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Weapon of the Jedi - A Luke Skywalker Adventure [REVIEW - NO SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Books & Comics + Legends' started by Ben_Kenobi, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. Ben_Kenobi

    Ben_Kenobi Rebel General

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    Just got all of my new titles from Amazon. Decided I would go with this one first. Young reader books are easy to digest and I enjoy analyzing their core plots w/out the adult novel intricacies. So here is my review from Amazon.com

    “Weapon of the Jedi” a fantastic title in the best tradition of Star Wars. It will delight the young readers and make the adults revisit their inner child. Jason Fry understands what makes a SW story work and delivers it with heart and imagination.

    STORY: It’s a short tale set in one location that feels like an act of a much larger play and yet managed to capture all the core elements of a “hero’s journey.” We find Luke still as a young, naïve rebel pilot learning what it means to be a Jedi. The Force is the central theme of the book and I was delighted with Jason’s treatment of it. Once again the Force is a magical power surrounded with mysticism. Here the Jedi are a legend of old wizards who stood of peace (not generals in the military or a space police force.) Chapter 8 in particular left me with a sense of wonder, bringing back Yoda’s teachings from Ep.V. It is a true return to form and the best part the book. There’s also a colorful cast of supporting characters, a beautifully fleshed out exotic location, and solid action. Nothing here is particularly innovative but, more importantly, the story is expertly told, with vivid prose and a sense of urgency!

    CHARACTERS: I was instantly sold on Luke’s characterization. Jason Fry effortlessly recreates the Luke we love and remember from the films. Mark Hamill’s mannerism never feels forced. He literally comes alive from the pages and responds to situations the way you would expect him to. Luke’s first steps into learning how to control, or rather submit to the force is also beautifully portrayed! (In “Heir to the Jedi” novel he movies noodles for practice, which I found completely absurd! Here the force is not a trivial “mind trick.” There’s a logical narrative extension of his training from Ep.IV taken to the next step!)The same is true with R2 and Threepio, their back and forth banter is on the money! The new cast is there mainly for support and help add purpose to the plot.

    ACTION: Without giving anything away I will say the action was quite enjoyable. Parents buying the book for their children shouldn’t worry about the level of violence. The writer avoids brutal vocabulary but gives just enough hints for adult readers to image its full extent. The space battle is vivid and well-choreographed and there is a cool surprise for the ground battle.

    I’ve read practically all of the existing Star Wars novels and thought I would never read anything as great as Kevin J. Anderson’s and Rebecca Moesta’s famous “Young Jedi Knights” series. I was very pleasantly surprised with this book. Thank you Jason Fry. I’m looking forward to new great SW stories from you in the years to come!
     
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  2. LadyMusashi

    LadyMusashi Archwizard Woo-Woo-in-Chief
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    I worried that this book will not be for me, because I am hardly the target audience. Apparently I am junior at heart. :D

    I agree about Fry's treatment of the Force. I liked the way he wrote it, inside Luke's head and the connection to Episode IV, especially that Ben did more to help Luke. I also liked the description of Jedi temple. Ditto about space battles and Luke/Wedge tag team.

    On the down side, I found C3PO a bit overwhelming in all three of these novels, though he had some funny lines. That may be because I dislike whiners in real life as well. :p

    Overall, these junior novels pleasantly surprised me.
     
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  3. Ben_Kenobi

    Ben_Kenobi Rebel General

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    I enjoy reading the teen fiction since it focuses on the same story elements without the complexity of adult novel. It's easy to spot great storytelling and these books totally deliver. I've picked up a few "how to write" books with hopes of getting into writing myself. This book is a great tool for exploring the language and the vocabulary it uses for its target readers. Even without explicit details you could feel the tension in battles thanks to solid build up! :)
     
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  4. Kyle

    Kyle Guest

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    I enjoyed this book MUCH more than Heir to the Jedi. That being said, I really think they could have gone a little deeper with Luke. I know it's targeted at the young adult crowd, but give those readers a little more. They want it just as much as us old farts.

    It wasn't terrible. I really enjoyed the introspective moment at the end where Luke swore to return and restore the Jedi Order.

    So...do you guys think the girl who grew up to be someone "quite capable" (I believe that's what 3PO said) is Captain Phasma? Too old to be Rey. Who do you guys have your money on?
     
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  5. Ben_Kenobi

    Ben_Kenobi Rebel General

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    Kyle, not sure if you've read other SW young reader novels? You can almost categorize how much "content" is usually put into a story depending on age group, this felt just right for a 8-12 yo crowd. If it were a 14-18 age group it would've been more to your liking.

    I absolutely loved the Moving Target, Smuggler's Run, and this one obviously. I think these are the best new cannon books so far. Yes they're short and mainly for kids but they capture the characters I grew up with! None of the other new novels managed do that so far.
     
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  6. Kyle

    Kyle Guest

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    Moving Target was my favorite of the 3.
     
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  7. Hard Case

    Hard Case Porg Whisperer
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    The target for these books is actually the pre-teen age group (9-12), whereas Lost Stars is a "young adult" novel. That being said, the target is merely a suggestion, kind of like Legos...it says 9-14 on the box, but c'mon...what adult with children still doesn't enjoy putting a set together. That being said, I enjoyed this quick read of a book. Haven't read the other two yet, but considering the target audience, this was well done. And it was worth the read anyway if only for the impact it has on the canon that will be brought to greater light in TFA.

    I'm expecting to see Jessika Pava and Farnay in TFA. Even if Jessika is just a device used for this story and we don't see her, given the way the story ended with the comment about Farnay, I'd say her being in TFA is about guaranteed. I'd say she'll show up as a Resistance officer or something. I doubt she's Phasma, cause she definitely has no love for the Empire, and she's a red-skinned Devaronian girl, so Rey is out anyways. But I do expect she'll come around.

    What I found interesting is the fact that when Pava was gushing over Luke Skywalker like he was some celebrity, that neither she nor Threepio mentioned that he hasn't been around for a while, which tells me, if he is missing in TFA, his disappearance is recent - or this may not even be the scenario at all.
     
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  8. Falcon

    Falcon Rebelscum

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    Thanks very much for your review! I thought I'd only buy Aftermath, but after mixed reviews - and very positive ones about the three short stories, I might give those young adult novels a go instead.

    Smuggler's Run will be the first. LEGO Millennium Falcon on the table and book at hand for a nice and nerdy afternoon. (falcon)
     
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  9. Ben_Kenobi

    Ben_Kenobi Rebel General

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    I'm in the middle of "Lost Stars" is it's turning out to be one of the better SW novels I read, old or new. Def. check it out as well!!!
     
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  10. Falcon

    Falcon Rebelscum

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    Thanks, Ben - the cover alone is a seller!
     
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  11. JeffG.

    JeffG. Ewok Hunter
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    Just started reading this one and so far so good. Do like the hints and not sure about Farnay in TFA but pretty positve Jessika Parva and Sarco Plank are. He's been pictured on Jakku.

    Just finished the book and it was pretty enjoyable. So I suppose this book takes place before the Star Wars comic in the timeline considering from what Threepio says to Jessika this being Luke's first time using his lightsaber in a battle. I did like how Luke trained a bit in the Temple with the remotes and it gives us more insight, apart from the comics on how he was coming into his powers.
    It was a little surprising that Sarco Plank turned on him though but I guess it shouldn't have been unexpected from what little Farnay knew of him. I wonder if Plank is wanting revenge in the future for Luke kicking him down into the depths of the Temple? We shall see. Now onto the next, Moving Target.
     
    #11 JeffG., Sep 16, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
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