Before I start with my reactions to the Star Wars Junior series I want to thank Plaristes. Without him I would’ve had a much more difficult time getting a hold of these books. So, thank you sir. Your record keeping has made my trek through Star Wars chronology much easier.Though there are twelve books in the series, I already dealt with Droids Everywhere back in February so my post today will focus on the other eleven. And really, there isn’t much to say about them. They are adaptations of the film that rarely travel outside the already established narrative of The Phantom Menace. The books that did were the most enjoyable, namely Catch that Pit Droid, and Gungan Trouble.
In Catch that Pit Droid Watto and Anakin chase a runaway pit droid through the streets of Mos Espa, while in Gungan Trouble we are privy to the Gungans packing up their belongings and heading to the “sacred place” where Jar Jar later finds them. This scene raised an interesting question for me, and something that has bothered me about the background scenery of Naboo for some time. Why does the “sacred place” contain human looking heads, if the Gungans view the Naboo (humans) suspiciously? A little investigating on wookieepedia answered this question for me. It seems as though the large stone heads on Naboo are carvings of The Elders, an ancient race who colonized Naboo many millennia before. Apparently the Gungans consider them their “guds”. If I didn’t know any better at first glance I’d say the Gungans were Buddhist, what with all their old statues of Buddha lying about.
As it is, of all the books I examined the one I enjoyed the most was Meet the Jedi High Council. I’m glad the writer Laura Dower didn’t feel the need to make every bit of Yoda’s speech backwards talk. Also, who knew Ki-Adi Mundi had two hearts to work his large brain and Yarael Poof smelled with his hands? However, what most stood out to me most in this book was Depa Billaba, a member of the Jedi High Council we almost never hear about. So far she’s only appeared few times in Star Wars chronology: in the comic short Children of the Force with her master Mace Windu, and in Jedi Council: Acts of War. In both stories she was a forgettable, which I think is unfortunate because she seems like a really interesting character. I hope she’s flushed out a bit later on in Star Wars history. It’d be nice to know a little more about her.The best part of all these books was the art, and the artist I enjoyed the most was Jerry Vanderstelts. His work was the most detailed and rich.
For my next post I’m going to look at more Star Wars children’s books. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.