Episode I Adventures #8
Trouble on Tatooine
by Dave Wolverton
Published by Scholastic
Scott's Rating: 4 out of 4
This is the eighth book in the Star Wars Episode I Adventures series. It is a game created by Scholastic in which the reader follows the story, then plays the RPG game that supplements it. It is only available in one of three ways: by ordering it from the Scholastic school book fair or school order form, through the form stuck within Jedi Apprentice #3, #6, or #7, or by picking it up on the secondary market (eBay, used book stores, etc.). In any case, it is not easy to find at all.
Sebulba has captured the Ghostlings, Pala, Dorn, and Kitster for Gardulla. She intends to make examples of them by having them brutally executed in the Pod Race arena. Since Anakin was the only one to escape, it's up to him to break the slaves out. But the odds are overwhelmingly against him, especially when he discovers that Jira wasn't able to raise enough money to have them smuggled off the planet.
Luckily, Anakin breaks the group out of the prison through sand drains in the cell. A chase through the sand tunnels under Mos Espa ensues and the kids race to meet the smuggler who will take them away.
Wolverton does another excellent job with this Episode I Adventure novel. It would be easy for him to write it off as a kiddie book and talk down to the audience, but that's not the case at all. He gives it all the fun, emotion, and action of a full Star Wars novel.
In this book we learn a ton more about Kitster. We learn about his father and how Kitster became a slave. More importantly, we learn the fate of Kitster's father in the novel. It's a rather emotional scene that is pretty much what this book will be remembered for. There's also a particularly deep scene where Anakin reflects on the events in the book. The scene leads into where the movie novelization picks up.
As usual, this book has a ton of action and humor which Wolverton included in his earlier books. This one is well worth checking out, but only after you've picked up the previous books.
To follow all my other gripes, this book arrived in horrible shape through the mail. The spine was actually ripped in half which I couldn't believe since the plastic bag was intact.
Lucasfilm needs to get on the ball and approve a collection of these books to be printed. Put all the Ryder Windham books in one set and all the Wolverton books in another collection. They will appeal to the same audience as the Jedi Apprentice novels (and possibly more). It's awful that many book fans remain unaware that this series even exists.
The method of disposing of runaway slaves - blindfolding a Gamorrean and letting him shoot till he hits one in a cage. Ugly, man!