Legacy of the Jedi

November 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Reads)

legacyLegacy of the Jedi by Jude Watson

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I hadn’t planned on reading any of the juvenile books in the Expanded Universe. There are enough adult books in the EU as it is, and I didn’t feel like doubling the number of books to read was a good idea. As I came out of the Clone Wars and into the period before A New Hope, I wondered about Boba Fett. Research showed that his story was told more in the juvenile books, written by Terry Bisson and Elizabeth Hand, and I thought, what the hell. Since I’ve been reading these books in chronological order, I decided to go back to the beginning of the timeline of the juvenile books and get caught up before moving on to The Last Jedi, the next book in the series for adults.

Legacy of the Jedi is about Lorian Nod, who trained to be a Jedi alongside Dooku. The story is comprised of four short stories, the first about Lorian and Dooku, the second about Dooku and Qui-Gon, the third about Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, and the last about Obi-Wan and Anakin. Lorian is the thread that connects the stories, and we see his growth over the years as he encounters these characters. I liked seeing Watson develop the character, as well as how she characterized the other characters we already know. She did a great job capturing Dooku’s inflexibility and distance especially. Lorian isn’t drawn as well as any of the others, but he’s not the point-of-view character for any of the stories, so we only see him as the other characters do.

Watson writes with economy, which could be due to her target audience. I’m used to books written for younger readers using broad strokes for characters, settings, and theme, but on the flip side there are books like the Harry Potter series and Carl Hiaasen’s children’s books where the books are no less than what would be written for adults. Either way, Watson’s style doesn’t sacrifice anything to make her story accessible to her readers. It’s definitely on a different level from, say, Karen Traviss’ work, but it’s no less interesting or engaging because of it.

The stories themselves seem to be simplistic, with the resolutions being obvious at the start of each. Each story was about 50 pages long, so Watson didn’t have a lot of time to develop any individual story. The action is minimal, and the danger is rarely life-threatening. Still, she manages to touch on themes of environmentalism, corruption, and politics without forcing them into the stories, which I liked.

It’s hard for me to judge the book as a kids’ book, since I don’t read many of them, but I thought it was an enjoyable read. Watson’s written a ton of books in the juvenile EU, and if this is a sample of what she can do, I’m looking forward to the rest of them.

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2 Comments

  1. Bookstooge said,

    I just started following you, so if you’ve answered this some other time, please forgive me.

    Why are you reading the EU now that it has been abolished by Disney and they are doing their own, brand new, thing? I’m curious :-)

    • Isaac said,

      Well, I’m almost a year late to responding, but:

      I know a lot of folks were upset over Disney abandoning the canon, but I wasn’t among them. The way I see it, there are two distinctive timelines to one great franchise, both of which have some great stories in them. By restarting the canon, Disney didn’t do anything to the stories themselves; a good story is a good story.

      Plus, I’ve read at least five books in the Legends EU that are better than any of the prequel trilogy movies.

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