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Hyperspace Beacon: Unsung


I love the timeline videos. I actually wish there were going to be more of them than are scheduled. I don't believe any other game has illuminated its backstory in quite the same way Star Wars: The Old Republic has. But (you were expecting a "but" there, weren't you?) last week's video was slightly disappointing. I believe the story of the central figure, Exar Kun, was told very well. Granted, some things were skipped, but overall his story was complete, save for one thing: A very pivotal character was left out of the story entirely, thus my disappointment. This unsung hero (or rather, heroine) was Nomi Sunrider.

Ironically, the Dark Horse comic that introduces Nomi -- Tales of the Jedi: The Saga of Nomi Sunrider -- has an opening crawl that reads: "Another Jedi Warrior, whose skill in the art of Battle Meditation will never be forgotten, is Nomi Sunrider." There is speculation that she was left out because of the legal issues that surround her last name, but no BioWare developer has confirmed this. But that's not what I'm going to present here today.

Over the next couple of issues of the Hyperspace Beacon, I will provide a synopsis of Nomi Sunrider's story. And just so I get everything as correctly as I can, I dug up all the comic books Mrs. Sunrider appeared in. Continue after the break to read the first part of this exceptional woman's story.

Like a lot of people who become heroes, Nomi was just looking for the simple things in life: love, home, family, and happiness. However, even the simplest luxuries in life do not come without cost. Nomi fell in love and married a Jedi named Andur Sunrider. Andur did his best to provide his tiny family a life away from wars and the troubled life of a Jedi; however, he knew of Nomi's gifts in the Force and encouraged her to train any chance he could. She continued to refuse, giving the excuse that she was too timid to be a Jedi, but it was apparent she was just looking for life to be less complicated.

Andur was frequently forced to depart for months at a time to answer the Jedi's call, leaving Nomi -- and eventually their daughter Vima -- at home as he pursued the adventures of his master, Chamma. But when Andur was asked to join a new master, Nomi and Vima went with him. Andur carried a crate of Adegan crystals as a gift.

Spaceports can be a dangerous place, but Andur was a Jedi. He believed he could handle himself in the Stenness dock. He was wrong. Bogga the Hutt's gang overheard the mention of Adegan crystals and was willing to kill to get at them. Unfortunately for the Sunrider family, the gang's members knew how to distract a newly trained Jedi and were able to get the jump on Andur, ending his life prematurely with the bite from a gorm-worm. However, the thugs did not count on Nomi's Force prowess. With encouragement from her husband's spirit, she took up his lightsaber and killed all but one of her husband's murderers.

As a final request, Andur's spirit told Nomi, "Go to Master Thon... Take my gift to him. He will show you the direction your life must take now." With the Force's prompting, Nomi reluctantly traveled to Master Thon's ringed world to be trained as a Jedi.

The lightsaber became an instrument of death for her; she refused to carry one. She explained to Master Thon that he did not carry one, so therefore she did not need to carry one to be a Jedi either. Out of courtesy, Master Thon agreed to not train her with a lightsaber, but this did not stop him from prompting her to carry one every chance he got. Of course, she continually refused.

Master Thon spoke to the young woman often about how he was keeping the Dark Side at bay on this planet, and how he had trapped it over a lake near his home. When Vima wandered too close to the water, Nomi instinctively used Battle Meditation to cause the attacking Dark Side dragons to turn on each other instead of her daughter. However, Nomi was not aware of what she did until later.

A long-lived Neti Jedi Master named Ood Bnar prophesied from a holocron during one of Nomi's lessons that "This Jedi [Nomi] will play an important part in the battles to come. Truly, she will be strong -- a luminous being is she." Nomi was overwhelmed by this prospect. She considered leaving Thon, going home, and starting anew. Master Thon stopped her with these words: "I will tell you, Nomi Sunrider, there is no going back for you. There is going forward... or there is darkness."

As if to prove her destiny, Thon's home was again attacked by Bogga's thugs chasing the Adegan crystals. Master Thon believed so strongly in Nomi's destiny that he pushed himself to the heart of the battle, and the marauders overtook him. Nomi was forced to use Battle Meditation then a lightsaber to rescue her master. "No one wants enemies," her master explained after the battle, "but enemies can be useful. They force us to reach beyond ourselves... to find courage."

The first part of Nomi's story ends there, but that is not even the half of it. I think with the exception of maybe Mara Jade, there isn't a stronger female figure for the Jedi. Next week, I will cover a later part of Nomi's tale and show how she played the pivotal role in stopping Exar Kun's advancing horde.

The Force is not just about Jedi; all beings in the galaxy are affected by it. How will it affect your character? I leave you with the words of Master Ood Bnar. "The Force has always been with us. That is its nature. It surrounds us. And penetrates. It binds us together. Those who become sensitive to its presence can learn how to use it... for good or evil."

Star Wars: The Old Republic is finally here, and the Force is with Massively! We've prepared a Hutt-sized feast of class introductions, gameplay guides, lore roundups, and hands-on previews to help you navigate the launch period and beyond. And don't forget our weekly SWTOR column, the Hyperspace Beacon!

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