Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Defenders of the Dead (Star Wars Jedi Apprentice)

Watson, J. (1999). The Defenders of the Dead (Star Wars Jedi Apprentice). New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.

Plot Summary:
Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi Knight, and his young apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, travel to the planet of Melida/Daan to rescue a captured Jedi, Tahl. They arrive in Zehava, the main city on the planet, which is in the middle of a civil war that has been going on for 30 years. The Melida and the Daan people have been fighting for so long, they don't even remember why they began. The city is divided into Melida and Daan sections, each guarded by their own people. All over the city are Halls of Evidence, which contain memories of those who died in the civil war, it is a way of perpetuating the emotions tied to the war. The Jedi's meet up with their contact, Wehutti, who claimed he would take them to rescue Tahl, but the Jedi's are betrayed by Wehutti. The Young aid the Jedi's in their escape from Wehutti and take them to their underground hideout. It is here that the Jedi's learn of the growing resentment of the young people of the city against the elders who fight for reasons they no longer remember. Obi-Wan is drawn to assisting the Young in their uprising against the Elders, but Qui-Gon struggles to remind him that their mission was to rescue Tahl, not get involved where they have not been requested.

I'm not a huge fan of science fiction, but this book definitely held my interest. It is a fast paced, quick read. I could see a lot of tweens, particularly those interested in Star Wars being very drawn to this series. There are a lot of interesting names and descriptions of characters, forcing readers to use their imaginations while they read. The book didn't end, which for me was slightly annoying because I just wanted to find out what happened and am not really planning on reading any further in the series, but I could see where this would inspire young readers in picking up the next book in the series. There are some good lessons to be had by Qui-Gon Jinn, who lives his life as a Jedi and is a methodical mentor to the more quick acting Obi-Wan Kenobi.

science fiction

Reading Level:
Ages 9 - 12

war, Star Wars

Series Information:
The fifth book in the Jedi Apprentice series.

Character Names/Descriptions:
Qui-Gon Jinn: Jedi Knight; Obi-Wan's mentor; wants to complete their mission to rescue Tahl and leave Melida/Daan without getting involved in their civil war
Obi-Wan Kenobi: a padawan (Jedi apprentice); sympathizes with the Young and wants to help them
Tahl: female Jedi; who the Jedi's are sent to Melida/Daan to rescue
Wehutti: point of contact for the Jedi's; he betrays them
The Young: led by Cerasi and Nield; the young people of the planet Melida/Daan are tired of the elders of their planet fighting

Obi Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn are sent to the planet of Melida/Daan to rescue a fellow Jedi, but when they are betrayed by their contact their plan begins to fall apart.

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