In Episode 5.07 “A Test of Strength,” 5.08 “Bound for Rescue,” and 5.09 “A Necessary Bond” the Jedi Younglings leave Ilum with their lightsaber crystals only to be ambushed by Hondo Ohnaka’s pirate gang and Ahsoka Tano is captured! In this edition of Expanding the Clone Wars we explore how the latest arc of The Clone Wars fit in with existing Star Wars Expanded Universe canon by delving into the history of Huyang, the formation of a lightsaber, references to the Great Galactic War and more.
You can find We Talk Clones’ review of all three episodes on our sister site, SoloSound.net.
The ancient lightsaber architect and instructor Huyang is a droid who has assisted Jedi in the creation of their lightsabers for over a thousand generations and keeps a record of every lightsaber ever made. Huyang’s programming is nearly as old as the Jedi Order itself and we have to assume his memory banks have been transferred to many different droid bodies throughout the millennia. Huyang was assigned to maintain his lightsaber workshop on the Jedi training cruiser the Crucible for nearly 1,000 years. This would mean that he had been the Jedi lightsaber architect on that ship since the Ruusan Reformations, first mentioned in The Essential Chronology to have occurred nearly 1,000 years before the Clone Wars. There is no official word yet on how and where Huyang trained Jedi before this time as it could have been on many important Jedi worlds throughout Star Wars history such as Ossus, Tython, Dantooine, or Coruscant. The Chu’unthor is another Jedi Training vessel much like the Crucible and was first mentioned in The Courtship of Princess Leia as being a massive starship that travelled the galaxy with hundreds of padawans training aboard.
Building of a Lightsaber
It is interesting to note that the younglings harvested Kyber crystals and not Adegan crystals from the caves of Ilum as was assumed in the last Expanding article. The Kyber memory crystal, which was first introduced in Episode 2.02 Cargo of Doom, was a crystal with a record of every force-sensitive child in the galaxy. It was first mentioned in early drafts of Episode IV: A New Hope but was used in the novel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye as the Kaiburr crystal, a Force relic that magnified a Force-sensitive’s power and assist their ability to heal. Meetra Surik used one fragment of a Kaiburr crystal for use in her lightsaber in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. In this arc of The Clone Wars, the young Jedi use the Force to awaken their lightsaber crystals and assemble their lightsabers much like in the novel I, Jedi where the Force was used to unify the components of the lightsaber but in that novel the lightsaber crystal remained colorless until first attuned and connected to a Jedi. The blade then glowed either blue or green, or in some rare instances, another shade and from that point on retained that hue. The Wookiee Jedi initiate, Gungi, forms a rather unique lightsaber with the exterior made out of the wood from a brylark tree. Wookiees in the Expanded Universe have always blended organic and inorganic technology and Gungi continues that tradition with his brylark lightsaber hilt. Jedi Master Tyvokka in The Stark Hyperspace War wielded a wooden-handled, curved-hilt lightsaber as well. It is unknown if brylark wood is a variation of bark from a wroshyr tree from Kashyyyk. Huyang mentioned how dangerous the lightsaber could be if malfunctioned and this was a painful lesson learned by the Jedi Tenal Ka many years later in Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers when her poorly built lightsaber failed as the components inside the handle overloaded and exploded in her hand causing her to lose her entire arm. Huyang had also began to tell a story about Yoda’s adventure discovering his lightsaber crystal but was politely interrupted by Obi-Wan, causing our imaginations to run wild. Did Yoda go through a “Gathering” much like these Young Jedi did on Ilum hundreds of years ago and was he trained aboard the Crucible by Huyang as well?
The Old Republic References
Spread out across this arc was several references to The Old Republic video game. The design of the Jedi training cruiser, the Crucible, was heavily influenced by the Thranta-class corvette used by the Republic Navy during the Great Galactic War in the MMO. Within the interior of the ship was the emblem of the Starbird used by the Galactic Republic and Jedi in The Old Republic and that symbol could be an indication that this ship ages back several thousands years to the time of the Cold War. Lastly, General Grievous’ speeder chariot he uses to chase after the young Jedi looked like a heavily modified variation of the Rendili Watchman Speeder mount used as a starter speeder in the game.
In “Bound for Rescue” the young Jedi come across a traveling carnival in the wilds of Florrum led by the Dug ringmaster, Preigo. Preigo’s Traveling World of Wonders is very similar to Circus Horrificus first mentioned in A Boy and his Monster: The Rancor Keeper’s Tale which used savage creatures in its shows as well as had several Aleena dancers much like Preigo did. Other traveling circuses in the Expanded universe include Starhunter’s Intergalactic Menagerie from Droids – “Coby and the Starhunters,” the Thranta Riders aerial circus on Bespin from The Bounty Hunters: Aurra Sing, the Corusca Circus located in the heart of the Old District of Coruscant mentioned in Labyrinth of Evil, and Preigo’s carnival was reminiscent to The Magnificent Magwit’s magical stage act from Boba Fett: Bounty on Bar-Kooda.
There were many parallels to Episode IV: A New Hope in these episodes with the young initiates battling training remotes to hone their lightsaber skills, the pirates boarding the Jedi ship had a very similar feel to the stormtroopers storming the Tantive IV, as well as the Jedi taking refuge under the grates of the ship, and the Grievous/pirates/Jedi speeder chase was much like the Death Star trench run. Boba Fett’s Firespray-31-class Slave I made an appearance as fully refurbished by Hondo Ohnaka with a new green and red design scheme. In the season two finale the Slave I still had the Jango Fett paint scheme but these modifications on top of the ones Boba would make in Boba Fett: Hunted such as adding cloaking devices, proton torpedoes, and a minelayer slowly form into the ship we see fly after Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. Some things Huyang mention that have yet to find a place in the Expanded Universe are the Battles of Rashford, Peacekeeping of Parliock, and the Cartusion whale That’s all we have for this edition of Expanding the Clone Wars! Make sure you join us next time as we expand the galaxy even further and explore the latest episodes of The Clone Wars!
The Essential Chronology, The Courtship of Princess Leia, Episode IV: A New Hope, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, The Stark Hyperspace War, Young Jedi Knights: Lightsabers, The Old Republic, A Boy and his Monster: The Rancor Keeper’s Tale, Droids – “Coby and the Starhunters”, The Bounty Hunters: Aurra Sing, Labyrinth of Evil, Boba Fett: Bounty on Bar-Kooda, Boba Fett: Hunted All staff members can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Image credit: StarWars.com.