Jedi Apprentice series begins a fresh
storyline with Defenders of the Dead, leaving behind the
initial story arc that catalogued Qui-Gon’s and Obi-Wan’s
burgeoning relationship. This new arc seems to deal with “the
adolescent condition” and by that I mean a constant striving for
personal identity, usually through latching onto a variety of social
cliques based on whether or not their particular dogma appeals at
any one given time. Obi-Wan is taken in by the ideals of the Young,
a group of children who have had enough of their parents’ war and
are determined to settle the matter their own way.
"The opening didn’t really draw me in particularly well.
Compared to the previous volumes, this one seemed to be handled
quite ham-fistedly, with the usual efficiency and flair replaced by
child-like explanations that lacked any subtlety at all. I also had
issues with how mature the behaviour of some of the Young
was, given that they were barely teenagers. They did, however,
evolve into what one might imagine: filled with impetuousness and
stubbornness and showing their indignant naïveté. Obi-Wan’s
gradual descent into adolescent impulsiveness is well-handled, as is
his desperate longing to “belong” and the decisions that he
makes are fitting given his emotional state.
"Hopefully this story arc will lead to a valuable lesson for
Obi-Wan about the nature of the universe. I appreciate this is a
rather clichéd statement, but my fear is that the Young’s
decisions will all be vindicated and the adults will be forced to
look chagrined in an unsatisfying inversion of normalcy where the
children know best. Fortunately, I doubt that will be the case,
given Watson’s talent for writing.
"Overall slow to start, this nevertheless piques the curiosity
with a cliff-hanger that will leave you wanting more."