April turned out to be a very busy month. I was hoping to maintain my streak of seven posts a month, but alas, my work and home duties need to be attended to first before any time can be spent on the SWCP. The Rugby season is still in full swing with no end in sight for another three weeks, and assignments come in nearly daily from my three classes – I’m still eyes deep in marking. Hopefully I can make up the difference in May and June, but enough about me – let’s move on to Star Wars :)
The Deadly Hunter, book eleven in the Jedi Apprentice series, introduces us to Watson’s newest villain: an un-named bounty hunter who is Sorrusian in race and can disguise herself masterfully. Our intrepid heroes Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi have unwittingly caught themselves up in this bounty hunter’s orbit, and find themselves faced with new danger and intrigue.
The Deadly Hunter was a fun read but wasn’t one of my favorite JA titles to date. There was nothing wrong with it, it was a great little sleuth story, but it simply failed to capture my attention completely.
There were, however, some neat lines in it that warrants some discussion. Firstly, what the hell is a “vibro-mop”? “The Togarian stood behind them with a bucket and a vibro-mop” (58). Does a mop really need to vibrate? Is the mop impervious to lightsaber strikes? Can a gaggle of custodians armed with vibro-mops take on a squad of sith? What’s so special about the mops in the Star Wars universe? I think Watson got a little to ‘sci-fi’ for the sake of sci-fi and started sci-fi’ing objects that really didn’t need it.
On the topic of weapons however, I thought the bounty hunter’s weapon of choice – the lightwhip – was an intriguing element of her character. The lightwhip as the bounty hunter’s go-to weapon could imply some sort of force training or sensitivity, as to date the only other character we’ve come across to employ this weapon was Githany from Jedi vs. Sith – a former Jedi herself. I’ve learned not to under-estimate Watson’s villains, as Xanatos was about as formidable as they come, and I expect nothing less from the un-named bounty hunter in this story.
As it is, the story ends with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan on the losing side, with Master and Apprentice separated. Any bounty hunter that can do that has my respect.
Outside of vibro-mops and light whips, what I also found of interest in this story was Qui-Gon’s mention of how Jedi have dealt with some force-sensitive children in the past. Far from being ‘baby snatchers’, Qui-Gon makes it clear that the Jedi don’t take all force sensitive children from their parents, and indeed, such a large decision is the parent’s choice: “Many parents chose to keep a force-sensitive child. There are many paths in life. You make the best choice you can for your child” (75). The Jedi often get a bad reputation as child kidnappers who brainwash children into an ascetic-like martial existence, but as we see from Qui-Gon's own words, such a choice is not up to the Jedi, but the parents themselves.
I’ve been sitting on this post for over a month now, and I haven’t picked up a Star Wars book in some time. Hopefully this week I can get ahead of my work and re-start my journey which I have momentarily paused. For my next post I’ll be looking at book 12 of the Jedi Apprentice series: The Deadly Experiment. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.