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by Nathaniel Reed,  9/2005

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And in time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN.
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"Journal of the Whills, 3:12"
Welcome to
Roderick Vonhögen's
Virtual Edition
April 2008
Introducing the Jedi Elders
23rd April 2008
As detailed in the February 2008 VE editorial, the Jedi Elders of Episode VII Plague of Doom were introduced as was the creative process that brought them into the narrative. Here, we take a closer look at these old masters who were called forth by the Force from their disparate self-imposed exiles.
Depa Bilaba, Oppo Rancisis, Even Piell, Dree Tan, Gri Sann Wei, Wonroff Emanon, and Sieg Lettow are the seven masters who have offered their support and aid to the young Skywalker who endeavours to resurrect the old Jedi Order.
The following image illustrates the scene where Master Dree Tan greets Luke and Leia who have returned from Kessel, and introduces five other master Jedi who have arrived at the hidden base of Aquilae on Mon Calamar.
Depicted by Nat, Jedi Elder Dree Tan introduces the recently-arrived Jedi Masters to Luke and Leia.
As the Thisspian serpentine Master, Oppo Rancisis, explains in Episode VII Plague of Doom, "The few of us fortunate enough to escape the purge were weakened by the darkness that had enveloped the galaxy, so much so that our ability to hear the quieter whisperings of the Force was severely diminished". They had no way of knowing that any of their brethren existed, each one thinking he was alone. Recognising their own vulnerability against the two Sith Lords and their legions of imperial soldiers, the Elders drew on the Force to hide and patiently wait for a new hope.
Originally from Chalacta in the Mid Rim, Billaba served on the Jedi Council twelve years before the Chancellor issued Order 66. She witnessed young Anakin Skywalker be introduced to the Jedi by Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and was influential in reversing the initial decision of the High Council to allow the nine year old to be trained in the ways of the Force. Wise and softly-spoken, she was nevertheless a skilled swordmaster, and fought heroically during the Clone Wars. Fleeing the consequences of Order 66, she rallied several Jedi to her side, and they fought in many running skirmishes against both Imperial troops and bounty hunters. Tragically, all were methodically hunted down and killed save for Billaba who, in a bold and risky move, ingeniously fled back to Coruscant, the Imperial centre. Here she disappeared into the murky and lawless lower levels, carving out a life as a healer, a role safe-guarded by the grateful communities she aided. When news flashed back to the capital that Emperor Palaptine had been killed, her cautious nature proved founded as Mas Amedda stepped up from his deputy position. Only when the Force nudged her to seek out Skywalker did she begin to consider revealing herself.
A one-time High Council Master from Lannik, inherently proud, confident, and strong, Piell was also present when Qui-Gon Jinn revealed the peculiar slave boy from Tatooine. Genetically and culturally martial, living by a disciplined code of noble combat, the highly focused Jedi Master served the Order into the Clone Wars. The short-statured Piell was assigned to the Outer Rim sieges where he remained for the duration of the war, moving from station to station wherever his orders and the Force led him. Prior to the treacherous Order 66, he was last heard to be on Rodia. Recognising the worlds in and near "Hutt Space" as a haven for bounty hunters, and that any surviving Jedi were valuable prey, Even Piell stayed on the move utilising large tramp freighters and refugee carriers to ensure his passage. He was on Pixelito when he first heard the whisperings of the Force prompting him to make his way Core-wards to Coruscant and the fledgling new Jedi Order.

The sharp-eyed will notice that Piell has replaced Eeth Koth : a recent creative decision favoured the short-statured Piell's mastery of the Force over that of Koth !
The serpentine High Councillor was renowned not only for his great knowledge of the Force and its histories, but also as an able healer. Rancisis would call on the Force to diagnose and support patients, who often enjoyed a successful rate of healthy survival. Although bacta and other specialist equipment were available, the Jedi Order augmented such measures with holistic approaches. Many times, Oppo would go out into the field to those Knights who were severely injured on their missions and who were too ill to make the return journey. Throughout the Clone Wars, the Jedi Master served in the battlefield medi-camps, travelling from one crisis to the next. He would voyage from Kashyyyk to Malastare, from Sullust to Dantooine, never resting whilst there was a fellow Knight in need of holistic support. He was in such a base camp when Order 66 erupted, changing the face of the galaxy forever. Realising the futility of the immediate situation, and receiving the command from the Temple to return, Rancisis made his way to Coruscant. When the first signal was superceeded by a second, he quickly recognised the confusion could only mean further treachery and danger, and he diverted to his native Thisspias. Although the cities and ports were heavily garrisoned, loyal friends hid him until word reached him that Lord Darth Vader was personally hunting down the "Jedi traitors". With Imperial spies, stormtroopers, and bounty hunters increasing in number, he fled his homeworld. Rancisis travelled to the isolated Mid Rim forest world of Ithor, where he lived a simple life with the peaceful hammerhead Ithorians. Years later, it was here tending to the tree groves when the Force came unbidden to him, prompting him to return to the Core worlds and offer his knowledge and support.
A human Jedi Master now in his late fifties, he originally hailed from Corellia. Caught up in the chaos of Order 66 on the Outer Rim world of Ord Mantell with his padawan, he had found the Force was initially with him - he and his clone unit had been based in an area affecting comms signals, and so his soldiers remained loyal. As they returned to the base camp, Master Tan was suddenly faced with enemy trooper squads who were once his friends and comrades. Sadly, with the greater numbers against them, over the ensuing days Dree watched his clone unit be cut down by their fellow soldiers. In the confusion around the city port, Master Tan and his padawan were able to gain safe passage off world. They made it to Cadriff in the remote Yukayy region, but soon after landing they discovered the reach of the new Emperor's edict was present there too. A spy's tip-off brought them into confrontation with bounty hunters eager for Jedi scalps, and his padawan fell under a hail of laserfire. Dree disappeared into the back streets, changed his appearance, and carved a new life in one of the outlying towns, calling on the Force to help hide him from prying eyes. Years later, when he learned of the rebel alliance's victory over the Empire at Endor, and rumours of a Jedi in their ranks, the Force whispered to him to seek out this individual and pledge the young man his support.
In the image below, Master Tan offers a suggestion as to how to mask their entry into Kessel from prying Imperial scanners.
In this dynamic image by Nat, from the cockpit of his A-Wing, Jedi Master Dree Tan proposes how best to reach Kessel.
A Shistaveenan canis, this elderly Jedi Master had curbed his inherent ferociousness and short temper but was still known to enjoy a heated debate on the mysteries of the Force. Upon fleeing his clone squads and receiving the confusing double signals from the Temple, Master Emanon slowly and carefully made his way across the galaxy back to his homeworld. There, he rejoined his pack knowing their loyalty to his kind would protect him from any Imperial interest. Hearing of two powerful Sith Lords at the centre of the new Empire, Emanon made sure to keep his presence in the Force at a minimum. He watched his brethren join the fledgling rebel alliance, yet he still did not expect or trust the eager optimism of the rebellion to usurp the Sith, and so he remained with his pack. Similarly, news of Amedda's broadcast inviting all Jedi hopefuls to train with young Skywalker - a relation of Anakin ??! - was met with caution, until the Force called him forth to Aquilae.
Wonroff Emanon stands ready in this promotional art by Scott.
In this image, Master Wonroff Emanon evades the pursuing TIE fighters as Leia's strike team penetrates the Imperial defences on Kessel.
In this superb artwork by Scott, Master Emanon evades enemy fire over the Kessel desert.
Wroonian Master Gri Sann Wei was renowned for his great knowledge of the Force, and its role on countless worlds throughout the ages of the galaxy. Often found in the vast library with the Temple curator Jocasta Nu, he was known to engage in spirited forum debates with the learners, who affectionately bestowed upon him the informal title of Jedi Scholar. During the Clone Wars, Master Wei’s understanding of the galaxy’s wide variety of cultures and societies became invaluable in the Jedi Order’s efforts to stabilize areas of operations in the aftermath of major combat. On the rocky desert world of Ttaz, while heading up a non-military unit tasked with transmitting necessary local cultural information to the follow-on forces, Gri Sann Wei was transmitting data via hologram to the rest of his research team when he witnessed their tragic assassination at the onset of Order 66. One of the few Jedi fortunate enough to not find himself surrounded by blaster-wielding Clonetroopers at the time, Gri Sann Wei was able to disappear into the Kuroland, eventually making a new life for himself among the desert Marsh Arabs as a medicine man and a seer. He had always assumed he was the last of the Jedi, until one day when the Force whispered to him during his meditations, prompting him to seek out the son of Skywalker on Aquilae.
In this promotional art by Scott, Master Gri Sann Wei is focused in the Force.
The following image depicts Master Wei leading members of Devil Group in a pincer movement against a number of TIE fighters.
Flying high over Kessel, Jedi Master Gri San Wei instructs Devil Group in tactical manoeuvres. Artwork by Scott.
This white-haired human had trained several padawans, but preferred to travel 'in the field' than remain at the Temple. This, he reasoned, allowed his students to experience the 'Living Force' at its fullest, and, unsurprisingly, he was regarded as somewhat of an absent maverick in the same manner as Qui-Gon and Dooku. His mental control and powers were formidable, and he preferred these tactics over swordplay whenever possible. In the dark times of the Sith Empire, Lettow travelled the Outer Rim as a good-humoured entertainer, performing "simple magic tricks and nonsense". The marvellous displays from a mumbling old man supported by a cane brought delight to children and adults alike. Following the astounding news of the victory at Endor and the death of the hated Emperor, Lettow slowly made his way to Coruscant and was re-directed to Mon Calamar.
Jedi Master Sieg Lettow. Promotional artwork by Scott.
This new artwork can be seen incorporated into the online version of POD, as well as in the gallery here.
After a month or so of snippets of news on both the Clone Wars animated feature and the live-action series, the release date for the next big Star Wars tie-in, The Force Unleashed, was announced. On September the 16th 2008, the multi-platform video game will be released, set between episodes III and IV, in which the player, as Darth Vader's secret Apprentice, helps him hunt down any surviving Jedi ; George Lucas has also enthusiastically participated in the conceptual stages of the game story, making the end result all but canon within the movie saga. The interactive gaming console Nintendo Wii will be one of the many game platforms participating. Just as with the Shadows of the Empire release, there will be a comprehensive tie-in programme, including novel adaptations and toys.
Discuss the Virtual Edition Sequel Trilogy and this news in the forum here !
Nathaniel Reed, 23rd April 2008
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