A novel by Jude Watson (2008,
The Last of the Jedi, Book 10 19 years before and Star Wars: A New Hope
Ferus arranges to have resistance
leaders meet at his secret asteroid base, while Clive and Astri race
to reveal a traitor in their midst.
Read May 12th to 15th,
2016, in paperback
The first half of this book was so
intense and well-written that I had very high hopes. Unfortunately, the
second half devolved back into the clichés that faulted the later books
of this series and the previous one. The ending for Ferus was
unexpected, but makes a certain amount of sense, as opposed to the way
the others died or Trever’s worse fate.
Although I saw
it coming, I don’t think Flame’s portrayal in previous books, especially
where the story is portrayed from her point of view, lend itself to that
particular conclusion. But the way the author handled Flame in the
previous stories was consistent with her being a traitor, especially the
way she didn’t let Flame in on any secret discussions. That point is
irrelevant now, as the most important secret was revealed anyway, and
Vader used it to good effect.
I’m not sure how I feel about Ferus
being able to contact Obi-Wan at any time. Wouldn’t somebody be able to
trace the call? I’d expect that the Emperor has already bugged Ferus’
comlink, but I guess not. Given his role by the end of the book, I guess
it makes sense. But I don’t think it’s necessary.
It turns out
that the action at the end of the last book, where the Unknown’s hiding
spot was invaded was completely undone here, because everyone we know
survived, and they find a new temporary place to live. By then, Ferus
has decided to bring them all to the asteroid base. I liked the way
Flame negotiated the sale of the starships, with Jedi help, at the trade
show. Of course everything she mentions comes true, from the false
transponders to the spaceworthiness.
And of course they have a
communications blackout, which is not consistently used. The blackout
itself is because the author doesn’t want Clive and Astri to be able to
contact Ferus. But they contact Tomra on the asteroid, and he tells them
that Flame is a traitor. I guess it was easy for him, because Tomra
himself ended up being a mole, as well, which completely ruined any
chance of credibility this story had of tying things up properly.
Clive and Astri nearly have a run-in with Darth Vader at Flame’s
house, where he goes away empty-handed and angry, but that’s no
different from most of the plots in these books. It doesn’t amount to
anything except confirming what we already knew –that Eve Yarrow (Flame)
is in the the pay of the Empire. I only wish it was less intentional.
The adventure in delaying their arrival at the asteroid base was
well written and fun. It seems that the Empire has suddenly become more
efficient, because it has eyes everywhere, even in black-market shops
like the one Ferus visited. I liked the way he recruited a swoop gang to
hide him while he escaped back to his ship. On the other hand, the
Empire has apparently forgotten to monitor all communications. Like his
talk with Obi-Wan, I don’t know how Ferus managed to talk with Trever to have
the ship prepped. If the Empire was after Ferus, shouldn’t they have
impounded the ship, too?
The climax of the book occurs after they
abandon Flame on a deserted planet (she has another way to communicate
with Vader, though), and bring everyone to the asteroid. Ferus is worried
about tracking devices, so he shows up late, and gets to watch Vader
incinerate the asteroid. I didn’t get a sense of the weapons he used for
that –was it a Death Star prototype, just the normal weapons from a Star
Destroyer, or something else from the factory at Despayre? Regardless,
nearly every character from this series has now been killed. Lune is
smuggled out after they discover that Tomra is a mole, so Ferus and
Trever pick him up, and Vader doesn’t notice.
The end of the
series was always going to be depressing –how else could it turn out?
But I think there are still too many loose ends, and Trever’s fate is
just horrible! They use Zan Arbor’s drug to wipe out Trever’s memory of
the entire series. He’s back to the boy we first met in the
Ferus thinks it’s for the better, but I think that just puts him in the
same category as Mace Windu and the young Yoda, who dictated with so
many absolutes and without consideration of the people they were
Ferus gets a happier ending, at least until
Hope. Obi-Wan tells him everything, and he settles down on Alderaan, to
watch over Leia the way Obi-Wan watches over Luke. Who knows –maybe he
got off the planet before the Death Star arrived. That was the actual
reason for Ferus to discover that Vader was Anakin. It was implied that
they would duel or at least have some sort of fight. But they don’t. The
only reason was for Ferus to gain knowledge about Anakin’s children,
so he could be Leia's watchdog.