Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force is a Legends junior novel written by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. It is the first volume of the Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights series, and it was first published on June 1, 1995 by Berkley Boulevard. The novel is set in 23 ABY, and it follows fourteen-year-old twins Jacen and Jaina Solo during their time at the Jedi academy on Yavin 4.
The novel was reprinted in the collections Young Jedi Knights: The Rise of the Shadow Academy (1996) and Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Shadow (2003).
While exploring the jungle outside the academy, the twins make a startling discovery—the remains of a TIE fighter that had crashed years ago during the battle against the first Death Star. Mechanical whiz Jaina thinks she can repair it…if they can sneak the right parts from the academy.
Meanwhile, their work is being closely watched—but not by academy eyes. The original pilot, an Imperial trooper, has been living wild in the jungle since his ship went down. Waiting to return to duty. And now his chance has come…
After spending a month of training to become Jedi Knights at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum, Jacen and Jaina's father Han Solo arrives on Yavin 4 with gifts for the twins and a new Jedi trainee—Chewbacca's nephew, Lowbacca. Along with Tenel Ka Djo—a seemingly humorless warrior girl who befriended them during the past month—the twins and "Lowie" become fast friends. To help Lowie communicate with his fellow students, Chewbacca and Han give him a small translator droid named Em Teedee, whose mannerisms bear an uncanny resemblance to those of the droid C-3PO.
After assembling the T-23 skyhopper that his uncle had given to him as a going-away present, Lowie takes it on a test flight. He spots a shiny object glimmering in the branches of a Massassi tree, and returns to the Praxeum, vowing to return as soon as possible. After missing evening meal, Lowie shares his discovery with Jacen, Jaina and Tenel Ka. The next day the four Jedi trainees set out in the skyhopper to investigate Lowie's discovery.
When they arrive at the site, Jacen, Jaina, Lowie, and Tenel Ka discover not just a TIE fighter's solar panel (the shiny object), but the rest of the TIE fighter as well. Somewhat envious of Lowie's skyhopper, and wanting to face the challenge, Jaina believes that the wrecked TIE fighter can be fixed. Scrounging up parts from the remains of the old Rebel base and the area surrounding the crash, the Jedi trainees go about the task of fixing the wrecked fighter. In addition to the repairs, Jaina decides to install an old hyperdrive unit (that she had received from her father) onto the fighter as well.
Unbeknownst to the Jedi trainees, their work is being watched closely by Qorl, the pilot who had crashed the fighter during the Battle of Yavin. During the past 23 years he has been waiting the opportunity to return to the Empire and help obliterate the Rebellion.
Encounter with QorlEdit
One day while searching for more parts for the TIE fighter, Jacen finds an Imperial insignia that had come off Qorl's uniform. He searches further, eventually discovering what has been Qorl's home for the past 23 years. He rushes back to the site of the crash and warns Jaina, Tenel Ka, and Lowbacca of the pilot's survival. Immediately thereafter Qorl appears, brandishing a blaster and telling the Jedi trainees that they are his prisoners.
Lowbacca escapes with his skyhopper and attempts to utilize its bulk in attempting to scare Qorl away. Qorl is unfazed, however, and uses his blaster to critically damage the skyhopper. Lowie flies away and lands the skyhopper. Grateful that it doesn't explode, he begins to make his way to the Praxeum. In the process of getting there, Em Teedee is detached from Lowbacca's belt and has an adventure with a pack of woolamanders.
Lowbacca arrives at the Praxeum but no one can understand him because he lost Em Teedee. Frustrated, he recalls that Han and Chewbacca are still nearby, checking out Lando Calrissian's new GemDiver Station. He heads to the Praxeum's communications center and informs Han about the situation. Han tells Lowie that he will be back as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Tenel Ka flees into the jungle. She is then attacked by a number of battle hydras. She eventually stumbles upon a pack of woolamanders, who provide an effective distraction to the battle hydras. In the commotion she hears the voice of Em Teedee crying for help. She rescues him and uses his directional sensors to make her way back to the Praxeum.
Saving the twinsEdit
At the crash site, Qorl marches Jacen and Jaina back to his home at gunpoint. Once there, he restrains them and gives them something to eat. Jaina and Jacen realize that Qorl has had absolutely no contact with the outside world and inform him of the current political situation in the galaxy. The next day, Qorl marches the twins back to the crash site at gunpoint, ordering them to complete the repairs on the TIE fighter so that he may return to the Empire. The twins do so, and he blasts off, vowing to destroy the Praxeum before reporting back to the Empire.
Han Solo and Chewbacca arrive at the Praxeum in the Millennium Falcon. Shortly before taking off with Lowbacca to save the twins, Han allows Tenel Ka and Em Teedee to board the Falcon. Once they are airborne, they notice a TIE fighter making a beeline for the Praxeum. Qorl tries to fire his laser cannons, but it turns out that the twins didn't restore them to good working order. The Falcon chases him as he flies out of the atmosphere and escapes, using the hyperdrive that Jaina had installed on the TIE fighter.
Once the TIE fighter has made the jump to hyperspace, Han, Chewbacca, Lowie, and Tenel Ka head for the crash site, finding that Jacen and Jaina seem to be fine, though worse for wear. A few days later the Falcon carries the damaged skyhopper back to the Praxeum. Lowie and Jaina immediately begin work on the airspeeder. The four Jedi trainees contemplate whether Qorl made it back to the Empire.
- ISBN 9781572970663; June 1, 1995; Berkley Boulevard; US paperback
- ISBN 9780425169490; March 15, 1999; Berkley Jam; US paperback
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