Star Wars: The Last of the Jedi #10 – Reckoning
by Jude Watson
Published by Scholastic
Adrick's Rating: 2.3 out of 4
When Ferus Olin was a young Jedi apprentice, his rival was a headstrong student named Anakin Skywalker.
Now Ferus is older, trying to save the Jedi Order from extinction. His enemy, however, remains the same. Because Anakin Skywalker is now Darth Vader…and Darth Vader wants Ferus Olin destroyed.
This is their final encounter.
The fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance.
Jude Watson’s Jedi Apprentice books were some of the first EU books I ever read, and I’ve been following the series closely as it transitioned to Jedi Quest and finally to Last of the Jedi. This is the final book in that series, and marks the end—for now, at least—of the Jedi centered young adult novels. Several characters from throughout Watson’s books naturally play a part in this final installment—and not all of them make it out alive. I’m going to miss them.
There are quite a few scenes I really liked in Reckoning. There’s an exchange between Obi-Wan’s friend Astri and a young Imperial officer at blasterpoint that’s very well set up, and another good one when Vader’s mole is revealed at last. And the final scene is very fitting; once again bringing Watson’s Star Wars work full circle.
The problem with a lot of the Last of the Jedi books lately is that it seems like Watson is trying to fit too much book into too few pages. There’s enough material here for about three of her Jedi Apprentice books. Watson might have done well to take a page out of Troy Denning's Invincible, and drop some of the supporting characters in order to concentrate on the hero/villian showdown. There’s also very little suspense here because we’ve had heavy hints as to the nature of Vader’s plan for the past several books. We know what’s coming.
Even so, there isn’t a whole lot more I can say without spoiling the book, but a lot of Reckoning seems unbelievable and incoherent. Characters eavesdrop on Vader with ease, go bouncing around from the Core to the Outer Rim after sustaining life-threatening injuries… And take this exchange, for example:
“A Star Destroyer? He’s in a Star Destroyer?” Trever’s voice went high and thin. “That’s not good news. He could have hundreds of starfighters in that thing.”
“I doubt it. He’s probably running with a small crew. He won’t think he’ll need that much support. We can’t outrun him. We just have to hope we can beat him there and evacuate the others.”
"We can’t outrun a Star Destroyer!”
“Don’t tell me we can’t, Trever.”
That’s probably a typo, but somebody should have realized it didn’t make sense, and it’s not the only part where Watson contradicts herself within a few pages.
Finally, while I didn’t mind how the book ended, exactly, the way in which Watson handled it seemed a little too neat and tidy for my taste.
Moonstrike. It just doesn’t pay to be a Rebel this early in the game.