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Jedi Apprentice #2
Jedi Apprentice #2: The Dark Rival
By Jude Watson
44 years before ANH
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This is the second book in an on-going series that shows us the "hows and wherefores" of the early years of the relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn


This second book in the Jedi Apprentice series picks up right where book #1, The Rising Force, left off. In that first Jedi Apprentice book Obi-Wan was sent on his first mission away from his sheltered life at the Jedi Temple. He is 12 years old, nearing his 13th birthday, and on the cusp of the age-limit where Jedi trainees must be apprenticed to a Jedi Master, or in the failure of that, assigned to the Agricultural Corps and forever abandon their hope of becoming a Jedi Knight. By a twist of fate……or the Force…..Qui-Gon Jinn is traveling on the same mining freighter as Obi-Wan, bound for the planet Bandomeer. Their trip to Bandomeer is eventful, and requires Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon to work together to ensure the ship's safe arrival at their destination. But still Qui-Gon refuses to take Obi-Wan as his apprentice. Book #2, The Dark Rival, takes off from there. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan have just arrived on Bandomeer, ostensibly with disparate missions to accomplish. Obi-Wan is to monitor land reclamation efforts in the planetary "outback" for the Agricultural Corps, while Qui-Gon has been brought to Bandomeer to mediate a mining dispute. Is it any surprise that their tasks will intersect? The fulcrum of this merging of goals, and the deep-rooted cause of Qui-Gon's reticence to accept Obi-Wan as his Padawan, is Qui-Gon's former apprentice, Xanatos. Xanatos abbandoned Qui-Gon and betrayed his Jedi teaching, and he chooses this moment in time, and this planet….Bandomeer…. as his staging ground for renewed confrontation with Qui-Gon. Qui-Gon must face his own failure with Xanatos, learn to move on from his past torments, and save the miners on Bandomeer; Obi-Wan meanwhile, must sort lies from truth in his dealings with Xanatos, earn Qui-Gon's trust, and find new strength in the Force to escape enslavement on a deep-sea mining platform.


Author Dave Wolverton started the series, and author Jude Watson continues it almost seemlessly. As with the first book, The Dark Rival, is an action-packed adventure, and not at all just a "kiddie" book. The characters' dialogue, and internal dialogue feels right on, not forced or over-explained (as is sometimes the case in young-adult literature). Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are portrayed completely consistently with their movie depictions. Moreover, the rocky start they struggle through in these first two novels, and the way in which they begin to respect and trust one another, is subtly crafted and resonates movingly with what we witnessed of their relationship in SW:Episode 1.

There is also a growing cast of Jedi Apprentice supporting characters. Already, Obi-Wan has befriended the introspective Arconan Si Treemba, and, in this book we meet the sarcastic Phindian Guerra, a very lively companion. That is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the better of the Expanded Universe endeavours.……..EU personalities interacting with film characters in a well-blended "stew". The Dark Rival is an excellent continuation of a series and so far, the Jedi Apprentice stories are very quick reads, and more than worth the time.