The Desperate Mission (Star Wars: The Last of the Jedi) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/5/1
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After Obi-Wan is betrayed by Anakin, Obi-Wan raises Luke Skywalker on the remote planet of Tatooine. Later, Obi-Wan discovers that at least one Jedi has survived the destruction of the Jedi Order by the Empire. Obi-Wan must make a difficult choice between staying on Tatooine with Luke or going to the heart of the Empire to find the Jedi.Obi-Wan Kenobi watches over a young Luke Skywalker and searches for a former Jedi apprentice who may have survived Darth Vader's attack on the Jedi temple.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of character and plot. If you're the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to the last paragraph for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)
Life as he knew it has changed for Obi-wan Kenobi. The Jedi Knights have been destroyed - the inevitable outcome of Emperor Palpatine's Order 66 - and the worlds of the Republic have fallen into chaos. All that holds the fragile union together is the might of the galactic Empire, and the ruling Sith Lords of Palpatine and Darth Vader indeed rule using their greatest strength: fear.
THE DESPERATE MISSION opens a few years after the events depicted in the motion picture, RISE OF THE SITH, with Obi-wan now living in exile on the planet Tatooine under the name of `Ben Kenobi.' As he faithfully promised Yoda, Ben now spends his days watching a young Luke Skywalker grow up on the homestead belonging to his aunt and uncle, Owen and Beru Lars. However, Ben senses a disturbance in the Force when, on a chance trip to Mos Eisley for supplies, he learns that a former/fallen Jedi named Ferus Olin is still alive but appears to be in great danger. After some debate, Kenobi decides it's time for him to take one last desperate mission on behalf of his Order; he leaves his duties on Tatooine in Qui-Gon's hands, and he spirits off to the world of Bellassa to help his friend-in-need.
Scholastic readers have plenty to delight over in MISSION. It's a noble entry into the worlds created by George Lucas, and author Jude Watson certainly delves deeply into the mind of Kenobi (his thoughts on the state of the Empire, his fears of what happened and what might lie ahead, etc.). The man has had to come to grips personally with whatever role he may've played in Anakin Skywalker's downfall, and his meditation on the subject has left him feeling somewhat flawed. He's gotten over questioning why he didn't see the event coming, and, instead, he's set himself on a course to achieve a new balance to the Force that Yoda believed could and would transpire some day (once Luke and Leia come of age). In fact, I think Watson has done a stellar job showing how Kenobi probably evolved from the events of the Prequel Trilogy and set the character well on course for the man he'd become in the Original Trilogy.
I find it no surprise - after doing some research - that many adult fans of Star Wars have ventured into these books and found some welcome enjoyment. Watson gets terrific mileage out of the existing Star Wars history - there are plenty of references to characters and events of the Prequel Trilogy, and there are cameos by even some folks who've not yet matured into the prominence they'll have in STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. It's easy to see (under Watson's influence) how Kenobi accepted this challenge and made it a personal quest to help put the galaxy back on the road toward healing. No doubt, the last of the Jedi saw this as `his destiny.'
Plus, MISSION comes to an end with a smashing theatrical cliffhanger - just like the best Star Wars movies did - so major kudos are awarded for knowing exactly what the audience wants and delivering a grand set-up for things-to-come in the next installment.
STAR WARS: THE LAST OF THE JEDI #1: THE DESPERATE MISSION is published by Scholastic Paperbacks. While it's intended for young readers (probably fifth grade and up, though I could be wrong on the age specifics), it's still readable for teens, adults, or the Star Wars fan of any age.
RECOMMENDED. It's nothing all that fancy, but STAR WARS: THE LAST OF THE JEDI #1: THE DESPERATE MISSION is a good read - a solid entry by author Jude Watson for young readers into the Star Wars universe. The galaxy far, far away is a much different place for Obi-wan Kenobi than it has been for years. The Jedi are all but gone, but, as he carries on waiting for `a new hope,' he's given a mission by his mentor from the beyond - Qui-Gon Jinn - that just might prepare him for events to come.
This was an entertaining, fast-paced, and exciting story. Although there's a lot of "Star Wars" fiction that takes place long before or long after the events of the motion picture trilogies, my favorite books in the "expanded universe" tend to be those that fit between the cracks of the films, showing what happened in between or shortly before or after the various movies. These "crack" books are fun because they pick up where the films leave off and feature the characters and situations I'm most familiar with (while adding some all-new ones to the mix).
"The Desperate Mission" may have been written with a younger audience in mind (two characters who play pivotal roles are in their early teens), but it's hardly simplistic or watered-down in any way. Death and loss are major themes, with the threat of mass executions of innocent civilians a key plot point. In fact, I found this book to be more in line with the classic "Star Wars" spirit and tone than some of the full-length novels that have been released, which often seem too ponderous or pretentious in comparison. At its best, "Star Wars" is entertaining for fans of all ages, and "The Desperate Mission" is a good example of this.
One final note: the ending is something of a cliffhanger, so you'll need to get the second book in the series, "Dark Warning", to see how Obi-Wan's story plays out. Happy reading, and may The Force be with you!
If you're thinking of buying a book for your kid, look at another one--this book will not help a reader to become more articulate, nor is it particularly entertaining. In terms of its fit with existing or future Star Wars "canon," I don't feel that this book expanded the Galaxy Far Far Away to any significant degree, if at all.