Chapters 3 and 4 are essential to not just my novel, but to the SW Universe as a whole.
I wanted to establish quickly that Obi-Wan Kenobi is to play a central role in the story. He’s not someone else’s padawan, he’s on his own now. Not only that, but he’s on his first solo assignment to Alderaan. This is the time for Kenobi to “leave the nest” and strike out on his own. If he and Anakin are to become fast friends, I felt he needed to do it without another Jedi around to teach him. Thus, Qui-Gon makes a brief appearance to establish that Kenobi is on his own.
The story picks back up with more of Owen and Beru, but eventually we meet the great pilot Aiya Rios. While writing her character, I leaned heavily on Zoe Saldana for inspiration. If this were ever made into a movie, I would insist she play Aiya Rios. She’s feisty, but also pretty sweet. Most importantly, she’s a competitor and she’s there to win. This presents the greatest challenge to Anakin and when his need to win is greatest. I’ve already established that if Anakin stays on Tattooine, his life will be moisture farming with Owen and (probably) Beru. Anakin is hardly thrilled by this prospect. This works with the parallel of Luke’s rebellious nature when faced with the idea of staying on Owen’s farm in Episode IV. Beru was right, he has too much of his father in him. So when this is the one race that will get Anakin off the planet forever…he faces the one racer who can condemn him to living on Tattooine for all time.
I had a LOT of fun writing Ulith’s dialogue in the build up to the start of the race. There are MANY out there who would say that I got Ulith’s loquacious abilities from myself. Sadly, this is not true. I drew from a Heath Ledger movie called “A Knight’s Tale”. In it, he befriends a man named William Chaucer who enjoys talking a little too much. The moment when you hear Anakin being called the “Boy with Bravado, the Ace of Anchorhead, the Titan of Tatooine” it really made me appreciate my high school English teacher.
The race itself showcases Anakin’s Force-led instincts in several different ways. Some are subtle, such as him flying under Beggar’s Canyon. Some aren’t so subtle, such as him tearing the wing off of the Aethersprite. I was particularly proud of the “Shoelace Run” part of the race. I worked hard to weave actual science reality into my novel (another example to come later) and this one worked out really well.
So here’s the big question. What’s next? You can look forward to, what I feel, is an important point of the Star Wars Saga. Episode IV showed that Owen clearly had issues with Anakin and with Obi-Wan Kenobi. In just a few lines, he communicates his anger very well.
Owen: “That wizard’s just a crazy old man.”
Luke: “He knew my father?” Owen: “I told you to forget it.”
Obi-Wan: “might follow old Obi-Wan on some damn-fool idealistic crusade like your father did.”
Just from these lines of dialogue, Obi-Wan knows and Luke knows that Owen Lars does not like Anakin Skywalker. The question is why? What caused such a rift between two great friends?
Chapter V – A Fond Farewell comes out on Friday.