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Star Wars Books and Novels (Canon)

Heir to the Jedi - Books and Novels (Canon)

Title: Heir to the Jedi

Author: Kevin Hearne

Release Date: March 3, 2015

Timeline: Shortly after A New Hope

Pages: 267

Credits: Review & Text: Ian Gebhard; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

This is a full review and summary. Spoiler warning applies...

Review | Key Characters & Locations | Summary | Talking Points | Discussion

The destruction of the Death Star brought new hope to the beleaguered Rebel Alliance. But the relentless pursuit by Darth Vader and the Imperial fleet is taking its toll on Alliance resources. Now the rebels hide in an Outer Rim orbit from which they can search for a more permanent base and for new allies to supply much-needed weapons and materials.

Luke Skywalker, hero of the Battle of Yavin, has cast his lot with the rebels, lending his formidable piloting skills to whatever missions his leaders assign him. But he is haunted by his all-too-brief lessons with Obi-Wan Kenobi and the growing certainty that mastery of the Force will be his path to victory over the Empire.

Adrift without Old Ben's mentorship, determined to serve the Rebellion any way he can, Luke searches for ways to improve his skills in the Force...

Main Characters

  • Luke Skywalker (male Human) - Rebellion pilot, Jedi in training
  • Nakari Kelen (female Human) - Rebellion agent, pilot, slugthrower expert
  • Drusil Bephorin (female Given) - Master cryptographer, held captive by and working for the Empire

Secondary Characters

  • Leia Organa (female Human) - Diplomat, a leader of the Alliance
  • Admiral Ackbar (male Mon Calamari) - Commander of Alliance fleets and military operations
  • Taneetch Soonta (female Rodian) - Negotiator for Utheel Arms
  • Sakhet (female Kupoh) - Noodle vendor and spy on Denon
  • Azzur Nessin (male Kupoh) - Member of Kupoh spy network

Key Locations

  • Orto Plutonia - A frigid planet located in the outer rim system of Pantora.
  • Rodia - A remote swampy, jungle planet and the homeworld of the Rodians. Cities on Rodia are encased with domed environmental shields that allow for entry and exit of vehicles.
  • Fex - A moon located in the Deep Core orbiting the planet Sha Qarot.
  • Denon - A planet covered in city growth similar to Coruscant. Homeworld of General Maximillian Veers.
  • Kupoh - A planet of dangerously high winds. Cities and other population centers are built into mountain valleys or behind large wind shields.
  • Omereth - Water based planet in the Outer Rim. Few archipelagos or other landmasses. Oceans are full of large, dangerous, predatory creatures.

Key Species

  • Human - The galaxy's most numerous and politically dominant sentient species with millions of major and minor colonies galaxy wide
  • Rodian - Green-skinned humanoids that have faces with large round eyes and slender snouts. They are of an average build, and have hands that ended with long slender fingers.
  • Givin - A species of white-skinned hairless humanoids which (to humans) resemble animated skeletons. Renowned for mathematical genius and an ability to survive in vacuum for limited amounts of time.
  • Kupohan - A species known for having frequency filter organs, four eyes, and three nostrils.

Legends made Canon

  • Exodeen - Formerly the home of Jorj Car’das. This system is only mentioned in passing.

Heir to the Jedi is the third novel in the rapidly growing new canon. Written by Kevin Hearne, it includes an except from Lords of the Sith. The novel itself is 267 pages, but sad to say, having read this now three times it feels so much longer than that. This is a novel with a good number of issues that while making for a poor adult novel could have been more acceptable in a children’s book.

First and foremost, the biggest issue with this book is that halfway through the book the reader is already being given a large number of clues as to how it ends. Admittedly, since it features Luke, you know he is going to survive unharmed, but to give away the fate of other characters before the book ends is disappointing. With a full quarter of the book left to read you know the fate of Nakari and the mission. Very unsatisfactory.

Secondly, floating noodles. Really, NOODLES. Not everything has to be explained; in this case Luke learning to use telekinesis would have been better left as a mystery. (much like midichlorians). In addition to his levitating noodles, each time Luke attempts this he spills food on himself, for children this is entertaining and humorous, but for adults it really did not need to be used as often as it was.

I am happy to say that not everything is terrible about this book, there are some very nice descriptions of planets we have not seen much of, such as Rodia, in addition to several new creatures and worlds. We even get a couple space battles with surprise weapons.

Quite possibly the best part about it is that because it is written in first person, you truly get to understand the mentality of Luke as he begins to explore the wider galaxy, and his frustrations with the challenge of learning to become a Jedi.

Overall this is a book better left to kids and not adults. This would have been excellent for younger readers, but for adults it feels simplified. This gets a lowly 1 out of 5 holocrons. If you really feel a need to read this check it out at a library.

Character Reviews

Nakari Kelen – Throughout the story Nakari is shown as being a strong character every bit the equal to Luke. Skilled in primitive survival techniques, and with the slug thrower, she also demonstrates strong leadership abilities, intelligence, and the ability to make others feel at ease. She is an interesting character that should not have been killed off. She could have benefited greatly from appearing in future novels. Character Grade: A

Drusil Bephorin – Drusil comes across as being so intelligent that her only equal could be a droid.  Her species’ need to communicate in mathematics does make her very difficult to understand, because of this it also causes her to come across as standoffish, even when trying to be helpful. Character Grade: C

Luke Skywalker – We get to see Luke at a different time in his life. The exhilaration of destroying the death star has worn off and now he is back to being more focused on his desire to learn about the Jedi.  On many worlds we get a true perspective of the planet through his eyes and are reminded time and again of just how “new” he is to the galaxy at large.  Character Grade: B-

Back To TopStory Summary

Chapter 1: From the first sentence, this Star Wars novel is unlike the vast majority in that it is told form the first person point of view, (Luke’s). The story opens up with Luke providing a quick update on the other major characters from the movie, and including Ackbar in the mix. He is assigned a mission to go to Rodia to see about securing a new source of weapons and supplies. As he is to be undercover he is using a ship on loan from Nakari Kelen. En route to Rodia he stops at Llenic to see about hiring smugglers to transport material from Rodia, but instead jumps into a brief fight when he sees two TIE Fighters attacking a Kupohan freighter.

Chapter 2: Upon reaching Rodia, Luke’s inexperience with the wider galaxy is evidenced by his reactions to various smells, sights, and tastes, even as he is quickly led to a hidden facility used for weapons sales. The next day at breakfast, Luke learns that one of the Rodians, Soonta, had an uncle that was a Jedi Knight. She tells him how her uncle was betrayed and killed by his clones, as well as a story about how he had fought in the Clone Wars alongside Anakin Skywalker. On learning this, Luke is interested in visiting the mausoleum where he is buried.

Reaching the crypt, an aquatic predator known as a Ghests ambushes Soonta and Luke. Neither are injured but Luke’s speeder bike is totaled. Choosing to continue on, Soonta leads him into the tomb and presents Luke with her uncles’ lightsaber. Going back outside, Luke survives a second attack from the Ghests, while killing it. He gets on the remaining speeder bike with Soonta and they limp back to Utheel.

Chapter 3: Back in his temporary quarters, Luke reflects on what he knows of the force and his understanding of the dark side. Wanting to learn more about lightsabers, he disassembles the lightsaber that Soonta gifted him. As he then sits trying to meditate he is interrupted with notice that the Empire has issued an alert for his ship and he must leave the planet immediately.

Chapter 4: Returning to the fleet, Luke meets with both Leia and Admiral Ackbar who inform him of intelligence they have received about a Givin cryptographer. Luke requests that Nakari join them and to discuss upgrading her ship for the mission. During the discussion she mentions needing to go on a recovery mission to an unknown world. Sensing a potential base Ackbar agrees.

Chapter 5: When the meeting ends, Leia corners Luke to admonish him on taking risks just to impress a girl. Taking only a short rest before leaving, Luke and Nakari go first to Pasher, home to Kelen Biolabs, to meet with her father and get the information they need about the recovery operation. Getting the information and equipment they need they leave Pasher, and on the way out they watch a holo showing what they will be dealing with.

Chapter 6: While traveling to Fex, Luke and Nakari test out their new armor and its limitations. Arriving on Fex, they land next to the ship of the crew they are to rescue and begin searching inside. They discover that several Fexian Skullborers have escaped and killed most of the crew. Clearing the ship, they slave it to their own and go back to Pasher. (For those who are interested I suggest going onto Wookieepedia and looking up the entry on the Skullborers, they are an especially nasty little creature}

Chapter 7: On their return to Pasher, they are paid a handsome reward and spend the night resting and recovering. The next day they have the ship repainted, and head back to Rodia to have the weapons systems upgraded and augmented.

Chapter 8: Luke and Nakari return to the Alliance fleet at Orto Plutonia to receive updated information and their final briefing on the mission to extract the cartographer.

Chapter 9: Before Luke and Nakari can leave, Leia and Threepio show up to give them a quick lecture about Givin custom and several math equations to use as a greeting when they reach the cryptographer. Once in transit, Luke and Nakari spend time getting to know more about each other’s background and what motivates them.

Chapter 10: Luke and Nakari make contact with their informant on Denon. While eating dinner Nakari encourages Luke to practice his telekinesis on a noodle sitting on the table.

Chapter 11: Meeting with their contact again the next morning, they receive all the data that the spy has on the cryptographer. That afternoon they stake out the park where she will be to observe the security precautions. After a short time they leave the park and meet up at a restaurant to discuss plans for the kidnapping / rescue of the cryptographer.

Chapter 12: Luke and Nakari set up and ambush the security detail around Drusil and escape through the sewers into an adjacent sector of the city. Reaching their ship they take off and get to space just as an alert is broadcast that Interdictor cruisers are on the way.

Chapter 13: The first stage of their escape takes them to Exodeen, where they intercept Imperial messages detailing their ship and noting a bounty for their capture. They quickly jump back into hyperspace, and arriving at Nanth’ri they are ambushed by pirates. After a running battle they escape back to hyperspace. Luke and Nakari take the first steps towards being more than friends.

Chapter 14: Fleeing the pirates they are pulled back out of hyperspace a short time later by an Interdictor cruiser. Charging in to attack the cruiser, they manage to avoid and delay the TIE fighters long enough to drop a seismic charge onto the Interdictor. The charge detonates and they flee back into hyperspace just ahead of the shockwave. New destination: Kupoh.

Chapter 15: Having lost an engine during their engagement with the Interdictor, they reach Kupoh for repairs. Making contact with Azzur and touching down at his courier service, they negotiate repairs to their ship.

Chapter 16: Drusil informs Luke and Nakari that one of Azzur’s employees sent a message to the Empire informing on their location. Luke and Nakari go out into the city to capture him and run into the ISB agent sent to investigate the message. Capturing both they keep them bound and prisoner in their motel room.

Chapter 17: Luke and Nakari are talking about their past, their service in the rebellion, and their growing relationship. At the end of the chapter is the first giveaway of how this all ends.

Chapter 18: Nakari and Luke go to help with removing the slagged engine. That evening Drusil brings food, while Nakari is working in the ship. Luke practices telekinesis again, once more on noodles.

Chapter 19: The next day Luke and Nakari work to install the new engine on the ship. In the afternoon Drusil shows up with disturbing news. The empire has arrived and is interdicting the system. All ships and crews going to or leaving the planet are being searched. Drusil suggests escaping by using unplotted hyperspace routes.

Chapter 20: As they prepare to leave, Azzur updates Luke on the cover story they are using. As they speak Azzur is shot and killed. Another of his mechanics is working with a bounty hunter and attacking the group. After a brief firefight, the group escapes back into space. Tricking the Imperial ships, they flee away into hyperspace and make their way to Omereth. We are now given our second glimpse of how it all ends.

Chapter 21: Flying through the atmosphere of Omereth, they are attacked by a group of bounty hunters. The damage to their ship increasing fast and they are forced to make a crash landing into the water. Escaping through the top hatch they manage to make it to land.

Chapter 22: The bounty hunters land on shore and begin chasing the group up a mountain. Nakari moves into a sniper position, while Luke and Drusil keep moving up the hill.

Chapter 23: Nakari takes out four of the bounty hunters chasing them. One of the final two has a grenade launcher and turns it towards Nakari. Nothing is seen but Luke feels her death through the force. Luke and Drusil eliminate the final hunters.

Chapter 24: Luke goes and gathers Nakari’s body while Drusil hacks one of the bounty hunter ships. They then fly to the rendezvous point and Drusil is reunited with her family. Luke leaves Omereth with Major Bren Derlin. As he travels back to the Alliance fleet Luke takes the time to practice telekinesis once more with noodles.

Back To TopPoints of Discussion
  • First Person Point of View – Did it improve the story or make it worse?
  • Did the dropped reveals about Nakari ruin the end of the book?
  • Could Luke have found a different way to practice his telekinesis and did it have to be used as often as it was?
  • Surprise, surprise—what did you think of the use of the seismic charge?
  • Who wants to see more use of the Fexian Skullborers in the future?
External Links:
Added: August 17, 2016
Category: Books and Novels (Canon)
Reviewer: Ian Gebhard
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