with the aid of several other students was able to rescue Skywalker from the trainee Streen, manipulated by the spirit of the Sith Lord Exar Kun.
The next morning, Organa Solo departed to save Anakin, having been informed by the traitor Terpfen that he had given the location of Anoth to the Imperial remnants on Carida. Solo and his sister were left in the care of Skywalker's students. Visiting Skywalker's bier, Solo was able to see and hear his uncle's spirit, standing in the room, as was his sister. They informed their caretaker, Jedi trainee Cilghal, but she did not believe them. That night, Skywalker's spirit appeared to Solo, warning him that his body was in danger from another of Kun's efforts. Solo woke his sister, who began raising the others, while Solo rushed to the Grand Audience Chamber, where he immediately sensed the dark side aura of the three Sithspawn battle hydras Kun had sent to attack. Fearlessly, young Solo charged the creatures to drive them away. At Skywalker's urging, he took up the Jedi Master's lightsaber and, with Skywalker fighting through him, defeated all three creatures. In the aftermath, the rest of the students realized that the Solos could see Skywalker, and Solo relayed Skywalker's message that Kun was behind the attacks and needed to be stopped before Skywalker could return to his body.
The students arranged a trap for Kun, luring his spirit into the Grand Audience Chamber and surrounding him. The twins were part of the circle surrounding Kun, overwhelming his spirit with light side energy and, joined by the spirits of Skywalker and Kun's long-dead Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, eliminating the Sith Lord once and for all. Skywalker returned to his body and awoke, much to Solo's delight. Organa Solo succeeded in rescuing Anakin on Anoth, and thereafter all the children stayed on Coruscant with their parents, tended by Winter.
Neither Coruscant nor his parents were absolute constants in Solo's developing life; 12 ABY saw the family travel to Ithor for the Time of Meeting, at which they were accosted by Drub McKumb. McKumb, insane, caused a commotion that sent the children to the nursery with Winter and Chewbacca for safety and sent Solo's parents off on a mission to Plett's Well. In the same year, the Darksaber crisis and the creation of the Imperial Remnant again sent the adult Solos and Chewbacca scrambling while Solo was left with Winter and C-3PO. Nevertheless, most time was spent with family. Skywalker began developing Solo's Force talents, training him in the use of basic powers. However, utilization of the Force was only allowed under Skywalker's supervision, to prevent misuse.
In 13 ABY, Mirith Sinn was in charge of President Leia Organa Solo's security detail at the Imperial Palace, and was responsible for the safety of Jacen Solo and his siblings. One evening, shortly after distracting the President during a council session, thereby causing her to offend the representative from Rhommamool, an attempt was made on the lives of the entire Solo family. Although the assassins were thwarted by Sinn and Nanna, a combat-modified TDL nanny droid, Luke Skywalker traveled to Coruscant. Master Skywalker brought with him the identity of the man who sent the assassins, as provided to him by the Jedi Vima-Da-Boda: Devian, leader of the "Restored Empire." For some reason, Jacen Solo and all the other members of the Skywalker-Solo clan were afflicted by lazy eyes around this time.
The Empire Reborn
- "Your dear family is gone, my children. The Republic asked me to take you, to keep you, to protect you and teach you. I am so sorry…that your mama and papa are dead."
- ―Hethrir, to Jacen Solo, Jaina Solo, and Anakin Solo
In 14 ABY, the Solo children traveled with their mother and Chewbacca on a diplomatic tour which saw them visit Mon Calamari, Gbu, and then Munto Codru. There, Solo spent time with Doctor Hyos, learning about medicine. As Munto Codru had a long tradition of political abductions—kidnappings played out along a set of traditional rules—the children were kept very secure. Nevertheless, while playing outside with Chewbacca and the son of Chamberlain Iyon, they were kidnapped—not by local Codru-Ji but by agents of former Imperial Procurator of Justice Hethrir's Empire Reborn faction. A pressure bomb knocked out Chewbacca while the children were spirited away, unconscious.
When they woke on Hethrir's worldcraft, the Rebirth, they were frightened and alone. Their kidnapper came to them, presenting himself as their hold-father. Hethrir claimed that he had been coming to visit them when he witnessed an earthquake destroy the castle in which their mother—and, he said, their father and uncle—had been. He did not know the password which hold-parents were supposed to know, explaining that he had not yet met Organa Solo to learn it. However, he was now their guardian; Hethrir dismissed the fact that Winter was supposed to care for them if anything should happen to their family. Neither twin fully believed Hethrir's account, and so they mentioned that Jacen had been the firstborn of the twins. Hethrir, who had claimed to be present at the birth, agreed with the lie, exposing him as a charlatan. The twins went along, and young Anakin did not pick up on the subtext. When Hethrir attempted to separate the twins from Anakin, however, they resisted. Hethrir used his own command of the dark side to suppress their Force abilities and had his aide Tigris take the twins away and lock them into separate small bedrooms. Solo had been playing with a bat on Munto Codru, and it had been carried along with him when he was kidnapped. He covertly kept the animal in his tunic, caring for it throughout the coming days.
The next morning, the Solo twins and several other captured children were roused and gathered in lines. Upset and disinclined to follow the orders of Tigris and Hethrir's Proctors, Solo refused to line up. He had to be forced into line, and even then he and his sister resisted, walking out of step and causing disturbances. Angered, Hethrir canceled breakfast for the children and sent them straight to study. They were provided with educational programming and expected to complete quizzes on it. Later in the day, the children were lined up and those who could not wield the Force, or who were not Human, were weeded out of the group to be sold as slaves.
At breakfast the next morning, Jaina used the Force to put sand in the Proctors' food, causing a disturbance with the cook. Solo capitalized on the altercation and used his Force-driven affinity for animals to convince the myrmin-like insects in the dining hall to crawl inside the Proctors' clothing. When the Proctors began to stamp on the creatures, he felt intense guilt for causing their deaths, and immediately swept them out of the way with the Force. In doing so, he tapped into the Force strongly enough that Hethrir, constantly monitoring them through the Force, immediately suppressed Solo's abilities once again. The Proctors were sufficiently irritated by the insects' biting that they rushed from the room, leaving the children unattended after only minimal attempts to ensure order. The Solos, reunited for the first time since their capture, led the other students to the play yard in a canyon on the surface of the worldcraft. There, they distracted the fearsome-looking but mostly harmless sand dragon that guarded the end of the canyon while Solo approached the dragon and communicated with her through the Force. Before he could accomplish anything, however, the Head Proctor returned and sent all the children to their tiny rooms.
That night, Jaina used her multitool to open her door and let Solo out of his cell. When the Proctor on watch awoke, the twins decoyed him into Solo's room and, pushing him inside, latched the door to keep him in before they freed the rest of the children in the dormitory. Going out the play yard, Solo used the Force to move air molecules fast enough for them to glow with heat, creating a light in the evening to distract the dragon as he again approached her. Communing with the creature through the Force, Solo befriended and convinced her to carry the escaping children on her back. As they rode away, he set his bat free. They eventually reached an artificial stream on the worldcraft's artificial surface, where they could drink and eat berries growing on nearby bushes.
However, the five-year-old twins lacked any sort of plan for the escape group which they found themselves leading. They settled on crawling along a path through the bushes, where they hoped the Proctors could not follow them. They were only barely ahead of the Proctors, and the trail ended at a large and impassable field of mud. The Solos again manipulated molecules, this time freezing the water in the mud to create a solid pathway to a tree on the far side, which was hollow. They were able to ascend it, where they were quickly found by Organa Solo in her ship Alderaan. With the children aboard, Solo summoned his bat so that he could take it back to its home as well. Organa Solo and Chewbacca rescued the Proctors, who had been stranded in the middle of the muddy marsh, and obtained from them the knowledge that Hethrir had taken Anakin to Crseih Station. Organa Solo and Rillao, Hethrir's former lover and recently freed prisoner, took the worldcraft to Crseih after attending to the children and locking up the Proctors. Rillao was able to comfort the twins and ease their fear of Hethrir, convincing them that he could no longer smother their powers.
At Crseih, they were able to track down Hethrir and his entourage. Solo and his sister were left with Chewbacca while Organa Solo and Rillao, along with Han Solo and Skywalker, who were on Crseih for another mission, rushed to save Anakin. However, the children and Chewbacca were unable to resist intervening when the sounds of a fight reached them. They arrived to see Anakin rescued, but Skywalker had been consumed by Hethrir's trans-dimensional ally Waru. Solo's parents leaped into Waru to recover him. The twins surrounded Waru, screaming for their parents and uncle. Their shouts reached the three and were able to cut through the haze of Waru's mental manipulations, allowing them to escape. Foiled in his attempt to acquire their power, Hethrir was consumed instead by Waru who then vanished to his home dimension.
- "Why do I have to be strong? Someday I'll be able to go anywhere I want, or get anything I want, just by thinking about it—like Uncle Luke."
- ―Jacen Solo, to Han Solo
Over the next two years, Solo's life remained relatively stable. Han remained at home to parent, and when Organa Solo returned from the office, the family would gather to relax and play in their vortex pool. Skywalker spent more time at his Praxeum, allowing Organa Solo to handle the children's instruction in the Force, which consisted of simple exercises. The Solos moved to a larger estate outside the Palace that had a yard of its own. However, Solo spent little time there; as of 16 ABY, he was more interested in mastering the Force than in physical play. He believed that the Force would provide for all his needs, avoiding the need for strenuous activity. This caused him to become somewhat pudgy, and he, like the rest of the Solo children, lacked friends due to their strict security measures; they had few other children of their age with whom to socialize. Even more, Solo played less and less with his siblings, and Han became increasingly concerned with his son's lack of interest in sport.
At some point in his childhood, Solo found a female rock lizard by a river and decided to keep her as a pet. She was happy in Solo's care and was kind to those who treated her well. However, she soon started trying to escape. After failing to calm the animal with the Force, he consulted his Uncle Skywalker about this problem and the Jedi was reminded of his friend Windy Starkiller's pet dewback, Huey, of whom he proceeded to tell Solo. Huey also had a kind disposition and was not very troublesome, but one night he started trying to escape. Starkiller and his father released Huey to the wild because it was the dewback mating season and Huey eventually returned, so Skywalker advised his nephew to try the same technique. Solo reluctantly agreed. His pet did later return, now carrying an egg sack. Skywalker later recounted this to Mammon Hoole, and the scientist included it in the dewback entry of his reference book, The Essential Guide to Alien Species
In 16 ABY, Chewbacca left to be present for his son Lumpawaroo's coming-of-age ceremony, and Han was forced to leave to supervise the New Republic Fifth Fleet temporarily, leading to Winter returning to take care of the children during the day. Skywalker, meanwhile, retreated from the family into a hermetic life for personal reasons. Han was back after two months, but the crisis in the Koornacht Cluster, where the Fifth had been dispatched, quickly escalated. Organa Solo, suffering from burnout in her position as Chief of State, took the family on vacation to Rathalay, where Solo happily played on the beach, eager to see one of the carnivorous narkaa. After they returned to Coruscant, Han was again sent to command the fleet at Koornacht, but he was captured in transit by the Yevetha of the Koornacht Cluster. Organa Solo kept the news quiet, but it eventually went public. Solo was terrified for his father, but eventually Han was freed by the intervention of Chewbacca. Han had to spend time in a bacta tank on returning to Coruscant, but the children visited him. Returning home after their visit, they were delighted to find Luke Skywalker present. Rejecting his self-imposed hermitage, Skywalker was ready to take a larger hand in guiding the children's development.
The family soon moved back to the Imperial Palace, where Solo and his sister enjoyed exploring the vast building. They frequently used Anakin in their explorations, employing his uncanny talent with machines to have him open locks, interfere with security equipment, repair equipment, and otherwise facilitate their adventures. Getting out more, Solo overcame his previous sedentary lifestyle and no longer attempted to depend on the Force for strength.
Later in 17 ABY, after helping Winter and C-3PO dismiss a nanny droid mischievously ordered by Anakin, Solo was stricken by a sensation of evil and death. Joining with his similarly affected siblings, he pushed back the feeling through the Force, but it was quickly followed by an explosion nearby that made the children worry their actions had caused it. However, the explosion was a terrorist bombing of the Senate Hall, which injured Organa Solo. Skywalker hurried from Yavin 4 and was able to catch up with the children at their mother's bedside and assured them that the explosion had not been their fault.
With Organa Solo concerned about the children's safety, she had Winter take them to Anoth for the duration of the crisis. When another terrorist explosion struck Smuggler's Run, the children felt that as well, but were better able to deal with it. Ultimately, the ringleader of the plot, Kueller, was killed and the threat was neutralized, freeing the children to return to Coruscant.
In 18 ABY, the Solo children joined together in an attempt to construct a droid secretly, which would serve them without any adults being able to take it away or place restrictions on it. Solo scavenged most of the parts from junk heaps while his mechanically-minded siblings assembled it. Around the same time, the Solos met Zekk on Coruscant. A street urchin and expert salvager slightly older than the twins, Zekk befriended the children, and the three of them often spent time exploring the less reputable lower levels of Coruscant and skirting trouble. When the droid was fully assembled, a bad actuator caused it to overload and shut down, ruining the droid and leaving burn marks in the room. As the twins attempted to figure out how to avoid blame, Skywalker entered the room, lectured them on responsibility, and made them clean up the mess. Solo was simply relieved that it had not been his parents who found out.
Caught up in revolt
- "We'll meet up with you when we can. Right now you have to do what Chewie says, and take care of your sister and brother."
"No time for that now. Get in that ship and do what Chewie says. Tell your brother and sister that your mother and I love you very much. Now go. Go."
"Okay. We'll do our best. Good—good-bye, Dad."
- ―Han Solo and Jacen Solo
A few days after the droid incident, Organa Solo was to attend a major trade conference on Corellia, Han Solo's homeworld. The whole family made an outing of it, traveling there ahead of the summit to see the world. The trip in the Millennium Falcon was long, but the time was filled with family activities and an explanation of the situation in the Corellian system from Solo's father. When they entered the system, however, the Millennium Falcon was the victim of an ambush beaten off by a squadron of the untrustworthy Corellian Defense Forces Space Service, which had clumsily staged the attack in an attempt to gain the dignitaries' trust. After the momentary scare, Solo and his family were able to make landfall safely.
They were taken to the villa at which the family was staying, where Solo learned that he and his siblings were to have a tutor. On the next day, he was introduced to the Drall Ebrihim and his outspoken droid, Q9-X2. Ebrihim gave them lessons on the history of the Corellian system as they prepared for an expedition to an archaeological site near Coronet City the next day. Storms delayed the trip for a day, but the Solos, Chewbacca, and Ebrihim and his droid set out for the dig on the next day. Solo was bored by the tour, conducted by General Brimon Yarar of the Human League, the organization that was funding the dig. He was also suspicious, as he had read about archaeology and recognized that the Human League was not following proper procedures. Instead, they seemed to be looking for something. He and his siblings fell behind the group, and stopped when Anakin began to act strangely. Anakin had, with his Force-powered affinity for machinery, discovered a live power conduit beneath the floor. He ran off to follow it, and Solo and his sister went along. Anakin found and activated a hidden keypad, opening a likewise hidden door. Solo led the way into the revealed passage, onto a platform near the apex of a vast conical chamber. He was interrupted in his explorations by the arrival of Q9-X2, who had noticed their absence and tracked them down. Realizing they would be missed, Solo immediately took charge of the situation and insisted that they leave, knowing that they had found whatever Yarar was looking for—and that Yarar should not be allowed to find it. Leaving and making the others promise to keep the chamber a secret, they rejoined the group, with Solo using the Force to brush away their footprints so that they could not be tracked.
The Solos spent the next several days touring before they moved into a suite in Corona House, the governmental center in Coronet, where the trade summit was to be held. During that time, when Solo felt that they were secure, he and his siblings explained to their parents about the chamber they had found. When the summit started, the children took advantage of their parents' absence to stay up late in their bedroom playing board games. While they were doing so, Mara Jade entered the apartment. Realizing that their parents would be meeting her and discussing exciting adult business, they returned to bed from the landing on which they had hidden, pretended to be asleep when their parents returned and checked on them, and once more sneaked onto the landing above the living room to spy on the discussion. Jade had been sent a message to deliver to the Solos and the Corellian governor-general, Micamberlecto. The message offered a list of stars and dates and was understood to threaten that, if the unspecified blackmailers' unspecified demands were not met, supernovas would be triggered in those stars, which harbored increasing populations as the list progressed. The first star, an uninhabited one, had already exploded.
Early in the morning, synchronized species riots erupted across the Corellian system, with the Human League foremost among the offenders on Corellia. As the children, Chewbacca, Ebrihim, and Q9-X2 watched the violence from their suite, a series of explosions shook Corona House. The Wookiee immediately gathered the children and took them to the Millennium Falcon, docked on the roof, for evacuation. Solo answered his father's comlink call, and learned that his parents would be staying behind to deal with the crisis. Han charged his son with taking care of the others and following Chewbacca's instructions.
As the Falcon attempted to escape the system, it was attacked by forces of the Corellian Space Defense Force, which had aligned itself with the treacherous elements. During the dogfighting, the hyperdrive was damaged. Restricted to subspace travel, Chewbacca and Ebrihim decided to take refuge on Drall with Ebrihim's relatives. Over the course of the long, slow journey, Solo had to deal with the tedium of the voyage and with the necessity of managing Anakin—a challenging task even for adults. Upon landing at the estate of Ebrihim's aunt, Duchess Marcha, they were able to find safe harbor.
The next morning, Ebrihim had the children describe the chamber they had found on Corellia to Marcha. Jaina also told Marcha about the secret message they had seen, against Solo's advice. Marcha and Ebrihim decided to take the children to a very similar archaeological site on Drall in hopes of piecing together the mystery of the chamber and its importance to the Human League, which had announced its control of the mysterious "starbuster" superweapon and the fact that its leader was Thrackan Sal-Solo, Han Solo's cousin. Approaching the dig in the dark, Chewbacca drilled an entrance into the tunnel system near where they suspected the entrance to the chamber to be, if the Drallish site corresponded to the Corellian one. They were able to find an identical copy of the Corellian chamber, and Anakin activated the protruding platform on which the group stood, and was able to open the top of the chamber to the surface. Observing it, Marcha came to the conclusion that the chamber was a colossal repulsor of a planetary scale, used to move Drall when the Corellian system was constructed, just as rumors had long suggested it had been. On Marcha's advice, they took their supplies and the Millennium Falcon and set up camp at the base of the repulsor itself, planning to study it.
The group spent quite some time living inside the repulsor, with Anakin constantly exploring its functions. One night, Anakin crept away from the camp and found and activated the main control panel for the repulsor, firing it off. Tremendous groundquakes woke Solo, who rushed aboard the Millennium Falcon with the others and there safely rode out the massive energy output of the repulsor's firing. After the incident was over, Solo tracked down his brother and convinced Anakin, frightened and guilty, to come back to the ship.
Before Chewbacca could repair the damage to the ship from the power surge, Sal-Solo and a squad of Human League troops arrived and took control of the repulsor. The Solo children, Chewbacca, and the Drall were captured and put inside a force field-stockade inside the camp the Human League set up at the base of the repulsor. Sal-Solo dropped the jamming that had kept the Corellian system isolated and broadcast a message demanding that Organa Solo and the New Republic accept his claims of sovereignty in exchange for the safe return of the hostages.
When night fell, Ebrihim summoned Q9-X2, who had been hidden inside the smuggling compartments of the Millennium Falcon, with a hidden comlink. The droid was able to reduce the intensity of the force field, but was not able to turn it off without the key to the controls. Anakin began to push his way through the field, using the Force to strain and distort it. The twins joined him, and together they were able to escape the field. The technique could not effect the adults' escape, however. Ebrihim urged the children, the most valuable hostages, to escape in the Millennium Falcon with Q9-X2.
Chewbacca directed the final repair efforts by comlink; when completed, Solo took the pilot's seat. With his sister as copilot, he tentatively powered up the ship while Jaina shot apart the force field generator and attempted to cripple Sal-Solo's assault boat. Solo put the Millennium Falcon into motion, escaping the repulsor. Before Solo had fully mastered flight, the assault boat was in pursuit. Wildly dodging Sal-Solo's shots, Solo's amateur flying was able to put him on the assault boat's tail, allowing Jaina to disable it. The Millennium Falcon was immediately seized by a tractor beam from the Intruder, a Bakuran cruiser which had entered the system in a New Republic rescue attempt and had been planning on seizing the Drall repulsor. Old family friend Lando Calrissian was aboard and was able to reassure Solo and explain the situation while conveying his compliments on their escape. The Intruder also picked up the assault boat, capturing Sal-Solo.
Aboard the Intruder, the children were joyously reunited with their parents, who quickly came from negotiations on Selonia. As the Bakuran fleet went into battle against the fleet of the Sacorrian Triad, the real masterminds of the starbuster plot, the children were sent back to the Drall repulsor to help the New Republic crew that was attempting to use it to deflect the next starbuster shot from Centerpoint Station, targeting Bovo Yagen. The twins helped control Anakin, whom the control system had imprinted on, making him the only one who could control the repulsor. When Anakin got upset and stormed off before it was time to fire, Solo had to track him down and convince him to come back. When it turned out that the repulsor had been improperly aimed, Solo convinced Anakin to aim it by feel and the Force. Anakin made the shot that deflected Centerpoint's shot, saving Bovo Yagen. Meanwhile, the Triad fleet was defeated, ending the threat.
Student of the Force
- "As I have told you many times, I don't believe the training of a true Jedi comes from listening to lectures. I want to teach you how to learn action, how to do things, not just think about them. 'There is no try,' as Yoda, one of my own Jedi Masters, taught me."
- ―Luke Skywalker, in lecture to Solo's class
In 19 ABY, Solo went with his mother and siblings to Shalam for a treaty signing, as Organa Solo hoped to expose the children to more high-level diplomacy. Later that year, Organa Solo took a leave from the New Republic's presidency, and the family traveled to Wayland, where the Noghri had settled. Before they could take a tour of the ruins of Mount Tantiss, Organa Solo was called away to deal with Lak Jit, a scavenger who had found a collection of datacards in the ruins. Impatient to begin the tour, Solo entered the dukha where his mother was negotiating and began harassing her to hurry. When Jit settled and departed, Solo was able to sense the distress of his siblings as Jit dropped a smoke grenade and escaped with one of the stolen datacards still in his possession. Smuggler and information broker Talon Karrde, working with his lieutenant Mara Jade, was arriving on-planet at the same time and managed to capture Jit. When it turned out that the datacard held vital information implicating the Bothans in the long-ago attack on Caamas, a crisis seemed liable to erupt and Karrde quickly gave the Solos a ride back to Coruscant.
As the Caamas Document Crisis gained in intensity, threatening to pull the New Republic apart, the children traveled to Kashyyyk with Chewbacca, there to see the Wookiee's family and homeworld and remain safe during the turmoil. Once the political situation was brought to a peaceful conclusion, the children left Kashyyyk and attended the signing of the Pellaeon–Gavrisom Treaty, which brought peace between the New Republic and Imperial Remnant.
During the crisis, Skywalker had proposed marriage to Jade. Solo attended a more private Jedi ceremony before the large, public-event wedding. When that event was threatened with disruption by angered ex-Imperials, the Rogue Squadron ushers were called away to secure the facility, and Solo and C-3PO filled in for them. Still, former Moff Derran Takkar was able to infiltrate the ceremony and threaten to release a virus into the New Republic's communications system. Skywalker was able to talk him down, and the wedding went forward peacefully.
In 22 ABY, the twins later spent a handful of months at Skywalker's Praxeum, training as Jedi. Solo enjoyed the outdoors, and familiarized himself with the wildlife of Yavin 4. When the twins returned to Coruscant, Anakin was sent off to begin his training. In the next year, Solo and his sister returned to the Praxeum, where they befriended Tenel Ka Djo. A serious young woman with whom Solo became rather infatuated, Djo rarely if ever laughed; therefore, Solo made it his mission to attempt to get a chuckle out of her with a daily barrage of jokes, which consistently fell flat. Meanwhile, Solo worked to improve his quarters, where he kept an extensive menagerie of captured wildlife; he spent his free time acquiring even more specimens. The collection annoyed some fellow students, particularly Raynar Thul.
One morning, Solo noticed that his nearly-transparent crystal snake had escaped. He recruited his sister to aid him in searching for it, and they found Thul in his room, passed out from the snake's soporific bite. He was able to retrieve it before Thul awoke, preventing the young noble from using the incident to argue against Solo's collection of pets. Later that morning, their lecture was interrupted by an alert at the Great Temple's landing pad. Skywalker left, and, eager to see what was happening, the Solos scaled the temple's exterior with Djo, a persistent outdoors-woman, to get there before the crowd of students. Outside, they found that a massive beast had emerged from the jungle, and was menacing the supply ship Lightning Rod. Solo watched in amazement as his uncle calmed the creature and sent it back into the jungle.
The next morning, the Solos eagerly awaited the arrival of their father, who was bringing a new Jedi trainee. The new student turned out to be Chewbacca's nephew, Lowbacca. They gave Lowbacca a tour of the academy, and sat with him and Djo at lunch. The crystal snake had again escaped, and Solo noticed it as it prepared to bite Thul. He tried to knock Thul out of the way, but as no one else saw the nearly invisible snake, the action was misinterpreted and precipitated a food fight. Eventually, Solo recovered it and was able to lock it away once again.
When Han Solo and Chewbacca departed, they left Lowbacca a gift: a disassembled T-23 skyhopper. The Solo twins aided their Wookiee friend in rebuilding the craft, and Lowbacca then took it out for a test flight. When he returned, he told the twins and Djo of a mysterious artificial object he had seen from a distance. They took the skyhopper out the next morning and found the wreckage of a TIE fighter, which Jaina decided the group should fix. They spent the next days traveling to the crash site, working to restore the wreck. While exploring around the crash site one day, Solo found a trail, which he followed to find the encampment of the TIE fighter's pilot, who had survived the crash after all. He rushed back to the others to alert them, but the pilot showed up just as he attempted to warn them. Armed, Qorl, the Imperial pilot, took the twins prisoner—Lowbacca and Djo were quick enough to escape.
Qorl took the pair back to his settlement, where he fed them. The next morning, he forced them to work on repairing the TIE fighter, demanding that they finish work on it immediately. They were able to complete the last repairs, and Qorl set off in the TIE, which included an added-on hyperdrive unit, abandoning the twins in the jungle. Qorl planned to attack the Jedi academy, but his weapons were non-functional, and Han Solo and Chewbacca, summoned from assisting Calrissian's new venture over Yavin Prime, chased the TIE off Yavin 4 before picking up the twins.
Temptation at the Shadow Academy
- "You were right: I'm not ready. The weapon of the Jedi is not to be taken up lightly."
"Even so, you learned to use it. Didn't Brakiss teach you?"
"I'm physically capable. I know how to fight an opponent with it—but I'm not sure I'm ready mentally. Maybe I'm not mature enough emotionally."
- ―Jacen Solo and Luke Skywalker
When a field trip to Calrissian's GemDiver Station was scheduled, Solo was extremely disappointed that Djo declined to attend. Calrissian took the Solos and Lowbacca on a tour of his Corusca gem-mining facility, and at their insistence allowed them to ride along on a mining expedition. Calrissian let them work the trolling controls in turn, promising any catch of the extremely rare jewels to the children. Solo was the only one of the three to succeed, snaring a very large and valuable stone. On returning to GemDiver Station, they found a fleet entering the system and bearing down on the station. They were boarded by stormtroopers, and it became clear that it was the Jedi children, not the Corusca gems, that they were after. Calrissian did all he could to protect them, but he and the students were stunned and the children were carried away.
The trio awoke in a cabin aboard a ship, and were soon visited by the woman who had commanded the stormtrooper assault, Nightsister Tamith Kai. Kai took them to the cockpit, where they saw their destination: the Shadow Academy. There Kai intended to turn them to the dark side and make them servants of the Second Imperium, an Imperial splinter state in the Deep Core. In the cockpit they also found Qorl, who had joined the Second Imperium. On landing, they were introduced to the Shadow Academy's headmaster, Brakiss, who Solo knew to be a failed former student of Skywalker's. They were split up and put in small cells, but Solo was determined to remain defiant, mocking his captors and rejecting Brakiss and Kai's pronouncements. When all of the Shadow Academy's students were gathered for Brakiss's lessons, which suggested that the power of the dark side must be added to that of the light, Solo rejected his arguments, but it was Jaina who voiced her objections, causing Brakiss to attack her with Force lightning. Lowbacca began attacking the stormtroopers in the room before Solo talked him down. Brakiss sent all three students away to their cells as a result of the disturbance.
Solo was later brought in for one-on-one training with Brakiss. The headmaster gave the boy a lightsaber, something that Solo had long wanted. Solo distrusted Brakiss and refused the lightsaber, but Brakiss pressed the weapon on him and Solo gave in. The headmaster left the room, which began projecting a holographic simulation for Solo to fight—though, as an incentive to perform, he suggested that he might slip in genuine beasts as well. The training continued, until eventually Brakiss had Solo fight in a holographic disguise, calling it training for possible deployment in disguise. He battled the holographic specter of Darth Vader for some time, until Brakiss dropped the holographic shrouds and found that he had been fighting his sister, with both fighting as Darth Vader. They angrily ended the sparring match.
The next day, the three Jedi students were brought together for an exercise. The Solos would be inside a chamber, blindfolded, and targeted with flying objects. Lowbacca would be in a control room operating drones that could protect them in addition to the sticks given to the twins. Standing back-to-back, they used the Force to sense the incoming projectiles, but as the onslaught intensified, Solo was increasingly battered. Once the systems began firing knives, Lowbacca was able to crash the computer controlling it and bring the test to an end.
Back in his room, Solo hit upon the idea of using his Corusca gem, which he had secreted in his boot, to cut his way out and escape. From within the room, he used the extremely hard gem to slice out the back of the control box that opened the door from outside, allowing him to hot-wire the door open. Reaching out in the Force, he found Jaina and Lowbacca and freed them. Lowbacca sliced into the main computer system and locked down the station before the group fled to the docking bay. There, they found Skywalker and Djo, who had just arrived in a rescue attempt after tracking down the station's location, and escaped.
The threat of the Second Imperium
- "The forces of darkness are gearing up for a full-scale war."
"Do we have to just wait for them to make the next move? Can't we try to prepare ourselves for the coming fight?"
"Yes, we can. A great battle is coming. The Jedi Knights—all of us—have no choice but to prepare for it."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Jacen Solo
On returning to Yavin 4, Skywalker offered Solo his lightsaber, instructing him to show what he had learned. Solo refused it; he had realized that he was not yet ready to take up the weapon of the Jedi. Afterward, Han Solo took the children and their friends Djo and Lowbacca back to Coruscant for a break. On their approach to the planet, the twins played their customary game, competing to see who could shoot down more orbital debris with the Millennium Falcon's quad laser cannons. Reunited with his parents and little brother, Solo enjoyed visiting with his family. He offered his mother his Corusca gem as a present, but she insisted that Solo keep it. The youths spent the next day with Zekk, exploring the Coruscant undercity and assisting him in retrieving a hawk-bat egg. When the hawk-bat mother returned with Solo in the process of stealing the egg, he used the Force to calm the creature and allow the group to leave. On their way back, Zekk took them through the headquarters of the Lost Ones, a gang of malcontent youths. The Lost Ones emerged, seeking to rough up the explorers, but the Jedi fled with Zekk to the urchin's mid-level apartment, which he shared with Peckhum, the supply pilot for the Praxeum.
The next day, the Solo family took a private vacation to one of Coruscant's polar ice caps, where they rode tauntauns, turbo-skied, and played in the snow. They also convinced their mother to allow Zekk, Lowbacca, and Djo to attend the diplomatic banquet for the ambassador from Karnak Alpha that night. They attended, where Solo found that the egg Zekk had sold yesterday was presented to the ambassador as a gift for Karnak Alpha's collection of rare animals. Zekk was not fully prepared for the banquet, wearing an outdated suit and accidentally eating his bouquet, thinking it a salad. He stormed off, embarrassed, at the conclusion of the dinner.
The next day, the youths went to visit Zekk, but he was not in. When he still did not turn up at his apartment after an hour of waiting, they were convinced that something was wrong. They left a message for him, but when they came back the next day, there was still no sign of their friend. Solo led the search for Zekk, thinking the older boy was hiding out of embarrassment. The next day Peckhum arrived at the Imperial Palace, having returned from his tour of duty aboard an Orbital Solar Energy Transfer Satellite. Zekk had left no notes for him, and he was convinced the boy was not simply hiding; something had happened to him. Peckhum offered a list of suggestions as to where they might look for Zekk, and Solo took charge of the effort as his sister and Lowbacca went back with Peckhum to the OSETS in order to make badly-needed repairs. Using Anakin and C-3PO as well as Djo, he began systematically combing the areas the old pilot had suggested.
Paired with Djo, Solo searched the undercity, with Djo's quick thinking saving him from a crumbling bridge. They pressed on, and Solo was able to use the Force to sense Zekk. They found him speaking to the Lost Ones; he urged them to leave. When Tamith Kai emerged, it became clear that Zekk, a Force-sensitive whom the twins had never even suspected, had been recruited by the Shadow Academy. Solo argued against the promises of the Second Imperium, trying to persuade Zekk that he was making a mistake. When Kai and her assistants were made to intervene, Solo and Djo attempted to flee, but were stunned. The agents of the Second Imperium simply left them, and they only came to when Organa Solo arrived with Anakin, having tracked the students down. Solo alerted his sister aboard the orbital mirror, and she realized that the Shadow Academy had been hiding, cloaked, in the Coruscant system. She exposed it to the New Republic fleet, but the mobile station fled into hyperspace before it could be disabled. Zekk left the twins a message pod before he departed aboard the station, promising that he held them no ill will, but was determined to make something of himself at the Shadow Academy.
Skywalker picked the students up from Coruscant, taking them back to the Praxeum. Skywalker grew increasingly worried about the threat that the Shadow Academy posed, expecting war to erupt with the growing power. He determined that it was necessary for the students to accelerate their training. For the four most experienced students—the Solos and their friends—it was time to craft their own lightsabers. Taking components from Jaina's store of spare parts, Solo spent a week meticulously assembling his weapon. The Corusca gem he had acquired became the focusing crystal of his lightsaber, creating a green blade.
- "I guess all I really need is for you to accept my apology."
"Apology accepted. I…forgive you, if that is what you desire. Jacen, my friend."
- ―Jacen Solo and Tenel Ka Djo
The trainees spent weeks practicing, first with sticks against dueling droids, and then with their lightsabers against targets. When Skywalker deemed them ready, they used remotes for blaster-deflection practice, their eyes covered with a visor that filtered out the sight of the remotes so that they were obliged to trust in the Force. After that, they moved on to sparring with each other. Solo faced Djo, and attempted to keep her off-balance with constant banter while aiming to maneuver her onto bad footing. Djo would not be distracted or caught unaware. The pair ended up locking blades, each pushing to overpower the other. The clash took a tragic turn when Djo's lightsaber, hastily made with flawed crystals, failed. Meeting no resistance, Solo's blade swept through Djo's left arm, severing it above the elbow.
Solo was aghast, and was left wandering the halls of the academy in shock as Skywalker took Djo in to receive treatment. Skywalker maintained that the girl was not yet ready to see visitors, preventing Solo from apologizing. Unable to keep from dwelling on the incident, he finally fell asleep that night, only to be awakened by the feeling that Djo was in trouble. He rushed outside, where he saw a ship departing from the landing pad, with Skywalker watching. Djo had been picked up by her family; Solo never had a chance to say goodbye.
Tionne Solusar, one of the Praxeum's teachers, attempted to help guide the remaining friends through their lightsaber training. Now uncomfortable with their weapons and still horrified at what had happened to their friend, they were counseled by Solusar, but still did not overcome their grief. Deciding Djo could use a visit from her friends, Skywalker took the three to Hapes in the Shadow Chaser, the craft he had captured from the Second Imperium. When it became clear that they were visiting Hapes rather than Dathomir, the world Solo believed to be Djo's homeworld, Skywalker finally explained that the girl Solo had known as Tenel Ka was in fact Tenel Ka Chume Ta' Djo, daughter of the Hapan Prince Isolder and Queen Mother Teneniel Djo, originally from Dathomir. She had kept her identity hidden to keep her friends from letting her standing as heir to the Hapan throne influence their view of her; she identified more with her Dathomiri heritage at any rate.
Solo joyously greeted the young princess on landing, and Skywalker, knowing Djo's ever-scheming grandmother Ta'a Chume was determined to prevent Djo from becoming a Jedi, arranged for the students to remain with Djo for a month. After settling in, Solo was visited by the princess, and each tried to take blame for the accident; finally, Solo attempted to defuse the tension with his trademark phrase, "Want to hear a joke?" That brought Djo to laughter for the first time since Solo had met her, glad to be reunited with her friend. They decided to contest blame no longer; Djo accepted Solo's apology and the pair hugged tearfully.
They spent the rest of the day in Djo's quarters with Jaina and Lowbacca. When it came time for dinner, Ta'a Chume summoned them to the dining hall. Djo refused, preferring to take her meal with her friends. Almost immediately, a bomb detonated in the dining hall. They were immediately evacuated to Reef Fortress Island, a royal stronghold. There, Djo picked out a special room for each of her friends; Solo's was lined with a vast aquarium, a fact he greatly appreciated. They relaxed for a few days, but eventually grew bored and restless on the small island. Their caretaker, Ambassador Yfra, offered to let them take a wavespeeder out for the day. Pre-programmed, it was to take them out in a loop, but when the craft traveled across a vast, foul-smelling expanse of eye-flower seaweed, Jaina and Lowbacca disengaged the autopilot and attempted to turn around. However, Solo, touching the seaweed curiously, was ensnared by a tentacle that tried to pull him overboard. He was saved, but the carnivorous sea life lashed the wavespeeder with multiple tentacles. Solo lit his lightsaber and defended against the creature, from which the wavespeeder escaped. On examining the autopilot, Lowbacca found that it had been programmed to strand them in the middle of the dangerous stretch of sea.
They returned to Reef Fortress, where private investigation confirmed that the wavespeeder had been sabotaged. Djo suspected Yfra was making her own play for power. That night, Djo woke the other students; the power had been cut and Bartokk assassins were infiltrating the fortress. Ta'a Chume, who had arrived at the retreat that day, was the target. The Jedi rushed to defend her, and Solo made his first kills as he cut down assassins. As more Bartokks attempted to gain access to the Queen Mother's chambers, the group fled out of the window and into a wavespeeder. Jaina and Lowbacca piloted the craft through the rock formation known as the Dragon's Teeth, and when that failed to wreck their pursuers, over the patch of carnivorous seaweed. There, Ta'a Chume was able to shoot down the pursuing craft, plunging the Bartokk to their deaths.
They returned to the mainland, where Yfra, who had attempted to assume power, was arrested. Djo declared her intention to return to the Praxeum, and the return of her parents to Hapes overruled any objection Ta'a Chume might have raised. Skywalker returned the youths to Yavin 4, where Djo built a new lightsaber. She insisted that Solo spar with her once more, a sign of trust and a way of moving beyond the accident; the duel went flawlessly.
The Second Imperium strikes
- "This is Jacen Solo. Attention, New Republic. We have an emergency! This is Jacen Solo on Yavin 4, requesting immediate assistance. We are under attack by the Shadow Academy! Repeat. Imperial fighters attacking the Jedi academy—request assistance immediately. Our shields are down. We've got ground battles taking place and air strikes from TIE fighters. We desperately need immediate assistance."
- ―Jacen Solo
When Lowbacca became withdrawn, Solo noticed that something was wrong with his friend. Eventually, the Wookiee shared that he worried for his sister, Sirrakuk, who was approaching the age for her hrrtayyk coming-of-age ceremony and might act on her own, as Lowbacca had, and endanger herself in an attempt to prove her status. Moreover, Raabakyysh, Sirrakuk's friend and Lowbacca's romantic interest, had gone missing when she earlier attempted to duplicate Lowbacca's solo feat. Lowbacca was traveling to Kashyyyk to accompany Sirrakuk on her hrrtayyk, and the Solos and Djo promised to accompany him. Chewbacca took the group to Kashyyyk aboard the Shadow Chaser, and Solo attempted to fill the time in transit by explaining humor to Djo, a lecture which had no impact. In the Force, Solo sensed a creature aboard the ship; he found a rodent living in the ion shield generator circuits. Just as he retrieved it, the Shadow Chaser was pulled out of hyperspace by an ion storm. Without the protection of the shields, its navigational computer was disabled, but the two Wookiees were still able to lay in a course for Kashyyyk.
They arrived in Thikkiiana City, where they stayed with Lowbacca's family and toured the advanced electronics factory in the treetop city. After a few days spent on Kashyyyk, Solo, Djo, Lowbacca, and Sirrakuk received a distressed message from the factory suggesting that the Wookiees' parents, who were employed there, had been injured. As they arrived, a squadron of TIE fighters began strafing the facility. The young Jedi rushed to the defensive turrets surrounding the station, where Solo shot down a TIE bomber before it could deliver its payload and brought down a few more fighters. When more Wookiees rushed to the scene, Solo abandoned his turret in favor of searching out the core of the problem; Lowbacca had pinpointed the traffic control tower as the site from which the automated defenses had been compromised and the attack was being directed. Rushing to the tower, they were intercepted by Zekk—the Second Imperium warrior commanding the strike—and the Nightsister Vonnda Ra. When stormtrooper reinforcements arrived, Solo decided the battle could not be won and ordered a retreat.
Hotly pursued, the Jedi descended to the lower levels of Kashyyyk's jungle with Sirrakuk. Solo and Djo followed the Wookiees through the darkness, hoping to evade the Imperials. However, they were forced to ignite their lightsabers and reveal their position when they were attacked by one of the myriad dangerous creatures of Kashyyyk's depths. Surrounded, they were forced to surrender. Solo was able to persuade a fierce slug to come to their aid, allowing them to flee once more. They were caught again, but Djo dispatched the stormtroopers while Sirrakuk and Vonnda Ra, struggling, fell into the maw of a syren plant. Working with the other Jedi, Solo helped free Sirrakuk by soothing the plant, but left Ra inside to be consumed. While inside, Sirrakuk seized the prized fibers from the plant which completed her hrrtayyk.
They tracked down Jaina, who had followed them with Chewbacca, hoping to arrange a rescue. A branch had given way and plunged Chewbacca lower, breaking his leg. Alone, Jaina had been visited by Zekk, who warned her away from the academy, claiming it would be struck soon, before departing. They brought the injured Wookiee to the surface, where he was treated and repairs on the Shadow Chaser were completed before they rushed back to the defense of the Jedi Praxeum. They landed before any attack had been made and alerted Skywalker, who immediately began organizing a defense. He had Solo monitor communications in the system and admit Peckhum, making his regular supply run, under the newly installed shields. No sooner had Peckhum landed than the Second Imperium forces entered the system.
A saboteur was able to land and take the shields down, forcing Skywalker to consider evacuating the Praxeum. Solo rushed to his room to set his pets free so they would not be killed in any bombing before reporting to the Grand Audience Chamber with the rest of the Praxeum's occupants. There, Skywalker ordered the Jedi to evacuate into the jungle, where they could better fight the invaders. Solo and Peckhum took the latter's Lightning Rod into orbit to move outside the range of the Shadow Academy's jamming and broadcast a distress message to the New Republic. He was able to get an open-channel transmission past the jamming before the ship was beset by TIE fighters. One, piloted by the Lost Ones leader Norys, relentlessly pursued the Lightning Rod back into atmosphere—where Norys was shot down by Qorl, who was leading the TIE assault on the Praxeum, for insubordination and disobedience. The Lightning Rod went down, breaking Peckhum's arm in the crash. Solo was forced to pilot the badly damaged ship from its landing site to an emergency landing at the Great Temple. He put down at the very conclusion of the battle—after the Shadow Academy had been destroyed, Brakiss and Kai killed, the Dark Jedi routed, and the Second Imperium fleet defeated by reinforcements summoned by Solo's distress message—as Jaina dueled Zekk and a saboteur's bomb caused damage in the Great Temple.
With the battle resolved and the Second Imperium thoroughly defeated, the students traveled to GemDiver Station to recover in Calrissian's bacta tanks. Rebuilding of the Great Temple began, and the students participated in the construction work. Meanwhile, Zekk went into a coma upon returning from GemDiver Station. Solo was at his side when the former darksider woke up four days later. Zekk still felt awkward and guilty over his time at the Shadow Academy, but he worked with the group of friends to repair the Lightning Rod and bonded. When it was repaired, Zekk departed aboard it, not yet ready to train with Skywalker. During the battle, Qorl had been shot down. The pilot returned to his ways as a hermit, renouncing galactic conflict. Solo and his friends eventually ran into the old pilot once more, and were able to consider him something of a friend.
The search for Bornan Thul
- "I guess you're pretty scared."
"How would you feel if somebody in your family was missing and maybe even dead?"
"Believe it or not, that situation isn't completely uncommon in my family. I know how you feel."
- ―Jacen Solo and Raynar Thul
Soon thereafter, Djo was given a ship, the Rock Dragon, by her parents. This pleasant surprise was soon joined by the arrival of Anakin, with Han Solo and Chewbacca, at Yavin 4. Anakin believed that his puzzle-solving mind could be put to work in the rebuilding effort, and Organa Solo would be arriving in less than a week to spend her birthday with the rest of the family. Jaina suggested to Han that the twins and their friends travel to the Graveyard—the ruins of Alderaan—in Djo's ship and retrieve a piece of the rubble as a memento for their mother's gift. The elder Solo reluctantly agreed to allow it, and soon the party set off for the Graveyard. They entered it and found one asteroid almost entirely composed of pure metal, a former part of Alderaan's core. Landing, they donned spacesuits and cut out a section of pure metal.
As soon as they attempted to leave, the Rock Dragon came under attack, and the Jedi had to fake an explosion and take cover inside an asteroid in order to lose their pursuer. The students worked together to make what repairs they could, but as they attempted escape, the enemy ship showed up at the mouth of the cave and fired, collapsing the cave and burying the Rock Dragon. Lowbacca's translator droid M-TD, plugged into the ship's systems, detected that the ship's data banks were being accessed by remote slicer. The trainees left the ship to check on the cave-in, but their attacker soon blasted through the rubble and demanded information on Bornan Thul—Raynar Thul's father—who the youths knew had recently gone missing, with Han Solo searching for him. Their attacker identified herself as Boba Fett, but unknown to Solo or his companions, she was Ailyn Vel, Fett's daughter, in disguise. On being told that she had misinterpreted a transmission the Jedi had made to Raynar Thul—that they had not found Bornan Thul, only a birthday gift for Leia Organa Solo—Vel left, causing another cave-in to trap the friends once more and suggesting that she would use them as bait for Han Solo, who might know more.
Meanwhile, M-TD had tapped into the Slave IV's records with the Rock Dragon's own remote slicer, and files showed that Nolaa Tarkona, the Twi'lek politician whom the elder Thul had been on his way to meet, had issued the bounty on Thul which Vel hoped to collect. M-TD also detected a decoy distress message sent by Vel to Solo's father. Solo and Djo went back outside to clear a way out while Jaina and Lowbacca worked on repairs. When they were ready, they burst into the asteroid field, and Solo broadcast a warning and distress message. Vel disabled the Rock Dragon, but before she could destroy the ship, Zekk arrived in the Lightning Rod and drove off Vel. The Lightning Rod disappeared once more, and the youths were left to drift in space until the Millennium Falcon arrived and towed them to safety. Zekk returned from his pursuit of Vel and announced that he intended to become a bounty hunter himself and search for Thul.
They returned to Yavin 4, where the Solo family celebrated Organa Solo's birthday, at which she greatly appreciated the twins' gift. Solo made a conscious effort to be more friendly toward Raynar Thul, and when he learned that Thul was being sent to his mother, Aryn Dro Thul, during the stressful time for his family, Solo suggested that he and his friends go along to keep Thul company and work on his Jedi exercises.
Aboard the Thul flagship Tradewyn, they were warmly received and given a tour of the bridge. While on the bridge, they witnessed the next hyperspace jump of the Bornaryn Trading Fleet—in which the Tradewyn emerged alone, routed into a bounty hunter's trap. When Raynar and Aryn Dro Thul were ushered to safety in a secure cabin, Solo felt through the Force that something was amiss. He and Djo followed the guard assigned to them, Kusk, to the docking bay, where they found Kusk attempting to take the Thuls prisoner. Using the Force, the three Jedi captured Kusk, while the bounty hunter's ship was destroyed in battle.
On learning that Bornan Thul had last been seen on Kuar, Solo decided that the young Jedi ought to examine the world for leads. Raynar remained safe with his family while the other students set out in the Rock Dragon. On Kuar, they found a landmark which seemed to be the likeliest site for any meeting on the abandoned world. Landing, they searched and found a House of Thul sash; on it was written a message from Bornan Thul warning that there was great danger for the galaxy's Humans if he was captured. While further investigating, the group was attacked by a combat arachnid. They were saved by the sudden appearance of Raabakyysh, the friend Lowbacca had thought dead. They fled attacks from more combat arachnids and made it back to their ship. Lowbacca spent time catching up with Raabakyysh, who seemed ill at ease around the other Jedi. The female Wookiee had been injured attempting her rite of passage, and had fled the planet in shame. The next morning, Solo suggested that he visit the other Wookiee on her ship, the Rising Star, with Lowbacca. From her, he learned that a trader named Fonterrat had been on Kuar recently, sent by Raabakyysh's employer, Nolaa Tarkona's Diversity Alliance. It was he whom Raabakyysh had sought on the planet. Solo immediately surmised that it had been Fonterrat whom Thul met before departing Kuar. At that moment, Tyko Thul, Bornan's brother, arrived. After they had left the fleet, he had determined that he ought to aid them in their search. His disparaging comments about Tarkona caused Raabakyysh to leave the group, and they did not discover any new clues on Kuar.
That night, they were attacked by several ships, which deployed assassin droids led by IG-88A. They fled into the caves nearby, where they were cornered between the assassin droids and more combat arachnids. Both the droids and the Jedi battled the arachnids, but when Thul was seized by one, IG-88A rescued Thul and left with him. The Jedi had to withdraw to their ship, repair the damage it had suffered in the droid attack, and return to the Praxeum.
There, Raabakyysh eventually visited, taking Lowbacca back to Kashyyyk with her so that they could announce her survival. Soon afterward, Lusa arrived at the academy, a Chironian who had been one of Hethrir's Force-sensitive captives when the Solo children were kidnapped and whom the twins knew. Lusa told the Solos and their friends that she had joined the Diversity Alliance, which taught hatred and resentment of Humans; she left after being assigned to what was effectively an assassination mission.
Raynar Thul returned from the Bornaryn fleet and decided that, with his uncle kidnapped, he would travel to Mechis III to watch over the droid assembly lines of the planet Tyko Thul administered. The Solos and Djo volunteered to take him there in the Rock Dragon. On landing, Tyko Thul's protocol droid, 3D-4X, insisted no visitors were allowed, but they entered the main office anyway. On attempting to use the equipment, they activated a security lockdown and had to eliminate automated security blasters before they could unlock the door and leave the office. Just outside the door, however, was IG-88A, and with him Tyko Thul. The elder Thul had faked his kidnapping, hoping to draw his brother out of hiding. They became Thul's guests, but while fitting M-TD with a repulsorlift enhancement, Zekk arrived. As a bounty hunter, he had been contracted by Bornan Thul—disguised but found out by Zekk—to rescue Tyko.
They were interrupted by a strafing run by Dengar, a bounty hunter who had followed Zekk. Convinced that Bornan Thul was with them, Dengar was distracted by Zekk and Jaina in the Lightning Rod while Solo, Djo, and Raynar Thul attempted to flee in the Rock Dragon. Before they could get to the ship, though, Dengar landed and held them at gunpoint. Solo joined with the other students to distract Dengar by threatening to topple his ship over the edge of the rooftop. IG-88A arrived and disarmed Dengar, forcing the bounty hunter to retreat. With the threat over, Jaina and M-TD reprogrammed IG-88A so that the former bounty hunter droid would track down Bornan Thul and protect him.
The Diversity Alliance
- "First we send a message. Then we blow up a weapons depot."
"Hey, just another day's work for a bunch of Jedi trainees."
- ―Bornan Thul and Jacen Solo
While on Mechis III, the group received a message from Lowbacca's parents, stating that he, his sister Sirrakuk, and Raabakyysh had traveled to the Diversity Alliance's headquarters on Ryloth. Though the young Jedi returned to Yavin 4, they remained worried that their friend had fallen in with the dangerous anti-Human group. While camping, they decided to travel to Ryloth to get news of Lowbacca, who had been out of contact too long for their liking. When Thul was injured by a rakhmar attack, the arrival of Lusa, announcing that Ta'a Chume had arrived demanding to see Djo, allowed a way to get Thul back to the Great Temple. On their return, Solo accompanied Djo to see her grandmother. The Queen Mother had researched the Diversity Alliance, and her numerous sources had revealed that the organization was profiting from the sales of Ryloth's ryll spice and regularly hired bounty hunters to eliminate any defectors; its leadership appeared to be far more menacing than it let on to the public. Lusa confirmed the account and warned that Lowbacca would be in great danger if he attempted to leave the organization.
The Solos, Djo, and Thul took it upon themselves to leave for Ryloth, refusing to alert any adults lest it become a diplomatic matter or a New Republic crackdown put Lowbacca in danger. They sneaked onto the planet by clamping the Rock Dragon onto an automated freighter, then transferring to one of the ship's cargo pods. Undiscovered in the search of the Rock Dragon, they were able to skulk into the tunnel network of the Diversity Alliance's headquarters. While attempting to contact Lowbacca, they were found out by Hovrak, Tarkona's adjutant and head of security. Outnumbered, the students were captured and dragged before Tarkona. Raabakyysh exposed their identities as valuable hostages, but Solo attempted to attack Tarkona by telekinetically manipulating their captured lightsabers. His control was insufficient to do any damage, however, and he was again forced to surrender.
The young Jedi were sentenced to labor in the ryll mines. Solo and Djo were assigned to harvest stalactites of concentrated ryll from the ceiling of the caves. Eventually, Lowbacca discovered that his friends had been imprisoned and, posing as a guard, took them into his custody. Rearmed, they headed out of the cave network into the open air of Ryloth while Lowbacca retrieved Sirrakuk. Before they could escape fully, they encountered several guards. Jaina covered their escape by destroying a weapons cache, creating a cave-in that cut Solo and Djo off from Jaina and Thul. They ultimately emerged outside Ryloth's temperate zone, on the frigid night side of the planet. Solo and Djo forged through the bitter cold and rocky, hilly terrain toward the habitable zone, sharing warmth and emotion. When a heat storm entered the night side, they had to take shelter from the fierce, scalding heat. In the cave where they took refuge, they found Kur, a former Twi'lek clan leader who had been defeated and exiled by Tarkona. Briefly regaining their strength in Kur's cave, they set out again with the old Twi'lek in tow. They were rescued by Lowbacca and Sirrakuk in the Rock Dragon before they even reached habitable land. Meanwhile, Skywalker, Zekk, and Lusa arrived and picked up Jaina and Thul, allowing the group to depart Ryloth.
They recovered on Coruscant, where Organa Solo dedicated the resources of the New Republic to stopping the Diversity Alliance, which they now knew from Zekk's investigations and Hovrak's statements intended to release a plague across the galaxy, killing all Humans. After they healed, Organa Solo had the young Jedi speak before the New Republic Senate about their encounter with the Diversity Alliance. Several nonhuman senators were critical of their testimony, as the youths had broken into the headquarters of another government. Cilghal, a Jedi Knight and senator, proposed a fact-finding mission to which the Senate agreed.
As Zekk had earlier planted a tracking beacon aboard Bornan Thul's vessel, he set out with Raynar Thul to bring the wanted man to safety. The Solos, Lowbacca, and Djo decided to back up their friends, arriving at the rendezvous in time to drive off Ailyn Vel, still posing as her father, and rescue the elder Thul. Before Thul had abandoned his ship and programmed it to self-destruct, he had noticed Vel slicing his computers, which gave her the location of the Emperor's Plague Storehouse, where the anti-Human virus Tarkona desired was stored. Deciding it was vital they set out for the storehouse before Tarkona could get there, they sent a message to Coruscant requesting reinforcements meet them there and headed for the secret former Imperial base.
Reaching the asteroid base after twelve hours of travel, they found that the main chamber contained multiple canisters of the deadly disease. They planned to use the munitions stored at the depot to destroy the asteroid and the plague with it, and split up to plant their explosives. Before they had finished, the Diversity Alliance arrived, and Solo, his sister, and Djo found themselves chased by Diversity Alliance agents. They fled to the Rock Dragon, setting up explosives to cover their launch and catch their pursuers. Once they launched, they were attacked by the Diversity Alliance fleet, but the swift arrival of a New Republic task force under General Solo saved them and put the Diversity Alliance's armada on the defensive. The Jedi returned to the asteroid to place and trigger the rest of their explosives. The New Republic fleet bombarded the asteroid as well, after Zekk, Lowbacca, and Raynar Thul had escaped; Bornan Thul had given his life attempting to destroy the plague and kill Tarkona. Tarkona escaped in a shuttle with Raabakyysh, but she had already been infected with another of the artificial diseases stored in the depot and was dying; Raabakyysh had chosen to flee and quarantine the pair rather than risk spreading the disease farther.
The Diversity Alliance was thoroughly defeated, and Solo and his friends became involved in the settlement of the situation on Coruscant, weeding out the ringleaders of the Diversity Alliance captives from those who had not known of the group's more extremist plans and helping the former members of the Diversity Alliance rejoin the New Republic.
- "We'll find a way to help your planet."
"Right. A few pampered kids and one former smuggler will fix everything. I feel better already."
- ―Jacen Solo and Anja Gallandro
Lusa and Zekk both decided to begin Jedi training, which pleased the other Jedi trainees immensely. In the aftermath of the Diversity Alliance crisis, they enjoyed some downtime, reflecting on the gravity of the events that had occurred. When Solo expressed doubt that any future events could shock them after the deeds they had already done, he was proved wrong, to his great delight, when Djo kissed him. After some time spent training, Han Solo arrived on Yavin 4 to take his children, including Anakin, to the 24 ABY Blockade Runners Derby at Ord Mantell, for which he would serve as Grand Marshal. The Millennium Falcon served as the pace craft, taking a trial run through the course. During that flight, the ship narrowly avoided an ambush involving several mines. The race was put off to the next day, at which time the Solos were quite surprised to witness Zekk win the race with Lowbacca and Djo in the Rock Dragon.
After the intense media attention died down, the youths turned their attention to analyzing the debris of the mines that had nearly killed them, hoping to find out who wanted them dead. During a lunch break, an uneasy feeling in the Force led them to check the evidence, which was in the process of being stolen by camouflaged, color-changing creatures. Fighting the thieves, they were surprised by the arrival of a lightsaber-wielding woman. The thieves were able to get away with the evidence, but on one of those killed in the fight was a Black Sun tattoo. The woman introduced herself as Anja Gallandro, the daughter of an accomplished gunfighter Han Solo had once battled. The elder Solo tried to explain to her that he had not killed her father; when Gallandro drew his blaster to shoot a fellow treasure hunter, automated security systems in the area had killed Gallandro. However, the young woman would have none of it and left, castigating the Solos for never having aided her nearby war-torn homeworld, Anobis.
Solo found his mind turning to Gallandro's obvious pain and anger—and by his father's incomplete answer to her accusations, as Han Solo had not been able to explain the actual circumstances of her father's death before she left, saying only that the death was not his fault. Solo had sensed his father's sense of guilt over the matter, and discussed the matter with his siblings. When his father entered the room, Solo pressed him to explain, which he did; the elder Solo had avoided giving all the detail to Gallandro so as not to tarnish her image of her father. Still, Jacen Solo could not quite shake his doubts over the incident and his father's clear sense of guilt.
The next morning, the Solos set out for Anobis on a fact-finding mission with their Jedi friends. Before they left, Gallandro approached them, and Solo invited her along when she mentioned her intention to return to Anobis. She explained the origins of Anobis's civil war in the conflict between Rebellion-aligned valley farmers and mountain miners dependent on Imperial trade, and Solo found himself sympathizing with her miner background. She also explained the lightsaber she used, telling them she had bought it, and was not a trained Force-user. On entering the Anobis system, they encountered the Rude Awakening. Suspecting it of gunrunning after it released space mines and attempted to flee, Han Solo boarded the craft in his function as New Republic emissary, and with the Jedi students he found the hold full of illegal munitions. The New Republic representatives forced the pilot, Lilmit, to jettison and destroy his cargo before they landed in a farming village on Anobis. There they learned that the farmers' fields had been mined by the mountain villagers.
That evening, the village came under attack from a migrating herd of carnivorous knaars. The Jedi volunteered to stand and fight against the massive herd while as many villagers as possible were evacuated in the Millennium Falcon. Resistance proved impossible against the tremendous numbers, and instead the Jedi led the villagers though the treacherous minefields safely. As the villagers moved beyond the traditional territorial boundary of the knaars, Solo sensed the predators' unease and used the Force to convince them to give up their pursuit. In the aftermath, Han flew several leaders to a mountain village for refuge and to discuss peace, while the Jedi led the rest of the villagers through the dangerous forest and to the village. When they arrived, after avoiding most of the booby traps with which the forest had been seeded, they found themselves captured by hostile miners.
The villagers were imprisoned while the leader of the miners, Elis, attempted to persuade the New Republic emissaries that the farmers were the real villains of the civil war. Both sides inflicted vicious damage on the other, but each was tired of the endless destruction and wanted the war to end. When Elis's brother, Protas, was killed in an accident while placing burrowing detonators in the abandoned farming village, and the New Republicans revealed that Lilmit had been selling weapons to both sides, the diplomats were able to convince both sides to put aside their twenty-year feud and once more work together to clear their traps and make a life on Anobis. Using the Force, Solo and his friends were able to sense traps and remove them from a safe distance. In the aftermath, Solo suggested that Gallandro attend the Praxeum and explore her seeming Force powers.
Battling Black Sun
- Calrissian: "Why is it that every time I try to take a simple vacation with you kids, something disastrous happens?"
- Jacen: "I have a feeling we just draw adventure to ourselves."
- Jaina: "But since we're trying to be real Jedi Knights, I don't suppose there'll ever be a time when the New Republic doesn't need us."
- ―Lando Calrissian, Jacen Solo, and Jaina Solo
Gallandro spent weeks at the academy, during which both Solo and Zekk found themselves attracted to and spending time with Gallandro, who did not get along with the rest of the group. The two boys worked with her on lightsaber technique, and found themselves aggravated by the hot-tempered woman's aggressive, risky fighting. Solo nearly lost his own arm in practice with her, and Skywalker admitted to him that he felt no Force-sensitivity in Gallandro, only a darkness. Solo and Zekk's closeness with Gallandro drove a wedge between them and the rest of their friends, but a visit from Lando Calrissian offered an opportunity to bring the group together. Calrissian was planning to invest in an amusement center in Cloud City, SkyCenter Galleria, and wanted the Solos, Lowbacca, Djo, and Zekk to test the center and provide ideas. Solo suggested that Calrissian invite Gallandro along.
On arriving at Cloud City, however, they learned that Calrissian's business partner, Cojahn, had died in what was ruled a suicide. They toured the facility, but it was hard to enjoy the attractions after Cojahn's death. Calrissian was not convinced that it had been a suicide, and the Jedi suggested that they investigate. The next morning, before their investigation began, Calrissian told the students that he recognized Gallandro to be under the influence of andris. Solo found this hard to believe, but on questioning she admitted to using the spice. Upset, she vowed that she was not addicted and stormed off.
When Calrissian learned that a band Cojahn had booked—Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes—had fled Cloud City for Clak'dor VII, he left to investigate the lead with Jaina and Zekk. Solo, Djo, and Lowbacca poked around SkyCenter Galleria looking for suspicious activity, but Gallandro was largely uninterested in their inquiry. When they noticed an Ugnaught who matched the description of the former construction foreman Cojahn had fired, the Jedi students followed him into the floating city's network of service tunnels and into Port Town. There, the Ugnaught led them into an ambush by seven armed thugs of the Black Sun crime syndicate. The Jedi ran, chased by the hit men, but the Ugnaught managed to drop them down a chute to Cloud City's exterior. Lowbacca and Djo were able to catch an antenna, but Solo plummeted into Bespin's atmosphere. He sent out a cry for help through the Force, causing a thranta rider named M'kim to direct his mount to catch the falling boy. M'kim refused to take him back immediately, suggesting that Solo should allow the assassins to believe him dead for the moment. Instead, M'kim took Solo to a floating mat of algae and told the Jedi that he had seen Cojahn fall to his death, pushed by Czethros—the old bounty hunter foe of Han Solo and supposed legitimate businessman Solo had met on Ord Mantell during the Blockade Runners Derby.
M'kim then took Solo back to Cloud City, where he shared a happy reunion with his companions, who had thought him dead. Calrissian and the others returned, having learned from D'an that Black Sun had been attempting to muscle into Cloud City's entertainment sector and pressuring Cojahn. Calrissian demanded an investigation, and Solo, Djo, and Lowbacca were summoned for a debriefing on the assassination attempt. On reaching the supposed site of their report, however, it was deserted except for two of the Black Sun assassins and a pair of corrupt Wing Guard officers. The Jedi fled in a pair of cloud cars, with Solo shaking his pursuers by flying into a storm cell and using the Force to direct a pack of velkers to attack the following cloud car. He returned to Cloud City, and there, with the conspiracy uncovered, Calrissian began to break up Black Sun's influence over Cloud City. Czethros himself, however, slipped out of the grasp of the New Republic.
After the students returned to Yavin 4, Gallandro eventually ran out of andris, driving her to steal the Lightning Rod and take off in an attempt to secure a new supply of spice to feed her addiction. Skywalker assigned the Solos, Lowbacca, Djo, and Zekk to find her, recover the ship, and help their friend battle her addiction. The ship's course as it fled Yavin, and Gallandro's addiction, suggested that her destination was Kessel, where andris was mined.
Solo felt that something was wrong with the mission, and on arriving on Kessel, the Jedi met with Nien Nunb, the Sullustan who administered the spice mines of Kessel for their owner Calrissian. Nunb offered his aid, but warned the students that he suspected some of his employees may be acting against him and the Jedi should be alert for betrayal. While the youths searched for any sign of the Lightning Rod, they noticed that the Rude Awakening, which they had earlier encountered running guns to Anobis under Lilmit, had docked in a secluded area, authorized by the former Second Administrator Torvon—who had died in the process of attempting to assassinate Nunb. The Jedi felt they should look into Lilmit's presence, and on confronting him were able to learn that Gallandro had visited and spoken with Lilmit before leaving for Mon Calamari. Additionally, the smuggler was desperate to leave Kessel quickly, suggesting that whatever conspiracy was acting against Nunb would soon come to a head.
The Jedi decided to divide their forces, with Solo, Zekk, and Djo pursuing Gallandro in the Rock Dragon while Jaina and Lowbacca remained behind to protect Nunb. Solo thought to signal Cilghal ahead of time, requesting assistance. When they arrived on Mon Calamari, Cilghal had already begun inquiries and arranged to meet the Jedi on Foamwander City. Cilghal was able to track the Lightning Rod to Crystal Reef, an elite arctic resort city. There, the resort's information systems were able to locate Gallandro, at that moment attempting to procure a submersible. Accompanied by Cilghal, the students approached Gallandro. They were able to convince her to explain herself, at which the young woman finally let down her guard and admitted her addiction. Additionally, she revealed that she had been working for Czethros, only to realize she had been manipulated and used by the Black Sun kingpin. Solo's friendship had helped convince her that she had been mistaken to hate the Solos, and she no longer wished to harm them. Instead, she was determined to destroy Czethros's cache of spice under the ice cap.
Taking a submersible, they were able to locate and destroy the cache. As they finished doing so, a gigantic and very rare Great Arctic Skra'akan began to harass the submersible. When it consumed some of the free-floating andris, its attacks became frenzied. They were able to escape by sealing their damaged submersible inside a fissure in the ice cap, but being thus trapped presented its own problems. As Gallandro became overcome by withdrawal in their cramped quarters, escape efforts came to a halt. Solo and his friends gathered around Gallandro to support her as Cilghal used her skills in healing to remove the toxins causing the woman's symptoms. With that complete, Djo suggested they use their lightsabers to clear the ice around the craft. Suiting up for the frigid waters, Solo helped carve away ice until the submersible could move freely.
They returned safely to Crystal Reef, where Zekk recovered the Lightning Rod, leaving only Solo and Djo to pilot the Rock Dragon back to Kessel. Solo and Djo enjoyed their time together, but were alarmed to learn that on Kessel, Jaina and Lowbacca had narrowly foiled a takeover attempt by Black Sun, capturing Czethros and preventing Black Sun from enacting a scheme to take over various major galactic institutions and locations.
- "Okay, the thing of it is that you were shaped as a weapon by Jedi Masters who were part of a tradition that had developed into peacekeepers. I get the feeling, though, that's not how the Jedi began. I think the Jedi philosophy started as something that strengthened people within. The powers we manifest—I think those are all outgrowths of the internal strengthening, but a lot of those teachings were lost along the way. I mean, I feel the need for something inside."
- ―Jacen Solo, to Luke Skywalker
The students made their way back to Yavin 4. There, Solo made a gift to Djo, with whom he was increasingly close, of a necklace made of precious gort-egg shells. Skywalker took the students aside individually, and spoke with them about their futures as Jedi. It was decided that Solo and his younger brother would become their uncle's apprentices, traveling with him and being personally tutored in the ways of the Force. Jaina would be apprenticed to Mara Jade Skywalker.
A celebration was to be held to honor the students' progress and accomplishments, and the students' families were invited. Solo was able to apologize to his father for doubting his account of the elder Gallandro's death, and Anja Gallandro herself apologized before taking her leave of the Praxeum. Lacking ability in the Force, she instead took a job with Calrissian. At the ceremony, all the Solo children, Djo, Lowbacca, Zekk, Thul, Lusa, Gallandro, and even M-TD were honored for their roles in foiling the recent plots against the New Republic. After the ceremony, the Solos and Skywalkers took a vacation to Crystal Reef, where they had been invited to enjoy a trip by the local authorities when Solo and his friends had first arrived.
As Skywalker's apprentice, Solo found himself looking to rediscover more aspects of the ancient Jedi, aspects that involved more than battling to uphold the peace. Despite this, Solo disapproved of his Master's desire to reestablish the Jedi High Council, as he had come to believe that being a Jedi Knight was a deeply personal, spiritual matter and Knights should be internally, not externally, guided. A Jedi Council, he felt, would only lead to politicking and corruption. In the same vein, he felt that the Praxeum from which he had recently graduated was a poor idea, too formal and stifling of individual growth. In Solo's eyes, students should find their own way to the Jedi before being taken on individually by a Master to explore the Force. Solo's unorthodox, authority-challenging views led to several discussions with Skywalker, who had a more traditional view of the Jedi's role but valued Solo's opinions and insights nonetheless. Solo also argued fiercely with his brother, who saw the Jedi as bringers of peace and keepers of order whose martial skills were of vital importance. Solo rejected that view, seeing internal harmony and understanding of the Force as a Jedi's goal; the Force was not to be used as a tool to project individual interpretations of the good. Despite this view, Solo felt it his responsibility to lecture his younger brother until Anakin accepted this as truth.
In 25 ABY, after accompanying Skywalker to a meeting of new Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya's Advisory Council on the role of the Jedi, Solo again entered an argument with his brother, which escalated to a lightsaber duel when each insisted that his view of the Force led to a superior connection with it and greater lightsaber technique thereby. Jacen Solo won the sparring session, but his victory hardly settled the philosophical dispute between the two brothers.
Shortly thereafter, the Skywalker and Solo families took a trip to Dubrillion, where Lando Calrissian was running a new mining operation on Dubrillion's sister world Destrillion and the Lando's Folly asteroid belt. During a stopover on Reecee, Solo's Master asked his opinion of resurrecting the Jedi Council, and revealed that he shared the same concerns; however, he felt that the Jedi required oversight and did have duties to the New Republic. Skywalker also rebuked Solo for the pride that he evidenced in his philosophical arguments and his contempt for Fey'lya, warning him against excessive confidence in his views.
On Dubrillion, they toured Calrissian's facilities, and the Solo children eagerly took the chance to "run the belt" by flying a TIE Advanced x1, modified with strong repulsor shields, along the edge of Lando's Folly. Solo went first, surviving over five and a half minutes before he struck an asteroid and spun out of control. Kept safe by the collision shields, Solo was added to the record board. Anakin barely surpassed his time, but Jaina set the new single-pilot record in her run. The performance fueled a debate between Jacen and Anakin Solo of inner peace versus outer skill. Jedi Knight Kyp Durron, currently leading a squadron of fighter pilots against smugglers and a faction of Jedi who argued for an active, interventionist view of the Jedi, was on Dubrillion and was drawn into the argument when he arrived to congratulate Jaina on her performance. Solo chastised Durron for his actions, regarding him as borrowing trouble and reducing the Jedi to simple galactic police. Durron, undisturbed by Solo's arguments, left with his squadron to investigate odd activity in the Helska system. After Han Solo and Chewbacca made a harrowing paired run of the belt in which their TIE Bomber lost its remotely projected shields, they departed with Anakin to make a delivery to Sernpidal for Calrissian, while the Skywalkers left to investigate a report of trouble at the ExGal Society facility on Belkadan.
Philosopher at war
The first losses; the first victories
- "It's just like when you were younger, Jacen. You're prepared for the job, but you've not done it yet. You're off thinking about the next big thing, and the little thing in front of you might eat you up. The Yuuzhan Vong aren't one of the little adventures we've had in our lives. They are totally serious, and if you look past them, you won't get past them."
- ―Jaina Solo, to Jacen Solo
On Sernpidal and Belkadan, signs of a mysterious new threat emerged. On Belkadan, terraformed through unknown means, Mara Jade Skywalker battled a warrior using living weaponry and who could not be felt in the Force. Over Helska IV, strange yorik coral ships destroyed Durron's Dozen-and-Two Avengers. Only Durron escaped to report on the frighteningly capable craft. The most devastating news for Solo came from Sernpidal, where a strange creature caused the moon Dobido to collide with the planet. Separated from the Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca was able to throw Anakin to safety. When Chewbacca could not be retrieved in time, Anakin was forced to speed away in the Millennium Falcon in order to save it and the refugees aboard. The Solos' Wookiee "uncle" died in the planetary catastrophe, among the first victims of the Yuuzhan Vong, an extragalactic race dedicated to conquering the galaxy.
Han and Anakin shepherded the Sernpidal refugees to Dubrillion, where the Yuuzhan Vong invaders followed. On Anakin's return, Solo learned of Chewbacca's death, and told his younger brother that, despite Han's anger, he had had no other choice and Chewbacca would not have wanted the others to die hopelessly attempting to save him. With the news that the enemy fleet was slowly approaching Dubrillion, Solo and his siblings volunteered to fight in the coming battle. Overcoming their parents' objections, they were allowed to pilot three of Calrissian's remotely shielded TIEs, armed with a single laser and rack of torpedoes, only so long as they remained in the atmosphere and within range of the Belt-Runner I, powering their shields.
When the battle came, the Solos flew as an atmospheric patrol, intercepting enemy coralskipper fighters that slipped through the orbital defenses before they could come within range of the planetary turbolasers. When Belt-Runner I came under attack, it was no longer able to shield them, leaving their fighters vulnerable. With the shields no longer in play, Jaina insisted the warning to stay atmospheric had ceased to be valid, and led the others into the main orbital battle. There, their excellent teamwork attracted enemy attention. While the swarm of enemies led the rest of the defenders to call a retreat to the atmosphere, Anakin insisted the Solos run the belt. He called to the other two Jedi through the Force, suggesting they join minds. Giving themselves over to the Force and sharing perceptions, they were able to evade the asteroids and easily target the Yuuzhan Vong fighters. The strain of the intense bond slowly proved too much for Anakin to coordinate, ending the experiment and forcing the unshielded Jedi to abandon Lando's Folly. Anakin was forced to jump blindly to hyperspace, and a furious Han ordered the twins back to Dubrillion.
With the Yuuzhan Vong attack blunted by the diversion of much of the attack force into the asteroid belt, the twins were greeted as heroes when they landed. In the aftermath of the experience, Solo felt that the perfect teamwork he had experienced called into question his belief that the Force was to be used purely internally, considering its application in battle too powerful and practical to ignore. Meanwhile, the Millennium Falcon recovered Anakin and returned to Dubrillion, where Calrissian's men had captured one of the enemy fighters, its pilot dead. Skywalker intended to use the ooglith cloaker environment suit and gnullith breather, combined with an iceborer ship, to infiltrate the Yuuzhan Vong base of operations on Helska IV; however, Solo was convinced that the Skywalkers should not undertake the mission; Jade Skywalker, who would be piloting the carry ship Merry Miner to deliver and recover the iceborer, was suffering from a severe and mysterious disease. Instead, the twins became convinced that they ought to be the ones to carry out the mission.
Convinced that no one else would see the merits of their plan, the Solos did not seek permission before they took off in the Merry Miner, leaving only a message with R2-D2. In the Helska system, the launch of the iceborer went smoothly, but before he reached the planet, Solo sensed a cry for help through the Force. He altered his course toward the signal, alerting the Yuuzhan Vong to his presence, before bringing the iceborer through the thick crust of ice coating Helska IV's waters. He left the iceborer and, disguised in his ooglith cloaker, was assumed to be a Yuuzhan Vong by a procession of warriors who ordered him into line. This proved fortuitous, as the warriors traveled to a cell holding Durron's apprentice Miko Reglia, shot down in the earlier battle, and the woman Danni Quee, whom Solo was surprised to recognize as the source of the Force call. The warriors finally realized that something was amiss, forcing Solo to battle them. Quee handled one, and Reglia, broken by Yuuzhan Vong torture, gave his life to remove the ooglith cloakers of a pair and carry them into the freezing water. Solo killed the other three and pulled Quee to the iceborer. He broke back through the ice and launched to space, where a New Republic task force had engaged the Yuuzhan Vong and been defeated. Jaina caught his ship and, with the Millennium Falcon and Jade Sabre, returned to Dubrillion.
Due to the design of the craft, Solo was forced to remain in the intensely cramped one-man tube with Quee for the entirety of the trip as he attempted to comfort the traumatized captive. Quee, a scientist at the ExGal-4 station on Belkadan, was able to explain much of the extragalactic aliens' invasion, equipment, and methodology: they sought to conquer the galaxy, and they utilized a living, sentient war coordinator, a yammosk, to direct the coralskippers' efforts. When Anakin and Quee came up with the idea of turning the yammosk's tremendous energy output back on Helska to freeze the planet by intense evaporation, Calrissian was able to provide the shieldships to reflect the energy. A quick stopover on Dubrillion allowed them to marshal their forces, and then the New Republic fighters returned to Helska, this time with Solo in the ventral turret of the Millennium Falcon. Many coralskippers had left to harry Dubrillion, and the attack took the Yuuzhan Vong by surprise. Solo provided cover for the shieldships as they sapped heat from Helska IV. The yammosk was killed, and the ice world exploded under the strain of the energy wreaking havoc on it.
In the aftermath, Solo filed a report on his experience, hoping to provide insight and information on the strange invaders. While the Yuuzhan Vong attack had been blunted, Quee, the Solos, and the Skywalkers believed they had defeated only the earliest segment of a much larger invasion force. The New Republic's leadership did not see things the same way and did not wish to put itself on a crisis footing, panicking the populace, for what they believed to have been an isolated, defeated threat. To formulate a Jedi response to the threat, Skywalker called a convocation of the Jedi two months after the initial invasion, which Solo attended. Skywalker shared the confusing news that the Yuuzhan Vong could not be sensed in the Force; they seemed invisible to or outside it. When Durron confidently stated the Jedi's ability to handle the threat, Solo spoke up to criticize him for overconfidence. Skywalker cut short an argument, but supported Solo's point, stating that he would direct the Jedi to gather information and prepare for war rather than attempt to carry on a war themselves. Jedi Knight Corran Horn brought the Solo brothers to see Skywalker about their assignments afterward. Anakin was instructed to accompany their aunt to Dantooine, where she could work on recovering from her debilitating illness. Before Jacen Solo was told of his assignment, he revealed to his Master that he felt he should have no assignment, as he was having second thoughts about being a Jedi. Solo felt that the Jedi Order had fallen away from its origins as a meditative order, and the current Jedi Order was not fulfilling his need for an internally-focused, contemplative relationship with the Force. Skywalker insisted that he could not abandon his Jedi duty to protect life in the galaxy, and Horn pointed out that there was much to be learned from action as well as meditation. Skywalker denied Solo's request, insisting that he needed Solo's assistance on a dangerous mission to return to Belkadan. If, afterward, Solo decided that he required time alone for introspection, he could take it.
On approaching Belkadan, the two Jedi detected that its atmosphere was nearly returned to its norm, unlike the noxious hothouse atmosphere the Skywalkers had earlier encountered. Solo landed their craft, the GAT-12 Skipray Blastboat Courage, covertly near the ExGal facility. There they found a warning display of smashed technology, but no life. They moved on to an area where, on landing, they had sensed life that felt unnatural and diseased. There they found an encampment growing Yuuzhan Vong biological technology and worked by captives, slaves implanted with coral "slave seeds" that allowed the Yuuzhan Vong to exert control over them. Solo was convinced they should free the slaves, but Skywalker resisted the idea, stating that they did not know enough about the situation to risk freeing the slaves, whose lives might be beyond saving. Unhappily, the younger Jedi assented.
After a week of scouting the area where the Yuuzhan Vong were growing their weapons and equipment with slave labor, Solo experienced a vivid dream in which he freed the slaves he had found the first day. Accompanying it was a sense of urgency that convinced him it was a Force vision, a prompting from the Force to liberate the Yuuzhan Vong's captives. He accepted the mission, sneaking from the Jedi camp in the ExGal station in the middle of the night. As he proceeded to the slave quarters exactly as he had seen in his vision, his sense of certainty grew. Finding the slaves at work in a villip paddy, he boldly summoned them to follow him. Rather than fleeing with him, the slaves were alarmed and retreated. Their Yuuzhan Vong overseer engaged Solo in combat. The Yuuzhan Vong warrior was able to gain the upper hand, as his amphistaff and vonduun crab armor resisted Solo's lightsaber. Unable to use the Force to move the Yuuzhan Vong, Solo was held underwater until he passed out.
Awakening in the Embrace of Pain, a Yuuzhan Vong torture device, Solo questioned whether he had used a simple dream as an excuse to do what he had wanted from the beginning and resolved to listen to more experienced Jedi in the future. The Embrace of Pain caused him too much agony to concentrate on using the Force, and he was unable to defend himself when a Yuuzhan Vong creature arrived and planted a surge coral seed on Solo's cheekbone. Shocked when his lightsaber flew out of the door, Solo was able to look up and see Skywalker, wielding two lightsabers, defeat three Yuuzhan Vong warriors. The Jedi Master cut Solo free and removed the slave seed. Reporting that the slaves no longer existed in the Force—dead or given over completely to the Yuuzhan Vong implants—Skywalker insisted that they had to leave immediately for Dantooine.
On the front lines
- "It's as if I'm walking around in a circle, circling around the goal I want. Sometimes it seems as if I need to be alone, and others I'm thrust into the heroic mold that has shaped and consumed Uncle Luke. I know there are other approaches, but I don't know if they are right for me."
"Sounds like you're trying to plot a course without knowing what your final destination is."
"You said you were circling your goal, but you never defined it. You never said what it was."
- ―Jacen Solo and Anakin Solo
Skywalker had felt that his wife and nephew were in danger from Yuuzhan Vong pursuers on Dantooine. Landing on the wilderness planet, Solo and Skywalker followed the Force to find three attackers about to kill Anakin. Skywalker saved Anakin while Solo knocked out the other two Yuuzhan Vong. They returned to the Courage but did not leave Dantooine, as Solo's mother and sister had landed on another continent with a large band of refugees from Dubrillion, which had fallen to the invaders. At the refugee camp, Solo found that his twin had joined the elite Rogue Squadron and would be serving with the other fighter pilots in the camp's defense. Jacen and Anakin Solo, along with Skywalker, assisted the New Republic Army forces guarding the perimeter. Solo also spoke with Quee, who had been traveling with Jaina and Leia Organa Solo and working on the Force skills Solo had discovered in her. In his conversation, Quee helped him realize that he was comfortable, at least for the time, taking a path of action and defense rather than retreating to meditate—he had found that his place was, in fact, with the Jedi. Quee, five years older, also gently deflected Solo's questions about romance, saying she valued him as a friend and could not trust her feelings in a time of such upheaval.
When the Yuuzhan Vong attack arrived, a concentrated assault of ground troops dominated by Chazrach slave-soldiers, Solo and his brother were ordered to the southwest corner of the defenses. As the Chazrach pressed into the New Republic lines, the Jedi were forced into a desperate defense. Skywalker was able to use the Force to push one of the gravitic anomalies the Yuuzhan Vong assault craft used as shields back onto the vehicle itself, destroying the command center for the assault. Without central control over their surge coral implants, the Chazrach went mad. Many of them made it into the camp, but their rampage was halted before the next wave of Yuuzhan Vong arrived. Though previous supply difficulties had forced the refugees to stop on Dantooine, many had been killed in the fighting and their position was no longer defensible. The New Republic forces took advantage of the respite to evacuate the refugees. The arrival of a pair of capital ships under the command of Admiral Traest Kre'fey drove off the Yuuzhan Vong fleet and allowed the refugee convoy to escape. Though Solo had accepted it as his duty to defend the refugees, in the aftermath of the carnage battling the seemingly mindless Chazrach, he found himself questioning whether the fighting had truly been the duty of a Jedi. He felt that he was receiving conflicting signals as to whether action or contemplation was the right course for him. After discussing his feelings with Anakin, he decided to simply walk the paths the Force presented to him, and learn what he could from each.
All the Solos returned to Coruscant, where Han, still dealing with his grief over Chewbacca's death, had given himself over to drinking. When Skywalker called another Jedi convocation, Solo attended. Skywalker made a decision to limit the scope of Jedi activity to helping refugees and gathering information until they knew enough about the invaders to formulate successful battle plans. Meanwhile, the New Republic refused to support Jedi action, as they were seen as ineffective and meddlesome through the war so far. Corran Horn, though, had been reactivated by the military and charged with leading a covert mission to the conquered world of Garqi to contact the resistance and gain information. Horn was assigned six Noghri commandos and two civilian observers, selecting Solo and Jedi Knight Ganner Rhysode.
Solo spent a week in briefing and training before shipping out aboard the Ralroost, on which Jaina was stationed with Rogue Squadron. Solo had a conversation with Jaina in which his twin criticized him for looking beyond the mission at hand to focus on philosophical issues and urged him to turn his attention to surviving the mission to Garqi and learning from Horn and Rhysode, as he could not afford to look beyond the Yuuzhan Vong. When it came time for the scouting team to be inserted to Garqi, they boarded the shuttle Best Chance, hidden inside Lost Hope. Only the mission team, Kre'fey, and the technicians working on the ship knew that Lost Hope was intended to explode, allowing Best Chance to land without suspicion. The plan went off smoothly, with a false engine failure providing the explosion and cover for their landing. Solo withdrew in the Force from his sister, piloting her X-wing in the battle, as she, like all the others, was not intended to know the reality of the situation until the battle was over so that the enemy could not possibly be tipped off by their reactions.
After landing, the team met up with the Garqi Resistance and traveled to the planetary capital of Pesktda. There, they found the Yuuzhan Vong building an army of slaves covered in surge coral armor. Horn proposed that when the Yuuzhan Vong carried out war games in the city to train their slave army, the strike team capture some of the slaves in the confusion and take them off-world for study, attempting to develop a counter to the process without the Yuuzhan Vong knowing their research had been compromised. The New Republic strike team waited in the utility conduits under the training area during the next exercise, using their holovision goggles to view the Wlesc neighborhood streets. When the combat reached their area, Solo and the others exited and engaged the Chazrach comprising the bulk of the Yuuzhan Vong forces. Rhysode, Horn, and Resistance snipers killed the three Yuuzhan Vong leading the war game, causing the rest of the troops to retreat. The team grabbed two downed slave soldiers, but a coralskipper soon arrived. Horn ordered Solo to retreat while he held off the fighter. Instead, Solo used the Force to grab a heavy hatch cover and hold it against the coralskipper's plasma emitter. The ship was destroyed in the plasma backwash, and Horn pulled Solo out of the way of its debris.
Hotly pursued by the Yuuzhan Vong and still two hours away from their extraction time, the New Republic team fled to the Pesktda Xenobotanical Garden while two of the Noghri and the Garqi Resistance fighters sneaked away with the captives. Solo and Horn formed the rearguard, taking significant harassment from Yuuzhan Vong warriors. They holed up in the Ithorian section of the gardens, where they were challenged by Yuuzhan Vong commander Krag Val and six other warriors. Val killed a Noghri and wounded Rhysode with a slash across the face before Solo reached the warrior and struck him down. The other enemy warriors were killed by their own vonduun crab armor, which had an allergic reaction to the Ithorian bafforr tree pollen and swelled, suffocating the warriors. Horn, recognizing the value of this knowledge, ordered that the forest be burned to prevent the Yuuzhan Vong from realizing what had occurred. Solo objected to killing the semi-sentient bafforrs, but Horn insisted that it was the best hope for the galaxy.
Instead of the suicidal last stand they had expected, the Jedi found that they had won a victory, and were able to make it to the Best Chance before extraction. Despite the arrival of an unexpected enemy fleet, Kre'fey's task force, with the surprise help of Admiral Gilad Pellaeon, leader of the Imperial Remnant, and a small force under his command, successfully recovered the Best Chance. Once they were safely away, Solo prepared the scouting team's report, while the combined New Republic and Imperial task forces proceeded to Ithor, intent on securing the bafforr population. They prepared for an invasion, expecting that the Yuuzhan Vong would soon realize the threat Ithor posed. In order for the Jedi to travel from the floating herdships to Ithor's surface, sacred to the Ithorians, they had to attend a purifying ceremony with High Priest Relal Tawron. Tawron required each Jedi to publicly state a part of himself that was holding him back, and that he renounced as part of the purification. Envious of the others' ease in finding their problems and desperate to realize what would allow him that same certainty and peace, Solo finally rejected his own need to know his future role, concentrating his focus on the present and leaving aside his urgency to know at that moment what he would become.
When a Yuuzhan Vong fleet arrived in the system, the Ithorian herdships were evacuated with the exception of Tafanda Bay, which the Jedi retained as an ambush ground for the Yuuzhan Vong. In order to extend the time the herdships had to evacuate, Horn proposed that he challenge Shedao Shai, the enemy commander, to a duel, which would allow the New Republic to keep Ithor or return to Shai the remains of an ancestor who had died scouting the galaxy, depending on who won. Before the duel there would be a truce to allow further evacuation. Solo was uncomfortable with the plan and attempted to talk Horn out of it, reasoning that Horn was seeking revenge for Shai's murder of Elegos A'Kla, a senator and friend of Horn's who had attempted to seek understanding of the invaders. Horn insisted that he was acting from impersonal motives, which Solo reluctantly accepted.
When the Yuuzhan Vong attacked, Solo served on the surface of Ithor with Horn and Rhysode. While the Yuuzhan Vong landing force concentrated on attacking a droid-defended facility built over a large bomb as a trap, the Jedi took the landing craft serving as Shai's command center. Horn issued his challenge by villip to Shai, who accepted. After the battle, Solo comforted his sister as she grieved the loss of her wingmate, Anni Capstan, in the battle.
A week later, Horn won the duel, but Shai's successor in command, Deign Lian, did not honor the agreement and instead bombarded Ithor with a bioengineered toxin that extinguished all life on the planet. Horn, reeling from negative press coverage which portrayed him and the Jedi as fools whose actions led to the destruction of Ithor and from his realization that he had in fact sought vengeance, left the Jedi Order, offering himself as a scapegoat. Solo objected, furious at the idea that the Jedi would bow to political pressure and public slurs, but Skywalker accepted Horn's reasoning and Horn urged Solo to stand behind Skywalker.
While Solo was training on Yavin 4 with his siblings and Lowbacca, they approached Prince Finn Galfridian, a new Jedi trainee who had seen his homeworld Artorias conquered by the Yuuzhan Vong. They invited him to train with them for an afternoon, after which Anakin reported a strange noise from within a cave. Galfridian used his exploration droid Prowl to scout the cave and found an enormous angry tuk'ata within. Anakin wanted to attack the beast but Solo, sensing what was amiss, blocked his strike and instead approached the beast and removed a shaft from its flank. The beast, calmed, returned into the cave as Jedi Masters Skywalker, Durron, and Lar Le'Ung arrived and promised to contain the Sith hound.
After that experience, Solo, his siblings, his mother, Lowbacca, and Galfridian traveled to Nar Shaddaa to track down a smuggler with information about Yuuzhan Vong infiltrators. Han Solo lent them the Millennium Falcon, but remained too deep in grief, with relations too strained, to accompany them. After they arrived, Organa Solo let the youths travel the upper levels cautiously while she met a contact—Han Solo himself, unwilling to face his children in his sense of shame. While they traveled, the young Jedi were approached by Dahal, a grifter who offered them a tour of the city. They accepted, but by the end of it Dahal had achieved his true aim of picking Solo's pocket. When Solo and Lowbacca entered Giton's Bar to seek out the smuggler, they were directed to Dahal. Solo confronted him, and the alien returned the credit pouch but not the money within, keeping it as a bribe to get him to set up a meeting with the smuggler. Prowl trailed Dahal while the Solos returned to the ship, learning there that their father had been there but not seen them, which upset Anakin especially. After Galfridian's droid pointed out the smuggler, a Vratix named Spraug, the entire group confronted him and forced him to turn over a holocron with the information within.
That holocron implicated a longtime friend of Galfridian's family, Dulac, as a Yuuzhan Vong in disguise. Galfridian insisted on returning to Artorias to warn his father, King Caled Galfridian, who had stayed behind on Artorias. Master Skywalker forbade him to go, but Solo and his sister realized he would attempt to sneak away and waited for him in the hangar that night, intending to go along with their friend. Skywalker also foresaw Galfridian's attempt and arrived. He accepted that he could not hold the youth back, though he still thought the mission unwise, and ordered Galfridian to obey the twins, placing Solo in charge of assessing the approach to the enemy-held planet and calling off the insertion if it appeared too dangerous.
They emerged over Artorias and immediately came under attack by grutchins, hull-chewing Yuuzhan Vong insects. Solo shot most of them, but Galfridian had to go extravehicular to fight off those that had already attached to the hull. The damaged ship crashed into the sea, as Galfridian had originally planned, where Galfridian navigated it to the hidden undersea base from which he expected his father would be operating. They arrived, learned that Caled Galfridian was with Dulac in a private room, and rushed to find the king battling Dulac, who had revealed himself. Upon being confronted, the Yuuzhan Vong infiltrator struck the king with poison from his plaeryin bol implant. The Solos quickly cut down the attacker and attempted to use the Force to heal their friend's father, but were unable to counteract the exotic venom. Despite their efforts, the king died. The twins honored him at a memorial service conducted by Finn Galfridian before fleeing the planet with the Artorias resistance movement. Aboard their escape craft, Solo spoke with Galfridian, who revealed that he intended to go to Nar Shaddaa in accordance with the holocron, which reacted specially to the prince. Solo offered Galfridian his aid, and though the other youth insisted on going alone, Solo maintained that he would be ready to help if his friend ever needed him. He repeated that promise when he dropped off Galfridian on Nar Shaddaa.
Six months after Chewbacca's death, Solo and his family attended a service on Kashyyyk for the fallen Wookiee. Han, still dealing with his grief, afterward departed with his old friend Roa to investigate the Peace Brigade, a group of mercenaries working for the Yuuzhan Vong. In the course of his travels, he encountered Elan and Vergere, a Yuuzhan Vong priestess and her familiar who claimed to wish to defect to the New Republic. The information was brought before Skywalker, who revealed to a gathering of Jedi that included Solo that the priestess insisted on meeting with the Jedi leadership, claiming to have information about Jade Skywalker's illness. Though the other Jedi expressed doubts, Skywalker intended to go through with the plan, though only he and his wife would meet with Elan and Vergere. Solo objected, insisting that the Skywalkers were the last people who should step into what was almost certainly a trap. He volunteered himself for the duty, and as others clamored to be included, Skywalker agreed to let a large group of Jedi attend and share the risk. The decision was rendered moot when Elan was revealed as a traitor prior to the meeting. Vergere, however, fled after giving Han Solo a vial of her tears—tears that had been manipulated to provide an antidote to Jade Skywalker's disease.
Approximately a month later, the New Republic, working on reactivating Centerpoint Station for use against the Yuuzhan Vong, attempted to recruit Anakin to assist in their efforts. Solo objected vigorously, insisting that as a superweapon, Centerpoint should be used only for defense, not aggression. The pair got into a heated argument at the Praxeum in front of several senior Jedi, which was settled when Skywalker arrived. Skywalker shared Solo's concerns over the possible uses of Centerpoint, but felt that the defensive potential of the station was too great to leave it dormant. Determined to see that caution was exercised in the superweapon's use, Solo decided to travel to Centerpoint with his brother and observe the reactivation.
The Solos traveled to Drall, where they were reunited with Marcha and Ebrihim. Their arrival, and the New Republic takeover of Centerpoint Station, was the subject of harsh protests with which Solo found it difficult to disagree. The Drall revealed that the New Republic planned to use the space station not as a defensive weapon, but in an ambush against the Yuuzhan Vong. Anakin suggested that he attempt to find a way to re-enable the weapon so that it could only be used defensively. The group traveled to Centerpoint, where they found Thrackan Sal-Solo, paroled to assist in the reactivation effort. Anakin was immediately able to reactivate Centerpoint's systems, which had imprinted on him eight years prior when he operated the Drall repulsor. Soon thereafter, Yuuzhan Vong ships launched for what the New Republic expected to be an attack on temptingly under-defended Corellia. Instead, the enemy made a surprise attack on Fondor. Sal-Solo argued that they should target the Yuuzhan Vong fleet from a distance with Centerpoint's powerful repulsor as the only chance to save Fondor. The others in the room agreed, but Solo objected to the offensive use of the superweapon. Anakin looked to his older brother for guidance, and Solo forbade him from firing the weapon. Anakin complied, but Sal-Solo rushed to the controls and took the shot himself. Anakin could have made the precise shot, but Sal-Solo's sloppy targeting incinerated three quarters of the Hapan reinforcements Organa Solo had recruited into the New Republic's war effort and damaged some of the system's celestial bodies as it destroyed half the attacking fleet. The Yuuzhan Vong withdrew, though tremendous losses were inflicted on the New Republic's cause. Solo was disgusted that Corellian news reports painted Sal-Solo as a hero, but was proud that his brother had not fired the weapon.
- "I slipped. I fell, barely on the dark side of…of the balance point. Everything started to slide. Everything. Do we have the right to use this…magnificent, terrifying light…as if we were in charge of the universe?"
- ―Jacen Solo, to Luke Skywalker
Han returned to the family with many of his issues resolved, but Solo had new issues himself, coming to doubt his choice at Centerpoint and struggling to reconcile defense and aggression. He eventually decided that, as evil could not be fought with evil, violence could not be stopped with violence. He not only ceased fighting, but ceased using the Force in order to completely prevent any misuse. Excusing himself from more active Jedi missions he was not sure he could support, Solo traveled to Duro, where Han oversaw Settlement 32, a refugee camp in which the Ryn friends and relatives of Droma, an individual Han had befriended during his time away, were staying. Solo helped his father manage the camp and adjudicate disputes. During one such dispute resolution, Solo was struck by the sensation of Jaina's pain through their twin bond. Collapsing, he entered a vision in which Luke Skywalker battled a Yuuzhan Vong atop the disk of the galaxy. Skywalker threw his lightsaber to Solo, who missed the catch and offset the galaxy's balance. As Solo desperately attempted to interpret the vision, a voice told him, "Stand firm." He was unable to do so, and slipped into the darkness to which the galaxy had tilted. Solo was shocked by the vision, which seemed to warn him that even a single misstep in these times could doom the galaxy.
When Solo awoke, he insisted that he and his father contact Rogue Squadron to find out what had happened to Jaina. They learned that Jaina had been injured in battle, but was recovering safely. Shortly thereafter they were contacted by the New Republic with the news that Jaina's corneas had been damaged in the battle, but would heal. She was furloughed to Duro, to be cared for by her family until she was ready to return to combat. When she arrived, Solo found her accommodation and on her insistence broke the moratorium he had imposed on Force use to help Jaina into a healing trance.
Life continued at the camp, with Solo fending off the efforts of the young Hutt Randa Besadii Diori to recruit him into a grandiose but idle scheme for an irregular squadron battling the invaders. Solo also had to deal with CorDuro Shipping rerouting supplies meant for the refugee camp to the Duros orbital cities. A sudden change came when Solo found an infestation of synthplas-eating insects. He took them to Han and organized an effort to root them out before they damaged the containment dome which kept the settlement safe from Duro's noxious atmosphere. Meanwhile, Solo and his sister attempted to connect to the offices of the Senate Select Committee for Refugees, SELCORE, in order to locate their mother, who was working for SELCORE but had dropped out of contact. They were able to contact Senator Viqi Shesh, who was in charge of SELCORE, but made no progress. Solo, however, found himself highly suspicious of Shesh's demeanor and her administration of the agency.
Several nights later, Solo awoke to a sensation of danger. He roused Jaina and found that the infestation of insects, thought removed, had pupated and become an infestation of moths. Summoning the settlement's leadership, Solo began putting the repair droids to work combating the moths. There proved to be too many to control, and the camp had to be evacuated. Solo helped manage the effort, and stunned Diori when the Hutt became belligerent over his place on board one of the evacuation crawlers. As they headed for the larger settlement of Gateway, Solo was contacted by their authorities, who insisted that the newcomers would have to undergo decontamination to be sure the infestation did not spread. On arriving at Gateway, Solo was shocked to discover that his mother had been administering the nearby camp all along. While most of the Settlement 32 population remained in quarantine, Solo led the expedition that returned to the breached dome-city seeking to recover possessions left behind, as well as the ships remaining there. He had to intervene to protect some Ryn in the expedition from a mutant Fefze beetle, but refused to kill the creature, instead only distracting it. When five beetles menaced a pair of vulnerable Vors, however, he was forced to kill. More beetles were drawn to his lightsaber, and at Droma's insistence he threw the weapon away and ran. Before he departed on the Millennium Falcon for Gateway, he reluctantly called on the Force to summon the lightsaber back to him.
Solo was decontaminated, which required that he be shaved and irradiated, and began assisting his mother with Gateway's management. When another CorDuro-handled shipment went missing, Solo traveled to the capital orbital city of Bburru to lodge a complaint and attempt to resolve the situation. Solo met with Vice-Director Durgard Brarun, where two other guests, seemingly a pair of Kubaz, revealed themselves through the Force as Luke Skywalker and Anakin Solo. Brarun was nervous and hostile, and effectively admitted to stealing supplies. Without authorization, Solo took the risk of offering the Duros a cut of future goods from the settlers on the surface, working to make Duro habitable once more. Brarun offered to house him as a guest while they continued negotiations. In his room, Solo was approached by his Master. He shared his vision and his concerns with Skywalker, who expressed approval of Solo's desire to make a stand against misuse of the Force and seek his own path, but cautioned that Solo approached dangerous pride in his belief in the importance of his own insights. Skywalker departed with a warning that Solo's resolution not to use the Force would put not only himself but also his loved ones in danger.
In his room, a Sunesi servant named Gnosos approached Solo, warning him that he was in danger and should escape. He provided the means to do so, but before Solo left, his sister arrived. While Solo still hoped to negotiate, Jaina revealed that her investigation, along with the Skywalkers and Anakin, had tied Brarun to the Peace Brigade and to Nom Anor, a Yuuzhan Vong secret agent in Gateway. The pair fled in a hoverpod provided by Gnosos and returned to Gateway, where they found Organa Solo preparing for yet another evacuation, expecting a Yuuzhan Vong attack to follow Anor's unmasking. The assault force appeared almost immediately, and the sabotaged planetary shields failed to cover Gateway. Solo rushed to find his father, who was overseeing the digging of an emergency shelter in the mines underneath Gateway. He led the rest of his family and many refugees there just before the Yuuzhan Vong landed at Gateway. Solo volunteered to accompany his mother and sister in a return to the administration building to activate the mining laser stored there. When Organa Solo asked him to use the Force to help free some refugees, Solo refused, feeling that this was the moment of his crisis. From secrecy atop the building, Jaina was forced to lift a droid herself from the pit into which the Yuuzhan Vong were throwing technological devices and drop it onto a group of the guards, allowing their prisoners to scatter.
Inside the administration building, Organa Solo showed the twins an escape hatch into the mine network, insisting that they should leave after she and her Noghri guard Olmahk brought the mining laser to the roof for their strike. Before they could do so, a Yuuzhan Vong patrol happened upon them. Organa Solo shut the door between her children and the fight, ordering them to run into the tunnels as she and Olmahk fought the Yuuzhan Vong. As Solo ran, however, he could not shake a feeling that he must return. He ordered Jaina to continue to the transport that Han and Droma were readying and tell them what had happened. Sneaking back into the building, he hid in a small storage closet, waiting for the moment in which he sensed his destiny would be resolved and struggling with his uncertainty as to what the Force required of him and whether he should return to using it. Finally, he made the conclusion to act, but to remain true to his pledge to cease his Force use. When he heard his mother's screams as she was tortured, Solo rushed out of the closet, attacking a pair of Yuuzhan Vong guards in the stairwell. He was able to defeat one without the Force, and the other fled to a room where Solo confronted Anor, several attendants, and the Yuuzhan Vong Warmaster Tsavong Lah. Realizing he had to stop them from killing his mother, and that he could not battle them without the Force, he drew upon it at last. Giving himself over to the Force, he battled Lah and his minions, whirling a barrage of objects at his opponents. Lah was struck by a desk and plummeted out of a window, crushing his left foot.
Jaina arrived just as Solo won the battle. Tending to his mother's injuries, he allowed Jaina to lead him to the evacuation ship as he used the Force to control the bleeding from Organa Solo's mangled legs. They made their way through the tunnels to the Millennium Falcon, where they stabilized Organa Solo and manned the turrets as they escorted a handful of other transports containing all of the Gateway residents who could be saved. They escaped into hyperspace and rendezvoused with the Jade Shadow. In order to avoid attracting attention, the twins transferred over to that ship and returned to Coruscant while Han took Organa Solo to nearby Corellia for emergency medical treatment. During their escape, Solo was able to feel through the Force that his aunt was pregnant, but as neither of the Skywalkers had revealed that to their family, he kept his knowledge to himself for the moment.
Tsavong Lah had survived and, furious, made a speech in which he claimed to offer peace to the galaxy, so long as they turned over the Jedi. His special desire was to seize Jacen Solo for sacrifice. The Senate began to consider the Peace Vote proposed by Senator Shesh, which would have accepted Lah's terms and outlawed the Jedi in exchange for peace. Meanwhile, Peace Brigaders and other fearful collaborators began to turn in, hunt down, and otherwise betray the Jedi.
On Coruscant, Solo reported on CorDuro's collaboration with the Peace Brigade and Yuuzhan Vong, but without strong corroborating evidence, the case stalled. On their return from Corellia, however, Han and Leia Organa Solo, working with the Jedi Eelysa and her Wild Knights squadron of Jedi, were able to provide further proof of CorDuro corruption and even link the company's collaborationism to Shesh, who arranged for assassination attempts on Organa Solo. Solo was present when his mother, still healing, presented her case to the Senate Corruption Panel. Victor Pomt, Staff Chief for Shesh, took the fall, preventing Shesh from being condemned as a traitor. Shesh's reputation nonetheless suffered enough damage that, as Solo anxiously watched the newscasts, the Peace Vote was resoundingly rejected.
Protector or privateer?
- "Turning my back on this whole thing feels worse than being a part of it. I still don't like it, but I'll do it. I won't fight Dad anymore."
- ―Jacen Solo, to Leia Organa Solo
In the face of Lah's announcement, Skywalker gathered the Jedi to discuss their rising persecution. There, Solo argued with Kyp Durron, who advocated a more aggressive "Jedi for the Jedi" response over Skywalker's suggestion of a more cautious, measured response. During a recess, Solo spoke with his siblings, who were discussing ways to be more proactive without degenerating into aggression. Attempting to figure out which worlds and Jedi would most be at risk, they realized that the Praxeum was vulnerable. They presented their concerns to Skywalker, who revealed that he was already working on the problem, but the New Republic was stalling the evacuation and he could not get in touch with Booster Terrik, whom he wished to have keep the students safe aboard his personal Star Destroyer Errant Venture.
Feeling he had to act, Anakin covertly set out for Yavin 4. Meanwhile, Skywalker dispatched Talon Karrde to evacuate the students, but when he arrived he found that the Peace Brigade had already descended on Yavin 4. Karrde was able to evacuate most of the students, but Anakin, Tahiri Veila, Valin Horn, and Sannah were left on the planet. Karrde and his forces remained in orbit, attempting to hold off a Yuuzhan Vong fleet. When Karrde's lieutenant Shada D'ukal arrived on Coruscant with the rescued students, Skywalker appealed to Chief of State Fey'lya for relief, but Fey'lya did not want to break the truce the Yuuzhan Vong were currently extending and denied New Republic support. At Skywalker's behest, Solo and his sister began to comb the galaxy for Booster Terrik, Corran Horn's father-in-law and Valin Horn's grandfather, and his mobile headquarters. Mara Jade Skywalker initially wanted to travel with them, but Skywalker advised that they would have to lie low in order to avoid violating Fey'lya's injunction on a Jedi rescue mission. In the course of the conversation, it came out that Jade Skywalker was pregnant, and Solo admitted that he had already known.
To keep the Jedi students from being revealed on Coruscant, the Solos took them along on the Jade Shadow, seeking to house them with Terrik when they found the smuggler and information broker. Though Terrik had largely dropped out of contact, Jaina thought that he could most likely be found running arms for the Hutt resistance movement. As Corran Horn was living in exile aboard the Errant Venture, Solo spent much time deep in meditation, attempting to locate Horn through the Force. He eventually did, and Terrik was eager to rush to the defense of his grandson. When the Errant Venture arrived at Yavin 4, Solo found his brother making his escape with the remaining students, as well as Qorl and the ex-Peace Brigadier Remis Vehn. Solo, Jaina, and Horn piloted their X-wings in support of the escape and were able to safely recover Vehn's craft, rescue Karrde's outgunned force, and fight off the Yuuzhan Vong fleet. Anakin shared with Jacen his belief that during his time on the run on Yavin 4, working alongside a Yuuzhan Vong Shamed One—a member of their disgraced lowest caste—he had come to a new understanding of the Yuuzhan Vong as persons and in the Force, and was now able to battle them with confidence and without succumbing to the dark side. Solo was concerned that his brother remained set on fighting, but was encouraged that an understanding could be found.
Solo spent the next months crewing aboard the Millennium Falcon with his father and mother as they attempted to set up a network for hunted Jedi to flee to safety, dubbed the "Great River" by Skywalker. During one trip, the Millennium Falcon was suddenly pulled out of space by a Yuuzhan Vong Vua'spar interdictor. Solo, in one of the turrets, was knocked out with the rest of the crew by some type of enemy device. The first to awake, he roused the older Solos and Organa Solo's two Noghri bodyguards, then prepared to repel boarders. When a grutchin ate its way through the hull, Solo killed it and proceeded up the cofferdam behind it. There he killed two Yuuzhan Vong and cut the cofferdam, which sealed itself shut just before Solo would have been swept out into vacuum. While Han worked on returning power to the Millennium Falcon, Solo came up with the idea of using the garbage vent to launch a series of concussion missiles at the interdictor. The missiles distracted the interdictor and Solo manned a quad laser turret, allowing the Millennium Falcon to make its escape.
They traveled to Shelter, a secret Jedi base the Solos had helped construct in the middle of the the Maw black hole cluster. There, all three Solos met with Lando Calrissian, who was managing Shelter, and representatives of various resistance groups. Solo helped mediate as they attempted to extend the Great River into a system by which the Jedi could aid resistance movements across the galaxy in their battles against the invaders. After the meeting, the Solos set out again. When they exited hyperspace in occupied territory, they detected a suspicious ship nearby, and observed as it met a Yuuzhan Vong escort. The Solos now had corroborating evidence for Calrissian's earlier assertion that the Peace Brigade was handling shipping within Yuuzhan Vong territory. Han decided to take the opportunity to destroy the enemy craft, but Jacen Solo objected that he had agreed to come along because there would be no unnecessary attacks. Han, fed up with his son's philosophical objections, angrily told the young man to simply follow orders and not expect everyone else to be bound by his moral qualms. Solo manned a turret as the Millennium Falcon destroyed the Yuuzhan Vong escort. Han and Jacen Solo boarded the freighter, Tinmolok, subdued the crew, and set them adrift on a shuttle with a warning that the "Princess of Blood" would privateer any other craft supplying the enemy. Solo still objected to their aggressive acts, but Han told him to follow orders or leave when they returned to Shelter with the captured ship.
At Shelter, both Solo men turned to working on the E-wing fighters the Tinmolok had carried, attempting to ignore the growing tension between father and son. Solo struggled with his father's ultimatum, and ultimately decided that he had to remain with his parents, putting his skills to work to prevent unnecessary loss of life in future hijackings. When Organa Solo confronted him about his clash with his father and explained that Han was simply struggling to understand his son and thought Solo ashamed of him, Solo was stricken and spoke up to reconcile with his father.
The Solos returned to privateering, and captured five Peace Brigade ships before making port on Tatooine to meet with Shalo, one of Han's contacts. As Han did not trust the man, they had Talon Karrde provide backup. When, during the meeting, Shalo attempted to have his enforcers collect the bounty on Solo, Karrde's people had already dealt with them. Han forced Shalo to reveal where the collaborationists were operating in the spaceport town of Mos Eisley before more of Shalo's employees began to attack. The two Solos and Karrde's employees were able to fight off the Peace Brigade attackers, and on leaving they were able to interrogate Shalo, whom they had captured. Shalo admitted that a large convoy would be stopping at Tatooine in two days. The Solos prepared an ambush with Karrde, but it turned out that it was the privateers who were ambushed when an interdictor entered the system. During the battle, Warmaster Lah, aboard the interdictor Sunulok, called a truce while he demanded that Solo be turned over to him. Han took the opportunity to overwhelm the Sunulok's dovin basal shields with the liquid hydrogen cargo of one of the convoy ships. The interdiction field went down as the dovin basals attempted to shield the Sunulok, and the Millennium Falcon fled into hyperspace with Karrde's ships.
As they made their way back to Shelter, Solo felt his aunt's sudden pain through the Force as she nearly succumbed to her disease. However, with Skywalker's assistance, she was able to purge herself of the disease once and for all as she gave birth to Solo's new cousin, Ben Skywalker. The Solos quickly diverted to the Errant Venture to be with their family.
In 27 ABY, when the Yuuzhan Vong threatened to kill hundreds of thousands of refugees at Talfaglio if the Jedi did not surrender, Solo was present at a small summit Skywalker held at Eclipse Station, the new secret Jedi base in the Deep Core. Solo was convinced that both attempting a half-cocked rescue mission and doing nothing were unacceptable, but could find no alternative, and the Jedi did not settle on a course of action. When his mother was injured subduing several voxyn, specially created Jedi-hunting creatures newly appearing in the Yuuzhan Vong arsenal, aboard a ship over Coruscant, Solo traveled to the capital planet to be with her. Solo was present when Organa Solo spoke to the New Republic Military Oversight Committee concerning the Talfaglio issue. When Shesh used the opportunity to oppose the Jedi, Solo suggested an ambush of the blockade using an unexpected route to Talfaglio. The committee voted in support of Solo's plan, but with an insufficient majority to bypass a vote of the full Senate. Fey'lya moved the issue to a military study group, outraging Organa Solo at the possibly fatal delay. She declared herself once more done with politics, to Solo's dismay.
- "Am I worried about what's happening to us? Sure. This war is bringing out all that's selfish and wicked in the New Republic, corrupting the galaxy star by star. I see it pulling one Jedi after another to the dark side, making us fight to win instead of protect. But I can't push others down my path. Everyone needs to choose for themselves. Centerpoint taught me that much."
"Fooled myself. I thought I was the only one who knows the difference between right and wrong. I realized that wasn't true—actually, Tenel Ka pointed it out—after what I said on the Exquisite Death. I've been trying to apologize to you since."
- ―Jacen Solo and Anakin Solo
When Cilghal, who was researching the voxyn, discovered the location of the voxyn queen, she called a meeting, which Solo attended. As their cells degenerated extremely quickly, destroying the voxyn queen, from whom the rest were cloned, would severely limit the voxyn threat. Cilghal was able to determine that the voxyn queen was on or near Myrkr. It was impossible for the Jedi to sneak across the enemy frontier, leading Anakin to suggest that a group of young Jedi allow themselves to be turned over and carried across the enemy border before commandeering the enemy craft and setting off for Myrkr. Dissent emerged over the plan—Han argued that it was too risky, Skywalker that senior rather than younger Jedi should go, and Solo that the Jedi should not act at all due to the danger of even more severe Yuuzhan Vong retaliation at Talfaglio. Skywalker quieted the heated argument and called on each Jedi to voice his opinion. With Han's reluctant support, the decision was made to send a strike team of young Jedi after the queen. Despite his misgivings, Solo was the first to volunteer, knowing that as long as the mission was going forward, his skills would be needed.
Calrissian agreed to hand over the Jedi team, which would be led by Anakin. Ganner Rhysode would pose as the team's leader to the Yuuzhan Vong, and fifteen more Jedi, including Solo, his sister, Tenel Ka Djo, Lowbacca, Zekk, Raynar Thul, and Tahiri Veila, rounded out the team. Two of Calrissian's new YVH-series battle droids would provide support to the mission, securing themselves to the hull of the vessel in which the Jedi would be transported and securing their weapons. Traveling aboard Calrissian's Lady Luck, all the Jedi rehearsed their plan several times over with YVH 1-1A. When Calrissian provoked an argument over how far the team would go to accomplish its goals, Solo came down firmly in opposition to any philosophy in which the ends justified possibly dark side means. Anakin broke up the argument, but insisted that Solo get used to the idea that the Jedi would be forced to make swift judgment calls that he might not care for. With Anakin nearly ready to eject Solo from the team due to his disruptive influence, Jaina intervened with the suggestion that the Jedi use a form of the mental meld the Solos had employed at the Battle of Dubrillion both to be more efficient in carrying out their mission and to lend each other the mental strength to resist Yuuzhan Vong torture and attempts to break their wills. Solo's empathic skills would make him key to maintaining the meld. Anakin agreed to keep his elder brother on and explore the plan so long as Solo agreed to follow orders and let Anakin take responsibility for his decisions. Solo agreed to trust his brother's judgment.
When the Yuuzhan Vong came to seize the Jedi, Solo sensed a voxyn aboard the enemy ship. He initiated the group's meld as they waited for Calrissian's crew to begin the capture. They allowed themselves to be taken by Calrissian's crew and handed over to the Yuuzhan Vong, but in the process of boarding the Yuuzhan Vong craft they staged an attack. Their resistance provided enough time for the YVH droids to attach themselves to the enemy ship, and it was ended by Calrissian as arranged. As the Jedi were once more subdued, team member Ulaha Kore was stabbed in the back, wounding her severely and dealing the team the first blow to its confidence. Aboard the frigate Exquisite Death, the Jedi were tortured as the Yuuzhan Vong attempted to break their will. Solo manipulated the meld to provide strength to those undergoing torment. Duman Yaght, the enemy commander, insisted on trying to learn the location of the secret Jedi base, but none of the prisoners were willing to talk. Each Jedi was tortured, but Yaght lingered most on Kore. Finally, with the team's spirit near breaking, Kore used the strength of the meld to kill the voxyn Yaght was using to inflict the torment, with Solo's animal-control abilities helping distract the creature. Yaght was forced to end the torture, but Solo was shocked, thinking his brother had ordered Kore to sacrifice herself in the attack.
Once they were safely within Yuuzhan Vong space, Anakin activated the pair of YVH droids attached to the hull. The powerful war droids were able to free the captives. Solo donned an armored jumpsuit and took up his lightsaber and a small arsenal of additional blasters and munitions, as did the other Jedi. Solo joined his brother's assault squad, which secured the rest of the ship and rescued Rhysode, who was being held separately as the group's presumed leader. During the rescue, Anakin had to explain to his brother that he had not ordered Kore to take action, leaving Solo chagrined that he had misjudged Anakin. After they had taken control of the craft and set its course for Myrkr, they began to recuperate, with Solo and Djo spending their time together.
When the Exquisite Death arrived in the Myrkr system, Anakin sensed the presence of Force-strong captives on Baanu Rass, the worldship orbiting Myrkr and housing the voxyn-cloning operation. This prevented the team from simply destroying the facility with a baradium missile, as they had hoped. In addition, the Yuuzhan Vong were anticipating them, having caught on to the Exquisite Death's capture. Kore piloted the frigate while the rest of the team landed on Baanu Rass, and was killed before she could escape, leaving behind only a final musical performance, broadcast through the Force to the rest of the strike team. The team's landing was covert, and they were able to make their way to the spaceport facilities nearby on the worldship's surface without being harassed. They infiltrated the holding area where the Force-sensitives were, only to find that rather than the Jedi they had expected, the prisoners were Lomi Plo and Welk, a pair of Dark Jedi. Solo, holding the door, noticed a ship landing at the spaceport, and Nom Anor disembarking. With Anor was Vergere, returned to the Yuuzhan Vong fold and, Solo was convinced, Force-sensitive. Cut off from the spaceport by over one hundred Yuuzhan Vong warriors, the strike team, plus Plo and Welk, were forced to retreat into the warrens of the training course, where the voxyn were taught to hunt.
In the large course, they were spotted by a pair of coralskippers. YVH 2-4S was destroyed taking out the craft shortly before the team had to wade across a lake. They found several voxyn under the surface, and after killing them, they set up an ambush for the pursuing column of warriors. Solo continuously manipulated and maintained the battle meld, keeping the team working at maximum efficiency. When the Yuuzhan Vong column was significantly reduced, Solo used the Force to summon another pack of voxyn and set them on the Yuuzhan Vong, eliminating the enemies.
The strike team set off across the training course, occasionally harassed by more coralskippers. With Zekk's enormous displeasure at taking the Dark Jedi along, discord mounted in the group, causing Solo to cease maintaining the battle meld lest it spread more discontentment. When they neared the cloning laboratory, they found that the Yuuzhan Vong had anticipated them. The team withdrew and tried another approach. When that failed, they attempted several more, each time being cut off by enemy forces. One attempt to infiltrate through the city in which the Yuuzhan Vong housed their slaves led to chaos as Eryl Besa and Jovan Drark were killed and Anakin suffered debilitating internal injuries that Tekli had difficulty healing. They were able to make it into the voxyn warrens, a dangerous approach that held out their last hope of reaching the voxyn queen. They hurried through the caverns, harried by troops under Anor's command, while Solo used the Force to induce the feral voxyn to remain inside their deeper chambers. When Anakin's wound worsened, they had to halt. Solo took the opportunity to finally make the apology for his doubt of Anakin's character aboard the Exquisite Death, as Anakin had been turning him away previously, focused on the mission. Anakin required a healing trance, but they lacked the time to allow such a respite. When Alema Rar suggested entering the central caverns where the feral voxyn made their homes, Anakin doubted his decision-making abilities. He handed the decision to his elder brother, who elected to take the risk of the central chambers.
In the grand central chamber in which the voxyn laired, Solo realized that they were defending nests. With the blessing of her two Barabel hatchmates, Solo devised a plan to use fallen Jedi Bela Hara's body as a lure, killing those voxyn that came to claim it with a thermal detonator. As they proceeded, Solo worried over his brother's injury, but was given more pressing concerns when Krasov Hara was killed and Anakin began to crack under the mission's relentless pressure and continual casualties. Solo used the Force to calm the voxyn in the central chamber and keep them to their nests as the strike team retreated from a voxyn attack in a side tunnel. They exited the warrens into a semi-abandoned storage area in which technology was kept for use on the training course—including the starship Tachyon Flier. There the team recovered while Lowbacca repaired the ship and a scouting team reconnoitered the grashal in which the voxyn queen was kept. Solo was shocked when the Tachyon Flier took off, and it took some time to establish that Plo and Welk had stolen the ship, with M-TD and Raynar Thul aboard, and fled.
Though Solo was stricken with sorrow at the fate of his friend, he moved into action along with the rest of the Jedi, raiding the cloning site. Solo and Rhysode took the grashal, but the team was trapped inside when magma spitters arrived and Yuuzhan Vong resistance within the complex was high. Anakin, near death from his worsening injuries, gave himself over the Force and ran to hold the entrance. As the voxyn queen slipped away, Anakin put Solo in command of the strike team and gave his life covering the team's retreat in pursuit of the queen. Solo, himself agonized, had to pull his sister away as Anakin made his last stand and destroyed a cache of voxyn genetic material. Anakin's last words were a mental sending to Solo ordering him to take Jaina and kiss his girlfriend Veila for him.
Losing the trail of the queen, the team desperately fled into the worldship, collapsing the ceiling of their escape passage and taking refuge inside a Yuuzhan Vong domicile warren, forcing a low-caste female to host their group while Tesar Sebatyne sought the voxyn queen's location. Solo attempted to comfort his sister, whose grief had turned into anger. When Lowbacca, separated from the group when the Tachyon Flier was stolen, reported that he had found the Yuuzhan Vong handling Anakin's body, Jaina rushed off with Veila, Zekk, and Rar to recover it, against Solo's insistence that they had to focus on killing the queen.
When he received a report from Sebatyne, Solo led the remnant of the strike force after the queen. They tracked her, but any use of the Force gave away the team's presence, requiring numerous fruitless stalkings as they progressed across the worldship. They at least managed to avoid drawing the attention of any Yuuzhan Vong search parties, allowing them to chase the queen unhindered. As they once more closed on the queen, Anor's frigate Ksstarr landed near the queen, with Anor and a Shaper attempting to recover the voxyn queen. Vergere, whose behavior had been enigmatic throughout the course of the Myrkr mission, turned on Anakin's seized comm in order to let the team listen in. Jaina, who had given herself over to anger after Anakin's death, arrived with her team in a captured shuttle, attacking the Ksstarr. Her shuttle was shot down, and as it crashed Solo lost his sense of his sister in the Force, though he could not tell if it was from death or due to the depths of her anger cutting him off. As Anor and his Yuuzhan Vong retreated from the rubble left by Jaina's strike, Vergere contacted the team by comlink and offered to lead Solo to the voxyn queen. Though Vergere refused to answer questions about her past and Solo did not quite trust her, he did not feel that she was a threat. They trailed the queen, who had been recaptured by the Shapers. Solo repeatedly used the Force to convince the voxyn to turn on its handlers. Once the enemy ranks had been sufficiently thinned and the Yuuzhan Vong were proceeding toward the Jaina's crashed shuttle over a dovin basal comb, Solo sent the others to capture the Ksstarr and rescue the other half of the strike team while he went after the queen himself. After a long and hard-fought battle, and with Vergere's assistance, Solo was able to send the queen plummeting onto a dovin basal, which defended itself by drawing the queen into a singularity and destroying her. Weakened, he could not resist when Vergere took him captive. Unable to come to his rescue due to enemy pressure, the rest of the strike team, led by Jaina, was forced to flee on the Ksstarr.
A new hope
Loss and rediscovery
- "You are forever lost to the worlds you knew. Your friends mourn, your father rages, your mother weeps. Your life has been terminated: a line of division has been drawn between you and everything you have ever known. You have seen the terminator that sweeps across the face of a planet, the twilit division between day and night? You have crossed that line, Jacen Solo. The bright fields of day are forever past. Oh, the Force. The Force is life; what has life to do with you?"
"You're a Jedi…"
"There are no Jedi here. I am your guide through the lands of the dead."
- ―Vergere and Jacen Solo
Under Anor's control, Solo was to be taken directly to Warmaster Tsavong Lah, who had recently captured Coruscant. Placed in the Embrace of Pain, he underwent continuous torture, still emotionally agonized by his brother's death. Even the Force could not help him overcome the pain, and he held his own presence back from his sister, fearing he would overwhelm her with his torment if he reached out through their twin bond. He could feel her rising anger, however, and his inability to counsel her against her growing acceptance of the dark side only drove him to greater despair. Finally, he was approached by Vergere. He reproached her for her betrayal, but she refused to offer her motivations. Reaching out with the Force, he perceived that Vergere was a powerful Force-sensitive before the Fosh stripped Solo of access to the Force in a single painful moment. Stricken and confused, Solo was only more confounded when his captor whispered to him that everything she said was a lie before leaving him once more to the Embrace of Pain.
The strike team survivors, with the single exception of Jaina Solo, and several other Jedi felt Solo's presence in a blaze of intensity before it was consumed by pain and once more cut off. Though the true reason for the cessation of his presence was his loss of the Force, most who felt it believed that Solo was dead. Only Leia Organa Solo maintained a conviction that her son's sending had been one of pain but not of death. Djo and Jaina were devastated by their belief in his death, but Organa Solo was confident that though she had felt Anakin's death, Jacen Solo's broadcast had not had the same quality. Han Solo elected to believe his wife, taking hope that at least one of his sons had survived. Skywalker followed suit, not accepting that Solo had died.
Left once more in torture that ceased only when the Embrace of Pain had pushed him to his absolute limits and had to allow him to recover, he was nourished by Yuuzhan Vong creatures and his body completely depilated. His only interruptions were occasional visits by Vergere. She eventually began to speak to him of the Yuuzhan Vong religion, which centered on pain, and suggested that he was not being tortured, but educated. When Vergere suggested that she was helping Solo by protecting him as he went through a necessary but painful process of maturation, he abandoned despair, deciding no longer to hope for rescue but to take his destiny into his own hands. Rather than be a slave to pain, responding to it with fear, he elected to treat pain as a teacher, as a source of power. Drawing on nothing but his own inner reserves of willpower, Solo became impervious to pain, thriving on it rather than allowing it to break him down.
Having mastered the Embrace of Pain, Solo was released from it. After some time, Anor's craft docked with a vast seedship, ready to transform a planet into a new homeworld—known by the original world's name of Yuuzhan'tar—for the Yuuzhan Vong, onto which Vergere led her captive. He was taken to a vast central chamber, where slave gangs worked a replica world holding the specimens that would seed the new ecosphere. Solo was aghast at the pain of the slaves, who served as practice for a crop of dhuryams, world-brains, for the task of controlling the seeded world's ecosystem. Vergere suddenly stabbed him in the chest, implanting a slave seed within and tying him to one of the growing dhuryams. Impervious to the pain the dhuryam could cause him, he was able to resist its bidding and avoid engaging in the make-work of the other slaves. The dhuryam, furious, used its access to Solo's nervous system to put him in continual pain, spasming his limbs for over a week. It devoted so much energy to attempting to control the defiant Solo that it neglected the rest of its domain, and finally left him alone to do what he wished—tending to the wounds of his fellow slaves. The dhuryam saw the advantage of this, and allowed him to continue.
After weeks or months in the Nursery, Vergere visited Solo. She healed the infected wound where she had implanted the slave seed using her tears, which she could manipulate chemically through the Force. When Vergere began to speak to him of the role of the gardener—choosing which plants were weeds and which were flowers, which would live and which would die—Solo accused her of being a Sith. She rejected this, asking whether there were only the binary categories of Sith and Jedi. Solo's comment that all answers fell short of the truth elated her, and she left him after asking how, if the Force was life, there could be life without the Force, such as the Yuuzhan Vong—or himself. Solo spent the next days pondering the question as his bond with the dhuryam, which began directing him to various natural medicines, deepened. He concluded that the Yuuzhan Vong must exist on another spectrum of the Force, one the Jedi were not accessing. Entering a Jedi meditation, he reached out to the slave seed inside his body. Using the same empathy he had used to befriend various creatures, he was able to create a link in the Yuuzhan Vong spectrum, connecting himself to the dhuryam and the other Yuuzhan Vong creatures using what he called his "Vongsense." Able to communicate with the dhuryam and sense the entire landscape of creatures, he became a far more efficient healer, and began to treat slaves belonging to other dhuryams.
When a Yuuzhan Vong warrior, one of many guarding the centrally-located comb of growing dhuryams, killed one of Solo's slave assistants for coming too near, Solo decided that he had been wrong to believe that all in the Nursery were metaphorical flowers. Outraged, he determined to exercise what Vergere had called his responsibility to be a gardener by removing the Yuuzhan Vong. Solo formulated a plan with his dhuryam in which he would kill its competing brethren if it saw to it that the slaves survived seedfall. When the Yuuzhan Vong prepared for the selection ceremony by which one of the dhuryams would be selected as the World Brain for the new homeworld by blocking the dhuryams' transmissions, it drove the slaves to cluster at the coraltree basals that had grown their seeds. Solo ignored the pain of his slave seed and stood in the midst of an amphistaff grove, using his Vongsense and skill with animals to keep the feral amphistaff polyps from attacking him. When four Yuuzhan Vong infiltrators in ooglith masquers left the coraltree basal nearby and came to remove him, he egged one warrior into attacking, whom Solo threw to the ravenous amphistaff polyps. This provided the polyps enough strength to release their amphistaffs to breed, and Solo convinced the detached razor-sharp snakelike creatures to swarm him, covering him in impenetrable armor and providing him with a weapon. He cut his way through the Yuuzhan Vong troops opposing him and used a captured bandoleer of blast bugs to destroy the shreeyam'tiz that blocked the dhuryams' signals. Though Solo was knocked unconscious by an onslaught of blast bugs, his dhuryam, prepared, used its slaves to stage an uprising against the Yuuzhan Vong.
Solo awoke amid the confusion and made his way to the central island on which the dhuryam hive lay. There, he began to slaughter the dhuryams. Agonized by their telepathically-projected terror, he nearly held back before realizing that if he did not kill the creatures, they would kill all the slaves in their panic. He made his choice, and killed each, feeling its death. He nearly killed the final one—the one that had controlled him and with which he had made his deal—before he heard Anakin's voice telling him that he could not. He halted, but quickly realized Vergere had projected the voice. His tutor and captor had just arrived, and with her insistence, Solo was able to see that he had become consumed with battle rage. He still intended to kill the dhuryam, destroying the hope of the new Yuuzhan Vong homeworld, until Vergere insisted that he could not kill the dhuryam he had befriended without betraying himself, and that if he did so, it would destroy the seedship and all aboard. Unsure whether he could believe her, he chose to slay it regardless, but Vergere interposed herself and used her tears as a contact toxin to knock him unconscious.
Solo awoke amid plant life on what he realized to his shock was Coruscant, covered in Yuuzhan Vong plant life and in the process of being reshaped into Yuuzhan'tar. Vergere was there and had removed his slave seed. She told him that the dhuryam had followed through on its promise to save the slaves while controlling seedfall. While Vergere congratulated him on the effects of his actions, Solo insisted that he had succumbed to the dark side. He and Vergere argued over the extent to which his intentions and the results of his actions mattered. After realizing that his fate was once more in his hands, Solo set off across the Coruscant landscape. He spent weeks trekking with his former captor, surviving on scrounged food and improvised gear, as he attempted to reach his former family home.
On his journey, he passed a deep crater, which Vergere said was strong with the dark side. The pair discussed the nature of the dark side, with Vergere again pushing Solo as to how much intention mattered as opposed to results, and asking whether the dark side was only a matter of degree. Their discussion, though, was interrupted by the arrival of Yuuzhan Vong shock troops, sent to eliminate Solo. He fled into the center of the crater, where he waited as Vergere attempted to find an exit. Through his Vongsense, the young man experienced unity with his opponents, feeling what they felt, as well as the sensations of the Yuuzhan Vong wildlife. Unarmed, he was easily able to evade his opponent's attacks, and felt all the pain he inflicted on his enemy. With Vergere's assistance, he fled, but passed out from exhaustion. When the Fosh pushed him to continue, he angrily snapped, nearly killing Vergere before he realized that he was under the influence of the crater's dark side aura. While explaining his fear of the dark side, he mentioned that his grandfather had been Darth Vader. Vergere expressed her grief at learning that Anakin Skywalker had become a Sith, and revealed that she had been a Jedi Knight of the Galactic Republic, and the crater in which they rested was the former site of the Jedi Temple, the well of Force energy beneath it now tainted. As Vergere pushed Solo to decide who he was, he considered the question and declared that he was a Jedi. Disappointed, Vergere revealed that their room was full of Yuuzhan Vong, led by Nom Anor. Furious at the betrayal, Solo gave himself over to rage and launched a barrage of Force lightning at Vergere. Unable to target the Yuuzhan Vong with the Force, newly returned to him, he buried them in rubble.
Coming back to himself, he was aghast at what he had done. Vergere, wounded, insisted to him that there was no dark side to the Force; only the Force, and the darkness within himself. If he surrendered his self-control and embraced his passion, it was his own inner darkness that tainted his actions. Shocked at what he had found in himself and horrified by how easily he had slipped into darkness, Solo fled blindly. Fearing and hating his own weakness, he was considering suicide when he heard Anakin's voice and saw a projection of his deceased brother. He could feel that the projection was not present in the Force, and was therefore some type of trick rather than Anakin's Force ghost. Convinced he was dealing with a masqued Yuuzhan Vong, he chased the imitation in a furious pursuit that led him to the underlevels and into the gullet of a Yuuzhan Vong cavern beast, lured by a telepathic illusion. Realizing he had been duped, he was convinced that the other beings in the gullet were illusions also. Giving in to hatred of a universe that seemed to hate him, he attacked one of the cavern beast's victims, whose screams tormented him, until he realized he could feel the girl through the Force. Channeling his anger, he used it to free the girl from being digested and gave her his robeskin to help her heal. The other inhabitants of the gullet were outraged, as they threw new arrivals to the beast when it became hungry, saving themselves. Solo was disgusted, but willing to help them. When the girl he had saved attempted to convince the others to throw Solo to the beast rather than herself, he was once more enraged. Using his anger, he convinced the cavern beast to vomit up all its victims and not readmit them. He left them locked out from within the cavern beast, where they were safe from the Yuuzhan Vong at the cost of others' lives.
Solo proceeded to his former family home, where he spent hours without motivation to take any action at all before what seemed to be Anakin's Force specter arrived and spoke to him, suggesting that it might have been something more than a trick of Vergere's when Solo heard his brother in the Nursery. Solo confessed to his struggles with the dark side and admitted how much he had looked up to Anakin's certainty. Convinced that he was only hallucinating, Solo argued when the image of Anakin suggested that the Force was one, encompassing all opposites. Solo passed out in despair before awakening to find Vergere. She attempted to break through Solo's apathy toward the universe, pushing him to cease searching for answers from others, and look to himself for truth. At that time, Nom Anor and his warriors arrived, and insisted that Solo could find truth in the Yuuzhan Vong religion, the True Way. He could find the truth that he was a god, the incarnation of the war god Yun-Yammka. Anor offered him Anakin's lightsaber, and Solo realized that if he took it up, using the Force and his Vongsense, he could become one of the greatest warriors ever to live. Instead, he declined the path of violence and accepted Anor's offer to learn the True Way.
- "Jacen Solo had to be bereft of friends, of relatives, of teachers and knowledge and the Force and everything that could help him. He had to be reduced to nothing—or rather, to himself only. And then he had to act—to act purely out of himself, out of his own inner being. In that state of complete disinterest, everything else having failed him, he had no choice but to be himself, to choose and to act."
- ―Vergere, to Luke Skywalker
Uninterested in actually converting to the Yuuzhan Vong religion, Solo faked belief as he attempted to use his new position and understanding to his own ends. His captors wished to stage a duel between himself and his twin Jaina, whom they associated with the other Twin God Yun-Harla. The Yuuzhan Vong saw twins, rare in their species, as special, and one was always destined to kill the other before ascending to greatness. To lure in Jaina, Solo was installed aboard one of the camp ships—vast collections of Coruscanti refugees captured and sent out to New Republic systems as a drain on their resources—with a four-warrior escort who served both as bodyguards and wardens. As they did not yet trust Solo, a dovin basal was rigged to destroy the entire camp ship if Solo left his room. With Solo masqued as an obese Human, they began to quietly spread rumors that they had seen Jacen Solo on Coruscant, alive. Solo had designed the trap to be inefficient, and hoped that it would prove fruitless, forcing Anor to end the deception.
The bait did not draw Jaina; instead, Ganner Rhysode came to Solo's room in the camp ship over Bothawui following up on the rumor. Solo used the Force to overwhelm Rhysode with fear, attempting to compel him to turn away before entering the Yuuzhan Vong trap. Rhysode would not be deterred, and entered. Solo turned him away and attempted to keep the warriors from acting against Rhysode, but when the Jedi attempted to use the Force to persuade Solo, he was forced to prevent Rhysode's sensing him in the Force. Solo used a powerful mind trick to compel Rhysode to leave. When Rhysode recovered his will, he shut down his Force presence and returned once more. His surprise attack disabled the four Yuuzhan Vong and allowed him to put his lightsaber to Solo's throat. Unable to leave the room, Solo was disappointed that Rhysode's persistence had forced him to capture his friend. To Rhysode's shock, he revealed his identity to the Jedi before knocking him out with a dose of Vergere's tears. He did use the event as an excuse to call off the trap, telling his escorts to return to Yuuzhan'tar.
Rhysode was kept sedated on the throneworld. Anor, who still distrusted Solo, doubted his story, but could not disagree with his suggestion that he should sacrifice Rhysode. As Rhysode, semi-conscious, listened, Solo attempted to reassure him with the Force. Solo persuaded Anor that he needed to practice with Rhysode, converting and sacrificing him as he would his twin. In truth, he simply wanted to use the ceremony as an excuse to enter the Well of the World Brain and convince the World Brain of his own cause, a goal he had had for some time.
After the preparations were complete, Solo was the only one present when Rhysode was awakened. He opened with a bombastic attempt to convert Rhysode, but ceased when he had put the chamber's observing devices to sleep. He then revealed to Rhysode that he had not, in fact, joined the Yuuzhan Vong as he treated Rhysode's injuries. He explained his goal, and tried to convince Rhysode of how deeply his experience in captivity had changed him. He also insisted that Rhysode would be dead no matter what, as he himself was; Rhysode should make his death count by aiding Solo in his deception. To convince Rhysode to choose and act, he offered him Anakin's lightsaber. When the Yuuzhan Vong intruded, Rhysode faked belief in the True Way. Anor easily saw through the act of both Jedi, but with the rest convinced, had to allow the ceremony to go forward.
They were marched to the Well, within the former Senate Building, amid a procession of hundreds of warriors. As they neared the building, Rhysode collapsed in fear and self-loathing. The Jedi nearly took his own life before Solo used the Force to manipulate his body, lifting him and driving his legs telekinetically. On entering, Solo shut the doors behind the pair of Jedi. They entered the Well, where Solo urged Rhysode to flee into a secret tunnel network beneath the building, through which he might be able to escape. Rhysode insisted that he would not leave without Solo, but Solo was intent on following his own path; he felt that he needed to speak with the World Brain in order to be true to himself. Before either of them could take action, Anor's troops blew the door. Rhysode, inspired by Solo's words on being true to oneself, was spurred into action. He decided to make a stand, acting like the hero he had always wanted to be, and hold off the enemy. Understanding and accepting his sacrifice, Solo parted with Rhysode. The World Brain pulled Solo down into its pool with its tentacles, intending to kill him for his earlier betrayal. Instead, Solo opened himself up to the World Brain, expressing to it his regret, his newfound understanding that all was one, and the conviction that only way to approach the universe was with universal love. In their communion, the World Brain was convinced of Solo's beliefs, and agreed with him to frustrate the Yuuzhan Vong's attempts to reshape the world by introducing imperfection. Solo believed that this would challenge the invaders' fanaticism and force them to learn compromise.
Feeling Rhysode's battle in the Force, Solo rushed from the pool to help him, but was cut off by Vergere. She insisted that if he went to the other Jedi's aid, both would die; instead he must honor Rhysode's sacrifice by escaping with his life. Solo was unwilling to let yet another person die for him, but when Vergere returned his lightsaber, he realized that the way of the warrior was not his. He was a student. He felt Rhysode pass into the Force in a final effort that collapsed the entrance, freeing Solo to leave. Solo followed Vergere down into the tunnels, where they escaped in a coralcraft kept by Anor as a getaway ship.
Aboard the ship, in hyperspace, Solo thought on Rhysode's death, attempting to reconcile the fact that Rhysode had died in unity with the Force, confidently battling hundreds of Yuuzhan Vong warriors, with the Rhysode he knew. Vergere shared a vision she had had: that Rhysode would become "The Ganner"—a giant guarding the gates to the underworld in the Yuuzhan Vong mythology. Solo shared with her his plan for the World Brain, which earned Vergere's tearful pride and a confession that her student had surpassed her. Eventually, when he felt ready to deal with his imminent return, Solo opened himself up in the Force once more, sending his family reassurance that he was alive and on his way to them, though he had to break off contact with Jaina on realizing he was distracting her from battle. At that point, Vergere explained to him her past: she had been a Jedi Knight in the last days of the Galactic Republic, sent on a mission to the living world of Zonama Sekot. There she communed with Sekot's collective sentience, newly aware in the wake of an attack by a scouting party of Yuuzhan Vong. Seeking to protect Sekot, she had gone as an envoy to speak with the Yuuzhan Vong. On realizing that they were outside the Force, she decided that she must investigate their nature. Leaving a message with Sekot, she returned with the Yuuzhan Vong to their worldships beyond the galaxy, spending the next fifty years learning their ways. In return, Solo explained what had occurred in the galaxy in her absence.
Return to the Republic
- "Your war was about light and dark. You and my mom versus Vader and the Emperor. But this war—For all the evil they do, the enemy aren't dark, exactly—the enemy are outside the Force entirely. So to fight them we need to…to make the Force bigger. Bigger than light and dark, bigger than human and Yuuzhan Vong…I'm talking nonsense, aren't I? Make the Force bigger. The Force is already all living things."
"Perhaps it's not the Force that needs to be bigger. Maybe what needs to be bigger are our ideas about the Force."
"Bigger ideas about the Force. How do we manage that?"
"If anyone can do it, Jacen, it would be you."
- ―Jacen Solo and Luke Skywalker
As his Yuuzhan Vong craft left hyperspace over Mon Calamari, the interim New Republic capital, Solo made contact with Skywalker on the surface, allowing his uncle to reassure the military forces scrambled in response that the new ship did not represent a threat. Solo and Vergere, in an escape pod, were picked up and transported to Fleet Command annex, where they were met by Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker as well as a contingent of troops. Solo's parents were on Bastion negotiating with the Imperial Remnant, and were notified of his escape as was Jaina serving at Kashyyyk. The group then proceeded to a meeting with Supreme Commander Sien Sovv, his retired predecessor Ackbar, and Winter Celchu. After warm greetings, the two new arrivals were soon pulled away for a debriefing by Fleet Intelligence.
While Solo was soon released, Vergere was kept in detention. He filled his aunt and uncle in on his experiences, and while he considered Vergere a mentor and friend, his uncle was outraged at the treatment Solo had suffered at her hands. Though Skywalker calmed after speaking with Vergere, he ordered Solo to take a period of rest and relaxation and to spend time meditating and seeking his place in the Force.
Solo and the Skywalkers traveled to see Ackbar in his home. Solo told the ailing admiral of the Yuuzhan Vong, and his observations confirmed Ackbar's belief that he could defeat the invaders with the strategy he was drawing up. Afterward, Solo enjoyed his leisure time on Heurkea Floating City and returned to a more normal mode of life, though he remained in contact with the World Brain through his Vongsense. With the World Brain, he coordinated a campaign of sabotage and irritation, though he avoided acts of violence. Solo shared his insight on the Yuuzhan Vong with his uncle, as well as revealing his development of Vongsense, before Danni Quee invited Solo to a day out on Mester Reef. He enjoyed relaxing with her and her friend Thespar Trode. Within a day, Jaina arrived on Mon Calamari, and filled Solo in on her struggle with despair and the dark side after Myrkr, a struggle she had put behind her. That night, Han and Leia Organa Solo returned to the planet as well, and Solo's family was reunited as much as it could be in the wake of Anakin's death.
Skywalker, working with newly elected Chief of State Cal Omas, established a new High Council to govern the Jedi Order, made up half of Jedi and half of government figures. Among their first decisions was the promotion of the Myrkr veterans to the rank of Jedi Knight. In a public ceremony, Solo and his friends were knighted by Skywalker and the Jedi Masters. At the party afterward, Solo spoke with Jaina and was alarmed by her single-minded focus on battling the enemy and her resignation to the idea that she would eventually die in combat. He also spoke with Vergere, who became agitated on learning from Solo, who had himself been told by Quee, that New Republic scientists had isolated a specific set of genes common to the Yuuzhan Vong and all their creatures.
The rest of Solo's friends were assigned to Kashyyyk, where Admiral Kre'fey had requested the use of Jedi for a project in battle coordination. Solo elected to join them when Skywalker cleared him to return to action, rather than accept the other option of continuing his work with the Great River. It was his hope that he could protect Jaina and bring her away from her grim outlook. Solo immediately met with Kre'fey and his senior commanders, at which time Master Durron presented a plan to strike at the Peace Brigade government on Ylesia. Kre'fey approved it and intended an orbital bombardment, but the Jedi were uncomfortable with the possible civilian casualties. Solo suggested they capture the government instead, which he learned included newly-declared President Thrackan Sal-Solo.
Solo joined his sister's squadron as Twin Suns Thirteen. He re-acclimated himself to combat piloting and to working as part of the meld with several other Jedi scattered across multiple squadrons. Solo flew against the orbital Peace Brigade forces during the assault on Ylesia before Twin Suns Squadron and Jagged Fel's Chiss Squadron were tasked to escort the landing force. While Solo saved Jaina's wingmate Vale, he was attacked by a grutchin that tore off one of his X-wing's S-foils before he could kill it. He was forced to return to Kre'fey's Ralroost for a new fighter. As the enemy forces had surrendered by the time he touched down, Solo did not return to the field. Kre'fey instead summoned him to the bridge. Before he could arrive, Solo sensed a Yuuzhan Vong fleet arriving in the system. Without a spare fighter, Solo was stuck on the bridge, and turned his attention to strengthening the meld. While observing the manner in which the enemy commander attenuated his battle line in order to draw Kre'fey into doing the same, Solo realized that an ambush was coming. His use of Vongsense confirmed that another fleet was on its way. He advised Kre'fey in time to prevent the ambush and instead ambush the attackers. With the Peace Brigade leadership captured, the ground forces were able to return to the fleet, which withdrew.
In the wake of that experience, Solo decided that his talents were better used on the bridge, coordinating assaults, than in a starfighter. Kre'fey's forces spent two months making experience-building raids on relatively weak Yuuzhan Vong targets. Solo took to his role coordinating the meld, taking in others' experiences and providing tactical insight he gained through his combined perceptions and connection with the Force. He was not able to completely coordinate a complex battle, but he was determined to improve. Solo also began work with Tahiri Veila, who had been captured and shaped by the Yuuzhan Vong previously. He attempted to open her to Vongsense, using the same techniques he had.
After his first session with Veila, Solo was contacted by Vergere in the Force and instructed to meet secretly with her on the surface of Kashyyyk. He did so, and she told him that she had learned that the genetic code unique to the Yuuzhan Vong had been exploited to build Alpha Red, a biological weapon designed to exterminate Yuuzhan Vong life. Vergere had neutralized it and destroyed the research on it before fleeing, but in months it could be recreated. New Republic Intelligence was determined to arrest her. Distressed by the revelation, Solo agreed to smuggle her back to the Ralroost, where she could escape into the galaxy without detection. Before he could land his fighter, though, he was summoned to a Jedi meeting aboard Mon Adapyne. There he was told that Skywalker had issued an order to cooperate and detain Vergere if contacted, but he remained determined to protect his mentor. He was eventually able to move Vergere to his quarters and keep her secret, but he had no opportunity to get her off Ralroost, as it was kept busy in a series of raids against enemy targets.
Finally, Kre'fey's fleet proceeded to Ebaq 9, a moon in the remote Deep Core Treskov system. There, Solo was reunited with his sister, who had preceded him there with a task force under Jedi General Keyan Farlander. Solo understood that Jaina was serving as part of the bait for Ackbar's trap, in which the Yuuzhan Vong would be lured to Ebaq 9, attack it, and be trapped and ambushed by other forces held in reserve.
When Tsavong Lah led his forces in an attack on Ebaq 9 in the mistaken belief that the New Republic's government was sheltering there, Solo was aboard the Ralroost coordinating the battle meld as part of the ambushing force. The battle went well until Lah, perceiving the trap, turned his forces to assaulting Ebaq 9 in the hope of taking the Jedi there with him. Solo grasped the threat, and immediately issued orders to hold off the attacking force before rushing to his fighter to lend his own personal aid to his sister, who had put her disabled fighter down at the base on Ebaq 9. Vergere attempted to persuade him that he was only throwing his own life away, but he would not be dissuaded. By the time he reached the moon, Lah's forces had already landed, but Lah allowed him to land unmolested in order that they might meet in personal combat. Solo rejected the other Jedi's attempts to talk him out of landing, as he was determined to distract Lah from his sister and did not trust that she could hold out until the New Republic fleet was able to fight through the remainder of Lah's fleet and land troops.
Solo landed away from the Yuuzhan Vong force, but the handful of dying voxyn they maintained were able to sense him. He led his pursuers in a chase through the excavated base away from Jaina before making a stand in a narrow corridor. The enemy troops proved overwhelming, however, and Solo had to retreat before their superior numbers. He was despondent at his failure to save his sister, and when his blaster ran out of energy, he began to use a stunning Force lightning against his opponents. As he fought, a projection of Vergere appeared nearby, warning him that he was about to lose atmospheric pressure. He used the Force to seal in the air in his portion of the tunnel, and was preserved as the Yuuzhan Vong warriors died in the lack of oxygen. As he spoke regretfully with Vergere of his poor choice in recklessly attempting to save his sister, he realized that he was speaking with her Force ghost. His mentor had sacrificed herself by crashing an A-wing into the entrance so that he and Jaina could live. Solo was sorrowful at the realization that his choices had brought about Vergere's death, but she accepted her fate. As the main shaft was too radioactive for immediate rescue, Solo had to hold out with droid-shipped supplies until it was safe to leave.
The search for Zonama Sekot
- "Call it an instinct. Zonama Sekot is the key to the whole thing—to victory. I'm sure of it."
- ―Jacen Solo, to Tahiri Veila
With Lah dead at Jaina Solo's hand and his large fleet devastated, the Battle of Ebaq was a success. Omas put deployment of Alpha Red on hold as a last resort, and began to reform the government into more effective form. Within three months, the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances had been born and was gaining strength. Skywalker turned his attention to finding Zonama Sekot; the living world, possessing hyperspace engines, had fled many decades ago and Skywalker felt that understanding Sekot and enlisting its cooperation was crucial to winning the war without having to exterminate the Yuuzhan Vong. Solo, who strongly shared that sentiment, was enlisted for the mission, as were Jade Skywalker, Quee, Tekli, and High Council member Saba Sebatyne. They believed that the mobile world must be hiding in the Unknown Regions, as it had not been seen for many years, and intended to take advantage of their trip there to enlist the Imperial Remnant and Chiss Ascendancy in the Galactic Alliance.
Before they were ready to depart, Tahiri Veila reemerged after having disappeared for some time. She was found on Mon Calamari, suffering a mysterious mental breakdown and blacking out. Solo was one of many friends who watched over her in the hospital, and was present when she awoke. He attempted to comfort her, and filled her in on Skywalker's plans before putting her into a Force-assisted sleep. A few days later, she was among those who saw the expedition off. Solo felt uneasy leaving his family behind after having returned from captivity only months ago and harbored doubts over the future, but was committed to the mission.
When the Jade Shadow arrived at Bastion, its crew found itself in the middle of a battle in which the Empire's capital was in the final stages of falling. They communicated with Grand Admiral Pellaeon, who instructed them to meet the retreating forces at Yaga Minor. There, Solo and Quee welcomed a boarding party under Captain Arien Yage, an officer Pellaeon had assured them would be loyal to him. At that time, Pellaeon finally arrived from Bastion, but comatose and badly injured. Tekli, the healer, attended to him as Solo anxiously awaited word that Pellaeon, their strongest ally in the Remnant, would live. When local Moff Kurlen Flennic, hostile to the Jedi, began consolidating power, Solo volunteered for a role in negotiating with Flennic to keep the mission secure. Realizing that the attack was in retaliation for the Remnant's role in providing the secret hyperspace routes that made the Battle of Ebaq 9 a success, Solo further realized that there must have been a leak from within the Empire's command structure. He told Flennic's General Berrida the same, offering Jedi assistance in unmasking the traitors. Solo gained a meeting with Flennic himself, who blustered and attempted to intimidate the young man. Solo insisted that it was vital the Remnant retreat to the fortress world of Borosk, where it could mount a more effective defense. Before he could convince the stubborn Moff, Pellaeon intervened by comlink from his bacta tank, ordering the retreat and full cooperation with the Jedi.
Solo returned to Yage's Widowmaker, where he discussed the situation with Skywalker and a recovering Pellaeon. The Jedi shared their anti-Yuuzhan Vong combat techniques and had Yuuzhan-Vong detecting YVH-M MSE droids deployed throughout the fleet to ferret out spies. Solo coordinated that effort, tracing the contacts of the three masqued Yuuzhan Vong the YVH-Ms discovered in order to expose over a dozen traitors in the fleet. The Imperial forces retreated as ordered to Borosk, where the Yuuzhan Vong fleet made a follow-up attack almost immediately. It was during the earliest stages of the battle that Solo had all the spies summoned to a supposed meeting aboard the Star Destroyer Right to Rule. When the final Yuuzhan Vong arrived, he immediately realized he had been exposed, and attacked Solo as a Jedi. The other two joined in before a squad of stormtroopers burst into the room, gunning down two of the attackers before Solo killed the last. The traitors from within the Remnant were arrested.
When a Yuuzhan Vong slaveship arrived, Sebatyne hatched a plan to infiltrate the ship using the Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser Braxant Bonecrusher as bait and liberate the prisoners aboard, captives from Bastion. Solo volunteered for the mission, but Pellaeon, who had taken a shine to the young man as a future leader, suggested he remain safe. Solo struck a compromise in which he remained aboard Braxant Bonecrusher coordinating the droid brains that operated the decoy craft. The Jade Shadow was hidden inside the larger craft with a complement of TIE Fighters. Solo skippered the ship through a hyperspace jump to the rear of the enemy lines, where the droid brains launched a swiftly-defeated attack. As the Dreadnaught was damaged, it shut down and was captured by the slaveship. Sebatyne and Quee infiltrated the slaveship, but before they could take over the enemy craft, the Yuuzhan Vong fleet was alerted. Sebatyne resorted to a desperate evacuation maneuver, opening the ship's hold to space and having the Jade Shadow pick up the prisoners, protected by the jelly filling the hold, with its tractor beam. The captives were brought aboard Braxant Bonecrusher, and Solo reactivated the ship's systems, freed Quee and Sebatyne from the jelly, and authorized a hyperspace jump back to Imperial lines. Meanwhile, Pellaeon, commanding from his bacta tank, forced the enemy fleet to withdraw.
In the aftermath, Solo was present as Pellaeon forced the Moff Council to ally with the Galactic Alliance. The Jedi expedition acquired Imperial data on the Unknown Regions for their journey forward, and Pellaeon assigned them an escort—Yage and her Widowmaker. As they set out for Yashuvhu, Solo began striking up a relationship with Quee, his feelings reignited by the time they were spending together.
After some time tracking down locations where Zonama Sekot might have visited, the team landed on Munlali Mafir, where records indicated that Zonama Sekot had once appeared. There, they found the local Jostrans extinct. Instead, the Krizlaws, listed as herd beasts, appeared to have become sentient and acquired Jostran culture. Solo, Skywalker, Imperial Unknown Regions specialist Doctor Soron Hegerty, and a stormtrooper guard were invited to dinner. When Skywalker explained that Zonama Sekot, which had been associated with severe seismic upheaval when it appeared, would be unlikely to appear again, the Krizlaws turned on them, taking them captive. When a Krizlaw forced a creature down a stormtrooper's throat, the Jedi freed the others and fled. As the landing party retreated to their shuttle, they were chased by their former captors. Solo had to use the Force to sustain Hegerty as they raced uphill, until he and Skywalker finally turned and used the Force to create a landslide that pushed the Krizlaws back. As they reached the summit of the hill on which their Sentinel-class landing craft waited, another group of eleven Krizlaws attacked. Solo, reaching out in the Force, was able to discern that the Krizlaws were being controlled by higher intelligences living as symbionts with them. Solo and Skywalker reached out, disabling enough of the higher intelligences to loosen their control over the Krizlaws, which Solo finally turned away. On the way to Widowmaker, Solo and Skywalker realized that the Jostrans were the mysterious symbionts, having seized control of the Krizlaws. Tarl, the stormtrooper in their group, had been infected by his earlier force-feeding, and Solo attempted to counter the Jostran's attempt to take over his body. When they docked with Widowmaker, Solo kept the Jostran docile while Tekli carefully removed it from the soldier's body.
While still in the system, Widowmaker and the Jade Shadow were challenged by a Chiss patrol under Commander Hess'irolia'nuruodo. Irolia met with the expedition's leadership aboard Widowmaker, where Solo argued that the Chiss should allow them to continue their mission. The commander ultimately decided to give them permission to travel to the capital of Csilla, where they could present their case in person to governmental leaders. Solo supported the decision to travel there, hoping the Chiss, who controlled much of the Unknown Regions, could provide them with information that would lead them to Zonama Sekot. On arriving at Csilla, they landed at Ac'siel and met with Irolia and Chief Navigator Peita Aabe, a Human who had joined the Chiss after Imperial service. They were taken to representatives of the four Ruling Families of Chiss. On Aabe's advice, the Chiss refused them the right of free travel, but granted the team two days' access to the Expeditionary Library's records to search for data on the wandering planet.
Assistant Syndic Soontir Fel offered them a ride to the library. There, the Jedi team had to search through a mass of books for any possible references to the world they sought, a difficult task. They were eventually able to gather enough references to trace Zonama Sekot's travels through the Unknown Regions, but could not ascertain its current position. Wynssa Fel, Soontir Fel's daughter and Jagged Fel's young sister, joined the effort after visiting the library. When the others left to move the Jade Shadow to their location and take a brief rest, Solo elected to continue searching, which left him alone with Wynssa Fel and Irolia. Fel was friendly and curious, and pressed Solo to describe galactic life, the war, and his own convictions.
Soon, Aabe arrived to summon Fel for her father. After she left with him, Solo felt suspicious and called Skywalker, who said that Soontir Fel had not contacted Aabe recently before the conversation was ended by an attack on Skywalker's craft. Now thoroughly convinced the girl was being kidnapped, Solo set off after with Irolia, tracking Aabe and his guards through the ice tunnels. As Aabe and Fel reached a tramway station, Solo intervened. The guards surrendered before the Jedi subdued Aabe. The Chief Navigator was arrested, and Solo learned from Skywalker that he had been involved in a political move against the Fel family by isolationist elements.
Returning to the quest for information, Solo and the others ran a search of astronomical data for systems that had been cataloged as having acquired a planet recently. The search turned up no satisfactory records, disappointing Solo. He went into the library stacks to brood, where Quee approached him and attempted to encourage him, telling him how much she admired him. The conversation led Solo to strike on the idea of searching for planets that had acquired planetary satellites, which he immediately did. The search found a new moon of Mobus, a gas giant in the Klasse Ephemora system. With the blessing of the Chiss, the expedition set out for Klasse Ephemora, traveling through the dangerous and unstable hyperspace routes of the Unknown Regions.
They were stalled near the system, held off by hyperspace anomalies, when Solo and the other Jedi felt a cry of pain in the Force. Tracing the sensation, the Jedi pressed forward, arriving at Zonama Sekot as a battle raged in space above it. The planet itself, powerful in the Force, battled against a Yuuzhan Vong fleet assailing it. Sekot overwhelmed the Jedi, rendering them unconscious before waking up Solo so that he could take landing instructions from one of Zonama Sekot's inhabitants. Jade Skywalker was awakened to pilot the Jade Shadow, and they safely landed on the mysterious world.
The living world
- "I believe that Jacen is intimately connected with the fate of the Yuuzhan Vong."
"He can destroy them?"
"Destroy them. Save them. Transform them. Perhaps all three."
- ―Vergere and Luke Skywalker
Solo remained aboard ship, watching over the unconscious others, while the Skywalkers exited to talk to Zonama Sekot's Ferroan colonists. The others soon awoke, and the party traveled to a nearby village with their Ferroan guides, leaving Tekli to guard the ship. The Jedi and Hegerty marveled at the world, attempting to understand Zonama Sekot's secrets. While waiting for a meeting with the world's Magister, Solo spoke with a Ferroan child, who told him of the previous time Jedi had visited, when Anakin Skywalker and his Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, arrived, and young Skywalker had killed an opponent using the Force. The party was soon summoned before Magister Jabitha Hal and a council of Ferroans. Skywalker explained the course of the war to them, and Hal told of Skywalker and Kenobi's journey to the planet. The council was not convinced that it should take action, if there was any action it could take, and dismissed the newcomers so that it could deliberate.
The Jedi were awakened in the middle of the night when assailants killed the living material of their habitation and collapsed it on them. A group of Ferroans dragged Quee away as the others struggled to free themselves. While the Ferroans of the village insisted that the kidnappers could not be tracked in the heavy rain, Solo set after them anyway, determined to free Quee. Sebatyne followed him, but Solo soon drew ahead of her as he tracked Quee by her presence in the Force. He caught up to them in a clearing, where he faced fifteen of the kidnappers; the swift arrival of Sebatyne sent eight of them fleeing in panic. Determined to avoid bloodshed, Solo insisted to those remaining that they could not defeat him, and they should talk out their differences. When one mentioned a leader, Senshi, Solo knew that he would have to speak with that man to avoid further attacks. He surrendered himself and Sebatyne, insisting that they be taken to see Senshi.
When they arrived before Senshi, they found that the man blamed them for the Yuuzhan Vong attacks, lumping all outsiders together and fearing being consumed by another war and dangerous hyperspace crossing. Magister Hal was soon brought in as well, captured by another party. Solo could not reach Senshi, and the leader decided to retire for the night. Though Sebatyne wanted to free the other captives and leave, Solo argued that they had to stay and show the dissident Ferroans that they meant no harm. The next morning, after a discussion in which Senshi failed to convince Hal of his cause, he ordered that she be taken elsewhere in order to make a point. Admitting that he could not hold the Jedi, Senshi allowed them to choice to go or stay. Solo and Sebatyne elected to proceed with the Ferroans and guard the Magister. Senshi led them into a stand of rogue boras, semi-sentient treelike flora. The rogue boras were hostile, leading Sebatyne to insist that they take the captives and leave. Solo had to talk her down, insisting that there had to be a way to resolve the conflict peacefully. When Senshi took the Magister hostage, pointing his lightning rod at her while the angered boras attacked, Solo turned his attention to the boras, contacting their simple intelligence in the Force and convincing the rogue flora to give up their anger and isolationism.
Solo had passed Sekot's test. The planet's intelligence appeared to him in the guise of their mutual friend Vergere, and Senshi released Hal as Quee awoke. Sekot approved of Solo's peaceful nature, and spoke to him of itself. Still, neither he nor Sekot knew how Sekot could bring a peaceful resolution. The planet spoke of its ability to create living starships, using technology similar to that of the Yuuzhan Vong but with fewer weaknesses. Pressed, Solo rejected Sekot's offer of military assistance. He was convinced a military solution could not provide the answer the galaxy needed, and he refused to take steps that he felt could only end in the genocide of the Yuuzhan Vong. However, Skywalker, conversing with Sekot at the same time, accepted. Sekot decided that it would leave Klasse Ephemora, and see what it could do to stop the Yuuzhan Vong.
They spent two months on the planet as it prepared to depart Klasse Ephemora. At the end of that time, a second expedition landed on another area of the planet. It consisted of Corran Horn, Tahiri Veila, the Yuuzhan Vong priest Harrar, Shaper Nen Yim, and Nom Anor—disguised as Yu'shaa, prophet of a sect of heretics among the Shamed Ones who venerated the Jedi and opposed Supreme Overlord Shimrra Jamaane. All felt that there was something valuable the Yuuzhan Vong could learn from Zonama Sekot, but Anor valued the opportunity to betray the planet to the Supreme Overlord, who desired to eradicate it. He summoned a craft of warriors and attempted to destroy the planet by releasing a plague. Solo and his Jedi companions sought out the site of the infection in the Jade Shadow. They arrived just in time to defeat the Yuuzhan Vong warriors who deployed from the ship Anor summoned, saving Horn and Veila. Anor, who had already killed Yim and, it was believed, Harrar, escaped on the ship.
The infection, attacking Zonama Sekot's interface with its hyperdrives, was defeated, but Sekot was unable to prevent its engines firing it into a hyperspace jump. Widowmaker did not make the jump with the planet, leaving the Jedi uncertain of its fate. Sekot appeared to the Jedi, telling them that it had learned much from Yim's studies, and warning them to take shelter in the planet's caves as hyperspace travel took its toll on the world. The expedition spent nearly a month in the caves of Middle Distance as Zonama Sekot jumped in and out of hyperspace. Emerging too near a sun began a series of forest fires; as a consequence the rest of the trip was spent under conditions of perpetual rainstorms engineered by Sekot. Groundquakes completed the series of natural disasters. Solo and Sebatyne eventually ventured out in a kybo—a Sekotan airship—to examine Zonama Sekot's condition. The devastation in the southern hemisphere was tremendous, while the northern ice cap melted. In addition, the Ferroans had grown resentful of the Jedi.
The pair returned to report to the others just in time for Sekot to announce to them that it was reconsidering its commitment and for Tekli and Veila to find Harrar, alive after all. All rushed to see him, and the high priest helped explain some of the events that had taken place, and told them of the growing power of the Jedi-venerating heresy spreading through the Yuuzhan Vong undercastes, and of events in Jamaane's court that showed the Supreme Overlord's great fear of the sentient world. Doubt and dissent was growing in the halls of the powerful. Harrar himself, seeing the power of Zonama Sekot, wished to build a rapport with the Jedi and bring peace and understanding between the two cultures.
When the rains ceased, Solo, the Skywalkers, Sebatyne, Harrar, and Hal braved another kybo journey to the southern hemisphere, where they visited the ruins of the former Magisters' dwelling in hope of contacting Sekot, which had grown distracted and distant. There, where Sekot had first become aware of itself, they contacted the world's guiding intelligence, which was fascinated by Harrar. Sekot was puzzled by its inability to sense Harrar, and also by his sense of familiarity. Solo and Skywalker, working with Harrar's knowledge of Yuuzhan Vong lore, puzzled out a theory, confirmed by Sekot, that the Yuuzhan Vong had long ago been stripped of the Force and exiled by their homeworld Yuuzhan'tar, a living planet much like Zonama Sekot.
Zonama Sekot began a series of trial hyperspace jumps, attempting to test the hyperdrives and get back to known space now that it had regained control of its hyperdrives. During that journey, Solo spoke with Sekot again, as the planet questioned him, attempting to learn more about his commitment to the Force and about the Yuuzhan Vong. He told it of Skywalker's plan to have Sekot travel to the Coruscant system, where it would distract and frighten the Yuuzhan Vong, but would be capable of defending itself. Skywalker likewise spoke with Solo, discussing their roles once they returned to the known galaxy. Skywalker offered criticism of Vergere's philosophy as he understood it, but did not convince Solo that he was wrong to embrace Vergere's teachings.
The planet jumped into the Coruscant system, terrifying the Yuuzhan Vong as it took up orbit. The Yuuzhan Vong considered Zonama Sekot an ill omen, with the exception of the heretics who venerated it, and would not approach it. Skywalker summoned more Jedi and the Solos to the planet in order to explain his vision for their involvement in the conclusion of the war, which primarily involved allowing the dissension in the enemy leadership and lower castes to undermine the government until they had to sue for peace. Solo was happily reunited with his family, and Sekot began to shape ships for many of the Jedi. The Skywalkers departed to confer with Galactic Alliance High Command while Solo remained on Zonama Sekot. The Jedi Master was unable to convince the military and civilian leaders to hold off their planned attack on Coruscant while the Yuuzhan Vong government unraveled. He returned to Zonama Sekot and reported as much. Solo was annoyed that the government had dismissed his report that the World Brain would render the planet uninhabitable if it was invaded; the danger had only increased since he had lost contact with the dhuryam in the Unknown Regions, giving Jamaane a chance to reestablish some measure of control over it. Skywalker decided that in the event of the invasion, the Jedi would have to reach and neutralize Jamaane before he could order the World Brain to ruin Coruscant.
The Galactic Alliance assault came soon, and during it the new Warmaster, Nas Choka, sent a fleet against Zonama Sekot, against expectations that the frightened Yuuzhan Vong would stay clear of the living planet. As the large Jedi contingent scrambled to defend it in their new Sekotan ships, Solo traveled to Coruscant with the Skywalkers, Master Kenth Hamner, Veila, Harrar, and the rest of the Solos and their Noghri bodyguards. Landing at the Galactic Alliance beachhead in Galactic City after slipping through the Yuuzhan Vong orbital forces, Solo set off with his sister, aunt, and uncle as well as Hamner, Veila, and Captain Judder Page and several of his Katarn Commandos, hoping to infiltrate the sacred precinct and enter the Supreme Overlord's Citadel. When they encountered a unit of rebellious heretics, Hamner, Veila, Jade Skywalker, and several of the troops were dispatched to aid them in the battle against Jamaane's forces. The rest proceeded, but were halted when the biots Tu-Scart and Sgauru began demolishing a walkway they needed to cross. Solo could not convince the creatures to desist until he contacted the World Brain, convincing it to cease taking the Supreme Overlord's orders and instead assist the Jedi in reaching the Citadel.
Solo, his twin, and Skywalker entered the Citadel and fought their way up a winding staircase, encountering constant resistance from hordes of devoted warriors. They made their way to the summit, within the Supreme Overlord's escape craft. There they faced Shimrra Jamaane and his bodyguard of fifteen Slayers, genetically enhanced warriors. The three Jedi, melded in the Force, faced the Slayers. Four pitted themselves against Solo before he was relieved by Skywalker; Solo then went to assist his sister. The chamber began to rock violently as the Citadel shifted, and Solo and Skywalker were left to finish off the Slayers amid the turbulence when Jaina rushed after Jamaane's familiar Onimi, who had ascended to the escape vessel's control room a level above. Hard-pressed and much wounded by the Slayers, who began to move under outside coordination, Solo nonetheless defeated his share before he was knocked out of the fight by Jamaane, who was the last enemy standing. Skywalker slew the Supreme Overlord using Anakin's lightsaber, taken from Jamaane, but sustained an amphistaff bite in the process.
Having cast his own weapon at Jamaane, Solo was unarmed. He missed catching Anakin's lightsaber when Skywalker threw it to him, but Skywalker urged him to continue unarmed to Jaina's assistance. Before Solo could reach him, Onimi launched the escape vessel. When Solo did arrive, he realized that Onimi had restored the Force to himself, having grafted yammosk cells to his nervous system. Onimi had been using his mental abilities to control Jamaane. He was the true Supreme Overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong. Onimi believed that he did battle with the Yuuzhan Vong deities, and thought that Solo embodied Yun-Shuno, the redeemer of Shamed Ones. Anakin Skywalker again spoke through the Force to Solo, telling him to stand firm against Onimi. Solo gave himself over to the Force to counter Onimi's complete control of their surroundings, enabling him to counter the mastermind's actions. When Onimi met him in combat, the Jedi countered the array of toxins the former Shaper excreted, neutralizing them instantly. He had surrendered completely to the Force, experiencing a blissful state of oneness unlike anything any Jedi had experienced before. Onimi expended himself in the manufacture of toxins, and was undone and dissolved by his own poisons.
Solo rescued Jaina, whom Onimi had paralyzed, and was joined by his parents and the defector Nom Anor, who had arrived in the chamber below before the vessel launched. With Onimi dead, the craft began to die with him, forcing Anor to lead the group to an escape vessel for the escape craft. When Anor attempted to lead the group into a waste disposal area, Solo caught on to the deception. Anor, always looking out for himself, attacked Han Solo with a gout of venom from his plaeryin bol, but Jacen Solo intercepted the blast and neutralized it. Anor opened the passage to the yorik-trema escape ship for them, but refused to board himself despite Han Solo extending the offer; he preferred to die on his own terms, having no use for galactic society. The Millennium Falcon, piloted by Jade Skywalker, docked with their escape ship and recovered them. Solo went to Skywalker, badly wounded and abed, and healed him of the amphistaff poison's effects, using his tears as Vergere had.
They traveled to Zonama Sekot, where Sekot had embraced the Yuuzhan Vong whom it had forced down during battle. After a week, Sekot and Hal met with Solo, Skywalker, and Harrar to reveal that Sekot had realized it was the seed of the original Yuuzhan'tar. Sekot now volunteered to serve as a new homeworld for the Yuuzhan Vong, to house and rehabilitate them in the Unknown Regions once Warmaster Nas Choka surrendered. After the surrender, Solo traveled back to Coruscant, where he assisted in reaching an understanding between the World Brain and the Galactic Alliance. Solo was then present at the Jedi convocation Skywalker called on Zonama Sekot, in which he proclaimed a new vision for the future, one which sought to reconnect with the Unifying Force, spend time in self-examination, and adopt lessons from Vergere. Nearly two months after the surrender, once Zonama Sekot had departed, Solo traveled with his family to Kashyyyk, where they gathered at Chewbacca's memorial and lodged Anakin's lightsaber.
Still the student
- "I know what I don't want to do—I don't want to be part of an order or a select group. I don't want to be looked to as the guiding light of the new fealty, and I don't want to be surrounded by students who'll ask more of me than I can explain. Most of all, I don't want to be an object of fascination or admiration, because that'll only distract me from what I really need to learn. I don't have dreams of being a lightsaber master or an ace starfighter pilot, and I'm not on a campaign to change anyone or anything, except myself, maybe, just to clear away some of the confusion that's built up."
- ―Jacen Solo, to Jaina Solo
Solo decided that his place was as a student. He did not want to remain among the Jedi, where he would be looked upon as a hero and feel pressured to live up to others' expectations. He also did not want to remain on Sekot, feeling that he would be too tempted to grow complacent on the seeming paradise. He decided to seek out other Force-using groups and learn from them, expanding his understanding of the Force and discovering more about himself. The Jensaarai, Theran Listeners, Sunesi, and Fallanassi were all on his itinerary. He did not leave immediately, however. He spent some time instructing other Jedi, among them Nelani Dinn, whom he trained in lightsaber combat.
Solo set out on his travels in 30 ABY, taking a leave of absence from the Jedi Order and no longer considering himself an active Jedi Knight. Over the course of his long journeys, Solo sought out many different Force-using orders. Early in his journey, he penetrated the Kathol Rift to visit the Aing-Tii, experts in the manipulation of time and space who viewed the Force as a rainbow of many gradations rather than being divided into a light and dark side. Admitted to study among them, Solo learned from Tadar'Ro—one of their number who had previously interacted with Jorj Car'das, a reclusive information broker and the only prior Human student admitted among the Aing-Tii. Tadar'Ro, communicating through a device that translated the pheromones Aing-Tii used to express themselves, taught him Aing-Tii powers of teleportation, as well as flow-walking, a technique to experience the past or future by projecting oneself into it. The young Jedi Knight learned swiftly, easily understanding the Aing-Tii's complex approach to the Force. He hoped that he could use this power to alter the past and save his brother Anakin, but he was devastated to learn that he could only experience the past, not change it. Solo critiqued the Aing-Tii's multifaceted understanding of the Force, and his challenges earned the Aing-Tii's displeasure. Over the ages, the Aing-Tii had accumulated many relics in a cave they called the Embrace. In accordance with their beliefs, they had to gather the Force-strong artifacts, but could not touch them. As an unbeliever, Solo was allowed to contact them, and spent some time in the Embrace exploring the various relics. When he touched a powerful artifact known as the Codex, he experienced a significant amplification of his powers and, in that state, sensed something amiss in the Maw. He spoke to Tadar'Ro, who warned him against traveling there, saying it was where Mind Drinkers dwelled. Solo felt he must investigate nonetheless, and so Tadar'Ro told him a riddle that explained how to find Sinkhole Station, home of the Mind Drinkers.
Solo found Sinkhole Station poised between two black holes. Within the ancient Celestial construct were the Mind Walkers, as they called themselves, a group of Force-sensitives who projected their consciousness into a mindscape called "beyond shadows" in which they professed to find a profound connection to the Force. They were under the influence of Abeloth, the dark presence Solo had felt. He learned to Mind Walk himself and was guided within the spirit world to the Font of Power, where his Mind Walker guides told him he could drink and find limitless power. Sensing the Font to be tainted with the dark side, he immediately rejected the temptation. Within the realm the Mind Walkers called "beyond shadows" Solo found the Pool of Knowledge, which offered visions of all that had passed and would come to be. Solo declined to bathe in it and experience all knowledge, knowing no mortal mind could comprehend the entirety of the universe. He merely gazed into the Pool and saw the Throne of Balance, on which sat the future. There he saw a dark, armored figure sitting upon a golden throne surrounded by disciples. Seeing the face beneath the figure's mask, Solo was shocked by recognition. His spirit would later tell Luke Skywalker it was not his former Master whose face he had seen, but Skywalker was not sure Solo was telling the truth. Driven to alter the dark future he had seen, Solo ceased Mind Walking and left the Maw, determined to finish his training and avert the dark rule.
During the course of his journey, Solo spoke with the Jensaarai, a light-side sect descended from a Sith cult, who were in amiable contact with the Jedi. He probed their understanding of the Force, questioning their doctrine in ways that offended them. Solo also spent time with the Witches of Dathomir, from whom he learned Force techniques but who, like the Aing-Tii and Jensaarai, criticized him for learning their ways but not their beliefs, not accepting their understanding of the Force. While among the Dathomiri witches, Solo also learned techniques of the dark side Nightsister witch clan. From the Theran Listeners of Nam Chorios, who communed with the sentient Tsil crystals of that world, he learned quieting and listening techniques that improved his abilities to communicate in the Force. Rumors later flew that during his search for knowledge Solo had penetrated the Unknown Regions, home to several Force sects unknown to the greater galaxy—the Blazing Chain raiders and the entropy-worshiping Sorcerers of Rhand among them.
In 34 ABY, Solo began studying among the Baran Do Sages on Dorin. Master of the Baran Do Order Koro Ziil personally tutored Solo in their techniques, which specialized in the use of the Force to manipulate electricity, extend the senses, apprehend danger, and keep oneself from detection. Solo began with weather-detection techniques, but wanted to move on to more esoteric abilities. Within only three days, he mastered the ayna-seff variation of the hassat-durr family of talents, which involved manipulation of the body's electromagnetic field. Solo, in turn, gave Ziil practice in lightsaber sparring. He was considering finishing his sojourn after completing his time with the Baran Do when, studying documents he had brought along, he developed an interest in Force nexuses and decided to seek them out.
Solo reached Pydyr to study with the Fallanassi, who specialized in illusions and secrecy, in 35 ABY. There, he learned from Akanah Norand Goss Pell, a former lover of his uncle, Fallanassi techniques for manipulating the White Current, their understanding of the Force. Pell was wary of Solo, believing he carried a darkness within him, and sought to teach him to accept the galaxy's nature rather than place upon himself the burden of saving it. He did not agree, but continued to respect Pell. While training with Pell, Solo began feeling a sensation in the Force, a compulsion to come to the caller's assistance in the Unknown Regions. After several weeks, the call strengthened into a plea for help, and Solo felt that the time had come to leave his training and seek out the source of the compulsion. Pell counseled against it, feeling that Solo had to remain and complete his training, and did not truly understand the White Current. She also sensed that Solo lacked "light" in his views on the Force, and was determined that he could not leave without moral guidance. Nevertheless, Solo departed.
The Killik problem
- "Jacen convinced Tenel Ka to send us a fleet."
"Jacen convinced Tenel Ka, or you used Jacen to convince her? Your touch can be very compelling."
"Perhaps, but even we are not strong enough to control Jacen. He has moved beyond our control—or anyone else's."
- ―UnuThul and Jaina Solo
Traveling into the Unknown Regions, Solo found the source of the call in the Colony, a series of Killik nests in which each had its own hive-mind and all were controlled by Unu, an overmind. Other species had been drawn to the Colony and were unwilling to leave, joined to one nest's mind. Arriving at the Lizil nest, Solo was assigned a guide who brought him to the world on which Yoggoy nested. There, he heard that there had been a spacecraft crash on the planet years before, and sought out the site of the Crash, which had become a monument. It was, as Solo had suspected, the wreck of the Tachyon Flier, which Lomi Plo and Welk had stolen at Myrkr with Raynar Thul aboard. Against the wishes of his impatient insect guide, whose language Solo had to understand through the Force, Solo entered the wreck, seeking to understand what had happened and who was summoning him. Cutting into the crew quarters, he found the melted remains of M-TD, and on the bridge he found signs that the others might have perished in the fire subsequent to the crash. He flow-walked back to the events of the crash to see what had occurred, and saw Thul levitating the two Dark Jedi from the burning craft. When Thul observed Solo's presence, he withdrew to the present, traced Thul's passage to an exit, and was pleasantly surprised to find that his friend had apparently survived.
On exiting, his guide presented him with a new XJ5 "ChaseX" X-wing. Solo refused to take up a combat role until the Colony explained to him why and whom he was supposed to be fighting. The same presence that had earlier called to him now spoke, insisting that it knew Solo and knew he would find this fight worthy. Solo opened himself to flow-walking once more, seeking to determine what had become of Thul and if he might be the other presence, and was surprised to find himself in the future, seeing his mother for the first time in five years. She spoke to someone else, mentioning that Thul had survived. Solo had his guide tell him where he was going, and offered the location to his mother, who had seen his future projection: Qoribu, in the Gyuel system.
Solo flew to Qoribu's moon Jwlio, where he found the other Myrkr survivors, with the lone exception of Tenel Ka Djo. They were engaged in battling the Chiss Ascendancy, which was attacking the Killik worlds near its borders with defoliant to destroy their food supply. Solo found this unacceptable behavior, and joined the other Jedi in flying against Chiss defoliant sorties. Though he accepted Killik ways and fought for the nests, he was not as absorbed into the hive mind as the other Jedi; he resisted becoming a Joiner.
Finally, in one raid a month after Solo arrived, the conflict escalated, when the Killiks destroyed a Chiss Star Destroyer with a suicidal ramming attack by a swarm of dartships and Lowbacca was left extravehicular, where he was recovered by the Chiss. As they took the Wookiee Jedi in, Solo's parents, the Skywalkers, and Saba Sebatyne arrived in the system with Jae Juun and Tarfang, smugglers who had worked for the Killiks. They had learned that Thul had survived and become UnuThul, the leader of the Unu nest, which provided the Colony's guiding will. When the others landed, Solo introduced himself to his cousin Ben Skywalker, whom he had not seen since the boy was a toddler, and the pair immediately connected. Solo then hugged his parents for the first time in five years, then listened as the other Jedi attempted to defend their desertion from their duties and role in the war to their elders. Finally, the Masters' Council members decided that the Joiner Jedi had lost their neutrality and were only aggravating a confused situation, and requested that they depart the Unknown Regions. Solo, Tesar Sebatyne, Tekli, and Veila agreed to leave immediately, while the others waited for the Solos to recover Lowbacca before departing.
On their return to the Jedi Academy on Ossus, Solo and the other Jedi had their brain activity scanned. Solo used the ayna-seff technique to mask his readings and manipulate the equipment, explaining that he preferred that the Masters examining them trust their feelings rather than technology. Using the others' readings, Cilghal disproved that the blurring of the Jedi's minds was related to overuse of the meld during the war; instead, Killik pheromones were altering their brain functions, joining them to the collective nest mind. Solo, however, likely had not been present long enough to become a Joiner. As the Masters argued as to how they might address the Killik-Chiss tensions, Solo opined that the Killiks were dangerous, but did not mean anyone harm. In such a situation, the important thing was that the Jedi chose a position and acted.
Solo himself felt that he ought to send a fleet to safeguard the Killiks, and so chose to approach his old friend Djo, who had ascended to the Hapan throne while Solo had been a captive in the Yuuzhan Vong War. He traveled to Hapes, where he sneaked into the Queen Mother's gardens when her secretary would not announce him. She was delighted to see him for the first time in five years, and dismissed the courtiers around her in order to catch up with her old friend. They proceeded to a private island in her gardens, where Solo explained the situation in the Unknown Regions, and asked her to send a fleet to guard the Killiks. She agreed after asking Solo to stay the night. He did, the pair finally giving in to their feelings and sleeping with each other. Unknown to Solo, he impregnated the Queen Mother in the encounter.
Solo returned to Ossus, where some Jedi were concerned that he had inflamed the situation, making war more likely to break out, rather than less. As this seemed to be an unconscious motivation of at least some of the Joiners, this was troubling. When Alema Rar attacked Han and Leia Solo on their return trip, being the only Joiner Jedi who had agreed to leave when the Chiss under Commander Jagged Fel captured Lowbacca, she was captured. So was an assassin Killik, calling itself Gorog, when it attacked Mara Jade Skywalker after stowing away aboard ship and attempting to make a Joiner of Ben Skywalker. It was a member of the Killik nest that had been attacking the Solos and Skywalkers while the Colony continued to deny knowledge of the assaults. Solo was part of a test in which all the Jedi from Jwlio were put in rooms nearby while the Gorog assassin was subjected to pain without their knowledge. Rar, whom readings showed to be a Gorog Joiner, was restrained, and Solo was the only one of the other Jedi who did not feel the need, unconsciously provoked by Gorog, to terminate the experiment, as he was not a Joiner. Cilghal determined that Gorog was acting as the Colony's unconscious, manipulating the other nests and influencing Thul without their knowledge. She explained this to Skywalker, and Solo joined in with his own observation that Gorog was almost certainly controlled by Plo and Welk, the Dark Jedi survivors of the crash. They had created a secretive, dark side nest. Rar's own inner darkness had led her to join with them.
When Chief of State Cal Omas angrily arrived on Ossus, demanding a meeting with the Jedi leadership to discuss the arrival of the Hapan fleet over Qoribu, Solo entered the meeting, admitting that he had persuaded her to send the fleet. He explained to Omas that he had believed that the only way to prevent the Chiss from exterminating the Killiks on Jwlio was to give them naval force to protect themselves, holding the Chiss back from action and giving the Jedi time to resolve the crisis. Omas ordered the Jedi to force Djo to withdraw the fleet and withdraw themselves from the Unknown Regions likewise, averting a diplomatic crisis with the Chiss. This sparked a debate among the Masters as to whether the Jedi should be accountable to the government, in which Solo argued that the Jedi could only trust their own consciences; governments were too weak and corruptible to be in control of the Jedi. Omas's threat to withhold Galactic Alliance funding if the Jedi could not comply exacerbated the argument, until Skywalker put an end to it. Organa Solo proposed that the Hapan fleet move the Killik nests to a set of planets they had discovered in the Utegetu Nebula, where the Killiks would be far from the Chiss border. Still, the Jedi would first have to deal with Gorog, which Solo realized seemed to want war.
The Jedi arranged to allow Rar to escape with the Gorog insect, tracking her back to the Gorog nest's location. The Jedi leadership sent a strike team to deal with the nest, eliminating it to allow a peaceful resolution. Solo remained on Ossus, as the Masters wished to take no risk of any of the Jedi who had spent time with the Killiks betraying their plans. Instead, Solo spent his time with his young cousin Ben Skywalker, who had withdrawn from the Force and showed signs of having joined with the Gorog stowaway. Solo also reached out to his twin, still with the Killiks, and urged her to resist the Colony's will, letting her know that Plo and Welk were in control. Jaina warned Jagged Fel, commanding the Chiss task force, of the imminent attack the Killiks were preparing, and the Jedi strike team rooted out Gorog, killing Welk in the process. Plo, however, escaped. Thul agreed to move the Killik nests to the Utegetu Nebula. The conflict seemed resolved.
For the next six months, Solo was confined to the Jedi Academy on Ossus, as were the other Jedi who had been among the Killiks. He declined to answer many questions about his experiences, becoming known for his secretive manner and mysterious bearing. He did file some reports concerning his travels, but he deliberately withheld much of what he had learned, resulting in documents that were spotty at best and omitted several of the sects he had visited entirely. He worked with his uncle to formulate Force techniques based on their experiences combating Gorog. One was a technique to detect individuals who were concealing themselves in the Force by detecting the sensations that spread around them in the Force rather than searching for the individual himself. Another was working on using the Force in overwhelming amounts, calling on more power than the body could safely channel. Together they managed to work out ways to endure the sensations of overload, but not to prevent the damage it caused to the user. Skywalker made a point to ask Solo not to use flow-walking to reach into the future again, as he feared the consequences of fixing the future.
Solo also spent time with his young cousin, Ben Skywalker. Skywalker had withdrawn from the Force, and Solo was the only one who could make him feel comfortable using it. As a result, Solo became Skywalker's informal Jedi Master. He also began to limit Jaina's ability to sense him in their twin bond, who remained joined with Zekk despite having been removed from the proximity of the Killiks. Solo kept in contact with Djo by secure HoloNet, but the pair were unable to meet up again for quite some time.
The Swarm War
- "It's happening."
"Another war. An eternal one."
"All right, Jacen. You're starting to scare us."
"Good. Because I'm terrified."
- ―Jacen Solo and Jaina Solo
In 36 ABY, Solo was to go on a camping trip to Endor with Ben Skywalker when he received a message from Djo telling him to come secretly to Hapes. He thus had to bring Skywalker along to their secret meeting. Djo's child protection droid, DD-11A, remained outside the room with Skywalker while Solo was admitted inside to see Djo and her new child. Solo was initially disappointed, believing that his love had taken a Hapan husband and given birth to a child without even telling him, but on seeing the newborn girl, Solo realized that he was seeing his daughter, though it had been over nine months since he had been with Djo. The Queen Mother explained that she had slowed their daughter's development through the Force in order to avoid suspicion that the child was Solo's, which would have made him a target for the murderous infighting of Hapan nobility. Skywalker had followed and heard this news, which Djo was desperate to keep secret.
Solo had felt a sensation of danger in the Force for some time, but it grew stronger at that moment, and Djo explained that she had felt a threat since the yet-unnamed child's birth. Skywalker perceived that Gorog assassins were attacking, under contract to kill the new heir to the Hapan throne. Solo tried to cut an escape out of the room as Gorog insects swarmed in the walls, and Skywalker was still in contact with the Gorog nest mind, complicating matters through its influence over him. When DD-11A opened fire on the Killiks, Skywalker felt their pain and attacked Djo and the droid, forcing Solo to use the Force to render him unconscious. Solo hid in the corner of the room, pulling his cloak over the Humans, and sent DD-11A through the hole he had cut in the floor. Solo used the Force to project the sound of his daughter's crying near the droid, and created an illusion hiding his family's presence in the room. Gorog was convinced they had fled and gave chase, though observers left behind noticed when Solo dropped the illusion and attacked. Solo and Djo killed them, while DD-11A's grenades eliminated the main swarm.
Due to Gorog's knowledge of a secret escape tunnel known only to Queen Mothers, Djo was convinced that her grandmother, Ta'a Chume, had been behind the attack. Djo intended to deal with the woman, but Solo was unconvinced that she would be able to eliminate Ta'a Chume—already under house arrest for poisoning Djo's mother, Queen Mother Teneniel Djo—as a threat. He sought out the former Queen Mother himself after promising Djo that he would not kill her. After knocking out her bodyguards, he confronted Ta'a Chume in her private spa before Djo's security personnel could reach her. He demanded that she explain the assassination attempt, but when she refused to cooperate he used the Force to invade her mind and learn that she had been approached by Gorog, which sought to assassinate Djo due to her fleet's interference at Qoribu. She threatened him, insisting that if she were killed or imprisoned, her agents would not stop until Djo was dead. Outraged, Solo pressed himself farther into Ta'a Chume's mind, driving her out of it—essentially rendering her brain-dead. In that moment, Solo experienced a vision of a galaxy-consuming war sparked by the Killiks. Aghast, he hid as Ta'a Chume was arrested.
Before Solo left, he and Djo named their daughter Allana. Solo was deeply worried about his vision, and used a Fallanassi memory rub to suppress Skywalker's memories that he had been on Hapes. He quickly traveled to Endor and spent time camping in order to lead his apprentice to believe that they had gone on the Endor trip exactly as planned. Skywalker's mind was resilient, however, and Solo had to use repeated applications of the technique to keep the memories buried.
Determined to prevent the outbreak of such a war, Solo returned to Ossus, where the Jedi were riven by Master Corran Horn's appointment as temporary leader of the Jedi while Luke Skywalker and Han Solo were incommunicado on the Killik world Woteba and the Killiks re-escalated their conflict with the Chiss. Meanwhile, Leia Organa Solo and Saba Sebatyne had been arrested while attempting to run a Fifth Fleet blockade of the Utegetu Nebula. He entered a hangar where Jaina, Zekk, Veila, Lowbacca, Tesar Sebatyne, and several others were preparing to go on a rescue mission to the Utegetu led by Kyp Durron, and were arguing with several other Masters led by Horn and Kenth Hamner who forbade the mission. On landing, he spoke with Jaina and Zekk, who filled him in on the situation. On learning that the Killiks were provoking the Chiss yet again, Solo was horrified, convinced that the eternal war he had foreseen was coming into being. He believed that the vision while he eliminated Ta'a Chume as a threat had been a sign that the Force likewise needed him to neutralize the Killiks. He summoned Sebatyne, Veila, and Lowbacca and explained his vision of unending war, a war Gorog sought to provoke. Solo wanted to provoke the Chiss into eliminating the Killiks, but knew the others would never cooperate, so he lied, claiming that the Chiss were preparing a preemptive attack that would start off the war and that needed to be blunted.
The others agreed to help Solo strike against the Chiss, and proceeded in their StealthX fighters to the Chiss Ascendancy's Supply Depot Thrago. They infiltrated the moon base's defenses, but Jaina and Zekk were doubtful that the Chiss really were preparing an attack. Solo used the Force to gain the Chiss's attention, forcing the Jedi into following through on the planned attack, stopping up the hangar with glop bombs and destroying the many fuel tanks stored at the supply depot. Solo, Jaina, and Zekk made a run against an ammunition dump, but the other two intended to pull out when they realized there was a repair hangar nearby with personnel who would be killed in the explosion. Solo moved to warn the hangar personnel to evacuate, but Jaina and Zekk still pulled out. Solo was unwilling to leave the target, and so launched his time-delayed torpedo into the ammunition dump. Jaina and Zekk were forced to warn the Chiss nearby, but were outraged at Solo's actions. The Jedi withdrew, but Solo still had to deal with his twin's anger.
The Chiss were able to determine that the attack had been carried out by Jedi in StealthXs, but as no one was killed, they did not make an incident out of it. Instead, they believed it was evidence that several Jedi were once more under the sway of the Killiks, and launched an attack against the Killiks on their borders. The rest of the strike team returned to fight for the Killiks, and Solo proceeded with them, subtly undermining the Killik war effort. Jaina and Zekk no longer trusted Solo, but Veila became a strong supporter of him.
The Jedi began feeling a summons from Luke Skywalker at Ossus after approximately a month of fighting in defense of the Killiks. Solo argued that they should leave, eager to find a reason for the Jedi to leave the Killiks to their own devices. When a large Chiss bomb was dropped near their bunker shortly after the call arose, but did not detonate, Solo argued against investigating it. Nevertheless, the others charged across the battlefield to the bomb, which they suspected of being some new type of superweapon, and Solo followed. Jagged Fel commanded a Chiss landing craft that deployed commandos tasked with eliminating the bomb before it could be analyzed. Jaina disabled the craft, but when the other Jedi had nearly recovered the bomb, Solo used the Force to lift the wrecked landing craft, letting Fel escape it and trigger the vape charges the commandos had planted, destroying the weapon. Jaina and Zekk were once more outraged, realizing he had deliberately allowed Fel to destroy the bomb.
The pair refused to return to Ossus with Solo and the others, instead continuing to fight for the Colony. On Ossus, Solo spoke with Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker, explaining his reasoning for the strike at Supply Depot Thrago—though he offered them the same pretext he had given the others. They accepted his explanation, but worried that his actions had been rash. Solo then joined the rest of the Jedi Order, which had gathered nearly its entire membership to hear Skywalker speak on the divisions currently rending the Order. After insisting on the importance of unity, Skywalker asked for the resignation from the Order of any Jedi who could not put the Jedi Order first in his priorities. Skywalker retreated to his chambers, and the Masters convened. Djo told Solo that due to her duties as monarch of Hapes, she could not remain a Jedi given this ultimatum; Solo decided to stay a Jedi. The Masters, coming to a conclusion, dismissed all but the Jedi involved in the Killik crisis. While they spoke with the Skywalkers, Solo's parents asked him why Djo was being so secretive about her daughter. Solo wished he could reveal to them that Allana was their granddaughter, but felt that he could take no risks concerning her security and instead deflected their questions. As the Jedi Masters brought them into the conversation, Solo offered his public interpretation of his vision and explained himself. When no one else could decide on a plan of action, Solo suggested they kill Thul, Plo, and Rar. Solo was convinced that without his old friend guiding the Killiks, imposing his will on the Colony, they would revert to their previous disorganized and relatively harmless state. And with Plo and Rar, the guiding Joiners of the Gorog nest, eliminated, it too would cease driving the Colony's acts of aggression.
Lowbacca, Veila, and Tesar Sebatyne spoke out against Solo to Luke Skywalker, insisting he could not be trusted and was lying and manipulating the situation. They also revealed that he had tampered with Ben Skywalker's memories. Skywalker summoned his nephew to speak, and Solo arrived at the same time as Zakarisz Ghent was finishing work to access R2-D2's sequestered memory files of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala, Solo's grandparents. They observed an interchange between the two after the execution of Order 66; Solo was less inclined to view Anakin Skywalker's behavior negatively than Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker, seeing protectiveness where they saw a controlling nature. Afterward, the Skywalkers confronted Solo about his friends' accusations. Under pressure, he admitted that he had not seen how the war started, and had fabricated the explanation of a Chiss surprise attack in order to gain aid in preventing the war. Solo also admitted to using Veila to spy on the other former Joiners, and when asked about his memory rubs of Ben Skywalker, he lied that he had done so to remove memories of a traumatic Gorax attack on an Ewok village while they camped on Endor.
Han and Leia Organa Solo returned from Killik space with information that the Killiks were planning on overthrowing the governments of several Galactic Alliance insect species and replacing them with loyal puppet governments. Skywalker assigned Jedi to thwart these coups, assigning himself, Jade Skywalker, and Solo to protect the Verpine. Solo was the first to observe the Killiks and their Verpine allies attacking, and counterattacked before landing on Nickel One, the main Verpine asteroid, and fighting the Killik attackers on the ground. He successfully defended the Hive Mother before Supreme Commander Gilad Pellaeon arrived to lend the Galactic Alliance's assistance. Pellaeon reported that the coups had been defeated on all worlds except Thyferra, where the Killiks had seized control of the vital bacta supply.
Solo, his parents, and his aunt and uncle were invited to a meeting with Chief of State Omas and Supreme Commander Pellaeon on Coruscant in which Skywalker was able to gain their support for the plan Solo had proposed—eliminating the Killik leadership and thus breaking up the Colony—but modified to capture rather than kill Thul, as well as attempting to convince the Chiss to abandon the war. To ensure the Colony could not expand, they would seed its worlds with the ecosphere-preserving nanotechnology native to the Utegetu Nebula, which would keep the size of Killik development in check. Skywalker intended to face down Plo himself, but Solo was convinced that he should do it instead, as Plo used her opponents' doubts to mask herself, and Solo felt he had no doubts at all. Solo opposed Skywalker's plan, feeling it vital that the Chiss exterminate the Killiks, but did not speak out against it for fear of revealing the extremity of his convictions.
When his parents were set to travel to Tenupe, at the front of the Swarm War, evacuate Jaina, and smuggle Killik commandos into a Chiss control center in order to convince the Chiss of the value of ending the war, Solo tipped off the Chiss in Tenupe's system to their arrival. Though he made the Chiss promise to take them alive, he was still deeply saddened at the act, but considered it a necessary sacrifice. Before traveling to confront Plo, Solo and the Skywalkers watched R2-D2's recording of Anakin Skywalker causing Amidala's death after his fall to the dark side, dispelling the doubts that Jade Skywalker had killed Amidala which Gorog had tried to plant. Solo's uncle was overwhelmed with emotion, and declined to view Amidala's actual death; Solo argued that he had to, that Skywalker could not be afraid of pain. When Skywalker still rejected it, and aired his disapproval of Vergere's teachings, Solo brought up his belief that he ought to be the one to kill Plo. Skywalker declined this as well.
A Jedi strike force of StealthXs traveled to Sarm, where they prepared an ambush of Gorog's nest ship in orbit. They infiltrated the nest ship in their fighters, shooting their way in as Solo flew with his aunt and uncle. A Gorog counterattack left their fighters crushed under rubble, and Solo was trapped in his cockpit and knocked unconscious. He awoke as Plo and her Gorog were attacking the party. Skywalker engaged the queen of the Gorog nest while Solo and other Jedi protected him from the swarms of Gorog. Jade Skywalker was injured in the fight and Plo descended on her, using Skywalker's fear for his wife to paralyze him. Solo stepped in to block the attack, disarming Plo of her primary lightsaber, but she also possessed a shoto with which she stabbed him in the belly. Jade shot the Dark Jedi, and she and the Gorog retreated as the Jedi strike team recovered the wounded and evacuated.
With three organs damaged, Solo was disabled for some time. With bacta short, he volunteered to forgo treatment, knowing he could heal his wounds over time with the Force. Skywalker was determined to subdue Thul and Plo alone, but Solo knew that Plo had used Skywalker's fear against him in their last encounter, and worried that his uncle would prove insufficient to the task. He admonished Skywalker for it, speaking over Jade Skywalker's sickbed. When Skywalker was still confident, he projected a Fallanassi mirror illusion in which Skywalker viewed his fears—seeing Jade Skywalker die. Skywalker was terrified, and when Solo revealed the truth, he realized that his fears were in fact weakening him. The younger Jedi insisted that his uncle had to confront his fears and learn to accept them. They viewed R2-D2's hologram of Amidala's death together, and Skywalker accepted his fear as Solo insisted. He rejected Solo's suggestion that he draw on his emotions for power, however, preferring a more traditionally dispassionate approach to using the Force. At Tenupe, Skywalker killed Plo and captured Thul, while Organa Solo defeated Rar, who was believed dead, eaten by Tenupe's wildlife. Solo remained on Coruscant, recovering, as the Chiss were persuaded to end the war, and the Killiks, while not exterminated, were neutralized as a threat.
- "I apologize. I actually do have to kill you now."
"You're insane. I've surrendered."
"That's not enough. You ruin the future, Thrackan. For the greater good, our Jedi traditions notwithstanding, I have to kill you."
- ―Jacen Solo and Thrackan Sal-Solo
Solo continued training with Ben Skywalker, developing a close bond with the boy and allowing him to live at his Coruscant apartment. Luke Skywalker, however, retained doubts about Solo's judgment and was worried by the changes he sensed in him after his five-year journey. Their relationship was slightly strained, with Solo aware that his uncle did not fully trust his judgment, but they were still close.
Solo's relationship with Djo and Allana remained secret, and though he visited covertly every three to four months and longed to be able to spend more time with them, he was often apart from his family and regretted that he could not make their ties public. Allana herself was not even informed that Solo was her father, though she was immensely fond of him.
During visits to the Coruscant undercity to see the World Brain, Solo met Seha Dorvald, a street urchin. After repeated contacts, he realized that she was Force-sensitive and sponsored her admission to the Jedi Order for training. Meanwhile, tensions grew due to Corellia's desire to reap the benefits of Galactic Alliance membership while attempting to avoid paying its dues and complying with Alliance demands.
In 40 ABY, Solo traveled with his apprentice to Adumar to inspect its arms factories, suspected of supplying weapons to other planets illegally. He attempted to keep the Adumari with whom he interacted off-balance, hoping to stress his guide in the Dammant Killers factory, Testan ke Harran, into slipping up by adopting a mysterious, distant manner. Solo was indeed able to produce enough anxiety in ke Harran to find its source in a hidden door to an area in which illegal munitions were produced and stored. Security guards attacked the pair of Jedi, who fled through the factory and up a turbolift shaft. They cut their way outside and slid down the building's angled surface before disabling a security fighter. Skywalker broadcast his recording of the violation to the Galactic Alliance, and left the planet with their mission accomplished.
They returned to Coruscant for a full family dinner at the elder Solos' new home. Dinner was disrupted by an argument between the others and Han Solo, who supported Corellia's rhetoric of independence from the central government and planetary pride. After dinner, Luke Skywalker took Solo aside to inform him that the Galactic Alliance had learned that Corellia was carrying on its negotiations in bad faith. The government of the Corellian system had no interest in complying with regulations, and was instead secretly attempting to incite other planetary governments to join it in defiance of the central government. Most worryingly, it was secretly building a planetary assault fleet and attempting to reactivate Centerpoint Station. Skywalker requested that Solo take on the mission the Galactic Alliance had assigned the Jedi: infiltrating and disabling Centerpoint. Solo accepted and decided to take Ben Skywalker with him, a call the elder Skywalker had left up to Solo as Ben's Master.
Solo and his apprentice began training with Doctor Toval Seyah, a Galactic Alliance spy stationed among the scientists working to reactivate Centerpoint, practicing various methods of destroying or disabling the station. Though Skywalker tended to die in the simulations, Solo sensed he would be vital to the actual mission's success. When they were ready, the two Jedi were smuggled aboard Centerpoint Station in a pair of cargo containers. Designated Team Mynock, they reported their successful infiltration to the Galactic Alliance forces preparing to make a show of force, dubbed Operation Roundabout, in the system that would provide a distraction. With Skywalker trailing behind him, Solo made his way into a chamber in which he was trapped, separated from Skywalker, by Thrackan Sal-Solo, the Chief of State of Corellia. Sal-Solo and his guards deployed a sonic attack, but Solo overcame the pain and counterattacked the Corellian Security Force soldiers with Sal-Solo. They retreated, forcing Solo to follow them into a room that comprised yet another layer of the ambush. Knowing that Skywalker was nearing success in sabotaging the station, Solo pursued Sal-Solo through a side door rather than attacking the soldiers between himself and the control room. He subdued Sal-Solo, and received a vision of a possible future: if he did not kill Sal-Solo here, the galaxy would be consumed in war, and his family would suffer terribly. Though Solo did not like it, he came to the conclusion that he had to kill the politician. Before he could do so, one of Sal-Solo's prearranged distractions bought the older man just enough time to escape. Annoyed at his failure to prevent the war, Solo had to leave the station, which Skywalker had successfully rendered unusable as a weapon.
In the aftermath of Centerpoint's sabotage and Admiral Matric Klauskin's occupation of Tralus after Operation Roundabout failed, Five World Prime Minister Aidel Saxan agreed to meet with Supreme Commander Pellaeon at Toryaz Station in the Kuat system for negotiations. Solo was among the many Jedi assigned to provide security for the conference. He sat in on the first conference before returning to his parents' suite, where they informed him that Luke Skywalker had been receiving visions of a threatening man who did not yet seem to exist. Solo tried to find the same traces in the Force but could not; his senses detected only an extremely faint female presence lingering as a threat. Solo went to bed, but was awakened in the middle of the night to a sensation that something was wrong. Soon attackers blew in his door; Solo defeated them and joined up with his father, who had also survived an attack, to check on the Corellian delegation. There, Solo found Saxan dead.
He and several other high-ranking summit attendees met to discuss the attack and begin investigating. Solo wandered the habitat in which the summit was taking place, searching for signs that the Force had been used. In some areas, he again picked up a faint female presence. Grand Master Skywalker assigned Solo to investigate Siron Tawaler, a Toryaz Station security captain who had apparently collaborated with the attackers before voluntarily walking out of an airlock. Intrigued by the set of tassels Jaina and Zekk had discovered in the airlock, Solo swapped assignments with her, seeking out more information on the unusual object.
Dark Lord of the Sith
The death of Nelani Dinn
- "Jacen, don't do this."
"You don't understand what's at stake."
"I'm not concerned with living or dying. I surrendered my fate to the Force when I joined the order. It's you. If you do this, you'll become something bad. Something destructive."
"No. Call it whatever you want to. What do you call someone who kills without needing to? Someone who joins sides with evil because of a well-reasoned argument."
"Nelani, I'm sorry. You're…a deflector that would send the future spinning into tragedy. And you're too young, too weak to understand it, to correct it."
- ―Nelani Dinn and Jacen Solo
In an attempt to make sense of the tassels, Solo consulted For'ali, a Twi'lek scholar who was an expert in such items. For'ali was able to translate one tassel as a message in an extinct method of communication formerly used by the Tahu'ip subculture, stating "He will strengthen himself through pain." The others were not in the same syntax, and For'ali recommended they seek out the academic resources of Lorrd in translating the other elements. On Lorrd, Solo was met by Nelani Dinn, who had been the Jedi assigned to the planet. They proceeded to visit Doctor Heilan Rotham, a specialist in tactile recordings. Rotham felt she could translate much of the strange object, but their meeting was interrupted when Dinn received a call stating that a man was threatening to launch missiles from a starfighter at student dormitories if he could not speak to a Jedi.
Solo and Ben Skywalker set off with Dinn for the Lorrd City Spaceport. There, Dinn attempted to negotiate with Ordith Huarr, the pilot, but Solo simply used the Force to flip his Y-wing over, neutralizing Huarr as a threat—or so he thought, until Huarr launched his missiles into the ground, killing himself and injuring several nearby security personnel. Dinn and Solo debated their approaches, until the young woman admitted that she was romantically interested in him and had been since he trained her years ago. He had to admit that he was already involved with someone, though he did not reveal whom.
They returned to Rotham, who had been able to translate most of the tassels. Solo felt that several of the messages, which focused on the acts of an individual, had a Sith influence, a conclusion strengthened by the revelation that one tassel, which he could translate through the Force, used a recording technique native to the Sith world Ziost. After the meeting, Skywalker reported that he had found the shuttle that had fled Toryaz Station, presumably carrying the attack's mastermind, at the spaceport and had had security put it under observation. The next morning, they were sent to another hostage situation. In a large drained public aquarium, a man held several individuals hostage at gunpoint, and had another man strapped to his back with high explosives between them. Solo took the lead in speaking with him, learning that he was Doctor Movac Arisster and desired to speak to the Jedi at the advice of Aayla Secura—a long-dead Old Republic Jedi. Arisster confessed that he was determined to become famous by beating a Jedi, and that through numerous precautions, they would be unable to stop his detonation. Accepting that there was no way around it, Solo let Arisster kill himself and the captive on his back, but protected the other hostages from the explosion, believing that he had minimized the loss of life and chosen the best possible path. Again, Dinn disagreed.
The next day, a radical group kidnapped the daughter of an important businessman. The Jedi were again called in, and Solo executed a plan that saw Skywalker infiltrate the girl's cell through a small steam tunnel and defend her while the other two Jedi and the Lorrd Security Forces stormed the lair. Later the same day, a man dressed up as a Jedi threatened to throw himself off a building if he was not taught to use the Force. Solo spoke with him for over an hour, attempting to find a more peaceful resolution and please Dinn, in fruitless attempts to convince the man, Borth Pazz, that he had no Force potential. Finally he let Pazz jump; Dinn and Skywalker used the Force to break his fall and take him in safely.
After the incident, Skywalker received a message from the security forces that Brisha Syo, the owner of the mysterious shuttle, was in custody. Syo immediately admitted that she had been involved in the series of odd events on Lorrd, claiming that she was a Force-sensitive who could hear others planning acts of violence in her dreams, and used the Force to convince them to bring the Jedi into the situation. She also claimed that she had observed but not participated in the attack at Toryaz Station. Solo did not fully believe her story, but wanted to get to the bottom of the matter; Syo insisted she would reveal all if they could only go to her home in a remote system. Solo agreed, feeling he had to unravel the truth and that she was not a threat to him, but Dinn and Skywalker insisted on coming along, not trusting the strange woman.
Syo was released, and the group traveled with her to the MZX32905 system nearby and landed at Syo's home, a habitat on a large asteroid. Solo sensed the dark side there, and Syo admitted that it had been the residence of a Sith Lord, and that she had studied the Sith. Syo explained the history of the asteroid, which had once been the home of a society of dark side-using mynock-like beings before it was discovered by the man who became Darth Vectivus. Intriguingly to Solo, Syo said that Vectivus was not corrupted by the dark side, that he could use it without being dominated by evil.
Syo stated that there was a Sith Lord in the caverns beneath, and claimed she needed Jedi assistance to deal with him. They descended into the lower caves by railcar; on the way down Syo ejected Skywalker and Dinn with the Force. Arriving at the end, Solo confronted an apparition of the Sith Lord, which faded away after insisting that Solo first challenge his minions. Solo was forced to battle an illusion of an evil Luke Skywalker, which defeated him just as Syo released the illusion. Syo went on to admit that she was in fact Lumiya, the Dark Lady of the Sith, a former apprentice of Darths Sidious and Vader who had battled Leia Organa Solo, Mara Jade Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker. She intended to turn Solo to the Sith, embracing her teachings of a more detached Sith such as Vectivus, who could remain uncorrupted and use Sith techniques to help others and bring peace. Dinn arrived at that point, arguing against her. Solo wished to hear Lumiya out, though he doubted her arguments. Lumiya claimed that Vergere had been a Sith, a statement Solo rejected until Lumiya continued explaining that she had studied under Darth Sidious before rejecting his destructive nature and fleeing.
Solo was intrigued but Dinn, fed up with Solo's willingness to hear out the Sith, attacked Lumiya. During the fight, the Sith Lady still insisted that Solo had to accept the Sith ways to bring peace to the galaxy. Seeing Lumiya's restraint in battle against Dinn, Solo decided to learn what he could from the Sith. He blocked what would have been Dinn's killing strike against the disarmed Lumiya and convinced Dinn to stand down after showing that he was not being manipulated from without into believing her. Dinn insisted on arresting her, and Lumiya agreed to be arrested. Solo, confused, sought out the future possibilities, and saw the galaxy continuing into war, and he himself killing Luke Skywalker, if she were arrested. Even if he forced Dinn to let Lumiya go, Skywalker would be killed. The only futures in which Skywalker lived were ones in which Dinn died on the asteroid. Reluctantly, Solo chased down Dinn, who had grown aware of his intent, and killed her in the name of the greater good.
Solo recovered Ben, who was unconscious in the tunnels, and spoke further with Lumiya, agreeing to become a Sith though he would return to Coruscant at the moment. She advised him that he would have to take an apprentice and to continue strengthening himself through sacrifice, valuing the pain of loss and eventually giving up that which was most precious to him in order to become a true Sith Lord. Solo altered Skywalker's memory once more, allowing him to establish an explanation that he had battled a Dark Jedi who merely thought himself a Sith in the caverns, and Dinn had been killed by the Sith apparitions, as had Syo. He also altered the shuttle's logs, marking its destination as a different asteroid field.
Galactic Alliance Guard
- "I can tell you, with the certainty of the Force, that failing to stamp out dissent completely now will result in the deaths of billions in the coming years. We stand on a tipping point where we can choose chaos or order."
- ―Jacen Solo, to Cal Omas
Solo returned to Coruscant, where he did not file a report on the incident, instead leaving the task to Ben Skywalker. He had a hard time reaching his father to mend relations that were strained due to Han Solo's support of the Corellian cause and anger at Jacen Solo's enthusiastic backing of the Galactic Alliance. Continuing to observe the situation with Corellia for a handful of weeks, he came to the conclusion that Corellia's shipyards had to be destroyed in order to disarm the increasingly aggressive planet and make the Galactic Alliance's power clear. He met with Chief of State Omas and Admiral Cha Niathal, a top military adviser, to discuss his plan. Omas was against escalating the situation, rejecting the idea.
Solo sensed that Niathal was a prospective ally in taking decisive action, and later sought her out. While they conversed about Centerpoint in an air taxi, the nearby area was struck by a terrorist bomb. Solo's danger sense allowed him to protect the cab, and he was more determined than ever to end the conflict and bring peace. He traveled to the Senate Building, where he met with Omas and the Masters Skywalker. There Omas proposed a domestic security force for Coruscant, focused on counterterrorism, and asked Jade Skywalker to lead it. She declined, fearing it would become a secret police.
Though he was committed to the idea of becoming a Sith, he had doubts that his path was correct. He worried that he was being manipulated by Lumiya or that his motives were impure, but his doubts only reinforced his belief that he was becoming a Sith for the right reasons and would resist corruption. Continuing to struggle with the idea that he might be making the same mistakes as his grandfather in becoming a Sith, he flow-walked into the past almost without thinking while walking through the Jedi Temple. There he witnessed his grandfather storming the Temple with the 501st Legion and sensed Anakin Skywalker's inner conflict, his fear of loss and obsessive love. Solo felt relieved; these were not his motivations and he did not believe himself tainted with the selfishness he found in Skywalker. Still feeling he had to test Lumiya and make sure she was not misleading him, he used the Force to summon her to Coruscant.
Solo met a disguised Lumiya in public and brought her to the Jedi Temple, intending to place her within reach of Luke Skywalker and watch how she reacted, making sure she did not seek vengeance. He did so, and she did not react. Solo believed her claims that she had moved beyond thoughts of revenge, and instructed her to remain on Coruscant so that she could instruct him further as a Sith. As she left the Temple, Solo felt his mother in distress. His use of the Force revealed that she was aboard the Millennium Falcon with his father, coming in for a landing on Coruscant and attempting to hold together a cracked drive housing with the Force. Solo lent her his strength in the Force, allowing them to land safely, and rushed to meet them at the spaceport. The tension between father and son was ignored, and Han reported that Sal-Solo had put out a contract on all the Solos.
Omas called Solo to his office, where he and Coruscant Senator G'vli G'Sil asked Solo, as a private individual and not a Jedi, to accept a commission as the head of the counterterrorist security force Jade Skywalker had declined to lead. He accepted, but stipulated that he would not lead the Coruscant Security Force Anti-Terrorism Unit; instead, he insisted that the security force be a separate agency made up of specialists drawn from police and military units. The Galactic Alliance Guard was born, with Solo specifically requesting Captain Lon Shevu, a Coruscant Security Force officer with whom he had dealt during the bomb attack, as well as a company of special forces soldiers from the military. Supreme Commander Pellaeon resigned in disgust over the creation of a secret police, and Niathal was elevated to his position; Solo was pleased to have an ally in the office. Solo, determined that Ben Skywalker would be his Sith apprentice, began grooming the boy for that position, beginning by having Skywalker join the GAG as a lieutenant.
As head of the Galactic Alliance Guard, Solo gained broad powers. He used them, and his connection with the World Brain, to keep watch of developments on Coruscant. At G'Sil's urging, he began interning Corellian nationals on Coruscant. He began with Jabi Town in the Corellian Quarter, leading 967 Commando on a raid of the area. When three individuals with explosives were detected in an apartment, Solo personally used the Force to paralyze them and effect entry into the dwelling, impressing his troops with his skills and willingness to face danger. The Jedi were far less impressed; Jade Skywalker was one of the few Masters who did not completely oppose Solo's actions, though she was still uncomfortable with them. Omas was having second thoughts about the GAG himself, but Solo defended the operations as necessary to reassure the populace of Coruscant and send the message that the Galactic Alliance could not be bullied. Solo continued the roundups of Corellian passport holders who did not opt to return to Corellia. When the GAG received information that three Corellian agents were meeting with a bounty hunter called Ailyn Habuur—unknown to Solo, actually Ailyn Vel—in the lower levels of the planet, Solo led a raid on the building in which they were staying, personally capturing Vel and an associate.
As Solo had hoped, Niathal convinced Omas to agree to a blockade of Corellia. Solo asked Niathal if he could have a role in the blockade; he privately hoped to increase his popularity with the Galactic Alliance Defense Force in general by serving on the front lines. The Supreme Commander agreed to give him command of a fighter group, including Rogue Squadron, his sister's command. Early in the blockade, while leading Rogue Squadron on a patrol of the interdiction zone over Corellia, he turned away several ships, flying with Jaina and Zekk once more. Eventually, he was fired on by a Corellian fighter; he returned fire, destroying the ship in the first major escalation of the blockade action.
Solo returned to Coruscant for a tense meeting with Niathal, Omas, and the Masters Skywalker. After the meeting, the Skywalkers confronted him about their son's role in the Galactic Alliance Guard. Luke Skywalker insisted that Ben should no longer be involved with the GAG and revealed that he had detected Lumiya's return to Coruscant. Solo promised to be on guard against the Dark Lady of the Sith, and agreed to let Ben decide whether he should continue to serve in the GAG any longer; he knew that the young Skywalker would not want to leave his duties.
Catching up with his duties as head of the GAG, Solo interrogated Vel. He was determined to find whom she had been hired to kill; when she refused to volunteer information, he began using the Force to slam her head into the table and enter her mind. Ben Skywalker, present, objected to the treatment; Solo dismissed him from the room and continued for over two hours, until Shevu arrived and intervened. Vel died from an aneurysm resulting from the mental invasion, but Solo brushed aside Shevu's objections and focused on finding other channels to learn her target. Skywalker, checking Vel's surveillance files, determined she had been targeting the Solo family, specifically Han Solo, on Sal-Solo's behalf. Solo warned his father of the threat before meeting with Lumiya, whom he warned that Luke Skywalker was aware of her presence.
Still determined to understand his grandfather's path, Solo traveled to the High Council Chamber in the Jedi Temple late at night and flow-walked into the past, observing the decision to train Anakin Skywalker and his acceptance onto the Jedi Council. After doing so, he was convinced that he lacked Skywalker's flaws and was instead the Skywalker line's second chance for greatness, exploring the full extent of the Force and bringing peace without Anakin Skywalker's personal issues.
Solo traveled back to the exclusion zone in the Corellian system. Six days after it had begun, an assembly of ships from worlds sympathetic to Corellia assembled, ready to challenge the blockade of Centerpoint. Solo took his sister and Zekk to intercept them and personally challenged a freighter that was attempting to run the blockade. He narrowly avoided a collision, and when the ship opened fire on him, Jaina disabled its weapons. The freighter turned to flee, but Solo ordered her to destroy it, as it had opened fire on the Galactic Alliance forces. Jaina, believing the order immoral, refused. Solo destroyed the ship himself and had his sister court-martialed for the incident.
Back on Coruscant, at Lumiya's urging, Solo arranged to send Ben Skywalker on a raid in which he would have to make hard decisions himself. Hoping that Skywalker would become his Sith apprentice, he felt the need to expose the young man to what he saw as the harsh truths of the Sith way and repair the damage he had done to Skywalker's respect for him by killing Vel. Skywalker made the decision to raid a building used by terrorists, and inside killed two men.
Afterward, Solo was contacted by his mother, who revealed that Han had reached an agreement with Boba Fett and assassinated Sal-Solo. As part of the agreement, Fett wanted to see Vel, his daughter. Solo had to explain that she had died in interrogation, and Organa Solo had him agree to bring her body to Corellia. He took the corpse aboard the Millennium Falcon and piloted the ship to Corellia, where he turned the body over to his parents for transfer to Fett. They asked him to explain his actions; when he did so, Han expressed his disgust, claiming he no longer knew his son.
The necessity of sacrifice
- "This is the ultimate test of selflessness—whether you're ready to face unending emotional pain, true agony, to gain the power to create peace and order for billions of total strangers. That is the sacrifice. To be vilified by others, by people you know and care for, and for your personal sacrifice to be totally unknown to those billions you save, to do your duty as a Sith. To do your duty for the good of the galaxy."
- ―Lumiya, to Jacen Solo
Solo later went to meet Lumiya on Coruscant. There, she told him that he must make a sacrifice to become a Sith, killing that which he loved. Solo initially feared that Lumiya had discovered the secret of his relationship with Djo and Allana, a secret he had carefully hidden from her. He initially rejected the idea of killing them, but his own attachment to them made him believe that it would be necessary to truly overcome his own attachments and flaws and become a dispassionate, trustworthy Sith.
When reports of Bothan assassins still pursuing the genocidal ar'krai policy since the Yuuzhan Vong War surfaced, the World Brain removed itself from the Well, retreating to the undercity. Solo had been accustomed to using it and its highly informative network of Ferals—survivors of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion still living as primitive scavengers in the Vonglife-covered underlevels—to track terrorists, and traveled to the World Brain's new underground dwelling to speak with it. While attempting to persuade it to return to the Well, Solo was targeted by Alema Rar. Rar had survived the Swarm War and finally escaped Tenupe to seek her vengeance against the Solos and Skywalkers. She had followed him using her cloaking techniques and launched a poison dart. Lumiya had also secretly trailed Solo, and used the Force to pull him to safety. Outraged, Solo attempted to fell the mysterious assassin before Lumiya pointed out that the World Brain had been struck by the dart and was dying. Rebuked by Lumiya for putting his emotional desire for vengeance ahead of more important concerns, Solo dropped the pursuit in order to attempt to save the World Brain, but was unsuccessful.
To avenge the World Brain's death and draw the Galactic Alliance's enemies into the open, Solo had Lumiya begin assassinating Bothans associated with the True Victory Party. Meanwhile, Solo continued to prepare Ben Skywalker to be his apprentice, introducing him to the idea that he had to use all aspects of the Force to be a strong Jedi, and suggesting that Luke Skywalker had grown too conservative in his view of the Force. He also continued meeting with Lumiya, who was growing critical of Solo's attachment to his friends and family, insisting he had to be ready to sacrifice them to the greater good if necessary. In public, Solo promoted his image as a man of action, wearing his black Galactic Alliance Guard uniform, and soon affected a more dashing, and darker, look by adding a black cape. Combined, the effect reminded some of Darth Vader. Solo took to using an SD-X-series stealth battle droid, designated SD-XX, as a personal bodyguard, and modified it to be capable of torture.
One meeting with Lumiya, held in a park after a discussion with Ben Skywalker, was disrupted at the end when Rar, again tracking Solo, attacked Jedi Master Tresina Lobi. Lobi had followed Solo and Skywalker in order to check whether Lumiya was targeting Skywalker as his parents feared, and had nearly broadcast information on Solo and Lumiya's cooperation before Rar's attack. Lumiya and Rar slew Lobi after the Sith Lady assured Solo that he was not needed to handle the threat. Solo instead proceeded to an important meeting with Niathal, who granted the Galactic Alliance Guard use of a specially commissioned Star Destroyer with a cloaking system, gravity well generator, and long-range turbolasers. Solo dubbed it the Anakin Solo.
When Corellian assassins attacked Djo, in apparent cooperation with Solo's parents, Djo requested his assistance in tracking the assassins and determining their possible links to Corellian terrorism. Solo took the Anakin Solo on its maiden voyage, rushing to the aid of his lover and daughter with Ben Skywalker and Lumiya aboard. While arriving over Hapes, he experienced a Force vision of a series of expanding, ominous faces saying, "Mine," but did not understand its significance. He was distressed, wondering if it was a signal of his actions ushering in a dark dynasty of Sith, but Lumiya assured him his fears were misplaced.
Over Hapes, Solo received Djo and Allana happily and held a private audience with Djo, who informed him that several witnesses, held in her most secure prison, had been poisoned, and the plotter could only have been one of her close associates. In addition, Solo's parents had been at the scene and seemed to be linked to the assassination attempt, having caused a disturbance and escaped with the lead assassin, Aurra Sing. Saddened, Solo wrote out an arrest warrant for his parents.
The Masters Skywalker soon arrived, determined to remove their son from the Anakin Solo after learning that Lumiya had contacts inside the Galactic Alliance Guard. They also had a message from Solo's parents in which they explained that they had attempted to warn Djo before being forced to escape with Sing, and were now spying on those behind the attempted coup. Solo met his aunt and uncle, who confronted him with their discovery concerning Lumiya. Luke Skywalker proclaimed that Solo was working with Lumiya, but Solo acted shocked and dismayed at the possibility of Lumiya working with him. He allowed the pair to rendezvous with their son, who was away on a mission to track down Jaina Solo and Zekk—missing after attempting to deliver mobilization orders to Djo's nobles—and remove him from the GAG. Solo then viewed the message from his parents along with Djo and believed their account, but did not cancel the arrest orders in case doing so would give their cooperation away to the spies close to Djo. When the Skywalkers departed, Solo approached Lumiya and asked her to travel to their rendezvous with Ben Skywalker and return Ben to the Anakin Solo, knowing that she would have to battle Luke Skywalker and either kill him or die seeming to have been tracking Ben as the Skywalkers initially feared, making Solo seem credibly uninvolved with the Sith.
With the Ducha AlGray named in the message as one of the conspirators plotting against Djo, Djo assigned a fleet to Solo and asked him to command it in battle against the forces AlGray would be mustering. She also asked that he keep Allana aboard the Anakin Solo, believing she would be safer there than among Hapans. Solo complied, leading the Hapan fleet to Relephon to arrest AlGray. Though AlGray's private fleet was not in evidence over Relephon, Solo felt danger that he realized was coming from Sing. She had sneaked aboard the ship over Hapes and was attempting to enter Solo's cabin to assassinate Allana. He rushed to his cabin, using the Force to compel Sing to halt as she neared his daughter. As she prepared a thermal detonator, his concentration was broken and she escaped his hold. They dueled, and Solo prepared to unleash Force lightning against her before Allana entered the room. Unwilling to use the dark side in front of her, he continued to battle Sing. Aghast at seeing Solo attacked, Allana rushed forward, stabbing Sing with her paralyzing safety stick as Solo desperately maneuvered to prevent Sing's landing an attack against his daughter. Solo had the subdued Sing imprisoned securely and monitored, and deployed a commando squad to defend the Hapan heiress.
As AlGray's fleet had departed, Solo returned to Hapes, where the treasonous Heritage Council forces were engaged in battle with the Hapan Home Fleet. On assessing the situation, Solo sent most of his force to break through the Galney fleet aiding AlGray's forces and assist Djo while he kept two Battle Dragons with the Anakin Solo, preferring to keep Allana out of what would be a hard-fought battle. When Major Moreem Espara, his Hapan liaison, objected and insulted his commitment to Djo, Solo used the Force to choke her into quiescence.
He then met privately with a pilot arriving in Lumiya's skiff; only in her presence did he realize that it was not his Sith Master but Alema Rar, who had begun working with Lumiya. Rar explained this, and reported that Lumiya had died in her duel with Luke Skywalker. The Skywalkers believed that Solo had set them up, as Ben Skywalker never arrived at the rendezvous. Reaching out with the Force, Solo realized his cousin, Jaina, and Zekk were extravehicular on the fringes of the battle, having returned to Hapes rather than the rendezvous at Roqoo Depot due to their knowledge of Ducha Galney's treachery. The Millennium Falcon was preparing to recover them. Rar left after planting doubts about the motives of Solo's parents. Considering that the intelligence they had provided had been more distracting than useful, he concluded that his parents might well be working against Djo. Determining that they would be his sacrifice, he had the Anakin Solo's gunners target the Millennium Falcon. The ship escaped, heavily damaged, and it was left to the newly-arrived Jade Shadow to pick up the extravehicular beings. Meanwhile, Solo led the Anakin Solo into battle, helping ensure Djo's successful defense.
For his actions, the Hapans hailed Solo as a hero, and Colonel Jacen Solo soon became an admired sex symbol in the Hapes Cluster. Returning Allana to Hapes, Solo met with Djo, and was chagrined to learn that his parents had proven themselves to be on Djo's side during the battle. The Skywalkers were also present, and his aunt and uncle took Solo aside to discuss their suspicions. Solo was able to reassure them that he had not set them up, with Djo's and Ben Skywalker's assistance, but their suspicions still lingered. Solo agreed to let the Skywalkers remove Ben from the GAG and apprenticeship to him until he had discovered the traitor in the organization who had been aiding Lumiya.
- "It's not like that. It's not about ambition. It's about the galaxy, about peace. It's about building a different world."
- ―Jacen Solo, to Mara Jade Skywalker
Despite the news that his parents had been innocent, Solo did not feel guilty for having believed the worst and fired on them, yet believed he should feel remorse. He grew unable to sleep, consumed by worry that he was becoming morally adrift. He eventually experienced a nightmare in which his mother attempted to kill him, leaving him yet more disturbed. Meanwhile, Solo expanded the scope of the GAG's activity against Corellia. He organized an ambush of a convoy of smugglers attempting to run the blockade after its leader, Captain Uran Lavint, sold it out to him. Annoyed by her impertinence when he met her afterward, he confiscated her ship, replacing it with an inferior one, and arranged to have the replacement's hyperdrive sabotaged.
Afterward, Solo met Admiral Wedge Antilles, the Corellian commander-in-chief, for a summit that he had earlier requested in the hope that he could negotiate Corellia's surrender. Antilles advised that the government was too unsettled in the wake of Sal-Solo's death for a peace settlement, but negotiations could prove fruitful in time. He also, as a family friend, suggested that Solo was losing his way to fanaticism, an assertion Solo rebuffed. As he examined it, however, he realized that he had become deeply unlike his former self. Accepting the changes he had undergone, he finally reached a peace with himself and his decision to fire on his parents.
Solo later reached out in the Force, contacting Lumiya and confirming that she had survived the explosion at Roqoo Depot. She insisted that he had to discover if Ben Skywalker would be a proper Sith apprentice or not. He had Lumiya arrange for Skywalker to be sent to retrieve a dark side artifact and face a test on his own. Assisting him in smuggling messages into the Jedi Temple for Skywalker was Seha Dorvald, the young apprentice Solo had sponsored and who remained loyal to him. When Skywalker sneaked out of the Jedi Temple to pursue the mission, his parents contacted Solo, but he was able to convince them that he had no knowledge of his apprentice's disappearance.
When Luke Skywalker mentioned to him that approving Booster Terrik's request to station the Errant Venture near the Corellian exclusion zone, where its casino facilities could serve off-duty personnel, would be a bad idea, Solo decided to grant Terrik permission. After it had been on station for some time, Solo began touring the ship, examining it for security vulnerabilities. While there, he encountered Lavint, who insisted she had encountered no difficulty with her ship, and the Masters Skywalker. His aunt and uncle took him aside to ask him about the events that had resulted in the death of Dinn and, according to Ben Skywalker's report, Brisha Syo. Solo had arranged his story with Lumiya, and knew the Skywalkers to be following up on information Lumiya had planted suggesting that Syo had been Lumiya's daughter and was killed by Ben Skywalker during the period he could not remember. With Solo's help, the Skywalkers bought into the story, believing Lumiya now sought revenge for the death of her daughter. During their talk, however, a Bothan and Commenori fleet emerged from hyperspace in a surprise attack on the blockade, both governments having decided to cast their support to Corellia. Solo rushed back to the Anakin Solo, but the battle could not be won. The blockade was broken and the Galactic Alliance forces were compelled to retreat.
Corellia steadily gained allies, forming the Confederation of worlds in revolt against the Galactic Alliance. Solo participated in advisory military meetings, including one in which he discovered GAG codes had been used to breach Galactic Alliance security and funnel information to the Confederation; Lumiya had been exacerbating the war. At the same meeting, Solo learned that the Confederation had begun spreading word of a meeting to elect its Supreme Commander. He approached Lavint, still aboard the Errant Venture, which was now orbiting Coruscant, and asked her to use her underworld contacts to get him access to the Confederation election summit. She provided the location, at Gilatter VIII. Solo prepared a plan to sneak Galactic Alliance forces into the system undetected and ambush the conference, which Niathal approved.
While the Anakin Solo was inserted in the gas giant Gilatter VIII's atmosphere with the other ambush ships, Solo elected to infiltrate the conference himself, with Lumiya at his side. Posing as members of the Ession Freedom Front, they gained admission to the space station aboard which the conference was held. As Solo began to mingle with the other guests, however, his questions about the upcoming vote gained the attention of officials. Supreme Commander Turr Phennir, already chosen, appeared by hologram to announce that the event was a trap; the other delegates were all actors. Realizing that there were mines ahead of the emerging Galactic Alliance fleet, Solo warned his uncle, who was with the fleet, in the Force before battling the Confederation troops attempting to capture or kill him. Solo's parents and aunt and uncle arrived to rescue him, prompting Lumiya to engage the Skywalkers. In the confusion Solo left his family members, still battling, in order to escape to the Anakin Solo. Lumiya also escaped, but in a craft not capable of hyperspace travel. Solo granted her permission to dock aboard the Anakin Solo, which withdrew along with the other Galactic Alliance vessels as the battle proved a draw.
Afterward, Lumiya approached him in his cabin, suggesting that he was ready to become a Sith Master if only he made his sacrifice. Solo decided to sacrifice his parents, but Lumiya questioned whether he truly loved them any longer. Solo was unsure, for which Lumiya criticized him, claiming he was too analytical and afraid of his own emotions. She insisted he must become more sure of himself before he could ascend to Mastery. As Solo returned to Coruscant, he sensed that his apprentice had survived Lumiya's trial on Ziost and was seeking him. He reached out to Ben Skywalker in the Force, allowing Skywalker to find the Anakin Solo and arrive aboard a Sith Meditation Sphere he had found on Ziost while pursuing the Amulet of Kalara. Impressed that Skywalker had flown a Sith ship, Solo spoke with Lumiya, who was fascinated by the ship. Noting that there seemed to be a connection between the two, he let Lumiya leave in the ship.
On returning to Coruscant, Solo was approached by Niathal with a request to resolve supply problems the Galactic Alliance military forces were suffering. Faced with bureaucratic roadblocks, he obtained a legal analyst droid from the Legal and Legislative Department of the Galactic Alliance Defense Force. The droid, HM-3, suggested that Solo propose an amendment to the law, which at that time required approval from the Defense Council for most procurement changes, so that senior officers could make supply decisions themselves. Realizing that he was changing the law to allow himself to change laws, Solo suggested that HM-3 draft a more open-ended amendment that would allow him to alter more on his own initiative, phrasing it as a matter of cutting through unforeseen red tape. In addition, Solo, Niathal, and Omas had already been granted broad emergency powers to do as they saw fit in the pursuit of the war. Solo used his powers to assign the purchasing officer responsible for buying low-quality cannon packs to the ship with the most cannon misfires, ostensibly in order to research the problem. Understanding the risks involved, the purchasing officers began seeking out higher-quality supplies.
With the terrorist networks largely eliminated, Solo turned GAG's attention to counterintelligence work against professional Confederation agents and protecting government officials. He saved one mission for Ben Skywalker: assassinating Dur Gejjen, the Corellian prime minister, in response for his attempted assassination of Tenel Ka Djo and Allana. Later, as Solo watched the HoloNet to see that his amendment was passed, with Lumiya influencing the proceedings, Mara Jade Skywalker arrived in Solo's office. She reiterated that she believed Lumiya had a mole in GAG and was seeking to kill her son, and also confronted him about leaving the Skywalkers and his parents at Gilatter VIII. He passed it off as an assumption that they would be safe, but began to wonder if Jade Skywalker had caught on to his Sith apprenticeship to Lumiya.
As part of their protection service, GAG secretly monitored the comm conversations of government officials; a wiretap of Omas led to the revelation that he had been secretly contacted by Gejjen with a peace offer, but Gejjen insisted that Solo and Niathal be removed from power before there could be a deal, possibly by assassination. Solo took the information to Niathal, who suggested that they expand the GAG's powers to allow it to arrest heads of state they believed to be a danger to the state, and tacitly agreed that they would seize power if Omas should prove a liability to the war effort or a threat to their positions. After a talk with Omas in which the chief of state did not mention the fact that he had scheduled a meeting with Gejjen, Solo and Niathal decided to stage a coup, removing Omas from power and installing themselves as joint interim leaders until elections could be held.
Solo, feeling overwhelmed by events and his increasing certainty that Ben Skywalker would be his sacrifice, consulted Lumiya, who insisted that he expend less effort on political games and instead rely on the Force. Meanwhile, Skywalker departed with Captain Shevu and Lieutenant Jori Lekauf for Vulpter, where they recorded the meeting between Omas and Gejjen, and Skywalker killed the Corellian head of state. With the recording of Omas agreeing to the cease-fire and the assassination of Solo and Niathal, Solo had enough to act. He issued the amendment allowing him to arrest heads of state, and when it took effect at midnight, he and two GAG troopers arrested Omas on charges of compromising state safety. Niathal, already the acting Chief of State, announced that she and Solo would be joint chiefs of state, presenting it as a check against the appearance of the seizure of power by a single individual.
Ascent to Mastery
- "Your new existence has started, Dark Lord."
- ―Lumiya, to Jacen Solo
Relations with Niathal were increasingly tense, but Solo was pleased to see that the coup was being largely accepted. Feeling a prodding from the Force that he should visit Hapes and his family, he arranged to do so. Before he left, he was confronted by his aunt, who revealed that she knew he was in league with Lumiya, but did not say that she had been told by Ben Skywalker, who had overheard Solo speaking with his Sith Master. She offered to forgive him if he turned himself in to the Jedi to find his way again. Solo continued to feign innocence, and walked away after Jade Skywalker accused him of being a Sith. After warning Lumiya to maintain the situation on Coruscant, Solo slipped away to Hapes. He visited his secret family briefly before having to depart again.
While departing the planet, his StealthX was ambushed by Jade Skywalker in a StealthX of her own. Lumiya, who had secretly tracked him, intervened. She breached Jade Skywalker's hull, forcing her to land on Kavan; with that accomplished, Solo fired on his mentor, determined to keep the secret of his family safe. Though she survived, Solo put a higher priority on landing and seeking out his aunt. She was hiding in the system of tunnels near her landing site, and had learned to hide her presence in the Force from Ben Skywalker, who had been taught by Solo. There, she ambushed him as he hunted her. She was able to wound him badly, her weapons—a vibroblade and a lightsaber shoto—more suited to the close quarters, as they battled fiercely. Distracting her for a fraction of a second with an illusion of himself as her son, he was able to stab her with a poison dart. Realizing that killing her was his sacrifice, he waited with her as she died, convinced he had begun a new era of galactic peace.
Leaving his aunt's body on Kavan, Solo retreated to Ziost to consider his situation. He continued to worry that he was missing something, wondering why he was not feeling a significant transition or greater sense of certainty and purpose. Lumiya arrived and warned him that he needed to return to Hapan space, as his presence there at the time of Jade Skywalker's death would soon become known. Acknowledging Solo as the new Dark Lord of the Sith, she planned to sacrifice herself, taking the blame for Jade Skywalker's murder and drawing attention away from Solo. She did so, and was killed by Luke Skywalker, as Solo returned to the site of Jade Skywalker's death and found Ben Skywalker with the body. Together, they returned her corpse to Coruscant.
He was able to avoid suspicion, and returned to work as chief of state. While monitoring tactical displays on a tour of the flagship Ocean, he found that he had access to battle meditation, giving him a grasp of the battlefield and the ability to influence the outcome; Lumiya had earlier indicated this to be a sign of Sith Mastery. Afterward, in his cabin aboard the Anakin Solo, he realized that his true sacrifice had been Ben Skywalker's love and respect for him, and he named himself Darth Caedus, Dark Lord of the Sith.
As the head of GAG, Caedus, who still kept his Sith identity secret, was charged with investigating his aunt's murder, as Ben Skywalker was able to reveal that he had been tracking Lumiya during his mother's death and she was not the killer. He deliberately stalled the proceedings, instead devoting most of his attention to the widening Second Galactic Civil War. Having probed the future in the Force, he knew that whichever side won the upcoming conflict at Kuat would win the war; he also knew that the overstretched Galactic Alliance lacked the assets to decisively stop the Confederation's forces.
Seeking a Sith apprentice other than Ben Skywalker as well as a spy within the Jedi Order to monitor their progress in the investigation of his aunt's death—Dorvald being too lowly-placed—Caedus began cultivating Tahiri Veila. He approached her on Anakin Solo's birthday, knowing she would be emotionally vulnerable and pretending he had run into her coincidentally, and began to subtly tempt her with the ability to flow-walk back in time to see Anakin. He held back from Veila that it was impossible to change the past by flow-walking, letting her hopes carry her along with him. A week after killing Jade Skywalker, Caedus took Veila on her first flow-walk, traveling to the site of Anakin Solo's death. There she pushed her younger self into Anakin's arms rather than letting her younger self refuse him a kiss until he came back. The event did not change the past, only the flow-walking experience, but it left Veila desperate for more flow-walking sessions, which Caedus continued to provide in order to manipulate her emotions for his needs.
Returning to Coruscant, Caedus sneaked into the Hapan Embassy, where Djo was staying. He shared his fears for the future of the Galactic Alliance with her, and she urged him to seek assistance from the Jedi. Knowing that if the Confederation won, Djo's rule would be overthrown and his lover and daughter assassinated, Caedus begged Djo to lend him the Hapan Home Fleet for the coming clash at Kuat, risking rebellion should the nobles be able to organize quickly enough to strike while Djo was without naval protection. She tearfully agreed, on the condition that he repair his relationship with his grief-stricken uncle. Increasingly convinced that he needed the Jedi Order under control before they learned that he had killed Jade Skywalker, Caedus dispatched a battalion of GAG commandos under the unstable Major Salle Serpa to the Jedi Academy on Ossus, ostensibly as protection. He believed that by effectively holding the Jedi younglings hostage in the understaffed academy, he could coerce the Order into doing his bidding or at least keep them from moving against him.
The next day was the funeral of Mara Jade Skywalker. Knowing his parents would attend the event despite the warrant against them, he assigned two squads of Galactic Alliance Guard troopers to arrest them when they arrived at the Jedi Temple and deployed several units outside once the dignitaries were within, should he need to seize control of the Temple. He entered the funeral late, interrupting Saba Sebatyne's eulogy and drawing much attention, and proceeding to stand alongside the Skywalkers and Jedi Council on the dais. This drew reproach from the Masters and further disrupted the ceremony, but Luke Skywalker overruled them, permitting Caedus to stay. Jade Skywalker's body, on a pyre in the center of the Morning Court, began to disappear into the Force once Caedus arrived, attempting to signal his guilt, but Skywalker took it as a sign that her spirit wished the pair to reconcile. Sebatyne resumed her eulogy, using it to rebuke Caedus for his actions and suggest he reexamine his decisions. Caedus ignored the lesson, leaving immediately after the service.
After the funeral, Caedus joined the Fourth Fleet at Balmorra. As the Fourth battled Hutt and Commenorian Confederation armadas, Caedus attempted to use his battle meditation to aid the Galactic Alliance in the losing battle. Before he could concentrate, he received a hologram transmission from Ben Skywalker claiming that he knew who had killed Jade Skywalker. The young Skywalker directly asked Caedus if he had killed his mother. Seeing promise in his estranged apprentice's anger, Caedus played his cousin a doctored recording of Cal Omas supposedly ordering Jade Skywalker's death from house arrest in order to distract Luke Skywalker and allow his allies on the Jedi Council to reinstate him as chief of state without Skywalker's interference. Though he professed determination that Ben Skywalker not act on the information, Caedus knew that his furious cousin would seek revenge and hoped that he would remove Omas for him and in so doing turn to the dark side.
Caedus returned his attention to the battle, which he knew the Galactic Alliance could not win, but if heavy losses could be inflicted on the Confederation it might keep them from victory in the crucial battle to come at Kuat. When Admiral Ratobo, commanding the Fourth, began to break off, Caedus ordered him to continue fighting, demonstrating the power of his battle meditation to convince Ratobo that he knew best. When Ratobo was killed, command passed to Rear Admiral Gavin Darklighter. With a bold disposition of his starfighters, Darklighter forced the Commenorians to retreat, leaving the Hutts' landing force vulnerable. Even Caedus was surprised by the maneuver, which he had been unable to predict. At that time a StealthX wing of Jedi arrived. Initially fearing an ambush, Caedus quickly realized it was the Commenorian fleet they were targeting after joining their battle meld. While advising Darklighter of this, Caedus was surprised to find Luke Skywalker in his personal chamber. Suspecting that the Jedi planned to extort concessions in exchange for ensuring the success of the Fourth Fleet's attack, Caedus was surprised to find that they merely wanted to show that they could have extorted him but freely aided him instead. As the Hutt fleet withdrew, Caedus ordered Darklighter to redirect his fire to the Hutt capital ships, not their landers still invading Balmorra. He was willing to sacrifice the planet to the possibility of Hutt occupation so long as he could reduce their fleet for the crucial Kuat clash. Skywalker was angered by this decision, and withdrew his presence from the room, revealing that he had been projecting a convincing doppelganger while fighting in his StealthX. With the Jedi assistance, the battle in space was won while the Balmorrans were left to battle the invaders.
- "Being abandoned to my enemies, abandoned by one for whom I once had considerable affection and respect, was like being murdered…and surviving."
- ―Darth Caedus, to Tenel Ka Djo in a recorded message
In the next week, Caedus moved on to Kuat, approached by Confederation forces. With Vice Admiral Nek Bwua'tu commanding the massed Galactic Alliance fleets at Caedus's request, the plan was for the fleets to surround the Confederation flotilla and let the Jedi StealthX wing devastate the enemy's capital ships in repeated sorties. That plan collapsed just as Confederation forces began to engage them, when Luke Skywalker heard that his son had been involved in Omas's death. Skywalker stormed to Caedus's observation chamber and confronted him, demanding answers. When Caedus insisted he did not know why his uncle was upset, Skywalker angrily pinned him to his chair with the Force, leading Caedus to admit that his apprentice had heard an incriminating recording of Omas, but deny that he had sent Ben Skywalker to kill the deposed chief of state. Skywalker stalked out unsatisfied after informing Caedus that he would be withdrawing Jedi support from the Galactic Alliance. The fighter wing abandoned the battle, leaving Caedus with much worse odds. He declined to commit the Hapan Home Fleet to a battle he was not sure could be won, turning it back to the Hapes Cluster rather than risk his lover's reign. What could have been a war-winning victory became a brutal, grinding battle that dragged out for a week.
Ben Skywalker rejoined Caedus at Kuat, pretending devotion to Caedus that had been shattered by his belief that Caedus had killed his mother. Caedus saw through the charade, knowing Skywalker intended to win his trust only to kill him in revenge, but played along in the hope that he could feed Skywalker's hatred and turn him to the dark side as his Sith apprentice. When Skywalker showed insufficient ruthlessness, Caedus declined to take him back into his trust. Only when Skywalker revealed that the Jedi had traveled to Kashyyyk to convince the Wookiees to join the Jedi in opposing Caedus's rule did Caedus believe his apprentice showed merit sufficient to recover his place at the Dark Lord's side. Caedus decided to make an example of the Wookiees while also breaking the grueling stalemate at Kuat, taking the Anakin Solo and the Fifth Fleet to Kashyyyk to crush the Wookiee rebels. Caedus was sure that the Confederation would be unwilling to let a potential ally fall and lose face at a time when it desperately needed new members. Phennir would have to break fleet elements away from the fight to rescue Kashyyyk. Meanwhile, Caedus ordered Serpa to retaliate against the Jedi at Ossus and had Galactic Alliance Guard forces storm the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. The attempted massacre at Ossus was foiled by Caedus's sister, Jagged Fel, and Zekk, and the Jedi Temple was evacuated in relative safety. With his opposition to the Jedi fully exposed, he lost the support of Dorvald as a covert agent.
Over Kashyyyk, Caedus demanded that the Jedi, declared traitors, be handed over to him. When they refused to do so, Caedus stood off and began to bombard the planet with the Anakin Solo's long-range turbolasers, creating a firestorm to ravage the entire planet. The outrage would force the Confederation to respond while terrifying worlds thinking of resisting the Galactic Alliance, he thought. It was his hope that his actions would provoke his cousin into attacking him. He had given up on Skywalker ever doing so when the youth suddenly struck, missing Caedus as explosions rocked the ship. Seeing potential in him once more, Caedus took Skywalker to a secret cabin in which an Embrace of Pain had been installed. Caedus blocked Skywalker's access to the Force and placed him in the Embrace, hoping to break him.
As a Bothan fleet arrived to contest the bombardment and the Jedi launched a StealthX attack, Caedus took his StealthX into combat, engaging Luke Skywalker in a dogfight. Jaina Solo soon attacked Caedus, who was tailing Skywalker. Skywalker seemed to be killed by a stray shot from Jaina, leading Caedus to dock and return to torturing Ben Skywalker. While attempting to turn the youth, Caedus was interrupted by an attack from the elder Skywalker. Luke Skywalker had convincingly faked his death and concealed his presence in the Force, sneaking aboard to sabotage the long-range turbolasers. The Sith Lord engaged in a brutal battle with the furious Jedi Grand Master. Each injured the other severely before Ben Skywalker freed himself and stabbed Caedus through the back with a vibroblade. When Ben Skywalker insisted on making the killing strike, it prompted Luke Skywalker to withdraw them both for fear of giving in to the dark side as their emotions ran high. They took Caedus's lightsaber with them, and the Sith Lord was left to seek medical attention, having suffered multiple wounds that would have killed or incapacitated a normal Human or Jedi.
Darth Caedus returned to action as soon as he could, well before he was fully recovered, seeking to lead the Fifth Fleet in withdrawal now that many more Confederation forces had been drawn off and Kuat and Coruscant were safe. The Fifth was surrounded by a much superior enemy force, leading its commander, Admiral Atoko, to ready it to be scuttled. Caedus ordered a desperate attempt to battle out, but was relieved to find the Hapan fleet appearing, creating what seemed to be a gap in the encirclement. He was devastated when conversation with Djo, commanding the fleet, revealed that she was turning on him. Aghast at the destruction visited on Kashyyyk, the world for which she and Jaina had once fought against the Second Imperium, she withdrew her support for him and cast her lot with the emerging Jedi Coalition. She requested his surrender, which he refused. Djo ordered her fleet to open fire on the man she loved. As his fleet was destroyed, Caedus felt Alema Rar, occupying the Sith Meditation Sphere she had inherited from Lumiya, beckon him to make his break through the Bothan fleet. He did so, and between his battle meditation and Rar's use of the Meditation Sphere, the fleet was able to break the Bothan line and safely escape.
Consumed by Djo's betrayal, Caedus was determined not to lose contact with his daughter. He devised a plan to kidnap Allana and blackmail Djo into restoring the Hapes Consortium to the Galactic Alliance. He infiltrated the Fountain Palace in disguise as the copilot of a Galactic Alliance diplomatic shuttle, with a double for Allana aboard. He found Allana asleep in her playroom and replaced her with the young girl, Tika, then fled to the StealthX left by Veila when she had attempted to arrest Caedus's parents during their appeal to Djo for assistance against Caedus. He detonated the bomb concealed in the shuttle, providing confusion and a hole in the side of the hangar that allowed him to escape. He left behind many dead and a message in which he threatened to kill his daughter if Djo did not turn Hapan military resources over to the Galactic Alliance.
On Coruscant, Caedus kept Allana secure, ensuring she was always with him and having her travel in a small, protected chamber when she was outside a vehicle. When she awoke, he told her that he was holding her to keep her secure from an assassination attempt. Caedus had Allana with him when he was ambushed entering the Senate Building with a heavy armed guard. Attacked by Jedi Master Kyle Katarn and Jedi Knights Valin Horn, Thann Mithric, and Kolir Hu'lya, Caedus had to defend himself with a spare lightsaber, as his guards were disabled by dazzle-grenades. Battling the four Jedi, Caedus pulled a GAG speeder from the air, slamming it into Katarn and Hu'lya. As Katarn was launched into him, Caedus ran the Jedi Master through, nearly killing him. Horn and Mithric then pressed him, but Caedus decapitated Mithric, forcing Horn to withdraw with Hu'lya while Caedus's former agent Dorvald, now assisting the Jedi strike team, pulled Katarn to safety.
Djo did not turn over her forces to Caedus, but she did withdraw them to the Hapes Cluster and cease cooperation with the Jedi. With the Jedi gone to ground, Caedus sent Veila in a fruitless attempt to uncover their hiding place. Caedus took to the front personally, leading the Fifth Fleet in an engagement at Kuat and skirmishing on the edge of the Corellian system with the Second Fleet, winning important victories through his battle meditation. He also began work on a new red lightsaber to replace the one he had used since he was fourteen years old. The Bothans began sending assassins against him, resulting in a steady stream of ineffective attacks and increased security concerns.
Sadras Koyan, the new Five Worlds Prime Minister, approached the Galactic Alliance with an offer for Corellia to defect from the Confederation. He insisted that his representative meet with Caedus at a deep-space point equidistant from Coruscant and Corellia in order to negotiate, each taking equivalent naval forces. Caedus believed it was likely a trap, but Niathal insisted the Corellians held no advantage over them and persuaded Caedus to attend with Second Fleet battle groups as backup. As Caedus prepared to depart for the rendezvous, the Anakin Solo was approached by Leia Organa Solo, who requested to speak with him. Sensing she was alone aboard her yacht, Caedus took her aboard, intending to arrest her. He met her in the Command Salon, where she attempted to convince him to reject the dark side and the pair began to argue politics.
Their discussion was interrupted by their arrival at the rendezvous. He began negotiations with Captain Hoclaw, the Corellian representative. During a pause in the negotiations, he found his mother had returned to the Command Salon from the bridge. She subdued her guard and escaped. Fearing she had brought a bomb aboard, Caedus rushed to the hangar with Allana and took her off the ship in an experimental TIE Reconnaissance Fighter. As he did so, the Corellians sprang a trap, jumping ambush forces into the area. Caedus authorized Admiral Tarla Limpan to bring in the Galactic Alliance reinforcements. Hovering outside the battle, he was surprised to come under attack by Jedi StealthXs. As they continued to track his fighter, Caedus became convinced they were homing in on the presence of Allana to target him. Driven to fury, he evaded the half-dozen Jedi until Galactic Alliance fighter reinforcements engaged the StealthXs and appeared to drive them off—though Luke Skywalker had actually broken off after realizing Allana was aboard the TIE. Caedus promoted Syal Antilles, leader of the reinforcements, to captain on the spot. At that moment, a strike from Centerpoint Station, which none had known was operational, destroyed most of the Galactic Alliance fleet. Caedus returned to the Anakin Solo and retreated to Coruscant.
Allana had passed out from the psychic resonance of the deaths of most of the Second Fleet and remained unconscious for two days. When she awoke, she claimed to hate him, having felt his overwhelming rage during the battle and knowing that he had taken her without permission. Caedus explained to her that he did not need permission, for he was her father. Reconciled by this revelation, Allana returned to happiness with her father.
Deciding that the Galactic Alliance could win the war by capturing an operational Centerpoint Station, Caedus devised a plan to strike at Corellia and seize the superweapon. While preparing the strike, one of his aides, Lieutenant Patra Tebut, discovered a tracking beacon placed on Caedus's cloak during the battle with Katarn's strike team. Caedus's forces did not discover the tracking beacon planted when his mother infiltrated the Anakin Solo, allowing the Jedi Coalition to track Caedus's attack and send their own forces to the Corellian system. While Caedus used his battle meditation to support the Galactic Alliance, the Jedi used a captured shuttle to sneak aboard Caedus's flagship. He had to abandon his battle meditation as he turned to ensuring his own security and that of Allana. Luke Skywalker, Ben Skywalker, and Saba Sebatyne reached the bridge, where Caedus had eight YVH droids protecting him. He pulled Sebatyne into the blast radius of a grenade, removing her from the fight. Before he engaged either Skywalker, Caedus sensed Allana leaving with the other half of the strike team. He rushed to rescue her, but was unable to arrive in time. His family escaped with his daughter, and another Jedi squad sabotaged Centerpoint Station, resulting in its destruction. Devastated, he ordered a retreat. On learning that the Jedi had entered the ship via a ruse and their shuttle was passed through by Tebut, an outraged Caedus executed her by telekinetically fracturing her neck. News of this act quickly spread through the fleet, sowing doubt, fear, and dislike of Caedus through the ranks.
Clash at Fondor
- "Tahiri, in the long term, it's easier to kill a powerful enemy than it is an apparently weak one. If you bring down a giant, you're a hero. If you kill something weak—even if it has to die—then you endure contempt. Being willing to be despised to serve the common good…that's the mark of a true Sith. You're going to make a fine apprentice for me, Tahiri."
"Oh. I'm…official, then."
"You may call me Darth Caedus. I shall be known only by my true name from now on."
- ―Darth Caedus and Tahiri Veila
On his return to Coruscant, Caedus began seeking to persuade the Imperial Remnant that it should enter the war against the Confederation. He sent a request for talks to Gilad Pellaeon, who had resumed his role as head of state for the Remnant. The note was returned crumpled; Pellaeon had taken a strong dislike to Caedus's methods of governance. Believing he could win over Pellaeon and the Moff Council by offering Bilbringi and Borleias to them in exchange for cooperation, he decided to send Veila, who had become his right-hand aide as he groomed her to become his apprentice, to meet with Pellaeon. Meanwhile, he began focusing the Galactic Alliance for a strike against Fondor, a major Confederation shipyard.
Caedus ordered the Anakin Solo to Fondor on a reconnaissance mission. He took with him Veila, and put her to the test when Fondorian fighters approached the Star Destroyer. Leaving the ship defenseless, he left the decision to fire on the approaching fighters up to Veila, while confusing the issue of whether or not she could legitimately open fire in their conversation. He forced her to make a snap decision, and her order of an attack allowed him to further introduce her to the Sith idea of living with hard decisions and killing those who were potentially innocent. Caedus became closer to Veila while grooming her as an agent to further his goals, and their closeness led many of Caedus's crewmembers to wonder if the two were developing more than just a working relationship. Veila would later imply that she and Caedus had been sexually involved, though without any romance.
Caedus approached Niathal and gained her approval, after an argument, to send Veila with his offer to the Empire in exchange for their aid in retaking Fondor. His fellow Chief of State asked Caedus if he was a Sith, having observed his ruthless nature. Surprised, he admitted it. The Remnant joined the war effort, allowing Caedus to move forward with his plans to attack Fondor. He arranged to lay mines around the world, cutting it off from supply, before he moved to assault it. When Caedus arrived at Fondor with elements of the Fourth Fleet, he found that the minelayers had been ambushed and destroyed; someone had leaked information to the Confederation. Caedus began a plan to draw out Fondor's fleet and engage it in an operation that would likely destroy its orbital shipyards, making an example of the rebellious world. He was contacted by Niathal, who objected stridently to Caedus's new plan and to his intuitive method of operating, sharing little information with her. She mobilized the Galactic Alliance Third Fleet to join him at Fondor, intending to counter Caedus's increasing autonomy.
As he waited for his allies to arrive, Caedus, conscious of the growing distance between himself and his troops, took his StealthX out on a reconnaissance mission. He hoped to prove he was still willing to put his life on the line, and that proved to be the case when, as Niathal's task force arrived, Caedus came under attack from a Jedi StealthX flight. Led by Luke Skywalker, they planted illusions around him, making him believe he was being ambushed by several large craft. He evaded them, but fleet sensors soon confirmed that there were no craft present. Niathal had broadcast Caedus's audio to the entire task force, making him look a fool. He then began to be attacked by Skywalker's StealthX. Skywalker, right on Caedus's tail, ordered him to put down at one of Fondor's shipyards so they could talk, but Caedus kept returning to his fleet, prompting Skywalker to begin using the Force to disable Caedus's fighters. Other Jedi began attempting to seize his fighter with grappling arms. He escaped them by nearly flying through a docking tunnel full of innocents and returned to the Anakin Solo, where the revelation that Jedi had been present helped salvage his reputation.
Darth Caedus traveled to Pellaeon's new flagship, Bloodfin, for a meeting with the Remnant head of state and Niathal. They agreed to seek the planet's surrender by offering it good terms after taking some of the orbital stations. Caedus left Veila aboard Bloodfin as a liaison with Pellaeon after giving her orders to assassinate the old Grand Admiral if he should attempt to undermine Caedus's plans. When the deadline originally offered for surrender passed, the Galactic Alliance began moving against Fondor's defenses. As they did so, the Fondorian fleet, hidden in the shipyards themselves, attacked. With the Galactic Alliance pressed, Caedus took his flagship into the thick of the fight and began targeting Oridin City, Fondor's capital, with an orbital bombardment. He was reaching out in the Force, stoking his commanders to unusual heights of aggression with his battle meditation, and used the rage produced by his connection with them to power an overwhelming use of the Force, establishing mental contact with the planetary shield operators and tricking them into lowering the shield. With the shield down, he proceeded to strike Fondor's cities, beginning with Oridin.
Niathal unilaterally reached the Fondorian president, Shas Vadde, and offered him the previously agreed-upon terms of surrender, which he accepted. She issued a cease-fire, which outraged Caedus. After his enormous exertion to open the planet to attack, he wanted to press the advantage and make an example of Fondor. He refused to be denied by his fellow chief of state's actions, in response to which she relieved him from command. He rejected her authority, moved the Anakin Solo out of the middle of the Fondorian fleet, and opened fire once again. Niathal ordered the fleet to move against him, and Pellaeon sided with her. Veila acted on Caedus's orders, assassinating Pellaeon and allowing a cabal of Moffs to lead the Imperial fleet to Caedus's aid. Pleased with her willingness to do the necessary, Caedus accepted her as his Sith apprentice and decided that he would publicly go by his Sith name thenceforth, having long since cast off his previous identity in his own mind.
When a ragtag fleet entered the battle, Caedus assumed it was another Jedi illusion. He ordered his forces to disregard it, but it soon became clear they were genuine forces under long-disappeared Admiral Natasi Daala. Recalled by Pellaeon, she sought his vengeance against Caedus. He and the naval forces choosing to follow his orders attempted to hold off her fleet, which was armed with metal-crystal phase shifters, but he was losing the battle. Caedus issued a declaration that Niathal's actions were illegal and ordered the fleet to signal its loyalty to him. Two-thirds of the fleet present sided with him. They were ordered to withdraw and return to Coruscant to lay claim to legitimate authority over the Galactic Alliance, casting Niathal out of leadership.
Caedus himself took a med sprinter to extract Veila from Bloodfin, where she was pinned down by a crew that had mutinied in response to Pellaeon's murder. While evacuating her from the ship's escape tunnels, Caedus encountered a team of Mandalorians, hired by Daala to retake Bloodfin. Caedus saved a badly-injured Veila from Mirta Gev and Jaina Solo, who was training with the Mandalorians in order to gain skills to use against Caedus. Tahiri was unable to make her way up the docking tube, and Mandalorians beneath her began cutting through the tube. Caedus climbed down to carry her to the medical runner, but one of the Mandalorians seized his leg with a crushgaunt and shot him in the knee; still exhausted from his earlier exertion, Caedus was unable to respond in time. Instead, he concentrated on stopping Veila's bleeding and Force-jumping into his ship.
Caedus returned to Coruscant presenting himself as a hero who had been betrayed by a treasonous Niathal. He resumed the business of administration, which he had now placed heavily under the supervision of droids, which he saw as effective, efficient, and incorruptible. He suspended the Security Council and met with his right-hand man, Lon Shevu, initially desiring to have Shevu shut down a fringe tabloid that had suggested he was involved in Jade Skywalker's death. He declined to take action after calming, but, feeling the desire to finally offer his perspective, he admitted that he had killed Jade Skywalker—but for noble reasons, explaining how it had happened, and that he was not only defending himself but fulfilling his role as a Sith to bring peace and order. He also revealed his new Sith name and asked to be called by it. Though Caedus had thought he could trust Shevu, who was openly disapproving of his superior but dutifully and honestly performed his duties nonetheless, the officer carried the information back to the Jedi, exposing Caedus to his family.
- "I was just thinking of…of what Caedus sacrificed. At the end, there was a second when he just stopped fighting so he could warn Tenel Ka. I think he became Jacen again for a second before I…before I killed him."
- ―Jaina Solo, to Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo
Over the next three weeks, Darth Caedus was troubled by visions of danger and disaster. Luke Skywalker was using the Force to influence Caedus's probing of the future, turning his attention toward Skywalker and stoking his fears in an attempt to keep him off-balance and convinced that Skywalker would come for him. Skywalker's clouding of the future turned Caedus's attention away from the person who would actually be attempting to kill him: Jaina Solo.
More so, by this time, Caedus had an epiphany; he failed to live accordingly by the teachings of his fallen master Lumiya. He had forgotten that, in his original persona as Jacen Solo, he became the Dark Lord of the Sith to serve the galaxy—not to oppress it. When Caedus' training began, Lumiya warned him that the path to the dark side would be painful. To grow stronger as a Sith Lord, Caedus was supposed to embrace the pain of betrayal and sacrifice. But without Lumiya's guidance, he realized that he became increasingly vain, despondent and obsessed with vengeance. In short, he became more like the vast majority of Sith Lords, all of whom were destroyed by their inability to serve anything other than their own interests.
The revelation of his ill-tempered actions, as well as their consequences, provided Caedus with a new perspective. Thus, he waged an internal struggle to regain control of his emotions in order to lead the Galactic Alliance without the distractions of petty grudges and feelings of self-importance. He decided that, as a Sith Lord, he would use the dark side by embracing the love he felt for family, his sense of duty to the countless beings of the galaxy, and the sacrifices that he made to become who he was today. From that point on, he exercised his powers with a great deal of restraint and, due to his new resolution, struggled to control his temper.
Now facing the Confederation, Jedi Coalition, and Niathal and Daala's Alliance-in-exile, Caedus attempted to consolidate his control over the Imperial Remnant. After the Remnant invaded the Roche system on its own initiative, seizing its arms factories and weakening the neutral Verpine-Mandalorian alliance, Caedus confronted the Moffs as they met with the Hive Mother in the Roche system. Seeing its centrality to the final outcome of the war, he placed Galactic Alliance forces in the system and attempted to establish his authority over the Imperial Remnant, treating the Moffs as subordinates and not allies, though they resisted giving in to him. Caedus remained on the Roche system's main asteroid, Nickel One, using his foresight to predict which arms convoys would be attacked by Jedi Coalition forces and send the Fourth Fleet to protect them.
When the Jedi struck the Roche system itself at the same time as the Mandalorians, Caedus sensed a team of Mandalorian commandos land on Nickel One. He allowed them to reach the assembled Moff Council and attack before he appeared to save the Moffs and gain their gratitude. He easily defeated the Mandalorians, though several Moffs—including most of his political enemies on the Council—died before he could eliminate them all, and came under attack by Jaina Solo. Luke Skywalker projected a masking illusion over her, convincing Caedus he was battling Skywalker, and lent his strength to her in the Force. Despite having already suffered a disabling shoulder injury from one of her sniper shots, Caedus engaged his sister but knew he was at a disadvantage, especially as he thought he was facing Skywalker. Taking a fallen Mandalorian's beskad sword, she was able to slice off one of Caedus's arms. He applied a Nightsister blood trail to the blood that struck her, allowing him to track her, and continued fighting. Disabling her with Force lightning, he finally broke the illusion and was surprised to find his sister there. With Jaina too badly wounded to continue fighting, Skywalker resumed the illusion, this time projecting it away from Jaina's body. Caedus directed the arriving Imperial guards to concentrate fire on the apparition, allowing his sister to escape. The illusion vanished, and Caedus hurried to receive medical attention. He declined to have his arm reattached, as it would have required a long period of recuperation that he felt he could not afford.
The battle in the Roche system continued, with all of the existing factions continuing to brawl. Caedus left the situation in the hands of Bwua'tu and turned to other operations. Veila had captured Ben Skywalker on Coruscant, but the boy had escaped. The Galactic Alliance Guard was able to track him, and Veila led the Anakin Solo to disrupt a rendezvous between Skywalker and Prince Isolder, who was to return the youth to the Jedi Coalition. Veila captured Isolder, though Skywalker escaped. She reported the news to Caedus while he was interrogating Mandalorian mercenary Mirta Gev, Ailyn Vel's daughter, as to the true identity of his attacker or attackers at Nickel One. Faced with the prospect of the Remnant making a nanokiller to target her grandfather Boba Fett, Gev admitted that Jaina Solo had been with her. Caedus refused to believe that Luke Skywalker had not been there as well, prompting Gev to lie that he had. With that, he decided to strike at the hidden Jedi base, which he had found via the blood trail on his sister.
Caedus took the Anakin Solo, the Super Star Destroyer Megador, and an Imperial fleet to Shedu Maad in the Hapan Transitory Mists to crush the secret Jedi headquarters. As he attacked the Jedi and the Hapans ambushed his fleet, Caedus sensed his sister and Zekk in StealthXs outside the battle. He directed his gunners to fire, disabling Zekk, but Jaina was able to infiltrate the Star Destroyer. At the same time, Luke Skywalker led a Jedi wing against the ship, nearly killing Caedus. Instead, he escaped and received a vision of an adult Allana on a white throne, surrounded by friends. Caedus was convinced it was a sign that, in surviving Skywalker's attack, he had won; he would forge the galactic peace he longed for, and in time Allana would administer a secure, just galaxy. The vision of the dark, armored figure dominating the future seemed to be averted.
The delegation of Moffs aboard were growing nervous, and Veila warned him of this. She urged him to reassure them by using his flow-walking abilities to alter the past, and Caedus took the opportunity to finally disabuse her of the belief that flow-walking could change events that had already occurred. He explained that the only alterations Veila had managed during their flow-walking session were in her mind, and urged her to use her sense of betrayal and anger at Caedus to become a more powerful Sith. He then met with the Moffs on the auxiliary bridge, where Moff Drikl Lecersen proposed releasing a Remnant nanokiller that would target Tenel Ka Djo. Terrified that it would kill his daughter, he forbade the deployment of any nanokillers in the battle.
Caedus ordered the Anakin Solo and Megador into battle to support the struggling Imperial fleet and tasked Veila with finding the true location of the Jedi base in the system, as the space station from which they had fled had clearly been a decoy. Not trusting the Moffs to obey him, Caedus went to release the imprisoned Isolder, who would have to be their source for any nanokiller. Isolder, however, was convinced that Caedus was letting him return to the Hapan fleet in order to spread the nanokiller. Knowing he could never convince the man he respected, the grandfather of his child, to escape, Caedus killed him instead.
He took the body to the medical incinerator for safe disposal, where the medical droid examining the corpse pronounced that tissue samples had already been taken; the Moffs had their nanokiller. He contacted his chief aide, Orlopp, who confirmed that a ship almost certainly carrying the nanokiller had just left the Anakin Solo. Caedus was at the door to leave and hunt down the dangerous ship himself when Jaina Solo opened it and attacked, stabbing him in the abdomen. The Sith Lord merely expressed mild surprise before flinging his sister away with the Force and drawing his weapon. The pair battled fiercely before Caedus gained separation from his sister and deactivated his lightsaber. He pleaded with her to cease the fight so he could save Djo and Allana, but Jaina refused to believe her brother. They reengaged, each wounding the other, but Caedus was at a disadvantage as his many unhealed wounds from his previous duel, missing arm, and now disabled foot left him vulnerable. Jaina rushed to attack, slashing at Caedus in such a way that he could not possibly hope to defend himself. Knowing he would die, Caedus had the option of taking his twin down with him, as her strike left her open to fatal counter-attack. However, he declined to do so, believing that the action would serve no purpose other than revenge. Instead, he used his last moments to contact Djo in the Force and warn her that she and Allana were in danger. At that same instant, his twin bond with his sister returned, just before he died. These actions convinced Jaina that, in his final moments, the persona of Darth Caedus had retreated and some of Jacen Solo's light side aspect had shown through. Caedus's death at the hands of his twin sister fulfilled the Yuuzhan Vong's prophecy of the twin sacrifice.
- "Have a peaceful…whatever."
- ―Ben Skywalker and Jacen Solo's spirit
Jacen Solo's final warning to Tenel Ka Djo allowed her to save herself and Allana. Allana's survival was kept secret, and she was publicly listed as dead in the nanokiller attack. For the princess's safety, she was given to Han and Leia Solo to raise as their adopted war orphan daughter, Amelia Solo. Though his faction lost the Second Galactic Civil War and Ben Skywalker redeemed Tahiri Veila, Darth Caedus's Sith techniques did bring a sort of peace to the galaxy—by uniting all the warring factions against him. Peace was soon settled between all sides, with Caedus succeeded by Natasi Daala as chief of state. Though a fringe of Caedus supporters continued to exist after the war, he was generally condemned as a monster who had committed grave atrocities. During his entire reign, the order of the One Sith had been in hiding on Korriban. Their Dark Lord, Darth Krayt —the man Solo saw in his vision— later described Caedus's role as a "lightning rod" attracting Jedi attention to himself and away from the One Sith, thereby assisting their future rise.
Though they had taken a harsh attitude against Caedus in his last days, over time his family came to soften, remembering Jacen Solo as a hero and wondering what had gone so terribly wrong that he became Darth Caedus. They felt as if they had failed him by not finding a way to redeem him, but they did not live in grief. Instead they took joy in raising Allana, in whom they saw much of young Jacen Solo, including his affinity for animals and, she discovered, his connection with the Yuuzhan Vong. Allana remained frightened of the dark side she had sensed in her father, but the Solos emphasized his love for her, explaining that in the end he had not been himself, under the influence of the dark side. Han Solo retained a private hope that his son was working toward redemption in an afterlife, and even called on his spirit for aid.
Pursuing a political agenda to control the Jedi, Chief of State Daala pressed criminal charges against Luke Skywalker for negligence in not having prevented Caedus's fall to the dark side. Skywalker, seeking to establish that the Jedi were not above the law, agreed to a plea deal in which he accepted a sentence of exile, with the ability to have it removed if he could discover and explain the cause of Jacen Solo's transformation into Darth Caedus. His son, Ben Skywalker traveled with him. The task became all the more urgent when various other Jedi began falling prey to a strange madness in which they expressed a belief those around them were actually impostors, and manifested various Force powers known only to Jacen Solo after his journey of learning.
During that odyssey, the Skywalkers found the Mind Walkers and entered "beyond shadows" themselves. There they found the Lake of Apparitions, in which apparitions of the dead appeared, and in it the spirit of Darth Caedus. Luke Skywalker summoned him by speaking the name "Jacen," and his aspect changed to that of his younger, uncorrupted self. Speaking with them, Jacen did not ask for forgiveness, but did say that he had not carried his dark side anger with him in death, an experience that he described as "damnation." He asked Ben Skywalker to tell his sister he forgave her for his death, and Luke Skywalker, having seen the Throne of Balance and heard of Jacen Solo's vision, asked him who he had seen there. Skywalker informed the apparition that he had seen a happy Allana, surrounded by peace—the same vision Jacen had received near the end of his life. The spirit said whom he had seen no longer mattered, but it was not Luke Skywalker—a statement that did not entirely convince Skywalker. Ben admitted that he forgave his cousin, which greatly relieved Jacen. He slyly told the Skywalkers he did not know exactly who Abeloth, appearing at the far end of the lake, was, but they could keep walking into the Mists of Forgetfulness and find out—which immediately persuaded them to turn around and avoid the dangerous area where previous warnings had not.
He later reappeared when Luke returned to the beyond shadows to fight off Abeloth, having some scorn for Luke regarding his belief that Abeloth possessed him. However, he then felt some guilt when Luke revealed that Jacen was partially responsible for the release of Abeloth by gazing into the pool of knowledge, although he, like Mara Jade, was unable to supply him with an answer as to how to destroy Abeloth. When Darth Krayt appeared and offered to aid Luke in destroying Abeloth, Jacen attempted to warn Luke that Krayt was the man he saw in one of the visions of the Lake of Apparitions, the one he saw that led him to turn to the dark side. After Abeloth was defeated, Jacen revealed that although Luke and Krayt's destruction of Abeloth prevented the dark future he saw from happening, it did not prevent the rise of the Sith, and explained that the vision he saw that led to his joining the Sith was a future where Krayt not only was on the throne of balance instead of his daughter Allana, but Allana was likewise at Krayt's side.
Personality and traits
- "What's the difference between a Jedi Knight and a Jedi Master? Ask me in twenty years!"
- ―Jacen Solo
As a small child, Solo spent most of his first two years in the care of Winter, first on New Alderaan and then on Anoth. As a result, he developed an attachment to his nanny, and infrequent visits from his parents prevented him from connecting with them. When he returned to Coruscant in 11 ABY, it took time for him to accustom himself to his family and new routine. Solo settled into a comfortable family life, but eventually grew over-reliant on a belief that the Force would provide everything he needed, keeping him from seeking to stay in shape. Within two years, however, he had lost that belief and was once more in shape and willing to explore, though he remained unconvinced of the need to study non-Jedi combat techniques.
Solo had no fear of animals, eagerly interacting with and "befriending" them with his Force talents. He was always able to placate them, and consequently showed no fear of venomous or carnivorous animals so long as he had the opportunity to pacify them. He began collecting animals as pets. He also liked plants, and could similarly affect carnivorous plants through the Force.
Like his siblings, Solo was a tremendously mischievous youth. He saw rules as challenges and adults as spoilers of fun, to be evaded when at all possible. Constantly exploring—both the Imperial Palace around him and the boundaries of what he could get away with—he frequently got into trouble, especially as both his uncle and mother were always able to sense whether he was telling the truth, but he reveled in his escapades and was uninspired to change his ways.
- "You're dealing with the very heart of what it means to be Jedi."
- ―Luke Skywalker, to Jacen Solo
Solo's apprenticeship to Luke Skywalker, whom he greatly admired and sought to emulate, led him to consider more philosophical issues, seeking to find a new role for the Jedi in an era not dominated by war—a role not simply as warriors, but as something more, connecting with the broader past of the Jedi before the Order had been overthrown. It was his conviction that as a member of the first generation of new Jedi to have experienced the Force since birth and been trained from childhood, he had different and valuable insights to offer on the Force and a Jedi's relationship with it. He came to see Jedi Knighthood as a deeply personal, spiritual matter of connection with the Force, with Jedi answering to their own conscience and governing themselves so long as they resisted the call of the dark side. He rejected Anakin Solo's arguments that the Jedi should be active keepers of the peace wielding the Force as a tool for justice. Instead, he insisted that the Force was to be used to gain internal harmony and understanding of truth, not projected outward. In his view, the Jedi should rectify injustice when they came upon it, but not seek out trouble by acting as simple "galactic police."
His experience of the meld during the First Battle of Dubrillion caused him to reevaluate his beliefs, judging that the coordinating use of the Force in combat was so powerful and useful that it suggested an external and martial application of the Force to be valid. Nevertheless, Solo came to the conclusion that the Jedi Order was not for him, as it failed to meet his need for a deep internal connection with the Force, a contemplative focus he felt had been the original purpose of the Jedi, long since fallen by the wayside. However, in the midst of the Yuuzhan Vong War, both the words of Skywalker and Solo's own experiences convinced him that he could not abandon the Jedi and the war effort and still maintain his ideals of respect for life and selflessness, though the Force might later present opportunities for meditation and self-exploration. In the wake of the battle's carnage, however, Solo felt torn between action and meditation, and was uncertain as to which the Force was suggesting for him; discussion with Anakin ultimately led him to accept whatever path the Force placed before him.
The Yuuzhan Vong inability to be detected in the Force troubled Solo, and suggested to him that something was wrong with mainstream Jedi teachings. He hoped that further meditation would open him to a wider spectrum of Force perception in which he could find the mysterious aliens. However, during his time on Duro, Solo gave up on Force use entirely, seeking to avoid any possible aggressive or incorrect use of it. After the fiasco at Fondor, he had become concerned that violent problems would not truly be resolved by violent solutions, and worried that evil was only served by fighting against it. Skywalker again warned him against pride in his attitude toward his insights. After feeling that he reached a point of crisis during his rescue of his mother, Solo came to the decision that he could not cut himself off from the Force in fear of what might happen. Instead, he gave himself over to it completely, making himself the Force's servant. Afterward, he remained uncertain of how the Force should be used, and whether it had a will or encompassed the Yuuzhan Vong in some broader spectrum of understanding the Jedi were not accessing. After discussion with his mother, he decided that while he still had to seek out his own answers, he could not subject others to his moral dilemmas or expect them to follow his path, and rejoined the war effort, seeking to do his best to minimize the violence of the war.
In the course of his capture by the Yuuzhan Vong, Solo attempted to stick to his Jedi ideals. During his attack on the dhuryams, he began to give in to his anger, and in the crater tainted by the death of the darksider Lord Nyax, he became consumed by rage and continued to give in to the dark side intermittently. After escaping the cavern beast, he was consumed by apathy, disillusioned and hating that he had succumbed to temptation. He was unable to motivate himself to take action. Vergere jarred him out of this by suggesting that he look for answers not from others but in himself. This caused Solo to see it as absolutely necessary that he be true to himself, and part of doing so was accepting the belief that all in the universe was fundamentally one. All things were tied together, united in the Force; to harm another was to harm himself. Solo chose to meet the universe with unconditional, all-embracing love and compassion, the best answer he saw to the irrational pain pervading it. Before leaving the Yuuzhan Vong, he shared his insight with the World Brain, which agreed and accepted his plan to confront the Yuuzhan Vong with imperfection and force them to learn compromise.
Solo grew to accept Vergere's philosophy of choosing and acting; he could not spend his life second-guessing his decisions. Instead, he acted as seemed best and accepted the consequences. It was Solo's decision that the war could not truly be won by exterminating the Yuuzhan Vong. Instead, the Jedi needed to come to understand them and to move them away from their violent religion and autocratic society, and he felt that somehow, Zonama Sekot would provide the key to this. Zonama Sekot did play an instrumental role in solving the war without genocide at Solo's urging, and Solo was able to balance fighting with an ultimately peaceful solution.
- "Jacen, you have a good argument for everything you do. But my gut tells me that you're doing wrong."
- ―Nelani Dinn, to Jacen Solo
During his five-year journey, Solo began to lose his zest for learning, seeking knowledge but not taking great joy in it. He was already concerned with galactic peace, believing that in the wake of the Yuuzhan Vong War, it was the Jedi's responsibility to aid the broken galaxy in recovering order and stability. His vision of a dark enthroned figure drove him to a commitment to prevent this evil future. After returning, Solo was noted for being secretive and mysterious. He was frequently withdrawn from the Force and his twin bond with his sister, and he spoke little about his experiences. He was willing to take actions that other Jedi found morally questionable for the sake of what he saw as a greater good, including exterminating the Killiks to prevent his vision of galactic war and suffering.
When a debate about Jedi obedience to the government emerged during the Killik crisis, Solo took the position that the Jedi could not be accountable to any government, as such bodies were simply too weak and easily corrupted to be trusted with control over the Jedi. Instead, the Jedi should trust their own consciences; only they could bear the burdens of the decisions they must make.
Though Solo was initially a highly empathetic man, by 40 ABY he felt little sense of tragedy at the deaths of soldiers, even deaths at his own hand. He accepted the inevitability of sentients being sent to their deaths, and saw their transition to oneness with the Force as compensating for their deaths, though he did not desire to cause unnecessary or accidental deaths. He recognized that a significant change in his personality and values had taken place over time, without his realization until it was complete, but did not regret the alteration. Solo's focus became the greater good; he sought solutions that would harm the fewest in order to benefit the most, and justified doing harm to some by the benefits it could bring to more individuals.
When Lumiya argued that Solo could use the dark side and become a Sith without being corrupted, instead using Sith teachings in order to bring peace to the galaxy, the idea appealed to him. He agreed to learn from Lumiya, believing her argument that he had the strength and commitment to accept the Sith ways without his personal failings leading to his consumption by ambition and greed. He sought to prevent the dark futures of his visions by serving as a conscientious and restrained Sith Lord. In the aftermath of his decision and killing of Nelani Dinn, Solo harbored some intermittent doubts as to whether he had chosen the correct path, but his doubts only reinforced his conviction that he was properly motivated.
Solo initially remained dedicated to protecting his friends and family as much as possible, but Lumiya convinced him that as a proper Sith, he would have to be willing to sacrifice those close to him for the greater good of the galaxy. Still, he rejected the idea of sacrificing Djo or Allana, which he had first thought he would have to do as a good Sith. When he fired on his parents, believing they had attempted to harm his daughter, Solo was struck by his own actions after learning they were innocent. He was consumed by self-doubt, wondering if he had lost his moral compass, until he came to terms with the changes in his personality he had undergone since his youth and decided that he had acted correctly based on flawed information.
Solo increasingly sought to control his environment, becoming uncomfortable when he was not in charge of his actions, feelings, and surroundings. He felt responsible not only for himself but for the security of the galaxy, and he felt that he could trust no one but himself with his affairs. This sprang into paranoia, making him believe that others were plotting against him or hiding ulterior motives. He also became willing to take more extreme action, such as the attempted massacres at Ossus and Kashyyyk, and he adopted a mentality of rule by terror. The empathy that had characterized Jacen Solo disappeared, and Caedus found himself unable to put himself in the emotional positions of those around him. Despite his brutality, Caedus retained a love for those who opposed him and for the galaxy as a whole; he was simply willing to sacrifice anything in pursuit of the greater good.
Near the end of his life, Darth Caedus reflected that he had, in becoming a Sith Lord, made the mistakes of previous Sith and become too selfish, too hot-tempered and vindictive, and too unwilling to suffer. He re-committed himself to serving the galaxy and the cause of galactic peace, keeping his temper in check and accepting the pain his decisions caused him.
Caedus elected to use his last moments not for vengeance, but to warn Tenel Ka Djo of the danger she and Allana were facing. This, and the resumption of his twin bond with Jaina Solo, convinced his twin that, in his last moments, Jacen Solo's light side identity had returned in some measure. Jacen's spirit, speaking to Ben and Luke Skywalker, later described his situation as "damnation" but also insisted he had left behind his anger and hate. He forgave his sister for killing him, and was glad when Ben Skywalker put aside the burden of resentment against Jacen, forgiving him. He was neither apologetic nor proud, accepting that he had done what he had done and putting much of it behind him. However, he did have cause to regret killing Mara Jade Skywalker.
- "We are in love. We always have been."
"Fact. That is all that matters."
- ―Jacen Solo and Tenel Ka Djo, to Ben Skywalker
During his time at the Jedi Praxeum, Solo became fond of Tenel Ka Djo. He constantly told jokes, some long-established and some of his own making, in an attempt to get the humorless girl to laugh. She never did, and Solo's jokes were rejected as poor by his other companions as well. His jokes soon became a mechanism to deal with awkward situations, though he was able to recognize that jokes were not always appropriate. Solo and Djo became more openly fond of each other during their time at the Praxeum, even though a brief infatuation with Anja Gallandro diverted Solo's attention, but did not move into a full relationship.
At the outbreak of the Yuuzhan Vong War, Solo rescued Danni Quee and began to develop feelings for the woman. Five years older than he was, she shot down his earliest roundabout inquiries into the possibility of a romance, citing their friendship and her own personal turmoil. Solo accepted that this was probably for the best, as he was most likely dealing with a passing attraction. The extended time he spent with Quee on the mission to find Zonama Sekot three years later, however, began to reignite Solo's thoughts of romance. When he realized that Quee felt the same way, Solo remained confused, still feeling too young and lacking confidence that he could genuinely interest her. The romance ultimately came to nothing, with neither deciding to pursue the other.
Solo's relationship with Djo had long been stalled, much to her chagrin. When Solo went to see her in 35 ABY, after a complete five-year absence, Djo and Solo were both struck by their feelings for each other. Djo finally spoke up, asking him to sleep with her, and Solo happily agreed. However, they could not carry on a relationship beyond that, as Djo was bound to Hapes by her duties and Solo was active dealing with the Killik situation. A year later, Solo learned that he had conceived a child, Allana Solo, with Djo. Solo was devoted to his daughter, who lived in danger due to the numerous intrigues and plots of Hapan politics.
His determination to protect Allana played a role in Solo's turn to the dark side, a turn that led Djo to finally renounce Solo. By then Darth Caedus was devastated by the loss of his relationship with Djo. Refusing to be parted from his daughter, he kidnapped her but made no effort to restore his broken love with Djo. As she grew distant from him, fearing his absorption in the dark side, he revealed that he was her father, regaining her affection for a time. His threat toward Allana as seen in the holorecording to Djo may have been nothing more than a lie, after all. After she was taken away from him, he was devastated, but began attempting not to think of her to ease his pain. He soon felt he had made a mistake, and embraced his love for her once more. On learning Allana was in danger from the Imperial nanokiller, the redeemed Jacen surrendered his life to warn Djo of their danger, overwhelmed with concern for his family.
Powers and abilities
Solo had a natural talent for fencing, and was considered one of the best duelists in the Praxeum shortly after constructing his lightsaber. By the time he was a Sith Lord, he was a deadly duelist, able to engage multiple Jedi at a time and even defend himself against Jedi Battlemaster Kyle Katarn. The Dark Lord was also a skilled and frequent user of Force speed, often using it in dangerous situations and combat. During his first duel with Jaina Solo, Darth Caedus called on the Force to exchange lightning-fast blows with his sister. The Jedi judged few but Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker to be on his level. Even the Chiss officer Irolia had spoken as such to Skywalker. In the duel against his aunt Mara Jade, Solo fell into her ambush and was badly wounded. While he could still put up a fight, it did little to no good against Jade Skywalker's speed and agility. She came extremely close to killing him and would have, had Solo not projected a Force illusion of her son. As Caedus, he proved able to hold his own extremely well against the Grand Master during their duel on the Anakin Solo, managing to inflict severe injuries on his uncle, although in the end Luke proved to triumph and dealt more injuries on Caedus in his victory. After that duel, Caedus considered himself to be his uncle's second in combat. His sister, Jaina Solo, fought with him on two occasions, but was only able to match him when he was severely injured and with Skywalker's assistance. And yet, even with a severed arm and a hole in the gut in both duels, Caedus would not go down easily. Nevertheless, Jaina was able to defeat him during the last days of the Second Galactic Civil War.
- "I tell you this: though neither he nor they yet know it, he is the greatest of all the Jedi. Jacen Solo is the living Jedi dream. Even without the Force, he is more dangerous than you can possibly imagine."
- ―Vergere, to Nom Anor
Jacen Solo had great Force potential, which his uncle was able to sense shortly after his birth. Once trained, he was considered broadly gifted in the Force, skilled in numerous areas. By the time he was an adult, Jacen Solo demonstrated tremendous power in the Force. Solo could exercise powerful mental influence through the Force, compelling even powerful Force-users to obey him against their actively resisting will. He was able to dispel Force illusions, even those erected by Lumiya. However, he was not as powerful as his uncle in a direct contest of strength. Even as a fully-trained Sith Lord, Darth Caedus could be overwhelmed by Luke Skywalker's power, unable to break his uncle's Force grip.
He and Jaina were able to manifest their powers very early on, using telekinesis as two-year-olds to retrieve items from high shelves and make other mischief. By the time he was five, he could use exceptionally tightly-focused telekinesis to move air molecules rapidly, heating them and creating a glow, and to slow water molecules enough to cause them to freeze. However, he had great difficulty with levitating objects in the air and sustaining their motion. This disability was quickly eliminated by his training, and by 26 ABY, Solo was able to launch a telekinetic whirlwind launching a barrage of debris at opponents.
Even as a developing fetus in the womb, Jacen Solo was contacted by his mother through the Force, though he only expressed rudimentary sensations and emotions. After birth, he was able to respond to these Force messages through the bond he had with his mother. He had a bond with Jaina as well, which was especially strong on account of their twin heritage and time together in the womb and afterward. From childhood, they were able to communicate with each other through the Force, rendering much conversation superfluous; they were also able to feel what the other felt. After his return from his five-year journey, Solo used his control of the Force to limit the twin bond, preventing Jaina from sensing him through it except when he wanted her to, and limiting what she could sense from him even then. During the First Battle of Dubrillion, Solo was able to link himself mentally with his siblings, sharing perceptions and thoughts through the Force in order to fight with superior coordination. The meld went beyond the heightened bonding he had sometimes employed with Jaina in combat situations, to the point where their minds seemed to work as one. During the Myrkr mission, the strike team expanded on this concept, with Solo and his great empathic powers serving as the focus for a seventeen-Jedi battle meld. The battle meld worked in much the same way as the meld at Dubrillion, allowing the Jedi to share thoughts. Under Solo's control, they became nearly one mind, and he was at times liable to lose track of his own body, submerged in the thoughts of the others. Through the bond, he could shift the feelings of some Jedi to others, drawing the proper emotion from one Jedi to reinforce others. Caedus also used the ability known as Mindshards and used it to freeze individuals in place as he did when he was attacked by Aurra Sing onboard his flagship. He also possessed the Battlemind and Battle Meditation abilities and used them to great effect.
As a two-year-old, Jacen Solo was able to speak with animals through the Force, understanding their thoughts and making himself understood to them. By the time he was five, he could direct the behavior of insects, and "make friends" of creatures, convincing them to do his bidding. His empathy did not extend only to animals; Solo was skilled in detecting emotions and understanding what others were feeling. He could use that connection in the other direction, influencing the minds of others. In addition to standard mind tricks, Solo could use the Force to project a sensation of dread to others, driving them away, and exert a powerful mind trick that would could compel even a talented Jedi. He was also able to fool the perceptions of fellow Jedi and project a false Force presence, even making himself feel like multiple individuals.
Using his empathetic skills, Solo was able to form a bond with the slave seed Vergere implanted in him, giving him access to Yuuzhan Vong life by means of a sense analogous to, or part of, the Force. With it, he could influence Yuuzhan Vong life much as he did other life through the Force. He could not, however, access the Force and his Vongsense at the same time.
He also had a natural talent with those Force skills involved in the manipulation of the body. Solo was able to use the Force to dull pain. He was also talented in healing, able to skillfully put others into healing trances, among other healing powers. He could exercise precise control over his own bodily functions, manipulating blood flow and organ performance in order to modify his physical condition and adapt to his environment or wounds. Tapas, the technique of keeping warm within a cold environment, was among these practices of bodily control. Solo could also influence others, putting them to sleep or lending them strength.
In addition to his special affinities, Solo had access to a broad slate of Jedi skills after training. By the time Solo was five, he had been trained by Skywalker to erect a Force barrier and defend himself. Using the Force, he could jump great heights, and also slow his fall. He could use the Force to "see" for him, and had the predictive ability common to Jedi, sensing danger before it happened. By 40 ABY, he was able to receive specific brief visions of future hazards. Furthermore, Solo could probe the future, seeing the possible outcomes of various actions at will.
During his battle with Onimi, Solo experienced a moment of oneness with the Force, in which he was united with its power. He was briefly transfigured as a being of pure Force energy, achieving deeper unity with the Force than any Jedi in history. Jedi historian Tionne Solusar described him as "briefly transformed into the most powerful manifestation of the Force on record." He could counteract any of Onimi's actions and neutralize his poisons, finally destroying and melting Onimi through the power of the Force and his own toxins. To observers, Solo appeared to grow in size and age five years in the moment, bathed in a glow of light.
As a mature Jedi, Solo mastered many specialized or advanced techniques. He could absorb energy, including blaster bolts, through the Force, and safely dissipate it. He could deflect bolts rather than absorbing them as well. Solo was able to strike Yuuzhan Vong warriors using Emerald Lightning, causing enough damage to render them unconscious, yet in this instance he refrained from killing them with this technique. By the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War, Solo could neutralize toxins and manipulate substances on a molecular level, as Vergere had been able to.
As a teenager, he could close himself off from the Force, rendering himself difficult to sense in it and preventing any guidance from the Force reaching him. He later developed this ability further, returning from his five-year sojourn with the capability to cloak himself in the Force almost completely, cutting off even the most powerful other Jedi from detecting his presence and masking his feelings and emotions. He could project false emotions to cover his presence as well, and only partially reveal his feelings to others, controlling what they sensed.
Working with Luke Skywalker, Solo developed a technique to detect individuals who posed a threat, but were hiding their presences in the Force. By searching for the secondary effects emanating around them in the Force, rather than the presences of the individuals themselves, a Jedi could perceive the presence of ripples in the Force that were seemingly without a source. At the epicenter would be the cloaked person. At the same time, Solo and Skywalker developed ways to sustain use of the Force at levels beyond the safe capacity of the body to channel for spurts in which overwhelming use of the Force was needed. He could draw the Force through his body at an unsafe rate, resisting the pain and exhaustion of Force overload, but could not prevent it from taking a toll on his body.
Also among his talents was the ability to project his voice and other sounds through the Force. Solo could use the Force to "flash" a camera, creating a brief burst of static in the recording that would prevent him from appearing in recordings. Solo was capable of resisting interrogation, using the Force to block information in his mind where it could not be divulged. With Ta'a Chume, Solo was able to force his mind into that of another through the Force, imposing his will through the Force. In 40 ABY, in a novel use of the Force, Solo lent his mother his Force strength, allowing her to channel his power to help her land the Millennium Falcon safely. As a Sith Lord, he demonstrated the ability to strip and restore the use of the Force to Jedi and manifested the rare ability to see shatterpoints—crucial weaknesses in people, situations, and objects.
As both Jacen Solo and Darth Caedus, he had more than merely the light side at his command. During his fall to the dark side while wandering on Coruscant, Solo instinctively summoned Force lightning and performed a Force choke as well. When he became a Sith Lord, Solo commanded both those powers, and he applied them quite liberally. After becoming Darth Caedus, he had access to Sith battle meditation, giving him an ability to anticipate events and understand and manipulate the battlefield. When furious, Caedus began to manifest physical effects of the dark side, turning his irises yellow. In addition, his time as a captive of the Yuuzhan Vong had taught him how to suppress his responses to pain through sheer willpower, though he still felt the sensation. Eventually, he became capable of virtually ignoring physical pain, shrugging off such wounds as an amputated arm or a lightsaber blade through his midsection.
Esoteric Force powers
During his five-year Force journey, Solo learned a wide range of esoteric abilities from many Force-using traditions. Tadar'Ro taught him the Aing-Tii ability to teleport objects, as well as the power of flow-walking, a technique that let him experience the past and future by projecting himself forward or backward in time but not in space. Aing-Tii fighting-sight allowed him to anticipate events in battle with unusual speed and precision. On Solo's journeys, he acquired the Dathomiri ability to kindle a globe of light through a Force spell, which he could move and manipulate to provide illumination, and the Nightsisters taught him the blood trail technique, allowing him to imbue his own blood with a connection to himself that he could follow through the Force—useful for tracking attackers who got his blood on them. At some point in his journey, he learned to use the Force to shock an individual's spinal cord and paralyze them briefly, an ability unique to him among the Jedi. From the Theran Listeners, Solo learned techniques to quiet his mind and focus on communications through the Force, hearing and understanding them more clearly and determining greater detail about the communicator. Theran Force-listening allowed him to comprehend the speech of others. He also gained the ability to listen remotely, hearing the sounds of far-off places with the proper techniques. Among the Baran Do, Solo learned their techniques for weather prediction, involving the sensing of natural energy. He then swiftly learned techniques from the Baran Do hassat-durr family, which involved the manipulation of his body's electromagnetic field for various objects. Among those he mastered was the ayna-seff ability, which allowed him to control the way his brain would appear to electroencephaloscans. Solo learned the memory rub technique from the Fallanassi, which allowed him to suppress others' memories through application of the Force. In addition, Solo was familiar with Fallanassi techniques to project illusions, and could create highly convincing projections using the sect's techniques, including the Fallanassi mirror illusion technique, projecting an illusion the nature of which was determined by the viewer.
Behind the scenes
- "After feedback from George, we decided on Jacen as our 'hero' and the character who would undergo the most dramatic changes—in many ways, the NJO is really his series. At those meetings, we charted the character threads for each of the main characters and how these threads would interact with Jacen to show him as an indecisive young man who grows into a strong and confident Jedi."
- ―Sue Rostoni
Author Timothy Zahn created the character Jacen Solo in The Thrawn Trilogy. While Leia Organa Solo was pregnant during the entire trilogy, Jacen Solo and his twin Jaina were born in 1993's The Last Command, the final book of the series. Solo appeared as a child in several of the novels published by Bantam Spectra, with a major role in the Jedi Academy Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson, The Crystal Star by Vonda N. McIntyre, and Star Wars: The Corellian Trilogy by Roger MacBride Allen. The Young Jedi Knights young readers' series, launched in 1995, featured Solo as a young teen, training as a Jedi with his sister and friends. It was written by Anderson, who had earlier used the Solo twins in his novels, and his wife Rebecca Moesta.
He then appeared in new publisher Del Rey's The New Jedi Order series, running from 1999 to 2003 and covering Solo's life from age 16 to 20. In it, he was shown less as the affable jokester of Young Jedi Knights and more as a serious, thoughtful young man concerned with the philosophy of the Force. The short story "The Crystal" by Elaine Cunningham, appearing in Star Wars Gamer 5, helped show Solo's maturation. In The New Jedi Order, Solo weathered the death of his brother Anakin and assumed a position as the preeminent hero of the next generation.
That was not the initial plan, however; it had been the creative team's intent to kill Jacen Solo in Anakin's place and have Anakin become the major hero. This was abandoned when Star Wars creator George Lucas vetoed the idea of Anakin Solo becoming the dominant figure, and the brothers' dramatic roles were swapped. Jacen Solo became the central figure of the arc; according to editor Sue Rostoni, "in many ways, the NJO is really his series."
According to author Matthew Stover, the New Jedi Order novel Traitor was originally to feature Jacen Solo learning a new fighting style that would provide him the key to victory against the Yuuzhan Vong. Considering Solo's entire arc in The New Jedi Order, Stover decided that what the character really needed was to transcend his philosophical doubts, and accordingly wrote him as gaining not martial but philosophical knowledge from Vergere. Solo's transformation in Traitor gained some strong support for its revolutionary nature, placing on Star Wars Insider's list of the twenty most memorable moments within the Expanded Universe.
When LucasBooks and Del Rey were looking for ideas for the post-New Jedi Order series, Troy Denning, writing the Dark Nest Trilogy, proposed having Jacen Solo fall to the dark side. The idea was incorporated into the 2006-2008 Star Wars: Legacy of the Force series, in which Solo became the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Caedus. In Legacy of the Force: Invincible, published in 2008 and written by Denning, Darth Caedus was killed by his sister Jaina.
Solo gained his first name from a boy named Jasen, a friend of Zahn's son Corwin. Zahn's editor, Betsy Mitchell, suggested that he exchange the S in Jasen's name for a C in order to keep the name from sounding excessively rooted in 1980s America. When Solo was falling to the dark side during the Legacy of the Force series, the publisher decided to open his Sith name to fan voting. Del Rey and StarWars.com announced the Darth Who Contest, in which fans were invited to submit possible titles for the new Dark Lord of the Sith. The editors and series authors would review the entries and choose their preferred five, which would become the subject of the next round of fan voting. The five selected names were Darth Acheron, Darth Caedus, Darth Judicar, Darth Paxis, and Darth Taral. They were each given definitions: Acheron as "a river in Hell for those who deny justice," Caedus as "a battle of darkness," Judicar as "the final judge," Paxis as "bringer of peace," and Taral as "ancient Sith for 'he who protects.'" Darth Caedus was ultimately chosen, and the name's submitter, Tawnia Poland, was acknowledged in Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice, the novel in which Solo was given his Sith name. The New Essential Guide to Characters offers the pronunciation of "Jacen Solo" as "Jā'-sĕn Sō'-lō," and Leland Chee has said that "Caedus" should be pronounced "KIE-duss," rhyming with "hide us."
Young Jedi Knights cover artist Dave Dorman used Calvin Engel, the son of cartoonist Jim Engel, as a model for Solo's appearance. The representations are not exact likenesses, as Dorman altered various aspects of Engel's appearance, such as hair color, to achieve the look of Jacen Solo.
The character is among relatively few from the Expanded Universe to receive his own action figure. In 2009, Hasbro released a 3 ¾ inch action figure of Solo, depicting him during the events of Traitor, as part of its Legacy Collection.
Solo appears as a child in the Star Wars Tales comic "The Other", an ambiguously canonical source. However, the timeline given in the comic does not match that established by the canonical works Star Wars: Dark Empire and Jedi Search.
Despite Solo's being described as having a beard in The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way and only shaving it in The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, all images in that period show a clean-shaven Jacen Solo. The same situation is repeated in Dark Nest I: The Joiner King, in which Solo was stated to sport a beard but the Japanese cover art showed him without one.
In the novel Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, Nelani Dinn states that she was trained by Jacen Solo seven years before the events of the book. This would place the training in 33 ABY, in the middle of Solo's five-year journey, during which he has been established by other material to have been completely out of contact with his family and the Jedi. This unusual situation is explicable as the result of a failure to correct the reference from "seven" to "ten" when Betrayal was shifted from a 37 ABY setting to 40 ABY. Author Aaron Allston has acknowledged the role of the shift in causing at least one other dating mistake in the novel.
In the online Wizards of the Coast web supplement "Behind the Threat: The Sith, Part 1: Portrayal," Jacen Solo was incorrectly identified as "Jacen Skywalker," but the error was soon fixed. The comic issue Legacy (2006) 18 misspelled "Darth Caedus" as "Darth Cadeus" in a mistake that was rectified in the trade paperback of that arc.
While Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus is no longer considered part of the Star Wars canon and is now classified as part of Star Wars Legends, a similar character known as Kylo Ren appears in the 2015 canon film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Like Jacen, he too was a son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, and was seduced by the dark side of the Force, taking on a new name. Jacen's name also inspired that of Jacen Syndulla, the hybrid son of the Twi'lek pilot Hera Syndulla and the Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus in the Star Wars Rebels series finale "Family Reunion – and Farewell".