Review: The Jedi Academy Trilogy
The Jedi Academy Trilogy
Author: Kevin J. Anderson
- NOTE: The following contains SPOILERS!
Release Date: March 1994
I thought the beginning to this trilogy was good. In Jedi Search, Luke begins his quest of finding prospective Jedi to assist the New Republic, much like the Knights of old. This novel kept my attention as Luke traveled the galaxy looking for such ones, and eventually finding a few.
Meanwhile, Han again finds himself in a rather desperate situation, as he, along with Chewie, is captured and imprisoned on Kessel. They find that the mines of Kessel is a very dangerous place, and I was easily able to grasp the environment and how deadly it was. In the depths, they come across a young Kyp Durron, who would be instrumental in their escape. Which leads them to an even more dangerous place. Now, for those that haven’t read this novel, I would reveal what they find, but Jedi Search has a few surprises waiting for the reader.
Lando has an adventure of his own, as he assists Luke in finding Jedi prospects, which later turns out to be a rewarding experience for him. Mixed in with the main plots are some of the political maneuverings of the New Republic, involving Mon Mothma and Leia Organa Solo. We are also shown the difficulty of Leia’s position within the New Republic vs. her fairly new role as wife and mother.
Jedi Search had a good pace and kept my attention throughout. As I finished the book, I began to question the negativity that exists about this trilogy.
Release Date: July 1994
The second in the series started kinda slow for me. The story picks back up on Yavin IV, which is the location of the new Jedi Academy. I felt as underwhelmed as Luke felt inadequate about the training process. I know Luke didn’t have much practice as a Master before training students, but jeez, the whole process felt weak and frail. If anything, it certainly made it more believable that Luke would lose students in the process.
Another disappointment with this book is the Millennium Falcon wrangling involving Han and Lando. I felt distracted by that. And it couldn’t be limited to one part of the book. I had to read about it THREE times. I don’t know the reasoning behind including the betting. Just seemed to take the reader away from the main story for no good reason.
The whole plot involving the twins and their meanderings through the bowels of Coruscant was unbelievable and took up much of the novel, yet somehow felt rushed. In one instant, the twins are lost and surrounded by strangers, in the next, they are back at home; and that’s it. The conclusion to that little side plot was gone as soon as it started.
I loved the idea of Exar Kun, but felt more time could have been spent developing the character and his interactions with the students he seduced to the Dark Side. Yet another area that felt rushed. While we’re on the subject of “Exar Kun” and “rushed”, lets talk about Kyp Durron. One moment I reading about a daredevil kid that is best buds with Han Solo, the next I’m reading about someone that turns dark, pulls a ship out of a gas giant, and is later referred to as Darth Vader. Whoa buddy, lets hit the brakes a little bit. Instead of all these MANY side plots and secondary characters that have no depth, lets take time to actually develop the characters so their story is believable.
Yet another rushed element was the romance between Wedge and Qwi. That felt completely out of place and rather unnecessary. Just another distraction in a book full of distractions. You know what I mean? A book entitled Dark Apprentice rambles on about skiing, ship betting, two little brats getting lost in Coruscant, an underwater trek through the depths of Calamari that was a complete waste of time in the end, a rushed whisper of a romance between one of the finest pilots in the New Republic and a newly ex-scientist of the Empire (match made in heaven), Mara showing up at the academy and then quickly wanting to leave because of sheer boredom (you and me both, honey), and a crash landing that left me completely underwhelmed in the end. All I want to know is, who the heck was the Dark Apprentice? I assume it’s Kyp.
I would have preferred the Jedi training to be focus on the novel, with a couple background plots, like Daala and Exar Kun. As it stands now, there is just too much going on.
Champions of the Force
Release Date: October 1994
Not much to say here other than that I was somewhat underwhelmed. The only part of the novel that truly grabbed my attention was at the very beginning when Kyp attacked the Imperial academy on Carida.
I did feel that the Luke/Jacen battle against the creatures of Yavin IV was another exciting moment. Again, I loved the idea of Exar Kun and the fact that the Jedi students rose up to confront him, but the actual confrontation was disappointing. As far as the whole “Jedi Academy” thing in general (the supposed main theme here), there just wasn’t enough of it. What little we did have of this new Jedi Academy, sorry to say again, lacked depth.
Everything about Anoth and Kessel was as dull as the planets themselves, and the final battles in the Maw just didn’t excite me.
The Jedi Academy Trilogy receives a 3 out of 5.
- Master Optician