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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
(Image credit: Amazon.com (I think))

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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SW Summer Reads – Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth

If you’re wondering why there hasn’t been a blog in a while… I suppose you can blame it on all these crazy SW-related happenings happening on a day-to-day basis. Between rewatching TCW episodes I haven’t seen in forever, finally seeing The Ewok Adventures movies, and all this crazy exciting new SW news in general (including a rumored Clone Wars Soundtrack… aw yeahhhh!), it’s been difficult to figure exactly what to blog about! And by the time I finally got to rereading the book I’m blogging about, writing notes about it, and getting all prepped to make a post, I just had to catch a cold! 😦 Sigh… such is life oftentimes, but now at last I’ve got my creativity regained (I usually lose some of it when I get the sniffles and have to wait until I’m well again to get it back; To make it clearer, I stink at writing and drawing when I’m sick) and everything ready to make a fantastic new blog!
So, to explain this new series of posts I’m calling Star Wars Summer Reads…
As a SW fan, I love reading SW stories. Love ’em. After I finally got acquainted with the Prequel Trilogy in 2011, I was excited to read some SW fiction for realsies, because after all, watching Episode I alone helped me understand and have a greater appreciation for the Originals. But well, there’s something rather intimidating about the section of Timothy Zahn novels at my library… I didn’t know where to begin! To me personally, I prefer SW stories that involve the characters I’m familiar with in timelines I’m familiar with, that mainly feature the good guys and keep them good guys (I’ll be honest, folks, there’s small chance I’ll ever read Dark Empire), and are legit Star Wars without being confusing (as I am still a Padawan SW fan). So I found the best place for me to start was in my library’s children’s section. Not saying I’ll never read the “grown-up” SW novels (especially considering that I really want to meet this Mara Jade I’ve heard so much about), but for now, this is where my comfort zone lies. Anyway, my library have two shelves of just their SW young readers’ fiction… and I just ate. it. up! That day, a few weeks past seeing Episode I, I grabbed ahold of Grievous Attacks (a novelization of TCW Season 1 episodes Rookies, The “Droid” 2-Parter, and Lair of Grievous) and Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth. Since then, I have enjoyed three particular series: Jude Watson’s Jedi Quest, Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince, and Ryder Windham’s The Clone Wars: Secret Missions. I thought it’d be fun to give you guys a Closer Look and my thoughts on each series’ first book. So now if you haven’t read them, you can read them and then read the following blogs and enjoy my random ramblings and spazzings on each. I’ll eventually get to the other chapters in each series, but until then, you can enjoy the ride! I’m writing a Closer Look on each of these books in chronological order of its happening in the SW galaxy, so it makes sense to start off with the series that meets in between Episodes I and II. Now, making the jump to LIGHT READ!
Ugh that was terrible… I’m sorry… (HyperCollinsSpace?) AGAIN. I’m SORRY. I’ve got too many SW reading puns… just you wait until Star Wars Reads Day! If you’re not annoyed now, you will be… 😛
Grievous Attacks was the first SW book I ever read, (I hadn’t really seen much of TCW at the time but I knew enough to feel comfortable reading it) but as for Jedi Quest… that was the first SW fiction I ever read! Rereading this past week has been fun, especially considering I barely remembered what happened in it. Bottom line, when I first read Jedi Quest, it was right around a difficult couple of days in my life and I barely remembered the book itself. Plus, it’s been over two years, so it was overdue for a reread anywayz.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth, and various TCW Episodes Blue Shadow Virus, Deception, The Gathering (and the episodes that follow), Revenge, and The Lawless.
Cover Art of Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth
(Image credit: Amazon.com)
Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth, is written by the awesome Jude Watson and is the kickstarter for her Jedi Quest series. The Path To Truth is sort of the #0, as it precedes the events of the following series and can be read separately from the rest of the series, so it’s simply referred to as Jedi Quest on the cover. Just don’t want us get confused when I do my next blog on the actual series’ first chapter. Upon rereading this book, I was shocked that I had forgotten so much of this story’s intense fights, daring escapes, and raw emotions! At the time I’d first read it, I had only just seen Episode I, so it was a perfect bridge to seeing Episode II several months later. Ms. Watson has some serious skills when it comes to writing; the way she gets into the minds of Obi-Wan and Anakin is astounding… so if you haven’t read this yet, go and read it! It’s nothing new (in fact, it was written a year prior to Episode II’s release, 2001), so you shouldn’t have too much trouble digging it out of your library. But still, it’s so so worthwhile!
The story opens in a pretty planet-shaking flashback of a younger Anakin on what began as a perfect day on Tatooine. Perfect weather, no work, and a picnic with a friend… what could possibly go wrong, right?? Well, as any SW fan knows, peace and perfection will often be interrupted by something like war, battles, bounty hunters, explosions, etc… in this case, it was a very sad thing as Anakin’s community was hit by a slave trader named Krayn (using the term “slave trader” loosely here; the guy’s horrible! But you knew that). My heart breaks for dear little Anakin as he sees his friend lose a parent and his mom in mortal fear. Poor kid… it’s hard to ignore what exactly shaped his life. Give us about six years later, and the tides have shifted; Anakin’s a Jedi Padawan and he’s helping Obi-Wan drive through… Illum, of all places. It’s funny to think that Anakin’s only twelve and may I repeat HE’S DRIVING?! Not all the way of course, but dang. How must it feel for Obi-Wan here to admit that his very young apprentice can drive better than he can? XD
It’s like poetry reading what Ms. Watson wrote from Master Kenobi’s point of view. You see this side of Obi-Wan that we don’t see a whole lot; a more vulnerable, caring side. Not that he doesn’t ever come off as such (Anakin to Obi-Wan: “How can you be so calm?!” “I’m not; I just hide it better” – TCW Season 1 episode Blue Shadow Virus), but as my theory still states, a part of him is trying to be a “perfect Jedi” after all of the mistakes he’s made in his youth and his standing as the likely youngest Jedi to have a Padawan, so of course he sticks to his “focused Jedi” guns. This book, and the other Jedi Quest books to follow, give us a lot of time to see into this awesome guy’s heart and soul. And being a huge fan of Obi-Wan, it’s TOO MUCH AWESOME!! X3 It’s really something seeing the way these two work together, especially as what started out as a lightsaber-building excursion became an intense near-death fight with a herd of vicious gorogodons (don’t you just love when stuff like this happens?! 😛 )! I think to call the battle “nail-biting” would be the understatement of the century (I don’t know how it is but I spent a whole lot of reading this book crying, gasping, and spazzing); I mean, Anakin was knocked off his feet for a long enough time for us to figure that Obi-Wan, who was already in over his head, was a goner. And then, sweet victory, Anakin makes his move at just the right moment and they both lived! Gosh, that was scary! OK OK we’re moving on from all that drama. Can you believe that it’s only been a couple chapters at this point??
So as you know, this is how Anakin made his lightsaber. It’s always interesting to note how many different ways I’ve seen lightsabers made… some make ’em hands-free (Barris Offee in the Clone Wars miniseries), some make them with friends and a cool droid (the younglings in TCW Season 5), and some just buy a SW Science Lightsaber kit from Toys R Us (that’d be me) 🙂
My guess is that methods changed after the Clone Wars started so they could get it done faster, but IDK. This method is one I’m not entirely crazy about… it’s a pretty frightening, rattling experience from what this book exposes (and btw, this was one of the first ideas about this, as Illum and the lightsaber-making process are never seen in the movies). I never said it was easy, but this whole “shadows and visions” thing… that makes it a smidge harder. This particular chapter in the book was one of the hardest to read as it hits really hard emotionally, but its being deeply emotional is one of the things that make it such a great chapter despite its sadness. Obi-Wan’s vision is so heart-wrenching to read… this is one of those parts I really teared up reading. His vision was a repeat of Qui-Gon’s death. Ouch. No Maul involved, just the feeling of helplessness as Obi-Wan once again can’t do anything to help his dear master. And the vision repeats itself until it brings Obi-Wan to his knees in tears (you read that right: tears), even more so as the vision has some sort of message in it that our awesome Jedi can’t decipher. Exposing this side of Master Kenobi, like I said before, is one of the best things about the Jedi Quest series. But boy, is it hard to not get caught up in the emotion of the moment.
On the other hand, Anakin had two disturbing visions: one involving his mom getting kicked around by Krayn and another where he faced… Darth Maul. Obviously, the first vision is both heartbreaking and infuriating as images Anakin had tried to forget resurface in his mind, and young Skywalker takes it about as well as he um… usually does when someone hurts someone he loves (which isn’t very good, and especially not the case when he’s a Padawan). And while I could ponder on this vision and Obi-Wan’s for weeks and still wonder about their affect on the duo’s lives, the second one really deserves some conversation. When I read this first time around, the whole “Darth Maul returns” TCW episodes hadn’t aired yet; in fact, it was entirely unknown to me at the time. So the fact that Maul is not only challenging Anakin, but he’s doing a lot of talking, is absolutely surreal. I was all “When did Maul get so chatty??” Looking back, I’m quite shocked how accurate his dialogue is as compared to say, Maul’s disgusting taunting of Obi-Wan back on TCW Season 5’s The Lawless. And back when this book was written, it was still assumed that Maul was dead. Maul’s going on and on about how awesome Anakin would be in the Dark Side, and somehow Anakin managed to win this battle… for now, as Maul makes it clear that the little dark part of Anakin will always be there. Yikes. It’s certainly not the last future-foretelling vision Anakin would have, but it doesn’t make it any less of a harsh reminder. Creepier still, the lightsaber Anakin made seemed to be a gift from our Dathymir friend, just Anakin got a blue blade instead of the red one that Maul offered up in the vision. Again, yikes… how it is that Obi-Wan and Anakin just walked out of the Crystal Cave like nothing happened?! I guess the fact that they had themselves called for a mission before they even left the Cave.
It’d be worthwhile to take a minute and mention something I’d thought about as the duo gets their mission from the Council. Man, the reputation these guys must have around the Jedi Temple! Anakin being mostly distrusted and doubted and Obi-Wan being so young and all… the briefing went well in the long run, but it wasn’t without some serious awkwardness. Of course, that’s what comes from the fact that this mission involves one of Anakin’s least favorite people, Krayn. Obi-Wan sorta thought for ten seconds that maybe his Padawan wasn’t the one for the job, Anakin totes didn’t agree (that awkward moment when a Jedi Padawan speaks up entirely out-of-turn in the Jedi Council; see also Ahsoka Tano) and Obi-Wan had to backtrack his thoughts and try to pretend he didn’t say that. Boy, that’s a sour way to kickstart a mission. That and having to ride in a lovely, cramped, boxy Collicoid ship. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Don’t worry, it gets better. So, the ride begins and Obi-Wan has to take some time to reassure Anakin that he still trusts his abilities. You see through Obi-Wan’s thought process that it truly isn’t easy being a Jedi Master, nor is it easy living up Qui-Gon’s legacy. But the obvious (dare I say it) love he has for Anakin and for Qui-Gon is a constant motivator despite the difficulties.
We also learn a few intriguing things from Master Kenobi… a) he was once temporarily suspended from the Jedi Order at 13 (WHUT?!), b) Qui-Gon had a Padawan prior to him, Xanatos, who turned to the Dark Side, and c) An old Jedi friend of Obi-Wan’s has switched sides and is working for Krayn. I still don’t know all the deets on the first two, but the third one we’ll get into soon. Because thennnn Krayn ended up attacking the ship. You know how they say “be careful what you wish for”? Anakin’s learned the meaning of that one, big-time. Thankfully, the genius mind of Obi-Wan’s and the exceptional abilities of Anakin are on it. This is where the fun begins…
It would’ve been a much shorter, less complicated mission if Anakin hadn’t decided to go face Krayn… but I suppose it would’ve been a much shorter book then, too. Whyyyy do Padawans do this?? They just go off thinking they can fight anybody and then they get into trouble and their Master has to get them out of it! Of course, it’s not worth complaining about, but I was certainly ranting that right after Anakin did as such.
The trouble wasn’t Krayn this time, it was a girl named Zora. Obi-Wan knew her better as Siri; Adi Gallia’s Padawan and one of his best friends. She kidnaps Anakin, Obi-Wan outs her for leaving the Jedi Order, Siri fires back her distaste for the Jedi, and Anakin’s all “Master, could you just reprimand her over the internet and, I don’t know, consider SAVING ME?!”. #Awkward
So when one misplaces their Padawan and starts suspecting the Collicoids, it’s best to dig up some info, and Obi-Wan is especially good at digging up info. Somehow, he does a lot of it at eateries. We all know about Dex’s Diner in Episode II, but prior to that, he stopped at Didi and Astri’s Café. I love how Obi-Wan has so many awesome friends here and there and everywhere. We get the chance to meet Didi, a guy who initiated an unexpected mission for Qui-Gon a while back (uh yes, he is a guy despite the name), and his daughter Astri. What could be a better combo? Good food, good friends, and some good information delivered on the side 🙂 Oh, and free hugs! You’ll need ’em if the tip from your friend takes you to the seedy Coruscant underworld.
So getting back to that whole “Zora/Siri” thing… Obi-Wan, after some thought, believes now that she wouldn’tve abandoned the Jedi, and the Council proves his assumption to be true. Siri was indeed part of a mission spying on Krayn by masquerading as a pirate. Remember that Obi-Wan/Rako Hardeen craziness back in TCW Season 4? I get why the Jedi do things like this, but these are both situations when faking your death or pretending to go rogue don’t sit well with those left out of the plan. I for one was super happy that Siri was still a good guy; see, I somehow totally forgot her role in this book, but I remembered her better in her role in the first book of the Jedi Quest series The Way of The Apprentice from reading it for the first time last year, where she was a really cool, strong, and dedicated Jedi. So when I first read the stuff about Zora being Siri once, I had to question “Is this the same girl?!” She is, but she’d never truly been a bad girl to start with. Thank goodness… Siri is truthfully one of my fave SW fiction characters.
And what about poor Anakin? Yes, Siri is protecting him, but he’s also a slave in the Nar Shadaa spice mines. Under Krayn and his droids. A slave… again… that stinks beyond belief. The excellent description makes this terrible world a reality to the reader. But despite the horribleness of the situation, Anakin brings a little hope and an unexpected helping hand to the slaves around him, one of those being a Twi’lek woman named Mazie… and she was kind of a jerk to him! But that shouldn’t surprise us too much, considering what Shmi said about how generous and kind to others Anakin is in Episode I. In the long run, they become good friends. All the while, Anakin still holds out for his Master to rescue him
Not too far away, that’s what his Master intends to do, and he’s going to do so disguised as a slave trader. And he might also fight a wookiee henchman along the way (letting the wookiee win is out of the question; if he wins, Obi-Wan loses).
Meanwhile, despite getting into their own brand of hot water, unexpected friends Anakin and Siri have their own rescue to perform: that of Krayn’s slaves. I love how they mesh together; while some of Obi-Wan’s wisdom has rubbed off on her, Siri still maintains an understanding of both the awesomeness and frustration of working with him, in a way that relates well with Anakin. She has a good sense of wit and sarcasm amidst the insanity of it all.
“…He has this habit of telling you the truth just when you don’t want to hear it.” – Siri, on Obi-Wan in this chapter. That’s so true XD
So as they put their heads together to escape their cell, meet up with Master Kenobi, and free the slaves, it’s plain and evident they’re fast friends and work together awesomely, just as it seems was the case for Siri and Obi-Wan not too long ago.
Now, with the plan falling perfectly into place, you’d think everything would stay that way, right? But somehow, we find Krayn and Anakin staring each other down, and this time around, Anakin’s got his lightsaber. Hoo boy… this will get ugly… throughout the fight Anakin is fighting with himself as to why he’s doing this – for himself in anger or for others in justice. I mean, I’m personally glad he managed to defeat Krayn, but I do have to wonder if Anakin truly did the right thing. Anakin pushed away any thought that what he was doing was wrong with the thoughts that this was justice. But is his definition of justice correct? I myself am not entirely sure. D’oh, my head always hurts when I start going on these “Was this character truly right or wrong?” thoughts. I mean, we all know where Anakin ends up in the long long run in the SW universe and this had to have had an effect, but has Anakin always been wrong in his defeating of truly terrible villains? It’s worth some more thinking, but not right now.
It’s oftentimes a little jarring to have such a dark moment followed shortly by a light, victorious, satisfactory ending. Siri’s back to where she should be, the galaxy’s rid of Krayn, a ton of slaves are free, and the awesome threesome that is Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Siri are heading back to Coruscant in class and comfort by Senatorial escort. Even a sweet farewell between Anakin and Mazie. All is well for the moment. Yet we’re left with some concern from Obi-Wan, but he reassures himself he’ll continue to do his best to make a true Jedi out of his Padawan.
So of course, there had to be a whole series to follow this story, to tell more pre-Clone Wars tales of a younger Anakin Skywalker becoming a Jedi. Despite it may come off a tad dark in parts, Jedi Quest is an awesome awesome 5-star book and it remains a favorite of mine (even if all the SW books I’ve read have become favorites). And now you’ve managed to read through my longest blog to date, so that’s cool. So you can get excited for the next SW Summer Reads blog next week! Yayyyyy 🙂 Until then…
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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