A novel by Jude Watson (2008,
The Last of the Jedi, Book 9 19 years before and Star Wars: A New Hope
Ferus investigates a possible Force-sensitive baby on Alderaan, and
the Empire starts to crack down on resistance cells.
Read February 29th to
March 1st, 2016
Given the premise, that
somebody reported on an Alderaanian toddler, the story was well-written,
and the playout was realistic, until the stereotypical betrayal of a
In the last book, Ferus found out
about a bunch of people who were informed on to possibly be
Force-sensitive. One of those was a toddler on Alderaan, which he
dismissed. Somehow Ferus can still communicate with Obi-Wan, which seems
really risky. Obi-Wan, however, tells him that he must go investigate,
and so he does, followed along with an Imperial Inquisator. Although
Bail Organa is suitably rude to them, I would have expected something a
little more aggressive after Ferus leaves, or their first meeting alone,
commenting on how he had been a Jedi, and was now betraying them.
Instead, the characters grimace at each other, and when Ferus does come
to the palace alone, Bail listens to him attentively, not even worrying
if Ferus is trustworthy.
Ferus does some investigating,
while the Inquisitor does some interrogating. It turns out that Leia
saved her baby-sitter when a fence overlooking a cliff broke. The
toddler didn’t even realize what she was doing, of course, but an
informant saw it and reported the incident. Ferus finds the lookout
spot, and discovers that the informant was actually a father who was
forced into the job, who has a family, and was looking at the wrong
place at the wrong time. Moreover, the Inquisitor knows that he is the
informant, while Ferus did not at the time, which makes for an interesting
observation about the trust the Empire actually puts in him.
another subplot going on at Alderaan, which misleads both the readers
and Ferus, nearly leading to disaster. I think Vader and the Emperor’s
secret mission, the one Ferus briefly heard about in the last few books,
is to bring all the resistances together, then crush them all. Ferus
finds that somebody inside the palace must be passing information on to
Vader, who arrives looking for an excuse to put an Imperial governor in
place. It turns out to be a trusted family member, which I thought was a
little too obvious. In any case, they find out about a planned setup for
the Empire to “find” stashes of weapons in the market. But they replace
the crates with food, so the Empire is embarrassed, which I’m not sure
is much better, as they should now be looking out for some kind of
retribution from Vader.
Clive is still searching for
information about the mysterious Flame, and it looks like she is now an
inadvertent Imperial double-agent. I say “inadvertent” because in the
last book, we got her point of view, and it seemed like she was genuinely
interested in helping the resistance. However, all of her holdings went
into a secret Imperial account, so I’m not sure what to make of this. I
fully expect the Empire to destroy the budding resistance in the next
book, based on the signs we see here. Bail Organa should remain free
because he hasn’t yet decided to join, though he is wavering after
Ferus’ visit. By the end of the book, Dex’s safehouse is attacked, and
although it looks like most people escaped, we don’t get to see the
aftermath (except in Vader gloating to Ferus). It is at this moment that
Ferus remembers a fellow Padawan using the same language to sneer at
him, and he realizes that Darth Vader must actually be Anakin Skywalker.
Although necessary for the plot, and I’m sure the Force helps him make
his leaps of logic here, it seems like an unlikely revelation, given the
slightness of the clues. But the final book in the series is coming
next, so I expect a final showdown.
One last plot in this book deals
with the rescue of Jenna Zan Arbor’s assistant, and the ruination of
Vader’s secret remedy to his thoughts about Padme, the ones he wants to
banish so much. Trever is assisted by the Jedi Ry Gaul (who was a common
companion to Ferus and Anakin in the Jedi Quest novels). The assistant
helped Trever escape on Bellassa in Secret Weapon, and took the blame
for Lune Divinian escaping the Coruscant medical facility in the last
book. So it’s nice that they give her a chance to escape, herself. The
end up injecting Zan Arbor with a full dose of her own memory-wiping
serum, destroying all of her memories. As with other books of this sort,
it looks like she didn’t keep any backups, even on her primary computer.
was nice to see Alderaan, as I don’t recall any other stories actually
taking place on that world. But I have to say that the cover is stupid.
Leia looks almost grown up, with even the same hairstyle as in A New
Hope! The rest of the book seems to be mostly setup for grand finale.