- Title: I, Jedi
- Author: Michael A. Stockpole
- Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 01/10/2016
**Spoiler Alert** Just after the film Star Wars The Return of the Jedi was released in theaters in 1983, a license was granted to Bantam Books (Spectra imprint) to publish a series (which started as two and eventually became several lines) of tie-in novels set after Return of the Jedi. I read and collected them, but eventually more and more lines were added, and my interests changed, and I no longer kept up with them. When I stopped reading the Star Wars books I had a few around that I didn’t read, but not many. Well, books are like wine – sometimes they need to age to be enjoyed.
Having finally gotten the chance to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) I was in the mood for more – so I pulled I, Jedi off the shelf to read. I’m glad I did, because it was extremely enjoyable.
I enjoyed the novel I, Jedi very much, even though at the beginning I was a little lost. There are a lot of references to other events in the shared Star Wars Universe and I could no longer remember them. I remembered a few things: that Han and Leia married and had twins (a boy and a girl) who were strong in the Force, that Luke set-up a Jedi Academy, that one of the first Jedi Luke found was Mara Jade and she was very kick-ass – but that was about it. Still, the events to other events were not something that totally threw me out of the story. I did feel like I was missing something, but the story I was reading was still comprehensible – which isn’t always the case when picking up a book in the middle of a long-running series.
I, Jedi is written entirely in first person and is the tale of Corran Horn, a former Corellian Security (CorSec) officer and investigator who ends up in Rogue Squadron helping the New Republic and who is currently on an assignment with his fellow squadron mates to stop a pirate crew headed by an Admiral Tavira aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer called the Invidious – though the loose group of pirates included many squadrons. Corran returns home to Coruscant (home of the New Republic) after a mission with Rogue Squadron and discovers his wife, Mirax has been kidnapped. As a former investigator, he wants to bring her home himself. He goes to his superiors in the New Republic, files an appeal to be allowed to find his wife with Councilor Leia Organa Solo, and even contacts his father-in-law who’s a bit of a gangster, but one who now is tolerated by the Republic. Essentially told to sit-and-wait, Corran rejects that idea.
The book is then split into two parts.
In part one, because Corran is also the grandson of a famous Jedi, and Force sensitive, friends and comrades-in-arms suggest Corran can best help his wife by learning how to help her and he disguises his appearance, changes his name and heads to Luke’s Jedi Academy to be part of Luke’s first class. It is Luke’s idea that he change his name and identity. Part One is awesome because it gives a detailed view into the process of becoming a Jedi. There is also a mystery or two to be solved, and the inventive action that the Star Wars universe is known for. It’s enjoyable.
In the end, though, Corran decides he has learned all he can from Luke, and that in assuming the role of Jedi-Trainee Halcyon Horn, he has lost some of his own identity. He also decides he’s stayed in one place too long and he really must find his missing wife.
In Part Two, however, Corran returns to Corellia and sees the man he’d known as a child as his grandfather, but whom he now knows is his step-grandfather. This man tells him the truth about his Jedi grandfather and gives him some other information. He also helps Corran change his identity again. Soon Corran is operating undercover inside the pirate organization headed by Admiral Tavira – because he has uncovered information that the pirates are the ones holding his wife or that they know where she is. As Jenos Idanian, a Corellian with a shady past, Corran joins the Survivors, one of Tavira’s squadrons. He works to shape up the rag-tag group, find out what is going on, try to locate his wife, and pick-up any useful info for the New Republic that they can use to stop Tavira’s pirate group. Although, initially the second half was slower than the first half (I very much enjoyed seeing Jedi training, an undercover investigation was more pedestrian) – eventually that part of the book did pick-up. The second half picked up once the Pirates meant to attack a defenseless refugee colony world only to discover it being attacked by slavers first. Jenos Idanian manages to minimize civilian damages and casualties – while providing excuses that the pirates and their leadership will buy. He also ends-up acquiring, quite by accident, a Caamasi refugee as a “bodyservant” – basically think butler with fur, or Alfred Pennyworth from Batman but slotted in the Star Wars universe. Elegos the Caamasi is an awesome character and I enjoyed how he took care of Corran. Also, as luck would have it – he has a talent that really helps bring the plot to its conclusion. The concluding chapters were very awesome and a quick read.
I enjoyed I, Jedi very much. Because it’s told entirely in first person from an outsider’s point of view, it gives a very different view of the main characters in the Star Wars universe (Leia, Luke, Han, Wedge, and R2 D2 – all show-up at one time or another, though often only briefly). The training scenes are excellent, and Stackpole’s ability to describe light saber battles is just perfect. I found the Caamasi to be an unique alien race and that story was well-told. The story of Corran trying to find his wife gave the whole story a personal bent, though it was also a bit more traditional. Still, I enjoyed the novel and I recommend it.