Backlash, by Aaron Allston, is the fourth novel in the Fate of the Jedi series and was released on March 9, 2010. At the end of the book, it has an introduction to Allies. The audio version is narrated by Marc Thompson. The paperback was released on February 22, 2011.
Repercussions from the dark side's fatal seduction of Jacen Solo and the mysterious plague of madness afflicting young Jedi continue to wreak havoc galaxy-wide. Having narrowly escaped the deranged Force worshippers known as the Mind Walkers, and a deadly Sith hit squad, Luke and Ben Skywalker are in pursuit of the now Masterless Sith apprentice. It is a chase that leads to the forbidding planet Dathomir, where an enclave of powerful dark-side Force-wielders will give Vestara the edge she needs to escape—and where the Skywalkers will be forced into combat for their quarry and their lives.
Meanwhile, Han and Leia Solo have completed their own desperate mission, shuttling madness-stricken Jedi from Coruscant to safe haven in the Transitory Mists and beyond the grasp of Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala. But the bold maneuver has intensified Daala's fury, and she is determined to shatter Jedi Order resistance once and for all.
Yet no greater threat exists than that which still waits in the depths of the distant Maw Cluster: A being of pure, ravenous dark-side energy named Abeloth calls out across the stars to Jedi and Sith alike. For some, it may be the ultimate source of answers crucial to their survival. For others, it could be the ultimate weapon of conquest. But for all, it is a game-changing—and life-altering—encounter of untold magnitude, and a tactical gambit with unimaginable consequences.
The novel begins shortly after the ending of the previous book, with Luke and Ben Skywalker narrowly surviving an attack by a Sith assassination squad while exploring Sinkhole Station. The lone survivor of the Sith squad, Vestara Khai, escapes to the planet Dathomir to send a message to the rest of the Lost Tribe of Sith back at their home world of Kesh, all the while intentionally leading Luke and Ben to her location (Luke having used a Dathomiri blood trail technique on her when she wounded him at Sinkhole Station). Luke and Ben soon receive help from Dathomiri individuals such as Dyon Stadd into finding Vestara while Han and Leia Organa Solo, with their daughter and granddaughter, Jaina and Allana respectively, and the latter's nexu cub Anji, C-3PO, and R2-D2, also come to heed the Skywalkers' call. The group soon encounter two tribes; one, a company of Force-sensitive Witches called the Raining Leaves, and the other, a group of freed male slaves called the Broken Columns. These two clans are scheduled to be united after a marathon of physical trials that will last for several days. However, the unification summit is repeatedly attacked by the machinations of the infamous Nightsisters. In order to combat these attacks, Luke and Ben gather up both clans into a singular unit to repel the dangers that the Nightsisters bring.
Meanwhile, during the unification summit, R2-D2 goes missing in the docking bay. Allana, left alone with C-3PO, escapes his presence aboard the Millennium Falcon and decides to investigate Artoo's disappearance. She soon finds out that the astromech droid is being held by the local docking bay worker, Monarg. Allana is caught by Monarg when she tries to free Artoo, but C-3PO arrives and distracts Monarg by letting him beat him while Allana gets the restraining bolt off of Artoo. The little girl and the two droids escape Monarg's shop, but the docking bay worker and his friends try to capture them when the trio escape back aboard the Millennium Falcon. Fortunately, Allana manages to pilot the legendary YT-1300 light freighter away and into the forests of Dathomir without destroying the Falcon.
Meanwhile, Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala is encountering more and more public resistance regarding her treatment of the Jedi. This has been occurring after she sent in a Mandalorian attack squad to try to capture recently stricken Jedi who the Order took before the military could. With public and military dissension growing and increasing comparisons to Palpatine cropping up, she reaches out to Han and Leia, who she gets off of Dathomir with Jaina after Allana is recovered, in hopes of repairing the relationship between the Galactic Alliance and the New Jedi Order. Daala's problems are further exacerbated by an assassination attempt on Imperial Head of State Jagged Fel, conducted thanks to a secret political faction hoping to depose Fel and replace him with Moff Drikl Lecersen. Then there is criticism to her attention to get Tahiri Veila imprisoned for killing Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon two years earlier, which is backed by the fact that Admiral Cha Niathal, who assisted Darth Caedus during the Second Galactic Civil War like Tahiri, hasn't been arrested. This point draws conclusions with Daala being especially biased against the Jedi while letting those like her—those in the military—go free. To counteract this criticism, she asks Niathal to come over to Coruscant in order to face trial and be freed in the end by Daala's hand. But Niathal believes that, even if she is found innocent, no one will ever respect or forgive her for what she did for aiding Caedus, nor can she ever respect or forgive herself, since she doesn't consider helping him to be a mistake. So the Mon Calamari douses her water tank with carbon monoxide and kills herself. Daala grieves for Niathal's loss as she is given a funeral on Coruscant, though the Chief of State is unable to attend the retired Admiral's funeral due to the fact that Daala is facing so much public resistance.
Later, Lecersen attempts to break the cementing peace between Daala and the New Jedi Order by having terrorist Kester Tolann attack the Solos and Jag Fel at dinner in a local restaurant. Tolann is killed, alongside the YVH droids at his side. However, despite the implications from the attack that can point to Daala being the culprit in provoking the assault, Jag is looking for other potential suspects in the Empire who would want to usurp and replace him, with Lecersen being on this list.
Back on Dathomir, the combined forces of the Raining Leaves and Broken Columns manage to counteract the Nightsisters' constant rancor attacks. The increased morale in staving off these assaults causes the two clans to marry automatically and become the Bright Sun Clan. Eventually, the attacks gradually die off and the Nightsisters are defeated. The Bright Suns Clan are able to live in peace on Dathomir.
The Sith eventually arrive and abduct the remaining Nightsisters so that they may join the Lost Tribe, whether they want to or not, despite the attempts of Ben and Luke to stop them. Even as Vestara is caught, so, too, is Halliava Vurse, the traitor to the Raining Leaves who was really a Nightsister; Vurse is left to the justice system of the Bright Suns Clan to determine her fate. With Vestara in custody, as she had always been working for her Sith masters, Luke and Ben return to the spaceport but before leaving, Luke confronts Monarg with the accusation that Vestara's ship didn't crash, but was given to him in exchange for credits to make a hyperspace transmission to the Sith fleet. Vestara acknowledges this, and Monarg is blackmailed into helping the Skywalkers and Dyon Stadd leave Dathomir. Upon leaving the planet, the Jade Shadow is stopped by a fleet of Sith warships. Having no choice, Luke and Ben kill the engines and prepare to be contacted by the Sith.
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Behind the scenesEdit
On page 188, Galactic Alliance Defense Force is erroneously spelled "Galactic Alliance Defense Forcce".
There is a hole in the plot as Ben Skywalker remembers a statement by Tribeless Sha from "when they first met". However, that statement was made to Han and Leia before they reached Luke and Ben.