Jedi Quest: The Way of the Apprentice

March 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

apprenticeJedi Quest: The Way of the ApprenticeĀ by Jude Watson


The Way of the Apprentice continues the Jedi Quest series, even though this is volume one of the series. Path to Truth was a prologue of sorts, highlighting Anakin alone, but this book shows him among his peers at the Academy. Watson places Anakin at the same age as Obi-Wan was in Jedi Apprentice, and attempts to capture their relationship in a similar way. Unfortunately, Anakin’s character lacks a lot of the empathy Obi-Wan did, even at that age, and the series is harder for me to like, especially since Anakin is intended to be the main character of the series.

In this story, four Master-Apprentice teams are sent to Radnor, a planet that has been ravaged by a toxic cloud that is overwhelming the planet. They’re to help evacuate the remaining citizens, but once there, their ship is stolen, and they get caught up in investigating the source of the cloud. The series being what it is (and with Watson at the helm), of course there’s more to it than what it seems, and the six of them race to understand how to best help the planet.

The main focus of the story is on the apprentices, who are separated from their masters near the start of the story. Anakin has befriended one of them over their mechanical skills, but he makes an enemy of sorts out of another one, namely because he’s very good at being a Jedi apprentice. Anakin is jealous, thinking that he’s the best, and the two of them butt heads throughout the story as they each try to take charge of their situation. It wasn’t endearing to Anakin at all (and I’m sure Watson didn’t want us to side with Anakin here), but since half the story is told from his perspective, half of the story becomes insufferable because we just want to smack him and tell him to grow up.

I get it — Watson wants to show how Anakin always had the potential to fall to the dark side. The thing is, the crucial development of his character would have taken place between the end of Episode I and the beginning of Jedi Quest, which Watson overlooks. Episode I Anakin is too sweet and too caring to believe that he would become Darth Vader, and Watson starts the series with his personality already too close to Episode II Anakin. Maybe she will utilize some flashbacks throughout the series to fill in that gap.

To me, that’s the most important development, and the biggest sticking point to me regarding Anakin in the Expanded Universe. If Watson doesn’t address it, then it’s still the biggest gap in the story, and the one that I’m most interested in reading. If not, I guess I can hold out hope that the new canon does a better job of showing his character development.

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