Karr suffers from searing headaches and mysterious visions, a secret ignited when he touches certain objects. His parents worry that he might be sick; his grandmother is convinced these are visions channeled by the Force.
But as the memory of the Jedi fades and the First Order tightens its grip on the galaxy, the teenager once stuck on an isolated home planet sets off on a journey for answers.
In Kevin Schinick’s upcoming Young Adult novel, Force Collector, available November 19 as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker book series, we join Karr on a quest that will take him across the galaxy. In this exclusive excerpt, available only on StarWars.com, we get a glimpse at the connection between Karr, his grandmother, and the power of the Force.
“What do you mean I‘m supposed to clear my mind?” fifteen year-old Karr asked his grandmother curiously. “Isn’t that a bad thing? I mean, why am I going to school if it’s better to have an empty brain?”
J’Hara had been winding a ball of yarn when their conversation began, and now she was using it to explain meditation to him. “The brain is like a sponge, Karr. It can absorb a lot,” she said as she squeezed the blue mound of dyed bantha fur. “But sometimes it becomes too saturated with superfluous things.”
Karr wondered if he had just cleared the part of his brain that knew what superfluous meant. Off his look she added, “Unnecessary. Frivolous. Unimportant.”
“Like how fast the Incom T-85 X-wing can go?”
“Exactly. But by clearing your mind, by quieting your thoughts, you allow your brain to open up and become receptive to things you didn’t even know were out there.”
“Like the Force,” he said, less as a question and more as proof of his eagerness.
“Like the Force,” she repeated with a smile. “Shall we try it together?”
Karr nodded as his grandmother joined him on the floor, crossing her legs as a silent suggestion for him to duplicate.
“Is this how the Jedi meditate?” he asked.
“People can meditate in all sorts of ways, but yes, I’d say there’s a good chance the Jedi approached it this way. Now let us close our mouths and open our minds.”
Karr sat next to her in the same position, and watched as she closed her eyes and rested her hands on her knees. She took a deep breath and let it out. Karr did the same.
After a few seconds of silence, Karr said, “It’s tough not thinking of anything.”
He looked to her for a response but there was none.
The two remained in silence for another beat.
“I can’t help thinking I should have gotten a pillow to sit on.”
Without opening her eyes, J’Hara whispered, “If you feel regret you are living in the past. If you spend your time worrying, you are living in the future. Try and be in the moment. In the here and now.”
Karr closed his eyes again.
After another few seconds he asked, “Where am I living if I’m hungry?”
J’Hara exhaled as if she were giving up.
“I’m sorry,” Karr said, noticing his grandmother’s frustration. “I keep trying to be open, to think about the Force, but all I keep seeing is what I think lightsaber battles would look like.”
“You’ll get there,” she said wearily. “Just… keep practicing. Practice and persistence pay off.”
“I will.” Then, as if the idea to ask for guidance just struck him, he asked, “Grandma, what do you think of when you think of the Force?”
The old woman looked at him with surprise, and then he watched as her gaze went inward. A tear rolled down her cheek. “It’s best not to think of anything. Free your mind.” she said. “The Force is not something you can hold onto. It’s something that flows to you, through you… and away from you.”
Learn about Force Collector and more on this week’s installment of The Star Wars Show!
Force Collector arrives November 19 and is available for pre-order now.
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