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First a Sith Lord tried to take over the galaxy. Then a group of ragtag rebels tried to take over the galaxy. Next a line of high-ranking Imperials tried to take over the galaxy. Then sadistic aliens from another galaxy tried to take over the galaxy. Now horrible burn victims try to take over the galaxy. That must be why this is just a trilogy.
Cynical recap of the first book of the Dark Nest Trilogy
Bugs. Lots of bugs, who have a Hive Mind, and can force other people, cult-like, to become Joiners, part of the Hive Mind. They try to take over Chiss territory. The Chiss violently object. The Republic gets involved, leaning slightly more towards the Chiss side. The Jedi get involved, a number of them turning out to be Joiners who think that letting bugs devour everything is a great idea. This is notable as it's the first time Ben has a personality. Written by Troy Denning, the same author who killed Anakin Solo in his part of the New Jedi Order. Gorier and more explicit with sex than most Star Wars EU books.
This work has examples of:
- Aliens Made Them Do It - Jaina and Zekk are compelled into lots of hot, sweaty bug sex.
- Asshole Victim - Ta'a Chume
- Big Bad - The Dark Nest, led by Lomi Plo.
- Bug War: Unsurprisingly.
- Bus Crash: Chak Fel, one of Soontir Fel's sons, a pilot who gets angry about injustice and knows when to put aside his pride and who is just generally awesome, is casually mentioned to have died in a war that's now over. That Makes Me Feel Angry.
- Covers Always Lie - Luke doesn't use Force lightning in The Swarm War.
- Darker and Edgier
- The Dragon - Welk, later Alema
- Discount Lesbians - Zekk's interesting thoughts about Jag when Joined to Jaina.
- Face Heel Turn - Alema had been skirting the edge of the dark side ever sense her sister got killed in the New Jedi Order, but here she crosses over to it for good.
- Forever War - Jacen sees a vision of one between the Killiks and the Galactic Alliance. He uses this to justify preventing it by being a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar - Zekk has threesome fantasies!
- Leads to a Crowning Moment of Funny when Jaina declares to Jag Fel that she still has feelings for him... and right afterwards, Jag realizes to his utter dismay that due to mind-melding, Zekk also shares these feelings. Try imagining this: your romantic rival feels for you the same way your romantic interest does. Jag's expression is understandably a bit disgusted.
- Hive Caste System: There are a number of different types of Killik, many of them radically different in appearance and tactics. While each type is connected mentally, they apparently have a different Hive Mind for each type, and so when the Jedi Joiners are sent to assist a different type, they find their Joiner-ness weakening. Being Joiners, this horrifies them.
- Hive Mind - Killiks, and the Joiners who get absorbed into it.
- Ho Yay - Zekk, hiveminded with Jaina, agrees with her feelings towards Jag. Probably not deliberate. Probably.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming - The first two books are The Joiner King and The Unseen Queen; the third is The Swarm War. Also all three begin with a definite article.
- Insane Troll Logic: The 'logic' that any Killik uses absolutely reeks of this.
- Mind Rape - Jacen does this to Ta'a Chume, obvious Foreshadowing
- OOC Is Serious Business - See Precision K Strike, below.
- Precision F-Strike - Luke Skywalker, of all people.
- The Scrappy - A lot of fans found the Killiks annoying and generic, especially after the Vong (who were certainly memorable, if nothing else).
- Particularly as it looks like we're supposed to sympathize at least to some degree with either them or the Jedi who become Joiners and support them, when honestly, well...
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism - Luke Skywalker, torture victim, advocating torture.
- Shadow Archetype - the Dark Nest is this to the whole Killik species.
- Shout-Out - To Raiders of the Lost Ark. "Bugs. Why did it have to be bugs?"
- Spoken by Han Solo, naturally.
- Start of Darkness - Jacen becomes a Well-Intentioned Extremist in this series, setting him up for Legacy of the Force.
- Squick: Luke uses the Force to make a pair of Ishi Tib find him attractive, though he's normally hideous to them. For reference, male Ishi Tib look like this. Then they molest him. Why Denning saw the need to give him this power is unclear.
- Well, he was trying to make them (and everybody else in the room) like him more, to help with the subsequent hero-pumps-the-bar-for-information scene (like Charm Person - the spell, not the trope). It just Went Horribly Right.
- Theme Naming - "Killik" is a palindrome. All Killik species have palindrome names, from Aebea to Yoggoy.
- The Virus - Joiners
- Unreliable Narrator: The Jedi who become Joiners think that the bugs are awesome and hiveminds are awesome and Chiss are meanies for not, you know, letting the bugs take over. The New Republic is also wrong, for not supporting them one hundred percent. And of course, the Killiks couldn't possibly slow down their reproductive rate and remove the exponentially increasing overpopulation problem and the constant food crises. That's the only reason why they're invading, of course.
- Of course, the Chiss think the Killiks are nothing but insects and pests and they, the Chiss, are justified in killing as many of them as necessary without making more than token efforts at negotiation. Maybe we should kill them both and use their understudies?
- We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: Subverted. The Chiss show Leia a camera feed of Han getting his ear cut off, but he's not being tortured at all.
- In fact, Han breaks into the room Leia's in, sees "himself", and quips about it.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Han of course
- You Can't Go Home Again: The Killiks, since Wilhuff Tarkin blasted Oroboro to asteroids.
- An explanation might be required: Oroboro is the Killik name for Alderaan.
- Jagged Fel is banished from Chiss society because of the damages Lowbacca inflicted while under custody.
- Zerg Rush: The primary Killik tactic; they're described as dying in the millions when facing entrenched enemies.