A novel by Jude Watson (2007,
The Last of the Jedi, Book 8 19 years before and Star Wars: A New Hope
While a resistance movement begins to take shape, an important
member of the Eleven is rescued, while Ferus investigates the medical
facility where Vader was created, and a boy is taken to the Imperial
Read February 26th to
29th, 2016, in paperback
The story was written with the author’s
usual impressive descriptions, while avoiding many of the simplistic
resolutions that were used in previous books. By now, however, I am
tired of Ferus’ obsession, which has taken most of the series, and has
dulled the impact for me.
In the last book, while Ferus was imprisoned and
Roan was killed, one of the Eleven was also captured. Inexplicably, the
Emperor still thinks Ferus will make a good Sith, probably just waiting
for the proper temptation. Or maybe he’s using Ferus to root out the
resistance movement. In any case, Ferus knows that he is being
scrutinized, even for apparent coincidences. So he leaves Belassa for
Coruscant, to be out of the way when the Eleven mounts its rescue, using
members of Ferus’ own resistance and some help he provides (such as the
tunnel under the lake). The rescue goes off with only minor problems,
but the key question still surrounds Flame –is she trustworthy or not?
Everybody now thinks that she is, except Clive, who still has a nagging
feeling that something about her is wrong. Personally, I think she is
being used by the Empire, and doesn’t even know it. We get her point of
view for a couple of chapters in this book, and none of her thoughts
seem to be malevolent –in fact, they appear to be quite sincere. It’ll
be a big disappointment if she was intentionally misleading us, in which
case the author should have kept her point of view hidden.
and Astri go to a secret bank, posing as potential investors, and turn
up information about who she might have been before the Clone Wars. This
plot will likely be continued in the next book.
infiltrates the Imperial Academy on Coruscant, and is bullied from the
moment of his arrival. If he didn’t have to rescue Bog Divinian and
Astri’s son Lune (for Astri’s sake), I’m sure he would have gotten
himself killed. The administrator didn’t seem like a nice guy, which I
guess is how the Imperials choose their administrators, anyway. After
losing a lot of points in various situations, Trever decides to smuggle Lune
out. Unfortunately, the administrator catches them, and sends Lune to a
secret project of Darth Vader’s, while sending Trever to punishment.
However, the administrator has a change of heart, something he has
apparently been struggling with, as he also decides to leave the Academy
to go into hiding. Trever offers him the use of the Disappeared to
create a new identity, and they fly off over the city.
Divinian was manipulated into sending his son to Vader, who wants Jenna
Zan Arbor to create a serum that will erase parts of his memory
–specifically the ones involving Padme. But Bog doesn’t know this; he
simply wants the prestige involved in participating in Vader’s projects.
The project happens to take place at the same location where Anakin
Skywalker was installed into his suit after being severely burned at
Mustafar. Ferus infiltrates this facility, getting a night-shift job. He
almost immediately leaves his post and inspects the building. He finds a
secret level at the top, and uses the Force to gain access. He does
manage to find the room where Vader was healed, but more important to
his well-being, he discovers that Lune is also being held there, and he
considers this to be more important than the revenge he is planning for
Throughout, Ferus is tempted by the Dark Side, and while
he occasionally uses the Dark Side, he does not slide too far down its
slippery slope. A voice inside his head urges him to use his anger, and
he does, but always feels violated afterwards. Still, the Emperor seems
to trust him, and Vader is told to stay out of his way. In the end,
Ferus and Lune jump from the top story of the medical facility, and are
conveniently caught by Trever speeding away from the Academy.
There is a small subplot where one of the Emperor’s Inquisitors shares a
list with Ferus of potential Jedi sightings, based on coincidences that
seem too convenient. One of these involves a toddler on Alderaan, but
Ferus dismisses it. I’ll bet that’s Leia. Nothing is done about the list
in this book, so it’s likely setup for the next one.
The book was
well-written, as always, and the story elements did work, though they
felt a little overly-simplistic. Given the intended audience for these
novels, I can forgive that. I am, however, getting tired of Ferus’
obsession with Vader’s identity and his planned revenge. It’s gone on
for too long with no payoff, and we know by definition that the payoff
isn’t going to result in Vader’s death.