After reading and enjoying Brian’s Fate of the Jedi retrospective found at Tosche Station and their respective podcast episode 14 has inspired me to give you my two cents on the series as well.
I have been critical of the Fate of the Jedi series, but I do think they got a lot right that is getting overlooked because when a series is finished especially of this size and scope, people tend to be overly critical, and I have that tendency too, but I do want to begin my series on the series by pointing what Fate of the Jedi did very well because Fate of the Jedi did some ground breaking work that I do want to point out.
When the entire galaxy is going to be in peril, it is a big deal. Fate of the Jedi does a really good job with this. They set the stage of Fate of the Jedi and the galactic peril in a really cool way. There were multiple books that lead into the series. Invincible, Millennium Falcon, The Lost Tribe e-book series, Crosscurrent all set the stage for Fate of the Jedi. That is significant build up, which is warranted for a series where the entire galaxy is in peril. I loved the amount of stage setting and back story material that we got for Fate of the Jedi. I especially like that these back stories covered various spaces on the time line. This was a brilliant move, which I hope is continued for future large projects.
Also, we got some character building which the Post Yavin EU needs desperately. The series created some characters and expounded others for better use down the road such as Wynn Dorvan, Vestara Khai, the rest of the Lost Tribe, the other force groups that Luke and Ben meet, several Moffs, the Maw young Jedi, among others. The character building efforts in Fate of the Jedi may not have been as broad as I hoped, but Wynn and Vestara are set up to be main EU characters in the future and they both were set up well.
Several of the plot lines were amazing. Luke being exiled, he and Ben retracing Jacen’s journey, and the meetings with these non-Jedi and non-Sith force groups, had me captivated. I loved every second of that journey, and I was disappointed with the journey was cut short, which again shows what a great plot this is. The trial of Tahiri was great. How many of us thought it was ridiculous at how Kyp’s actions in The Jedi Academy Trilogy were just written off as the actions of an untrained force user? I did! Kyp blew up a star sytem and killed millions if not billions, and the government and powers that be did nothing! That was a joke. The arrest and trial of Tahiri asks the tough questions of a force users responsibility to his or her power. It was good stuff. The slavery issue and the barbarism that still exists in the outer rim were well described and moving. The development of the Lost Tribe’s culture was detailed and made them interesting from the get go. The political intrigue in the Imperial Remnant and plotting against Jagged Fel added a cerebral plot line that was needed in this series that could be quite the shoot-em-up story at times. I know that some have panned the infighting in the Jedi and the death of Kenth Hamner, but I liked this story line. The Jedi have been debating since at least The New Jedi Order on what exactly is the relationship between the Jedi and the GA government. Corran Horn and Luke have disagreed on this in several places. This debate has never been settled and a debate that goes unsettled for decades usually does end in tragedy, so I liked the Hamner tradegy, and finally, I liked the development of Allana/Amelia in this story. I liked her character and her complete story in this series.
Although, I think several plot choices in this series are questionable. Many of the plot lines were really good, and I hope we, myself totally included, do not over look the good of this story because of the parts we did not like because there were a lot of plots to like in this story.
Next, I really liked the writing. Aaron Allston is so good, and I don’t think I need to expound on that. Troy Denning is a master of writing an action scene, and I did enjoy new comer to the EU Christie Golden, and not just because she did an interview with us, which can be found here. I thought her writing was crisp and clean, and when the new trend in Star Wars is to write a slower and longer story, I found that Golden did a good job at capturing the quicker more traditional Star Wars pacing, which I like. Outside of a few hiccups, I felt the quality of the writing was strong in this series.
Finally, I liked the conclusion. Yes, there were some weird aspect to the finish, the appearance of a second Sith group, Abeloth’s ultimate fate, and some other plot threads not completed, all of which I will deal with later, but on the whole I was satisfied with the conclusion, which is difficult to do in a lengthy series. I absolutely loved the conclusion to the Vestara arc. It was a completed ending to her story. It was not a dangled plot thread that they just did not finish. They finished her story, and set her up for some great possible future stories, which in my opinion was the high point of this series. The high point being at the end of a long series is always a good thing because you want to end with a bang which so many long series end with a fizzle.
Those are what I thought Fate of the Series got right overall. As I continue with my retrospective, instead of going book by book, I will go character by character and examine each character arc in the series, and next time, we will look at Abeloth.
Thanks for reading, and as always you can e-mail me at email@example.com or find me on the Twitter @swbookreport and of Facebook/swbookreport.
Exploring the galaxy one page at a time, Jesse