The Last Jedi

July 31, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

lastThe Last Jedi by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

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It’s weird returning to an adult Star Wars book after having read so many juvenile books previously. It makes the differences between the two literature stand out, since the simplified storytelling of the juvenile books makes for such quick, easy reads. Plus, the shorter lengths of the juvenile books meant there weren’t many subplots; with The Last Jedi, they’re more prominent.

Reaves returns to his usual cast of characters with The Last Jedi, bringing back Jax Pavan, I-5YQ, and Den Dhur, all of whom featured in the Coruscant Nights series. In fact, it follows the events of Patterns of Force so much that I’m surprised it’s not a part of that series. In this book, Thi Xon Yimmon, Jedi Knight and leader of the Whiplash rebellion group, is kidnapped by Darth Vader, and Jax goes on a long journey to get him back. Jax also loses Laranth in the same confrontation where Yimmon is kidnapped, so he’s entertaining dark thoughts, and is tempted by the dark side, especially since he has a Sith holocron in his possession. Jax struggles to balance the Force within himself, and for most of the novel, he’s doing his own thing, without any input from I-5 or Den.

Part of what made Reaves’ other Expanded Universe novels interesting was his use of these central characters, building on and developing their characters from one story to the next. From I-5’s sardonic quips to Den’s pessimistic outlook, with Jax trying to manage the entire group despite all of that, the characters were engaging and served as the anchor for the stories. By dividing them in this book, Reaves removes the key to his story, and it’s a lot less interesting for it. Jax travels from place to place trying to locate and rescue Yimmon, and sometimes I-5 and Den are with him, and sometimes they aren’t. In fact, for as much as I-5 and Den actually serve a purpose in the book, they may as well not even have been featured at all.

For as lengthy as this book is (460 pages), not much happens. There’s a lot of traveling, a lot of backtracking, and a lot of angst-ridden introspection that carries the story, and frankly it’s pretty boring. Under different circumstances, it might not have bothered me much, but after reading the cleaner, more direct juvenile books, The Last Jedi wasn’t the right book to ease me back in to reading the adult books. I’ve been toying with shifting my attention to the new canon books and reading those to stay on top of the new movies, and this might be a good time to make that shift. I’ve made my way through and beyond the prequel trilogies, and the next book I have to read is from the older wave of EU novels. I believe my next read in this project will be Catalyst.

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