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at her with large, cool gray eyes, but did not return her smile-not out of rudeness, but because it wasn't in her nature. Tenel Ka rarely smiled.

Jacen nudged her with his elbow and dropped his voice. "I've got a new one for you, Tenel Ka. I think you'll like it. What do you call the person who brings a rancor its dinner?"

She looked perplexed. "I don't understand."

"It's a joke!" Jacen said. "Come on, guess."

"Ah, a joke," Tenel Ka said, nodding. "You expect me to laugh?"

"You won't be able to stop yourself, once you hear it," Jacen said. "Come on, what do you call the person who brings a rancor its dinner?"

"I don't know," Tenel Ka said. Jaina would have bet a hundred credits that the girl wouldn't even venture a guess.

"The appetizer!" Jacen chuckled.

Jaina groaned, but Tenel Ka's face remained serious. "I will need you to explain why that's funny . . . but I see the lecture is about to start. Tell me some other time."

Jacen rolled his eyes.

Just as Luke Skywalker stepped out onto the speaking platform, a flustered Raynar emerged from the turbolift. Puffing and red-faced, he bustled down the long promenade between seats, trying to find a place where he could sit up front. Jaina noticed the boy now wore an entirely different outfit that was as bright as the one before, and of colors that clashed just as much. He sat down and gazed up at the Jedi Master, obviously wanting to impress the teacher.

Luke Skywalker stood on the raised platform and looked out at his mismatched students. His bright eyes seemed to pierce the crowd. Everyone fell silent, as if a warm blanket had fluttered down over them.

Luke still had the boyish looks that Jaina recalled from the history tapes, but now he carried calm power in his lean form, a thunderstorm bottled
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