Jedi Apprentice #6: The Hidden Path
By Jude Watson
44 years before ANH

This is the sixth 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.

SYNOPSIS

The fifth book in the Jedi Apprentice series, Defenders of the Dead, left us with a cliff-hanger, and number six, The Uncertain Path, picks up right where its predecessor left off.

Obi-Wan Kenobi has turned his back on the Jedi Order to stay on the war-ravaged planet Melida/Daan. The easy part is helping his new friends on Melida/Daan end the war; the hard part is taking a planet and a people who have known nothing for generations but fighting and prejudice and moving them past that to a peaceful, democratic government. And for Obi-Wan, more than the socio-political mountain to climb for Melida/Daan, is the personal quest to understand his role in the universe. Was it a mistake to abandon his Jedi path? Who is he and what is his purpose if not as a Jedi? And will Qui-Gon Jinn ever forgive him his impetuous decision, if he does want to return to Coruscant?

And back on Coruscant, Qui-Gon is struggling with his feelings of betrayal brought on by Obi-Wan's decision to stay on Melida/Daan. But there is no time to sort through his turmoil because no sooner has he arrived back at the Jedi Temple (with Tahl, the Jedi he and Obi-Wan went to Melida/Daan to rescue), when he and Tahl are embroiled in an investigation into a rash of thefts and vandalism centered on the Temple. Is there a larger, more nefarious plot at work?

 

MY WORDS OF WISDOM

 

The Uncertain Path takes a wee step backward from the earlier Jedi Apprentice books. The storyline centered on Melida/Daan is just a bit over-wrought, and the in fighting among and between the various factions jockeying for control of the planet teeters on the brink of melodrama. But the emotional element is still rich and fully developed, and not "dumbed-down" at all for the young reader. There are some lovely, gentle, introspective scenes: with Obi-Wan and his new friends; with Qui-Gon and Tahl; with Qui-Gon and Yoda. Author Jude Watson intelligently displays the core dilemma of Obi-Wan's and Qui-Gon's relationship; here are two people, possessing powers common folk can only dream about, who never-the-less, at heart, are just a pair of strong-willed guys who are learning to open up and to trust. Their "voices" feel very right, and with each Jedi Apprentice novel, the Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon connection deepens, they each grow in their understanding of that bondů and the pain of Obi-Wan's loss (of Qui-Gon) at the climax of "The Phantom Menace" becomes ever more poignant.

These Jedi Apprentice books are like popcorn or peanuts; a nice, light snack. You can easily read them in one sitting, they are thoroughly enjoyable, and well worth the time invested relative to their addition to the SW continuum.