THE DEATH STAR HAS BEEN DESTROYED.
THE EMPIRE IS IN RUINS.
BUT THE DARK SIDE LIVES ON.
Well, okay, then. Let’s get this party started!
As discussed in the Jedi Prince introduction post, back in 1992 there was very little Expanded Universe to be consumed. This young reader series was one of them. Called the Jedi Prince novels by fans, they follow a 12 year old named Ken who was raised in the Lost City of the Jedi by caretaker droids. Meanwhile, in the Empire, a three-eyed mutant (that’s important) named Trioculus has taken control and seeks to destroy the Rebellion once and for all.
Looking back on this series with today’s knowledge, all sorts of things are wrong. We know that immediately after Palpatine’s death, Ysanne Isard took over the Empire. This series, being written way before the X-Wing comics and novels, doesn’t mention her, nor does it ever mention Coruscant, which was introduced in 1991’s Heir to the Empire. As always, there are retcons to explain all this, mainly being that Trioculus and the Central Committee of Grand Moffs was trying to take control of the Empire back from Isard. When reading the Jedi Prince series with that in mind, it does make a bit more sense. But just a bit.
I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let’s dive into the wonder that is The Glove of Darth Vader.
Right off the bat, I knew exactly what I was in for:
In case you can’t read that, the first sentence reads: “See-Threepio’s frantic voice echoed through the Droid Repair Shop on Yavin Four, the fourth moon of the planet Yavin.”
There are so many things wrong with that sentence, I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, Droid Repair Shop? I guess it makes sense that such things are prevalent in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, but really? Couldn’t you have come up with something a bit less…generic? Second, thanks for alerting us that Yavin Four is, in fact, the fourth moon of the planet Yavin. I don’t know if children could have figured that out on their own. If you wanted to spell it out for them, couldn’t you have done so in another sentence? And finally, what the HELL are the droids and Luke Skywalker doing on Yavin-freaking-Four? If you want a secret base, why would you go back to Yavin? That’s the dumbest decision I’ve ever heard of. It’s basically saying to the Empire, “Come and get us! You remember where this place is!”
(I better move on before this “review” gets to be 10,000 words.)
So Threepio and Artoo are going on a mission to Kessel, and have to be refitted to look like Kessel droids. I didn’t realize that Kessel had specific-looking droids, but okay. They’re being sent there to spy on a big Imperial gathering, and learn about the new leader of the Empire. Apparently, every nasty Imperial is going to be at this gladiatorial stadium. Mon Mothma (yes, she’s in this book) also gives Artoo information about the latest prophecy from the Prophets of the Dark Side. This is a group that predicts the future of the galaxy, and their leader, Kadann, has foreseen that the new leader of the Empire would wear the indestructible glove of Darth Vader.
Apparently, the Rebels have a crap-ton of information about the Empire. Which leads me to ask why do you not just mount an attack on the stadium and kill all the Imperials?? God you people are STUPID! But if they did that, I guess this series would be very short.
So anyway, SPIN (our first acronym of the series, short for Senate Planetary Intelligence Network) sends the droids off to Kessel. And Han Solo bids farewell to Leia, saying that he has to go fulfill his dreams of building a sky house on Bespin. A SKY HOUSE ON BESPIN. Han is giving up a life with Leia so he can go build a house with Chewbacca instead.
I’ll just let that one sink in. God, Han, you are STUPID.
Meanwhile the Imperials, led by Trioculus and Grand Moff Hissa, are being dastardly. The Central Committee of Grand Moffs (yes, that’s a thing) have a plan to put Trioculus, former slavelord of Kessel, into power. Once at Kessendra Stadium (I could not make that up even if I tried), Hissa bids everyone Dark Greetings (YES!) and Trioculus declares his rule, stating that he is Palpatine’s son and the rightful heir to the Empire. Some people question this, quoting Kadann’s prophecy. Trioculus bitch-slaps them with the fake Force. And then he goes running to the other grand moffs and says that they must get him the glove of Darth Vader NOW.
(This is where I break in and remark that one of the grand moffs wears earrings shaped like laser guns. LASER GUN EARRINGS. I WANT SOME. Ashley Eckstein, get on this ASAP, okay?)
(Note: I don’t really want laser gun earrings.)
So anyway, Threepio and Artoo get stuck on Kessel but are rescued by Luke and Admiral Ackbar, of course. Because Ackbar doesn’t have anything more important to do. They’re confronted with Imperial probe droids, sent out to find the glove, and make a quick escape. Since they can’t get back to Kessel, they go to Calamari, of course. (It’s called Calamari in this book, not Mon Calamari, or even Mon Cal, or Dac, so that’s what I’m going to call it. Calamari. And just like the book, I’m going to refer to Admiral Ackbar, one of the finest leaders of the Rebellion, as a fishman.)
Calamari is beautiful, with cities above water and only one domed city underwater…which I think has been retconned since then. But anyway. Ackbar tells Luke all about the poor Whaladons, who are being hunted by the Empire for their meat and blubber. This, dear readers, is the environmental subplot of Book 1!
The head of the Imperial Whaladon factory tells Trioculus to come to Calamari NOW, which he does without demanding to know why, because that’s logical of Imperial officers. But it’s a good thing he did, because the glove of Darth Vader is on Calamari! Apparently it got sucked into a wormhole or a space warp or something when the second Death Star exploded. Whatever! All that logic stuff doesn’t matter. What matters is that Trioculus now has the glove of Darth Vader!
But gasp! It doesn’t work for him the way it does Vader. MAYBE BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE THE FORCE, YOU IDIOT.
There’s a big showdown with Luke and Trioculus, and Luke saves the Whaladons, of course. The Whaladon factory explodes, but Trioculus gets away.
In the next book, The Lost City of the Jedi, we meet our titular Jedi Prince, Ken, who’s the biggest Gary Stu to ever grace the GFFA. Yes, even bigger than Corran Horn.