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Star Wars: Heir To The Jedi Book Review

Star Wars- Heir To The Jedi Book

“Heir To The Jedi” is a very slight “Star Wars” book.

Told from the point of view of Luke Skywalker, “Heir To The Jedi” is a new “Star Wars” novel that is set between Episodes 4 and 5. In this time period, Luke not only grapples with his new destiny as a vital member of the Rebellion, but must also try to learn the ways of the force without his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. Amidst all of this, Luke is assigned to several missions with R2-D2 and a sniper/daughter of a wealthy biotech industrialist named Nakari. Together, this trio encounters weapon dealers, brain eating creatures (skullborers), Imperial forces, bounty hunters, and a slicer/cryptologist/mathematician (Drusil) that needs to be rescued from the clutches of the Empire.

It’s no secret that every SW fan has their own personal view of the universe and a particular vision of how each and every character should be. So, when it comes to SW literature, fans can get pretty critical and opinionated if a book or comic doesn’t jive with their expectations. I say this because I feel “Heir To The Jedi” is going to divide fans.

Written by Kevin Hearne (best known for the “Iron Druid Chronicles” series), “Heir To The Jedi” feels like the work of a first time “Star Wars” author. In fact, it often feels like fan fiction as Hearne includes some contemporary language and weirdly fixates on strange topics (see the massive amount of food conversations). And then there are the goofy lines such as “Three kinds of dragon dump, Luke, I don’t ever want to do that again!” and “It was the Corellian buckwheat noodles with rancor sauce, sir.” The less said about those, the better.

Perhaps the most puzzling part of Hearne’s novel is that it tells such a minor story. Now granted, perhaps the author was limited as to what kind of story he could tell, but if you’re given the task of writing a story set between Episodes 4 and 5, one would think the author would tell a grand tale with some weight to it. Alas, readers are more or less treated to a series of mini-missions with Luke seeing the galaxy. To me, that’s a real missed opportunity.

As forgettable as the story is, Hearne does excel at getting into Luke’s mindset in this stage of his life. We all know Luke eventually receives training from Yoda in “The Empire Strikes Back,” but before that happened, Luke was pretty much on his own after Obi-Wan died. With that in mind, Hearne really explores this era by having Luke soak in any and all information he can about the Jedi while also trying to use the force on his own. It really provided for some interesting introspective character moments.

Equally engaging here is the sort of behind-the-scenes look at the Rebellion. Not only do we get a look at some of their missions, but we also learn about their innerworkings and their desperate need for supplies and weapons. Hearne really gives readers a sense of the paranoia that the Rebels felt as they try to gain victories over the powerful and far reaching Empire.

Overall Thoughts: “Heir to the Jedi” offers up some insightful character moments, but the story is so bland and predictable that those moments aren’t quite worth the journey. If you are looking for a “Star Wars” book to tide you over until Episode 7, you are better off checking out “Darth Plagueis” or “A New Dawn” if you have not done so already. Note: The back of the book contains a preview for the upcoming “Star Wars: Lords of the Sith.”

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March 2, 2015 - Posted by | Book review | , , ,

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