Tag Archives: star wars reads day

Star Wars Reads Day ’13 – Jedi Prince #2: The Lost City Of The Jedi

Once you’ve made the jump to light read, anything can happen…
Today is Star Wars Reads Day, one of the newest and most fun SW holidays! So naturally, I spent today reading an awesome SW book. I had intended to read a new book for SWRD, but I didn’t get the chance to run by my local library. So for this year’s SWRD, I’m taking you back to the world of Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series. If you like, you can go and read my Closer Look on the first chapter, The Glove Of Darth Vader. Now, we’re going to find out what The Lost City Of The Jedi is all about. You haven’t heard of the Jedi Prince series? It’s the series that once made the Kesel Run in six paperbacks (Named so for Carl Kesel, who illustrated the books; I warned you about how bad the SW reading puns were going to be…). It’s also a great series written in some of the earliest days of the Expanded Universe (1992, to be exact). And it’s currently one of my favorite SW series. So if you’re planning to run to the library and do some late SWRD reading, but don’t know what to read, perhaps you should join me on a trip to the Lost City with Luke and the gang… of course, I’m sure most of you are reading Heir To The Empire, or Kenobi, or even Jedi Academy, but all the same, let’s open up something a little different today…

(Image credit: Amazon.com)
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Jedi Prince Series #1 The Glove Of Darth Vader, #2 The Lost City Of The Jedi, Episode IV, Episode V, and Episode VI
Our tale starts out with Luke and his droid duo on a mission for SPIN. Apparently, Bespin is short on snacks because SOME folks felt the stormtroopers needed it more. So Lando Calrissian (…who’s recently become Cloud City governor… whuut??) called them here to lend a little hand (and some fancy WADDs, or Warning and Detection Devices). As you might remember, Han was headed to Cloud City last we saw him to make himself a home, and that’s where are story opens, with Luke visiting his buddy and his buddy’s wookiee buddy.
And yeah, that’s why Han is here — he’s making an epic floating mansion! A house in the clouds! Luke caught Han working on his soon-to-be home, and it is BIG. The whole “floating house” thing is a “Solo originale”; never been done before. I seriously want one just reading about it now. Of course, you have to make sure it’s not floating too high when you take out the trash, or go out to get the mail, or mow the lawn, or go out to the car or… yeah, I think Han’s got all of that covered (if your house floats, would you really even have a lawn to mow? Just a thought). Did I mention the size of this place? Luke noticed… and rather wondered if a future family might be on Han’s mind when he built it to begin with. Han’s all like “Whaaaaaat…? Ha ha, no of course not…”. And Luke is like “Mmm-hmm, I’m sure…” Oh you guys, you’ll just have to see where this series goes X3 Also, you will learn from reading this that Corellian food is awesome food. At least, it sounds like it. I have no idea what a Zoochberry pie tastes like, yet I seriously want to eat it. Well, it could be for the fact that as I write this I’m getting the munchies myself, but props to the Davids’ ability to describe stuff awesomely! I love it when we have moments like these in the SW Galaxy… when characters are chill and enjoying life… eating with friends, sharing dreams, laughing and crying together, celebrating victories… annnnddd then… there might have been a bomb on Luke’s ship right before he left and it might’ve nearly killed him. That’s part of the reason I love those moments so much — because they don’t usually last too too long before get back into the “Wars” part of Star Wars. But Luke wasn’t too worse for the wear –except that his robotic hand was toast. So with Luke injured and minus a Y-wing, Han put his housework aside to help his friend. #FriendshipComesFirst
Also you’ll learn from reading this that kowakian lizard-monkeys have nine lives. Now you know a SW factoid most people probably don’t know! Now, Luke was almost gundark-ear-pulling-well when he had a vision that would alter the course of this entire series. One minute he was flying over the Yavin rainforest, the next thing he knew, the forest was on fire. Freaky, I know. By the time he got to the ground, he found himself at an ancient stone wall with a tubular transport. And Obi-Wan was there! And as you know, when Obi-Wan shows up in Spirit form to Luke, it’s kinda important. Ben briefly lets him know that this transport leads to the Lost City of The Jedi, and that there’s someone down there Luke needs to meet, and also he gives Luke a soon-to-be-useful code. And that’s when Luke woke up. He grabbed his airspeeder, trusted in the Force, and started looking for this mysterious city. ‘Cause bro, you do NOT question Master Kenobi, especially when he left his Force Spirit Realm game of canasta to tell you something like this (Uh… I have some weird theories on what passed-on folks do in the Force Spirit Realm…).
Meanwhile, we turn our attention to someone new… in the very place Ben made mention of, there was a tween boy named Ken…
Ken was having the morning most twelve-year-old boys do,
1. His pet waking him up earlier than he would’ve liked (except most kids on our planet don’t own mookas like Zeebo; if you do, you are awesome)
2. Getting out his schoolbooks (except that it’s more like a digital tablet; ironically those would exist in our world twenty years after this book was written)
3. Keeping an eye out for his snoopy Homework Correction Droid, HC-100, who kinda just grades what he sees (OK, I admit, that’s not quite normal…)
4. Planning his secret journey to the big world above the Lost City (Also not normal for most)
5. Getting cleaned up and dressed for the day ahead… with help from his droid buddy Chip (Oh don’t we WISH this was normal…)
6. And getting into trouble with one’s teachers (Though it is a different situation when your teachers are droids)
Now, Ken is one of my favorite EU characters. He’s seemingly just an ordinary kid living in an extraordinary world. The illustration of Ken in his room is a lot of fun to look at… it has a SW-ish-looking PC, a modular wall unit, bookshelves with actual hardbacks, and my favorite, I kid you not, SW action figures and vehicles! He’s got a little X-wing and a little TIE fighter and a little Millenium Falcon and a miniscule Darth Vader, Jabba The Hutt, and what looks to be a Boba Fett, even! (‘Cause duh, everyone loves Boba…) I have no idea where he got them from… perhaps they were for educational purposes, so history could “come to life” (even if that history was like, a couple months ago). Or maybe he made them. Though the vehicles were probably model kits or the SW equivalent of Hot Wheels; no matter the planet, we like collecting cool vehicles! 🙂
Anyway, one thing that makes Ken really cool is that he’s sort of a reflection of young, Episode-I-era Anakin and the dreamer and adventure-seeker that Luke was back in Episode IV. He’s probably like a lot of us would be if we stepped into the SW Universe, meeting our Rebel Heroes and actually joining the Alliance. And he has a mysterious past that will be slowly uncovered piece by piece, chapter by chapter, in this series. Also, I find it cool that he’s into the color silver; from his silver attire to the mysterious silver pendant around his neck (which just might be a key to his past). Ken seriously wants to see the world beyond the City, but the droids are practically singing Mother Knows Best from Disney’s Tangled at every turn (“Bounty hunters! The Empire! Men with pointy teeth!” 😆 #DisneyReferences). And that is why Ken just happened to have found the secret code that will activate the tubular transport to his Topworld freedom. Though you can understand why the droids are a tad overprotective of him… he’s a descendant of Jedi royalty; a Jedi Prince. Also he knows a lot of classified info from that ancient Jedi library… that too. I know what you’re thinking… Jedi ROYALTY?? I have a theory or two on that and how it could be canon, but I’ll tell you later when we’ve read through the series some more. So back to Ken’s plight: the droids know about his origins, but they aren’t telling. Not yet anyway. We feel you, Ken bro… and that’s why we’re excited for him as he steps into that elevator-esque transport tube.
On the other side of the galaxy, Trioculus and his little gang of Imperials were headed out to get the new Emperor his dark blessing from Supreme Dark Side Prophet Kadann. Everything oughta go as planned, after all, Trioculus has Vader’s glove now, and that’s what Kadann had said the new Emperor would have. But until then, everyone’s all like “Why should we work with you? Why should we allign ourselves with you? Why should we even remotely trust you? I don’t think you’re really Palpatine’s little boy…” Trioculus isn’t too happy. Especially considering he really ISN’T Palpatine’s son. Which also may be a problem considering no one’s ever lied to Kadann and survived. Ugh… have you noticed that 99% of the time, SW bad guys are always at the mercy of someone a million times badder than they are? You have to wonder how Sidious and Kadann managed to get to the point that their word was always the final word.
So when we last left Luke, he was zooming over the forests, madly looking for that Lost City. And by the time we got back to him, he was still doing just that; letting the Force be his pilot. And suddenly he found that the Force had led him to the feet of an ancient Temple. Which then led him to meeting a curious guy named Baji. Nine feet tall, green, speaks solely in rhyme, good with plants and natural remedies, a Ho’Din healer. Which, in turn, led Luke to meeting Ken and his wasn’t-really-supposed-to-have-joined-him droid Chip. And once Ken knows who he’s talking to, the great and awesome Commander Skywalker, Ken’s head practically explodes in the awesomeness of the moment. “OHHH MYYY GOSH YOU’RE LUKE SKYWALKER!!! APPRENTICE UNDER MASTERS KENOBI AND YODA, SON OF ANAKIN SKYWALKER, BROTHER OF PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA!!!” Dang man, the kid paid attention in his classes. But the two barely have time to exchange life stories before he showed up. Ken’s droid teacher, DJ-88. Somebody’s in trooooooooubllllle…
And after a brief scolding, Dee-Jay, with Ken and Chip, makes a quick smoke-shielded getaway. And Luke has realized that Ken would be able to help him find the Lost City, but they’ve vanished into thin air… oh, nuts.
Back to Trioculus, who’d just arrived at Space Station Scardia. We get a chance to now meet this Kadann we’ve heard so much about. You know that whole thing about “size matters not”? That definitely applies to the Supreme Prophet; he’s super-short, but super-nasty. He drinks gross, boiling tea made from Endor tree bark for his first future-foreseeing method, but otherwise just hires spies, and sometimes uses the same spies to make the prediction happen. And yet the Empire listens to this loony bird? And they actually care what he thinks? Well, if he can hire spies to kill you, then I can sort of understand why.
So how did the meeting with Kadann go? Eh… not so well at first. Kadann pretty much knew from the get-go that Trioculus is a faker as far as his daddy is concerned. Apparently, Trioculus didn’t get the memo that Triclops, the real heir, has one of his three eyes on the back of his head. And just because Trioculus hung out on Kessel didn’t mean he was the Imperial royal son either — Triclops was a slave, Trioculus a slavelord. Grand Moff Hissa (friends call him “Troff”, believe it or not) pleaded the case that Triclops would’ve doomed everyone in the Galaxy if he’d been allowed to sit in the big chair like his dad, so having a fakey was a good thing. And once Trioculus showed off his lovely glove, Kadann was pretty cool with it and gave him his dark blessing. But also a warning… that there was a certain Jedi Prince who’d spell his doom if Trioculus didn’t get to him first. So after spending the entirety of the first book trying to get the glove, now he was off to find the Lost City of The Jedi. And all the while, something’s messing with his vision. But ignoring that, he decides to send the good guys a message that could help him find what he’s looking for.
The SPIN meeting didn’t get started for a bit since Luke was out looking for Ken… again. Han and Leia are a little worried about his sudden weirdness about this so-called “Lost City”. And just then, Trioculus’s probe droid crashed the SPIN party. Ironically, the meeting was on these new probe droids. So now, the new Emperor could let everyone know what he wanted. With Han and Luke unable to take the probe down, everything was going according to plan… and then he saw Leia. He’s completely stunned by this Rebel girl. Unwilling to bend to the Empire or not, Trioculus has himself a not-so-cute crush on the Princess. And then back to reality: Luke was about to make quick work of the probe droid, and Trioculus still had some questions to ask (and then he’d sorta vowed to Kadann that he’d kill Luke) But despite he asked nicely and was going to use the probe to blow up the Alliance Senate, Luke was able to hone in on his Jedi abilities and knocked the thing in two right before it self-destructed. Time for Trioculus’ Plan B… burn the forests until the Lost City is in plain sight. With an armada of Treaded Neutron Torches shooting their firey neutron blasts, nothing could possibly go wrong for the seriously-bad bad guy… except, of course, for his suddenly going blind. So he had intentions to get ahold of a certain Ho’Din who had no intention of helping an Imperial: Baji.
Meanwhile, Ken had snuck out Topworld again, at least to retrieve his digital notebook that he’d lost last time he was here. He ran into Baji again, who’d actually found it and had held onto it for him. Watching the flames rising in the distance, both the Ho’Din and the Prince went their separate ways. Right before stormtroopers captured Baji to heal the strangely blinded Emperor. And Ken saw the whole thing.
Turns out that the glove was at fault, or at least, the fakey Force-Choking and Force Lightning abilities, were. The controls were messing with his nerves and didn’t do his eyes too much good. So once Trioculus took off the glove, his sight began to return… and so was revealed a disgustingly withered hand (the illustration is just wonderful NOT). Yeah, all in all, Baji was just restating the obvious in his diagnosis. The Ho’Din prescribes rare kibo seeds, right before making mention of the fact that Trioculus kinda commanded his stormtroopers to BURN THE FORESTS which would include the kibo flowers HE NEEDS TO MAINTAIN HIS EYESIGHT!!! He’s like “…Uh… I gotta go. BRB!” and he runs into Baji’s burning hut to grab his stash of seeds and let’s just say the guy makes it out, but doesn’t look too pretty.
But thankfully, the forest fire didn’t go unseen, the Alliance headed out to put out the fires and take down Trioculus’ base. Something that didn’t happen too easily as the Falcon took a nasty hit from a neutron fireball. But just when Luke and Han needed it, Ken and Dee-Jay were there, with an escape route to the Lost City in mind. And yeah, Ken nerded out meeting Captain Solo just as much as he did Luke 😀 But the trip to the Lost City was more than just a quick escape: it was a way to save the forests! I won’t fully explain it here, but the only reason this moon isn’t frigid and lifeless is because of the ancient Jedi who found a way to manipulate the weather with advanced technology. And all that has to be done is to kick up the rainy season! Without the code from Obi-Wan that Luke had remembered, the device wouldn’t have worked. Thanks to our heroes, the fires went out, and Yavin Four’s rainforests would have the chance to grow new life once more.
Like say, Trioculus wasn’t happy. He also lost his good looks in all that fire. Not to mention that had only, like, one ship that hadn’t been blown to smithereens by the Rebels. He made a few last requests as he and his team headed off: a) An imitation Vader glove, b) to lay waste to SPIN, and c) to let the lovely Leia live.
But on a happier note, Ken was now allowed to leave the Lost City for good, and to join the Rebel Alliance. Giving fond farewells to Dee-Jay and HC, Ken and Chip were about to take their first step into truly a much-larger world. And thus begins even more adventures with our familiar Rebel friends and this young Prince with a mysterious past.
So, wow! What an awesome book, am I right? Seriously, the Davids are so talented at writing SW stories! And this is only book #2, the story’s far from over, and I’m glad I could share it with you this wonderful Star Wars Reads Day. Hopefully it won’t be long before we dig into the next chapter in this series, but until then, I hope this made your SWRD a little more delightful!
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,