This episode Ordoo and Redna cover the novel by Claudia Gray, Lost Stars. Can Ciena and Thane’s relationship survive the conflicts they face? How will their experiences define them?
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It was a day of great hope on the planet Jelucan. The outer rim world was playing host to a delegation of the new government the Galactic Empire. Ciena Ree, a girl of the valley folk, meets Thane Kyrell, who is one of the second-wave settlers from the mountains. Their mutual desire to get an up-close look at one of the Imperial Lambda shuttles brings them to where their journey begins, two paths inexorably intertwined.
After, they are caught fighting with some local boys in the Imperial hangar by Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. He gives them some special attention as a teaching moment for one of his officers. Inspired, they make a pact to work together and become Imperial Officers. For the next seven years they work together to make their shared dream happen, against their families’ wishes. When they both turn fifteen, the announcement comes that they have both been accepted into the Royal Imperial Academy on Coruscant, the most prestigious academy in the Empire.
Thane and Ciena quickly climb to the top of the rankings for their class at the academy. They constantly battle each other for first place. This friendly competition pushes them to be better the same way they pushed each other on Jelucan. Then, in their second year, one of Thane’s projects is sabotaged, and the evidence points to Ciena. Thane doesn’t believe it’s her and has a fellow cadet, Jude Edivon, hack the system and figure out who was behind it. Jude finds out that it was the Office of Student Outcomes.
Thane is livid. They both lost rankings due to the events surrounding the sabotage, and he feels that it is unjust to penalize them for working together. Ciena doesn’t like it, but she trusts that the Academy did it for a good reason. This is the first time that their upbringing in two different cultures impacts their relationship. Ciena’s upbringing, focused on loyalty and personal honor, versus Thane’s cynical upbringing, drives a wedge between the two childhood friends until their final year in the Academy.
They recover their standings and are afforded the opportunity to go to a ball at the Imperial Palace a few weeks before graduation. While there, Thane and Ciena are able to reconnect and forgive the rift that had grown between them. Their relationship also grows into something more than friends.
After the ball at the palace, the final few weeks of Academy dominate their time, and they don’t get to see each other until the graduation ceremony and the free time afterwards. Ciena is assigned to the Star Destroyer, The Devastator, the flagship of Lord Vader. Thane is assigned to the defense fleet for a classified space station. The two believe that a high-value ship like the Devastator would frequent the classified space station where Thane will be based.
Shortly after the start of their assignments, Ciena has her first encounter with the rebels. The Devastator is tasked with capturing a rebel blockade runner, The Tantive IV. Ciena doesn’t understand the motivations of the rebels or how they think they could win, but knowing that they had the plans for the space station that Thane is on provides her with satisfaction when they capture the ship. With the Alderaanian Princess on board they proceed directly to Thane’s post, The Death Star.
Before Thane’s shift ends, his section is called to attention in one of the hangars. After a short speech the officer on duty announces the treachery and punishment of the planet Alderaan. The punishment is delivered immediately. Thane feels the the station humm with power like he has never felt before and then Alderaan explodes. Before Thane’s shift is over, his unit is assigned a mission to investigate the Planet Dantooine.
Ciena is on duty with Nash Windrider, Thane’s academy roommate, a native of Alderaan. She sees him go ashen and gives him a hand to hold as he tries to recover from the shock without letting any other officers see. If Nash were to give any outward signs of distress over the actions taken against Alderaan, it would be considered sympathy to the enemy. Once Nash is off duty, Ciena’s thoughts travel to Thane. She knows that the Death Star is assaulting the rebel base.
Ciena receives a message from Thane telling her that he is being sent out on patrol for a few days. When the Battle at Yavin begins, Ciena is the officer monitoring communications from the Death Star. She and the rest of the crew are stunned when the communications feed suddenly goes dark. Shortly after, Ciena is commanded to take a freighter and rendezvous with Lord Vader and bring him back to the Devastator.
Upon arrival Ciena sees that the Death Star has been destroyed. She thinks of her friend Jude who was on board. When they return to the Devastator she is met by Nash, who informs her that Thane’s transport had received orders to return to the Death Star.
Thane’s transport has been on Dantooine for a week before they receive orders on what to do. They arrive at the fleet, and Thane is ordered to the Star Destroyer Eliminator within the hour. As he disembarks, he discovers that he is indeed on board the Devastator. As he is making his way across the hold,Ciena calls out to him. After a few stolen minutes together they each have to go.
Thane’s assignment takes him to spice planet of Kerev Doi. With the downtime, he thinks more and more about the brutality of the Empire. When he sees a group of Bodach’i in slavery to the Empire as a sanction, it is the last straw. Thane makes a call to Ciena to talk about leaving the the service in code. When the call ends, Thane gets all his money together and leaves Kerev Doi and the Empire behind.
Ciena is shocked when she finds out that Thane has deserted. She meets with ISB officer Captain Ronnadamn and is assigned the duty of tracking down Thane. She is to report everything she finds back to him. Ciena begins her search on their home world of Jelucan. She finds Thane quickly on the planet and they come to realize they are still far apart on how they feel about the Empire.
Thane is determined to leave and wants Ciena to join him. Ciena’s loyalty remains to the Empire; her upbringing prevents her from breaking an oath. The two part ways after a night together. Thane leaves for the outer rim and Ciena returns to report to Captain Ronnadam. She tells him that Thane committed suicide on Jelucan.
Thane joins a freighter, The Might Oak Apocalypse, lead by Lohgarra. The ship travels the outer rim running various cargo missions. Frequently those missions provide little to no profit. Lohgarra likes to help out where she can and helps deliver food and medical supplies to planets in need. This allows Thane to see how the Empire truly operates. He no longer has any illusions about whom he had served in the past.
On one mission to deliver some medical supplies, he is approached by a man named Wedge Antilles. He ends up leaving the MOA to join Wedge and the Rebellion. Thane doesn’t really care about their high-minded ideals: he just wants to make sure the corrupt and evil Empire is destroyed. Soon after he joins up, the Alliance moves to its new base on Hoth.
Thane helps to take out one of the AT-AT’s during the battle of Hoth with some fancy flying. He faces his doubts when he is forced to destroy a Tie fighter as he is escorting the transports out of the system. He fears that Ciena was piloting the ship he destroyed. After a brief meeting with Mon Mothma his resolve is restored. After the meeting Thane meets some new recruits, including Ciena’s best friend from the Academy, Kendy Idele.
Thane and Kendy are assigned to a new special operations squadron. With this squad they go on a special mission where they see a massive build-up of Imperial military. Thane suspects that the Emperor is going to be there. They are forced to leave their observation position by a flight of tie fighters led by Cienna and Nash. Ciena is under secret orders to let one or more escape with what they have observed.
Thane’s group escapes with only one pilot being killed. Ciena and Nash also survive the encounter. After this encounter the Imperial fleet jumps to another system that seems like the middle of nowhere to Ciena. The nearest system that even has a name is Endor.
The fleet is put on alert for combat and jumps to find what they are defending, a new Death Star.
Ciena is there when Thane’s fleet arrives. His squadron begins fighting for their lives in the Emperor’s trap. When Thane believes that all is lost, General Solo’s team comes through allowing the fleet to attack the Death Star directly. Thane’s squad covers General Calrissian’s entrance as he goes after the core. When the word is given, they move out of the blast range of the Death Star. Ciena isn’t that lucky, she’s decided the best way for her to serve is in her TIE fighter, rather than on the bridge, but her TIE fighter is heavily damaged from the destruction of the Death Star.
Ciena’s recovery is slow, but she doesn’t allow herself to rest. To help keep her mind off the evil she serves, Ciena helps write the letters to the families of those that died on Endor. Upon her recovery, she is promoted yet again in her career to the rank of Captain, in command of her own Star Destroyer, the Inflicter.
She takes her ship into battle over the planet Jakku. The battle isn’t going well for the Imperial forces. The Alliance sends a strike team to capture Ciena’s Star destroyer to help fill their need for large capital ships. Upon realizing that the ship is lost and the self destruct disabled, Ciena orders all to abandon ship and locks herself behind blast doors to guide the ship to a crash landing on the planet’s surface.
Thane is leading the Alliance strike team and recognizes Ciena’s voice. He then fights his way to the command deck and figures out the password to get through to Ciena. Ciena refuses to leave with him and he refuses to leave her behind. The two lovers begin fighting, but Thane is able to stun Ciena and get her to the escape pod.
They are picked up by Alliance forces and Ciena is promptly imprisoned. After two weeks Ciena finally agrees to see Thane. After a brief discussion, Thane suggests some options to help Ciena, but she refuses to betray her oath to the Empire and provides no intelligence to the Alliance.
Grand Moff Tarkin
Verine Ree, Ciena’s Mother
Peron Ree, Ciena’s Father
Oris Kyrell; Thane’s Father
Ganaire Kyrell; Thane’s Mother
Dalven Kyrell; Thane’s Brother
Captain Ronnadam, Senior ISB Officer
Grand Vizier Mas Amedda (tried to hold the empire tearing itself apart)
Commander Erisher Berisse Sai
Alderaan: Cloudshape Falls, Isatabith rain forest
Kerev Doi – one of the very few places in the galaxy to which you could turn for funds that could support and entire rebel army
Oulanne, Only mentioned but is in Legends
Miriatin, Mentioned only
D’Qar, Mentioned only
Ponemah, Mentioned only
Hosnian system, Mentioned only
Queluhan Nebula, Mentioned only
Louar clamp, Mentioned only