- "The battles never stop. They never will, unless we act."
This civil war on the planet of Melida/Daan in 44 BBY was started by a group of children known as the Young in an attempt to bring peace to the planet, where the two native tribes, the Melida and Daan, had been at war with each other for centuries. Under the cover of helping Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, rescue the captured Jedi Tahl from the hands of the Melida, the Young captured the weapons of both tribes and attempted to sue for peace. Refusing, the two tribes joined forces, becoming known as the Elders, and retaliated with hidden starfighters. The Elders pressed this advantage for fourteen days, until Kenobi, now a Young leader and no longer a Jedi, noticed a critical error in the Elders' tactics.
This error was exploited by a Young strike team, eliminating all of the Elders' starfighters and winning the war in the process. With victory achieved, the Young set out to restore peace by building a new government. However, differences over policies, a power grab, and the death of one of the Young leaders soon caused the government—and the fragile peace—to fall apart, and before long the Young started fighting each other. Jinn, who had been summoned back to the planet by his former Padawan, intervened, though, bringing an end to the battle. Shortly afterward, Jinn helped the Elders and Young negotiate a strong peace accord, accomplishing the Young's original objective.
Formation of the YoungEdit
- "Nield was the first Daan I knew. He was the one who united both the Daan and the Melida orphans. He walked into the care centers and gathered them up, promised them freedom and peace. Then he made sure they had it."
- ―Cerasi, reflecting on how the Young was formed
On the planet of Melida/Daan, the two native tribes, the Melida and the Daan, had been locked in a civil war for centuries. In the years immediately prior to 44 BBY, Cerasi—the daughter of the Melida leader Wehutti—and Nield, a Daan orphan, decided that they had had enough of the endless conflict. Nield rounded up children from the various orphanages to form the Young, which then moved into tunnels under the capital city of Zehava that Cerasi had moved into earlier. Nield also organized tribes of children outside the city walls into the Scavenger Young, a subdivision of the Young which lived off of the land in the country. The intent of the Young was to one day end the war once and for all.
- "Thank you for rescuing us. Now can you tell us why you did?"
"You would have been a pawn in the game of war. We prefer that the game be over."
- ―Nield explains to Qui-Gon Jinn why the Young rescued him and Obi-Wan Kenobi
In 44 BBY, Jedi Knight Tahl was sent by the Jedi to negotiate a peace treaty between the two warring tribes. Wehutti, who was the Jedi's contact, betrayed her, however, and she was captured by the Melida Council, who intended to use her as leverage to force the Jedi High Council to support a Melida-controlled government. Before any action could be taken, Jedi Master Yoda learned of Tahl's capture—but not of Wehutti's duplicity—and contacted Wehutti. Wehutti, still playing the role of double agent, agreed to sneak two Jedi into the city and help them work for Tahl's release, knowing that two additional Jedi hostages would make the Melida's goal easier.
Yoda sent Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his thirteen-year-old Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to rescue Tahl. When Jinn and Kenobi arrived, they were met by Wehutti, who led them to Melida headquarters. Attempting to capture both Jedi, the Melida leader informed the Jedi that the headquarters was a weapon-free zone and that they would have to leave their lightsabers outside. Jinn and Kenobi appeared to comply, but the Master anticipated the possibility of betrayal and discreetly retained both lightsabers. After the three entered the building, the capture attempt failed as the Jedi were able to cut through a door and then a window to reach an enclosed courtyard. Unable to get over the mined walls, the Jedi first thought they were trapped, but then noticed a sewer grate being removed from below. A hand reached up and beckoned Jinn and Kenobi through, and they complied.
The Jedi's rescuer was in fact Cerasi, who led the Master–Padawan team through the tunnels to an open space that was the Young's headquarters. Cerasi and Nield introduced themselves and explained to the Jedi why they had rescued them—the Young knew about Tahl's capture as well as Wehutti's plans to capture Jinn and Kenobi and use them for bargaining power. The Young were ready to put an end to the civil war and proposed a plan that would both allow them to do that as well as give the Jedi an opportunity to rescue Tahl. In the plan, the Young would launch diversionary attacks with fake weapons in both Melida and Daan sectors, then capture both sides' weapons storage facilities; meanwhile, the Jedi would be able to rescue Tahl in the confusion. Jinn agreed to the plan, and the Young made preparations.
Kenobi, however, was torn between his duties as a Jedi and his new friendship with Cerasi. Breaking the rules of his apprenticeship by not asking for his Master's permission first, he agreed to help Cerasi and the Young with their plan and participate in the early stages of one of the attacks. The next morning, the Young, including Kenobi, left the tunnels and began provoking the Melida and Daan, collectively known as the Elders among the Young. Kenobi bonded further with Nield and Cerasi during the outing. Returning to the tunnels a short time later, Cerasi led the Jedi to Tahl. Cerasi bluffed her way past a pair of guards and then distracted them while the Jedi rescued Tahl. All parts of the plan succeeded, and the Young contacted both the Melida Council and the Daan Council to sue for peace.
A 'war for peace'Edit
- "It is official! In the absence of a response to our request for peace, we have issued a declaration of war on the Elders. If they do not agree immediately to Melida/Daan peace negotiations, we will attack them with their own weapons. They must respond to us now."
- ―Cerasi, informing the Jedi of the current situation
When the Daan and Melida Councils ignored the request for peace, the Young declared war on the Elders and asked the Jedi for help. Jinn refused, due to the need to get the injured Tahl back to the Jedi Temple. Nield and Cerasi began making plans to attack the deflection towers surrounding Zehava to knock out the particle shields preventing entry to the city, which would allow the Scavenger Young to march on the city. They needed air transport to accomplish this, though, and asked Kenobi if they could use the starfighter that he and his Master had arrived on the planet in. Kenobi had been told by Jinn that they had been ordered by Yoda to return to the galactic capital of Coruscant the next morning, and knew full well that to agree to let them use the fighter would transcend simply disobeying his Master—it would directly oppose Yoda. After consideration, the young Padawan's bond with Nield and Cerasi won out over his Jedi responsibilities, and he agreed to fly the fighter for them.
The next morning, the three friends left their underground headquarters, headed for the fighter, and took off. Attacking the towers in succession, Kenobi, piloting the ship, repeatedly outmaneuvered opposing military floaters while the two Young leaders opened fire with the laser cannons. Soon, the three teenagers had successfully destroyed all of the deflection towers, and the Scavenger Young began to pour into the city. Meanwhile, Jinn—unaware of his Padawan's latest violation of the rules—decided to make one last try for peace. Calling a joint meeting of the Melida and Daan Councils, he pleaded with them to make peace with the Young. The Elders did not take the threat posed by the Young seriously until reports started coming in of deflection towers going down. Realizing that the Young were behind the attack, the Elders decided to join forces to defeat the Young, but Jinn made the point that it was morally wrong to kill children, particularly their own children. After letting the point sink in, the Elders agreed to peace talks.
Nield and Cerasi, however, refused to meet, calling it a "diversion" and saying that the Elders' promises were not worth anything and that the fighting would quickly resume, despite Jinn's protestations to the contrary. Jinn then learned of his Padawan's defiance of the rules after discussing the attack on the deflection towers and pulled him aside to reprimand him. Meanwhile, Nield realized that he was right—the Elders attacked the Young with starfighters that had been hidden, causing chaos in the streets. Because of this, Jinn immediately made preparations to take Tahl to their fighter, while his Padawan tried to help his friends with the battle. Upon learning that the Elders had starfighters, Nield and Cerasi immediately asked Kenobi for use of the Jedi's fighter again. Unable to turn his back on his friends, the young apprentice took off for the ship, but was unable to beat his Master there. Jinn refused to let Kenobi take the ship and presented him with a choice: leave the planet with Jinn or stay with the Young, but if he chose to stay with the Young, he would not be a Jedi any more. After a brief standoff, Kenobi decided to stay on Melida/Daan. Jinn left in the fighter, leaving his now ex-Padawan with the Young.
- "We have to strike when the starfighters are being refueled. It's our only hope."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
For the next fourteen days, the two sides fought each other constantly. The Young were able to hold their own in the fighting, despite the Elders having the advantage of starfighters. The fighters were old and needed to be checked and refueled frequently. The Elders made the tactical mistake of refueling all five fighters simultaneously, and this error was noticed by Kenobi, who had become one of the Young leaders. When the Middle Generation—the few remaining middle-aged people left after the vast majority had been wiped out in the prior war—offered to ally with the Young if victory was close, the Young created a plan to invade the Elders' spaceport during the refueling process and disable the fighters. Mawat, the leader of the Scavenger Young, expanded a tunnel into a shaft that led up into the spaceport, and a strike team infiltrated the hangar. After a brief fight, the team successfully disabled all of the fighters, and a time bomb placed on a large fuel tank destroyed most of the spaceport. With the Elders' advantage gone, the Middle Generation formed an alliance with the Young, who declared victory.
- "Word we have received. Won the war, the Young have. Forming a government, they are."
- ―Yoda to Qui-Gon Jinn, after learning of the Young's victory
The Young set up an advisory council led by Cerasi as a legislative body and elected Nield as a temporary governor. The government quickly got to work, unanimously banning all weapons in the council's first meeting; only the Security Squad, led by Kenobi, would be allowed to carry weapons. The council also ordered the demolition of the Halls of Evidence, ancient mausoleums which the Elders visited frequently to feed their hatred of the other tribe. Initially, this went off without a hitch, but soon afterward, a group of Elders led by Wehutti protested the destruction of a Hall, outmaneuvering Nield's demolition crew and blocking their access to the building. Cerasi and Kenobi—who had come to the conclusion that the Halls should be preserved as they were the planet's only historical records—talked Nield out of destroying the Hall and then brought the matter to the council.
When Kenobi cast the deciding vote against the demolition, Nield called for the removal of the ex-Jedi from the council but was overruled by Cerasi. Nield then began talking to various members of the Young, trying to gain enough votes to overthrow the entire council, and the Young quickly fell apart. Soon, Nield decided to destroy another Hall despite the council's order against it. Mawat, in a bid to take over the government, secretly armed both the Young and the Elders—who again showed up to protest—and placed snipers on the roof of a nearby building, intending to start a battle. Kenobi and the Security Squad showed up to stop the fight before it could begin, but Cerasi suddenly appeared and was immediately shot and killed by the snipers. Both sides then backed down, but the damage was done; the Young completely fell apart, and war threatened to break out once again as both the Young and the Elders now walked the streets openly armed. Shortly afterward, Kenobi contacted the Jedi Temple and requested that his former Master be sent back to Melida/Daan, in an attempt to keep the fragile peace from exploding into war again.
Qui-Gon Jinn agreed to do so and arrived three days later. Together with Kenobi, who was unaware of Mawat's treachery, they began investigating how Cerasi died. After questioning his former Padawan about what happened, they went to the warehouse where the Young had stored the weapons during the short period of disarmament in an attempt to track down how the Elders had been armed. Inside, two members of the Young, Deila and Joli, informed Jinn and Kenobi about what Mawat had done. Splitting up, Kenobi tracked down Nield in one of the Halls of Evidence, while Jinn headed into the underground tunnels. Kenobi told Nield about Mawat's actions, and Nield realized what had happened—Mawat wanted power.
The final battleEdit
- "I made my decision after the war ended. I will no longer carry a weapon. I will fight no more in the name of peace. But today I might die for it. Do me a favor, friends. Don't build any monuments for me. Don't destroy any, either. History isn't in our favor, but that doesn't mean we should annihilate it. Don't let our dream of peace die. Work for it. Don't kill for it. We fought one war for peace. We always said that one war had to be enough. Don't mourn too long for me. After all, I wanted peace. Look at it this way. Now I have it forever."
- ―A hologram recorded by Cerasi just before her death
As Nield and Kenobi were talking, Mawat and a squad of his Scavenger Young were planting explosives on the outside of the Hall. Realizing this, Kenobi and Nield ran outside and attacked the Scavenger Young, pushing them back away from the building. A group of the mainstream Young then showed up, surrounding Mawat and his allies. As the battle heated up, Kenobi began maneuvering toward Mawat, believing that the battle might end if he were able to capture the Scavenger Young leader. However, Jinn had located a hologram recorded by Cerasi on the morning of her death and, upon arriving at the scene of the battle, played it from atop a nearby fountain. As the late council head spoke, the battle stopped as everyone listened to her. When the hologram finished playing, the various participants in the battle—moved by her words—began dropping their weapons until only Mawat was still holding a weapon. With everyone else in the plaza looking at him, the leader of the Scavenger Young gave up his grab for power, ending the battle.
Peace at lastEdit
- "Now I'm discovering there are others who share our vision of peace for Melida/Daan."
"You've created a new world."
- ―Nield and Obi-Wan Kenobi, reflecting on recent events after reaching a peace agreement
With Jinn's help, the Young and the Elders made a strong peace agreement in which Nield was given a share of the power with the Melida and the Daan. Mawat admitted to the Young that he had been wrong to make a power grab and returned to the countryside. Kenobi realized that his place was with the Jedi, and he returned to the Jedi Temple with his former master to rejoin the Jedi Order.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "We very deliberately set out to give Obi-Wan a major crisis in his life. That crisis is when he leaves the Jedi. It's a formative experience for him, and it affects Qui-Gon deeply. It also deepens their connection."
- ―Jude Watson
The civil war between the Elders and the Young first appears at the end of the fifth book in the Jedi Apprentice young readers series, titled The Defenders of the Dead, written by Jude Watson, and published in December 1999. The war concludes in the first chapter of the next book, The Uncertain Path, published in February 2000 and also written by Watson. Over the next several years, it received mentions in several other books by Watson, primarily as Obi-Wan Kenobi reflected on the past.
The war is used to facilitate the storyline of Kenobi temporarily leaving the Jedi Order, an event that occurs at the very end of The Defenders of the Dead and has repercussions for the next five books in the Jedi Apprentice series, including The Captive Temple, The Day of Reckoning, The Fight for Truth, and The Shattered Peace, as well as a special edition in the series, Deceptions, and the standalone young readers novel Legacy of the Jedi. In an interview with StarWars.com in June 2000, Watson said that she "very deliberately" set up this plot to strengthen the bond between Kenobi and his Master.
- Jedi Apprentice: The Defenders of the Dead (First appearance)
- Jedi Apprentice: The Uncertain Path
- Jedi Apprentice: The Captive Temple (Mentioned only)
- Jedi Apprentice: The Day of Reckoning (Indirect mention only)
- Jedi Apprentice: The Shattered Peace (Mentioned only)
- The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Mentioned only)
- Jedi Apprentice: The Death of Hope (Mentioned only)
- Jedi Apprentice: The Threat Within (Mentioned only)
- Jedi Quest: The School of Fear (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy of the Jedi (Indirect mention only)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- "Who's Who in the Jedi Order"—Star Wars Insider 62
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Reader's Companion
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Jedi Apprentice: The Defenders of the Dead
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Jedi Apprentice: The Uncertain Path
- ↑ Jedi Apprentice: The Captive Temple
- ↑ Jedi Apprentice: The Day of Reckoning