At the end of Invincible, I was left wondering if Jaina had unwittingly become the new Darth Vader, the deadly weapon of her Master, Luke Skywalker. He even uses her to destroy the person she loves most, the twin brother with whom she shares her Force-bond, in a sacrifice that quietly evokes what Darth Vader did to Padmé.
Afterwards, she wakes in a medical facility, locked inside a life-support unit, in a Galaxy without the person she loved most.
There’s no permanent cyborg armour, no scream of rage and loss, but that doesn’t really change what’s happened.
That’s quite a dramatic suggestion to make, for all the quiet, subtlety with which the novel delivers this part of its conclusion, but I think it’s one that makes a worrying amount of sense. Even if Jaina isn’t quite as obviously trapped as Vader was at the end of the Prequels, even if Jedi Order isn’t really the equivalent of the evil Empire, I’m left asking myself serious questions about the determination and self-sacrifice embraced by the ostensible heroes of this novel.
And even if the eventual answer is to vindicate Luke and Jaina, I still think those are important questions to ask.
There may be another twist here, too. At one point, Jacen looks into the future and sees Luke on an Imperial throne, but we know that Luke is using his own presence to mask Jaina’s in Jacen’s visions.
Jump forward to the Star Wars: Legacy comics, and we find that the future Imperial dynasty seems to be descended from Jaina’s love-interest Jag Fel. So perhaps Jacen was actually seeing Jaina’s destiny? Perhaps Luke’s plan is going to backfire in a way he can’t quite see yet, with Jaina becoming not just the consort to an Imperial peacemaker, but a powerful, ruthless Empress in her own right—or perhaps the Fel dynasty are actually part of the Skywalker plan for the future itself, in some dark and unsuspected way….