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Anakin Solo

Anakin Solo was a fictional character from the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the youngest child born to Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo, and the brother to elder twin siblings, Jaina and Jacen. Anakin was named for his maternal grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, and, like his namesake, was a talented pilot who was prodigiously talented both in the Force and mechanical engineering. He died during the Yuuzhan-Vong war, during the mission to Myrkr.

Publication history

Anakin Solo's debut was in Tom Veitch's Dark Empire II limited comic series. He was first referred to as Han Solo, Jr. by Han Solo, but Leia Solo corrected him. Leia named Anakin after Her father, Anakin Skywalker, because she saw the name as a reminder of hope; however, Anakin still feared the name. Anakin appeared as an infant and toddler in many Star Wars novels such as the Jedi Academy Trilogy. Anakin and his siblings, Jacen Solo and Jaina Solo, played central roles in other Star Wars novels such as The Crystal Star, The New Rebellion, and The Corellian Trilogy.

On 1 October, 1995, Nancy Richardson started the Junior Jedi Knights series with The Golden Globe staring Anakin and his best friend Tahiri Veila. Anakin was now an eleven year old child starting his training at the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV. Richardson continued Anakin's adventures in the following two novels, Lyric's World and Promises, before Rebecca Moesta finished the series with Anakin's Quest, Vader's Fortress, and Kenobi's Blade, starting in 1996. Anakin made appearances in the Young Jedi Knights series by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta which followed the adventures of Anakin's siblings, Jacen and Jaina.

In 1999, the first novel of the New Jedi Order was published titled Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore. Anakin was now a young teenager studying as a Jedi under his uncle, Luke Skywalker, debating with his brother, Jacen, on the ways of a Jedi and the Force. He played major roles in Dark Tide: Onslaught and Dark Tide: Ruin by Michael A. Stackpole published 1 February, 2000 and 1 June, 2000, respectively, and was the main focus of the books Edge of Victory: Conquest and Edge of Victory: Rebirth by Greg Keyes published 1 April, 2001 and 1 August, 2001, respectfully.

In the following novel by Troy Denning, Star by Star published on 30 October, 2001, Anakin lead a team of Jedi Knights to take out a dangerous enemy of the Jedi resulting in his death. Writers of the New Jedi Order story line revealed in a question-and-answer section of the paperback edition of The Unifying Force published on 3 August, 2004 that Anakin was supposed to be the hero of the story and lead the Jedi Order but was changed due to the release of the prequel Star Wars films in which the hero was also named Anakin.

Even after his death, Anakin Solo has been mentioned several times in most following novels, including a possible appearance in Traitor by Matthew Stover and as a droid in Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Betrayal by Aaron Allston as Anakin Sal-Solo.

Anakin was portrayed in the earlier books as being a genius and a loner, but was haunted by his name. He loved to take computers apart and put them back together and saw it as some kind of puzzle. He spent his time alone because there was so much to think about. He would also have dreams of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader trying to persuade him to fall to the dark side of the Force; Anakin did overcome this fear after a journeying inward and confronting himself.

In the New Jedi Order, Anakin is older but not portrayed too differently. He still spent time alone thinking about the role of the Force, and would get into arguments with his brother, Jacen Solo, on the subject. He would want to do the right thing so much even go save the galaxy that he feared he would overlook better answers. However, Luke Skywalker still saw Anakin as too young to see all he had and even reckless at times with his desire to do the right thing. Anakin did become more talkative in this series, unlike his younger self in the Junior Jedi Knight series.

Plot details

Childhood

Anakin first appeared in the graphic novel Empire's End, in which he is mere months old. The resurrected Emperor Palpatine touches the unborn Anakin Solo in Dark Empire II through Leia's womb, in a failed attempt to steal the infant's body for himself (he was permanently destroyed moments later).

Like his grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, he was incredibly strong in the Force. However, Anakin felt that he had inherited not only his grandfather's name, but also his dark legacy as the Sith Lord Darth Vader. As a child he often had nightmares of Vader and a very strong fear of the dark side. By the time he was three, Anakin's gifts had become obvious to his uncle, Luke Skywalker. By the time he was seven, he had demonstrated a remarkable ability to make anything mechanical work, regardless of whether he understood the device's purpose or its components.

During the Empire Reborn series, the Imperial Procurator of Justice, Lord Hethrir, kidnapped the Solo children to use in his plot for their Force powers. There, Anakin developed a relationship with Tigris, the son of Hethrir and his mate Rillao, who served as Anakin's guard (and Hethrir's servant). In exchange for Waru's help, Hethrir tried to sacrifice Anakin to Waru, but Luke, Han and Leia Solo battled Hethrir and Waru and rescued Anakin and siblings. Waru, giving up the hope that Hethrir would help him go back to his own dimension, destroyed Hethrir.

Anakin figured prominently in the discovery and activation of some of the ancient Corellian planetary repulsors during the reign of Thrackan Sal-Solo on Corellia in 18 ABY.

He continued to show great aptitude with not only the Force, but in mathematics and engineering and when his siblings returned from their initial studies on Yavin IV, Anakin was allowed to go to start his Jedi training.

Jedi Academy Years (21 ABY – 24 ABY)

Anakin arrived on Yavin IV at the age of eleven. He then immediately befriended Tahiri Veila, a girl two years his junior who was recently discovered by Luke Skywalker on his home planet of Tatooine. Together, they discovered the Golden Globe beneath the Palace of the Woolamander and the existence of the ancient Jedi Master Ikrit, who had told them that the thousands of souls were imprisoned within could only be released by Force-sensitive children.

After that, Anakin and Tahiri traveled to Yavin VIII at the request of their Melodie friend, Lyric. There, they accompanied her whilst she went through the Changing Ceremony, in which Lyric would change forms. Anakin fought and killed their ambushers, which included an avril, a reel, several raiths and a purella. During this, the duo found a matching ancient carving on the wall of a cave that informed them that in 3,997 BBY, Lord Exar Kun trapped countless number of Massassi children with his Sith magic. It also said that the magic could be penetrated by Force-sensitive children.

Tahiri's foster father, Sliven, the leader of the Tusken clan, demanded that she return to Tatooine, where she would decide her fate after six months of her stay at the Academy: whether she would train as a Jedi or return to her tribe. There, Sliven told Tahiri of her true heritage. Her parents were Force-sensitive moisture farmers named Tryst and Cassa Veila, who were accidentally killed by the Tribe, who went looking for the missing Sliven. In reality, he was in care of her parents and after they were killed, Sliven took Tahiri under his wing, who had to strike a deal with the Tribe so that she could stay. When Tahiri was of age, she would undergo a test to prove herself and Sliven as a leader. Anakin came along with Tahiri during her test, which also turned out to test their Force abilities—surviving the harshest deserts of the Dune Sea and battling a Krayt dragon. The duo returned to Yavin IV and freed the souls.

Later, Anakin was plagued by dreams of the Emperor and Darth Vader telling him that he was destined to become a Dark Jedi. Worried, Anakin requested that he travel to Dagobah and face himself in the same cave Luke Skywalker had done so many years ago. He was accompanied by Tahiri and Ikrit—and to their surprise, a stowaway named Uldir Lochett, who thought himself to have Force potential, but really only had a vague, feathery instinct that sensed when the Force was being used. The four faced swamp creatures and both Tahiri and Anakin went inside the cave separately. While Anakin emerged victorious, Tahiri saw images of her past, including her grandfather, who had once been a Jedi Knight murdered during Palpatine's Great Jedi Purge, and her parents.

Back at Yavin IV, Tionne Solusar, the Jedi historian, found that Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber was saved by Darth Vader. With Anakin, Tahiri, Uldir and Ikrit, Tionne went to Vader's fortress at Bast Castle on Vjun to retrieve it, only to have Orloc, a self-claimed "mage" after it as well. Orloc, after capturing Uldir, manipulated the youth by claiming that he had great powers and therefore would grant him Jedi powers. When his companions rescued him and escaped with the lightsaber and the Jedi Holocron, Uldir stole the artifacts and went back to Orloc.

His companions chased him to Exis Station, in which Orloc had demonostrated his powers to Uldir. In reality, they were only technological tricks that could only be performed in Orloc's base, Exis Station. Uldir, seeing his friends battle Orloc with true Force powers, joined them and defeated the mage. Anakin and his companions returned to the Jedi Praxeum with both artifacts safely in their possession.

Anakin graduated from his Junior Jedi Class and returned to Coruscant, where he attended school, developed his piloting skills, and studied under the careful tutelage of C-3PO. Following the attack by the Shadow Academy in 23 ABY, he returned to Yavin IV and helped rebuild the Great Temple by viewing its rubble as a huge puzzle to be solved.

During that time, he went through several adventures with his siblings and their friends, including the mission to find Zekk, taking down Black Sun, accompanying his father to Ord Mantell, etc.—and usually was the one with the plans and ideas, which was due to his uncanny ability (and enjoyment) to solve complex problems and puzzles.

When he turned fourteen, Anakin graduated from the Academy and became apprentices along with other students like Jacen, Jaina, Tenel Ka, Lowbacca and Zekk. Together with his brother Jacen, Anakin trained directly with Luke, just as Luke began moving the new Jedi Knights back to the pre-Empire format of teaching.

Yuuzhan Vong War (25 ABY – 27 ABY)

"I witnessed the death of perhaps the greatest of them all, the one called Anakin Solo, who gave up his life so that the ones he loved might live."Nom Anor

It was when Luke started training both Anakin and Jacen that Anakin grew stronger and became more respected among the Jedi.

Both Jacen and Anakin had different ideas on what the future of the Jedi should be. The two brothers often clashed, claiming their intense lightsaber duels were simply training.

Anakin agreed with Luke, that the formation of a new Jedi Council would help bring the vigilantes under control. Jacen believed more in the spiritual aspects of the Force, while Anakin held to the physical uses of the Force as well as the Living Force, which, according to Luke, has to do with a Jedi's sensitivity to living things, intuition and living for the moment. Both brothers had the Living Force, but towards the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War, Jacen had more so to do with the Unifying Force, which deals with fulfilling destiny, and less with the Living Force later. Anakin's relationship with the people, as well as his way of acting on instinct and concentrating on the present, caused him to thrive on the Living Force (perhaps a bit too much). His love and compassion for them and his strong and stubborn unwillingness to sacrifice others, spurred even more so by the guilt that he couldn't save the people who'd sacrificed in his stead, was what would cause his death in the future.

Fifteen-year-old Anakin was at the forefront of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, present at Sernpidal, the first planet lost to the Vong. Anakin was forced to fly the Millennium Falcon and flee. The freighter was taking on as many refugees as possible before Sernpidal's moon could crash into its surface. Anakin kept the Falcon grounded as long as he could, soaring away from the cataclysm at the last possible instant. This decision resulted in the death of Chewbacca, who was unable to board the Falcon in time. The death of the beloved Wookiee forever changed the dynamics of the Solo family. Han blamed Anakin, and it was many months before the two were reconciled. Anakin also blamed himself, and further threw himself into his beliefs despite his brother Jacen's protests. Because of his losses, Anakin pushed himself harder and harder against the invading enemy forces, trying to live up to Chewbacca's sacrifice.

Later on, Anakin doggedly protected a terminally ill Mara Jade Skywalker on Dantooine. Soon after this, refugees from Dubrillion, who Lando Calrissian had evacuated, came on the planet as well. Unfortunately, the Yuuzhan Vong followed them and the Battle of Dantooine had begun. Anakin and Jacen killed Legion of reptiloid Chazrach slave soldiers and beetle-like Thrall herders from the Yuuzhan Vong's own galaxy. However, they found out that the Chazrack were mindless, functioning much like battle droids. With the Jedi's efforts, including Luke, who had destroyed a thrall herder, the refugees managed to escape Dantooine after the enemies were defeated.

In the same year, after learning through the computer program created by Anakin that kept track of the usage of the data library (to make things easier for the Jedi on their missions) that Daeshara'cor wanted super-weapons for some deadly purpose, Luke, Mara, Mirax Horn, Anakin and a grifter named Chalco traveled to different worlds to stop her. At Garos IV, although Anakin and Chalco were told to stay on the ship, Chalco talked Anakin into leaving the ship to check out local information sources. Anakin ended up being captured, along with Chalco, who had gotten captured in attempts to rescue the teenager. Anakin used the Force to knock Daeshara'cor out with Chalco's blaster while in captivity, and ended up bringing Daeshara'cor to the light side. He, along with the other Jedi, fought at Ithor. At the battle, after seeing Daeshara'cor poisoned by the amphistaff, Anakin defended her from the Yuuzhan Vong, wielding two lightsabers: his and Daeshara'cor's. Even though he, along with help from Luke and Mara, managed to get the Twi'lek to the medical bay, she had died—reassuring him that she would not have changed anything. Despite this, Anakin still blamed himself and sunk deeper into his guilt. The Jedi had to take a proactive stance against the Yuuzhan Vong, Anakin believed, or more and more people would die.

Anakin began developing Jedi tactics that could be used against the Yuuzhan Vong. He rediscovered a lost Force skill, Battle Meditation, and refined it into a technique known as Force Meld which was used to coordinate Jedi in battle, namely in spaceflight. He also designed the prototype for the Yuuzhan Vong Hunter Droids (YVH) manufactured by Lando Calrissian.

Word of his accomplishments travelled across the galaxy, and citizens, as well as the younger and even the older, more traditional Jedi, of the New Republic regarded him as a galactic hero, the freshest face of the Jedi Order and somebody who might one day take his uncle's place as the most powerful Jedi.

Archaeologists and engineers at Centerpoint Station had been trying to reactivate the superweapon, but discovered that because the Station had attuned itself to Anakin's fingerprints, brainwaves, and DNA, it wouldn't activate without him. The New Republic hoped to use this massive station to wipe out the Yuuzhan Vong fleet, but Jacen convinced Anakin that using the Station in such a way would be tantamount to turning to the dark side. Frustrated with Anakin's recalcitrance, Thrackan Sal-Solo fired the weapon himself—and missed, destroying much of the allied Hapan fleet. Knowing that he would have had precise aim had he been at the controls, Anakin blamed both Jacen and himself for the friendly casualties. Later, Anakin proved to be of importance when contributing to the defense of Duro by shooting down a serpentine Ychna that was attacking the city, Orr-Om.

When the Yuuzhan Vong bore down on Yavin IV and the New Republic refused to send aid in 26 ABY, Anakin impetuously ran off to the system in an attempt to save the students studying there. In the ensuing battle, Anakin's childhood mentor Master Ikrit was killed and his friend Tahiri captured. Anakin found an unlikely ally in Vua Rapuung, a Yuuzhan Vong outcast, who helped him infiltrate the enemy encampment and rescue Tahiri. Anakin's lightsaber was damaged in the rescue attempt and he had to rebuild it using a Yuuzhan Vong lambent. He attuned his lightsaber to himself and discovered a way to sense the Vong through the Force. Anakin was the first Jedi after Vergere to have sensed the Yuuzhan Vong thus. He called it the "Vongsense". This name was later adopted by Jacen Solo.

The Yuuzhan Vong had performed numerous experiments on Tahiri during her captivity. Anakin helped her recover from the ordeal. Meanwhile, rumors of their exploits on Yavin IV ran rampant through the working class "shamed ones" of the Yuuzhan Vong, who soon began to see Jedi as their salvation.

After Anakin helped Tahiri repress her Yuuzhan Vong personality from taking total control, Corran Horn took the two of them to Eriadu, to get supplies. What started as a simple mission, ended up being complicated after learning from Kelbis Nu, a fellow Rodian Jedi Knight who Anakin and Tahiri set off to rescued after sensing him in trouble, learned from him was that Yag'Dhul, where the Givin lived, was the Vong's next target—because of its handy location between Corellian Trade Spine and Rinma Trade Route. After being arrested by anti-Jedi Erudian judicials, Tahiri saved Anakin (under her Yuuzhan Vong personality) from further interrogation and escaped. The three of them rode under a Yuuzhan Vong spy ship to warn the Givin. While doing so, they encountered Nom Anor and his warriors, in which Anakin challenged one to a duel and won. To destroy the Yuuzhan Vong, the Givin decided to draw air out of the space sation while Corran, Anakin and Tahiri went in search for vac suits there. After complications, the duo were pushed into an oxygenated, yet leaking locker. Anakin, believing that they were going to die, admitted his love for her and the two shared a kiss. Corran Horn, who had, much to the duo's embarrassment, figured what had happened between them, returned for them and the combined Givin and New Republic fleet defeated the Yuuzhan Vong.

When the Yuuzhan Vong bioengineered Jedi-hunting creatures called Voxyn, Lyric was among the first to fall in 27 ABY. Anakin led a strike team into the Myrkr system; its mission was to destroy the cloning facility where the creatures were being bred. But things went wrong from the beginning when Ulaha Kore, one of the strike team tacticians, was gravely injured. Jaina cracked when Ulaha was further subjected to torture. The Yuuzhan Vong torturer decided to pick on her and force her to choose between her younger brother or her twin.

"They're both my brothers," Jaina protested, but Anakin told her to select him as the next victim. The Yuuzhan Vong tortured him, but he didn't react—which earned admiration from his torturers. He bought the strike team enough time to take over the ship they were on, but his decisions were again criticized by Jacen.

During another skirmish aboard the Banu Rass, Anakin impulsively ran to his sister's rescue and was stabbed in the gut. The wound ruptured his spleen. Even as his spleen was leaking away, Anakin refused to drop into a Force trance—his mission objective was more important to him than his own well being. His connection to the Force remained strong, and he gathered energy around him like a magnet. Anakin became a glowing extension of the Force itself and he achieved complete oneness with the Force, a state that was achieved only by Anakin Skywalker, and afterwards, Ganner Rhysode in 28 ABY and Jacen Solo in 30 ABY. Being almost invincible, he cut down Yuuzhan Vong in order to get his friends closer to the voxyn queen. An interesting thing to note is that at that moment, he could sense the Yuuzhan Vong through the Force as well as he could the other Jedi.

This matter still remains a mystery as to why he could suddenly sense the Yuuzhan Vong with such clarity. A theory is that the Force supernova that consumed his body eventually was able to further Anakin's perception and allow him to see the full spectrum of the Force, including the Vongsense. However, the intense energy quickly consumed him as it escaped through his mortal wound (being mortally wounded meant that Anakin could not sustain and keep the Force energy within him as it consumed a vessel too weakened to hold it), and Anakin died shortly after ensuring that Tahiri was safe. Anakin gave his life destroying the voxyn cloning samples. His death was transmitted through the Force, and his family and fellow Jedi Knights were devastated by it. However, because of his death, even the enemy came to admire him. His death forced Jacen into a leadership position, pushed his sister Jaina to the dark side, and launched Tahiri into the throes of despair. His sister rashly attacked a Yuuzhan Vong mortuary and recovered his body. She flew his body to Hapes, where the entire family gathered for a funeral. After a memorial ceremony, the fallen hero was cremated by Luke Skywalker.

Anakin's lightsaber was to have a bigger role in determining the fate of the Yuuzhan Vong. Nom Anor gave it to Jacen, in hopes that he could convert him to their religion, which failed. Ganner Rhysode, who'd come to rescue him, died after killing many Yuuzhan Vong with Anakin's lightsaber. The last time his lightsaber would be used was during the duel between Supreme Overlord Shimrra Jamaane and Luke in the Battle of Coruscant; starting out in the hands of Shimrra and ending with Luke, who cut off the Overlord's head. When the war ended, Han Solo, as a way of tribute, placed the lightsaber in the tree stump, in front of a carving of Chewbacca on Kashyyyk like a 'sword in the stone'.

Legacy

During the Second Corellian Insurrection, the Galactic Alliance Guard deployed a Star Destroyer named Anakin Solo, to his parents' great disdain and disgust. Prior to that time, a sentient droid imbued with Anakin's personality and biometric data was created by Thrackan Sal-Solo as part of his plans to reactivate Centerpoint Station. This droid believed itself to be the true Anakin Solo, having died and wandered the galaxy until coming to rest in a mutated clone body. It was disillusioned by Ben Skywalker, who revealed the droid's true nature to it when he came to sabotage the station. Even with his illusions shattered, the redubbed Anakin Sal-Solo did not wish to die with the station, but in the end gave in and allowed Ben to complete his mission.

See also

Footnotes

References

  • Star Wars: The essential guide to characters, 1st edition, 1995. Andy Mangels. ISBN 0-345-39535-2
  • Dark Empire II, Issue #6, 1st edition, 1995 (trade paperback). Tom Veitch, Cam Kennedy, ISBN 1-56971-119-4
  • Star Wars: Ambush at Corellia, 1st paperback printing, 1995. Roger Macbride Allen, ISBN 0-553-29803-8
  • Star Wars, The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime, 1st edition, 1999. R. A. Salvatore, ISBN 0-345-42845-5
  • Star Wars, The New Jedi Order: Balance Point, 1st edition, 2000. Kathy Tyers, ISBN 0-345-42857-9
  • Star Wars, The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory 1: Conquest, 1st paperback printing. Greg Keyes, ISBN 0-345-42864-1
  • Star Wars, The New Jedi Order: Star by Star, 1st hardcover edition, 2002. Troy Denning, ISBN 0-345-42867-6
  • Star Wars, The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee, 1st paperback printing, 2003. Sean Williams and Shane Dix, ISBN 0-345-42871-4

External links

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