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Star Wars Character Countdown: A'Yark


Only 14 days remain until the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and our Character Countdown continues with a character whom many will never have heard of unless they are avid readers.

Published by Del Ray, John Jackson Miller's Kenobi ranks among my favorite books in the Star Wars collective. Miller took a stab at following Obi Wan Kenobi's transition into "Old Ben" in the dessert world of Tatooine.

Obi Wan's transition would not be uneventful, even after leaving an infant Luke Skywalker with Lars and Beru.

One of the many adversaries that Obi Wan would encounter in that novel was A'Yark. A'Yark was a female Tusken Raider clan leader, a rarity, who was born the youngest of six as K'Yark. As a Tusken Raider, it was guaranteed that her life would be hard and Jabba the Hutt's need to offload aging merchandise made it even harder.

Prior to her ascension, Jabba had sanctioned the start of a war between the Tusken tribes on Tatooine so that he could sell off some of his outdated munitions inventory at a premium. One of the casualties of this manufactured war was K'Yark's young son. The other casualty was the tribe's heart.

When no one else would take the title of War Leader, K'Yark did, taking on the name of her father, A'Yark. Knowing that her tribe's morale had to be repaired if they were to survive - and have a chance at avenging her son's death - A'Yark led the tribe on many minor raiding missions, taking what they could from outlying farms.

After one of these raids failed, A'Yark witnessed Obi Wan use The Force to save Annileen, a local farmer whom she had sworn to kill for tampering with the harsh wilderness, although she didn't realize it yet. Her desire to kill Annileen had been replaced by an obsession with discovering how a dewback would be able to be suspended in air, then tossed aside.

This obsession would lead to another setback but eventually, the salvation of A'Yark's clan. After the Battle of Comet Run Day, A'Yark forced a local, Orrin Gualt, to repair a moisture vaporator ensuring the survival of the clan for at least a little longer.

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