Episode I Adventures #9
Rescue in the Core
by Ryder Windham
Published by Scholastic
Scott's Rating: 3 out of 4
This is the ninth 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.
While working at the Gungan zoo, Jar Jar screws up (surprise!) and accidentally releases some of the aquatic wildlife into the Core. Tired of his bone-headed bumbles, Boss Nass banishes Jar Jar to the Quarry - an abandoned prison for Gungans (think Alcatraz). In order to make sure the job is done right, Boss Nass escorts Jar Jar there himself.
Along the way, though, their transport is struck by a turbulent underwater storm and Boss Nass is wounded. It is up to Jar Jar to get them home safely. Facing the dangerous creatures of the Core and the Quarry, Jar Jar bravely bumbles his way into saving the day and getting Boss Nass home okeyday.
This is the first book featuring Jar Jar in solo action (if you don't count a couple of young reader books). Windham does a good job of making Jar Jar interesting. In fact, at one point there's even a brief mention of Jar Jar's parents and the fact that Boss Nass knew them. (Where they are now is still a mystery.) Exploring his character and thoughts more makes him a little more tolerable.
We also explore Otoh Gunga, the Core, and the surrounding area more. I liked the idea of the Gungan prison. Kind of a neat concept. The ending also has a rather interesting twist where Boss Nass' tough no-nonsense niece ends up owing Jar Jar Binks a life debt. The next book should prove to be very interesting as Jar Jar has a tough female tagging along with him.
The very beginning of the book has a disclaimer that the Gungan language is hard to read, and they are very right. The pseudo Jamaican is hard enough to listen to, but even harder to read. I don't think readers could stand much more Gungan-speak beyond the 90 pages in this book. I'm sure it was a challenge for Windham to write, too.
In the Gungan world, they've got weird names for everything. Transports are bongos. Pleasure ships are heyblibbers. You've got all these other freaky names. Then Jar Jar starts out the book working at "the Otoh Gunga Zoological Research Facility". That just doesn't sound like it fits. Can you imagine Jar Jar saying "Zoological Research Facility"? I can't. Maybe the name needed to be Gunganized.
Finally, the story seemed to fall into a bunch of scenes where something is trying to eat the heroes. Each time the creatures get progressively bigger and bigger, just like in the film. That works well for the game, but not so well for the story.
More poo poo and fart jokes from Jar Jar.