The Last Jedi

“Let me make this clear. Anakin Skywalker is dead. Burned to a cinder and blown away by the winds of betrayal.” -Darth Vader

The Last Jedi is a book full of surprises. While the title of the novel may be way off the mark as far as canon goes, that’s not something Jax Pavan knows. For him, he may be the only Jedi left. As the galaxy descends into the dark times, Jax finds himself becoming more and more focused on Darth Vader. He is the nightmare to Jax’s hope. In this story of darkness, Jax has to conquer the shadows and face his fears. But we all know that Vader isn’t the one who dies.

“A door opened, and out of it poured light and darkness…twilight. Like the moment before dawn. It was…unexpected.” -Darth Vader

Readers may be surprised to find out that the majority of this novel is actually rather sad. This is the dark times after all. Bad things happen to Jax and his friends early on, and they plague them throughout the book. Jax struggles to overcome those loses and it takes him a while. Almost 60 percent of the book is dominated by Jax’s downward spiral, but after that, things take a well timed turn. There are some climatic battles at the end. Many characters die, plans run afoul, and at times, things were at their darkest. It makes for a hell of a journey.

Then there is the eye popping plunge into the Force. It’s sort of a subplot interwoven into the book. Several characters do some explorations of the Force and there are some story threads that dive into the metaphysical. There are soul searching moments that propel characters to their fates. The deepest of those moments is on Dathomir when Jax dives into a Sith holocron with the help of Dathomiri witches. As a Jedi, you have to ask yourself how far you are willing to go to defeat your enemy. For Jax, that’s pretty far. And then there’s the Dark Lord, Darth Vader, who has some pretty good parts in the novel as well. Personally, I thought Vader had some of the best lines in the book, and it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a writer do Vader dialog this impressive.

For those who might have grown tired of all the action on Coruscant, The Last Jedi takes a nice break from the planet. There’s still some action there, but major events unfold elsewhere. Jax and his band wind up on Toprawa with the Antarian Rangers, do some sight seeing on Mandalore, and find time for a side trip to Dathomir. With some of the recent The Clone Wars episodes, readers will catch some intriguing remarks about Satine and the government of Mandalore as well as the Shadow Collective, Hutt cartels, and the Black Sun. It all helps shed a little light on the fate of planet. The events on Dathomir are also nice at bridging the gap between TCW and the far off novel The Courtship of Princess Leia.

In the end, I have to say that The Last Jedi was a damn fine novel. It explored some excellent emotional depths and touched upon some intriguing intellectual threads. The story really fired on all cylinders. If you’ve read the Coruscant Nights books up until now, you’ll definitely want to check this one out. However, if you’re new to the series, you may not feel quite the emotional punch with some of the blows that come in the story. Still, it’s a pretty good story worth diving into, and it’ll probably spark your interest to check the rest of the series out.

I give The Last Jedi a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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