Saturday, February 26, 2011

44 BBY: Jedi Apprentice: The Captive Temple

I think I’ve underestimated Xanatos as a villain. If someone is able to break into the Jedi Temple, conceal their movements, collect a new apprentice (is Bruck his brother?) and make an attempt on Master Yoda’s life, they are a dangerous person indeed. If before I read these books you were to tell me that such a laundry list of capable feats was accomplished by a character named Xanatos, I would have replied with “Xanatos who?”. I would assume this list of accomplishments could only be reserved for the likes of Cad Bane, Boba Fett, or any number of Dark Lords of the Sith – I think Maul could probably get away with something like this as well, despite his poor showing in The Phantom Menace.

I think I’ve underestimated Xanatos because I don’t know much about him – yet when I list what I do know about him it becomes quite clear that he’s a 3-dimensional character. We are told he was once Qui-Gon’s apprentice, was the son of a powerful ruler from the planet Telos, watched Qui-Gon kill his father, and is the head of a powerful mining corporation. After the events of The Captive Temple, it is evident he’s just as dangerous as any of these other character’s that I’ve mentioned above – well, maybe not AS dangerous, but obviously pretty close. He can hold his own against Qui-Gon in a lightsaber duel. That’s something.

There is a great back-story to Xanatos, and his motivations make sense. I guess that’s why Dark Horse is doing a story arc about him and Qui-Gon. I’m looking forward to its release, as it will bring Xanatos out from the pages of “Scholastic” children’s books. I’ll talk more about what I mean by this in a second.

I’m rooting for Xanatos. It’s not that I want him to win, but I do want these books to have a proficient villain, someone who I fear could capably get away with “it”. I think another reason I’ve underestimated him as a villain, in a literary sense I guess, is because he appears in the pages of Star Wars children’s books. This is a silly reason to dismiss his ‘villainess’, but one I fear I’m guilty of. Because he doesn’t appear in a “real” Star Wars book, he’s not a “real” villain.

When it comes to Star Wars sources, I don’t want to have an exclusivist mentality when dealing with the history of this universe. I’ve actively ignored the idea of levels of canon, because, quite frankly, I find the notion to elitist. I understand why many people like the idea, and in absence of such a structure would probably demand such an organization in place. Hierarchy provides clarity, along with right and wrong answers. My entire religious tradition is built upon the idea of hierarchy – it provides stability. However, I don’t like the idea of “levels of canon” because it puts some artist’s contribution to Star Wars over others, and creates a hierarchy of meaning, with George at the top, and someone like Darko Macan at the bottom. Many would argue that this is a good thing, and I think that some of their arguments would make sense, but I really don’t like the idea of George Lucas being the “God” of the Star Wars universe, or of there being "George's Star Wars" and "Everything else".

I have a very conflicted reconciliation to the idea of “levels of canon’, and one I’m not sure I’ve worked out entirely in my mind, but I think I’m going to stop this tangent here, as I want to deal with this idea, but I want to deal with it when I get to the novel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, and Lucas’ forward to that book. To clarify what I’m trying to say (and so very poorly as well) is, just because Xanatos was introduced to Star Wars history in a children’s book, doesn’t’ mean he’s not a badass villain – and most of you probably already knew this. I think I’ve just had to come to terms with my own elitist and exclusivist self.

Moving in a different direction, it was interesting to come across Mace Windu in Star Wars history again. Good ol’ Mace cut right to the chase and put Obi-Wan in his place: “Mace Windu’s sharp gaze cut him like ice ‘I think the Jedi can manage to solve the crisis without that kind of help from you’” (8). Translation: we don’t need any meddling kids, Scooby gang, or curious magical children solving our problems for us – piss off! I was like ‘Finally! An adult stepping up!’

All in all it’s great to watch the development of Obi-Wan as a Knight, how he deals with death, and how he deals with killing. It’s going to be fun engaging with Obi-Wan down the line in history, knowing what I know about his past. It’s a great feeling – engaging with characters whose extensive history you are familiar with.

For my next post I’m going to talk about book 8 in the Jedi Apprentice series: The Day of Reckoning, but before I sign off, I want to ask you all how I should deal with the next few upcoming sources, namely, The Stark Hyperspace War and Rite of Passage. It is best for me to deal with them as flashbacks at 44 BBY, or would it be better if I waited until they appear again at 30 BBY (The Stark Hyperspace War), and 29 BBY (Rite of Passage)?

Let me know what you all think.

Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

Friday, February 25, 2011

44 BBY: Jedi Apprentice: The Uncertain Path

Of all the Harry Potter books, The Chamber of Secrets was the one that irritated me the most.

Hogwarts has been invaded by a giant Basilisk and only the 11 year old students know how to handle the situation?!? What the hell was Dumbledore doing?!?

So let me get this straight: the most powerful wizards in the world are taking a back-seat to this problem so the students can figure out how to unravel this mystery?

HOLY CRIPES!!! Dumbledore, whatever it is that you’re doing, I don’t care how important you think it is, put down the hallows and horcruxes and collect the faculty of Hogwarts and deal with the giant Basilisk problem…now!

The Harry Potter syndrome grates me to no end (I’m not sure what else to call what I’m trying to talk about here – the idea that the adults in a fictional universe can’t deal with a problem but the children can. I get it. The books are written for kids and kids want to feel like adults, so the adolescent characters of the story go about behaving like adults and problem solving like adults). I’m not saying I don’t like Harry Potter – the books were fun reads, and I’m probably going to read them with my kids when they are old enough, and I know what I’m about to say is going to sound ridiculous, but I can only suspend my disbelief so much. I know Harry is the main character and all, but it’s still my expectation that when the students of a school begin being harmed by a giant mythological creature - on school property mind you! – the staff needs to step up their game and deal. I don’t care if Harry is the chosen one: Dumbledore, get your magic potions, get your magic books, recite whatever ancient languages you need to recite and get your ass in the halls and start figuring crap out!

It’s a little disappointing to say, but The Uncertain Path, book 6 of the Jedi Apprentice series, has a little bit of the Harry Potter syndrome. It’s not as bad as The Chamber of Secrets – Yoda did ask Qui-Gon to investigate the stolen items in the temple, and Qui-Gon is far from incapable. It’s obvious Yoda took the threat seriously to put a Jedi Knight on the case, but as soon as those fire crystals went missing, Yoda needed to get out of his meditation chamber and use all his Jediness to figure out what the hell was going on.

On page 62 Yoda tells Qui-Gon he must figure out why this is happening: ‘You must find why’ Yoda said urgently. ‘Fear I do in why the seed for our destruction lies’”. No Yoda, YOU need to figure out why, along with every other Jedi in the temple, don’t make Qui-Gon shoulder this.

OK, rant off.

Beyond the Harry Potter comparisons there were some scenes I did enjoy, namely, the opening scene between Yoda and Qui-Gon. Watson has done well with the characterization of Yoda, and has managed to maintain all of his wisdom and other-worldliness (my only complaint being that Yoda doesn’t always backward talk. Even in Empire he still strung together a few sentences which were grammatically correct). At the end of Defenders of the Dead I was completely convinced, like Qui-Gon, of his rightness. Obi-Wan was out of line – that much was evident. But after Qui-Gon’s meeting with Yoda, the sureness I felt was in question. Yoda hit the nail on the head: “Always willing to ignore my counsel you are, if suits you it does” (19). This is what Obi-Wan said, and both he and Yoda were right. I guess through this series it’s become evident to me that the character I’m identifying with the most is Qui-Gon. It makes sense.

Although Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon haven’t entirely reconciled, I’m glad they’re together again. It should be interesting to see how Qui-Gon deals with Obi-Wan’s betrayal, and what events will transpire for Qui-Gon to take his wayward apprentice back.

So I guess it’s Xanatos who has invaded the temple, and has collected Bruck as his new apprentice. This should make for a good Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan vs. Arch Enemies showdown.

For my next post I’ll be moving on the book 7 of the Jedi Apprentice series, The Captive Temple. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

44 BBY: Jedi Apprentice: The Defenders of the Dead

“The hatred is bred in their bones. Now they fight over meters of territory, or to avenge a wrong that happened a hundred years before” - Qui-Gon Jinn to Obi-Wan Kenobi on the planet Melida/Daan.

In 1977 my father, mother, and two sisters immigrated from Belfast Northern Ireland to Canada. A few months later I was born.
In 1993, at the age of 16, I travelled to Belfast on my own to meet my many uncles, aunts, and cousins for the first time.

Belfast was an angry place.

It was the first time in my life a fully armed solider eyed me suspiciously, a tank loaded with bombs and guns rolled by me, and our car was searched for explosives before we entered a parking garage. To a 16 year-old kid from Canadian suburbia this was surreal.

There was no end to the stories. The skirmishes fought on the Falls and Shankill road, how this one was orphaned or this one was widowed. History was replayed and remembered time and again. Angry and bitter – but can I blame them? One day, I was told, one day Ireland will be united into a glorious Republic. But until that day the anger will be held on to. These are the stories of freedom fighters. These are the stories of terrorists.

When I came home I thanked my parents for getting us out of there. Canada was a peaceful place and though I was awestruck by the beauty and history of Ireland I was glad to be home.
In 2005 I, along with my father and sister, travelled back to Belfast to bury my father’s father. Belfast had changed – for the better I must say. The peace was made and everyone wanted to keep it– but the anger was still there: tacit, alive, and dormant under the pavement of the city.

Belfast is my Melida/Daan, and I could identify with the words of Qui-Gon.

When Obi-Wan abandoned his quest for Knight-hood and left his Master dumbstruck and broken-hearted, I got it.

Even at 16 I admit I entertained notions of become an underground soldier; fighting with the IRA for the freedom of an island which was under the thumb of a tyrannical government. It’s a romantic notion to a foolish and na├»ve boy. Unlike Obi-Wan however, I only entertained these rash notions. Obi-wan actually followed his foolishness to its logical end. A brave and stupid act all at once.

Though I understood why Obi-Wan left his Jedi training, I still feel Watson could have done more to make it his abandonment of the Jedi order more believable. Though it was not directly stated, I wondered if the ‘real’ reason Obi-Wan turned his back on Qui-Gon was because of Cerasi. Did he have feelings for her? Were these feelings stronger than the feelings he had for his fellow youth who were bent on fighting for peace? Young love is powerful and makes us all do silly things – like turn our backs on our parents, or in Obi-Wan’s case, turn on his Master. Watson did not make this the driving force behind his betrayal of his Jedi vows, and I think if she had incorporated this element into her story it would have made his turn more believable. As it is, Obi-Wan’s raising of his saber against his Master was shocking and blasphemous, and a great cliff-hanger to the next book.

What I found to be the most interesting part of the story was the way Watson described the Force as it surrounded Qui-Gon, ready to deflect any blows from his apprentice: “The Force swirled around him, but it was a disturbed Force, neither dark nor light” (137). I wonder if this reference here is the first we have in Star Wars lore which indirectly refers to the idea of Gray Jedi. Published in December of 1999, Defenders of the Dead came out approximately four years before the Knights of the Old Republic video game, where, I think, (and I could be mistaken here) the notion of Gray Jedi begins to come to the fore of Star Wars discussion.

But more importantly Watson’s description of the Force in this instance further expands, and perhaps complicates, our understanding of this ‘thing’ we call ‘The Force’. If we are to understand how Qui-Gon used the force in this instance I think we need to know if he was he pulling on a third dimension of the Force – one that is neither light nor dark. It seems that he was which brings about all kinds of other questions and thoughts concerning the most important element of Star Wars.

What exactly is this ‘disturbed Force’, and how did Qui-Gon mange to use it? Hopefully this gets flushed out in greater detail.

For my next post I’m going to move on to book number 6 of the Jedi Apprentice series, The Uncertain Path. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

44 BBY: Jedi Apprentice: Mark of the Crown

Stories of royal intrigue have always fascinated me.

I get a kick out of stories where there is a royal heir who doesn’t know that their father or mother was a king or queen. I guess I like it because this is always an element of the heroes’ journey, as defined by Joseph Campbell. Theseus and the Minotaur is one of my favorite myths, and in that story Theseus discovers that he is the son of Aegeus (and Poseidon), and later becomes the king of Athens, where he rules rightly and justly.

The Lord of the Rings had this element as well, when at the end Aragon became the king of Arnor and Gondor, and the high king of the Reunited Kingdom. He tried to deny his royal lineage, but accepted his fate and became, like Theseus, a just and righteous ruler.

Star Wars speaks to us on so many levels because Luke Skywalker is also the unknown heir of royalty, with a queen for a mother and a dark lord for a father. I think I’ve always regarded Vader as a warrior-king, even though Anakin was of a “lowly birth”.

What I most enjoy about these stories is how the hero overcomes some sort of archaic social order, and brings balance and harmony back to the world. At the end of the tale I always feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief – good has overcome evil and all is right with the world once again.

Mark of the Crown, the fourth book in the Jedi Apprentice series, does what all these other stories mentioned before it does – brings the correct heir of the kingdom back into the fold of good government, and re-establishes order over a corrupt and archaic culture. The difference in this story being that it wasn’t one of the main protagonists who became king; rather, it was a secondary character the heroes wanted to replant into the kingdom.

What caught my attention in this book was Qui-Gon’s focus on ‘the Living Force’. Dan Wallace spilt much ink on this subject in his book The Jedi Path, and defined it as an aspect of the Force not all Jedi are in-tune with. I thought it neat that Qui-Gon could immediately detect the Queen was in poor health using ‘the Living Force’ as his guide. He also mentions the Living Force in The Phantom Menace when he speaks of Obi-Wan’s readiness to take the trials.

Besides a good ‘ol fashioned sword fight between Obi-Wan and Prince Beju, I really don’t have much else to mentioned with regards to this chapter in the relationship between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Mark of the Crown was a fun read.

For my next post I’m going to look at book five of the Jedi Apprentice series, the Defenders of the Dead. Until then my friend, may the Force be with you.

Friday, February 11, 2011

44 BBY: Star Wars Tales Volume 4: Mythology

What is love?

If you were to listen to Qui-Gon Jinn, he would tell you that love is a dangerous thing; something a Jedi must avoid at all costs, for it will eventually destroy and corrupt a young Padawan leading him down the dark path. And he would be right, if it were love he was talking about. Unfortunately, Qui-Gon is talking about lust, or passion, – a wholly different creature.

Mythology is an interesting little comic short which tells the story of a lesson between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Struggling with his more powerful emotions, Qui-Gon departs upon Obi-Wan some knowledge about this crazy little thing called love. Qui-Gon’s tale is a familiar one: a morality tale where women are the root of all evil and not to be trusted. It is a story along the same lines of Eve in the garden, and Pandora with her box. Things were perfect until that woman came along!

My problem with this story is the understanding of the word “love”. Qui-Gon says to Obi-Wan: “A Jedi shall not know anger, or fear, or hatred, or love”. But what does he mean by ‘love’?
The English language and our common vernacular do nothing to clarify what we mean when we use the word love. I use the same word to tell my wife that I love her, to tell my male best friend that I love him, or to say that I love BBQ ribs. Each has a very different meaning.

One of the things I love about the Greek language is that it has 5 different words for the word love, each meaning what you intend. When I tell my wife I love her, I mean Agape. When I tell my friend I love him, I mean Philos. When I say I love BBQ ribs, I mean Eros. Agape is unconditional love, Philos is brotherly love, while Eros is love with conditions (erotic/lust).

I love BBQ ribs as long as they are hot, covered in mild BBQ sauce, and fully cooked. If the ribs do not meet these requirements then I do not love them – as a matter of fact they repulse me!
In our society I think this is how some people love each other – like things (or how we are taught to love each other). ‘I’ll love you as long as you remain skinny, look good next to me, and sleep with me, otherwise, why would I waste my time with you? I’ll love you, but only as long as you meet my conditions’.

Agape love is the loved talked about by St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

We want to be loved with agape love (love of a person), but we love each other with Eros love (love of a thing). True love is the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. True love – Agape love – is the highest form of love, and is the most difficult, for it requires great personal sacrifice on my part. It requires humility. Agape love is how I try to love my wife. I never always get it right, but I try.

I, like Anakin Skywalker, think a Jedi is commanded to love: “Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi's life. So, you might say that we are encouraged to love.” (AOTC). I that the truth behind this quote is that Anakin was looking for a justification to love Padme as a wife, which I think is problematic for a Jedi, but I still agree with the sentiment: indeed, I think a Jedi is commanded to love all beings unconditionally – which is a truly heroic and almost impossible task. But this is what the Jedi are called to do: the heroic and impossible.

For my next post I’m going to look at the fifth book in the Jedi Apprentice series: Mark of the Crown. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

44 BBY: Jedi Apprentice: The Hidden Past

The reason I like the Jedi Apprentice books is because they remind me of The Clone Wars television show. The Clone Wars gives us Star Wars fans short little stories which further explore universe we all love. Some episodes are stand-alone narratives, while other episodes connect in an arc of epic proportions. In the end, we are all entertained while at the same time peering into unknown corners of Lucas and company’s creation– discovering new planets, aliens, and technology, and all the while coming to understand the characters of Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka a little better.

The way I feel after I’ve read a Jedi Apprentice book is the same as when I’ve watched an episode of the Clone Wars. Neither is relatively time consuming and both reveal for me a little patch of the mythical world of Star Wars.

I feel like the twenty books of the Jedi Apprentice series are each like an episode in a Star Wars television show. Three books in and I’m looking forward to what this season has to offer.

I don’t really have much to say about The Hidden Past. The story did well to further explore the relationship between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. In particular, I enjoyed the scene with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan fighting the Syndicat guards. What I liked most about it was that Qui-Gon had yet to adjust to the fighting style of his Padawan, or rather, that Obi-wan had yet to pick up on the rhythm of Qui-Gon’s combat: “Qui-Gon realized that he could not always count on Obi-Wan to pick up on his pacing. Something to work on later, when they had time.” (57). I liked how Watson demonstrated that their partnership was still in transition here. That there were still kinks to work out and they were not perfectly symbiotic: they would have to work together to become a well-oiled machine. I enjoyed the hint of progression here between them.

Guerra and Paxxi have been two of the funniest characters I have come across in Star Wars chronology thus far. Some of their lines have had me chuckling out loud. The one I enjoyed the most was when Paxxi thought he was looking at the Prince of Beju but was really Obi-Wan: “‘Look at him’ Paxxi said in disgust. ‘You can tell the brute is evil’. ‘Look closer. That boy is Obi-wan’ Qui-Gon murmured. Paxxi gasped. ‘Yes so, I thought he seemed handsome and brave’, he added quickly. ‘And what royal bearing he has!’”. (112-113).

Besides making me chuckle in spots, I think I may have come across a continuity error. As Obi-Wan was fighting his memory wipe, he recalled days with his parents and brother, but these were not days as a child before he was brought to the Temple; rather, they were memories of a visit to his family while still at the Temple: “Rough linen against his hands. He clung to his mother. The end of the visit. Yes, he had wanted to go back to the Temple. It was a great honor. They knew they could not keep him from it. He wanted it so much. Yet goodbye was so painful, so hard. A soft cheek was pressed against his.” (98). It was my understanding that once a child had reached the Temple, that contact with the birth parents was forbidden. At least this is what the story Children of the Force implied. Thought I can’t remember if it was directly stated, but this idea was also alluded to in The Jedi Path. The understanding being that it was best for a future Jedi to let go of any familial relationships, least these relationship should one day cloud the judgment of a Jedi and lead them down the dark path. Force knows that this is exactly what happened to Xanatos. Connection with his birth family only produced confusion and pain (at least that was what I extrapolated from the narrative). Why would the Jedi want Obi-wan, or any of their younglings, to experience the pain of a goodbye from their mother?

Do any of you reading this know if this bit of story has been addressed by the continuity cops?

Before I finish my post I want to mention something I forgot to talk about from The Dark Rival, which was the mention of a cloaking device. Recalling a story between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, we learn that Yoda placed them on a ‘transport to Telos ferrying droids’ and that Qui-Gon’s apprentice Xanatos was accused of sabotaging the ships systems: “Stieg Wa announced that the cloaking system had been sabotaged. He blamed Xanatos” (84). When one looks into the history of cloaking systems, it seems remarkable that a cloaking system was on a common space transport, as the owners of such devices were usually people like the Emperor, Darth Maul, Boba Fett, and Galen Marek, not unknown droid smugglers. But alas, in the Star Wars universe, there is always an exception to the rule. Maybe I can work this knowledge into an RPG campaign in the future *evil chuckle*.

For my next post I’m going to move on to Tales #14, found in Star Wars Tales volume 4. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

44 BBY: Jedi Apprentice: The Dark Rival

Dark Rival, book two of the Jedi Apprentice series written by Jude Watson, continues the story of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The aspects of this book I’m going to focus on today are Obi-Wan’s enlightenment, the truth and lies of the Jedi Masters, and the character of Guerra.

It seems that Obi-Wan’s enlightenment did not last long. His long strides towards the rank of Jedi Knight took a few steps back once he began to ponder, in more reflective terms, why he was rejected by Qui-Gon as an apprentice. It seems Qui-Gon’s rejection ran deeper than Obi-wan thought, and upon reaching Bandomeer with the enigmatic Knight Obi-Wan fully felt the cut of that father-figure denial: “Obi-wan had thought he had begun to accept this (his life as a farmer), but it was hard” (11).

Can enlightenment be lost?

I get Obi-Wan’s feelings here. There are times I feel so completely sure about something – like belief in God – and other times when the idea seems absolutely insane to me. Obi-Wan thought he had made his peace with being a farmer, but after going through all the adventures with Qui-Gon, and receiving a little taste of what it means to be a Padawan learner and righting the wrongs of the universe, Obi-Was no longer complacent with his fate. He wanted more. But maybe this moment of clarity did not necessarily preclude the possibility of him still being a Jedi Knight.

Upon reaching Bandomeer, and thinking about his future, Obi-Wan figured out he still wanted to be a Knight, but maybe the difference here was that he didn’t desire it as passionately as before. Maybe Obi-Wan’s feeling of contentment and clarity killed the feelings of ego which were fueling his desire to be a Knight. Maybe the feelings of pride and superiority – superiority over Bruck and others at the temple – were finally quenched. Maybe he realized that being a farmer was not a bad thing, but that he we made for something else – his skills were better suited to serve the justice of the galaxy not as a farmer, but as a Padawan learner under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn.

Obi-Wan’s enlightenment was not lost, simply refocused into a truer understanding of his future self. Obi-wan realized the truth of who he is – and it was this truth he needed to present to Qui-Gon Jinn. This brings me to my next point – the idea of truth.

Obi-Wan wanted desperately to ask Qui-Gon why he was still being rejected, to questions the Master’s wisdom, but he knew he could not: “But one of the Jedi’s most serious rules was not to cross-examine a Master. Truth can hold great power. Therefore the decision to share it must be weighed. Only the Master could decide on revelation or concealment, according to the greater good” (12). The line ‘truth can hold great power’ reminded me of one of Abel Pena’s essays titled Lies of the Jedi Masters. In this essay Pena expertly deconstructs many of the lies told by the Jedi Master’s in the films, and reveals for his reader the deeper wisdom contained in their half-truths and ‘points-of-view’.

Sometimes the teacher needs to hide the truth from their student, so as to help them along the path of enlightenment. As Pena explains in terms of Star Wars what the great Jewish thinker Maimonides means in his work The Guide of the Perplexed when he explains that a teacher must sometimes deceive their student: “In plain English, that means that sometimes your Padawans aren't yet smart enough or experienced enough to absorb certain facts. So, you tell 'em the half of the truth they are ready to accept, letting it seep in so that they start deriving the logical conclusions from that fact themselves, thus helping them to prepare themselves for the second half of the truth.” It’s remarkable that Obi-Wan was able, in some capacity, to realize the wisdom of not challenging your Master at every turn at such a young age. It took Luke a while to realize that the half-truths spoken to him by Obi-Wan and Yoda were for the greater good.

If you’ve got a few moments take the time to read Pena’s essay. It’s awesome.

Finally, one of the lighter aspects of The Dark Rival was the character of Guerra. This Phindian made me laugh out loud. In one of the more funnier lines of the book, Guerra declares: “I like you, Obawan. So! I’ll watch out for you – ha! Not so, I lie again! I trust nobody and nobody trusts me.”

Guerra: master of the “not” joke.

For my next post I’m going to look at the third book of the Jedi Apprentice series The Hidden Past. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.