Sunday, March 20, 2011

43 BBY: Jedi Apprentice: The Shattered Peace

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.


  1. Yeah, it makes sense to hold on The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi until you reach the frame story. And I'm definitely looking forward to your comments on George R. Binks, which is one of the most bizarre SW stories I've read.

  2. Is that comic even canon? Or has it, like many Tales comics, "elements of canon" (like yes, there was a planet called that)? But that discussion is best to leave for the correct post.

    I found no useful information on energy bows from Wookieepedia, except that number of sources in which they appear are almost zero. But they are very interesting and I'd like to see one in use.

    Small comment: While I was on Wookieepedia looking for information on energy bows and George R. Binks, I should have been writing about how changing to farming changed our culture 10 000 years ago. Why can't we study the galaxy far far away in schools?

  3. It's funny that you should mention learning about Star Wars in school because in my grade 12 Sociology course today we were talking about the education system, and how it's based on the factory model of production, where students usually learn nothing of what they find of interest, but what others deem should be important (and much of the stuff we teaching in schools is hugely important) but there are other ways of educating. I finished my point with telling my students I could teach them a tremendous amount about literary history and theory through a study of Star Wars books comics and films, along with other important texts as well.

    I agree with the question: why can’t we learn about Star Wars in school? ;)

  4. There was an early adaptation, in two volumes, of A New Hope written for schools in order to encourage kids to read. It's titled Attack on Reading. I wish my school had used books like that when I was a kid. :(