The saga begins again.
Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One is a fan fiction novel set in the Alternative Star Wars Saga by Brandon Rhea. The novel is designed as a reboot of the Star Wars film series, with the author having been inspired by reboots such as Batman Begins and Casino Royale. The story re-imagines the life of the canon Anakin Skywalker and is told primarily through the eyes of Michael Lars, the Alternative Saga version of Anakin Skywalker, as he begins his journey towards his destiny as the Chosen One.
The story begins in the aftermath of the Rim Wars, a failed rebellion against the Hutt Lords who control much of the Outer Rim Territories, including Michael's home planet of Tatooine, where the story is set. Also in the backdrop is a war in the distant Galactic Republic, a war that soon arrives on Tatooine. These events conspire to thrust Michael towards his destiny as he is made to choose whether he wants to assume the mantle of the Chosen One. Major supporting characters include Padmé, Sara Jade, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, among many others.
The Chosen One has been in various stages of production since late 2007, when Rhea began the first, incomplete draft of the novel. A second draft was released from early 2009 to early 2010, but it was also canceled before its completion. Rhea has thus far released six chapters from what he intends to be the final version of the novel. Reception to the opening chapters of the novel has been generally positive.
Table of contents
The following are the individual chapters of the final edition of The Chosen One:
It is the year 22 BBY, several decades after the end of the Rim Wars, an unsuccessful rebellion against the Hutt Cartel that controls the Outer Rim Territories. Former rebel strongholds have been oppressed even more than they had before under the iron-fisted rule of the Hutt Lords, leading to poverty and despair throughout Hutt-controlled space. One of these planets is the backwater Tatooine, a desert world where the destitute people barely scrape by to survive.
On Tatooine, the young Michael Lars has just finished an archaeological dig near an old battlefield from the Dune Sea War. When he leaves to return to Anchorhead Station, the capital of Tatooine, Michael takes a long way around the battlefield so as to not disturb the historical site. To make his way around, he briefly enters the dangerous Eastern Dune Sea, where he encounters a group of sand people—sentient beings who live in the desert and who kill settlers as a blood sport.
The story opens as Michael is fleeing the sand people, desperately running towards the refuge of the capital. As he makes his way back to Anchorhead, he is spotted by soldiers from the Hutt military who are guarding the city gates. On the order of Colonel Deacon Darklighter, Michael's uncle and the leader of the Hutt military on Tatooine, the soldiers open fire on the sand people, killing most of them and forcing the others to flee. With the sand people gone, Michael is picked up by his uncle, who chides him for putting himself in such a dangerous predicament.
By nightfall, Michael goes to the Yarga Cantina, one of the central places for entertainment in the poorest quarter of the city. He is met by his friend and fellow archaeologist, Ray'kele, who asks Michael if he found anything at that day's dig. Michael shows him a small wooden idol, which Michael thinks is not worth anything. Ray'kele, however, explains that the carving of the man and woman represents a shaman and the woman the shaman loved. The vagueness of the idol is meant to represent one of the shaman's teachings, which is that interpretation is the key to understanding. As Ray'kele begins to leave the cantina, he reminds Michael that an item's value is not always in its material worth, and that the idol could have value beyond money.
Michael remains in the cantina after Ray’kele leaves and remembers he has a book in his jacket called Beyond the Rim, a book that once belonged to his adoptive father, which Michael found in his room after not having looked at it for several years. As he looks it, the bookias taken by Joshua Banai, someone with whom Michael used to be friends before an accident in Michael’s past changed the way people thought about him. Along with Joshua are Dirk and Lorn, all three of whom are drunk even in spite of the Hutt prohibition of alcohol on Tatooine. They taunt Michael until he swings at them, and they get into a bar brawl. Michael is pinned down and Joshua hits him relentlessly, still angry over the accident from their past, until the fight is broken up by Sara Jade, Michael’s former girlfriend and Joshua’s current girlfriend.
Joshua, Dirk, and Lorn leave the cantina after Sara threatens to turn them in for breaking prohibition, and Sara helps Michael clean up from his pummeling. They talk for a few minutes, mainly about Sara’s relationship with Joshua and about why Sara is no longer with Michael. She feels that Michael lost the initiative to be someone who took action; whereas he was once someone who dreamed of taking part in a new rebellion against the Hutt Lords, now he is too afraid to do anything that might get someone hurt, stemming from his accident. Sara suggests that if he became the man he once wanted to be, they might have a future together.
Michael returns home, where he finds his father, Luke, and Deak waiting for him. Deak has told Luke about what happened with the sand people, and Luke demands an explanation. Michael explains that he went through the Eastern Dune Sea to avoid disturbing the historical site, angering Luke that his son would be so careless as to enter such a dangerous part of the desert. Michael apologizes to Luke and Deak, and Luke sends him off to do his day’s chores. When Michael leaves, Luke mentions that he doesn’t expect any special treatment because of being Luke’s former brother-in-law, saying that his family never gets special treatment anyway. Deak scoffs, reminding Luke that Michael has had to be saved multiple times and that the Lars family is behind on the moisture farming quotas, so any other family would have been arrested or executed. Deak then leaves, hinting that he is only in the Hutt military for ulterior motives.
Later that night, Michael confides in his adoptive brother, Owen Lars, about what happened with the sand people and at the cantina, for which Owen tells him to shake it off. After going to bed, Michael has a dream where he relives the memories of the last time he flew his Skyhopper, and the dream ends as the ship begins to spiral out of control and crash. Shooting out of bed, Michael realizes he cannot stop thinking about Sara, and decides to go to her house. There, he finds out that Joshua broke up with Sara, saying she humiliated him in front of Dirk, Lorn, and the entire Yarga Cantina.
Michael and Sara decide to go to Smuggler's Ridge, overlooking the Tusken Valley, where Michael used to go to spend time and be alone. Sara realizes that Michael went to her house because he was hoping for a romantic encounter again, and she apologizes for the things she said at the cantina. Michael, however, tells her that she was right and does not need to apologize. After talking some more, Michael tells Sara about a battle Luke fought in during the Rim Wars, when Luke was rescued by someone that Michael thinks is a Jedi Knight. Although Sara laughs at the idea, believing the Jedi to be a myth, she is drawn to Michael and they nearly kiss, but Sara leaves when she realizes she wants to reconcile with Joshua.
Before Michael can leave, he sees a ball of fire descending from the sky. He realizes he is witnessing a starship heading for a crash on the desert floor. The vessel crashes into the Tusken Valley moments later, and Michael, drawn towards it because of his own crash experience, runs towards the valley in a subconscious desire to help. He finds the twisted wreckage of the ship and numerous mangled corpses from within it. As he surveys the site, Michael sees a drone fighter being chased by a Hutt fighter. The Hutt fighter shoots down the drone, which crashes near Michael and into a group of Hutt soldiers who were sent to respond to the crash.
One of the soldiers from the drone crash is Joshua, who Michael finds injured. Although he briefly considers leaving Joshua there to die, Michael carries him towards a cave for safety. After setting the unconscious Joshua down, Michael is attacked by a sand people warrior. Michael, who is injured in the attack, is rescued by a woman who scares off the sand people and mysteriously heals Michael’s wound before he falls unconscious.
Michael wakes up a few hours later, with Joshua still unconscious, and finds a man named Ben in the cave. Although Michael is initially hesitant of Ben, he feels that Ben is trustworthy and begins to talk to him. Ben says that he lives in a settlement a hundred kilometers north of the cave, at which point Michael realizes he is lying and begins to suspect that Ben was in the crashed starship; the fact that Ben comes across as a courteous and selfless individual, traits not often seen on Tatooine, further that belief. Ben is reluctant to say anything, however, and Michael drops the discussion. Michael also suspects that the mysterious woman who saved him was with Ben, but Ben denies any knowledge of her, though he too is curious about the woman as well.
As they continue to talk, they are interrupted by Ben's companion Logan Amator, and Logan tells them that soldiers have spotted their location. Michael tells them that the soldiers are from the Hutt Cartel, which Ben and Logan did not suspect—further helping to confirm to Michael that they are not from Tatooine. Before they can escape, they realize that Joshua is gone, though he soon returns with other soldiers and places them under arrest. He accuses Michael, as well as Ben and Logan, of trying to kill him, rather than saving his life.
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Weapons and technology
Behind the scenes
The release of the novel’s first draft took place from November 20, 2007 with the release of the draft’s prologue, to August 18, 2008 with the release of the seventeenth chapter. That draft remained incomplete, and it was abandoned in favor of a second draft. The release of that draft began several months later, on January 23, 2009, until that draft was abandoned after the release of the sixteenth chapter on February 20, 2010. Rhea announced later that summer his attention to make some changes to the second draft before proceeding with it further, but those changes did not materialize.
An announcement of the final version of the novel first came on July 20, 2011 with a blog introducing the new setting of the novel as well as its characters, but no release of content followed. However, on August 29, 2012, Rhea finally announced his intention to hold a content release on September 30, 2012. After a few additional blog announcements, Rhea stated that he would be releasing the first four chapters of the novel on that date, a timeframe he met with the release of those chapters on September 29th. The next content release, with an undetermined number of chapters, is scheduled for October 31, 2012.
Reception to the first two drafts of The Chosen One was generally positive. Criticism was mostly directed towards its similarities with Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menance, given the opening chapters were mostly the same as the opening of the canonical film. Some criticism was also directed at the character of Sarus in the first draft; the rest of the characters believed what he said about destiny and the prophecy of the Chosen One with little to no question, giving him the vibe of a cult leader who was believed unconditionally.