The only way to bring down the Sith's most dangerous warrior may be to join forces with the dark side. Read more...
- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: July 2015
From the cover
The bleakest part about being a Jedi, thought Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, is when we fail.
He had borne witness to scenes like the one unfolding before the Jedi Council far too many times to count, and yet the pain didn't lessen. He hoped it never would.
The terrified final moments of thousands of lives played out before them, then the grim holographic recording flickered and vanished. For a moment, there was a heavy silence.
The Jedi cultivated a practice of nonattachment, which had always served them well. Few understood, though, that while specific, individual bonds such as romantic love or family were forbidden, the Jedi were not ashamed of compassion. All lives were precious, and when so many were lost in such a way, the Jedi felt the pain of it in the Force as well as in their own hearts.
At last, Master Yoda, the diminutive but extraordinarily powerful head of the Jedi Council, sighed deeply. "Grieved are we all, to see so many suffer," he said. "Courage, the youngling had, at the end. Forgotten, she and her people will not be."
"I hope her bravery brought her comfort," Kenobi said. "The Mahran prize it. She and the others are one with the Force now. But I have no more earnest wish than that this tragedy be the last the war demands."
"As do all of us, Master Kenobi," said Master Mace Windu. "But I don't think that wish is coming true anytime soon."
"Did any ships make it out with their passengers?" Anakin Skywalker asked. Kenobi had asked the younger man, still only a Jedi Knight, to accompany him to this gathering, and Anakin stood behind Kenobi's chair.
"Reported in, no one has," Yoda said quietly. "But hope, always, there is."
"With respect, Master Yoda," Anakin said, "the Mahran needed more than our hope. They needed our help, and what we were able to give them wasn't enough."
"And unfortunately, they are not the only ones we've been forced to give short shrift," Windu said.
"For almost three standard years, this war has raged," said Plo Koon, the Kel Dor member of the Council. His voice was muffled due to the mask he wore over his mouth and nose, a requirement for his species in this atmosphere. "We can barely even count the numbers of the fallen. But this—" He shook his head.
"All directly because of one man's ambition and evil," said Windu.
"It's true that Dooku is the leader of the Separatists," Kenobi said. "And no one will argue that he is both ambitious and evil. But he hasn't done it alone. I agree that Dooku may be responsible for every death in this war, but he didn't actively commit each one."
"Of course not," Plo Koon said, "but it's interesting that you use nearly the same words as Dooku. He placed the blame for the casualties squarely upon us."
"A lie, that is," Yoda said. He waved a small hand dismissively. "Foolish it would be, for us to give it a moment's credence."
"Would it be, truly, Master Yoda?" Windu asked with a hard look on his face. As a senior member of the Council, he was one of the few who dared question Master Yoda. Kenobi raised an eyebrow.
"What do you mean, Master Windu?" asked Yoda.
"Have the Jedi really explored every option? Could we have ended this war sooner? Could we, in fact, end it right now?"
Something prickled at the back of Kenobi's neck. "Speak plainly," he said.
Windu glanced at his fellows. He seemed to be weighing his words. Finally, he spoke.
"Master Kenobi's right—Dooku couldn't have done this completely alone. Billions follow him. But I also stand by my observation—that this war is Dooku's...