- "You! Lay down your blades and kneel."
"Not a chance."
- ―Lumiya and Luke Skywalker
The Duel on Roqoo Depot took place on a refueling and supply station in the Hapes Cluster during the Second Galactic Civil War. It came about following a complex manipulation on the part of Jacen Solo, who had fallen under the sway of the dark side. Of the opinion that his new Sith mentor, Lumiya, had outlived her usefulness, and that the elimination of Luke Skywalker, the leader of the Jedi Order, would weaken the Jedi, Solo dispatched Lumiya to Roqoo Depot and informed Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker that their son would rendezvous with them there. With Lumiya traveled the Twi'lek Dark Jedi Alema Rar, an enemy of the Jedi Order who was presumed to have died during the Battle of Tenupe four years previously. Rar's vendetta against the Skywalkers had led to an opportunistic alliance with Lumiya, and both women traveled to Roqoo Depot with fail-safe baradium bombs strapped to their chests, set to detonate upon their deaths.
Lumiya and Rar ambushed the Masters Skywalker in the depot's cantina, which proved to be a difficult combat environment for the Jedi, as they were forced to dedicate time and effort to protect the cantina's patrons. As Luke Skywalker battled Lumiya among the crowd, his wife and Alema Rar confronted one another in a side corridor. Separated, the two pairs of combatants were unable to aid each other, and Lumiya was able to grievously wound Skywalker with her lightwhip, while Rar was soon incapacitated by Jade Skywalker and subdued. Jade Skywalker worked quickly to disarm Rar's fail-safe bomb as Lumiya drew closer to victory over the weakened Grand Master, distracting him with taunts and boasts of twisting his son to the dark side. When Skywalker used a discarded blaster to injure Lumiya severely and end the duel, his wife was able to forewarn him of the Sith Lady's baradium explosive, and together the two Jedi Masters fled the cantina. Upon the detonation of the explosive two minutes later, Lumiya was presumed dead. However, the Sith Lady had in fact survived and recuperated before returning to battle weeks later. The news of Alema Rar's survival was communicated to the New Jedi Order, although Jacen Solo was able to fool his aunt and uncle into believing that he had dispatched them to Roqoo Depot in good faith.
- "Master Skywalker is not someone to be trifled with. You could be killed."
"I'm aware of that. I have fought him before, you know."
- ―Alema Rar and Lumiya
In 40 ABY, after decades of inactivity, Dark Lady of the Sith Lumiya revealed herself and enacted a plot to approach Jedi Knight Jacen Solo and train him to become the next Sith Lord. Solo had agreed, in his belief that through him the galaxy could be united. A rapidly developing civil war between the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances and the Five Worlds of the Corellian system was in process and had effectively ended the peace that had endured since the end of the Swarm War four years previously. As part of Lumiya's plan, the New Jedi Order, led by Grand Master Luke Skywalker, had to be neutralized—or at least weakened—in order for Solo to come to power. Skywalker, who, along with his wife, Mara, was growing increasingly suspicious of Solo's actions and wary of his hold over their son, Ben Skywalker, was aware of what he perceived as Lumiya's renewed vendetta against him and his family. Lumiya, who, despite her true nature as an Imperial agent, had been a lover of Luke Skywalker in 4 ABY. Their relationship ended when she was later scarred and disfigured by Skywalker during the war. The Jedi Master presumed, therefore, that Lumiya was motivated by vengeance and hatred.
Elements of the Corellian government, with the intention of gaining more allies in their war against the Galactic Alliance, had decided to back a plot by dissident Hapan nobles to eliminate Queen Mother Tenel Ka Djo of the Hapes Cluster. Jacen Solo, as both a friend of Djo's and a colonel in the Galactic Alliance Guard, had traveled with a fleet of warships to Hapes in order to protect the Queen Mother. Solo decided that by pitting Lumiya against his aunt and uncle, he would stand to gain regardless of the victor. Either Lumiya, whom he did not fully trust and whom he felt had outlived her usefulness, would perish, or Luke Skywalker would be killed, leaving the New Jedi Order without leadership as he rose to power. Solo informed the Skywalkers that their son would be present on Roqoo Depot, a refueling and repair station located in the Transitory Mists of the Hapes Cluster, and subsequently dispatched Lumiya to the same location. Solo also ordered Ben Skywalker to travel to the depot, although unbeknownst to him the young Jedi was sidetracked to the nearby planet Terephon, in order to rescue his cousin Jaina Solo. Meanwhile, Solo engaged the Hapan nobles and their Corellian allies.
Solo, however, had not accounted for all possibilities. During the past several weeks, Lumiya had been working alongside the Twi'lek Dark Jedi Alema Rar, an enemy of the Jedi Order who had been presumed dead as of the final battle of the Swarm War. Rar had her own motives for attacking the Skywalkers, whom she felt had wronged her in the past, and opportunistically sided with Lumiya in order to achieve her own goals. Lumiya, as a woman schooled in the ways of the Sith, had also discerned the truth behind Solo's dispatch to Roqoo Depot. Aware that he intended for her either to kill Luke Skywalker or be killed herself, she decided to prepare herself for the latter eventuality. Stealing baradium explosives from Solo's flagship, Lumiya rigged a fail-safe device that would detonate the powerful explosive upon her death, in order to ensure that Skywalker would perish along with her. Despite Rar's protests, the Dark Lady also rigged the Twi'lek with an identical bomb. Together, Lumiya and the Twi'lek traveled to Roqoo Depot and prepared to ambush the Skywalkers, who were waiting in the space station's cantina. Having discovered that their son was not present, and unable to contact him due to the depot's location within the Transitory Mists, which interfered with communications technology, the Skywalkers came to realize that their nephew had set them up. Intending to confront Solo on his deception, the two Jedi Masters made to leave on their personal starship, the Jade Shadow.
- "Jacen set us up."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker
As the Skywalkers left the cantina, Alema Rar, hooded and unidentifiable, appeared in the mouth of the corridor and threw a grenade toward the Skywalkers. Luke Skywalker used the Force to hurl the grenade back down the corridor, where it exploded, causing a hull breach and injuring a dozen or so patrons. Rar's attack had served to seal the Skywalkers within the cantina and a short section of the corridor. At the mouth of the cantina's second exit Lumiya ignited her lightwhip and lashed out toward the crowd, killing one patron and maiming several others. The Skywalkers split up to approach the Dark Lady, with the Grand Master approaching her head on, shoto in one hand and lightsaber in the other, and his wife moving stealthily in from the side, hidden among the crowd. Lumiya began to utilize the dark side of the Force to turn the fearful cantina patrons against Luke Skywalker. Before long, the Grand Master was forced to deflect blaster bolts non-lethally as he attempted to move closer to Lumiya.
While Mara Jade Skywalker neared her killing position behind Lumiya, her husband was continually penned in by the patrons. The Twi'lek owner of the bar, under Lumiya's influence, attempted to incite the mob against Skywalker, forcing the Grand Master to incapacitate the man and attack Lumiya head on in an attempt to distract her for as long as possible. Lumiya was similarly trying to delay Skywalker until Alema Rar, who had concealed herself in one of the cantina's corridors, could eliminate him with a poisonous dart from her blowgun. Even though Lumiya succeeded in lining Skywalker up for Rar's shot, the Twi'lek refused to fire, instead wishing to kill Mara first in order to cause the Grand Master emotional agony. Eventually, Skywalker parried Lumiya's attacks and forced her to retreat into the crowd, thus depriving Rar of a clear shot.
Complications and climaxEdit
- "I don't have much time, so I'll give you one last chance to surrender. After that, this is to the death—and it doesn't look like you're in condition to last long."
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker and Alema Rar
As Lumiya and Skywalker continued to battle one another among the cantina patrons, Mara changed position, maneuvering herself into the doorway of the corridor in which Rar hid. Rar began projecting all of her grief and anguish into Luke's Force perceptions while he fought Lumiya, with the intention that he would turn to protect his wife just in time to witness her death. Instead of watching Mara die, however, the Grand Master was able to warn her both verbally and through their unique Force bond of her imminent peril, and Mara evaded the dart in time. Lumiya made nominal use of Rar's blunder by burning Luke's chest and severing his artificial hand, both with her lightwhip. Rather than go to her husband's aid, whom she felt would be able to fight off Lumiya despite his injuries, Mara decided to track down Lumiya's ally. She headed through the throng of fleeing patrons up the corridor and was almost killed as Rar struck, dark blue lightsaber in hand. Mara reacted instinctively, scarring Rar's intact lek as she spun away from the Twi'lek's attack.
Mara's shock at seeing Rar for the first time in years was enough to grant the Dark Jedi an advantage. Rar pressed the attack immediately, forcing the Jedi Master to defend herself. Once Mara had beaten Rar back, the two combatants faced off. Mara's offer to grant amnesty was spurned by Rar, and the two resumed their duel. The Twi'lek's impromptu tactic of dropping her lightsaber and spearing her talons into her opponent's neck in preparation for a lethal burst of Force lightning took the Jedi by surprise. Mara was able to evade the attack at the last moment and force Rar to the ground with a scissor kick. The Twi'lek lost consciousness and was bound by Mara, who refused to kill her enemy on moral grounds. As she did so, Mara discovered the baradium bomb strapped to the Twi'lek's chest and immediately set about disarming it.
As Mara attempted to defuse the warhead, her husband drew more heavily on the Force in his attempt to avoid death at Lumiya's hands. Forced to intervene for the sake of the patrons whom Lumiya continually placed in harm's way, Luke decided to go on the offensive. Lumiya took another hostage to forestall the Grand Master's advance, offsetting his attack as Luke withdrew in order to protect the bystander. Once he had used the Force to tear the hostage from Lumiya's grasp, Luke attempted to disarm Lumiya by wrapping the cords of her lightwhip around his own lightsaber blade. In his weakened state, however, he was unable to prevent the Dark Lady from instead wrenching his lightsaber from his grasp. Stumbling back behind a claqball table, Luke searched desperately for a weapon with which he could continue the duel. As Lumiya taunted her opponent with the possibility that it was his son, rather than his nephew, who had been helping her, Luke became distracted. She approached and intimated that she was turning Luke's son to the dark side of the Force, as the Grand Master pulled a blaster from a holster of a dead spacer and raised his head above the claqball table. Lumiya struck with her lightwhip, but Luke dodged the weapon's tendrils and fired the blaster. Five of the bolts hit Lumiya, and she collapsed to the floor, severely wounded. While Luke stood over the Dark Lady and promised her medical help, Mara, who had successfully disarmed Rar's bomb, rushed over and hurried her husband out the cantina before Lumiya's own fail-safe warhead could detonate.
The two Jedi Masters rushed from the cantina moments before the baradium explosive detonated. They assumed Lumiya dead, although she in fact survived and returned to her asteroid retreat to convalesce. Several weeks passed before she was able to reprise her role as Jacen Solo's mentor. Alema Rar was also able to escape, sabotaging the Jade Shadow and journeying to meet with Solo over Hapes. In the belief that Solo's aspirations to become a Sith would serve her purposes in causing Han and Leia Organa Solo pain, Rar forewarned Lumiya's apprentice of the Skywalkers' anger and their belief that Solo had set them up. By doing so, she ensured that Solo's secret was kept, as the aspiring Sith was able to claim that he had genuinely thought that Ben Skywalker would be present at Roqoo Depot and that Lumiya must have caught wind of the Skywalkers' visit. Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker were suspicious enough, however, to attempt to distance their son from Solo.
Skywalker's loss of his artificial hand was temporary, as he was soon able to secure a replacement, although he felt that his body had almost reached a communion with the first, and thus the Grand Master believed that his lightsaber skill was perhaps slightly diminished. The wounds inflicted by Lumiya's lightwhip on his torso, however, took longer to heal, and Skywalker's injuries were exploited by Jacen Solo when the two engaged in a duel later in the war. The revelation that Rar was alive, despite being presumed dead at the end of the Swarm War, encouraged the New Jedi Order to create a specialized task force in order to neutralize the Twi'lek as a threat. All four Roqoo Depot combatants met in combat only a short time later during the Battle of Gilatter VIII; and only one, Luke Skywalker, survived the Second Galactic Civil War.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "Usually, I'll take a few runs at writing a fight scene. The first draft is just what I imagine it would be like. The second draft is trying to bring out the emotions and cool elements. The third draft is usually trying to get the most out of the language. But that varies, and some fight scenes require more work."
- ―Troy Denning, on crafting fight scenes in his novels
The Duel on Roqoo Depot was written by Troy Denning for the climax of Tempest, the third installment in the Legacy of the Force series. Denning, who tends to draft lightsaber duels several times in order to capture the emotion and imagery of the sequence, has received praise in the fan community for the fight scenes. The Duel on Roqoo Depot was significant in Expanded Universe continuity due to the fact that it marked the first time that Luke Skywalker and Lumiya had engaged in lightsaber combat since the Skirmish on Kinooine, featured in Star Wars 96: Duel With a Dark Lady, released in June 1985 by Marvel Comics. While thirty-six in-universe years separated the Duel on Kinooine and the Duel on Roqoo Depot, Tempest was released twenty-one years after Marvel Comics had depicted the first clash between the two opponents. Mara Jade Skywalker, however, was revealed in Abel G. Peña's 2001 article The Emperor's Pawns to have fought with Lumiya previously on Caprioril, between the in-universe years of 4.5 ABY and 9 ABY.
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 33
- The Essential Reader's Companion
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 Tempest
- ↑ Exile
- ↑ Betrayal
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Bloodlines
- ↑ Star Wars 61: Screams in the Void
- ↑ Star Wars 63: The Mind Spider
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Sacrifice
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Exile
- ↑ Inferno
- ↑ Fury
- ↑ The exquisite art of fight writing! How do you do it?? on the Jedi Council Forums (Literature board; posted by Tailone on 4/17/09 12:34am; accessed September 14, 2010)
- ↑ The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "