Charuk and Rani find themselves aboard a train, desperately seeking refuge from the relentless pursuit of the Imperial forces. They carry the heavy burden of leaving behind their village and their beloved father, weighing down Rani’s heart. But Charuk, always a steadfast companion, tries to ease her fears. To lighten the mood, he initiates a game of Bandits, just as a tempting tray of li’ba – candy lollipops—makes its way down the aisle.
Rani possesses a remarkable secret: the gift of the Force. Seizing the perfect moment, she takes back her flute from Charuk’s possession. However, her innocent indulgence in li’ba unwittingly attracts the attention of fellow passengers, who promptly report Rani’s talents to the ever-watchful stormtroopers.
Charuk, resourceful as ever, uses the candy as a diversionary tactic. His quick thinking proves invaluable when the train passes a den of real bandits, and the stormtroopers are outwitted. The resilient and shrewd siblings escape unscathed, leaving their pursuers baffled.
Upon reaching a small town, Charuk gallantly carries Rani to the outskirts where a serene oasis awaits. Here, they encounter the inhabitants, led by the venerable Rugal. This wise elder warns them of an impending storm and emphasizes the urgent need for preparation. Settling into their newfound sanctuary, their peace is shattered by the arrival of an Inquisitor and his retinue, who have knowledge of the train incident and Rani’s extraordinary abilities.
As tension mounts, objects in the vicinity inexplicably levitate, defying gravity. Rani vehemently denies her involvement. Just as a sandstorm engulfs the oasis, chaos erupts with a fierce duel between Jedi Rugal and the imposing Inquisitor. With skillful and deadly strikes, Rugal ultimately triumphs, swiftly severing her foe’s neck. The Inquisitor’s final words betray his disbelief that a Jedi was concealed within the humble abode of Golak.
Revealing her true nature, Rugal discloses herself as a Jedi, a guardian of peace and wielder of the Force. She explains her purpose: Rani must become her apprentice and undergo Jedi training. Emotions run high as the siblings bid each other a tearful farewell. Charuk presents Rani with a li’ba, symbolizing their unbreakable bond. As the pond concealing the secret tunnel seals shut, Charuk’s flute gently floats to the surface, a poignant symbol of their shared journey. With hope in his heart, Charuk accepts the flute, imparting his final words to his sister, “May the Force be with you.”
Leaving Family: Light vs. Dark
This story shares a similar theme with Screecher’s Reach, where Daal chose to become an apprentice to the Sith Mother. In Rani’s case, she is set to become a Padawan with the Jedi. It’s fascinating how these stories demonstrate the contrasting nature of the Sith and Jedi.
While Daal willingly left her life and family behind, Rani, on the other hand, struggled to part ways with her father. The scene depicting Rani saying goodbye to her brother was deeply moving, showcasing the stark contrast in emotions between the two girls.
However, one aspect of the episode puzzled me. Rani is old enough to understand that she shouldn’t use her Force abilities in public. Was it explained to her that it was life-threatening for her not to use her powers, especially in public? Despite this knowledge, she seemed to playfully use her abilities without considering the risks. The story implies that her family witnessed her powers and sought to keep Rani safe.
This situation reminds me of the saying, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Even though Rani is a child, she should be old enough to comprehend the word “No” and behave accordingly. She can still enjoy her childhood without relying on her Force abilities. This episode serves as a thoughtful reminder that knowledge is power, but it is only truly effective and beneficial when wielded with wisdom and efficiency.