Legacy Of The Jedi
by Jude Watson
Published by Scholastic
Scott's Rating: 4 out of 4
The book cover for this young readers’ hardcover gives a better description of the story than anything I could come up with:
“Lorian Nod is a promising Jedi apprentice. A Padawan named Dooku is his best friend. Under the watchful eye of Yoda, they are preparing to become Jedi Knights. Dooku knows their fate is intertwined…yet he is not prepared for a turn of events that reveals the Dark Side to him for the first time.
Years later, Dooku is a Jedi Master and Lorian Nod is a pirating outcast. With an unforeseen desire for revenge, Dooku works to thwart his former friend – even if it means crossing his own apprentice, Qui-Gon Jinn…
When Qui-Gon himself becomes a Jedi Master, the specter of Lorian Nod still looms. As Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Kenobi struggle to find their place as Master and Padawan, they must work together to prevent an interplanetary threat – and to outwit a very familiar enemy…
During the Clone Wars, Lorian Nod wants to play a pivotal role as the Republic battles to keep hold of a strategic planet. On one side, Obi-Wan and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, must decide whether they can trust such an infamous figure. On the other side, the now compromised Count Dooku has a score to settle against his old nemesis…”
I think this is probably the best Star Wars book Jude Watson has ever done. It was really satisfying to me as a reader on many levels. The book is essentially four short stories in one, so the pace is incredibly fast. The tale gets right to the point quickly and never lets up. It also gives you a wide variety of characters and relationships to enjoy. Besides introducing us to the relationship between Dooku and Qui-Gon, you get to revisit the characters you are already familiar with. Seeing Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan together again felt like revisiting old friends. All these elements together made Legacy Of The Jedi a very enjoyable read.
This book is noteworthy because it gives you the first glimpse into the history of Count Dooku. Seeing him as a Padawan was incredibly cool and you get your first hints of him turning to the Dark Side. It’s interesting to see how Yoda deals with him. It’s even more interesting to see the relationship between him and his Padawan Qui-Gon. Their relationship is so cold and distant, it helps give insight into why Qui-Gon behaved the way he did with Obi-Wan. He was looking for something more in a Padawan / Master relationship. The final conflict between Dooku and Lorian Nod was also pretty deep as the two childhood friends face off as adult enemies. It’s pretty intense for a young reader’s novel.
I was glad to see this labeled as a Clone Wars novel. I like to see Lucasfilm highlight the stories of this eras, even if it seems to have been put together as an afterthought. All these Clone Wars novels are fairly independent, so you can pretty much pick up anywhere in the stories and be up to speed.
Finally, I have to say I like the cover. David Mattingly and Keirsten Geise did a pretty darn good job finding (and Photoshopping) people to look like young Christopher Lee and Liam Neeson. It helped me visualize the characters in younger incarnations while reading.
In short, I highly recommend this book for Star Wars fans of all ages. It’s one you won’t want to miss.
About the only problem I had with this book was the continual reappearance of Lorian Nod. It seems unlikely that he would turn up as a pirate, a head of a security force, and a planetary leader considering his past. It was too much of a coincidence for him to appear as often as he did. However, I acknowledge that he’s the thread that ties all the stories together and without him this would have been a pretty boring novel. I still think he turned good a little too easily, though.
My only other complaint is the fact that this is labeled as a young reader’s novel. I think a lot of fans are going to overlook this excellent story simply because they’ll write it off as kid’s stuff. I really wish this book and this whole concept would have been done as a full hardcover adult novel so it would have received more recognition and credibility with fans. I also think there was a lot more potential adventure and story here that could have gone beyond the 200 page count.
Nothing to add here.