Rogue Planet

- Spoiler Review -

Rogue Planet is an interesting novel with both intriguing and bizarre ideas. This book is set three years after the events of The Phantom Menace, with the primary focus on Obi-Wan Kenobi and his young apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. They’ve been assigned to locate a missing Jedi on a mysterious planet, Zonama Sekot, which is also the manufacturer of strange, fast spaceships.

Synopsis:

The book begins with Anakin Skywalker sneaking out of the Jedi Temple to take part in a local race that is both dangerous and illegal. He nearly loses his life, mainly because a being called a Blood Carver is there to kill Anakin. The assassin nearly succeeds, but Obi-Wan intercepts the attack, and both Jedi escape.

After a strange encounter with Mace Windu and Thracia Cho Leem, Obi-Wan and Anakin are dispatched to Zonama Sekot to look for Leem’s former apprentice, Vergere. They depart immediately, via an incredibly bizarre transport consisting of a strange captain named Charza Kwinn and strange shipmates, who have apparently assisted the Jedi for years.

Once on the planet, Obi-Wan and Anakin seek to purchase and build one of the mystical ships that are manufactured there. All the while, Obi-Wan and Anakin have interesting exchanges, and the reader gets a nice glimpse into the mind of the young Skywalker.

Meanwhile, Wilhuff Tarkin is becoming a rising star within the Republic. He tasks the talented engineer Raith Sienar with taking control of Zonama Sekot and thus the local spaceship manufacturing, but Tarkin sets the plan up for failure so he can intercept and look like the victor. He also sends Ke Daiv, the Blood Carver who previously tried to kill Anakin, with Sienar to Zonama Sekot. Sienar tries to manipulate both his unpleasant situation and Ke Daiv, because he has his own plans, which includes securing his own Sekotan spaceship. Shortly thereafter, Ke Daiv is sent down to have a ship built.

His plans go awry, however, as Ke Daiv is rejected by the organic shipbuilding process, and Tarkin appears to take control of the invasion, which quickly escalates. Republic forces attack Zonama Sekot, but ultimately the planet forces prevail. In fact, the entire planet is a ship of sorts, as it begins to maneuver using enormous engines, and it eventually enters hyperspace.

Before that happens, though, Obi-Wan and Anakin were able to create one of the organic ships, but the two Jedi were separated by the planetary attack, and eventually Anakin was again confronted by Ke Daiv. Anakin gave in to the dark side and kills Ke Daiv. Shortly thereafter, Tarkin appears on the planet and confiscates both Anakin and his ship. Back on his ship, Tarkin is pleased by the fact that he was able to secure a Sekotan spaceship.

The small victory doesn’t last, as Obi-Wan makes it to Tarkin’s ship and forces the bay doors open. A bomb with a three minute timer is set by Charza before he departs in his transport. Obi-Wan and Anakin manage to escape in the Sekotan spaceship, but it is gravely damaged by the blast and eventually “dies”.

Ke Daiv is killed by Skywalker (Art by Jeff Carlisle from The Essential Reader's Companion)

Ke Daiv is killed by Skywalker (Art by Jeff Carlisle from The Essential Reader’s Companion)

Going back to the beginning, I’m not sure how Anakin managed to sneak out of the Temple, and how Ke Daiv was able to locate him at the races. Later on, Jedi Master Thracia Cho Leem mentions to Mace Windu about marriage, as if it’s an acceptable practice in the Order, but we discover later on in Attack of the Clones that attachments like marriage are forbidden. This book marks the first meeting between Anakin and Tarkin, but this fact and their unpleasant encounter seems to be overwritten by what we’ve seen in The Clone Wars animated series.

Strange bits aside, I think this book is worth a read, but Rogue Planet is yet another novel with plot points rendered obsolete by the ever-evolving Star Wars canon.

Bryan Dean is the founder and administrator of Knights’ Archive. You can follow him on Twitter at @bry_dean.

Publisher’s Summary:

MASTER AND APPRENTICE

The Force is strong in twelve-year-old Anakin Skywalker . . . so strong that the Jedi Council, despite misgivings, entrusted young Obi-Wan Kenobi with the mission of training him to become a Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan? like his slain Master Qui-Gon?believes Anakin may be the chosen one, the Jedi destined to bring balance to the Force. But first Obi-Wan must help his undisciplined apprentice, who still bears the scars of slavery, find his own balance.

Dispatched to the mysterious planet of Zonama Sekot, source of the fastest ships in the galaxy, Obi-Wan and Anakin are swept up in a swirl of deadly intrigue and betrayal. They sense a disturbance in the Force unlike any they have encountered before. It seems there are more secrets on Zonama Sekot than meet the eye. But the search for those secrets will threaten the bond between Obi-Wan and Anakin . . . and bring the troubled young apprentice face-to-face with his deepest fears?and his darkest destiny.

Rogue Planet