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Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures: Season 1: Story 33: Stuck in the Muck

What is it ? : The Young Jedi and Nash are in the forests of Tenoo looking for a Tenoo tree sapling to take with them to the Starlight Beacon, which Kai is very keen to visit. They find one and begin their journey, but detect a distress beacon.
Arriving at the planet the beacon is coming from they find a ship being unloaded by some pirates, so they decide that the pirates must be stopped. However they soon discover these are the same pirates they invited to the Jellyfruit Festival and they have turned over a new leaf and are now fruit traders. Their ship have become stuck in the mud when they were harvesting fruit here, and they were unloading it to lighten it and get it free.
The Jedi offer to help by using the Force, but instead of waiting until the ship is lightest, Kai wants to go now so he can get to the Starlight Beacon in time for the tour. However they're just not strong enough and the ship slides down an embankment near to a cave where a tentacle monster starts to drag it away.
They offer the creature some of the fruit, yelling that it is nicer than a horrible tasting starship. This distracts it, and they hoist the ship up using Nash's Firehawk, and recover the ship for the ex-pirates. Kai apologises for rushing, explaining he wanted to see the full tour of the Starlight Beacon, and the head pirate, Chigg, tells them that he's always has wanted to see it as well, so Kai invites them along.
They arrive at the Starlight Beacon, and are met by Jedi Master Estala Maru, who accepts the gift of the Tenoo sapling. When they tell him that they are late because they were responding to a distress beacon, he tells them they are going to be great Jedi and how he is impressed. He greets the pirates and offers everyone a personal tour of the Starlight Beacon. . .

High Points : One of the elements I've continually enjoyed about this series is the ever growing and returning cast of side characters. This time we've got the pirates, who we discover have become legitimate traders in fruit due to the invitation and treatment they received at the Jellyfruit festival. It does make me wonder more about Taborr Val Dorn, as these were the people he was trying to live up to and become a pirate.

Low Points : The Starlight Beacon is introduced to Young Jedi Adventures as this marvellous place, but having read the High Republic comics, I know that it's not long for the galaxy, and the Tenoo Sapling is going to be burned to a crisp when the station falls out of orbit.
I also felt that the massive tentacle creature attempting to eat the pirate ship, was easily placated by offering it some fruit, but it didn't seem interested in them shouting in celebration just outside it's cave when they are all made from delicious meat.

So what do you really think ? : Again a nice little tale, without much storyline to get into, but it's well told and it was nice to see the pirates return and have some character growth and a story arc, which gives this series more interesting storytelling than many series for older kids.

Final Words : The message for this episode seems to be "people can change", or "more speed, less haste". I prefer the first message better, as the second just seems a little preachy.

Score : 8.5/10

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