Ewok Fantasies: Streen ‘o Streen, Where Have You Been?June 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Ewok Fantasies, Opinion, Star Wars Books | 2 Comments
This week Ewok Fantasies takes a look at one of my own delusional fan fantasies: a Streen series. With the new focus on standalones, duologies, and trilogies, it’s a perfect time to break out good old Streen. Recent books have certainly taken the time to spotlight certain underutilized characters. Fans received a Dash Rendar novel in the way of Shadow Games. Paul S. Kemp has given us no less than two Jaden Korr novels with Crosscurrent and Riptide. Plus Del Rey has shown that the past is still fair game with novels like Scourge and Mercy Kill (which has several flashback chapters). So why not carry the trend forward for Streen?
Streen is certainly deserving of his own series. He was one of the first Expanded Universe Jedi readers were exposed to. Back in Kevin J. Anderson’s Jedi Academy Trilogy, he was in the first cadre of recruits gathered by Luke Skywalker. His early peers were the likes of Gantoris, Kam Solusar, Kyp Durron, Dorsk 81, Tionne, Kirana Ti, and Cilghal.
Yet, after that trilogy, Streen pretty much disappeared. He made a comeback four years after Champions of the Force in the Jedi Academy: Leviathan comic series, and that was it. All those books in between the FOTJ series and the Jedi Academy Trilogy, and Streen has consistently been used as a background character whose mentioned only in passing. In other words: eighty one novels of Streen avoidance. Since Champions of the Force, Streen fans have been in an 18 year drought. There’s not even hope of him joining the Jedi Council considering he’s always somewhere else. Times have been tough for the fans of Streen.
Yet it’s difficult to say you’re a fan of Streen when we know so little about him. We know he has an affinity with the wind and the weather. He is also very attuned with the minds of people around him, so much so that he avoided people before becoming a Jedi. In the Jedi Academy Trilogy, he joined Luke’s Praxeum. Afterwards, he became a Jedi Knight and a Jedi Master. Beyond that, we don’t know much else. The fact is he’s an extremely underutilized, underdeveloped character who is just begging for someone to write a series a books on him. Of all the characters, Streen presents an ideal opportunity to view Luke’s Jedi Order in a new light. Streen was there back when Luke was possessed by the spirit of Exar Kun. He was there when Luke lost his first student to the dark side. He was there when one of Luke’s students annihilated an entire star system with billions of inhabitants, and the Order was forced to deal with the fallout.
Yet Streen’s story doesn’t start there in those troubled times. As readers, we have no idea what Streen’s origins are. How did he end up all alone as a gas prospector on Bespin? Who were his parents? Did he have any siblings? We know Streen was fairly old when Luke found him, yet we don’t actually know what year he was born. Was he too young to participate in the Clone Wars? Were his parents Force sensitive, and if so, might one of them been a Jedi in the war? Does he even have a last name?
Beyond Streen’s origins, we don’t really know what he’s been up to all these years, either. These huge time gaps offer ripe opportunities for storytelling. One thing we do know is that Streen and Kirana Ti hung out together. Like Streen, Kirana Ti was one of Luke’s earliest students. She was a warrior woman of Dathomir, a rancor rider, and skilled in physical combat. Both Streen and Kirana Ti setup a Jedi Praxeum on Dathomir. Yet even this is an event we know little about.
Then there was the Yuuzhan Vong war, another massive event in the Expanded Universe that Streen sat out on the sidelines for. If an author would be so bold as to take another look at this character, readers would get another chance to experience the battles and conflicts of the Yuuzhan Vong war. Such a story could expand into the Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi series to show how these events have not only affected Streen, but the rest of the galaxy. It would be a perfect opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of these events and to explore the ramifications it’s had on the rest of the universe. It would also be a great way to introduce new readers to the Expanded Universe, giving them a taste of multiple eras that they could later explore in more detail.
In the end, I think Streen may be the most interesting character we know nothing about. He’s a character who has seen so much happen before his eyes and yet has been given so little voice. It’s an ideal story thread to explore, and hopefully some day we’ll see it come to life. Who knows, maybe we’ll get to hear how a Jedi took a path of isolation to find his connection to the Force. How a Jedi Master found peace with the galaxy. Perhaps a recounting of his struggles in battles against the Yuuzhan Vong. A retelling of his whereabouts during the Galactic Civil war. And where o’ where was Streen during the whole Abeloth crisis?
Here’s to hoping, and while we’re at it, why not make it a Kirana Ti novel as well.