- Rich Hardy
Obscure Heroes and Villains of the Galaxy- Padawan Survivors
Order 66. Those were the chilling words spoken by Palpatine to all Clone commanders across the galaxy. It was a simple order, the Jedi had turned against the Republic and they needed to be eliminated. From the Core to the Outer Rim, the Jedi were killed in one great purge… Some did survive however, and most people are familiar with most of those Jedi, but there are some who go unknown. One of those Jedi is Padawan Drake Lo’gann, a survivor of the Battle of Felucia. Drake and his fellow Padawan survivors, Ekria, and a Selonian named Zonder, would come face to face with some of the fiercest foes in the EU like Vader, Xizor, Baron Tagge, and more!
The Padawans' story starts near the end of the Clone Wars. The Republic had tracked Commerce Guild leader Shu Mai to the planet Felucia and the Jedi Knight Barriss Offee was dispatched with her new Padawan Zonder to capture the Separatist leader. The two Jedi would fall into a trap though and a strike force lead by Aayla Secura, Commander Bly, and Padawan Ekria would be sent to help. As the fighting on Felucia started, so did it on Coruscant. General Grievous had launched his fleet, planning the capture the Chancellor. To stop the kidnapping, Jedi Shaak Ti, Stass Ali, Foul Moudama, and Drake’s master Rowon Corobb would all try to guard Palpatine, but only Ti and Ali would survive the fateful encounter with the cyborg general. Drake would be furious about the death of his master and swear revenge on Grievous. On Felucia, Republic forces began to take the Separatist base but the Jedi quickly discover that Shu Mai has fled. Not only that but the base is rigged to explode, releasing toxins into the rivers of the planet. Time passes and after much fighting above Coruscant, Palpatine is rescued by Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Later as Kenobi prepares to leave for Utapau to defeat Grievous, Anakin meets Drake at the landing dock, wanting to go with Kenobi to defeat Grievous. Skywalker instead assigned the young Jedi to go to Felucia and help with the battle there. Drake would soon arrive on the poisoned world, and finally met with Ekria and Zonder. Little did any of them know however, was that they would soon all be on the run.
Order 66 would be issued to all the Republic's Clone Commanders. Bunkered down, the three Padawans would witness Aayla and Barris be gunned down by their Clone Troopers. As the soldiers moved in on their position, the three Padawans banded together and narrowly escaped their assassins. Not knowing where else to go they would return to Coruscant and begin to lay low in the underworld, trying to avoid attention. The Republic fell and a new Empire Rose in its place, brining a new era of darkness to the galaxy. At first the Padawans would support themselves by gambling in casinos and shady cantinas, but soon they realized they needed actual jobs and Ekria pushed them all to search. While searching, Drake would come across a COMPNOR youth rally and decide to listen. Speaking at the event was the Emperor's new Grand Inquisitor Tremaine. The two would have a close brush and Tremayne would feel Logann's presence. Tremayne would then realize that Jedi still lived on Coruscant and would plan to eliminate them. Drake eventually got a job as spaceport security guard.
Zonder in the meanwhile would find a job as a construction worker for the Emperor's new fortress world, Byss. Zonder would head to the spaceport Drake worked at and board the next ship out. Drake would then learn from an Imperial port officer that all non-human beings on the ship were to be disintegrated. Drake and Ekria would quickly plan a rescue, but unknown to them was that Tremayne was on their tail. Aboard the ship, Ekria and Zonder worked to evacuate as many aliens as they could while Drake dueled it out with the Inquisitor. When the rescue was over, Drake fled, and they all disappeared into the underworld.
Weeks passed, and the Jedi have made a living saving people from criminals. One of their recently saved victims though, a man named Finn, was someone that the new Black Sun leader Prince Xizor wanted eliminated. Xizor would hire the bounty hunter Boussh to track down and find the ones responsible for foiling his plan. Meanwhile, Inquisitor Tremayne would work with Armand Isard to uncover the whereabouts of the Padawans and also begin their search for them. The next day Drake Lo'gann and Zonder attempt to help Finn again but are caught in a trap between Tremayne's men and the bounty hunter. The two Jedi escape with the Finn family and infiltrate a Black Sun Transportation Center. Once inside they meet Xizor and make a deal with the Fallen prince to keep Finn and his family safe. In exchange Xizor wants TaggeCo shipping information to help with his transportation business.
Later, Xizor would speak with Inquisitor Tremayne and make a deal to capture the Jedi.
As time went on, Zonder was caught by Tremayne and tortured by Darth Vader himself. Vader would broadcast a message for Drake and Ekria, showing him killing Zonder. Drake and Ekria would be devastated but seek to avenge their fallen friend. The two come out of hiding to find Vader, but Drake is captured by Commander Bly and Tremayne. Drake is taken to the planet Tepasi where Vader is meeting with Baron Ormen Tagge of TaggeCo.
Ekria would arrive just in time though to rescue Drake, and a fight would start, injuring Tremayne's eyes leaving him blind. The two Jedi would escape and head to Selonia to hold a funeral for Zonder before finally declaring they would no longer be Jedi.
Despite these Padawans' stories having sad endings, they all go to show how interconnected the Expanded Universe truly was. They come from the Evasive Action webcomic that was published on StarWars.com between 2004 and 2006. The webcomic was meant to tie into the novel Labyrinth of Evil and weave right through the events of Revenge of the Sith. When you read the stories, you'll see many references back and forth between the two reinforcing continuity. The comic then goes into to bring in elements from the grander EU, from large key players like Prince Xizor and Director Isard to smaller but equally important characters like Tremayne. Everything is connected and a part of a larger story. I really recommend every EU fan read the series, it can be found on Joe Bongiorno's StarWarsTimelime.net.