Episode I Journal
by Jude Watson
Published by Scholastic
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
The premise of this book is that Darth Maul keeps a journal for the Sith Archives. This is that journal.
It describes Darth Maul's early years and training, while still leaving a lot unsaid. We learn that Darth Maul is from Iridonia and he was taken from there as a baby by Darth Sidious. (We do not learn Maul's real name, who his parents were, or what his species is.) Maul describes some of his early training and adventures as a boy. He looks back with fondness at Darth Sidious' twisted parenting. "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger" seems to tbe the motto.
The book also details everything on screen and off during Episode I. We see Maul being sent to Tatooine, and encounter with pirates there, a fight with the Tusken Raiders, and more.
The final entry on the journal is written by Darth Sidious since Darth Maul is, well, dead and can't finish the story. We hear Sidious tell of his plans for his next apprentice.
This considers the "Jedi Readers" series which is great for kids learning to read.
It's incredibly cool to see Darth Maul in action again. Even if this is very brief, it's still rewarding. Watson had a fairly tough job of detailing the early training of Darth Maul, but it was done well. We understand a little more of where Maul is coming from.
I thought one of the scenes where Sidious gives Maul a final test before making him a Lord was great. The lightsaber battle between master and apprentice was exciting. It was also fun to see Maul battle it out with the Sand People.
I was never 100% clear as to why Maul hated the Jedi so much. He loathes them and is eager to kill them, but I never understood why.
I was also a bit disappointed that so much of Maul's history was laid out here. I would have rather seen the origins of Maul in an adult novel. Now whatever follows must fit in with the journal, and a little bit of the suprise is taken away. There's still a lot to learn about Maul, but this has taken much of the mystery from that story.
Also, the other two journals in this series were printed on slick, glossy paper with cool borders and photos. This was printed on standard paper with no frills, yet they are all the exact same price. What's up?
Young Darth Maul being attacked by a bunch of dinkos. (It's worse than it sounds.)