The Last of the Jedi – 10-book Set
I really enjoyed this series. Granted, it was aimed at young adults and the novels were quick and easy, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the storytelling. Once again, we are re-introduced to characters that we met in earlier (chronologically speaking) novels. Jude Watson again tackles the long young-adult set.
It starts with Obi-Wan Kenobi hearing that not only is Ferus Olin still alive, but that he’s in trouble. He decides to leave Tatooine to rescue his former love interest’s Padawan. If you recall, when last we saw Ferus he left the Jedi Order rather than become a Knight, because he was shamed – and in a way it was Anakin’s doing. Anakin and Ferus were “enemies” as Padawans, if two Padawans could be enemies, that is.
As the 10 books move along, they discover other surviving Jedi – Garen Muln was holed up in the Caves of Ilum (where Padawans go to create their lightsaber), weakened and hiding from the Empire’s hunters. He was friends with Obi-Wan and one of the best pilots in the galaxy (and thus had a rapport with Anakin)…Ry-Gaul, another common companion of Obi-Wan’s and the master of Padawan Tru Veld, who was probably Anakin’s “best friend” growing up in the temple…Fy-Tor Ana was a Jedi Temple Instructor and as a fugitive she called herself “Solace”. There was also a force-sensitive child “Lune” – the daughter of Astri, who was a character in several of the earlier novellas with Obi-Wan and Anakin.
The excitement for these books started to fade by the sixth or seventh novella. Ferus had been helping the Emperor and his reasoning for doing so was a bit of a stretch. But it’s geard towards young adults so I went with it. But his continued reasoning for remaining with the Empire as a “spy” became flimsier and flimsier. And since we know from the movies that pretty much the entire Jedi Order was wiped out, you know that Jedi are all killed. I was disappointed that there was no “last battle” between Garen, Ry-Gaul, Ferus and Solace versus Darth Vader. That would have been worth suffering through a couple of questionable ‘Ferus needs to stay in the Empire’ books. But it wasn’t meant to be, I guess.
One thing that I thought was pretty cool was the fate of Ferus. For some reason, I don’t want to spoil it here even though it’s pretty obvious that a book reflection is bound to have spoilers.
Coruscant Nights III: Patterns of the Force
The rebels are starting to get organized and on Coruscant these rebels form a group called “Whiplash”. Jax and the gang are a part of this organization. Whiplash, Jax and the crew plot to assassinate the Emperor. At the same time, Jax is training a powerful new force-sensitive while hiding him from Vader’s Jedi hunters. The group never gets to the Emperor and is betrayed by one of their own (semi-predictable), while another of their own who had been plotting to betray…actually saved them at the cost of his own life (didn’t see that one coming). While I enjoyed the book a lot, it was starting to stretch things a little too far in terms of all of Jax’s ‘narrow escapes’. And as much as I enjoy the character Den Dhur, I started to realize that he’s pretty useless. At this point all he was doing was bitching and complaining, while contributing nothing.
The Last Jedi
This is actually Coruscant Nights IV because they apparently wanted to treat this as a stand-alone followup to the trilogy. As excited as I was about the early stories of Jax Pavan (and, as noted above, Ferus Olin), it started to lose me. I didn’t like the foolhardiness of the interim Whiplash leader’s single-minded attempt to drive his rebels to assassinating the Emperor. I didn’t like the coincidence of Jax’s team catching up to him on this supposedly hard-to-get-to and highly secure space station. But the story was a good one and there was no shortage of action, particularly the epic Jax vs. Vader battle at the end. In a shocking twist, Jax Pavan survives this novel, so I’m guessing there will be others.
It was at this point where I took a break from the Star Wars universe. I went away on vacation for a week and decided to read Dr. Sleep (Stephen King) and the long-overdue for reading “final” Drizzt Do’Urden novel. It was fitting that I paused here because The Last Jedi is actually the 99th book in the Star Wars Universe that I read.