“But the strongest reason for taking on the project-and perhaps the one that kept them all working without complaint-was that it forged a bond among the four friends. They learned to function as a team, to make the most of each person’s strengths and to compensate for each other’s weaknesses. The strands of their friendships intertwined and wove together in a pattern as simple as it was strong.”
“Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force” by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta
Though I’ve always been a fan of the Star Wars series and its extensive lore, though I have a gazillion of the books, I’ve never actually reall sat down and read many of them. As it stands now, the extensive bibliography is a little intimidating, leaving someone unsure of where to start and how to begin. It was the same thing when I was growing up, which is why, out of the whole extended Star Wars universe, the only book I’ve really read was this one. And I figured it was a good place to start as I attempt to cross into that vast universe once again.
The Young Jedi Knights series came out when I was in middle school, so the timing was perfect. It was a series of young adult books focusing on the twin children of Han Solo and Princess Leia, Jacen and Jaina Solo, and their time at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy. The first book in the series, Heirs of the Force, gives us a great introduction to the characters, hints at a lot of the rich history of the universe that more knowledgeable readers are likely to appreciate, in a fresh, easy-to-read language that not only appealed to me when I was eleven, but appeals to me still today on the cusp of twenty-eight. I remember being pleasantly surprised at how well written some of the descriptions in this book are. Though some of the epitaphs (Telel Ka’s “red-gold” hair, Lowbacca’s “ginger fur,” and, of course, the twins’ “brandy-colored eyes,” which even when I was young seemed a weird choice because I was eleven. I wasn’t even sure what brandy was except that it was alcohol and therefor not for kids) get a little redundant, the descriptions of the locations and creatures are deft, concise and some of the best description passages I’ve read.
The story itself is a good one, too; in their explorations of the moon planet Yavin 4, the twins and their friends encounter an old crashed TIE fighter from back in the days when the Empire was attacking the Rebel base, now turned Jedi School. Not only is it a great way to tie this series of books in with the original source material, but it also gives us the fascinating antagonist of Qorl, the TIE Fighter’s pilot who has been in the jungles for the last twenty years…and is still fighting for the Empire, long since destroyed.
Due to its target audience, Heirs of the Force was a quick read (about a day and a half), with an ending that wraps up in a little bit of a Saturday morning cartoon adventure kind of way, but it’s a good read, well written, and still rich with all the complexities that make the Star Wars extended universe so appealing. I’m excited to tackle a few more of the Young Jedi Knights books to help pad my book count and dip my toes into the water before trying to dive full force in with the main novels. Plus, I’m just glad to have a chance to fall back in love with a character who has left an impact on me since I was little, Tenel Ka. This is a fact.
If anyone reading this has any suggestions for their favorite Star Wars books or where is a good place to start, too, I’d love to hear them! I think I might tackle the Jedi Academy books after these ones, or perhaps the X-Wing series, since I’ve heard such good things about that one. Recommendations are always awesome!
Books read: 11/100.