Desert Seed Series

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Title: Desert Seed Series
Author(s): Carol Mularski
Date(s): 1980-1985
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Wars
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The Desert Seed Series is are gen Star Wars stories by Carol Mularski.

The Series

  • "New Arrival" (previously titled "The Children, Part One") completed February 1979, published in November 1980 in Skywalker #4
  • "Fantasy's End" completed September 1981, published in September 1982 in Skywalker #6
  • "Reluctant Renegade" (previously titled "Kaili, Part Two") completed February 1979, published in November 1980 in Skywalker #4
  • "True to the Blood" completed September 1980, published in May 1981 in Guardian #3
  • "Black Sheep" (previously titled "Wynn, Part Three") completed February 1979, published in November 1980 in Skywalker #4
  • "Wishes Deferred" (previously titled "Luke, Part Four") completed February 1979, published in November 1980 in Skywalker #4
  • "Shore Leave" completed March 1982, published March 1984 in Contraband #2
  • "Letters" (previously titled "Letters, Part Five") completed February 1979, published in November 1980 in Skywalker #4
  • "Visions of Doom" (previously titled "Visions, Part Six") completed February 1979, published in November 1980 in Skywalker #4
  • "Old Friends" (previously titled "Old Friends, Part Seven") completed February 1979, published in November 1980 in Skywalker #4
  • "Reunion" (previously titled "Reunion, Part Eight") completed February 1979, published in November 1980 in Skywalker #4
  • "Nomads of Fate, Nomads of Choice" completed August 1981, published in May 1982 in Guardian #4
  • "Someone to Talk To" completed May 1980, published in May 1982 in Twin Suns #3
  • "Reflections in Still Water" completed in July 1983, published in April 1984 in JediStarDarkFalconKnight
  • "Signs of Wisdom" completed August 1984, published as a standalone zine in December 1985

Fan Comments on the Eight Stories Printed in 1980

"The Children," "Kaili," "Wynn", "Luke," "Letters," "Visions," "Old Friends," and "Reunion" were all printed in Skywalker #4 in 1980 under the title "Desert Seed." This meant that fans commented on these eight stories as if they were one story.

Their comments:

'Desert Seed' by Carol Mularski is definitely one of the best SW stories I've read. It starts out with a familiar scene -- Kenobi bring an infant Luke Skywalker to the Lars family. But that's where the familiarity ends. Ms. Mularski has managed to write a story that uses the SW galaxy as a backdrop for new characters and situations. We are given a change to know the children of Owen and Beru Lars and they emerge as main characters. The story is comprised of sections, each one a certain number of years after the last. The emphasis switches from one character to the next. Luke is a minor character in terms of the action of the plot, but subliminally he affects all of their destinies with his own. The fact that the SW-anchored character, Luke, is not always the center of attention doesn't detract from the story, which is marked by good characterization, well-placed plotting, and overall quality. I was genuinely surprised at some developments in this story, and even experienced gooseflesh when reading some dramatic sequences. Ms. Mularski's style of writing is concise, clear, and very easy to read. She lets the reader know what each character is thinking and how they feel about the situations. These insights, supported by the dialogue, round out the story. Her Luke is very believable, exhibiting streaks of maturity in between his normal pattern of naivete and impulsiveness. He and his sister Kaili (the unofficial main character and the most interesting -- she could sustain a series of stories) both grown emotionally through the course of the story and this is a dead giveaway for a well-written story. Finally, Ms. Mularski's characters treat Luke as a potential leader, not as a farmboy caught by fate and flung into history-making events. For this, I thank her. [1]
I thought 'Desert Seed' was a distinctly 'blah' story; the characters were mildly interesting, but the plot was dead and I didn't think it was worth the major place Cynthia gave it in her review. [2]
Carol Mularski's "Desert Seed" is fine. The writing's occasionally a bit awkward, but generally it's never less than competent, and the idea very good. I can pretty much overlook a number of cliches and some of the platitudes - they're outweighed by fine characterization and a realistic family background for the Lars family and Luke... On page 73, Luke's ambivalence about the Force and everything else at this point is perfect. This is the first time I've seen such a statement from Luke, and it fits so well, so realistically. Finding Ben's manuals, etc., is a good idea too, giving Luke something to build on as he learns on his own. [3]
"Desert Seed" by Carol Mularski was also very good. The time shifts were difficult to follow, but, I will grant, necessary to the story, which came full circle to a unified whole. Luke's cousins were well-characterized, especially Wynn. Their successive, unwitting contributions to Owen's possessiveness of Luke was also handled very well, with a light hand. [4]
"Desert Seed" was very good. I didn't find the story gripping, but the people more than made up for it. The delineation of children at various ages was unusually good and true to life, something I find rare in fan fiction (I have a son of my own), and each member of the family was well and individually presented. I did find Owen a bit more unreasonable than I would have imagined. As always, Kowalski's rather angular and stylized illos were interesting and effective, very appropriate for life on a desert wor1d. [5]
"Desert Seed" I liked a lot. The idea that Owen and Beru might have had children of their own had never crossed my mind before, but I found the result delightful. The different paths taken by the different children, and their consequences, are depicted in such a way as to give us a feeling for each of them, and yet they clearly represent, in microcosm, the choices of action that a citizen of the Empire might have, and the results of those choices. I also like the way the story comes up with sensible explanations for certain oddities (Q. Why does no one ever mention Luke's mother? A. Well, they never met her and she died soon after Luke was born, that's why.) and I was especially pleased by the weaving in of the events of Star Wars. The use of Leia's line "Uh -- we ran into some old friends" I found inspired. Here, I thought the illustrations were perfectly wedded to the story: simple, clean-lined, but lively and full of character. No need to complain of lack of action here; even in a relatively static scene, such as the one on page 41 where the three girls are looking at the lightsaber, there is action. [6]
I don't generally subscribe to the notion of Luke living with a large family in his youth, but there is no absolute proof to the contrary in SW or TESB. Regardless, Mularski's "Desert Seed" series of stories is expertly woven enough to make the background for Luke thoroughly plausible and an interesting study of family relationships. As much care is taken with Carol's invented characters of the Lars children as with the characters of Luke, Kenobi, and the short-lived but worthy secondary SW characters Beru and Owen. The intertwining of the destinies of the different family members is meticulously and believably engineered with my personal favorite being the confrontation between Luke and Wynn aboard the Death Star. It not only highlights Luke's maturation and has the most tangibly charged atmosphere of any scene, but it puts a whole new light on the Imperials, who always tend to come off like inhuman monsters in most stories. As in any war, each soldier is a mother's son with his own honor and motivations, no matter which ideology he represents. Kowalski's accompanying art is, as usual, simple but enviably executed with a nice balance of figures and background, light and shadow (the latter being one of her fortes). Baby Luke and Kaili reaching for the lightsaber in the first illo are just adorable with their wide-eyed, innocent faces. A lot of research went into that authentic depiction of the Lars home, too; every little detail there from the ceiling murals to the computer terminals. The brooding face of Wynn in the "Old Friends" section is particularly haunting. [7]
"Desert Seed": I much enjoyed clear delineation of all those sibs. I also especially appreciated the characterization of Cwen Lars; finally someone who will let him be more than what the adolescent Luke thinks of him'. I wish more people would realize or remember how unfairly we may judge our parents - adoptive or otherwise - before we've left the parental nest. The illustration on page 70 was especially nice. The dispersal of the family as an illustration of how the war affects various people, for whom we come to care, is a very effective device. And the entire theme of siblings going off in their own different directions as well. Families are, after all, composed of sets of individuals. The way the story was told was a bit confusing - easily-confused roe would have also appreciated being told how many years each event was before our common point of reference, Star Wars - but it was interesting nonetheless. [8]
"True to the Blood" by Carol Mularski is another in the "Desert Seed" story line. This time Kaili faces a crisis of loyalty. She feels that maybe she rushed into her decision to join the Alliance and although she has a loving husband, she's not sure she can stay away from her family while they're still worried about her. She ends up leaving to sort things out and runs into an old Jedi counselor; a woman living as a peddler on the planet Jarelt. What follows is a story that has a little of everything: action, Jedi teachings. Imperial entanglement and some good female characters. This is all handled very well by Ms. Mularski, but what I liked the most about this story is the crisis that Kaili faces and how it is handled. She is torn between two loyalties, and these emotions are described effectively. The resolution is also realistic; it's a growing-up process for Kaili and follows the natural progression of the story. On the whole, a very well done story that managed to touch a few responsive chords in me. [9]
Kaili Lars of Carol Mularski's "Desert Seed" in SKY #4 just barely qualifies for inclusion because, though she has near-crippling doubts about her course of action and refuses Jedi training partly because it would be too hard on her husband (whose name she takes) , she does take ultimate responsibility for what she does in spite of her emotional difficulties. Her lover, later husband, is.her primary reason for joining the Rebellion, along with a need to get away and a strong, perhaps misplaced, sense of duty. Later she starts having disturbing hunches and dreams, but refuses to accept them as a sign of Force talent, at least partly because she can't control them herself or be sure whether they are accurate, and all too often they concern personal disasters. She does a lot of adjusting over the years, including finding reasons for staying with the Alliance in spite of her refusal of Jedi training, and by the time she meets young cousin Luke again she can act as a mentor concerning his reasons for joining — they were somewhat similar to hers, and she has recognized hers as not good enough. She helps him see the flaws in his reasons and guides him toward developing better ones for staying now that he's in. [10]


  1. from Jundland Wastes #1
  2. from Jundland Wastes #4
  3. from an LoC in Skywalker #4
  4. from an LoC in Skywalker #4
  5. from an LoC in Skywalker #4
  6. from an LoC in Skywalker #4
  7. from an LoC in Skywalker #4
  8. from an LoC in Skywalker #4
  9. from Comlink #3
  10. from the 1982 essay Visible Women