One of the reasons I found Revenge of the Sith so emotionally devastating was its visceral presentation of Order 66. It showed the Jedi at their most vulnerable, and revealed for us an aspect of their nature: that of fallible and mortal being. In The Shattered Peace, book 10 of the Jedi Apprentice series, a little of that nature was revealed in Qui-Gon Jiin.
After finding Leed, the Prince of Rutan, and convincing him to return to his father and accept his burdensome kingship, Qui-Gon thought he had completed a successful mission, and blissfully fell asleep under a benevolent Senali sky. Unfortunately for the Jedi Master, kidnappers snuck under his nose and kidnapped the prince. King Frane, the king of Rutan, rightfully angry at Qui-Gon, asked him where all his Jedi training was the night his son was stolen: “While you fools were dreaming, they stole him from right under your noses! How could you let this happen? You are Jedi! Obi-Wan admired how Qui-Gon could meet insults with composure. ‘Jedi are not infallible King Frane…We are living beings, not machines’” (69). I’m always pleased to see an author deal with the Jedi in a human way, not because I enjoy seeing the Jedi fail, but because it means I can relate to them; they’re not god-like beings, simply fallible humans with extra-ordinary powers.
As it is, The Shattered Peace was an appealing chapter in the history of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi because it showed their continued growth as both a Master and a Padawan: “’ Well, it is good to hear that you don’t know everything,’ Obi-Wan told his Master with a smile. ‘Not nearly, Padawan,’ Qui-Gon said. ‘Not nearly enough, I suspect. Even with sureness, there must be doubt. It is the Jedi way’” (130). Along with the notion of these two both growing as people, I also enjoyed the Jainist sentiment behind Qui-Gon’s words – that clinging to absolutes is dangerous.
Lastly, one small but curious aspect of The Shattered Peace which caught my attention was the mention of “laser arrows”: She (Drenna) hoisted her crossbow to her shoulder and began to fire a rapid volley of laser arrows into the trees” (82). I wonder is this weapon was similar to the type used by the Night Sisters of Dathomir in the Night Sister trilogy featured in season three of The Clone Wars. Does anyone have any information on these types of weapons? They’re pretty cool.
Fort my next post I’m going to take a look at Tale #20: George R. Binks. It should be interesting. I’m purposely passing over chapter 1 of The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and deal with that source at the end of its chronological date as a retrospective on old Ben’s life. Also, I’m going to pass over the flashback of Prelude to Rebellion, and deal with it at its framed narrative date. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.