Jedi Apprentice #7 - The Captive Temple
by Jude Watson
Published by Scholastic
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
Paula's Rating: 4 out of 4
This is the seventh book in the Jedi Apprentice series. Somebody is causing problems at the Jedi Temple. Items are being stolen, things are breaking down, and other such annoying problems. The situation gets more serious, though, when someone tries to kill Yoda with a bomb. Yoda survives, of course, but the mystery of who planted it remains.
Qui-Gon returns to attempt to solve the mystery, and Obi-Wan is in tow. As you know from the previous books, Obi-Wan resigned from the Jedi. This makes his return to them extremely awkward. Can he regain the trust of his fellow students, the Jedi Council, and, more importantly, Qui-Gon?
Eventually we discover that Qui-Gon's evil former Padawan Xanatos is behind the terrorism. He is also using Obi-Wan's rival Bruck as a helper. It is up Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to stop them before the peace of the Jedi Temple is destroyed forever. But can Qui-Gon face and/or kill Xanatos without turning to the Dark Side? And can Obi-Wan regain his connection to the Force?
This book in the series gets deep into the relationship between the Padawan and the Master. The dynamics of their interdependence is explored as well as the consequences of breaking that trust. We also see that it is not a simple matter for Qui-Gon to just take Obi-Wan back. We see that a strong bond has been broken with long ranging effects. We learn that Obi-Wan has not only jeopardized the relationship between himself and Qui-Gon by leaving, but the trust between all Masters and Padawans. In a real world where kids don't think through the consequences of their behavior, this is an important lesson to be drilled home. Watson does this well.
But besides the deep side of things, there was a good dose of good old action. There were some excellent lightsaber battles between Obi-Wan and Bruck and Qui-Gon and Xanatos. Very fast paced and very intense.
Overall, this is another good addition to the Jedi Apprentice series.
Jude Watson, as usual, proves herself to be a writer that children, as well as adults, can enjoy. Adults should not hesitate to pick up these books; even without Jedi apprentices in tow.
Jude Watson is such a great character writer. She writes her characters appropriately for the place they are in their lives, but still stays true to their personalities in the movies. The relationship between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan is delightfully complex and filled with angst (for those of us inclined to the more dramatic side of stories). The emotions they put out are easy for any fan of any age to understand and relate to. Yet, for the parents out there, their relationship provides a great opportunity for talking with kids about the hard work it takes to build a friendship and reestablish trust.
The story has some good ol'-fashioned action. And, happily, there are many opportunities for the young Obi-Wan to show off his future action hero skills. This is a young reader's book and should rightly feature the younger hero doing most of the action.
My biggest complaint was the fact that there was little to no activity by the Jedi Council during this crisis. Why was Qui-Gon left to fight alone with Obi-Wan? You'd think when everything hit the fan in the Jedi Temple, you'd have a swarm of Jedi coming down to help in a second. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were pretty much left to deal with the problem on their own.
That's really my primary gripe. Other than that, a good read!
For adults, the mystery is easily solved. But Jedi apprentices reading these books will find the mystery just hard enough to cause a thrill as Obi-Wan takes them through the story. (Besides, adults should be reading these for the characters, not the mystery.)
Bruck's swan dive. Oy!
We have to wait WAY too long for the next book in the series to come out.