Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, by Aaron Allston, is the first of nine novels in the Legacy of the Force series. Released on May 30, 2006, it was the first novel to take place in the Legacy era. The audio version was narrated by Marc Thompson. The cover features Jacen Solo.
Del Rey Books made it available for free online for a limited time as a PDF download, an audiobook, an Amazon Kindle book, and a Sony e-Reader book on April 29th, 2008.
- ISBN 0345477340; May 30, 2006, Del Rey, 400-page hardcover
- ISBN 0739323954; Random House Audio, Abridged CD
- ISBN 0345477359; May 2007, Del Rey, 480-page paperback
- ISBN 9788324128365; Amber, 456-page Polish paperback
A dangerous destiny summons Jacen Solo.
This is the era of Luke Skywalker's legacy; the Jedi Master has unified the order into a cohesive group of powerful Jedi Knights. But as the new era begins, planetary interests threaten to disrupt this time of relative peace, and Luke is plagued with visions of an approaching darkness. Evil is rising again—out of the best intentions—and it looks as if the legacy of the Skywalkers may come full circle. Honor and duty will collide with friendship and blood ties as the Skywalker and Solo clans find themselves on opposing sides of an explosive conflict with potentially devastating repercussions for both families, for the Jedi order and for the entire galaxy.
When a mission to uncover an illegal missile factory on the planet Adumar ends in a violent ambush—from which Jedi Knight Jacen Solo and his protégé and cousin, Ben Skywalker, narrowly escape with their lives—it's the most alarming evidence yet that sparks of political unrest are threatening to ignite into total rebellion. The governments of numerous worlds are chafing under the strict regulations of the Galactic Alliance, and diplomatic efforts to enforce compliance are failing. Fearing the worst, the Alliance readies a preemptive display of military might in a bid to bring the rogue worlds to heel before an uprising erupts. The designated target of this exercise: planet Corellia—renowned for the brash independence and renegade spirit that have made its favorite son, Han Solo, a legend.
Something of a rogue himself, Jacen is nevertheless duty bound as a Jedi to stand with his uncle, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, on the side of the Galactic Alliance. But when the wary Corellians launch a counterstrike, the Alliance's show of force—and a secret mission to disable Corellia's crucial Centerpoint Station—give way to an armed skirmish. Once the smoke clears, the battle lines are drawn. Now the specter of full scale war looms between a growing cadre of defiant planets and the Galactic Alliance that some fear is becoming a new Empire. And even as both sides struggle to find a diplomatic solution mysterious acts of treachery and sabotage threaten peace efforts at every turn.
Determined to root out those behind the mayhem, Jacen follows a trail of cryptic clues to a dark rendezvous with the most shocking of revelations—while Luke grapples with something even more troubling: dream visions of a shadowy figure whose Force power and ruthlessness remind him of Darth Vader—a lethal enemy who strikes like a dark spirit on a mission of doom. An agent of evil who, if Luke's visions come to pass, will bring untold pain to the Jedi Master—and to the entire galaxy.
- "Legacy of the Force: Betrayal blasts off a new string of adventures starring beloved Star Wars familiars. . . .this new installment should please Star Wars fans."
- ―Publishers Weekly
Honor and duty collide with friendship and blood ties as the Skywalker and Solo clans find themselves on opposing sides of an explosive conflict.
When a mission to uncover an illegal missile factory on the planet Adumar ends in a violent ambush—from which Jedi Knight Jacen Solo and his protégé and cousin, Ben Skywalker, narrowly escape with their lives—it's the most alarming evidence yet that political unrest is threatening to ignite into total rebellion. The specter of full-scale war looms between a growing cadre of defiant planets and the Galactic Alliance that some fear is becoming a new Empire.
Determined to root out those behind the mayhem, Jacen follows a trail of cryptic clues to a rendezvous with the most shocking of revelations. Meanwhile Luke grapples with something even more troubling: dream visions of a shadowy figure whose Force power and ruthlessness remind him of Darth Vader. If Luke's visions come to pass, they will bring untold pain to the Jedi Master…and to the galaxy.
- "BETRAYAL begins approximately 4 months into year 40 ABY (based on a 12-month/368-day calendar)...something like 122 days into year 40 ABY."
- ―Sue Rostoni
The novel begins on Coruscant with Luke Skywalker awake in bed and saying that a mysterious man in his dreams doesn't exist to his wife Mara. He wonders if it might be someone like Raynar Thul, whom Luke confronted four years earlier at the end of the Swarm War. Luke and Mara consider that it might not be anything important, although Luke still has his doubts.
On Adumar, at the Dammant Killers company, Jacen Solo and Ben Skywalker are investigating what the company has in terms of safety procedures for their employees. Duly, Jacen and Ben find that the Dammant Killers are producing illegal weapons for other planets without the permission of the Galactic Alliance, and they narrowly escape from being killed by the resurgent employees. Outside the building, after more employees try to kill them, Jacen and Ben escape Adumar, with Ben transmitting the information about Adumar producing the weapons and sending this information to the Galactic Alliance.
Later, at the Solos' apartment on Coruscant, Han and Leia have a reunion with their children, Jaina and Jacen, the Skywalker clan, and Zekk, who is still with Jaina because of their Force connection made by their Joining with the Killiks five years earlier. During the reunion, when Han is told about the Dammant Killers operating with weapons without the Galactic Alliance's supervision, he is offended, because Adumar is an example of the countless planets around the galaxy who want to secede from the Alliance. This is because the Alliance is now being seen by all of these planets as approaching the tyrannical behaviour of the Galactic Empire in its heyday. Disturbingly, Han's home planet of Corellia happens to be among those planets opposing the Galactic Alliance. Knowing this, Luke confers with Jacen to brief him about a Corellia-related mission; recently, Galactic Alliance Intelligence had collected information that Thrackan Sal-Solo has just reactivated Centerpoint Station and that he plans to use it to further the cause of Corellian independence from the Galactic Alliance's rule. Luke asks Jacen if he can stop Centerpoint from being reactivated, and leaves it up to Jacen if he wants to take Ben along. Jacen accepts, and he confirms that he is taking Ben along on the mission. As they head back to the reunion, Luke notices a mysterious woman in the far darkness watching him.
Meanwhile, retired Galactic Alliance General Wedge Antilles is kidnapped from his home of Corellia by Galactic Alliance agents, who trick him into coming with them willingly because they think that he is part of the Corellian rebellion against the GA. Of course, Wedge manages to escape from his captivity on Coruscant and heads back to Corellia as the Galactic Alliance enter the Corellia system in an attempt to cement their authority there. Corellia decides to act against the Alliance by attacking them.
During the battle, Luke leads Hardpoint Squadron against the defenders as Jaina, Zekk and two Jedi apprentices, Kolir Hu'lya and Thann Mithric, attempt to kidnap Five World Prime Minister Aidel Saxan so as to convince the Corellians to fall back under Galactic Alliance rule. However, because of an earlier meeting with Han and Leia, who told her that the Galactic Alliance might pull off something like this, Saxan comes prepared and has her convoy that Jaina, Zekk and the two apprentices capture be equipped with YVH droids. The four Jedi battle the droids, and report their mission in kidnapping Saxan to be a failure. With that, the Jedi manage to grab a shuttle and head away from Corellia along with Hardpoint Squadron. Meanwhile, aboard Centerpoint Station, Jacen and Ben carry out their mission to deactivate Centerpoint. Jacen confronts Thrackan Sal-Solo and chases him throughout the station, fighting past his bodyguards, but in the end, Sal-Solo escapes. Ben, on the other hand, meets Anakin Sal-Solo, a giant robot who believes that he is the resurrected Anakin Solo. When Ben convinces him that he is just a robot, and that Thrackan somehow managed to utilize the late Anakin Solo's DNA aboard the station to create the robot, and thus, reactivate Centerpoint, Anakin Sal-Solo, depressed about the revelation of his nature, decides to set off false self-destruct alarms in order to evacuate everyone aboard the station, then shut the whole station down. With that, Jacen and Ben succeed in deactivating Centerpoint.
After the failed attempt to convince Corellia to fall back under the GA's rule, the Galactic Alliance captures Tralus. The Galactic Alliance and Corellia decide to negotiate terms to resolve the conflict between the two governments at Toryaz Station. But during the negotiations between Supreme Commander Gilad Pellaeon and Prime Minister Saxan, the station is attacked by dying Corellian warriors, and Saxan is killed, while Pellaeon is only saved because he was smart enough to have a decoy fill his place and save his life with the impostor's death. But, because of Saxan's death, any peace between the Galactic Alliance and Corellia will be that much harder to achieve. During the investigation on the station for who may have been responsible for hiring the warriors, Wedge discovers an object made of tassels, and passes it on to Jaina for investigation, who shows it to Jacen. Jacen finds a special meaning to this tassel pattern, which he takes with him to further his own part in the investigation, as he tells Jaina. However, in reality, he wants to find out about the secret meaning to the pattern. He finds a source at the planet Lorrd, taking Ben with him again with the same lie he told Jaina, and the two Jedi meet Jedi Knight Nelani Dinn, who is a guardian of the planet and can help Jacen find out what the tassel pattern means. But during the three Jedi's stay, a series of suicidial-homicidal incidents occur because of Jedi-related obsession from each of the peace violators for different reasons, to which Jacen willingly lets die. In fact, he even helps because the circumstances had called for those victims to die in any case. At the end of this disastrous series of events, the three Jedi meet a Force-sensitive woman named Brisha Syo, who the Lorrd Security Force had captured for suspicious reasons. She tells the three of them that she has been having some bad dreams that seem to be affecting all of those individuals and inciting their suicidal acts. She tells them that she can take them to the source of where the Force has been corrupting her; the Home, which can also help fully translate the meaning of the tassels.
While the Corellian forces retake Tralus from the Galactic Alliance and Leia is forced to secretly betray GA forces in order to save her husband and Wedge, Brisha takes Jacen, Ben and Nelani to her asteroid habitat near Bimmiel. When they arrive, Brisha informs them that she suspects that there is a Sith Lord in the caves beneath the asteroid, and that she needs the Jedi to get rid of him. They agree, and they follow Brisha down into the bowels of the asteroid. Brisha, who is really the Dark Lady of the Sith Lumiya, deliberately separates herself and Jacen from Ben and Nelani to launch the ghost battles. She does this by using the dark side of the Force to have Jacen fight Luke and Ben fight Mara through the Force, and all sides of the fights see their opponents as the dark side versions of who they are really fighting, while Nelani fights a strange man and dark side apparitions of mynocks. Lumiya ends the fights by releasing her concentration of sustaining the apparitions and reveals to Jacen her Sith artefacts in her home within the Home, telling Jacen that not all Sith throughout the centuries have been evil, such as Darth Vectivus (the ghost of the man Nelani had dueled). Prior to Vectivus being a Sith, he had supervised the mining operation on the asteroid before it became the Home centuries earlier because of the dark side emissions from it, and he used his knowledge not to destroy the Jedi or rule the galaxy, but to improve on his own knowledge of the dark side for his own way of life. Lumiya seduces Jacen to the dark side by telling him that he can stop the upcoming war between the Galactic Alliance and Corellia by giving in to the Sith, which was what the late Vergere wanted of him during his captivity with the Yuuzhan Vong. Nelani is with Jacen when Lumiya tells him about this, and the two women fight. Lumiya surrenders and allows Nelani to arrest her for her actions during the Galactic Civil War, but when Jacen sees into the future using the Force, he finds that this will only lead to bloody conflict, and even destroy the Home, thus wiping out any chance that Jacen could use as knowledge to stop the GA-Corellian conflict. So it goes; he saves Lumiya and fights Nelani, killing her. Jacen then takes Ben's unconscious form from his fight with Mara, erasing his memory about Lumiya and Nelani, and they leave for Coruscant. Lumiya then speaks to the future Jacen as a Sith Lord, saying that the present Jacen's fate is sealed, and that his destiny as a Sith will be fulfilled. The future Jacen also reminds Lumiya that if the present Jacen ever finds out that she was responsible for the Toryaz attack, thus ruining the one chance that the galaxy had in avoiding the coming war, Jacen will kill her. The meaning of the tassels is also revealed as a prophetic message of the dark steps that Jacen must take as a Sith Lord to bring peace to the galaxy.
The novel ends with Mara giving the news to Luke that Jacen and Ben are returning to Coruscant, with Luke sensing that his unknown enemy is near.
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Behind the scenesEdit
Betrayal was initially intended to take place in 37 ABY. As such, there are several continuity errors, such as Zekk being described as 29 instead of 32, and Nelani Dinn having learned a lightsaber technique from Jacen Solo seven years earlier, when Jacen was on his journey throughout the galaxy. At one scene in the novel, the character of Lysa Dunter is incorrectly spelled as "Dunton" for the entire scene. During the release of Betrayal and the second book Bloodlines, Hyperspace members were treated to a contest in which they could send in ideas for Jacen's new Sith name.
In May 2006, Del Rey held a contest to promote the release of Betrayal. Contestants could receive an entry in the random drawing by posting one of several provided banner ads on a personal website. 100 contestants were chosen to receive free hardcover copies of the novel. Del Rey handed out free copies of the paperback version of Betrayal to Celebration IV attendees who signed up for the publisher's mailing list. The working title for Betrayal was Control.