Carrying out a mission for the Rebellion, Luke finds himself drawn to Devaron, a planet with mystical energy that may help him better understand the Force. Written by Jason Fry (Servants of the Empire, Jupiter Pirates), Luke’s adventure in The Weapon of a Jedi was a fun and insightful read, giving the audience a closer and more meaningful look into the nature of the Force. Set between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, parts of the story reminded me of Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi, a Penguin Random House novel in which Luke learns how to harness his abilities. This particular tale, however, takes the reader deep into the ruins of a Jedi Temple that first appeared in the third season of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, making that prequel connection as well as the exploration of familiar ground all the more enjoyable to read.
As this novel was part of the Journey to The Force Awakens initiative, it contained some clues and references to the sequel film. For example, the story actually kicks off with Jessika Pava, one of the integral fighter pilots from The Force Awakens. Additionally, one of the characters was nicknamed the Scavenger, the same name used for the main character, Rey, in the film. He also wielded a weapon called the Scavenger’s staff, and Rey’s main weapon was also a staff. Although this book was released in September 2015, I enjoyed reading it after having watched the film first because it allowed me to pick up on those subtle hints and references. I also found that certain things that took place in the book (such as Luke’s desire to restore the Jedi Order) resonated perfectly with certain events that took place in the film and vice versa. As a result, there’s more of an emotional impact when you read about and delve deeper into his early days of Jedi training.
Although the intended audience is for young readers aged 9 to 14, the story captured much of the essence and mysticism of the original trilogy that it would also appeal to the older fans in the community. The dialogue and vocabulary are at a level that challenges and engages young readers, while also being a quick and enlightening read for the older crowd. The book also introduced a handful of new and memorable characters, my favorite being Farnay, and provided beautiful illustrations by Phil Noto to help paint the overall picture. It’s the perfect book to pick up, especially now that many new and old fans have seen The Force Awakens. It continues to flesh out Luke’s character and helps pave the way into understanding how he becomes a more knowledgable and experienced Jedi. Plus, since it’s short and sweet, the book leaves you wanting for more, and a story that manages to do that is a great story.
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Many thanks to Disney-Lucasfilm Press, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, for providing a review copy. That said, this review is an honest assessment of the product.
(Photo: Disney Publishing Worldwide)