Today we’re going to move sideways into our timeline. I covered both halves of the Great Hyperspace War at once, because it was a single comic story told in a linear manner that happened to be split into two volumes. Interrupting it with other stories from the war wouldn’t have made much sense. This entry, though, I’ll be starting a look at how a smaller faction survived the war: the crew of the Omen, a transport ship in the service of Naga Sadow.
I also want to pause for a moment to celebrate naming conventions in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, as this is the first time that this sort of title for a story has appeared in this read through. There are two recurring types of titles to be seen in Star Wars prose: Serial-inspired titles that started with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and titles that are further intertwined in the story, beginning with Heir to the Empire. Clearly, given my example, one tradition owes to another, but the latter group, in my mind, has become indistinguishable with simple, yet ultimately powerful titles. Precipice, despite being the title of a short piece that could just as easily have been Crash of the Omen, gives us a title that accurately describes numerous situations within the story.
A precipice is generally used to describe either a dangerous situation (such as finding yourself on an unknown planet whose biology is killing your crew members) or a precarious ledge, such as one might find when teetering in an unstable ship upon a mountain. Perhaps even more relevant, the adjective precipitous can be defined as a sharp change for the worse, such as the change from a skilled captain making a routine delivery to spiralling out of control after being nudged off course by another ship. I apologize for not quoting specific definitions; after three sources supplies three different variations on the definitions of these words, I defaulted to consensus and common use.
Precipice focuses in on Commander Yaru Korsin, a mostly-human captain of a transport vessel in the Sith Navy. His ship, the Omen, is filled with Massassi infantry and high-grade focusing crystals. Admittedly, the only known use for these is lightsabers which surely couldn’t change the tide of battle on their own, but hey, maybe the Sith had some other use for these. Maybe large ones could be used for shipboard weapons or something. When they’re thrown off course, the Commander is forced to put all of his abilities into keeping his people from killing each other (and himself) long enough to get off the planet, or prove it impossible. Being Sith, this includes power struggles and lightsaber duels.
Precipice, along with the rest of the Lost Tribe of the Sith series (save for Pandemonium), was released for free as a prologue to Fate of the Jedi: Omen in order to promote the series. Of course, once the collected version was released on paper Del Rey servers stopped hosting them, but this free ebook is still fairly easy to find online. The short story is just the sort of thing for Sith fans to pick up; and if you disagree, it’s short enough to waste very little of your time as you decide if you’d like to grab the next installment.