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.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to your comments on Obi-Wan's choices in Defenders of the Dead.