Sunday, July 31, 2011

38 BBY: Jedi Apprentice: Special Edition #2: The Followers

The Followers, Jude Watson’s last installment of the Jedi Apprentice series, takes us a further year into Star Wars history to 38 BBY. I’ve really enjoyed Watson’s contributions to Star Wars lore thus far, and I’m looking forward to engaging with her other series: Jedi Quest and Last of the Jedi. I’m also glad I’ve collected the books, as my sons will have some Star Wars material available to them when they begin to read.

Though we’ve moved ahead a year in Star Wars history, the story itself is contradictory on this point. I think we’ve come across Watson’s first continuity gaffe (the first I’ve noticed anyway). Not bad considering she’s twenty novellas deep into writing Star Wars mythos and this one seems to be a simple oversight. Regarding Bant, Obi-Wan’s friend and Master Kit Fisto’s new apprentice, we’re given Qui-Gon’s perspective that: “ Not only was she a good friend of his own eighteen-year-old apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, but ever since the death of her Master Tahl years ago, Qui-Gon found himself feeling protective of her” (1). The words here I’m focusing on are “years ago”. Later in the story we are told that: “Qui-Gon had been deeply in love with Tahl, and though she had been killed several months ago, her absence still felt like a blade in his chest” (51). The difference here, obviously, is the change from years to months. What’s interesting about this description of Qui-Gon’s past is that the entire paragraph about Qui-Gon’s relationship with Tahl here seems dropped in and very out of place. One can read this page, skip the entire paragraph about Qui-Gon’s lingering feelings about Tahl’s death, and the integrity of the narrative would not have been compromised. I almost wonder if it was one of Watson’s editors who placed this paragraph in, because it’s not like her to make oversights like this. It just seems very out of place.

Continuity gaffes aside, I believe this is the first time Kit Fisto enters Star Wars history. Kit Fisto has been one of the Jedi Master’s from this time period I’ve been enjoying more and more. My growing interest in him started with the first season of The Clone Wars in episode 10, The Lair of Grievous. He seemed so cool in that episode. And the wisdom he departed to his wayward apprentice was good and sage Jedi advice. Hopefully his character will be further flushed out before his untimely death at the hands of Darth Sidious.

However, the most interesting aspect of The Followers was the character or Murk Lundi. Surprisingly, (or not so) Lundi is the invention of Watson herself. I was surprised by this because I thought for sure Lundi was a creation of either Abel Pena or Ryder Wyndham because he is a prominent character in Pena’s essay Evil Never Dies. Also, he was a character featured in The Essential Guide to the Force, so I thought Wyndham may have been responsible for the Sith historian’s creation. Pena gives great detail about Lundi in his essay, even quoting some of his texts in his reference of Sith history. The character of ‘the Star Wars professor’ is one I’ve always liked since coming across professor Skynx, first featured in the Han Solo trilogy. The ‘Star Wars Professor’ is a great character-type to have around in a narrative because there is so much you can do with them.

My final point of discussion regarding The Followers was the mention of the Jedi finding stores of Sith artifacts: “Another collection of Sith materials was found – this time on the planet Tynna in the Expansion Region” (50). I wonder which Jedi discovered these collections. At the start of the story there is mention of ‘Jedi Teams’ investigating rumors of Sith, but not much else is given. I wonder if Jedi Shadows operate during this time period. Were the Sith artifacts discovered by a secretive Jedi like Celeste Morne or Jelph Marrian? Does this Jedi Council allow such a sect of Jedi to operate? Jedi Shadows have always been the sexiest of all the Jedi cults.

As it is, I’ll have to engage with The Followers again at 28 BBY to continue the rest of the story of ‘Mad Professor Lundi and the search for the Sith Holocron’. For my next post I’ll be leaving the pages of the written word and moving to the comic medium, examining Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan and the Auroient Express. Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting mistake Watson made regarding the Tahl timeline. I've read Jedi Apprentice several times and just never caught it. And "years" is a bit of a stretch. Obi-Wan was 16 when Tahl died. He's 18 in The Followers. I don't consider two years "several".