Bastila and the Council

Today’s short is a throwback piece of fanfic from the early 2010’s. It features Bastila and what I perceive her future following the Star Forge may have been. 🙂

There were days when Bastila wished that she had remained with Darth Malak. These thoughts were brief, as short as the moment between pressing the button on the lightsaber and the blade igniting. Bastila was always certain to meditate on the Jedi code three times after such a thought – but nevertheless, in the deepest, darkest corner of her soul, she knew it was true.

Her future with the Jedi had been forever altered by her bond with Revan, and then again by her fall to the dark side. She had been on track to become the youngest master and was one impressive stunt away from assuring her future on the council one day. Capturing Darth Revan should have put her at the front of the class. While the council never explicitly said anything, they acted differently towards her, following the discovery of her bond. They seemed to trust her just a little less. Master Vrook was just a little more condescending, and she could feel Master Vandar’s tension.

What was most telling about her diminished position within the order was the fact that they never specifically addressed her fall to the dark side. She thought that perhaps following the destruction of the Star Forge, they had been too preoccupied to meet with her. The masters had even had a long talk with Juhani after her fall. But today was the first anniversary of the Star Forge, and the masters had not spoken with her about it.

The council would not quietly set her aside, the way they did with Revan. They had let Revan retain her status and she was still expected to report in to the council, but there was no way that they would send her out again, and she certainly wouldn’t be brought back to teach anyone, despite how talented she was. If there was a way for a Jedi to be ‘retired’, that would probably fit. At least she seemed to have a measure of happiness. She and Onasi were together, and she had heard rumblings that they were going to be wed sometime soon.

No, Bastila was still sent out on missions for the council, though they were more along the lines of delivery runs, and she was never alone. She knew that they would always keep her around, just in case there was a use for her battle meditation. But that’s all she was to them these days – a walking battle meditation. A back up plan, in case of emergency.

She made her way out of the temple on Courscant and out onto the streets. Night had fallen, and the fireworks would be starting soon. Most of the galaxy was celebrating Revan and his triumph over the Star Forge. Yes, his. The council had chosen to present Revan as a male to the public. They said that it was a decision to protect the real Revan, to keep her sane and out of the galactic spotlight. Since, as a Sith, she had chosen to keep her face concealed, it wasn’t too far of a stretch. There were those who knew the truth of course, but they came off more like conspiracy theorists than anything.

Having been privy to many of Revan’s thoughts and dreams, she agreed with the council that it was best to keep her out of the way. She had enough to cope with, without also being an ambassador to the galaxy, or having vengeful killers on her tail.

The downside, of course, was that history would not portray what happened accurately. As someone who had combed through as many historical holovids as she could find as a child, this was disheartening. There were a good number of stories about their time on the Ebon Hawk that were best told with Revan as a female. How she had taken on Mission as a little sister, and helped her find a sustainable living that didn’t involve crime. Or there was the whole bit with Onasi. Their reclusive, broody pilot had become rather pleasant as Revan helped him past his need for revenge and to find his lost son. And of course they’d found love along the way too, or whatever.

As it was, Revan and Bastila’s bond and redeeming each other from the dark side had been spun into a romantic story, full of defying the council and stolen kisses on the Ebon Hawk. Obviously that wasn’t the case. They mutually respected each other, but she wouldn’t even necessarily classify what they had as friendship. Certainly, if Revan had been a male, their bond would be far more of a burden than a catalyst for a relationship. But, let the press play as it would. It kept them away from Revan and Carth, and that was probably for the best.

The sky began to light up with flashes of colored lights. The streets began to roar with cheers and applause. A series of flashes and bangs left the image of Revan’s mask in the sky. Bastila frowned. Of all the images from their journey, that would not be one that she would have chosen to memorialize.

Top 10 Books of 2020: Number 9

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

As I told you in my last post, I am a sucker for historical fiction. This book is that, and it does not disappoint.

Set primarily in World War II era France, Eva Traube’s life is upended when the Nazis start ripping Jews from their homes. She ends up at a small town on the border of Switzerland, and falls in with a network of people working to usher vulnerable individuals across the border.

I don’t know if it’s just the book clubs I’m in, or whether there is actually a lot of books about World War II lately, but I feel like I’ve read more than my share of World War II fiction over the last few years. That said, Lost Names was very good. It managed to be both at times gut-wrenching and uplifting. While the “Jew in hiding” story is not an uncommon theme, watching a character become empowered and sure in her skin while helping others is not super common, and it was a delight to read. Plus there was romance. It was well done, and that’s always a bonus in my book.

Now, let me tell you about the one thing I really didn’t care for about the book. It’s a trope I’m really not fond of in writing, and in this case, it involves heavy spoilers for the novel. So, if you haven’t read the novel, but you’re interested, please avert your eyes.


So, throughout the story, Eva falls in love with Remy, but things are far too treacherous for them to do anything about it. Well, they end up doing that whole “we’ll meet when this is over” thing in secret code, and then Eva waits for him…and waits. Finally, she meets someone else, moves away and has a decently happy life with this fella. In 2005, (where the story has been periodically popping in and out of) she goes back to Paris where – surprise! She finds Remy.

Here’s what I, personally, loathe: Why not just let her be happy with Remy without a 60 year interlude? After all she goes through, and this is fiction, why not just give her that?
But also, what about this poor chap she married? While the book says that she was happy, it does so in such a way that feels very clear that he was no Remy, and that she never spoke of Remy until the events in 2005. I thoroughly dislike this trope of, “she married this guy and he was good enough!”


On the whole, I was really engrossed in the story. There were characters I loved and felt for, and there were characters I vehemently disliked, and all felt very well-written. I’m not sure I’ll go back and read the book again – heaven knows I barely have time for unread books, let alone to go back – but I liked it enough that, for now, it’s sitting on my keeper shelf. If I do decide to part with it, I’m going to try and pass it on to a friend rather than tossing it in the donation box. That’s how I know that I really adored it.

So because I really couldn’t put the book down and couldn’t help but feel connected to the character despite being nothing alike, The Book of Lost Names snags the number nine spot on my top ten list for 2020.

Top 10 Books for 2020

In 2020, I read 65 books, ranging from sappy historical romance to light a fire underneath you social justice non-fiction, with plenty in-between. Some came out this year, some are several years old at this point. The only thing they have in common is that I really enjoyed them.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to break down that list for you, and talk a little bit about the books I picked, and why they engaged me enough to make it into my top 10.

So without further introduction, here’s #10…

The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig

If the internet is to be believed, I’ve loved Lauren Willig’s books for about ten years now. The Lure of the Moonflower is the twelfth and final book in her Pink Carnation series. For that reason, this book may not be the one you should start with.

Truth be told, I’ve had this book on my shelf since it was released in 2015. I’ve read most of Willig’s non-pink books that have come out both before and since Moonflower, but have left this one sitting unread all this time. It’s not that I didn’t want to read it, truth be told, I didn’t want this series to end. I haven’t been this attached to a series since Robin Jones Gunn’s Glenbrooke series, which I read back in my early teens.

In short, I’m a sucker for historical romance. I mean, books that have some sort of romantic subplot are typically right up my alley, but these kinds of books, with the history, and the intrigue, and the romance? :chef’s kiss:

Because it’s such a late entry in the series, I don’t want to go heavy on the spoilers. Basically, there’s a spy network that has been building throughout the series, and of course, there’s a floral theme. Set in the early 1800’s, the series is set in the time of Napoleon, and centers on spies trying to bring down France and protect England. One thing that I adore about the series is that the main characters are usually former minor characters from previous books. Otherwise, the character is somehow otherwise related to another, whether by blood or friendship, so it all makes the world feel fleshed out and connected. That, in my opinion, makes for a really fun series, and keeps it engaging over the twelve books.

I will say that this book brings a satisfying conclusion, ties up all the necessary loose ends, but still leaves just a touch of wiggle room should Willig ever decide to revisit the world. (Which, honestly, I kind of doubt, because she’s had some pretty good success with her standalone novels!)

If this sounds like something that would appeal to you, I recommend checking out some of her standalone historical fiction books before diving into the Pink Carnation series. That would give you a taste of her style, and not commit you to twelve books – assuming you’re like me and really don’t need twelve more books in your to be read pile. *Ahem*

Anyway, for my absolute love of the series, a satisfying conclusion, and a cheerful ride along the way, The Lure of the Moonflower easily takes the top 10 spot on my list for 2020.