Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Book Review: Star Wars: Kenobi- by John Jackson Miller

Kenobi: Star WarsKenobi: Star Wars by John Jackson Miller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was very disappointing

Ewan McGreggor made me fall in love with Obi-Wan. I never felt that I had a connection with Alec Guinness because he wasn't around that long, and later I came to learn that he was not a huge fan of the movies that he was so instrumental in. However, when the prequel trilogy came out the first thing that really grabbed me was how much Ewan McGreggor sounded like Alec Guinness. I enjoyed his performance there, but it wasn't until the beard and the brotherly camaraderie in Episode II and III that I fell in love with McGreggor and Obi-Wan Kenobi. In fact, it was McGreggor and Portman who were among the few shining lights of the prequel trilogy. One of the most moving scenes in Episode III were when Padmé and Anakin were staring across the large distance at one another and she was crying, however much of the ethos there came from the music. The most moving scene however was Obi-Wan's speech to Anakin on Mustafar at the end of the lightsaber battle, "You were the Chosen One....You were my brother." I teared up there. And in so many other ways I loved Obi-Wan, and so I had high hopes for this book.

Those hopes were shattered. I understand Obi-Wan wanting to play down his Jedi persona in public, but even in private he seemed weak and incapable. The action of the novel revolves around local land disputes and a backwater crime/mafia group trying to establish a foothold. Obi-Wan, the compassionate and self-sacrificial Jedi, tries hard to avoid getting invovled. When he does get involved it is mostly without his lightsaber or Jedi powers, and he spends much of his time doubting himself and his actions. Certain, losing a brother-like apprentice as tragically as he did is going to cause some self-doubt and caution, but I felt that there was too much self-pity and loathing. Furthermore, (view spoiler) after his appearance in the prior book chronologically and Yoda's tease of him at the end of Episode III. But even here, without Qui-Gon's ghost, Obi-Wan still seems uncertain of himself without his former Master's help.

In the end, Obi-Wan does come up with a good plan and seems to find his footing, but I felt that it was a shame that this is the only major treatment of Obi-Wan, and in the end the last treatment of him in the Legacy's Universe and he was weak throughout.

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