Character Spotlight: Jacen Solo
“Hey, Jaina—do you know why TIE fighters scream in space? Because they miss their mother ship!”
- Jacen Solo
The son of Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo, Jacen Solo was, even before he was born, strong with the Force. Being a part of the Skywalker bloodline, Jacen had a great understanding of the living Force.
From a young age, Jacen seemed to understand the power that the Force had. When the Spirit of Exar Kun drove his uncle, Luke Skywalker into a comma like state, Jacen was able to communicate with Luke who linked Jacen and his spirit and the two-year-old took up his uncle’s lightsaber and defeated several attacking Sith Hydra’s.
When Jacen reached five he began to take an interest in living things. When Lord Hethrir kidnapped the Solo children, Jacen was able to speak to Hethrir’s sand dragon through the Force and rode the creatures back. Jacen was able to differentiate his talents from his twin sister Jaina who seemed to have a knack for mechanics. Jacen more bonded with his mother Leia than his father Han. Leia seemed to understand Jacen’s need for connection, while Han viewed him as sometimes lazy.
During the Correllian insurrection, Jacen was able to show that he did know some mechanics and could adopt to different situations. He flew the Millennium Falcon at nine years old and outflew Thracken Sal-Solo.
When Jacen was fourteen years old, he and Jaina began their training at the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin IV. There, they met many of their closet friends including the wookie nephew of Chewbacca, Lowbacca, and the daughter of the Prince Isolder and Teneniel Djo of Dathomir. It was around this time that the Shadow Academy, a training center for Dark Jedi, began to reveal itself. The Shadow Academy kidnapped and corrupted the Solo twins friend Zekk. Luke Skywalker decided that the students needed to be prepared for the future fight and commissioned the young Jedi Knights to construct their own lightsabers. Jacen created an emerald-green bladed weapon.
Jacen with his sister, brother, and friends on Yavin IV.
During a training exercise, Jacen accidently cut through Tenel Ka’s arm after her faulty lightsaber shorted out. Jacen always thought of her as more than a friend and he dedicated himself to her recovery, however she did do quite well without her arm. Jacen and the students fought the Second Impreium and the Diversity Alliance. The Force had stopped the Diversity Alliance but did not really affect the causes of evil. Jacen found he was not getting the answers he desired from his uncle Luke and turned his quest for knowledge inward.
By the time Jacen was sixteen, the Yuuzhan Vong invaded the galaxy. Jacen flew with his siblings in the Battle of Dubrillion, and he rescued Danni Quee from a Yuuzhan Vong prison. Jacen began to desire even more a more spiritual search for answers to the Force. While on a mission with Luke Skywalker, Jacen tried to free a group of slaves who were kidnapped by the Vong but was captured by the enemy only to be rescued by Luke Skywalker.
Jacen and his siblings during the war
Jacen would fight many battles during the war such as aiding Corran Horn in a slave extraction mission. And later fought at the defense of Ithor. Around this time, he heard the voice of his grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, tell him to “stand-firm.”
Anakin Solo and Jacen seemed to but heads over how one should use the Force. Anakin would continue to do so throughout the war and Jacen viewed it as reckless. However, he did accompany his brother and a strike team for a mission to get behind enemy lines. Anakin would give his life on a Vong ship to the destroy the enemy’s voxyn genetic storehouse.
Jacen was quite distraught over his brother’s death and was shocked when Jaina inched towards the dark side as well. Jacen was soon captured and tortured for about a year. He escaped Yuuzhan Vong custody with Vergere, a former Jedi of the Old Republic, and rejoined the war effort. In the final battle of the war, Jacen stormed Supreme Overlord Shimrra Jamaane's Citadel and defeated Onimi, who was mentally controlling the Supreme Overlord, while Jacen himself experienced a moment of unity with the Force.
“I know what I don't want to do—I don't want to be part of an order or a select group. I don't want to be looked to as the guiding light of the new fealty, and I don't want to be surrounded by students who'll ask more of me than I can explain. Most of all, I don't want to be an object of fascination or admiration, because that'll only distract me from what I really need to learn. I don't have dreams of being a lightsaber master or an ace starfighter pilot, and I'm not on a campaign to change anyone or anything, except myself, maybe, just to clear away some of the confusion that's built up."
After the Yuuzhan Vong war, Jacen decided to travel and learn other aspects of the Force. During this five-year journey, he visited and learned from various Force-using sects. During his time with the Mind Walkers, he experienced a vision of a dark figure ruling the galaxy and became determined to prevent its fulfillment. He returned to the Jedi during the Dark Nest Crisis and, armed with a more ruthless philosophy of accepting various sacrifices in the name of the greater good, conspired to eliminate the Killiks to prevent another vision of galactic war and protect his daughter Allana, he secretly conceived with Tenel Ka. It was also around this time that Jacen took his cousin Ben Skywalker, the son of Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker as his apprentice.
In 40 ABY, Jacen received a message from the security forces that Brisha Syo, the owner of a mysterious shuttle, was in custody. Syo immediately admitted that she had been involved in the series of odd events on Lorrd, claiming that she was a Force-sensitive who could hear others planning acts of violence in her dreams, and used the Force to convince them to bring the Jedi into the situation. She also claimed that she had observed but not participated in the attack at Toryaz Station earlier. Jacen did not fully believe her story but wanted to get to the bottom of the matter; Syo insisted she would reveal all if they could only go to her home in a remote system. Jacen agreed, feeling he had to unravel the truth and that she was not a threat to him.
Syo explained the history of the asteroid, which had once been the home of a society of dark side-using mynock-like beings before it was discovered by the man who became Darth Vectivus. Intriguingly to Jacen, Syo said that Vectivus was not corrupted by the dark side, that he could use it without being dominated by evil.
Jacen's new Sith Master, Lumiya
Syo stated that there was a Sith Lord in the caverns beneath, and claimed she needed Jedi assistance to deal with him. They descended into the lower caves by railcar; on the way down Syo got rid of Ben Skywalker and Nelani Dinn with the Force. Arriving at the end, Jacen confronted an apparition of the Sith Lord, which faded away after insisting that Jacen first challenge his minions. Jacen was forced to battle an illusion of an evil Luke Skywalker, which defeated him just as Syo released the illusion. Syo went on to admit that she was in fact Lumiya, the Dark Lady of the Sith, a former apprentice of Darths Sidious and Vader who had battled Leia Organa Solo, Mara Jade, and Luke Skywalker.
She intended to turn Jacen to the Sith, embracing her teachings of a more detached Sith such as Vectivus, who could remain uncorrupted and use Sith techniques to help others and bring peace. Dinn arrived at that point, arguing against her. Jacen wished to hear Lumiya out, though he doubted her arguments. Lumiya claimed that Vergere had been a Sith, a statement Jacen rejected until Lumiya continued explaining that she had studied under Darth Sidious before rejecting his destructive nature and fleeing.
Jacen was intrigued but Dinn, fed up with Jacen's willingness to hear out the Sith, attacked Lumiya. During the fight, the Sith Lady still insisted that Jacen had to accept the Sith ways to bring peace to the galaxy. Seeing Lumiya's restraint in battle against Dinn, Jacen decided to learn what he could from the Sith. He blocked what would have been Dinn's killing strike against the disarmed Lumiya and convinced Dinn to stand down after showing that he was not being manipulated from without into believing her.
Dinn insisted on arresting her, and Lumiya agreed to be arrested. Jacen, confused, sought out the future possibilities, and saw the galaxy continuing into war, and he himself killing Luke Skywalker, if she were arrested. Even if he forced Dinn to let Lumiya go, Skywalker would be killed. The only futures in which Skywalker lived were ones in which Dinn died on the asteroid. Reluctantly, Jacen chased down Dinn, who had grown aware of his intent, and killed her in the name of the greater good.
Though he was committed to the idea of becoming a Sith, he had doubts that his path was correct. He worried that he was being manipulated by Lumiya or that his motives were impure, but his doubts only reinforced his belief that he was becoming a Sith for the right reasons and would resist corruption.
He continued to struggle with the idea that he might be making the same mistakes as his grandfather in becoming a Sith, he flow-walked into the past almost without thinking while walking through the Jedi Temple. There he witnessed his grandfather storming the Temple with the 501st Legion and sensed Anakin Skywalker's inner conflict, his fear of loss and obsessive love. Jacen felt relieved; these were not his motivations and he did not believe himself tainted with the selfishness he found in Skywalker.
Jacen was told by Lumiya that he would need to make a sacrifice to make the permanent transformation, Solo initially feared that Lumiya had discovered the secret of his relationship with Tenel Ka and Allana, a secret he had carefully hidden from her. He initially rejected the idea of killing them, but his own attachment to them made him believe that it would be necessary to truly overcome his own attachments and flaws and become a dispassionate, trustworthy Sith. Jacen mureded his aunt Mara in a lightsaber duel and realized he had sacrificed his cousin Ben’s love and respect for him by doing so. After Luke killed Lumiya, Jacen would name himself Darth Caedus.
Mara Jade Skywalker during her duel with Jacen
Taking control of the of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, Caedus would instigate events that would lead to the breakout of the Second Galactic Civil War. Initially, only focusing on the five worlds of the Correllian System, it eventually grew into an all-out war between Caedus’ forces and the Jedi Order.
During the war, Caedus would engage in combat with many powerful Jedi, such as the Battlemaster, Kyle Katarn, and even Grand Master Luke Skywalker himself. The war lasted for a year, and even took on Tahiri Veila as a apprentice, his brother Anakin’s former lover. Caedus would kill Prince Isolder in anger after he refused to make a deal that would save Allana and Tenel Ka from a deadly virus that the prince of Hapes had created to target the royal Happen family that was released on Tenel Ka’s own flagship the Dragon Queen.
Unbeknownst to Caedus, his sister Jaina, snuck onboard his star destroyer, the Anakin Solo. The two engaged in a vicious lightsaber duel. Jaina was able to mortally wound Caedus. Knowing that this, Caedus lowered his lightsaber and tried to use the Force to warn Tenel Ka of the deadly virus but Jaina kills her brother before he can complete his warning.
“What’s the difference between an Ewok and a Wookie? About two hundred kilos!”
To see more from Spencer, see here!