Welcome, my friend, to a galaxy far, far away. Enter the realm of Jedi and bounty hunters, soldiers and droids, rulers and beggars, aliens and humans. From Stackpole’s Corellians to Traviss's Mandalorians, immerse yourself in a universe with the exotica of Zahn, the wit of Allston, the grimness of Stover, the daring of Ostrander, the imagery of Luceno, the detail of Wallace, and most importantly, the vision of George Lucas, to whom we owe it all. And if you listen close enough, you’ll hear the sweet sounds of John Williams’ score in the background. Welcome to Star Wars.
Greetings, traveler. What brings you here to our remote corner of space? There’s little of value here if you’re after money, and little action for a thrill-seeker. After all, what significance does a dusty Outer Rim world have to the big galaxy out there? No, we’re a simple folk here on Yanibar, content to mind our own business and let the galaxy minds its own. Now, what did you say you wanted? Stories? Ah, you want to know if the scattered myths of three hundred years ago are true, if the legends of a great power that once lived here are more than old wives’ tales. They are. Once, this world was home to a great people-nothing special by themselves, but united, capable of great things. They lived and died here, all those years ago, as surely as you and I are standing right here. So, pull up a chair, grab something to drink, and I’ll tell you some of the old Yanibar tales.
It's 22 ABY and Leia Organa Solo, Chief of State of the New Republic, has reconvened an ancient tradition, the Galactic Games, to celebrate the peace and prosperity of the New Republic. Millions of people have converged on Coruscant to participate and spectate, including a team from the Force exile refuge of Yanibar. However, ulterior motives abound, as the Yanibar team has agendas of its own while on Coruscant an even more sinister plot threatens the very core of the New Republic.
From where she sat quietly in the highest place of honor at the peak of the amphitheatre’s crowned rim, New Republic Chief of State Leia Organa Solo couldn’t help the sudden emotion that welled up in her at the sight of so many people gathered together to celebrate the New Republic that she and countless others had fought to create. She was dressed in fairly elaborate robes of state as befitting the occasion, surrounded by her friends and family. Off to her left, she could see Han fidgeting uncomfortably in his formal wear, sitting by her three children, Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin. The towering brown Wookiee Chewbacca loomed over Han as always like a furry pillar. Standing solemnly behind them was her brother, Luke Skywalker and his wife Mara. Everything was as it should be. The glowing readout in front of her told her when it time for her to stand and officially open the event. A timer counted down the seconds, then it flashed red when it reached zero, her cue to stand and deliver her brief address. With regal dignity instilled in her during her youth on Alderaan, Leia rose solemnly and walked up to the podium that stood on a balcony protruding from the enclosed seating where her friends, family, and select members of the government sat, looking over the crowds as spotlights illuminated her booth. She waited just long enough to catch the attention of everyone there, then began her speech.
- Yanibar delegation
- Home Ariada Cerulaen, Yanibar Elite Guardians
- Cassi Trealus Kraen, housewife
- Director Milya Tayrce Kraen, Yanibar Guard Intelligence
- Ryion Kraen, Yanibar Elite Guardians
- Sarth Kraen, corporate executive and engineer
- Supreme Commander Selusda Kraen, Yanibar Guard
- Elite Zeyn Kraen, Yanibar Elite Guardians
- Elite Morgedh clan Kel'nerh, Yanibar Elite Guardians
- Elite Qedai Sherum, Yanibar Elite Guardians
- New Republic citizens
- Chewbacca, New Republic citizen
- Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master
- Mara Jade Skywalker, Jedi Knight
- Anakin Solo, New Republic citizen
- Han Solo, New Republic citizen
- Jacen Solo, New Republic citizen
- Jaina Solo, New Republic citizen
- Leia Organa Solo, New Republic Chief of State
- Located at Champion of Yanibar
As Chief of State Leia Organa opens the 1979th Galactic Games, surrounded by her family, a delegation of young athletes from Yanibar is also among the massive procession of competitors that she welcomes. Their names are Ryion, Zeyn, Ariada, and Qedai, and they represent the first delegation from Yanibar to visit Coruscant in many years. As competitors, they hope to perform well in their events, but their primary mission is intelligence-gathering. Meanwhile, in Coruscant's depths, a shadowy deal is made as part of a sinister plan.
Zeyn's first round of his individual event, turbo-skiing, goes fairly well, but his next practice with Qedai for a wave-dancing event goes poorly due to friction between them. Later, Ryion is able to talk Zeyn into apologizing and making up with Qedai, but he has team issues of his own, as his partner for low-g gymnastics, Ariada, has not reacted well to Ryion's intensity and desire to succeed. Ryion attempts to allay her concerns, and confesses his feelings for her. She does not give him a straight response, leaving him confused.
Two days later, Zeyn wipes out during turbo-skiing and does not advance, leaving him irritable. Qedai and Ariada are also defeated in smashball, which provokes a similar reaction from Qedai. Ryion arranges a team meeting that evening to ease the tension between them, which is partially successful. Meanwhile, an assassin acquires the weapons and access he needs for his plan. The next day, Ryion competes in the galactic octathlon, his individual event. During an interlude between heats, Ryion is approached by Luke Skywalker, and his nephews Jacen and Anakin and niece Jaina. The children have been wanting to see the games from a closer view and Luke has taken them for a few hours to give their mother Leia a rest. Having sensed Ryion's Force-sensitivity, Luke tries to ask him some questions, but, wary of any Jedi interference, particularly from a Skywalker, Ryion and his coach Morgedh clan Kel'nerh stiffly reject his inquiries. Rebuffed, Luke is baffled why the delegation from Yanibar would reject him outright, but leaves. The presence of Luke Skywalker causes Morgedh to order Ryion not to use the Force for the rest of his event, leaving him badly beaten at its conclusion. However, the harmony between them restored, Qedai and Zeyn succeed in placing third in the wave-dancing event, earning a medal for Yanibar.
Several days later, Ariada confronts the still-convalescing Ryion about his need to go through with the gymnastics event in his injured state. Ryion tells her that he needs to go through with the event and asks her what her feelings are toward him. After some coaxing, she replies that she returns his affections. Meeting Ariada two days later at the gymnastics competition, they begin competing on the various apparatuses in the event. Up in the VIP spectator booth, Leia Organa Solo and her family watch the event with varying levels of interest. Midway through the competition, Ryion senses malicious intent and, with the help of Ariada, stops the assassin, now disguised as a journalist, from shooting the chief of state. Ryion is badly injured in the process and is taken to a medical ward while Morgedh quickly subdues the assassin. Ryion's parents, Selu and Milya Kraen, along with his teammates and other members of his family, arrive to meet him, but before they can arrange permission to depart, Leia Organa Solo herself arrives to thank him, along with Luke Skywalker. Though Luke is interested in opening a dialogue with the Yanibar delegation, whom he believes are Jediphobic Zeison Sha, they again ask simply to be left alone. Out of gratitude for thwarting the assassination attempt, the chief of state agrees, allowing the Yanibar group to leave and promising no interference would come to their world from the Jedi or the New Republic. While en route back to Yanibar, Ryion's teammates ask him to be the new leader of the team and Ariada expresses the depths of her love for him.
Behind the scenes
Champion of Yanibar was released in June 2010 as the twelfth entry in the Yanibar Tales. At approximately 38,500 words long, it is the longest of the Yanibar Tales. Champion of Yanibar is one of several Yanibar Tales to be set after the original trilogy. Champion of Yanibar was conceived when Atarumaster88 decided to write a story about the Star Wars equivalent of the Olympics for some time after the 2008 Summer Olympics. Originally, there was supposed to be a prequel story for Champion of Yanibar that would focus on the events on Yanibar leading up to the Galactic Games but it was delayed numerous times and the author found it less interesting. It was canned about six pages into the writing. Another concept for the stories was writing a trilogy of shorter stories. Atarumaster88 eventually rejected this approach, opting for a single cohesive narrative, albeit with two subdivisions. Many of the events are derived from combinations of actual Winter and Summer Olympic events. Zeyn's turbo-ski event is derived from ski-jumping, alpine skiing, halfpipe snowboarding, and moguls. Wave dancing is derived from figure skating and synchronized swimming. Scoopball is a canonical sport that Atarumaster88 made into something derived from indoor and beach volleyball. Low-g gymnastics obviously originated from gymnastics, while the galactic octathlon is derived from the modern pentathlon. The events for the competitors were originally quite different; but Atarumaster88 changed them from their original assignments to create few events and invent more interesting ones. Champion of Yanibar is also the first work in the Force Exile Series to incorporate major canonical characters from the original trilogy such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa. The author found that their inclusion stretched the story longer than he would have expected and he had to trim parts of the story to keep it under novel length. In particular, a story arc that was going to show what Selu and Milya Kraen were doing during the Games was cut.
As is common in Force Exile stories, Atarumaster88 used a number of references to both canonical works and other media. The idea of a disgruntled Imperial assassin attempting to disrupt a public New Republic event was influenced by the events of Star Wars: Union. Ryion's line of “You know, little things like every eye on Yanibar is watching you, be careful, girls are fun but dangerous, don’t cut your own body parts off when using your lightsaber.” is homage to a similar line by Ben Skywalker in Outcast. The phrase "I have a bad feeling about this" was included due to its many occurrences in Star Wars canon. Zeyn's line of "Master Kel'nerh, how good of you to join us.” is a reference to Count Dooku's similar line to Mace Windu in Attack of the Clones. Luke Skywalker's line of "Choose and act" in Ryion's dream sequence is a reference to the same saying, spoken by Vergere to Jacen Solo. Ryion's use of the phrase "that bad, huh?" is a nod to Han Solo's identical line in Return of the Jedi. Luke Skywalker's complaint that someone didn't think he was tall enough to be Luke Skywalker is a nod to a similar occurrence in Betrayal. Outside of canon, the exchange between Jaina Solo and the guard discussing unruly Human children is homage to a similar exchange in a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. Morgedh's mention of "great power comes incredible responsibility" is yet another reference to the same platitude from Spider-Man. The team-building limerick spoken by Ryion and Ariada is derived from a similar limerick used in some theatrical circles.
Recognition and reception
Champion of Yanibar currently has no awards or featured work status.
Notes and references
|Force Exile Series|