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A novel by Jude Watson (2006, Scholastic Paperbacks)
The Last of the Jedi, Book 6
19 years before and Star Wars: A New Hope

Ferus finds that being a double agent is more difficult than he expected, as the Empire plans to take control of s planet by legal elections.





Read October 6th to 12th, 2015, in paperback  
    A much deeper analysis of treading the line between the evil Empire and the needs of the people in the resistance. Ferus is searching for a reason to stay where he is, which makes both the reader and the other characters wonder about his motivations. It is sometimes hard to accept what is happening, but feels more natural than some of these stories.

Spoiler review:

It’s pretty much impossible to understand the title of this book before reaching the last chapter, as for the most part, things seem to be going well. I’m still not sure if it refers to Ferus, or simply the methods used by the Empire.

Ferus is still assigned to Samaria, but this time, Vader is along as well, both of them tasked by the Emperor to watch for resistance members and to help Bog Divinian take control of the planet, something Ferus tries to secretly oppose. It’s made clear from the beginning that Vader can’t touch Ferus without incurring the Emperor’s wrath, which is good, because otherwise it would be quite far-fetched to see how far Ferus can push him. Undoubtedly, Vader remembers Ferus, and how jealous he used to be of the other Padawan. He slips up once and reveals that he knew (or knew of) Ferus, which starts Ferus thinking along dangerous lines (for the author) about who Vader actually is. Vader will surely find other ways to torture Ferus.

Ferus has trouble fitting into his double-agent role. He wants to help the resistance, so makes contact, but is powerless to do anything about the strikes the Empire is making against them. He plays it safe, taking the Emperor’s message to the resistance leaders (without being followed), while at the same time telling them he is on their side. They are actually using Bog Divinian’s personal droid to keep track of his movements, but are unable to produce anything to prevent his rise to power. Divinian is written as a smart character, who uses many tricks to topple his opponents. In the last book, he blamed the sabotage on the neighboring Rochans, which Ferus discovers here could be the key to the Empire’s downfall with some of their technology. Divinian wins a non-confidence vote against the current prime minister, who was secretly in league with the resistance.

Trever comes to Samaria to help Ferus, stealing the spaceship from the asteroid where everyone is going crazy because there is no light and very little to do. He meets up with Flame, a woman who wants to spread the rebellion, and has the financial fortune to help them. I don’t trust her, and wonder if she, too, is a double agent. When Trever steals Divinian’s personal droid, Ferus goes after him to retrieve it. Ferus gets Trever off-planet as soon as possible, but has to give the Emperor and Vader a name for the person who stole the droid. Knowing that he will be jailed anyway, the former prime minister offers to be a scapegoat.

So Trever and Flame escape the planet with the Rochan ambassadors, but their ship is destroyed as the Empire launches an attack on Roche. They survive, but all of Roche is brutalized in an effort to wipe out their potentially harmful technology. On Samaria, Ferus is devastated, but is forced to take the stage with Vader and Divinian, who is officially voted in as prime minister. The people of Samaria are forced to give up their personal droids, which in the previous book would have caused them to panic –without access to the central computer (provided by the personal droids), there were traffic jams and accidents, food shortages, and more than just minor inconveniences. But just a few days later, they are ok with it, which seems unlikely.

Trever sees all of this, too, and wonders if Ferus has betrayed them in his effort to get closer to the heart of the Empire. Is there a shadow over Ferus, now? My thought is that the title refers to the brutal nature of the Empire’s attack on Roche, but it could be meant to refer to Ferus’ descent.

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