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Star Wars: Master And Apprentice Book Review


Claudia Gray returns to the “Star Wars” universe with “Master And Apprentice.”

In “Star Wars: Master And Apprentice,” readers get a new Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi centric tale largely set before the events of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” So as to not get too heavily into the events of the story, I will say the novel contains storylines involving two jewel thieves (Rahara and Pax), political unrest on Pijal and its moon, a powerful and shady corporation using slave labor named Czerka, a Jedi (Rael) acting as Lord Regent on Pijal, Qui-Gon’s past as the apprentice to Count Dooku, a treaty regarding Pijal’s future and a new hypserspace corridor, a political group known as the Opposition who may or may not be dangerous, Jedi prophecies and visions, shields against lightsabers, and tension between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. How does everything fit together? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

It’s no secret that Claudia Gray has written many of the best novels of the current “Star Wars” canon and I’m happy to say that “Star Wars: Master And Apprentice” is another winner from the beloved author despite its flaws (I’ll get to that in a bit). As the title suggests, the heart of the story is about Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi and, indeed, the book is at its best when it focuses on these two characters. It’s fascinating to learn about their rocky dynamic and the fundamental differences between them as individuals and Jedi. It perfectly fits in with what we know and see in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” The most rewarding part of the story, however, is when Gray explores Qui-Gon Jinn more. As mentioned above, prophecies and visions play a part in the story and they’re both intriguingly connected to Qui-Gon. We also get some surprising answers to subjects addressed in the prequels and we also discover how Qui-Gon’s connection to the force deepens. Equally appealing here are the flashbacks to Qui-Gon’s past and his time with his own Master Count Dooku. While Dooku’s appearances are limited, they do provide great insight into his time as a Jedi. I’d imagine we’ll learn even more about his character in the forthcoming audio drama “Dooku: Jedi Lost.”

Another aspect that stands out here is the depiction of the Jedi. We get more of a glimpse into the life of a Jedi, how the Jedi Council operates, what goes on in the Jedi Temple, and the inherent flaws of the Jedi Order. Again, it really meshes well with what we see in the prequels.

In terms of the story itself, it’s a bit too busy and reminiscent of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” at times. In fact, I’d say it mirrors TPM a bit too much with the story elements involving the treaty, political turmoil, Obi and Jinn on a mission, and a corporate entity. There’s also a bit too much foreshadowing to Anakin’s characters actions although that is more understandable given the context of what takes place.

The new characters (especially Rahara and Pax) are mostly plot devices and feel like distractions from the engrossing stories with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. However, there’s one new character that really stands out and that is the Jedi Rael Averross. Without giving too much away, he’s another unorthodox Jedi who has a tragic history and a past with both Qui-Gon and Dooku. His character journey and his potential future in other media could be something special.

April 6, 2019 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , ,

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