*This review contains minor spoilers for The Weapon of a Jedi.*
I have never really been drawn to the character of Luke Skywalker. I’m not sure why to be honest. He seems to be one of the most relatable characters in not only Star Wars, but all of popular culture as a whole. Thanks to Jason Fry’s portrayal of Luke in The Weapon of a Jedi, I have found a new sense of connection with him.
In a story set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back we find Luke on a solo mission for the Rebel Alliance. Thanks to some bad luck that always seems to follow our heroes, Luke’s Y-wing is damaged in a firefight. Yes, Luke Skywalker flying a Y-wing, I was just as shocked myself! Called by the Force to the planet Devaron, Luke, Threepio, and Artoo make their way to an outlying town for repairs. Not knowing where or why the Force had been calling him, he tries to make sense of it all.
Only having limited time to train with Ben, as Luke refers to him throughout, he is constantly unsure of his feelings in the Force. Jason is able to portray this constant struggle inside of Luke’s mind wonderfully. Each time he chastises himself for having negative or anxious thoughts or letting his doubts in his abilities get the best of him, you as the reader, get a sense of connection to him. Each one of us has moments where we are overtaken by doubts or feelings of anger and frustration, but what we can learn from Luke here is that this is okay. What makes each one of us different is how we can control our minds and focus on the present to remain ever mindful.
In the Devaronian forest lies a long abandoned Jedi temple. Along with Sarco Plank as his guide, Luke makes his way to the temple which he had seen in his dreams. Pulled by the Force, he explores the ruined temple to find himself in exactly another spot from his dreams. Here is where his test must occur. At first he misunderstands exactly what it is the Force is trying to teach him. It is not that he can coerce the Force to obey him but that it is something to be used symbiotic with his actions. Training against a set of remotes akin to that from A New Hope, he spends his time trying to understand just how to use the Force as his ally. Brilliantly we are able to see shades of Qui-Gon Jinn’s training and wisdom passed down to him from Ben. Connecting to the Living Force is what is Luke’s ultimate triumph.
In our climax we see a battle between Luke and Sarco played out in almost the same scenario that Luke had against Boba Fett in the main Star Wars comic series. Luke is blinded. Something that seems to be the modus operandi for our young Jedi. This last challenge is written superbly by Mr. Fry as he gives us a sense of urgency and danger. Luke fully gives himself into the Force and is able to disengage his very capable adversary by focusing his actions onto the present.
What Jason is able to do with Luke in his writing gives us a much greater sense of Luke as a character and our understanding of him. When we get to see him training with Yoda on Dagobah we now get a greater picture at why he struggles so much with his connection to the Living Force. While this book is mostly focused on Luke and his journey the supporting characters all do have their chance to shine. The camaraderie of Luke and Wedge in the beginning is great as well as getting some of Threepio’s latest and greatest insults about Artoo. Overall I would highly recommend giving this great story a read whether Luke Skywalker is your favorite character or never really had much of a connection to him like me.
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