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Star Wars Jedi: Battle Scars Book Review

“Star Wars Jedi: Battle Scars” will tide fans over until “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.” 

Best known for writing comics, books, and video games, author Sam Maggs dives into the Star Wars universe with a new novel titled “Star Wars Jedi: Battle Scars.” 

Set between the “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” and the forthcoming “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor” video games (and before the original trilogy), ‘Battle Scars’ revolves around the crew of the Stinger Mantis. There’s the main character Cal Kestis (a Jedi Knight) and his trusted droid BD-1 who has his back (literally), Cere (Cal’s Jedi Master), Merrin (a Dathomir Nightsister who uses magick), and Greez (a four-armed Latero pilot who owns the ship). Together this rag-tag crew/family engages in missions to fight against the Empire. 

At the start of the story, the team is looking to strike a Brood (AKA gangsters) base. Upon arrival, they discover the base contains stormtroopers including one such trooper (Fret) who is looking for a way out of the Empire. Although none of them are sure they can trust her, Fret leads them to a wealthy man (Qeris Lar) who funds anti-Imperial missions. Qeris is aware of a data card that contains schematics to a potential shield known as The Shroud. Under Imperial hands, this could prove to be a devastating weapon. Alas, it is currently stored inside an Imperial garrison. As one might imagine, the mission proves to be anything but simple especially with the Fifth Brother Inquisitor lurking about. 

Even if you’ve never played “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen order” or know nothing about that particular story, “Star Wars Jedi: Battle Scars” is an easy read. While there may not be a lot of meat to the story (it is a lead-in to the next video game after all), this book is chock full of characterization. The team that Cal Kestis is a part of is explored at great length here as they face various trials and tribulations that not only expose cracks within the team, but digs into their individual fears and desires (not to mention their trust in one another). Merrin has the biggest story arc here as she develops a connection to Fret and tries to hone her own magick powers. 

Given that this story is indeed based on a video game franchise, there’s all sorts of references to the games. Even the story itself feels structured like a game with the missions, action-heavy lightsaber battles, and the aftermath of the events. 

If there was one complaint it would be with the story which feels slight and rushed. When Sam Maggs focuses on the characters, ‘Battle Scars’ is at its best. Outside of that, The Shroud plot fizzles out, the Jedi Relic plotline with Cere feels undercooked (unless it plays a bigger plot in the next game), the romance elements feel a bit too YA, and the end is rather anticlimactic. Sure, the action is thrilling (Purge Troopers! Limb loss!), but it also does feel like Maggs is hamstrung by what she can do story wise here since we know these characters are about to face bigger adventures in “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.” 

Overall: It may not be the most eventful Star Wars book out there, but ‘Battle Scars’ does a fine job in allowing the characters to breathe and that’s always refreshing to see. Check it out.


February 24, 2023 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , , ,

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