Jedi Quest: The Final Showdown

April 14, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

finalJedi Quest: The Final Showdown by Jude Watson


Watson brings the Jedi Quest series to a close with an aptly-titled novel. Obi-Wan, Anakin, Siri, Ferus, Soara, Darra, Ry-Gaul, and Tru travel to Korriban, the ancient home-world of the Sith, to face down Jenna Zan Arbor and Granta Omega. Granta has finally done enough against the Jedi to gain attention of the Sith, and it’s there that he and Jenna will finally meet them and hope to become a part of their order. All of the main characters that began this adventure in The Way of the Apprentice return to bring it to a close.

Watson tried to parallel the events of The Way of the Apprentice, reigniting the rivalry between Anakin and Ferus, though in truth, the bulk of that rivalry is due to Anakin provoking Ferus. It’s still hard to be sympathetic with Anakin, since his ego gets in the way of his being a Jedi. He still feels the need to be the best, to make everything a competition, and it’s that characteristic that makes things go so terribly wrong on the mission.

I get it: Anakin isn’t supposed to be a fully sympathetic character. Watson balances a fine line of making his character compassionate enough for us to like him, but self-centered enough for us to recognize how unprepared he is to be a Jedi. With The Final Showdown, Watson isn’t just referring to the Jedi versus Omega; she’s also referring to Anakin versus the rest of the Jedi Order. In the end, it’s clear that he’s not ready, and since we know the movies, we know he’ll never be ready. It’s Obi-Wan’s insistence at training him and the sudden need for more Jedi that ultimately play into how Anakin becomes a Jedi.

At different points in the series, I got frustrated with Obi-Wan for giving Anakin so many breaks in his training, but in retrospect, what was the alternative? To throw him out of the Order with all that power and let him fend for himself? I’m wondering now if Obi-Wan was always well-aware of Anakin’s limitations, but figured he could serve as a positive influence on him in the hopes that some training would be better than none at all. How much faster would Anakin have fallen to the Dark Side without that guidance?

I still feel that the Jedi Apprentice is a better series than Jedi Quest, since Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan make for a more interesting relationship than Obi-Wan and Anakin, but I’m pleased with how Watson winds up the series. She doesn’t make things easy for Anakin, and she creates a clearer picture of how Anakin changes so much between Episode I and Episode II. I still wish she would have put a bit more focus on how he became so arrogant, but she makes strong enough suggestions as to not make it a complete mystery. I just would have preferred it being more on-stage.

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