SW Summer Reads – Jedi Quest #2: The Trail Of The Jedi

Don’t ask me why, but summertime and reading go hand-in-hand. Well, anytime of year and reading go hand-in-hand really, but here at Padawanline it’s special because we do Star Wars Summer Reads every year! They’re like my normal Closer Looks on TCW and Rebels episodes, just with some of my favorite SW books! And this post is especially exciting because this is the first new SW book I’ve read since… I guess since the third Secret Missions installment! And that was in 2012! So yes today we’re diving back into the incredibly amazing Jude Watson’s Jedi Quest series with its second chapter (or third counting the prior-to-the-series first book) The Trail Of The Jedi! If you’ve never read Miss Watson’s stuff you really ought to. Vivid descriptions, exciting, intriguing storylines, the incredible way she gets into the heads of Anakin and Obi-Wan… seriously one of my favorite series ever. It’s canon as far as I’m concerned! If you want to read my Closer Looks on the first two books The Path To Truth and The Way Of The Apprentice feel free, though ye be warned they are trainwrecks since they were done back in 2013 XP Anyway, let’s see what we can find on The Trail Of The Jedi! Whoops I did it again…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode VI, Rebels episodes Rise Of The Old Masters and Fire Across The Galaxy, The Path To Truth, and The Trail Of The Jedi

Cover Art For Jedi Quest #2

We find ourselves rejoining the young master and padawan team of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they prepare to land on the gorgeous planet of Ragoon-6 for a Jedi bonding trip. And pretty much as soon as you know it’s for a bonding trip with these guys you know this thing’s gonna explode with feels… but then again, all in the series do that 🙂 Ragoon-6 sounds like a planet deserved to be titled “the jewel of the galaxy”… nothin’ but miles and miles of untamed, unspoiled beauty under a blue-violet sky! Miss Watson has an amazing talent for making some epic descriptions, bringing to life whatever the world, whoever the person, and the feeling of the Force itself, and everything about this shimmering world makes me want to go there right now! The goal of this trip will be for Anakin and Obi-Wan to track Jedi teacher Wren Honoran through the planet’s forests and jungles. Ah yes Wren is one awesome dude. He’s a government teacher at the Temple and the not-so-easy-to-catch prey on these sorts of things. He takes his teaching pretty seriously, but he knows how to have fun… especially when schooling overconfident padawans, such as Anakin, who has full intent to find Master Honoran before the day’s end. For now, Anakin and Obi-Wan are giving Wren a head start before they start the “hunt”. And they have a bit of a picnic in a flowery meadow in the meantime. Seriously anyone else need to go here now?! Obi-Wan tells Anakin about the last of the two times he and Qui-Gon had been here. Which sounded like fun up until it was cut short when a good friend of Qui-Gon’s was in danger, something Obi-Wan doesn’t divulge too much to his padawan. In the awkward silence that follows, Anakin starts to wonder why exactly Obi-Wan had felt the need to do this bonding exercise. And he starts to wonder if maybe that need was to build a bond between them that wasn’t just because of a desire to fulfill a master’s dying wish, because perhaps Obi-Wan wasn’t feeling the same connection to him the way he and his master had. Aww don’t think that Anakin! You guys are bestest friends! OK not quite yet but give or take 5 years or so!
But as it is, Obi-Wan’s not looking to compare relationships, if he’s got any doubts, it’s that he might not be good enough for an energetic, brilliant, wants-to-get-things-done student like young Skywalker. Can’t help but notice some similarities here with Rise Of The Old Masters. After all was said and done, Kanan and Ezra talked through it, but Obi-Wan’s not sure what he and Anakin should talk through or not. Looking back, Qui-Gon chose sometimes to answer Obi-Wan’s questions and sometimes not to, sometimes to tell him what he was thinking and sometimes not to. Certainly Master Jinn didn’t tell him exactly why they had to leave that last bonding trip so fast. That reason was a girl named Tahl, a smart, funny, kindhearted Jedi. And he certainly didn’t mention that HE LOVED HER. That didn’t reveal itself until her last breathing moments when that mission… sniff… failed. Mergosh that is so sad… but even so, I absolutely am obsessed with QuiTahl now and absolutely can’t wait to learn more about her. Sorry, point is, even though Qui-Gon didn’t always tell Obi-Wan everything and that bothered the padawan sometimes, it did nothing to hurt their bond, and Obi-Wan so badly wants this strength of relationship with his padawan now. Especially remembering something Qui-Gon had said on that last bonding trip… “It seems there is always time when you are young, but you cannot hold a moment, padawan. It runs out like water in your fist. You must seize it when you can, even as it falls away” (hey would you look at that a Qui-Gon Jinn quote! Happy now Google searchers? 😛 Though in all seriousness SUCH FEELS). But in keeping in the here and now, it soon is time for the hunt to begin. Aw dude I’m so sorry my mind’s all over the place I’m just drowning in feels over here!
So things go pretty well for a while as Anakin does a fabulous job of finding clues leading in Wren’s direction, but the tracking gets trickier and trickier as they go along. And there’s a problem when it leads Anakin right into a cave full of ferocious furry malia who were right in the middle of a nap. Perhaps the planet’s not as perfect as it looks from a distance. But then again, what planet is? It takes quite a bit of lightsaber-swinging but master and padawan manage to get out of that soup with their lives. Anakin feels dumb for running in there, but both he and Obi-Wan aren’t quite sure why Wren would leave a clue that could be so easily misread. Even so, they continue onward and are led this time to a hidden cavern. It’s an absolutely gorgy cavern but (there’s always a “but” it seems) it has its fair share of flash floods. As you can imagine, Anakin really really feels dumb about misreading a second time, and the fact that Obi-Wan makes no comment on his mistake doesn’t make him feel much better. It’s as there going along from there that Anakin finally bluntly states “you never tell me anything” to which Obi-Wan diverts from that and corrects him for throwing around absolutes. Obi-Wan felt bad for it and knows it hurt Anakin’s feelings, but he still wasn’t sure what to tell him or not, especially as he further considers foul play in this game. Anakin’s convinced now that Obi-Wan’s not interested in trying to achieve the same level of communication he had with Qui-Gon with him. Aw man all you wanna do right now is step in and get them to talk all this over, but of course we can’t do that, we just have to let the story tell itself and our characters work it out on their own. But of course neither of them are going to talk about this right now, they’re just going to continue the hunt. And it’s there that they run into A GIRL WITH A BLASTER! Er… a hydrospanner. So maybe the all-caps freakout wasn’t necessary? Meet Floria, poor kid got separated from her friends on a survival camping trip and believes them to have been killed in their ship’s explosion. Naturally, Anakin and Obi-Wan are willing to help her out, but they’re both aware now that something is up on this planet. Before they know it, there’s a bounty hunter aiming a stokli spray stick at ’em. And that’s a bad thing because it’s basically temporary paralysis in a can. Anakin distracts the hunter while Obi-Wan sneaks up on him and they pretty much win. They even, though accidentally, hit said bounty hunter with his own weapon! Obi-Wan and Anakin: 1, Tursha bounty hunter: 0 (unless perhaps we’re counting that he’d likely left those clues from earlier and that would make the score 2-1 in his favor, unless you count that Obi-Wan and Anakin survived both and that would make it 3-0 in their favor… oh you know what this is getting ridiculous never mind). Floria fears that this hunter was responsible for whatever happened to her comrades, and Anakin is quick to comfort her, not terribly happy with Obi-Wan’s seemingly indifferent attitude. But Obi-Wan’s just trying to piece this puzzle together between the bounty hunter and a bunch of kids. Plus, Wren might be in serious trouble. Anakin and Obi-Wan butt heads over the matter of helping Wren and helping Floria, but ultimately they come to an understanding, at least for a bit. They decided to head back to their ship and try contacting Wren on their comlinks, but again things go south and suddenly there’s another bounty hunter firing at them! Sooo much fun, right? But there’re worse problems — Obi-Wan finds a bomb aboard. So that went about as well as you’d figure it would. And in the midst of the explosion’s aftermath, a new problem presents itself. Well, the other bounty hunter is Floria’s brother Dane… and that makes Floria — you guessed it — a bounty hunter, too. I’ll be honest, I really did not see this coming. I really bought into Floria’s innocent act! Some days I see it coming and some days I don’t. Though the kids’ story is kinda sad even still… they lost their family and found themselves doing whatever they could to survive, including taking up bounty hunting. Dane and Floria were players in a Jedi-hunting game set by a fellow named Granta Omega. The two bickering bounty-hunting siblings weren’t interested in hurting anybody, just getting the ginormous reward for capturing the master and padawan. But now that some other hunter brought in a bomb, the game just got a bit more dangerous. Yeahh I think Anakin and Obi-Wan are gonna need a vacation after what was supposed to be a fun bonding trip. Whoever this Granta Omega guy is he seriously ought to have more to do than send hunters after off-duty Jedi! Obi-Wan decides to have Dane and Floria come along for the ride as they search for Wren and the hunter who must have him. And the “ride” includes such things as maneuvering through a field of thorny flowers, defeating a second bounty hunter, climbing mountains, following clues (We now know the Jedi Temple has muffins. It would be a sad galaxy indeed if they didn’t have sweets of some kind, so yay to that! 😀 ), and quite a few holograms of Wren. Completely normal, right? Oh right that thing with the Wren holograms… that’s a problem, isn’t it? It slows ’em down but not for long because the Force. But it’s still not that easy because that bounty hunter was still using Master Honoran as bait and this guy knows his way around the trees in this neck of the woods and he’s armed with plenty of poison darts. Thankfully, a well-aimed surprise attack and the aid of some angry giant birds comes in handy. Wren’s alive, though not in the greatest shape, so Obi-Wan and Anakin decide it’s time to borrow a ride and head for home. But Teleq’s ship isn’t of much use since Dane disabled it in case the hunter made it out of the fight and the Jedi didn’t. So it’s time for another hike to find the third hunter’s ride. Floria is not into all this walking… I getcha there, girl. Along their way, Obi-Wan and Anakin have a moment of understanding and honesty as young Skywalker tries to figure out why his Force-sensing has been off today. It’s all about experience and patience, my friend. But things take a turn for the darker when they find the Tursha hunter from earlier has been poisoned, and the killer left no trace.
Wait… where was I? Sorry I just watched this cool video about Ahsoka on StarWars.com and I totally got off track. *Hit by brick* SORRY SORRY I’LL GET BACK TO BLOGGING ON THE BOOK! SHEESH EXCUUUSE ME FOR LOVING OF ALL THINGS STAR WARS! So anyway, Obi-Wan decides it’s time to play this game their way and gets Dane to call the great Omega himself and let him know they captured the Jedi, or so it will seem. On their way up the mountain to meet the big boss, our heroes run into the third bounty hunter, Hunti Pereg. Dude’s been stuck up here since he got his legs paralyzed by a poison dart, so he poses no threat other than freaking us out with his scarred face. In fact, he comes off pretty decent. So the Jedi and the young hunters just hang around for a while waiting for Granta Omega to meet them. After a while, it seems he’s not coming. But what does come is — of course — a few thermal detonators and a few attack droids. Somehow Jedi can’t go anywhere without a few of those on their tails! It’s not long after that before the mysterious armored bounty hunter shows his face. A battle on the snowy mountainside! Exciting! Well, it might be exciting but I don’t think it’s fun for the Jedi fighting it. Their best move is to make a dash for a thermal pool that could overload the hunter’s detonators. It’s not easy getting there, but they do get there. Obi-Wan gives the hunter a chance to escape, a chance to avoid a fiery death, but the hunter refuses, claiming to know something about a very powerful boss, a pyramid, and the fact that “there are things far more frightening than death”. Much ominous. Anakin doesn’t get why Obi-Wan tried to help the guy. His master explains that Qui-Gon’s greatest enemy Xanatos chose to die the same way, and even then, Qui-Gon had mourned him. Of course Obi-Wan doesn’t mention the fact that Xanatos was Qui-Gon’s former padawan who went to the dark side. But it’s true, from, you know, “a certain point of view”. Anakin still doesn’t really grasp it, but he adds it to an apparently long list of things to meditate on back in the Temple. I’m totally sure he’ll remember to do so… totally! /sarc/ Sorry that wasn’t fair I know forgive me. But the fact remains that any guy you wouldn’t want to face after failing must be some nasty, powerful guy. But either way, they now have a ride home. Anakin happens upon something interesting, however… the ship belongs to Hunti Pereg, not the guy they fought. Soon it becomes clear to Obi-Wan that that paralyzed hunter guy was Omega. So yeah definitely not “pretty decent”. Somehow that guy knew their whole ruse to begin with! And Anakin recalls he got no sense of darksidery or living Force from him, what Obi-Wan describes as a void, a way for someone with serious power to trick a Jedi. So yeah safe to say that Granta Omega is terrifying. And he just got more terrifying as Obi-Wan finds Omega left something for them… a Sith artifact, shaped like a pyramid, that happens to holoproject unspeakable, horrifying things. He really doesn’t want to tell Anakin about it at first, afraid for how he would react to it, but he chooses to let Anakin in on it, finally coming to his own realization that he is not his master, and he needs to make his own decisions. YUS they’re finally starting to figure this out! Obviously, Omega don’t play… this guy, though not a Sith, is most definitely a threat.
Back on Coruscant, things get wrapped up pretty quickly, they get Wren some professional medical help, the hand the pyramid over to the Jedi Council, and Dane and Floria are heading off to find a new start in the foster system… or maybe not… probably not, let’s be honest these are two slippery kids, nice as they are 😛 Anakin really wanted to go after Omega as soon as they’d found the artifact and had been pretty bummed when Obi-Wan decided against it. But it doesn’t mean Obi-Wan’s given up, no sir. Because they’re going to grab some info at a familiar eatery. Didi and Astri have since moved on, now guess whose place it is? Dexter Jettster! Yay I love getting to see the progression of things that eventually lead us to Episode II! Obi-Wan and Dex aren’t yet on a hugging-level of friendship, or even perhaps what you could call a friendship, but the big guy still has no problem keeping an eye out for info on this dark dude, and getting them some juma juice 🙂 Obi-Wan finally gives Anakin an official apology for not telling him stuff, explaining that he’d felt similarly as a padawan. He let him know that Anakin had helped him understand that he just needed be the best master he could be instead of trying to be Qui-Gon. And Anakin finally came to be at peace with his concerns with their relationship, whether he and Obi-Wan would have the same bond as he and Qui-Gon had had didn’t matter, what mattered is that he would be the best padawan he could be, and the bond would follow. And after all, they would become quite the dynamic duo in the end 🙂 Awwz! Love happy endings!
Oh right… but in the shadows of the diner, a figure happens to be watching. That figure is Omega. And he means business. Much ominous, indeed.
And so it’s done after nearly five straight hours of work! But I think it turned out pretty well in the end, and I definitely cannot WAIT to continue this series, as well as all of Jude Watson’s incredible SW tales, and all the many SW books I want to read, period! Ahhh I love this series so muchhhh… uh sorry anyway, look forward to reading along with you next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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