- "I'm sure he'll grow up into a fine Jedi Knight… years and years from now."
- ―Cha Niathal
Ben Skywalker was a Human male Jedi Knight from Coruscant, active mostly during the Second Galactic Civil War and the period afterward. He was the son of former Emperor's Hand and Jedi Master Mara Jade Skywalker and legendary Rebel hero and Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker, the grandson of the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker, and Padmé Amidala, the cousin of Jacen, Jaina and Anakin Solo, and the ancestor of Cade, Kol and Nat Skywalker. Ben was born amidst the turmoil of the devastating Yuuzhan Vong War, where an extra-galactic species known as the Yuuzhan Vong invaded the galaxy, laying waste to dozens of worlds. As both of his parents were Jedi, they were unable to spend time with him as they fought in the war, so Skywalker was taken care of by his aunt and uncle, former Rebel heroes Han and Leia Solo. He was subsequently moved to the Shelter in the Maw, where many other young Jedi apprentices stayed. The Yuuzhan Vong were eventually repelled and a ceasefire was negotiated, but young Skywalker felt the pain of war through the Force, overwhelming him and causing him to close himself off from the Force for several years.
In 35 ABY, Skywalker, now eight years old, became involved in another galactic crisis. The Killik species had recently been discovered in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, when a group of Jedi Knights heard their telepathic call and followed it to the Unknown Regions. Skywalker became partially joined to the Gorog Killik nest and formed an owner-pet relationship with one of the Gorog Killiks, who was actually trying to turn him against his mother. However, Ben's parents discovered the Killik's plan and captured it. During this time, Skywalker was taken under the wing of his cousin Jacen Solo, who became his informal Jedi Master. Solo, who had just returned to the New Jedi Order after a five-year journey to learn more about the Force, was able to help Skywalker open himself up to the Force gradually, as Skywalker was still apprehensive about the Force and needed years to become fully adjusted to the Force. With Solo's guidance, Skywalker was able to grow confident in his usage of the Force and become a powerful Jedi.
Five years later, the planet of Corellia and the other planets in the Corellian system seceded from the Galactic Alliance, sparking great civil unrest, terrorist attacks, and eventually, the Second Galactic Civil War. During this time, Skywalker joined the Galactic Alliance Guard, a secret police force designed to combat Corellian terrorism, which was led by Jacen Solo. The GAG controversially began interning Corellians on Coruscant, an action which greatly worried his parents. Skywalker was increasingly used on violent missions, including the assassination of Corellian politician Dur Gejjen. Meanwhile, Jacen Solo had fallen to the dark side of the Force under the tutelage of Sith Lady Lumiya, taking the Sith name Darth Caedus. Caedus eventually took over the Galactic Alliance before killing Mara Jade Skywalker. Skywalker correctly believed that Caedus was the killer and attempted to kill Caedus several times, including in a heated battle over Kashyyyk. He decided to legitimately investigate with his friend in the GAG, Lon Shevu, and was able to prove that Caedus had murdered his mother. Eventually Caedus himself was eliminated in a lightsaber duel, and the Second Galactic Civil War ended.
In 43 ABY, Luke Skywalker was exiled from Coruscant by new Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala for failing to prevent Jacen Solo's fall to the dark side, until he could prove the causes of Jacen Solo's fall to the dark side. By that time, anti-Jedi sentiment had risen greatly, especially due to an unexplained madness among young Jedi. Skywalker accompanied his father into exile, where the two visited several Force-based organizations with whom Solo had studied during his five-year sojourn—first the Baran Do, where they discovered a secret sect of monks known as the Hidden Ones, then the secretive Aing-Tii, and then the Mind Walkers in a mysterious space station known as Sinkhole Station. While at the station, the two were attacked by a group of Sith, but the two were able to escape. However, Ben and his father continued to cross paths with the Sith, and after a heated encounter on Dathomir, Ben and his father formed an unprecedented alliance with the Sith in order to defeat Abeloth, the supernatural being who was spreading insanity among the Jedi, and allegedly among young Sith apprentices as well. During this alliance, Ben formed a close relationship with the young Sith apprentice Vestara Khai. Eventually, the Sith betrayed their Jedi allies, though Ben and Luke were able to escape and defeat Abeloth, ending the psychosis. Subsequently, Ben and Luke stayed behind with a few Sith to learn more about Abeloth's origins. After further exploration of Abeloth's planet, Ben, Luke, and Vestara faced off against Abeloth and the Sith once again on Pydyr, severing the alliance as the Skywalkers and Vestara continued their hunt for Abeloth. To Luke's dismay, Ben and Vestara's bond continued to grow despite Vestara's multiple betrayals, eventually evolving into a romantic relationship after Vestara was forced to kill her father and turned to the light side.
Pre-birth (25 ABY–26.5 ABY)
- "I'm just afraid of placing an extra one on his shoulders. Suppose I named him Obi-Wan, as a salute to my old master? Would he think that means that I want him to grow up to be a Jedi? Would he think he had to live up to Ben's reputation?"
- ―Luke Skywalker
In the year 25 ABY, the galaxy was invaded by a previously-unknown extra-galactic species, the Yuuzhan Vong. Although the reigning galactic government, the New Republic, attempted to resist and repel the invaders, the Yuuzhan Vong carved a swath through the New Republic's defenses. In their invasion of the galaxy, the Yuuzhan Vong took to using a variety of creatures native to their own galaxy. One of these bioweapons used by the Yuuzhan Vong in their war waged against the galaxy was the coomb spore, a microorganism engineered by Yuuzhan Vong agent Nom Anor. Anor was an advance scout sent into the galaxy before the main invasion force, and he tested his spores on a group of one hundred New Republic diplomats on the planet Monor II with great success. Only one survived—former Imperial spy and Jedi Master Mara Jade Skywalker.
Using her affinity for the Force and a cure found in the tears of a Fosh ex-Jedi named Vergere, Mara Jade Skywalker was able to hold off the deadly effects of the spores, surviving while all the others infected died. Married to her former enemy in the First Galactic Civil War, Rebel hero and Jedi Master Luke Skywalker six years prior, the couple had yet to have their first child. Since the spores worked by breaking down the molecular structure of its victim, Mara Jade believed that it was impossible for her to have a child, as the spores would surely induce miscarriage. However, one year after the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, Mara Jade Skywalker felt something growing inside of her. At first, she thought it was a recurrence of her disease, but she sensed the essence of her husband Luke inside of it. To her shock, despite the disease, Mara Jade Skywalker was pregnant.
Upon the discovery of her pregnancy, Mara Jade was greatly worried for her unborn baby, believing that the disease could cause mutations in her child. But Luke Skywalker managed to calm her down and assuage her fears, and the two agreed to keep the child's existence a secret. Later in the year 26 ABY, Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker were on an artificial beach on the New Republic capital of Coruscant. Meanwhile, anti-Jedi sentiment among the citizens of the New Republic was growing more prevalent, exacerbated by an offer extended by the Yuuzhan Vong—kill all the Jedi, and the invaders would halt their assault on the Jedi. While the offer was turned down by the New Republic, the galaxy was becoming more and more dangerous for the Jedi Knights. The Skywalkers were on the Coruscant beach when they were informed by Jedi Master Kenth Hamner of an arrest warrant put out on the Skywalkers by New Republic Head of State Borsk Fey'lya for disobeying an order.
While on the beach, she suddenly felt weak and slipped into unconsciousness. She awoke under the care of an MD-10 medical droid and felt her disease attacking her unborn baby. However, the Skywalkers were forced to flee Coruscant due to the warrant and stayed aboard the Errant Venture, an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer owned by former smuggler Booster Terrik which was being used as a makeshift Jedi academy for hiding Jedi students. The Skywalkers immediately sought medical care once aboard the Star Destroyer, and Mara Jade's condition was rapidly worsening. Her coomb spore disease had returned, stronger than ever before, and Mara Jade expended all her energy, keeping it from attacking her womb at the cost of her own health. The Skywalkers were unsure how to handle the situation; the Skywalkers surmised that Jedi healer Cilghal would be able to induce labor, but Mara believed it would kill them both. Desperate, Skywalker attacked the disease with the dark side of the Force, but was stopped by Mara. Skywalker then fought the disease with the light side of the Force, vanquishing the disease, and Mara went into labor. Despite the disease's attack on her body, Mara Jade Skywalker gave birth to a baby boy on the Errant Venture. The Skywalkers would name the boy Ben, after Luke Skywalker's Jedi Master, Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi. After Ben's birth, the Skywalkers were notified by Borsk Fey'lya that they would be allowed to return to Coruscant, and the arrest warrant had been lifted.
Yuuzhan Vong War (26 ABY–29 ABY)
- Han Solo: "You need to catch the starferry Byrt. C-3PO is aboard with your package."
- Leia Organa Solo: "It's my fault. Viqi Shesh ambushed us in the docking bay, and I was so furious—"
- Mara Jade Skywalker: "Leia, don't worry. We'll get him back."
- ―Han and Leia Solo inform Mara Jade Skywalker of Ben's kidnapping[src]
From the moment of his birth, the infant Skywalker was kept close to his parents due to their concerns for his safety. During this time, Skywalker was looked after by a nanny droid named Nanna. Shortly after his birth Skywalker accompanied his mother and father to Bilbringi, where his parents and a fellow Jedi, the Barabel Saba Sebatyne, watched an important meeting between New Republic representatives Han and Leia Organa Solo and the recently-captured Nom Anor. While the meeting was going on, the infant Ben stayed in his mother's starship, Jade Shadow, accompanied by his cousin Jaina Solo and New Republic scientist and Skywalker family friend Danni Quee. Anor was set free once the meeting was concluded, and Skywalker and his parents returned to his birthplace, the Errant Venture. While aboard the Venture, Skywalker broke out into an uncontrollable fit of crying which his parents could not ease. However, when his aunt Leia Organa Solo asked to hold him, to Luke and Mara Jade's surprise, the infant calmed down almost instantly.
Skywalker remained aboard the Errant Venture while his parents were away during the New Republic victory at Talfaglio, and he was returned to Luke and Mara Jade after the battle. The infant was later taken to stay with his aunt and uncle, Han and Leia Solo, in their home on Coruscant. Little did his family know, a plot had been formulated by the Yuuzhan Vong to kidnap Ben Skywalker, with traitorous New Republic Senator Viqi Shesh as the kidnapper. Shesh initially attempted to take Skywalker in his aunt and uncle's home, but her plan was foiled. A short time later, Coruscant was attacked by the Yuuzhan Vong. Amidst the chaos of the battle, Shesh made a desperate second attempt to kidnap Skywalker. The Solos were confronted by Shesh in a Coruscant docking bay, but the Solos did not allow their nephew to fall into Shesh's hands. They placed the infant under the care of their protocol droid, C-3PO, entrusting Ben's safety to him while they tried to apprehend Shesh. However, in the confusion, C-3PO was swept aboard a starferry named the Byrt, with Skywalker still in its arms.
Once the Solos realized that Skywalker had ended up on the Byrt, they quickly alerted Ben's parents. Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker promptly set out in their X-Wing starfighters, hoping to catch up to the ferry and retrieve their child. At the same time, Shesh notified the Yuuzhan Vong invasion force of Skywalker's presence aboard the Byrt. The Yuuzhan Vong reached the Byrt first and began searching the vessel for Skywalker. Fortunately for Skywalker, family friend Lando Calrissian and a squad of YVH droids boarded the ship afterward and attacked the Yuuzhan Vong. C-3PO made his way to the starferry's escape pod bay in the hope of fleeing the craft with his charge intact, but Shesh and her warriors kept up their pursuit. The chaos of the skirmish aboard the Byrt upset Skywalker, who began wailing loudly despite C-3PO's best efforts to calm him. Shesh, hiding from Calrissian's advancing YVH droids across the corridor, heard Skywalker's cries and investigated. Panicked, C-3PO stowed Skywalker in a locker and entered an escape pod in Bay 14, from which he used his vocal functions to simulate the sounds of a crying Human infant. Shesh and her warriors fell for the bait and charged into the escape pod, hurling C-3PO back out into the bay. Before Shesh could realize her error, the protocol droid ejected the pod into space and retrieved Skywalker from the locker. Skywalker was taken safely out of the battlezone, although Coruscant was abandoned to the Yuuzhan Vong.
- "Do you think Leia will baby-sit for us?"
"I suspect she'll be very happy to."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker and Luke Skywalker discuss leaving Ben with Leia and Han Solo
After the fall of Coruscant, the infant Skywalker was kept for several days in a Jedi stronghold called Eclipse Station, hidden on the Deep Core planet of the same name. Soon afterward, he was reunited with the rest of his family on the planet Hapes. Ben's family had gathered there to pay their last respects to Ben's cousin Anakin Solo, who had been killed while fighting in a Jedi assault on the Yuuzhan Vong–controlled planet of Myrkr. With the Skywalker family together once more, Mara Jade Skywalker resumed motherly duties for Ben.
A few days later, the scattered New Republic forces led by General Wedge Antilles were able to carve out a foothold on the planet Borleias, which had been used as a staging point for the attack on Coruscant. The Skywalker family, Ben included, went to the planet and stayed in the military garrison established by the New Republic on still-contested Borleias. Mara Jade Skywalker had fully committed herself to staying with and raising Ben—not only to be able to spend time with her newborn child, but to protect him after Viqi Shesh's ill-fated kidnapping attempt. During the Borleias occupation, Ben was carried by his mother everywhere she went, an arrangement that Luke Skywalker saw as irrational.
Thirty-seven days into the Borleias occupation, Skywalker's parents left him with his Aunt Leia and Uncle Han once again, departing to the Yuuzhan Vong–controlled Coruscant to combat an evil sensed on the planet. Believing that Ben wasn't safe on occupied Borleias, the Solos transported Ben to the Shelter, a space station situated in the perilous black hole cluster known as the Maw. The Shelter, under the care of Jedi Masters Kam and Tionne Solusar, had been used as a praxeum for Jedi younglings since the original Praxeum on Yavin 4 was attacked by the Yuuzhan Vong–sympathizing Peace Brigade in 26 ABY. Although Luke and Mara Jade were focused on combating the evil on Coruscant, they greatly missed Ben while they were apart.
The end of the war
- "Ben will be fine. I saw him fine."
- ―Luke Skywalker
After the crushing defeat and loss of Coruscant, the New Republic underwent a political metamorphosis. During the Fall of Coruscant, New Republic Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya was killed when he detonated a bomb in the Imperial Palace on Coruscant. Elections to select a new Chief of State were held in 28 ABY, with New Republic Advisory Councilman Cal Omas winning in a landslide. The war with the Yuuzhan Vong continued on, with the New Republic—once the defenders of the Core—now trying to take it back. In 28 ABY, the New Republic won a massive victory over the newly-christened Yuuzhan Vong Empire in the Battle of Ebaq 9, resulting in the loss of half the Yuuzhan Vong fleet and the death of Yuuzhan Vong Warmaster Tsavong Lah. Following the battle, Omas realized that a new government would be needed if the galaxy was to survive the horrors of the Yuuzhan Vong War. A massive reorganization ensued, and the new federal system was named the Galactic Alliance.
In 29 ABY, the Galactic Alliance military forces began a great push toward Coruscant, toward taking back the Core and defeating the extra-galactic invaders once and for all. One of the keys to the Alliance war effort was the sentient planet Zonama Sekot—the seed of the original Yuuzhan Vong planet, Yuuzhan'tar, that had made its way to Ben's galaxy. Luke Skywalker was able to ascertain the location of said planet, landing on it with Mara Jade and several other Jedi. While on Zonama Sekot, Luke revealed his visions of Ben's future to Mara, assuring her that he would make it through the war safely.
Eventually, Luke Skywalker led the Galactic Alliance forces to a victory at Coruscant, killing Yuuzhan Vong Supreme Overlord Shimrra and his master Onimi. At long last, the Yuuzhan Vong threat had been defeated. With the risk to the Jedi over, the Errant Venture brought the Jedi younglings from the Shelter to Zonama Sekot, with Ben among them. There, Ben was reunited with his parents for the first time in two years. With his parents, Ben attended the Conclave on Zonama Sekot, a post-war Jedi meeting to discuss future directions for the Order. During Ben's short time on Zonama Sekot, he formed an attachment to the living planet, and it upset him when he had to depart. The war was over, and Ben finally was together with his family.
Dark Nest Crisis (35–36 ABY)
A new threat
- "Gorog's no assassin! She's my best friend."
- ―Ben Skywalker
Slowly but surely, the galaxy worked to rebuild itself after the devastating Yuuzhan Vong War. However, the Skywalker family had another problem to deal with: Ben. Due to the anguish that he felt in the Force during the Yuuzhan Vong War, Ben closed himself off from the Force, hiding his presence from his family and friends. Ben would explain this by asserting that he wanted to "do things the hard way", like his non–Force-sensitive uncle Han Solo. However, despite wanting to be cut off from the Force, Ben would still sometimes have Force-induced visions and dreams, frightening the young boy. Thus, even though he was of age, Ben did not attend the Jedi Praxeum on Ossus. By the year 35 ABY, Ben had grown into a mischievous child and was often looked after by Nanna when his parents were away on Jedi business. Ben often impressed his parents with his sheer mechanical aptitude, occasionally tricking Nanna into shutting down.
In 35 ABY, a group of Jedi Knights consisting of Jaina Solo, the Chadra-Fan Tekli, the Twi'lek Alema Rar, Zekk, the Barabel Tesar Sebatyne, the Wookiee Lowbacca, and Tahiri Veila heard a mysterious call through the Force and simultaneously departed to the Unknown Regions to find the source. After discovering the group's departure, Ben accompanied his parents and Tesar's mother, Saba Sebatyne, in a mission to find the missing Knights. In their search, they came across the Colony, a group of nests of the insectoid Killik species, which had been lost for millennia. The Colony had been in a border dispute with the Chiss Ascendancy, the portion of the galaxy ruled by the Chiss species. There, Ben's cousin Jacen Solo, who—while on a five-year journey to learn more of the Force—had also heard the call, discovered the source: Raynar Thul, a Jedi Knight who had been lost eight years before on the mission to Myrkr that had claimed Anakin Solo's life.
The Skywalkers later found that the rogue Jedi Knights had been partially assimilated into one of the Killik nests, as well as the truth about Thul: he had become UnuThul, the leader of the Unu nest. While Ben and his family were on Yoggoy, one of the Colony-affiliated planets, the Skywalkers were attacked by hostile blue-black colored Killiks, a type previously unknown to the rest of the Colony. These were in fact Gorog Killiks, part of the so-called Dark Nest, a shadowy influence which was able to hide its presence and its malign influence from the rest of the Colony. After the skirmish, the Skywalkers met with the AWOL Jedi, who asserted that the Killiks were innocent victims in their border struggle with the Chiss. As the Jedi finally returned to Alliance space with Tesar, Tekli, Veila, and Jacen in tow, a Gorog assassin stowed away on the Jade Shadow.
While the Gorog assassin was hiding aboard the Jade Shadow, Ben came across the insect and became friends with it. Ben saw the Killik as his "pet", but kept its presence a secret from his parents for fear that they would take the Gorog away from him. Ben formed a bond with the Killik, to the point where he was able to understand the Killik. The Killik had its own agenda, however—to undermine Ben's relationship with his mother and ultimately turn him against her. Nevertheless, Luke and Mara became alerted that something strange was happening when a large amount of gelmeat went missing, seemingly more than the child could eat himself. The Skywalkers finally discovered the Killik stowaway itself some time later. Saba Sebatyne, who had stayed behind in Colony space, was attacked and badly injured by a Joiner Dark Jedi named Welk, who had disappeared from known space after kidnapping Raynar Thul on the Myrkr mission eight years before. Sebatyne was gravely wounded, but survived and realized that Gorog Killiks may have sneaked aboard the Jade Shadow. Sebatyne revealed this to Leia Organa Solo, who relayed the information to Mara on Ossus. Mara was stunned by the news and immediately rushed into Ben's room and forced Ben to confess that he had been hiding the Killik. While Mara and Ben argued, the Killik attacked, injuring her, but was in turn wounded in the thorax by Mara's lightsaber. Mara, irate at Ben's disobedience, ordered him to go explain his actions to his father.
In the meantime, Alema Rar, one of the Jedi who had originally ventured into the Colony space, had become a Joiner to the Gorog nest. Under the influence of the Gorog, she unsuccessfully attacked Leia Organa Solo and was stunned, drugged, and brought to Ossus for an examination. Under the eye of resident Jedi healer Cilghal, she was examined side-by-side with Ben's incapacitated Gorog friend. The experiments performed on her revealed much about the mental bond shared by Joiners. Once the tests ended, Rar found a way to escape, bringing the Gorog along with her. Ben was present at the time of Rar's escape with the Gorog and was greatly saddened by the loss of his friend. As Rar and the Gorog sped away from Ossus in a stolen skiff, Ben received a final message from the Killik, who said that she wanted Ben to be happy. When he told Luke of the Gorog's message, Luke realized that Ben had become part-Joiner, as he could not have felt it through the Force. Ben's parents departed soon after to return to Colony space, leaving Ben alone once more in the Ossus Jedi Praxeum. Ben was initially depressed when he heard that his parents were leaving, but he quickly cheered up when his cousin Jacen Solo promised to stay with him on Ossus in Luke and Mara's absence.
Regaining his connection to the Force
- "You're not married, and you had a baby! You guys are going to be in so much trouble."
- ―Ben to Jacen and Tenel Ka after seeing Allana
While under the care of his cousin Jacen, Ben slowly opened himself up to the Force. Ben started to use the Force in a limited form but was only comfortable using the Force around Jacen. Thus, Jacen became Ben's unofficial Jedi Master as Ben explored his relationship with the Force. In 36 ABY, while alongside his cousin, Jacen received a message from his friend, Hapan Queen Mother and former Jedi Knight Tenel Ka Djo, asking him to meet with her in secret on the planet Hapes. Jacen decided to allow Ben to come with him, although Djo did not know that he would be accompanying Jacen. Since the meeting was supposed to be in secret, Ben and Jacen sneaked into the Hapan Fountain Palace, the residence of the Queen Mother. Despite their best efforts to avoid detection, they were discovered by DD-11A, a YVH droid in the Queen Mother's services. Upon learning of Jacen and Ben's identities, DD-11A took them to Djo. When they reached the Queen Mother's chambers, Jacen told Ben to remain outside with DD-11A. However, Ben used his mechanical skills to deactivate the droid and entered Djo's chambers. Upon meeting the Queen Mother, Ben met her newborn daughter and learned that Jacen was the father. However, when Ben revealed his desire to inform Han and Leia about their new granddaughter, Djo insisted that Ben keep her existence secret.
Suddenly, DD-11A, having been reactivated, alerted them to an insect infestation in the ceiling. Using his partial immersion into the Killik hive-mind, Skywalker sensed that the insects that DD-11A had detected were of Gorog. Through the hive-mind, he learned that the Gorog were intent on killing Jacen and Djo's child. Panicked, Skywalker ran toward a hidden escape tunnel that he had sensed, hoping to escape the Palace. However, Djo and Jacen would not allow him to leave through the tunnel, as they believed that the escape tunnel would lead them into a Gorog trap. At that moment, the Gorog broke through the ceiling, attacking the group. DD-11A sprang into action to defend them, but Skywalker, who was in Djo's Force grasp, thrashed about, screaming at the droid not to kill the Gorog. To stop Ben's flailing and shouting, Jacen used the Force to pinch down on the boy's carotid arteries in his neck, putting Ben into a deep sleep. In a frenzied battle, the group—with Djo's child in tow—was able to escape the ambush. Jacen used a memory rub on his cousin to eliminate any of Ben's recollections about seeing the new baby, and the two continued with their planned camping trip to Endor, where they visited Moon Falls. When Ben's father later confronted him about the memory rub, Jacen claimed that he had done so in order to erase the traumatic memory of a gorax attack on an Ewok village, which infuriated the Jedi Master.
Meanwhile, on the Killik world of Woteba, Han Solo and Ben's father Luke Skywalker were taken prisoner by the Colony. The two were being held by UnuThul, formerly Raynar Thul, in an attempt to make Luke and Han become Joiners. At the same time, Saba Sebatyne and Leia Organa Solo were taken captive by Galactic Alliance Admiral Nek Bwua'tu aboard the Victory I-class Star Destroyer Admiral Ackbar. Bwua'tu had impounded their ship, the Millennium Falcon, in the Utegetu Nebula for breaking the Alliance blockade placed on the region. This caused widespread debate amongst the Jedi ranks, with Jedi arguing over whether they should risk the possibility of war to save Han and Luke. On Ossus with Jacen, Ben witnessed one such argument between several Jedi and received a assurance from Jacen, his cousin Jaina Solo, and Zekk that none of the prisoners were in any danger whatsoever. During their discussion, which included Ben describing their trip to Moon Falls on Endor, Jacen had to repeatedly mind-rub Ben to keep him from remembering the incident on Hapes.
The Swarm War
- "Does Ben really need to be part of this?"
"Sorry, but I think he does. Now that Jacen has convinced him that it's safe to open himself to the Force, Ben will have to make the same decision as everyone else."
- ―Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker regarding the choice of whether to stay in the Jedi Order
By 36 ABY, the conflict that would be dubbed the Swarm War had broken out between a coalition consisting of the Jedi, the Galactic Alliance, and the Chiss Ascendancy against the Dark Nest and the Colony. The issues concerning the Jedi Order's role in the conflict caused a rift in the Order, with one side led by Jedi Master Corran Horn arguing that the Jedi should support the Galactic Alliance on the issue, and another side led by Master Kyp Durron contending that the Jedi should keep their own counsel on the matter. On Ossus, Ben Skywalker was present at a meeting of the Jedi Order called by Luke Skywalker, where he directly addressed the division in the Order, asking every member of the Jedi Order to rethink their commitment to the Jedi. Luke asked the Jedi to place the good of the Order over all else, and to obey the directions chosen by their superiors. If one had different loyalties or priorities ahead of the Order, Luke asked them to leave the Jedi Order.
After the meeting, several of the Masters came together to discuss what just occurred. Feeling that they would be out of place in the discussion, Han Solo offered to let Ben work on the Millennium Falcon with him, a prospect that excited the boy. However, Master Kenth Hamner asked Solo to stay with them, which disappointed Ben, due to the fact that he would not be able to test his mechanical abilities on his uncle's starship. Dejected, Ben returned home with his droid Nanna.
Across the galaxy, in the Unknown Regions, the Swarm War raged on. Skirmishes at Thyferra and Sarm culminated in the devastating Battle of Tenupe. In the battle, a Galactic Alliance force led by Gilad Pellaeon and Nek Bwua'tu fought alongside the Jedi and the Chiss Ascendancy, which was led into battle by Aristocra Chaf'orm'bintrano and Captain Jagged Fel. In the climactic battle, the Allied force defeated the Dark Nest–influenced Colony forces, causing the death of millions. Luke Skywalker personally dueled and slew Dark Nest Queen Lomi Plo, and Jedi Knight–turned–Dark Nest Joiner Alema Rar—having ascended to the position of Gorog Night Herald—was presumably killed. The Swarm War was finally over.
Second Galactic Civil War (40 ABY–41 ABY)
Mission to Adumar
- "What we just did makes us spies."
- ―Ben Skywalker
Over the next several years, Ben Skywalker continued to train with Jacen Solo, becoming his apprentice. However, he was not a true Jedi, as he had not completed any of the Academy tests. By 40 ABY, Skywalker had grown into a teenager, strong in the Force, and would accompany his older cousin on many dangerous missions. Ben had progressed slowly and cautiously, but had grown to be more open and trusting of the Force, which Jacen Solo surmised would keep him from giving in to the temptations of the dark side or hormone rushes typical for Human teenagers. Skywalker had become a precocious, bright, and inventive boy, one that was largely obedient to Solo. In 40 ABY, Skywalker traveled with Solo on a covert mission to the world of Adumar to investigate whether the Dammant Killers missile-manufacturing plant was selling arms to planets that had become close to rebellion in the few years between 36 ABY and 40 ABY. The two posed as Jedi investigators checking up on the plant for the Galactic Alliance, and were nervously guided through the facility by Adumari Dammant Killers employee Testan ke Harran. Solo and Skywalker exploited Jedi mystique to intimidate Harran and the plant workers. On their tour, the adept Jedi felt uneasiness through the Force pertaining to a section of a wall. Astonishing Harran, Skywalker ignited his lightsaber and cut through the wall, revealing a secret section of the plant containing missiles that had not been reported to the Galactic Alliance.
Their secret exposed, a force of twenty guards came out to confront the Jedi. The confrontation resulted in a firefight between Jacen Solo and the guards, with Solo holding off the Adumari while Ben relayed the report on the unreported missiles back to the Galactic Alliance. Their mission complete, Solo and Skywalker escaped the plant itself by hitching a ride on the top of a turbolift car, using Skywalker's grapnel hook to get a grip on the building—pulling them outside—and subsequently using a series of Force acrobatics to escape. Upon escaping the plant, they soon found themselves in the streets of the Adumari city of Cartann, with an Adumari fighter in hot pursuit. They were able to use the Force to destroy the fighter, ending the immediate danger. After transmitting evidence of the Dammant Killers' crime to the Galactic Alliance, Skywalker and Solo boarded an armored Lambda-class shuttle and returned to Coruscant.
- "Anakin Solo's dead. He died when I was little."
"Yes, I did die, and I became a ghost, and I was eventually drawn here to inhabit this mutated clone body, where I could help my ancestors, the Corellians."
"That's not a clone body, it's a droid body."
"You're wrong, little cousin. Or you're deliberately trying to confuse me. I suspect the latter. You're here to sabotage this station, aren't you? To destroy it, so the Corellians can never enjoy freedom and independence?"
"Boy, have they got you programmed."
- ―Ben Skywalker and Anakin Sal-Solo
After returning to Coruscant, Solo and Skywalker were assigned a mission by Luke Skywalker: destroy or disable the ancient moon-sized space station Centerpoint Station. The operation was motivated by intelligence indicating that the Corellian government was making military preparations to bolster their political moves toward independence—secretly constructing an assault fleet and also attempting to render Centerpoint Station operational once again. More generally, the strike was conceived as a show of force—a means of eliminating the problem of Corellia's stridently anti-Coruscant government and discouraging dissent and unrest within the Alliance. The mission was dubbed "Operation Roundabout". Solo and Skywalker would comprise one of five Jedi teams on Operation Roundabout, Team Mynock, with the objective of destroying or disabling Centerpoint. The other four teams—Team Slashrat, Team Purella, Team Tauntaun, and Team Womp Rat—would work toward other objectives designed to end anti–Galactic Alliance dissent in the Corellian system.
Solo and Skywalker were to be assisted in their mission by a Galactic Alliance spy, Toval Seyah, who possessed an intricate knowledge in Centerpoint Station's layout and workings. Seyah put them through several simulated scenarios, designed to prepare them for facing a Corellian Security Force outfit in an effort to reach the station's main control room and ultimately destroy the station. Skywalker, however, repeatedly failed these simulations, causing Solo to doubt whether Skywalker should take part in the mission. Finally, the two Jedi and Seyah took a shuttle to Centerpoint Station, but Seyah and Solo were quickly separated from Skywalker. Solo was caught in an anti-Jedi trap baited by Thrackan Sal-Solo, Solo's relative and the Head of State of Corellia, who had ordered that Centerpoint Station be reactivated. Skywalker was left alone and had to try to complete the mission by himself. Despite his fear of being alone on a dangerous mission, Skywalker stayed committed to the objective. Determined, Skywalker set out for the station's repulsor control chamber.
Using his smaller size and his skill in stealth, Skywalker was able to sneak past CorSec checkpoints and guard stations to get closer to his destination. However, while sneaking around inside the station, Skywalker surmised that the only reason that he was forced to move so slowly and deliberately was because the enemy knew they were facing Jedi. Thinking that he didn't have to be a Jedi at that particular moment, he removed his Jedi robe, took all his Jedi accoutrements off, and dashed toward his destination. While sprinting toward the chamber, Skywalker was stopped by a security guard, who denied him entrance to the chamber. Skywalker responded by tricking the man, telling him that his father was in the chamber and that Skywalker wanted to make sure he was all right. He then darted off, the guard reluctantly allowing him to pass. Having tricked the guard into letting him pass, Skywalker continued his approach to the repulsor control chamber. However, he ran into a group of two CorSec officers and a combat droid guarding the entrance. At first, Skywalker tried to guilt them into letting him through, but when that failed, Skywalker attacked them, destroying the droid and escaping into the control room as the agents sealed the door.
Inside the control room at last, Skywalker looked for the main control console. What he found instead was Anakin Sal-Solo, a droid that had been programmed by Thrackan Sal-Solo to believe that it was Skywalker's late cousin Anakin Solo, who had been dead for nearly fifteen years. Anakin Sal-Solo believed he was Anakin Solo's spirit inhabiting a mutated clone body, with one purpose: to serve the Corellians. In reality, Anakin Solo had used Centerpoint Station years before in the Yuuzhan Vong War, and the Corellian teams trying to get the station operational again needed Solo's biometric signature to use it again. So, Anakin Sal-Solo was built to utilize the late Jedi's fingerprints and brain waves, in the hopes that Centerpoint would respond. Seeing as Anakin Sal-Solo was the only thing standing in the way of Skywalker carrying out his mission, Skywalker attempted to use a holocam to take Sal-Solo's picture and show it to him, proving that he was actually a droid. Sal-Solo pulled it away, examining it to make sure it was not a blaster disguised as a holocam. Eventually Skywalker was able to convince Sal-Solo that he was not Anakin Solo. Skywalker felt guilty for telling the droid that it was not Solo, but nevertheless ordered the droid to use its knowledge of the repulsor system to destroy the station. However, the droid refused to take the lives of those aboard, but promised Skywalker that he would not allow it to be reactivated by the Corellians, although it would mean the droid's eventual destruction. Skywalker and the droid shared a tearful farewell, and Skywalker departed the chamber. Solo and Skywalker then escaped the station along with Seyah.
After the mission had concluded, Skywalker refused to talk about what had happened. He only related the events to his father and wasn't able to bring himself to accept congratulations or speak to anyone else. Thereafter, Skywalker would have a guilty look in his eyes when reminded of the operation, remembering his encounter with and subsequent destruction of Anakin Sal-Solo.
Attack on Toryaz Station
- "We should all go there together, to Corellia. Us and Jacen and Jaina. And we should hammer on Thrackan Sal-Solo until he admits what he did, and lock him away so he doesn't do it anymore."
- ―Ben Skywalker
After Operation Roundabout, a peace conference was held on Toryaz Station, a space station near Kuat's moon Ronay. The Galactic Alliance, led by Gilad Pellaeon, met with Five World Prime Minister Aidel Saxan, who represented the five worlds of the Corellian system. The meeting was held to negotiate the return of the planet Tralus to the Five Worlds government, after it had been captured by Galactic Alliance Admiral Matric Klauskin during Operation Roundabout. Luke Skywalker led a contingent of Jedi to protect the diplomats, and Ben Skywalker was among them. The first meeting between the two sides lasted for four hours, with neither side reaching a conclusion. The diplomats and their Jedi guardians then retired for the night.
While Skywalker and the rest slept, the station came under attack by a mysterious black-armored commando force, catching them unaware. The Jedi quickly moved to try and fight them off, but Skywalker was not able to partake in the battle. To protect him, Jacen Solo flipped Skywalker's bed over as he slept, covering him with it to shield him from their mysterious attackers. Despite their best efforts to save the diplomats, Aidel Saxan was killed with a blaster bolt to the chest. However, they were able to save Gilad Pellaeon from any harm. The motive for the attack was unknown, but Han Solo hypothesized that it was aimed at Jacen Solo, as retaliation for Operation Roundabout. Upon hearing this theory, Skywalker became frightened, since if the commandos were after Solo because of Centerpoint, they would also be after him.
After the attack, Skywalker was pulled aside by his parents for a discussion over his thoughts on the matter. While conversing with them, Skywalker suggested that they, as a family, go to Corellia and imprison Thrackan Sal-Solo because he thought that it could stop a future war with Corellia. That proposal was rejected by Luke Skywalker, who believed that if Corellia truly wanted independence, they should have it. Ben disagreed, stating that according to Jacen Solo, the secession of Corellia would cause unrest. His parents went on to tell him to watch out for people who said that they know the right answer on an issue, referencing his constant agreeing with Jacen Solo. Afterward, Skywalker related to them that sometimes he hated being a Jedi, a feeling that his father had as well.
- "While Jacen and I were arguing about procedure, you were doing what a Jedi should—being mindful of the Force."
- ―Nelani Dinn commends Ben Skywalker after the incident with Ordith Huarr
While investigating the scene of the assault, Jacen Solo discovered tassels with inscriptions written upon them in different languages. While trying to decode the message, Solo was referred to the world of Lorrd, a repository of academic information. In the hopes that the scholars of Lorrd could translate the message, Solo traveled to the planet, bringing Skywalker along with him. Solo contacted the Jedi assigned to Lorrd, Nelani Dinn, telling her about the tassels and asking her to find someone able to decode them. Upon landing in Lorrd City and meeting Dinn, they were pointed to Dr. Heilan Rotham, a linguist who specialized in the field of tactile writing and recording methods. The three Jedi traveled together to Dr. Rotham's office, who succeeded in translating the first inscription. But before Rotham could continue her work, Dinn was called away by an emergency transmission. Leaving Rotham with the tassels, Skywalker and Solo went off to accompany Dinn on her duty.
The Jedi trio raced to the Lorrd City Spaceport but were faced with an odd situation upon arriving; a Galactic Civil War veteran named Ordith Huarr was aboard an old Y-wing starfighter, and was threatening to launch missiles at housing districts unless he could speak with a Jedi. Dinn tried to reason with Huarr, who believed that he had seen and spoken to a Force ghost of his late wife. Although Dinn tried to convince Huarr to disarm himself, Solo decided to use the Force to disable the Y-wing and end the threat. While Dinn admonished Solo for using such extreme methods, Skywalker examined the Y-wing. Skywalker felt a surge of despair and determination from Huarr, and screamed for the other two Jedi and Lorrd Security Force agents to get away from the vehicle. Huarr then fired the missiles, destroying the starfighter but leveling the building in front of him. Skywalker was shell-shocked afterward, but cheered up when he was informed that there were no casualties in the explosion. As a reward for his actions, Solo let Skywalker have the rest of that day to himself.
While enjoying his day off in the spaceport, Skywalker found a shuttle that matched one that had been seen escaping Toryaz Station after the earlier attack. Skywalker checked the spaceport's registry and found that the shuttle belonged to a Commenor native named Brisha Syo, who was not present at the time. Skywalker reported the suspicious nature of the shuttle to Lorrd Security Force Lieutenant Neav Samran and placed a tracking device on the shuttle's hull in case Syo sneaked aboard and discreetly left. Skywalker returned to Dr. Rotham's office after finding the shuttle, entering just as Rotham revealed her translations of the tassels. Once Rotham was finished, Skywalker told Dinn and Solo of the shuttle's discovery.
Skywalker was awoken the next day by Solo, who informed them that another situation that required Jedi assistance had been reported. After getting up and retrieving his equipment, Skywalker, Solo, and Dinn went to the Lorrd Academy for Aquatic Studies. Inside, a man had strapped explosives between himself and a hostage named Serom Haxan, and was holding a large group of beings against their will. Solo went up to speak with the man, who identified himself as Doctor Movac Arisster, a professor at the University of Pangalactic Cultural Studies. Arisster believed that he had met with deceased Old Republic era Jedi Knight Aayla Secura, who instructed him to get the attention of the Jedi. Arisster was stricken with cancer and had little time left to live and therefore wanted to live on after his death by defeating a Jedi. He intended to accomplish this by denying the Jedi a happy ending, stopping the Jedi from saving his hostages. Solo tried to negotiate with Arisster, but found it impossible. Solo used the Force to detonate the explosives, killing Haxan and Arisster, but saving the rest of the captives. After the incident, Skywalker and Dinn argued with Solo over his methods, with Skywalker telling Solo that he had done wrong.
These odd encounters continued to occur, as the day after the trio of Jedi had to save the kidnapped daughter of a prominent businesswoman, who was being held in steam tunnels beneath the School of Conceptual Design. She was rescued after Skywalker crawled through a steam pipe and dropping into the kidnapped girl's chamber, defending it against all comers until Solo, Dinn, and the security forces could storm and secure the tunnels. The kidnapping's mastermind, who died during the attack, was a frustrated radical who wanted to replace Lorrd's planetary government. His surviving allies stated that the girl appeared to him in a dream and recommended the kidnapping. Later that same day, a man named Borth Pazz, dressed in Jedi-style robes and wielding a nonfunctional lightsaber stolen from a museum, climbed to the top of a building and threatened to leap to his death unless he was admitted to the Jedi Order. Solo climbed to the summit to speak with the man, who had no Force capabilities whatsoever, and allowed the man to jump. Skywalker and Dinn used the Force to slow the man's fall, leaving him with only a broken ankle. As the man was carted off by medical personnel, Skywalker received a transmission from Lieutenant Samran, who informed the Jedi that Brisha Syo had been found and taken into custody.
- "You're not my mother."
"Good. Then it won't be a family crime to cut you down."
- ―Ben Skywalker and the phantom of his mother
The Jedi trio went directly to the jailhouse where Syo was being kept by LSF forces and proceeded to interrogate her. Syo quickly and readily admitted to her involvement with the odd disturbances that had been occurring on Lorrd, and revealed her Force-sensitivity. Syo stated that she heard the thoughts of people planning evil deeds through the Force, and she told those people that their victory would be greater if they defeated the Jedi. She also admitted that she was present during the events at Toryaz Station but denied that she was actually involved in the assault. She related that she was watching Jacen Solo and came to Lorrd to follow and test him. She then invited the Jedi to her home, a planetoid in a star system in the vicinity of Bimmiel. Skywalker warned that it was a trap, but Solo decided to accept her invitation. Skywalker reluctantly decided to accompany him and Dinn.
The Jedi and Syo traveled to her home, which was a former mining station that was once inhabited by a species of mynock-like sentients. Over time, the species learned to wield the Force and permeated the caverns with dark side energy. The species eventually went extinct, and a mining operation was set up on the asteroids. The director, a Force-sensitive, realized the power of the dark side energy in the planetoid and would become Sith Lord Darth Vectivus. After telling Vectivus' story, Syo revealed her true reason for leading them to her home; in the caverns, where the dark side power was greater and more focused, there was a Sith Lord, and Syo did not think she should face him alone. Upon learning this, the three Jedi accompanied Syo on a turbolift on its way down to the bottom level of the habitat, but Skywalker suddenly felt himself being grabbed by the collar and hurled out of the lift and into the darkness of the caverns.
Ben found himself floating in the minimal gravity of the lower levels, with Dinn alongside him, and Syo and Solo nowhere in sight. Skywalker and Dinn were then suddenly attacked by a swarm of mynocks, but quickly realized that the mynocks were nothing more than projections of the Force, although they were still dangerous. After fending off the mynocks, Skywalker found that Dinn was gone; in her place was his mother, Mara Jade Skywalker. Skywalker was forced to duel with his mother, who was strangely hostile to him, but realized that she was just another Force projection like the mynocks. Skywalker was bested by the apparition of his mother, and found himself once again hurtling through the caverns.
Meanwhile, Syo revealed to Solo that she was actually Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith. She also told Solo that his former mentor, Vergere, was a Sith as well and had sacrificed herself to make sure that Solo would become a Dark Lord of the Sith. Dinn intervened, having overheard the conversation, and tried to convince Solo that Lumiya was lying, to no avail. Solo yielded to Lumiya's views, and a concerned Dinn tried to attack Lumiya. The duel raged until Solo stopped it and turned on Dinn, spurred on by a Force vision of Luke Skywalker dying if Dinn was left alive. A battle ensued, ending when Solo ran Dinn through with his lightsaber, killing the Jedi. After the fight, Solo bowed to Lumiya and pledged to learn the ways of the Sith. On his way out of the caverns, Solo picked up a groggy and disoriented Skywalker and memory-rubbed him, making him forget the events at the Home. Confused, Skywalker asked about Dinn and Lumiya's whereabouts. Solo lied to Skywalker, saying that Dinn was killed by Force phantoms and that Lumiya died of her injuries.
- "I can feel a threat, but it's a long way away. Like a really bad storm coming."
- ―Ben Skywalker
A short time after returning from the Home, Skywalker and Solo met with Cal Omas, the Galactic Alliance Chief of State, and Cha Niathal in the Galactic Senate building on Coruscant. By then, the events of Operation Roundabout had become a major news event, being discussed in news outlets all across the galaxy. Skywalker, however, was disappointed by the lack of publicity given to his actions during the raid on Centerpoint. Solo, citing the increase of support for Corellia among Galactic Alliance constituents, asked Omas to declare war on Corellia, since he believed that war was inevitable anyway. After hearing the argument presented by Solo, Omas refused his request, fearing that the Galactic Alliance might transform into a government akin to the Galactic Empire. After the conversation, Skywalker questioned why the conflict was happening in the first place, since both Omas and Han Solo were afraid of the Galactic Alliance becoming a tyrannical government, but were on different sides. On their way out of the Senate building, Skywalker witnessed a protest by Corellian citizens of Coruscant, rallying against the treatment of Corellia by the Galactic Alliance.
Later that day, Corellian terrorists bombed the Elite Hotel on Coruscant. As a form of revenge, Coruscant natives vandalized the Corellian Sanctuary, a resting place for the dead created by exiled Corellians. In the aftermath of the bomb, Solo gave Skywalker a study task to occupy him in his absence: to visit the sites of the bombing and the attack on the Corellian Sanctuary and to sense what he could of the people and events surrounding them. Skywalker first visited the Sanctuary, which he believed to be one of the saddest places he had ever been to. At the Sanctuary he met a Corellian boy named Barit Saiy, who explained to him the Corellian side of the conflict and the reasons for the terrorist attack. After finishing his task for the day, Skywalker took a trip to the Fleet Command Center, where Cha Niathal gave him a tour of the facilities.
The visit to the Fleet Command Center did not take as much time as Skywalker expected, and he was still curious about desperately curious about state of the Corellians that he had encountered on his study task earlier. Thus, Skywalker went to Galactic City's Corellian Quarter, which he found in a state of chaos. A Coruscant Security Force unit was in the area, warning disgruntled residents that the water supply had become contaminated, leaving half of Galactic City without water. The CSF detachment quickly became surrounded by angry crowds, ready to explode into violence at any moment. One particular Coruscanti mob had gathered in front of the Corellian embassy, shouting epithets and throwing objects at the building. The CSF unit was forced to use dispersal gas to quell the crowd, which had devolved into violence between the Coruscanti and the Corellians. Amidst the sea of people, Skywalker caught sight of his acquaintance Barit Saiy, who had produced a blaster and was aiming it at one of the CSF officers. Eyes burning from exposure to the gas, Skywalker was able to deflect Saiy's blaster bolt and prevent an escalation of violence.
Skywalker went back to Jacen Solo's apartment, still suffering from the effects of the dispersal gas. He was then visited by his parents, who were quite worried upon hearing of his brush with the rioters. They were soon followed by Jacen Solo and his parents. Due to Luke Skywalker and Han Solo being on two opposite sides in the conflict between the Galactic Alliance and Corellia, Skywalker bore witness to a heated argument between the two friends. Mara Jade Skywalker was disgusted by the confrontation and quickly pulled Ben away from his father and uncle. Afterward, Skywalker returned to the Corellian Quarter, with one objective in mind; to find Barit Saiy and ask what made him see Coruscanti as his enemy. Skywalker tracked down Saiy, who said that the Corellians and the Coruscanti were truly at war. Saiy refused to apologize for trying to shoot the CSF officer and departed after thanking Skywalker for not turning him in.
The Galactic Alliance Guard
- "This is horrible."
- ―Ben Skywalker
In the wake of the terrorist attacks that shook Coruscant, Cal Omas and Coruscanti Senator G'vli G'Sil had an idea: a secret police force active on Coruscant, utilized to counter Corellian terrorist activity. Leadership of the secret police was initially offered to Mara Jade Skywalker due to her previous exploits as an Emperor's Hand. Jade declined because the thought of a Jedi running a secret police force troubled her, so leadership was instead given to Jacen Solo. The organization was named the Galactic Alliance Guard, with Solo as a colonel and placed in charge of the 967 Commando squad. The 967 Commando, a unit of elite shock troopers mostly made up of volunteers from the CSF's Anti-Terrorist Unit, specialized in siege busting and personnel retrieval. Solo brought Ben Skywalker into the fold as well, and the two Jedi and the 967 Commando immediately went to work.
The era of the Galactic Alliance Guard started with a routine raid into the Corellian district of Galactic City. Skywalker accompanied Solo and the 967 Commando on the raid, which was designed to search Corellian-owned property for potential threats to Coruscant security. They quickly found what they were looking for—military-level explosives which had not been assembled and readied for an attack. HoloNet reporters were soon at the scene, which worried Skywalker since it meant that his father would hear of the events. Solo told Skywalker that he shouldn't regret anything he had done and asked him whether he was ashamed of any of his actions. Skywalker replied by stating that he regretted not telling Solo of Barit Saiy's attempt to shoot the CSF officer, and he then went off to assist another GAG squad in wrenching open the doors of an apartment building. In the raid, no one was injured, and all the detained Corellians were alive and well.
After the raid was finished, GAG headquarters was visited by Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker, who had heard news of the events and were worried about Ben's condition. Mara Skywalker was shocked by Ben's military-like mannerisms, as being around the adult males of the GAG had caused him to imitate them without knowing. Skywalker had indeed formed a bond with the GAG members during his time with them. However, Solo's increasingly dark actions had drawn the attention of Luke Skywalker and several other Jedi, who were concerned for Ben due to the great influence that Solo had on him. Even Jaina Solo, Jacen Solo's own sister, recommended to Luke Skywalker that he find another teacher for Ben. In the meantime, Skywalker continued serving in the GAG. He was stationed with Jacen Solo and the 967 Commando at a vehicle checkpoint in the lower levels of Galactic City, this time in a neighborhood that was not Corellian. This was justified by one of the highest ranking GAG members, Captain Lon Shevu, by saying that not all threats to domestic security were Corellian. Shevu then announced their reason for being there; their Customs and Immigrations department received a tip-off about three Corellian agents and a bounty hunter they had made contact with, and the CSF had tracked their location.
The GAG force first tried to coax their targets out of their hiding place peacefully, but were responded to with blasterfire. They then entered the building by force, with Skywalker serving as a "sniffer" using the Force to detect unforeseen traps and to ascertain the exact location of their targets. The Corellian agents and the bounty hunter were swiftly captured and taken into custody. Afterward, Solo asked about the identity of Barit Saiy as the Corellian who tried to shoot the CSF officer. Skywalker was conflicted about turning in his friend, but ultimately decided to be loyal to Solo and give him Saiy's name. The bounty hunter who was detained was named Ailyn Habuur, and Skywalker was present at her interrogation. She refused to divulge any information, and was eventually left with one of the GAG's best intelligence operatives, Heol Girdun. Skywalker then noticed Barit Saiy amongst the Corellians that had been arrested over the night, and was unnerved by Saiy's intense loathing of Skywalker for turning him in.
Jacen Solo was approached the next day by Luke and Mara Skywalker, who were concerned about how Skywalker's Force abilities were being used in the service of the Galactic Alliance Guard. They asked Solo to end Skywalker's involvement in the GAG and to stop teaching Skywalker. The interrogation of Ailyn Habuur continued later that day, this time administered by Jacen Solo himself. The questioning turned into torture by way of Solo slamming Habuur's head into a desk with the Force. As Skywalker looked on, Shevu entered the interrogation chamber with Girdun and tried to heal Habuur, but to no avail; Habuur had died. Skywalker was shocked after seeing Habuur's dead body, but upon examination of Habuur's datapad he discovered that Habuur's objective was to kill Han Solo.
Skywalker returned to his father's apartment as previously requested, where they asked him to stop working with the Galactic Alliance Guard and end his master-apprentice relationship with Jacen Solo. Skywalker defended his duty in the Guard, and when Luke asked him to return to the Jedi Academy for training, Skywalker refused, stating that he would prefer to stay in the GAG for a little while longer before training at the Academy. Skywalker returned to GAG headquarters, where he got word of reported suspicious activity near the World Brain, a Yuuzhan Vong device designed to manage the planet's ecosystem while it was under Yuuzhan Vong rule. Skywalker, Solo, and the 967 Commando went to the area where the activity was taking place, where they found a group of Corellian protesters. Skywalker used the Force to survey the area and felt dangerous weapons in the vicinity. It pointed to a nearby apartment building, which Skywalker and the GAG squad forcibly entered. They met resistance, leaving Skywalker with no choice but to kill the two men inside. Although they found the weapons—several missile launchers—Skywalker was regretful and emotionally pained that he had killed the two men. After contemplating his actions, Skywalker reluctantly decided to tell his parents that he had killed the two men.
Duel at the Temple
- "If Jacen is training you so well, prove it."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Due to his misgivings about letting Skywalker learn under Jacen Solo, Luke Skywalker invited Skywalker to have a training duel with him in the Jedi Temple Sparring Arena, in the hopes that Skywalker would realize that he needed more intensive training at the Jedi Academy. Moreover, it was a test to see if Skywalker would give into anger upon losing a competition. Although Skywalker did not want to partake in the duel, he agreed. It was the first time father and son would duel with live blades, an event that Skywalker's mother dreaded. Skywalker entered the arena wearing a modified set of Yuuzhan Vong vonduun crab armor, but was ordered by his father to remove it and fight without protection. Despite his confusion over being told to take off his armor, Skywalker was determined to present himself well, to set aside his anxiety and prove to his father that he was worthy of the trust being put in him by the Jedi Order. Before they fought, Luke Skywalker asked him to leave the GAG, but he refused, saying that Jacen Solo and the Galactic Alliance needed him. Luke Skywalker commenced the duel but did not activate lhis lightsaber, daring his son to force him to turn it on.
Try as he might, Skywalker was not able to make his father activate his lightsaber. His father easily evaded Skywalker's lightsaber attacks, despite Skywalker using all the tricks that he could to force his father to use his lightsaber, including playing dead after taking a particularly nasty fall. After his playing dead attempt failed, Skywalker let up on his attacks, citing his discouragement caused by not being able to make his father use his lightsaber. His father tried to use Skywalker's poor sparring skills as a reason to quit the Galactic Alliance Guard and focus on his training at the Jedi Temple, but Skywalker refused. Luke Skywalker then revealed his fears that Lumiya was going to strike at the Jedi through Ben and that the Jedi Order needed Skywalker more than the GAG and Solo did. However, Skywalker defended Solo and his training and was presented with a challenge; instead of forcing him to activate his lightsaber, Luke wanted Skywalker to make him move one foot. Again Skywalker failed, when his father used the Force to fling Skywalker's lightsaber across the room. His father dropped his lightsaber to the ground, and when Skywalker picked it up and examined it, he found that Luke couldn't activate it as the lightsaber lacked a power cell.
After the duel, Luke Skywalker tried to convince Skywalker that he needed more training and that he had given a pitiful performance. Skywalker refused, and when his father told him that he needed a real Jedi Master, Skywalker told him to simply make Solo a Jedi Master. Skywalker went to leave as he had a GAG raid later on in the day, but before he departed he told his father that he could use more sparring. After Skywalker left, his mother and father discussed their surprise at Skywalker's calmness and his lack of anger and fear. However, Luke Skywalker still thought that Skywalker needed to be separated from Jacen Solo and brought back to the Jedi Temple for training as his sparring skills were not up to par. Luke also recoiled at the suggestion to make Solo a Jedi Master on the basis of his great understanding of the Force.
Battle of Hapes
- "This is Jedi Ben Skywalker with an urgent warning for the Hapan Royal Navy. Ducha Galney is a verified traitor coming to launch a sneak attack on the Queen Mother. Repeat urgent warning: Ducha Galney is a traitor. Take all precautions."
- ―Ben Skywalker
Meanwhile in the Hapes Consortium, the mother of Solo's child, the Queen Mother Tenel Ka Djo, was the target of a failed assassination attempt. This immediately piqued the attention of Solo, who went to the Hapes Consortium with Skywalker in the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Anakin Solo to investigate. Skywalker was sent down to the planet Hapes by Solo and returned to the Anakin Solo accompanied by Tenel Ka Djo, Djo's aide Lady Galney, the security droid DD-11A, and Solo's daughter, Allana. Since Solo suspected that Galney was behind the assassination attempt due to her closeness to Djo, Solo ordered Skywalker to escort Lady Galney back to her quarters and keep a close eye on her during her inspection.
In the wake of the assassination attempt, Djo sent two Jedi Knights, Jaina Solo and Zekk, to the moon of Terephon to ask the moon's Ducha to mobilize her fleet. Upon landing on the moon and visiting the Ducha's place of residence, they were attacked and contact with them was lost. After losing contact with the Jedi, Skywalker accompanied GAG Junior Lieutenant Beta Ioli, Chief Petty Officer Tanogo, and their gunner Gim Sorzo on the skiff Rover to Terephon to find out what happened to Jaina Solo and Zekk. They landed on the moon, quickly finding Solo and Zekk, who were still alive. They warned that the Ducha was behind both the attack on them and the assassination attempt. They then learned that the Ducha was sending her fleet to Hapes to attack the Queen Mother's fleet, and despite an order from Jacen Solo to take the Rover and go to Roqoo Depot, they instead went to Hapes to warn Djo and the Hapan Royal Navy. The Rover beat the Ducha's fleet to Hapes, where Skywalker broadcast an emergency warning to Djo and the Royal Navy.
After broadcasting the emergency warning message to the Hapan Royal Navy, the Rover came under attack by one of the Ducha's ships. The Rover was badly damaged, and Skywalker was forced to go extravehicular. As there were only four EV suits for the six beings aboard the skiff, Tanogo and Ioli volunteered to stay behind on the Rover and keep broadcasting the message despite the threat of death. Although Skywalker was reluctant to leave Ioli and Tanogo behind, Junior Lieutenant Ioli ordered him to get off the Rover while he still could. Skywalker, Jaina Solo, Zekk, and Sorzo escaped the Rover, and right as they entered the vacuum of space, the turbolasers of the Ducha's attacking ship destroyed the Rover. After a short time floating in space, Skywalker and the others were picked up by Han Solo and the badly damaged Millennium Falcon, which was under fire from the Anakin Solo. Leia and Han Solo had recently been declared as criminals by the Galactic Alliance, and once aboard the ship Skywalker attempted to arrest his uncle for his perceived crimes against the Galactic Alliance.
Solo and the others aboard the Millennium Falcon were incredulous that Skywalker would try to arrest Han Solo after he had just saved them, and Zekk quickly convinced Skywalker to pursue the matter later, as the damaged Falcon was leaking pressure at a dangerous rate. However, as it seemed that the pressure leak was too much for Solo to handle, Skywalker tried to convince Solo to let him comm the Anakin Solo and tell Jacen Solo that they were surrendering and that he would bring Han Solo in to the authorities. His offer was rejected by everyone aboard and, continuing his efforts to apprehend Han Solo, tried to stop the others from repairing the Falcon. When Jaina Solo stopped him, he pulled out his lightsaber. Zekk immediately moved to restrain Skywalker, and the two wrestled over Skywalker's activated weapon. Skywalker dealt a blow to Zekk's abdomen in the ensuing fight, and a surprised and angered Jaina Solo removed the lightsaber from Skywalker's possession. Meanwhile the Millennium Falcon's pressure leak had been largely contained and the ship restored to operational condition, but since the number of passengers on the ship was over capacity Skywalker, Sorzo, Zekk, and Jaina Solo were forced to leave the ship via escape pod. They were then brought aboard the Anakin Solo, where Skywalker described his actions to the horror of Djo and his parents. Skywalker was reprimanded by his parents and given a lecture about how he was in the wrong about trying to arrest his uncle.
- "Hi Mom, hi Dad. For my fourteenth birthday, I killed a little girl."
- ―Ben Skywalker after leaving Kiara behind on Ziost
After the events at Hapes, Skywalker returned to the Jedi Temple to train. One day while practicing his lightsaber skills with a remote, he met a girl who introduced herself as Seha Dorvald. While they had a banal discussion relating to practice techniques, Dorvald discreetly gave him a card, which contained a secret message from Jacen Solo when scanned. In the message, Solo gave Skywalker a mission: go to Almania's moon Drewwa and retrieve an artifact called the Amulet of Kalara, which was in a display case in the Almanian planetary offices of the Tendrando Arms arms company. According to Solo, the Amulet of Kalara, when activated, would make the being using it invisible in the Force. Evidently, Dorvald was working together with Solo and would also assist Skywalker in getting out of the Jedi Temple inconspicuously. Skywalker exited the Temple through an emergency door which had had its emergency alarm disabled by Dorvald. Skywalker then got transport to a minor spaceport about four hundred kilometers away from the Jedi Temple and boarded a shuttle destined for Drewwa.
Skywalker landed on Drewwa and immediately went to a local dining establishment for some breakfast. He ordered caf and one of his favorite delicacies, kruffy pot pie, but upon attempting to pay with his credcard he was notified that the special banking account set up for his mission did not work. Skywalker tried accessing the account at several different banks, but each time the banking machines could not find his account. Hungry and without funds, Skywalker resorted to stealing money from a bystander and using it to purchase his food, despite his reservations about thievery. Having had his meal, Skywalker set out for the Crossroutes Business Habitat, a large office building where Tendrando Arms rented several floors. The Amulet was on the 215th floor, and wanting to obtain the artifact unobserved, Skywalker took the building's turbolift to the 216th floor, which was owned by a consulting firm called Lyster Innovations. He successfully tricked Lyster's greeter, Gilthor Breen, into leaving his job, giving him free space to open a viewport and climb outside. Once outside he descended to the 215th floor after momentarily losing his grip on his climbing equipment. Having successfully gotten onto the 215th floor without being detected, Skywalker raced to the Amulet's display case only to find that the Amulet was not there. In its place, he found a note from a man named Faskus of Ziost, which explained that he had taken the artifact.
Skywalker decided to go to Ziost to track the Amulet of Kalara down, but didn't have a means of transportation since the planet Ziost did not appear in any public database. Since his money-stealing technique had improved and he had become more receptive to thieving, Skywalker made up his mind that he would steal a ship and go to Ziost. He found an unattended Y-wing starfighter in a spaceport and, pretending he was a trainee working there, stole an R2-series astromech droid by punching out a spaceport employee. Along with the droid named Shaker, he took the Y-wing and flew to Ziost. Soon after landing on the planet and exiting his Y-wing, the starfighter was destroyed by an unknown vehicle. The thought of dying alone on Ziost without any mode of transportation disheartened Skywalker, but he soon overcame his anguish and resigned himself to his mission. He also decided to find and take revenge on the people who had destroyed his starfighter and stranded him on Ziost.
Skywalker spent a night with Shaker in Ziost's dark forest but spotted smoke rising above the trees, a sign that other beings were on the planet. He went toward the source of the smoke and found a camp belonging to Faskus, who was present with the Amulet of Kalara draped around his neck. Skywalker sneaked up behind him and overpowered Faskus. After the scuffle, Skywalker noticed a young girl, Faskus' daughter, watching in horror. The girl tried to defend her father by throwing her toys and various objects at Skywalker, who was trying to treat Faskus' injury. Faskus was still strong enough to explain his story to Skywalker. He worked as a courier, who was given the Amulet by a Bothan named Byalfin Dyur, who instructed him to leave the Amulet in a Ziost cave. When he brought it to the cave, he saw a TIE fighter firing on his YT-2400 light freighter, the Blacktooth, with his daughter still inside. He raced to the camp to save his daughter but was hit in the abdomen by a shard of durasteel, mortally wounding him. With his life slipping away, Faskus entrusted his daughter, named Kiara's care to Skywalker.
Skywalker decided to leave Kiara behind, as she would consume more resources and slow him and Shaker down on their quest to find a way off Ziost. However, his overwhelming guilt about leaving a young girl alone on a hostile world prompted him to return to the camp. After helping Kiara bury her father, he brought her along. After a few days trekking through the woods, Shaker detected a faint ion trail of the type produced by a TIE fighter. Skywalker realized that whoever destroyed the Y-wing and the Blacktooth was following them. Nevertheless, the three pushed on, coming to rest at an abandoned settlement. Shaker alerted Skywalker that his datapad had sent an unprompted comm signal, leading Skywalker to believe that the datapad was a tracking device which the owner of the TIE fighter was using to follow their movements. Skywalker checked all of the objects on his belt for a tracking device and found it inside his belt pouch. Skywalker scanned the skies for the TIE fighter and saw it speeding toward them. Skywalker was able to get Shaker and Kiara to cover as the TIE strafed the ruins and used the Force to hurl a boulder at the TIE, damaging it. None of the group were injured by the TIE's attack.
Things quickly got a lot harder for Kiara and Skywalker, as their food supply was running low and they were being routinely attacked by predatory neks. On one night, Skywalker heard strange, unexplained voices talking to him, telling him to protect Kiara. Half-asleep, Skywalker murmured that he needed to find a ship, to which the voices replied by giving him a mental picture of an odd ball-shaped organic craft. Skywalker suddenly gained the knowledge of how to find the ship, if it even existed. They spotted a ruined citadel upon a ledge and climbed up to it for shelter. But a short distance from the building Shaker stopped, communicating to Skywalker that he lacked sufficient power to move any farther. Skywalker told Shaker to shut down and that he would wake him up when he found a power source. Skywalker was attacked suddenly by a nek, which he fended off. He and Kiara camped at the citadel, where Skywalker was tormented by a dream where he was confronted by a strange creature which crawled down from the ceiling of the building. When he awoke, the voices no longer told him to protect Kiara; they told him to eat her and grow stronger. Skywalker, lean from starvation, weighed his options, coming to the conclusion that cannibalizing Kiara was the most logical choice, but refused to do so. They then set a trap for the TIE fighter, who attacked a dummy of Ben while the real Skywalker Force-threw rocks at the fighter. The trap worked, and they were able to recover power packs from the wreckage of the TIE to power Shaker. That night Skywalker heard the voices again, which he followed to find the craft he had seen in his vision. Skywalker, Kiara, and Shaker got into the craft, which Skywalker communicated with and commanded with his mind, finally departing Ziost. After leaving Ziost's atmosphere, they were attacked by Dyur's ship, the Boneyard Rendezvous, which was in orbit. However, the ship's weapons quickly destroyed the starship. Skywalker commanded the ship to bring him home to Coruscant.
- "What do you want me to do?"
- ―Ben Skywalker and Jacen Solo
Skywalker parted ways with Kiara and Shaker, leaving the girl and droid on Drewwa, where he entrusted Shaker to bring Kiara to someone who could care for her. Skywalker, focused on giving the Amulet of Kalara to Solo, brought the ship to the Anakin Solo, which was en route to Coruscant via the Contruum system. Solo was pleased at Skywalker's performance and was surprised and awed by the Sith ship that he had flown. Little did Skywalker know that the entire mission—the journey to Drewwa, the unexpected detour to Ziost, and the conflict with Dyur and his forces—was orchestrated by Lumiya, Solo's Sith master, in an effort to ascertain whether Skywalker was fit to be a Sith. Skywalker returned to Coruscant, and met with his mother Mara Jade at the Sanvia Vitajuice Bar. His mother was relieved that Skywalker was safe, since she had had no contact with him since he departed for Drewwa. His mother told him that she believed that Lumiya was trying to kill him based on her hypothesis that Brisha Syo was a separate person, Lumiya's daughter, and that Skywalker had killed her. Mara Jade warned him that Lumiya had connections within the Galactic Alliance Guard and that she could strike at any time. Before the two went to their family apartment, his mother asked him to leave the GAG, but Skywalker once again refused. When they returned to the Skywalker family apartment, Skywalker declined multiple requests from his father to leave the GAG. His parents finally gave in, and his mother gave him a vibroblade to pair with his lightsaber, a gift that Skywalker gladly accepted. Unbeknownst to Skywalker, the blade was tagged with a tracking device, allowing his mother to know his location at all times.
Skywalker would return to work at the GAG, and after a daily briefing, he revealed his fears that Lumiya was trying to kill him. Skywalker asked Solo to teach him how to hide his presence in the Force, a power that Solo had learned on his five-year sojourn away from the Jedi Order in the years following the Yuuzhan Vong War. Solo taught Skywalker the basics of the Force power, the application of which excited him. Solo also revealed to him something else; Corellian Head of State and Thrackan Sal-Solo's successor, Dur Gejjen, was behind the attempt on Tenel Ka Djo's life. Gejjen had gotten the position after Thrackan Sal-Solo was assassinated by renowned Mandalorian bounty hunter Boba Fett, his granddaughter Mirta Gev, and Skywalker's uncle Han Solo, an assassination that was orchestrated by Gejjen. Solo gave Skywalker another mission—to assassinate Gejjen, as Solo did not want him destabilizing the Galactic Alliance's allies. Skywalker was wary of the idea at first, believing that it would only lead to further violence, but obliged. Skywalker sought advice and preparation on the concept of sniping a target and was given a tour of the GAG's intelligence headquarters by intelligence leader Heol Girdun. He was introduced to the monitoring equipment, which he used to listen in on a conversation between Gejjen and Cal Omas, where Gejjen expressed his desire to remove Jacen Solo and Cha Niathal from the political process. Gejjen went on to propose secret negotiations between the Confederation—an alliance of several systems mainly headed by Corellia—and the Galactic Alliance, to take place on Vulpter, an offer that Omas accepted.
The GAG discovered that Omas was indeed going to Vulpter for the peace talks, taking a one day leave of office under the guise of a private medical matter. Also, Gejjen had rescheduled all his engagements for the day of the negotiations, giving Skywalker a one-day window to prepare. The plan was for Skywalker to shoot and kill Gejjen after he finished his meeting with Omas. With limited time, Skywalker began training for the event with GAG Lieutenant Jori Lekauf, who instructed him on sniping with a modified Karpaki Fifty ballistic sniper rifle. Although Skywalker had his doubts about killing Gejjen, but in the course of only a few hours Lekauf was able to make Skywalker into an efficient and deadly sniper. Fearing that Skywalker's red hair would make him more conspicuous, Lon Shevu had Skywalker dye his hair to disguise himself. That night, Skywalker and Lekauf went to Vulpter, under the facade of Skywalker as Lekauf's younger cousin. Shevu also came with them. They landed at Vulpter's busy Charbi City Spaceport, where they laid low as they watched the negotiations take place through a window. The talks themselves did not yield any major developments, stalling when Gejjen outlined his desire for the removal of Solo and Niathal. The meeting adjourned, and Gejjen exited through the south doors of the conference building. Skywalker moved into position, aimed, and killed Gejjen with a textbook head shot.
Loss of a parent
- "Mom? Mom!?"
- ―Ben Skywalker after feeling his mother's death in the Force
After firing the shot that felled Gejjen, the three GAG officers tried to discreetly exit the spaceport. However, security forces locked the port down as Vulpter authorities went about scanning each witness for ballistic residue. Thinking quickly, Lekauf took the Karpaki and went off creating a diversion, announcing that he was the one who had fired the killing shot and threatening to kill a hostage. With the attention of the security personnel successfully focused on Lekauf, Skywalker and Shevu escaped the spaceport. Lekauf bluffed his way onto a docked starship, which he detonated as Skywalker and Shevu flew away, killing himself. Skywalker wept as the two sped away, mourning the loss of his friend, all the while pleading to Shevu to go back to the spaceport and pick Lekauf back up. Skywalker and Shevu returned to the Coruscant Military Spaceport, where he was comforted by Shevu, who explained that he was the one who would detonate the ship if things went wrong. Skywalker was met outside the GAG headquarters by Mara Jade, who had an injured face. His mother was demanding to know why he had gone to Vulpter and explained that her injury was caused by a battle with Lumiya. Skywalker admitted that he had gone to Vulpter to kill Gejjen on Solo's orders, infuriating Mara Jade.
After the assassination, Cal Omas returned to Coruscant from Vulpter to find himself under arrest by the GAG on the grounds of entering into secret talks with the opposition. Cha Niathal, the acting Chief of State during Omas' absence, declared her and Solo joint Chiefs of State of the Galactic Alliance. They both declared that their coup was legal and temporary and promised that there would be rapid elections following the end of the conflict. They also sealed off the Chief of State's office, proclaiming that only duly-elected representatives could sit in it. Omas was held at GAG headquarters, where Skywalker was trying to clear his head, still shocked by the assassination at Vulpter. Skywalker, curious, went toward Omas' holding area, where he overheard Solo talking with Lumiya. In the discussion, Solo expounded upon his mind-rubbing of Skywalker following the events at the Home and his further ambitions to garner more power and become sole Chief of State. Skywalker was astounded by these revelations and was left trying to think of excuses for Solo's association with Lumiya. Skywalker came to the conclusion that Solo was under some sort of Force influence from Lumiya, and raced off to warn his mother, believing that she alone was unaffected by Lumiya's influence.
Skywalker met Mara Jade at a tapcafe and explained to her Solo's betrayal and the mind-rubbing, disproving her theory that Syo was Lumiya's daughter. He also described his mission to retrieve the Amulet and how he found the ship. Mara Jade revealed to Skywalker that she had also spoken to the Sith Meditation Sphere, and that she had seen it in Lumiya's possession on Coruscant's moon Hesperidium. Skywalker taught his mother how to disappear in the Force as well, to give her a better sense of when he was hiding. After the meeting with his mother, Skywalker stayed with Lon Shevu rather than face his father. He woke up in the middle of the night, hearing the telepathic call of the Sith Meditation Sphere. He went to the GAG compound and took a ship, following Lumiya and the Sith ship. He followed it into Hapan space, where his mother was busy in a skirmish with Jacen Solo on the planet Kavan. During a heated battle where Solo was nearly killed, Solo was able to stab Mara Jade with a poison dart, fatally wounding her. As one of her last acts before dying, she whispered into Skywalker's mind with the Force. Skywalker raced to Kavan and saw his mother's dead body. Jacen Solo did not admit his complicity, instead telling Skywalker that he would track down the real killer.
Change of heart
- "With all due respect sir, you can shove that order down the nearest black hole. You're the one who turned me into a killer."
- ―Ben Skywalker to Darth Caedus
After returning to Coruscant, Skywalker attended the funeral of Mara Jade Skywalker. The event was plagued by problems from the start; before the funeral was to begin, Han and Leia Organa Solo, who tried to attend, were accosted by a Galactic Alliance Guard unit, who attempted to arrest them. Also, as Saba Sebatyne gave her eulogy, Jacen Solo caused a stir by entering and sitting directly next to Luke and Ben Skywalker. No one knew that Solo was the true slayer of Mara Jade Skywalker or that he had become a full Sith Lord following the duel, taking the Sith name Darth Caedus. Meanwhile, the Galactic Alliance's conflict with the Confederation had erupted into all-out war. The Confederation began a push to the Core, and Commenorian and Hutt forces attempted to occupy Balmorra. Shortly before Caedus and the Galactic Alliance Fourth Fleet engaged the Confederation at Balmorra, Skywalker confronted Caedus, asking whether he was the killer of Mara Jade due to his being on Kavan at the time. Caedus swiftly denied it but failed to convince Skywalker. Skywalker demanded that Caedus reveal the name of the guilty party and accused Caedus of trying to take over the Jedi Order. Caedus responded by playing Skywalker an audio recording of Cal Omas stating that he wanted Luke Skywalker out of the way. Skywalker stayed determined to find his mother's killer and feigned belief that Omas was behind the death of Mara Jade Skywalker.
Skywalker went to Omas' residence, where he was under house arrest. He defeated the CSF security detail guarding Omas and afterward had a brief engagement with a security droid. After destroying the droid, Skywalker ended up staring down the barrel of Omas' blaster pistol, although Skywalker swiftly disarmed him. Omas was suicidal and had rigged a thermal detonator to explode should his heart stop beating. Skywalker revealed that he sought to avenge his mother's death, but did not believe that Omas was behind the killing. Skywalker and Omas deduced that the recording was faked by a GAG officer named Jonat, and Skywalker revealed that he believed Caedus was the killer, informing Omas of Caedus' dealing with Lumiya. Knowing that he didn't have much time until Coruscant Security breached his prison, Omas grabbed his fallen blaster and started firing wildly at Skywalker, intentionally missing, and yelling that Skywalker was going to kill him. As CSF agents swarmed into Omas' home, Omas threw himself on Skywalker's activated lightsaber, fatally wounding himself. With his last breath, Omas asked Skywalker to forgive him.
Since the only person who knew the true circumstances of Omas' death was Skywalker, it was commonly believed that he had been the one to kill Omas. Meanwhile, the Galactic Alliance forces led by Darth Caedus, along with Jedi assistance commanded by Luke Skywalker, fought a major battle at Kuat. The Jedi were no longer willing to have Caedus command them, and when word reached Luke Skywalker that Omas was dead and that Skywalker was the presumed killer, Luke Skywalker informed Caedus that they would no longer support him. Caedus responded by ordering the deaths of Jedi hostages on Ossus and the occupation of the Jedi Temple. Skywalker, having left Coruscant after Omas' death, navigated the fire of battle, landed in the Anakin Solo and met with Caedus. Skywalker pretended that he was Omas' killer and asked that Caedus take him back as his apprentice. He was initially unsuccessful, but Caedus obliged when Skywalker told him that his father had asked him to meet him on Kashyyyk, where the Jedi purportedly were asking the Wookiees not to lend assistance to the Galactic Alliance.
Skywalker vs. Caedus
- "This kill is mine."
- ―Ben Skywalker
Unbeknownst to Caedus, Skywalker warned Jaina Solo and Zekk, who were on Ossus, of Caedus' ordering of a GAG battalion to kill the Jedi at the Ossus Academy. Although several Jedi were killed and Kam and Tionne Solusar were gravely injured, the GAG force was defeated. The Galactic Alliance Fifth Fleet, the Anakin Solo included, traveled to Kashyyyk, where they found the native Wookiee fleet unprepared. Although Skywalker cautioned Caedus to avoid violence while dealing with the Wookiees, Caedus maintained that he was there to capture the rogue Jedi and his parents. Caedus demanded to Kashyyyk's leaders that they relinquish the Solos, but they claimed that they were not on the planet. Unsatisfied, Caedus ordered his subordinates to open fire on the planet. Caedus ordered Skywalker to be at his side as Kashyyyk's forests burned, while a lone squadron of Wookiee Owool Interceptors approached the Anakin Solo. One of the pilots was the Wookiee Jedi Lowbacca, who launched a single shadow bomb at the Anakin's bridge. Skywalker attempted to strike Caedus down in the confusion, but by sheer serendipity the bomb exploded as Skywalker moved to attack and sent them both to the ground. Caedus quickly rose and struck Skywalker with a bolt of Force lightning, incapacitating him and preventing him from being able to kill Caedus.
Caedus imprisoned Skywalker after the attack and placed him in the Embrace of Pain. The Embrace of Pain was a rack-like torture device made by the Yuuzhan Vong, which had been used by Vergere on Caedus after he was captured on Myrkr. The Embrace of Pain had played a crucial part in Caedus' descent into the dark side, and Caedus intended to use it to turn Skywalker into a Sith. Through it all Skywalker continued to accuse Caedus of killing Mara Jade Skywalker, and Caedus continued to deny. Caedus then tried to break Skywalker's will; he told Skywalker that his father Luke Skywalker had been shot down and killed in battle. This however was not true; Luke Skywalker had indeed been shot down, but not killed. Skywalker refused to believe that his father was dead, and was able to feel his father, alive, aboard the Anakin Solo. Skywalker warned Caedus that his father was alive and was coming for him, but Caedus did not believe him, thinking it was all a ruse. Suddenly, Luke Skywalker appeared behind Caedus and attacked him. The two dueled, as Skywalker watched in agony from the Embrace of Pain.
As the battle raged on, Skywalker used the Force to summon a vibrodagger off the floor and struggled to cut himself free of the Embrace of Pain's tendrils. By then Luke Skywalker had trapped Caedus in another torture rack and was moving in to land the killing blow. Skywalker, still in the Embrace of Pain, began shouting to his father that he deserved to cut down Caedus, distracting his father and inadvertently buying Caedus time to get free. Caedus stood up to attack but was stabbed in the back by Skywalker's vibrodagger, puncturing a lung and barely missing his heart. Skywalker justified it by saying that Caedus had killed Mara Jade, but Luke Skywalker revealed that he believed Alema Rar was the true killer. Caedus fled the scene, and the Skywalkers escaped the Anakin Solo.
Battle on the Anakin Solo
- "The Corellians just used Centerpoint Station to destroy elements of the Second Fleet. They also tried to kill Jacen. Now, thinking the way Jacen does, the way we must, it's inconceivable that he would not make an all-out effort to capture the station and have in his possession the most powerful weapon in the galaxy. We're not going to let the Corellians have it, and we're not going to let Jacen have it. We're going to destroy it… probably at the same time Jacen mounts his operation to capture it."
- ―Luke Skywalker
The events at Kuat and Kashyyyk prompted the Jedi to withdraw support for Caedus and the Galactic Alliance, forming the military resistance movement called the Jedi Coalition. The Coalition set up an outpost on Endor, where Skywalker stayed following the duel with Caedus on the Anakin Solo. Staying on Endor gave Skywalker time to think, and he realized that Caedus was trying to turn him to the dark side the same way Palpatine turned Anakin Skywalker; to make it so that Caedus was the only person Skywalker had. Skywalker related this to his father, who wholeheartedly agreed with him. Later, Skywalker confronted his father, saying that his father was miserable and telling him that he needed to get over Mara Jade Skywalker's death. Impressed by Skywalker's emotional maturity, Luke Skywalker declared him a Jedi Knight and ready to build his own lightsaber. Meanwhile, in other parts of the galaxy, the new Five World Prime Minister after the death of Gejjen, Sadras Koyan, ordered the firing of a newly repaired Centerpoint Station. The firing of the massive station destroyed much of the Galactic Alliance Second Fleet and nearly killed Darth Caedus.
Feeling that Centerpoint Station needed to be completely neutralized as a threat, Luke Skywalker planned a final attack on the station. Jedi Master Kyp Durron and Toval Seyah would lead an assault on Centerpoint Station itself in an effort to destroy it, while Ben and Luke Skywalker, Saba Sebatyne, Han and Leia Solo, and their friend Iella Wessiri Antilles would attack the Anakin Solo, where Darth Caedus was holding the Chume'da Allana in an attempt to secure Hapan cooperation. The Jedi infiltrated the Anakin, where they split up; the Skywalkers and Sebatyne went to fight Caedus, while the Solos and Antilles went off to free Allana. The Jedi met heavy resistance on their push toward Caedus, while the Solos and Antilles easily reached Allana's quarters and freed her. The Skywalkers and Sebatyne reached the bridge of the Anakin Solo, where they confronted Caedus. However they did not get the opportunity to battle him head-on, as Caedus set his YVH security droids on the Jedi. While Caedus watched the fight unfold, he felt Allana's joy at being rescued through the Force and ran off to find his daughter. The Jedi were able to fend off the droids and escape, while the Solos and Antilles returned Allana to her mother Tenel Ka Djo. Meanwhile at Centerpoint, the station was destroyed when a technician named Rikel tried to fire the station's weapon and destroy Coruscant. Unbeknownst to him, Seyah had changed all the station's coordinates to the center of the station itself, causing Centerpoint to destroy itself when Rikel pressed the button.
- "Good man. We'll make a CSF detective of you yet."
- ―Lon Shevu
The war continued to rage on into the year 41 ABY, and Skywalker was still tormented by his mother's death. Despite his father's proclamation that Alema Rar, now deceased, was Mara Jade's killer, Skywalker still believed that Darth Caedus was his mother's killer. After spending time contemplating his mother's death, he revealed his theories abut the circumstances of Mara Jade's death to his cousin Jaina Solo and Leia Solo. He hypothesized that his mother became so enraged upon learning of his experiences in the Galactic Alliance Guard that she attacked Caedus, who killed her. Skywalker was determined to discover the exact circumstances of Mara Jade's death and declared so to them. Skywalker decided to start by going to Coruscant and talking to his friend Shevu, and he entered Shevu's apartment to find it devoid of many personal items, something which confused Skywalker. Shevu concurred that Caedus was likely Mara Jade's killer, and Skywalker asked him for help in his investigation. Shevu agreed, stating that his closeness to Caedus would grant them inside information and more importantly, that Caedus trusted him.
Skywalker and Shevu started their investigation by going to Mara Jade's place of death, Kavan, and examining the area where she was killed. They carried their search into the water tunnels where Mara Jade's body had been found, where Skywalker saw his mother's Force ghost. The Force ghost of Mara Jade tore out strands of hair from her head, leading Skywalker to believe that finding his mother's hair would lead him to the answer. Skywalker and Shevu went back to Coruscant to examine Caedus' StealthX starfighter for Mara Jade's hair, as finding some would all but confirm that Caedus was the guilty party. However, actually getting to Caedus' starfighter undetected posed a problem. Nevertheless, the two circumvented this difficulty by asking Cha Niathal to give them unabated access to the starfighter, under the guise that they were only performing a compulsory service check, and to use a Coruscant Security Force droid to examine Caedus' starfighter, so Caedus would not be able to sense that Shevu and Skywalker had been in the StealthX. Niathal obliged, setting all the pieces in place.
Skywalker and Shevu waited until Caedus left on the Anakin Solo to go to Fondor and went to the Galactic Alliance fleet hangar where the StealthX was. Upon examining the starfighter, the forensics droid they were using found several strands of hair with traces of blood in the fighter, which would implicate Caedus as the killer if the hair was Mara Jade's. Although they were chanced upon by Heol Girdun, one of Caedus' top men, while examining the StealthX, Girdun did not suspect that they were up to anything suspicious. Skywalker and Shevu returned to Endor on the freighter Spirit of Commerce with the evidence in tow, where they met with Luke. By the time he returned, his father was preparing to leave to fight at Fondor, a mission that Skywalker was not allowed on. Skywalker compared the hairs he had taken from Caedus' StealthX with hair on one of Mara Jade's old brushes, which brought up a positive match on a forensic droid. In one fell swoop, Skywalker had confirmed that Caedus was indeed Mara Jade's killer. Excited and triumphant, Skywalker raced back to his father and gave him the news.
The Second Battle of Fondor turned out to be a very pivotal one. The joint forces of the Jedi Coalition, Confederation, and Mandalorians, joined later by the surprise attack of Admiral Natasi Daala's Maw Irregular Fleet, won a massive victory over Caedus' Galactic Alliance forces and the Imperial Remnant. During the battle Cha Niathal defected to the other side, forming the Alliance-in-exile with the forces that had switched sides along with her. Also, the Imperial commander, the legendary Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon, was killed by Caedus' new Sith apprentice Tahiri Veila. Defeated, Caedus returned to Coruscant, where Shevu had returned to duty by Caedus' side. Shevu had a secretly taped conversation with Caedus following the battle, where Caedus admitted that he had killed Mara Jade Skywalker. Shevu gave the recording of the conversation to Skywalker, who promptly played it to his father and several others.
- "Tahiri, you don't wanna do that. I know you don't, because you're no better suited to be a Sith apprentice than I was."
- ―Ben Skywalker to Tahiri Veila
The Jedi soon left Endor for a base on the abandoned mining world of Shedu Maad, deep in the Transitory Mists region of the Hapes Cluster. Meanwhile, Skywalker continued to meet in secret with Lon Shevu, setting up a meeting with him in the Monument Plaza area of Coruscant. In case there was any trouble, Leia and Jaina Solo were in the area as backup. Using a code, Shevu—who was disguised as a Reconstruction Authority Space Patrol pilot—slipped Skywalker information stating that Darth Caedus' forces had gone to Nickel One, an asteroid in the Roche asteroid belt that had recently been captured by Imperials. During the meeting, Skywalker felt a warning through the Force from Jaina Solo, and soon saw the reason why: Tahiri Veila and a large Galactic Alliance Guard detachment were armed and heading their way. Shevu allowed himself to be captured so Skywalker could elude the hostile forces but was quickly surrounded by Veila and the GAG squad. Skywalker was brought down by stun bolts and was strapped into a GAG Doomsled.
The Solos attempted to give chase, but were not able to catch up to the Doomsled. Skywalker and Shevu were locked in a GAG cell and tortured repeatedly by Caedus' droid SD-XX. The droid was trying to extract the location of the Jedi base, but Skywalker refused to talk. After a many interrogation sessions administered by SD-XX, Skywalker was approached by Tahiri Veila herself. Skywalker, now tormented by pressure sores on his back due to a long time lying on his bunk, was treated much better by Veila, to the point where he believed Veila was trying to seduce him. Skywalker refused to divulge the location of the Jedi base, and Veila changed her methods. Veila brought Skywalker to a specialized torture wing, where Shevu lay. Veila tried to use the badly injured Shevu as leverage over Skywalker, offering to save him if Skywalker told her the location of the Jedi base, but still Skywalker refused. Angered, Veila continued to torture Shevu, eventually releasing a bolt of Force energy into one of Shevu's wounds. Shevu subsequently suffered a stress rupture of the aorta, killing him instantly. Veila was shocked, and blamed Shevu's death on Skywalker refusing to talk. She asked him for the Jedi base location one last time, and when Skywalker declined to talk, struck him, rocking the hoverchair he was sitting in. Skywalker threw his weight in the direction of the chair's tilt, tipping the hoverchair on its side, and simultaneously Force-pushed Veila into two GAG guards behind her. He used this extra time to free himself from his shackles and manipulated a guard's stun rifle to fire at Veila, incapacitating her. He escaped the prison facility with Shevu's body, which he shipped to his wife Shula on Vaklin.
Skywalker, needing to return to the Jedi base on Shedu Maad, received rescue instructions from an anonymous Hapan Intelligence operative on Coruscant. He was told to go to the Nova Station space station in the remains of the Carida system, proceed to the Big Boom cantina, order a Fogblaster drink, and wait for someone he recognized to approach him. He followed these instructions and was approached by two Hapan women, Trista and Taryn Zel, who identified themselves as Tenel Ka Djo's cousins. They explained that they were sent by Djo and Hapan Prince Isolder to retrieve Skywalker and extracted him from the cantina to their skiff, Blue Slipper. From there, they would bring Skywalker to Isolder's personal starcutter, the Beam Racer. However, Skywalker heard a droid on the hull of the ship after they had taken off. A usage of the hull scrubber failed to destroy the droid, and Skywalker went extravehicular onto the hull to investigate. What he found was SD-XX, who had evidently followed him to Nova Station. After a brief fight, Skywalker Force-pushed the droid out into space, where he drifted away from the Blue Slipper. After dispatching SD-XX, Skywalker noticed the Anakin Solo suddenly appearing out of hyperspace and catching the Beam Racer in its tractor beam.
With the Beam Racer gone, the Zels instead took Skywalker to the Dragon Queen, Tenel Ka Djo's personal flagship. He went on the Dragon Queen to Shedu Maad, where he was greeted by his father, the Solos, and Zekk. However, a short time after Skywalker returned to Shedu Maad, the planet was attacked by the Caedus' Galactic Alliance and the Imperial Remnant, having tracked the Jedi base down using a technique called a blood trail that had been placed on Jaina Solo. The Dragon Queen was attacked, killing many with royal blood, but failing to eliminate Djo and Allana. Meanwhile, Isolder was executed by Caedus on the Anakin Solo. On the planet's surface, Skywalker and the Zels received word of Tahiri Veila and an Elite Guard unit coming their way, so Skywalker and Taryn Zel fled while Trista Zel remained behind to protect Hapan General Livette. The two were found and attacked by Veila and the soldiers, and Skywalker pursued Veila down a tunnel. During a lull in the combat Skywalker tried to talk Veila out of being a Sith, saying she wasn't suited for it. Skywalker dared Veila to strike him down, while saying that she wasn't evil or hardened enough to do it. Veila switched off her lightsaber, giving up, but refused to return to the Jedi Order. Skywalker offered to lie about Veila's whereabouts to the Jedi, but she declined that proposal.
The Battle of Uroro Station turned out to be the climactic and deciding battle in the Second Galactic Civil War. Jaina Solo boarded the Anakin Solo and dueled her twin brother, Darth Caedus. Solo bested her brother and killed the Dark Lord of the Sith and Galactic Alliance Chief of State. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker was able to convince the Imperials to join the Jedi Coalition under the leadership of Jagged Fel. The newfound alliance between the Jedi Coalition and the Imperial Remnant forced the Confederation to surrender, although they refused to rejoin the Galactic Alliance. After two years, the Second Galactic Civil War had ended.
Travels with his father (43 ABY–44 ABY)
Odyssey among the stars
- "I'm going with you."
- ―Ben Skywalker to Luke Skywalker
After the Second Galactic Civil War, Natasi Daala was installed as Galactic Alliance Chief of State. For two years the galaxy struggled to rebuild from the devastating conflict, and Daala's administration fostered a widespread anti-Jedi sentiment throughout her constituents, resulting in tensions between the Jedi Order and the Galactic Alliance government. Things got worse when in 43 ABY, two Jedi—Seff Hellin and Valin Horn—suffered bizarre mental breakdowns and went on destructive rampages, using strange and advanced Force powers. Eventually, Daala had Luke Skywalker arrested for dereliction of duty and reckless endangerment of a population by failing to prevent Jacen Solo's fall to the dark side and transformation into Darth Caedus. Skywalker was represented in a trial by Twi'lek former Rogue Squadron pilot Nawara Ven, but ultimately lost the case. The Jedi Grand Master was sentenced to be exiled from Coruscant for ten standard years, temporarily resign the position of Grand Master of the Jedi Order, and was forbidden from being involved in any way, shape, or form in the Jedi Order. However, Skywalker would have his sentence lifted if he was able to determine the cause of Solo's fall.
After his sentencing, Luke Skywalker appointed Jedi Master Kenth Hamner interim Grand Master in a session of the Jedi High Council. Ben Skywalker approached him after the meeting and insisted that he accompany his father during his time away from the Order. Luke reluctantly allowed him to, and Skywalker packed up his belongings and said his farewells to his friends and family. The two took a shuttle to the local spaceport, where they left Coruscant in the Jade Shadow. The Skywalkers, who had made the decision to retrace Jacen Solo's five-year journey through the galaxy following the Yuuzhan Vong War, first went to the Expansion Region planet of Dorin. Dorin was the home of the Baran Do Sages, a Force-based organization consisting of the native Kel Dor species, which had been visited by Solo on his voyage. They landed in the city of Dor'shan, and after an inspection of their ship they went to the Baran Do temple. Wearing breath masks in the helium-rich atmosphere, they were met at the entrance by a Baran Do named Tistura Paan, who refused them entry until they proved their identity by besting her in hand-to-hand combat. Ben was sent out to fight Paan and defeated the Baran Do Sage.
Paan granted the Skywalkers an audience with Mistress Tila Mong. However, Mong personally had not taught Solo, as the Master of the Baran Do at the time was the now-deceased Koro Ziil. However, Mong agreed to let Luke learn the techniques that Solo had learned. Ben, though, insisted that he be taught the techniques instead, due to fear that his father would be corrupted by these teachings. In response, Luke made Ben promise that if Luke started to turn evil Ben would stop him, and if Ben was not up to the task, return to Coruscant. The day after, Luke was taken away to learn the hassat-durr Force technique with Mong, and Skywalker spent the time combat training with Paan. During his training with Paan, Skywalker learned that one of the Baran Do Masters, Charsae Saal, had decided to die the next day. The Skywalkers attended Saal's death ceremony, where Saal would supposedly allow his spirit to become one with the Force. They felt Saal's presence in the Force vanish, but Luke was not convinced, saying that Saal had merely hid himself in the Force much like Jacen Solo had learned to.
The Hidden Ones
- "What have you done?"
"The same thing you did to us. I've taken your choice away."
- ―Ziil and Ben, after Ben collapsed the exit from the caverns
After Saal's death ceremony, the Skywalkers returned to investigate the premises. They eventually made their way to the temple's basement, where they found Charsae Saal, alive, with Tila Mong and two other Baran Do Masters. When the Skywalkers confronted Saal, he indicated that he was going to a secret place, where he would leave his old life behind and choose a new name. Luke surmised that Koro Ziil might also be there, and demanded that he be allowed speak to him. Mong offered to let the Skywalker go with Saal so they could speak to Ziil, and they accepted. The Skywalkers rode a car down to caverns deep beneath the surface of Dorin, where they were greeted by a group of Kel Dor who told the Skywalkers that they would have to choose new names. They abstained on changing their names, and met with Koro Ziil, who had since taken a new name. Ziil revealed to the Skywalkers that there was no way to leave the caverns and that any secrets learned there would never leave those chambers.
The Skywalkers later spoke with the former Charsae Saal, now known as Chara, who told them the story of their group. After the Great Jedi Purge in 19 BBY, where thousands of Jedi were systematically exterminated by the Galactic Empire, Tokra Hazz, the Baran Do Master of the Order, sent many of the Baran Do Masters into hiding in the underground caverns, so should the Empire come and destroy the Baran Do as it had the Jedi, a cell of Baran Do would remain. The Skywalkers promptly began working on digging out a rock chamber that the Baran Do intended to be their permanent quarters, as well as trying to stem the boredom that came with living amongst the Hidden Ones, as they were known. Skywalker was anxious to find a way out of the caverns, but his father maintained that he be patient. The two sensed the utter boredom and loss of vitality amongst the Kel Dor living in the caverns and announced their renaming ceremony. However, they had no intention of choosing new names, but rather to expose the loss of vitality amongst the Hidden Ones.
The Kel Dors assembled for the Skywalkers' renaming ceremony, but instead, Luke began renaming the other Hidden Ones as Ben watched on. When asked by Ziil why he was doing such a thing, Luke responded that Ziil had wronged all the other Hidden Ones by rejecting the vitality of life, and in doing so, rejecting the Force. Luke surmised that the lack of need for training in the caverns had caused the Hidden Ones' skills to atrophy and offered to prove it by having Ben duel him. If Ben was defeated by Saal, Luke would abandon the subject. Ben fought Saal at Luke and Ziil's behest, and the energy of the duel caused the Kel Dors to come alive and cheer. Although Saal was Ben's senior in fighting experience, Ben prevailed, and in doing so, he proved that the Hidden Ones had lost their spirit and strength of purpose. Ziil maintained his position, but the other Hidden Ones disagreed with him for the first time. Appalled by the disobedience of his subjects, the Hidden One revealed that he had already told those on the surface that the Skywalkers had died when a cave collapsed and that sending any more oxygen-nitrogen canisters would not be necessary. Without the canisters, the Skywalkers would die within the next day or two from the poisonous atmosphere of Dorin that only the native Kel Dor could breathe.
This announcement caused great unrest amongst the other Hidden Ones, who proclaimed that the Skywalkers' treatment was highly unjust and that the Hidden Ones experiment was a failure. Angered, Ziil attacked Luke with the Force, causing a duel of Force powers which Luke won. Although he had been bested, Ziil still refused to let the Skywalkers and the other Hidden Ones leave. Ziil stated that he would tell those on the surface that his earlier message about the Skywalkers' deaths was a mistake, promised to free his servants and appoint a board of advisers, and in a couple of years they would reassess the situation. However, the Hidden Ones had turned against him. When Ziil still refused to listen to reason, Ben set off a secret explosive that collapsed what Ziil had claimed to be the only exit from the caverns. Ben continued on to reveal all of Ziil's lies to the Hidden Ones; Ziil, however, still refused to admit to the existence of another way out of the caverns. At last Burra, one of the older Hidden Ones, gave in, revealing he knew of a secret turbolift chamber that led to the surface. The Hidden Ones left the caverns, returning to the Baran Do on the surface, and the Skywalkers departed Dorin soon afterward.
- "He did study with the Aing-Tii. Maybe we should go talk to them."
- ―Ben Skywalker
Back on Coruscant, the strange mania that had overtaken Valin Horn and Seff Hellin reappeared in Horn's sister Jysella Horn. Horn went on another rampage, which was stopped by Galactic Alliance Security agents who imprisoned her. On the Jade Shadow, the Skywalkers were contacted by Cilghal, who informed them of the occurrence and of her belief that Horn had flow-walked, another exotic Force power that had been utilized by Darth Caedus, which allowed a Force-user to travel back or forward in time and observe events for a period of time. This led Luke to believe that Caedus had flow-walked into the future to teach the Knights who had been stricken by the madness these advanced Force powers, and somehow contribute to the events. Ben pointed out that Caedus had studied with the Aing-Tii, a reclusive, xenophobic, and mysterious group of alien monks residing in the difficult to maneuver area of space known as the Kathol Rift. They decided that going to learn from the Aing-Tii was a good idea and traveled to the Kathol Rift. They found the Kathol Rift to be a very unstable area, with lightning storms striking the Jade Shadow multiple times. Also, the two experienced odd hallucinations while in the Rift and saw strange disturbances in the ship's equipment. After several days searching for the Aing-Tii, they were found by one of the Aing-Tii's Sanhedrim ships, which had appeared seemingly from out of nowhere. The two were telepathically contacted by the Aing-Tii aboard the ship, who stated that the Skywalkers needed to be tested. Luke conveyed his agreement to the Aing-Tii's proposal and received coordinates to the Aing-Tii homeworld.
They were met upon landing by an Aing-Tii named Tadar'Ro, who acted as their liaison with the Aing-Tii Monks. Tadar'Ro took them to a house created for Jorj Car'das, a former smuggler who had once stayed with the Aing-Tii, where they were to live while learning with the Aing-Tii. Tadar'Ro had previously instructed Jacen Solo during his five-year sojourn, and the Skywalkers believed that Tadar'Ro could tell them of the time Solo had spent with the Aing-Tii, as well as teach Skywalker the technique of flow-walking. Tadar'Ro agreed, in exchange for one service; that the Skywalkers examine the Relics, sacred artifacts taken from all over the galaxy by the Aing-Tii. The Aing-Tii were forbidden to touch the Relics, but outsiders were not. Tensions had recently risen among the Aing-Tii, and Tadar'Ro hoped that the Skywalkers would find a revelation from the Relics that would settle them. The Skywalkers agreed to this deal, although Luke was displeased by Skywalker's eagerness to learn the power of flow-walking. After they returned to the house, they discovered Car'das' journals detailing his experiences amongst the Aing-Tii.
The Skywalkers were sent on many journeys to retrieve more of these Relics and gained the trust—and eventually the friendship—of Tadar'Ro. Meanwhile, they continued to train in the Aing-Tii's exotic Force powers, and one day Skywalker was deemed ready to learn flow-walking. Although Luke was wary of flow-walking, believing it would cause his son pain, Skywalker continued with the training. One night as the Skywalkers slept aboard the Jade Shadow, they came under attack by a mysterious assailant wielding a Vor'cha stun stick, who had somehow found his way onto the ship. The intruder disappeared as quickly as he arrived, though Luke believed that the attacker was another Aing-Tii. The Skywalkers went to Tadar'Ro for answers, and he agreed that the assailant was an Aing-Tii. Tadar'Ro stated that it was time to journey to the Embrace, a series of caverns where the Relics were placed by the Aing-Tii, so they could examine the Relics.
The journey to the Embrace took three arduous days, where the thin atmosphere and shortage of water took a great toll on the Skywalkers. When they finally reached the Embrace, the Skywalkers got to work examining each one for any insight that could be gleaned from it. The task took many hours, until they got to the Codex, a product of DarkStryder technology that purportedly could augment the beholder's Force powers. When Luke laid his hands on the Codex, he was overcome by its power and told Skywalker that he had felt something strange, something out of harmony, coming from the Maw, where Skywalker had once stayed during the Yuuzhan Vong War more than a decade before. Having finished their examination of the artifacts, the Skywalkers returned to Tadar'Ro, telling him that what they had to say should be told to all the Aing-Tii together. When they addressed the assembled Aing-Tii, Luke revealed that they had gotten no insight from the artifacts and that the Aing-Tii alone must decide their destiny. With the Skywalkers about to part with the Aing-Tii, Luke brought up the fact that Skywalker had yet to attempt flow-walking. Skywalker admitted that he decided against it to make a gesture to Luke, but Luke insisted that Skywalker make his own decision. Skywalker opted to try the flow-walking with Tadar'Ro, back to when Tadar'Ro had instructed Jacen Solo. Skywalker was greatly disturbed after flow-walking and seeing Solo, vowing never to flow-walk again. Their time with the Aing-Tii over, the Skywalkers departed for the Maw to investigate the strangeness Luke had felt there, which emanated from something called the Mind Drinkers.
- "Are we sure we need to find these guys?"
- ―Ben Skywalker regarding the Mind Drinkers
Upon arriving at the black hole cluster known as the Maw, Skywalker immediately felt that he and his father were not alone; also, he was privately terrified of falling victim to the same darkness that had claimed Jacen Solo. As Skywalker had previously stayed at the Shelter during the Yuuzhan Vong War, his father asked him many questions about what he had felt there. However, Skywalker was only two years old at the time, and protested that he could not remember that far back. Luke maintained that Skywalker needed to reach back in his memory with the Force, and when Skywalker did this, he felt something strange; a dark tentacle of need, which called for him from within the Maw. Skywalker was frightened by this experience, and turned away from it. Skywalker, nevertheless, decided to face his fears, and asked his father how to find the Mind Drinkers. Luke responded with a quote from Tadar'Ro, which was also an ancient Ashla parable; "The Path of True Enlightenment runs through the Chasm of Perfect Darkness. The way is narrow and treacherous, but if you can follow it, you will find what you seek." From this, Skywalker inferred that they were meant to fly between two of the Maw's black holes, in a path known as Stable Zone One. Impressed by his son's feeling for mystic guidance, Luke handed Skywalker the controls of the Jade Shadow, and directed him to fly the ship through the path.
Despite the poor visibility conditions, Skywalker slowly but surely flew the Jade Shadow through Stable Zone One. During the flight Skywalker was worried that he might fly down a black hole, but the calmness of his father reassured him. toward the end of the flight the Jade Shadow came upon something odd; a Duros in a Jedi flight suit and without a helmet, floating in space. The Duros fired on the Jade Shadow with a portable missile launcher, damaging the hull. After conferring, the Skywalkers realized that the Duros was Qwallo Mode, a Jedi Knight who had mysteriously vanished on a courier run to the Tapani sector about a year earlier. The damaged ship flew on, soon coming across something that the Jade Shadow's sensors identified as a medium-sized transport, but upon closer examination appeared to be a miniature Centerpoint Station, which had been destroyed two years before. Skywalker parked the Jade Shadow in the station's docking bay, which was filled with dozens of empty ships from many different eras and classes. Luke decided to delay the repairs to the Jade Shadow in favor of a look around the station. As the two made their way deeper into the station, they came across more antiques; rooms filled with old equipment of all kinds, and old, shriveled corpses, including the desiccated exoskeletons of Killiks.
The two made their way to a large circular chamber, where Luke found a chart of the Maw. Skywalker took the lead and entered another corridor, but immediately ran away, exclaiming that there were a large number of bodies there. Luke took the lead down the corridor, where they did indeed find bodies; however, they were not dead, but seemed to be in some sort of a meditative trance. At the end of the hall they found Qwallo Mode, who had an injured leg and was bleeding profusely. When the Skywalkers attempted to treat him, they were stopped by a Gotal in a pre-Great Jedi Purge Jedi robe who had descended from the ceiling, who told the Skywalkers they were doing more harm than good. The Gotal identified himself as Seek Ryontarr, a Jedi Knight from the era of the Galactic Republic who disappeared decades before on a mission to rescue the Nath Goordian heirs. Suddenly, several of the beings in the hall began killing themselves, acts which Skywalker believed were the result of the Skywalkers interrupting their meditation. Ryontarr explained that the beings were Mind Walking, a Force power which allowed them to reach a realm they referred to as Beyond shadows.
During their discussion with the Mind Walkers, it was revealed that Jacen Solo had visited the station, and that by Mind Walking they could recreate what Solo saw there. Luke decided to attempt Mind Walking, but ordered Ben to stay behind, fix the Jade Shadow, and leave if anything went awry. While Luke was beyond shadows, Skywalker stayed with two brother-and-sister Mind Walkers, Rolund and Rhondi Tremaine. Skywalker spent the time learning the stories of other Mind Walkers, who all were Force-sensitive, had all either been born in the Maw and spent time in the Maw, and all began experience terrible longings to return after Centerpoint Station's destruction. Meanwhile, the Tremaines took to raiding the Jade Shadow's stores, and removing the IV tube from Luke for unknown reasons. When Skywalker confronted them about this matter, the Tremaines reluctantly explained that they hoped that the sooner they ran out of food, they would realize the Force was the only sustenance they needed and would stay at the station. Skywalker was angered by their position, and asked the Tremaines to prove it; he asked them to try and stay beyond shadows for a week without food or water. Rolund took up the challenge, agreeing to stay in a storage compartment while performing the challenge.
Despite the pleas of Rhondi, Skywalker welded Rolund into a storage compartment on the Jade Shadow. In the meantime, due to the lack of food and nutrients while he was beyond shadows, Luke's body had become emaciated. Skywalker asked Rhondi to take him beyond shadows, as to bring his father back so they could leave. Skywalker succeeded in reaching the realm with Rhondi and caught up with Luke, who explained that Seek Ryontarr had been stalling him from finding out what Jacen Solo had experienced there. Ryontarr pointed to a woman in the mists, within who Skywalker felt the same strange presence he had felt as a child in the Shelter; Luke believed that she knew what corrupted Solo. Next, Ryontarr led the Skywalkers to a body of water known as the Lake of Apparitions. When the Skywalkers entered it, they were met by apparitions of Anakin Solo, Mara Jade Skywalker, and lastly, Jacen Solo; Skywalker initially expressed anger and shock at what Solo had done, but eventually forgave him. After leaving the Lake of Apparitions, the Skywalkers decided to depart, and leave the station in the Jade Shadow.
After returning to the physical world, and overcoming the effects of dehydration caused by a full day beyond shadows, Skywalker had a discussion with his father about their experiences beyond shadows; Skywalker believed that the destruction of Centerpoint had caused Daala's former Imperial spies, such as the Tremaines, to want to return to the Maw. Their dialogue was interrupted by the sounds of Rolund trying to get out of his compartment in the Jade Shadow; however, when Skywalker went to check on him, Rhondi was suddenly killed by an unknown assailant. The Skywalkers were ambushed by several more lightsaber-wielding combatants, but fended them off, although one of them was able to wound Luke with a parang blade. Luke struck back and wounded the one who injured him, and she was restrained and carried with them, although she was released by Luke. However, more kept coming, and the Skywalkers were forced to fight their way back to the Jade Shadow. During the fighting, Skywalker felt the presence of the Sith meditation sphere he had encountered on Ziost during the Second Galactic Civil War; its presence led Skywalker to believe that they were under attack by Sith. Luke was struck again by the girl that had injured him previously, but fought her off and they were able to escape in the Jade Shadow.
- "New message?"
"Another letter filled with teenage talk, I assume. Girls, speeders, allowance woes—"
"And Sith, of course."
- ―Han and Leia Solo, after receiving a message from Ben
After Luke marked her with a blood trail during the incident at Sinkhole Station, the Skywalkers tracked the Sith girl to Kessel, where they found out she had updated her star map. From there they tracked her to the planet Dathomir. Despite some trouble with the local authorities, they learned her ship had crashed and went after her in the jungle with rented speeder bikes. While in the jungle, they were ambushed by some of the Witches of Dathomir of the Raining Leaves Clan. They were saved by the timely arrival of Han and Leia who had come to Dathomir to assist them. The Witches revealed to them that because of Luke, they were inspired to unite with the Broken Columns Clan. They found that their quarry, whose name they learned was Vestara Khai, had let herself get adopted by the Raining Leaves. This proved a difficulty to the Skywalkers as they would not give her up to them unless she agreed. In his first encounter with her, she provoked Ben with Jacen's name while he accused her of being evil due to her Sith nature. She "won" the argument by making him lose his temper, something his father chided him for.
Ben was troubled by the fact that the Sith still existed due to the pain he received due to them, especially his cousin Jacen. In an attempt to ingratiate themselves with the clans, the Skywalkers participated in their Games, where Luke and Han won a few competitions. During the competitions, he unsuccessfully tried to extract information from Vestara, yet it was more banter than a full-blown argument. He found that despite her being Sith, it was hard to hate her. Also during the competitions, the Jedi could feel that there was a malicious presence at the event which turned out to be Nightsisters. Being traditionalists, they opposed the union between the clans and sent snakes to assassinate some of the men. Ben was able to intervene before fighting began by cutting the knife of a belligerent man. At a meeting to decide the new clans name, Ben suggested one using the sun. The meeting was cut short by another attack from the Nightsisters who sent sparkflies after them. After a brief battle resulting in two of the Ninghtsisters dead, they regrouped and left the clans to assess the damage. After the battle the Solos returned back to their ship, leaving the Skywalkers to deal with the situation. It was then when Ben began conducting an investigation as to who the Nightsisters were in the camp, settling on Halliava Vurse. With the help of Dyon Stadd they found that the Nightsisters were calling for reinforcements and preparing to attack.
In response to the impending attack the clans moved to a defensible hill under a Jedi standard. This violated Luke's terms of conviction which left Ben to lead the forces in battle while his father stayed down the hill. He rallied the clan members and prepared for the assault. During the first wave, he and Dyon attacked a few rancors that were attacking the rear and were later helped by Vestara. After another wave, the Nightsisters requested for them to surrender which they refused. During the next wave, a helpless Ben could only watch as his father was almost crushed by boulders and attacked by Nightsisters until he was saved by Vestara using Ben's lightsaber. After this he decided help organize the clan members into battle formations. This made defending against the subsequent waves much more efficient. After a lull in the fighting, the two clans were finally joined as the Bright Sun Clan. This redacted the status of the hill as Jedi property, allowing Luke to return to the hill. Together they realized that Vestara was bringing the Sith to Dathomir, prompting Ben to state he had begun to like her, presumably due to her skills and wit. They followed Vestara to her meeting with Halliava and discovered her true motives. Although Vestara tried to get them off her trail, they followed her to the landing zone where the Sith were kidnapping the Nightsisters. While his father engaged Sith Lord Viun Gaalan Ben fought and killed two Sith Sabers with Dyon's help. After Galaan escaped, Vestara was left behind. Luke took her in custody as the Bright Sun Clan expelled her from the clan. The clan also handed Ben the deed to Bright Sun Hill so a new Jedi facility could be built on it. They took Vestara aboard the Jade Shadow and as they left Dathomir, they were approached by the Sith fleet.
Alliance with the Sith
- "Just find us somewhere safe to land."
"That's a relative term here."
- ―Ben Skywalker and Vestara Khai, upon their arrival at Abeloth's planet
Because they were outnumbered, the Skywalkers then proceeded to use her as collateral to form an alliance with the Sith in order to combat whatever was inflicting the Jedi with the Force psychosis. Sith High Lord Sarasu Taalon told the Jedi that Abeloth had been causing the same psychosis amongst the Tribe's apprentices. This was the common cause for their alliance. Afterwards, the Shadow was then contacted by Vestara's father, Gavar Khai, who had accompanied Taalon on the mission, and the Skywalkers agreed to allow him to come on board and speak privately with Vestara.
Luke observed the conversation, and the two Sith, sensing this, spoke in the Keshiri language. Ben was skeptical as to how they were going to understand it, but Luke said he knew someone who could. Luke and Taalon decided to meet up with Lando Calrissian, who could provide the Rockhound, a Colossus I Beta Series asteroid tug, for use in navigating the Maw. Ben and Vestara began to spend some time together, engaging in conversation and participating in activities like cooking together. Still, Ben was wary of Vestara and her motivations. Luke and Taalon decided to wait for Lando at the planet Klatooine in the Si'Klaata Cluster. Once there, Luke allowed Ben and Vestara to travel to the planet's surface with Dyon Stadd in order to restock the Shadow's supplies. In the meanwhile, Luke had sent a recording of Vestara's conversation with her father to C-3PO for translation. Having lived a sheltered life, Vestara was awed by the diversity of activity on the planet. She continued her flirtatious behavior with Ben, which he reciprocated. During their conversations, they did not broach any subject that would have been a clash of ideology between them. They were interrupted, however, when Stadd suddenly fell prey to the psychosis. Stadd fled the market, heading for the Fountain of the Ancients in the Derelkoos Desert; a sacred wintrium Fountain around which was a one-kilometer zone wherein no technology was allowed. Ben and Vestara pursued him, and although he was not pleased to see another person inflicted by the psychosis, he was shocked to see that she assisted him in Stadd's capture without harming him.
Vestara, Ben, and Stadd were then taken captive by Klatooinian guards. However, Ben and Vestara were only held due to being underage. They were taken to the Treema Courthouse and Detention Area, where Ben helped pass the time telling Vestara jokes, which she was genuinely amused by. They also had a conversation comparing their two fathers. When Luke and Gavar arrived, Gavar walked away with Vestara, while Luke and Ben went to retrieve Stadd. The Klatooinians were happy to hand him over, as they did not have the facilities to contain him. After they returned to the ship, Threepio sent the translation of Vestara's conversation with her father. Although the droid was unfamiliar with the language, he was able to give them a rough translation to Basic. As they saw it, Ben was deeply upset that the Sith were planning to betray the Jedi and that Vestara hoped to turn him personally to the dark side. Ben began acting coldly toward her, and she was upset by his sudden change of attitude, unaware of what caused it.
Luke and Taalon agreed that they no longer wanted to stay on Klatooine, so the allied fleet left the planet, waiting for Lando just outside the Maw. Lando finally arrived with a surprise, Jaina, who had come in hopes of assisting the Skywalkers in the dealing with the Sith. The fleet entered the Maw, heading for Sinkhole Station, where Luke hoped to find information that could prove useful for their mission. Ben noticed that he no longer felt the "tentacle" that he had felt upon their first trip to the Maw. Upon their arrival, however, they found that the space station had been completely destroyed. Two Sith frigates moved into the debris field, and the Rockhound attempted to stop them with its tractor beams. It managed to save one of the frigates, but the other collided with debris and exploded. The Skywalkers and Vestara deduced that Sinkhole Station had been built to contain Abeloth, but she had become powerful enough to break free and destroy the space station. The fleet then agreed to head straight to Abeloth's planet.
When they arrived at Abeloth's planet, Vestara sensed Ship and could tell that he was unhappy serving Abeloth. Ben told her that he had piloted Ship before it contacted the Lost Tribe. Concerned that Abeloth might try to free Stadd now that they were so close to her, the Skywalkers sent Vestara to check on him. After landing on the planet, the Skywalkers met with Taalon, Gavar, and Captain Leeha Faal. Luke suggested that they travel in the realm of beyond shadows. Vestara was strongly opposed to the idea and attempted to talk her fellow Sith out of it. The other Sith agreed with Luke, however, and Ben and Vestara were left behind on the Jade Shadow to monitor Luke's physical body while he, Gavar, Taalon, and Faal attempted to find Abeloth beyond shadows. While Ben was monitoring his father, Stadd suddenly broke free from his room and charged for the exit of the ship. Ben called for Vestara to stop him, but instead she stepped aside and let Stadd pass. Suddenly, Luke returned from beyond shadows. Faal had been killed and he had discovered that the presence that had been comforting him the entire mission, which he had assumed to be his deceased wife, was actually Abeloth. Ben revealed to him what Vestara had done and the two Jedi confronted her. However, she replied that she had placed a tracking device on Stadd and let him go free so that they could follow him to Abeloth. They met up with Taalon, Gavar, and nineteen other Sith to track Stadd.
They found Stadd in a cave on the side of a volcano—the same cave where Vestara and her strike team had originally met Abeloth. There, they found Stadd on the ground, barely alive, and no longer possessed by the psychosis. He revealed that Abeloth had attempted to consume his life force but had left him for dead when she sensed the allies' approach, and added that while he still felt her influence on his mind, he realized now that it was not the truth. Stadd was left at the cave entrance along with two Sith while the Skywalkers and the rest of the Sith traveled deeper down a tunnel in the back of the cave to hunt down Abeloth. Eventually, they reached a courtyard at the end of the tunnel. There, Luke called out to Abeloth, who suddenly appeared behind him.
- "We're going to be doing this for a while, aren't we?"
"I'm afraid so, son."
- ―Ben and Luke Skywalker
Abeloth attempted to trick Luke into believing that she was Callista Ming, his former lover, but ultimately failed, as he realized that Abeloth had only consumed Ming as she had attempted to do with Stadd and then taken on her appearance. The strike team then attacked Abeloth, and several Sith began weaving a control web—a technique they had learned from the Nightsisters—over Abeloth in the hopes of capturing her. The Skywalkers, the Khais, and Taalon all charged Abeloth, but she grabbed Vestara by the throat with the Force and raised her off the ground, violently shaking her. Vestara attempted to shoot Force lightning at her, but Abeloth simply turned the lightning back on the Sith apprentice and raised large, white, spiked roots out of the ground, stabbing Vestara with them several times. Ben quickly came to rescue her, slashing through the roots with his lightsaber and carrying Vestara away from the battle in his arms. A quick examination revealed that she wasn't mortally injured, but she grabbed Ben and told him that the spikes were poisonous. He began to search his possessions for something that could help her wounds, but suddenly the Sith executed their betrayal of the Jedi—Gavar turned a strike away from Abeloth and toward Luke while the rest of the Sith lowered the control web onto Abeloth.
Ben shouted a warning to his father, who managed to block Gavar's attack. Vestara tried to insist that she needed Ben's help, but, furious at her betrayal, he jumped away and engaged her father in a duel. Luke was slowly gaining the upper hand in the battle against Abeloth while Ben began to press Gavar back; however, Abeloth suddenly set off a giant Force blast that repulsed everyone in the area and then fled back up the tunnel. Luke was the first to recover and chase after her, with Ben and the Sith shortly behind, and Vestara in the rear. Catching up to her at the cave's entrance, Luke managed to defeat and apparently kill Abeloth, despite another of her attempts to trick him. Afterward, the Sith repaired their alliance with the Jedi so that they could jointly investigate more into Abeloth. Taalon and Luke decided to send Calrissian, Solo, and the entire Sith fleet offworld except for the Khais and the High Lord himself. An angry and hurt Ben took Vestara back to the Jade Shadow to be treated for her injuries.
The renewed allies began to investigate Abeloth's origins. On the Shadow, Ben and Vestara awkwardly conversed with one another, and Vestara suggested they keep being nice to each other. As they talked, Vestara felt that Ship was coming, a fact she shared with Ben. Ben confirmed this and she made him promise not to tell either Taalon or her father that she told him about this. He agreed, and they went to check on Dyon Stadd in the medbay. Vestara proceeded to trap Ben in the medbay while she went off to warn the Sith. Ben chased after her and found her hanging over a cliff, blinded by the planet's hostile plants. He saved her only when she truly promised him she wouldn't betray him until Ship arrived. Surprisingly, both kept their promises and Ben conspired with his father to steal Abeloth's body. Unfortunately, Vestara discovered that the body was actually Dyon's and Abeloth had escaped.
Confrontation arose between the two groups, as Taalon insisted the Skywalkers had stolen Abeloth's body. However, Ship arrived and tempted the Sith by telling them about the Pool of Knowledge. They rode in it to the general area where the Pool was located. Ben and Vestara split from the adults and debated on the power the Pool would bring. They eventually came across an cavern opening and found the Pool. When they looked into it, both of them saw adult versions of themselves. When the adults arrived, Ben realized Abeloth had used Ship to steal their vessels they had left behind. The pool showed things that created tension - which eventually broke into violence - between the two groups such as Kesh and the Jedi Queen. In that image, Ben saw himself as one of Allana's protectors. During the skirmish, Taalon ended up leaping into the pool. Vestara was later thrown into Taalon, which gave the Skywalkers the chance to escape. Ben was apprehensive about leaving as he feared for Vestara's safety, as Taalon was beating her. They discovered that Abeloth had stolen the Jade Shadow. Taalon and Gavar sent Vestara back to the Skywalkers to act like she'd fled the Sith because they were going to punish her for the Jedi's escape. Although Luke was wary of her, Ben insisted that she be given another chance. They then stole Taalon's ship and fled the planet.
Luke tracked Abeloth to Pydyr. Luke was still wary of Vestara, but Ben kept an optimistic view on her, despite all she had done. On Pydyr they discovered that it's inhabitants were struck by a deadly plague. Luke discovered it was all an illusion but he did not share it with Vestara or Ben. He told them to stay on the ship while he went out. Wary of the disease, they disobeyed orders and left the ship in bio-suits. They followed Luke to where the Jade Shadow was hidden by Abeloth. Then, they discovered a large number of Sith, including Taalon and Khai, had followed them. When Abeloth revealed she was masquerading as Akanah Norand Goss Pell, she captured Luke and Ben. Ben assured Luke he had a plan for escape, which turned out to be Vestara. Vestara killed Taalon, who was beginning to transform into a being like Abeloth, saving Luke and Ben's lives in the process. As they escaped, Ben remarked to his father how she had saved them. They were confronted by the Sith who found out that Vestara had killed Taalon. She decided to stay with the Skywalkers as she had nowhere else to go. As the Skywalkers watched the StealthX fleet attack the Sith armada, she saved their lives once again, firing on and killing the Sith guarding the Skywalkers with the Jade Shadow's guns. As they escaped, Ben remarked to his father how she had saved them twice and now he had a window to turn her to the light and stated his belief that she had fallen for him. The Skywalkers and Vestara then continued their pursuit of Abeloth.
On Nam Chorios
- "This place is a hellhole"
- ―Ben while surveying Nam Chorios
The Skywalkers and Vestara continued to pursue Abeloth and followed a Force pulse to Meliflar Station where they briefly skirmished with its inhabitants. There they learned that the crew had mutinied after Abeloth's visit and discovered that she had tainted the station owner's daughter. After Ben's father healed her, he discovered that Abeloth was headed to Nam Chorios.
As they approached Nam Chorios, Luke told Ben and Vestara the history of Nam Chorios including the Death Seed Plague, and the tsils. They approached the planet under the names of Ben and Owen Lars, while Vestara pretended to be the ship captain. Luke warned them about the devastating consequences if they used the Force on the planet. Ben had a mixed impression of the capital Hweg Shul, and learned his father was seeking the Theran Listeners. They deduced that Abeloth would be seeking them as she had other Force sensitives. As they entered the Admirable Admiral, Ben noticed the suspicion of the locals when they approached. They were frostily received, but were given directions to the nearest healer, who happened to be Taselda, the oldest living Jedi. They discussed the secret of Teselda's longevity, the consumption of live drochs. The last time Luke had seen her she had managed to survive for 400 years by eating live Drochs but that had deteriorated her mind to insanity. She had since been cured by the Theran Listners and accepted into their ranks. Luke warned Sel about Abeloth and expressed interest in learning the Listener technique Mnemotherapy. Sel informed the group that Abeloth's Ship had been spotted near Bleak Point Station. Sel then brought the group to Listener-Master Taru Durnand Ben watched as his father learned mnemotherapy. Shortly after the session, Abeloth used the Force to cause a powerful Force Storm. The Skywalkers and Vestara helped as many of the storm's victims as they could.
Personality and traits
- "I got my brains from Mom."
"As well as your tendency toward verbal abuse."
- ―Ben and Luke
Ben Skywalker was a very loyal person; he stayed by Jacen Solo's side even after seeing him gruesomely kill Ailyn Habuur, and it took the death of his mother to turn him against his cousin. He had a strong sense of duty, staying with the Galactic Alliance Guard not necessarily because he wanted to, but because he felt that it was his responsibility, and repeatedly refused his parents' overtures to him asking him to leave the GAG. Skywalker loved Mara Jade very much and often trusted her with sensitive information, such as his treatment at the hands of Jacen Solo and his cousin's association with Lumiya rather than his father, who he, in a way, feared. However, he grew much closer to his father as he grew older. He was extremely saddened upon his mother's death, and as such was grimly determined to unravel the mystery surrounding Mara Jade's death. He refused to give up his investigation even when his father told him that Alema Rar was the killer, and through his perseverance was able to prove his belief that Darth Caedus had killed Mara Jade.
As a young boy, Skywalker was a very affable, social child, often teasing his cousins and other relatives and even going so far as to playfully threaten to tell Jacen Solo's parents that he was the father of Allana. However, as he grew older and served in the Galactic Alliance Guard he became much more mature, to the point that his parents were surprised at how world-weary he had become and how much he acted like a full-grown adult. Indeed, others such as Jagged Fel were shocked about how much Skywalker had grown emotionally. However, Skywalker displayed emotional fragility much like a boy his age several times after violent events, such as after the incident with Movac Arisster, after killing Corellians during a GAG raid, and after not being able to prevent Jori Lekauf's death. Although Skywalker was usually focused on his mission, causing him to initially abandon Kiara on Ziost because she would hold him back; however, his guilt forced him to go back and rescue her. His guilt also manifested itself after his deactivation of the droid Anakin Sal-Solo.
After the Yuuzhan Vong War, the pain that young Skywalker felt through the Force overwhelmed him, causing him to withdraw from the Force. Although this greatly worried his parents, Jacen Solo was able to help Skywalker reopen himself to the Force, and Skywalker formed a close relationship with his older cousin. Although at first Skywalker would only use the Force around Solo, he eventually grew to trust the Force and become a Jedi. Skywalker did have a rather large ego; he lived under the expectancy that he would become a great Jedi Knight like his mother and father and would sometimes read holozines, hoping for some kind of recognition, such as after the highly-publicized Operation Roundabout, and was disappointed when he was not mentioned. Skywalker was headstrong and fearless and insisted on dealing with life on his own terms.
Skywalker was a very curious and observant person and vowed to question everything he believed in, even the Force itself, before putting trust in any faith. This curiosity caused him, upon the death of his mother, to investigate the circumstances of Mara Jade's death. Due to his great love for his mother, his belief that Caedus had killed her drew him into hating Caedus deeply. The ferocity of his hatred caused him to attempt to take Caedus' life during the Battle of Kashyyyk, and after being imprisoned in the Embrace of Pain, to interrupt his father's duel with Caedus to claim the kill for himself. However, Skywalker was unwittingly playing into Caedus' hands, as Caedus wanted Skywalker to submit to his hatred and become his Sith apprentice. A few years after Darth Caedus died at the conclusion of the Second Galactic Civil War, Skywalker grudgingly forgave his cousin, eventually overcoming his hatred to move on with his life.
Skywalker was a forgiving person. He offered to help the fallen Jedi Tahiri Veila, even after she had attacked him multiple times, killed his friend Lon Shevu and swore allegiance to the man who killed his mother. He acted similarly toward Vestara Khai later during their relationship. Although he was very angry at her on Klatooine for attempting to betray him, following Vestara's attempted betrayals on Abeloth's planet, Ben insisted to his father that he forgive Vestara and give her another chance, eventually bringing her closer to the light. Skywalker had a quick wit, sharp tongue, and an irreverent sense of humor, and during Ben's travels with his father, the two had many humorous and lighthearted exchanges. Skywalker, having grown up on Coruscant, spoke with a distinct Coruscanti accent.
Powers and abilities
- "When my life's on the line, I can take care of myself."
- ―Ben Skywalker
As the son of two powerful and famous Force-users, and the grandson of the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker, Skywalker was immensely strong in the Force from the moment of his birth. Although his growth was hindered by his withdrawal from the Force after the Yuuzhan Vong War, he was able to become a talented Force-user. Skywalker was able to disappear in the Force, a rare power that was taught to him by Jacen Solo, a power which he later taught to his mother. He also learned how to flow-walk, but after an unpleasant experience using the power, he vowed never to flow-walk again. Along with being immensely strong with the Force, Skywalker was a quick study; he learned to flow-walk in a short time and was able to master sniping within hours. Skywalker was also skilled in telepathy and was talented in reading a person's intentions through the Force. Skywalker, much like his grandfather, was very skilled with machines from a young age and was also a skilled pilot. Skywalker was skilled with stealth and infiltration, being able to evade detection on Centerpoint Station and inconspicuously reaching the Amulet of Kalara's case. Skywalker was also good with reasoning and logic, something that impressed his father during some of their dialogues, and was able to convince Anakin Sal-Solo that he was actually a droid. Skywalker was gifted with an uncanny ability to remember things he had seen or heard in near perfect detail.
- "What's one of the first things you learned in training to become a Jedi?"
"Don't cut off your own head with a lightsaber.…"
- ―Luke and Ben
Despite his natural talent with the Force, Skywalker's ability with a lightsaber was rather lacking due to never having properly trained in a Jedi Academy; during their sparring match in the Jedi Temple Skywalker was not able to make his father activate his lightsaber, and his father surmised that he had seen Rontos (Jedi students who were mostly between the ages of eight and ten years old) who were better with a lightsaber. Skywalker made up for it somewhat with his cunning, and nearly injured his father in the match by pretending to be injured.
Eventually after further training with his father and his own ability to learn quickly, Skywalker was skilled enough with a lightsaber to fight on par with Tahiri Veila, a former Jedi Knight and current Sith apprentice, during the Battle on Sheddu Maad. During the duel he convinced Veila that she wasn't a true Sith and to turn herself into the Jedi Order.
Two years later Ben would accompany his father into exile. Eventually the Lost Tribe of Sith sent out a strike team to kill the Jedi Grand Master. One of the Sith threw a parang at Luke, who managed to dodge it. Ben attacked the female Sith, slicing off her hand and stabbing her with his lightsaber. Luke and Ben continued to fight through approximately fifteen Sith and managed to escape, leaving only Vestara alive, so Luke could track her with a Blood Trail.
After following Vestara to Dathomir, the Skywalkers were again attacked by the Sith. Luke dueled Sith Lord Viun Gaalan while Ben, with the assistance of Dyon Stadd, fought three Sith Sabers. Ben rushed toward one of the Sith then suddenly switched directions and the Sith was caught off-balance and dropped his lightsaber, allowing Stadd to shoot and kill the Sith. Gaalan's aide began dueling with Ben. Stadd threw dirt into the face of Ben's opponent and Ben quickly cleaved her in two at the waist before moving to attack the third Sith Saber. Stadd fired on the last surviving Saber, who deflected the shot toward the young Skywalker, who in turn deflected it back at the Saber. The bolt hit her wrist, and as she staggered back, Stadd shot her in the gut and Skywalker decapitated her simultaneously. Gaalan, who was starting to lose, used the arrival of Vestara Khai to escape from the elder Skywalker.
Eventually Luke and his son Ben allied with the Lost Tribe of Sith to confront the entity known as Abeloth. During the confrontation, Luke and several Sith fought Abeloth together. During the battle Vestara was injured and Ben stopped to help her. The Sith betrayed the Skywalkers and began to fight Luke as well as Abeloth. Ben leaped away and attacked Gavar Khai from behind, knocking him off balance. Ben quickly pressed the attack on Gavar, furious at the Sith's betrayal, but Gavar's counterattack slashed through his tunic, grazing the flesh beneath. As Gavar continued his onslaught, Ben allowed his anger to make him reckless, and he was again forced to leap away from Gavar's stroke. Gavar urged the young Jedi to use his anger and hate against him, but this had an adverse effect, serving only to calm Ben. As the two continued to duel, Ben renewed his attack on Gavar, pressing the Sith Saber back and causing Gavar to worry that he might not win their duel. Suddenly, however, Abeloth released a giant shock wave, hurling aside all of the Jedi and Sith present and headed for the tunnel where she was defeated by Luke.
The Skywalkers dueled High Lord Sarasu Taalon, Sith Saber Gavar Khai, and Vestara Khai, in order to protect the identity of their relative, Allana Solo. Despite being outnumbered, the Jedi were able to escape.
Abeloth had managed to survive Skywalker's attack and the Sith and the Jedi confronted her again, while she was in the body of Luke's former love Akanah. Sarasu Taalon was convinced by Abeloth to aid her. While Luke engaged Abeloth again, Ben fought Taalon and Vestara. Ben was able to hold them off while his father killed one of Abeloth's bodies. Abeloth returned in Callista's body again, and Taalon captured Ben in a Force net. Vestara, horrified at what Taalon was becoming, killed the High Lord and Abeloth fled before she could be confronted again.
The Skywalkers and Vestara tracked down Abeloth to Nam Chorios. While there the group was confronted by Tola Annax, a Sith Saber, who commanded three other Sabers. Tola had the Sabers attack them and each engaged an enemy in single combat. Ben defeated his opponent, decapitating the Sith, shortly after Luke and Vestara defeated their opponents.
While his father confronted Abeloth again, Ben and Vestara managed to hold off Valin Horn, who had much more experience than either of them. After Luke freed Callista Ming from Abeloth, Ben, Luke, and Vestara were confronted by Tola Annax again. Tola had two-dozen Sith with her and ordered them to attack. Despite the odds the Skywalkers and Vestara managed to hold off the Sith long enough for Vestara to kill a Tsil, allowing them to escape.
While looking for the Sith on Dromund Kaas, Luke, Ben, Vestara, and Jaina Solo were attacked by ten Sith Sabers led by Gavar Khai. Despite being outnumbered and the Sith powered by Dromund Kaas' Dark Side Force Nexus, the Jedi and Vestara fought them. Ben defeated three Sith by himself, as Luke and Jaina defeated six, and Vestara killed her father.
During the mission to oust the Lost Tribe from Coruscant, Ben displayed talent in unarmed combat by defeating several of High Lord Workan's subordinates. In the same confrontation, Ben used his considerable abilities as a marksman to kill the High Lord. When infiltrating the Jedi Temple, Ben defeated numerous Sith despite being heavily outnumbered. He also teamed up with Vestara Khai one last time to kill Abeloth's Korelei avatar, using telekinesis to stab the entity in the neck with a shikkar.
Behind the scenes
- "I believe we let him know that Luke was getting married, but I doubt we informed him of Ben."
- ―Sue Rostoni, on whether George Lucas knew about the introduction of Ben's character
Kathy Tyers, the author of The New Jedi Order: Balance Point, proposed a pregnancy for Luke and Mara to Shelly Shapiro while writing the book. She later learned that The New Jedi Order planning team was considering it for later in the series and urged them to move it sooner, believing that The New Jedi Order needed more bright moments early on. Mara's pregnancy was therefore first revealed in Balance Point, and Skywalker made his first appearance in Gregory Keyes' novel The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory II: Rebirth, where he was first identified as Ben.
In a Hyperspace celebrity chat, Mark Hamill voiced his support of the decision of the EU authors to name Luke and Mara's son Ben, saying that "Pablo just told me about this. It doesn't surprise me. Somebody's using their head. George had talked about me handing Excalibur down to the new young hopes if there ever was a sequel trilogy, and not having hooked up with anyone, it makes sense that Ben ends up being the most influential person in Luke's life. It all makes sense, and I'm glad the caretakers are doing such a good job with the galaxy." In the StarWars.com forums, Sue Rostoni stated that George Lucas was not informed of Skywalker's creation. After his birth in Edge of Victory: Rebirth, Skywalker was absent for much of the novels following it before reappearing in the final New Jedi Order novel The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force by James Luceno. Skywalker subsequently appeared in the next novel series, Troy Denning's Dark Nest Trilogy, where he was featured in all three novels. Afterward, Skywalker played a major part in the Legacy of the Force series, and appeared in all nine novels. Skywalker has also played a major role in the Fate of the Jedi series.
The color of Skywalker's eyes has differed in several different sources; upon being born in Edge of Victory II: Rebirth, his eyes are grey, his eyes are said to be blue in Troy Denning's Dark Nest I: The Joiner King, and his eyes are said to be green in Christie Golden's Omen. Later in Golden's Allies his eyes are said to be blue once again.
The Lost Lightsaber
Ben Skywalker has made one non-canon appearance in The Lost Lightsaber, a comic from Star Wars Tales 19. In it, Ben discovers that the lightsaber once belonging to his grandfather (and later his father and mother) was in the possession of a Dark Jedi, who was attempting to infuse it with dark side energies. Skywalker defeats the Dark Jedi and retrieves the lost lightsaber.