A novel by Jude Watson (2006,
The Last of the Jedi, Book 5
19 years before and Star Wars: A New Hope
The Emperor blackmails Ferus into investigating the sabotage of a
planet's controlling computer.
October 2nd to 5th, 2015, in paperback
This felt more like setup than anything
else, as the story seems to veer off in yet another direction. I don’t
know what to make of Ferus working for the Emperor, or his ability to
stay alive after visiting the Palace on Coruscant. There are more
questions than answers, but the brief story about finding the saboteur
was well executed.
In the first four books of this
series, we’ve had two plots, and it looks like this book is moving the
series to a third, though I’m not sure what it is, yet. First Obi-Wan
tracked down Ferus and they tried to eliminate the threat of finding
Padme’s children (though Ferus didn’t know that’s what he was doing).
Then Ferus went in search of new Jedi. Now, he’s suddenly accepted an
offer of amnesty from the Emperor, though the reasons for that offer,
and why Ferus actually entertains it, are completely unknown. Everybody
comments on the former, but after a few token protests, nobody really
questions whether Ferus should actually do this, or if the Emperor would
even keep his word.
Putting that aside for the rest
of the book, because the Emperor does keep his word, at least for this
book, Ferus easily tracks down the Saboteur of the computer system that
links all of Samaria. These people have shoulder-mounted droids that
keep track of every single thing, from transactions to security and even
act as pedometers and tracking devices. When the system crashes,
everybody’s lives are thrown into chaos.
Ferus looks into the sabotage,
and takes an unconventional route to find the person responsible.
Looking for clues within the programming isn’t very useful, so he tracks
people who tried to get off planet but couldn’t due to the Empire’s
quick closure of the spaceports. It turns out that Bog Divinian (from
The Dangerous games), is the Imperial
Administrator of the planet, and that he wants to take control of it. It
is obvious that the Empire wants full control of the governing body, so
Ferus tries to keep his affairs secret, a hard thing to do with
surveillance droids following him everywhere. But his friends from the
previous books help him out, posing as staff and taxi drivers. Ferus
tracks down Astri, who was Obi-Wan’s friend through several of the
Jedi Apprentice and
Jedi Quest novels. She sabotaged the
computer system to erase the names of the people who were becoming
resistance members, and to try and hide her son Lune from her
ex-husband. Lune is force-sensitive, so he could be a target or a major
catch for the Empire.
Of course, Ferus is being
tracked, and at that moment, Darth Vader arrives with stormtroopers to
Ferus was blackmailed into working for the Emperor,
because his friend Roan was being held on a traveling prison trial ship,
an idea created by Senator Sano Sauro, who also had a large number of
nefarious plots in Jedi Quest. The cast of characters in these books is
getting large, and it appears that everybody has a role to play. While
Ferus searches for the saboteur, Trever and Solace board the prison ship
to rescue Roan, posing as a judicial party, reversing the charges
against him and eventually taking over the ship. Solace uses that ship
to get Astri and the others off Samaria, but Ferus stays, because he
thinks he can find out more by infiltrating deeper into the Empire.
Based on the way these books are written, I fully expect him to turn to
the Dark Side before coming back at the end. But this book as a whole
seemed more like setup than anything else. I wonder what more Ferus can
do there, especially if Darth Vader stays with him.