After many weeks, I finally finished Heir to the Jedi! No, it’s not that it wasn’t horrible at first or anything, it’s just that life and writing other things had gotten in the way. Technically, this review was supposed to be published sooner, seeing has how I was reading an ARC, but this’ll have to do. (I promise to have my Lords of the Sith review posted WAY sooner!) While I do try my best to review this book, like actually review it, I did go on a bit of a rant towards the end, so sorry… but also, not sorry. It needed to be discussed. As usual,
Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.
A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.
Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive.
Heir to the Jedi was written by Kevin Hearne and takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back and is, for the first time, from the first-person perspective of Luke Skywalker. (For those taking notes, it also takes place before the new Star Wars comic series) *insert happy dancing gif here* I’m a huge Luke fan, so I figured this to be the perfect place to start in the new canon series. (I’m catching up on the other two, don’t worry.) Starting off, this book, like many other reviewers have said, reads more like a diary entry, than a traditional first-person narrative. As far as reading goes, this would probably be your only hurtle. If you can get by that and enjoy it, then your set. If not, I’d recommend any other book in the EU, minus I, Jedi. Okay, not every book. You probably shouldn’t read The Crystal Star. Or maybe you should.
Heir to the Jedi definitely had me interested from page one. I know, I know, we have enough books set after A New Hope, but it was all about Luke, so it had to be great… and it was. At first. I’ll get to that in a bit. I will say I enjoyed the beginning, middle, and a tiny bit of the ending. I loved that Princess Leia and Admiral Ackbar thinking so highly of Luke to send him on another mission for the Alliance opened the book and introduced us to where this novel was heading. Between all the action sequences or to when Luke and Nakari order Nerf Nuggets and Rancor Sauce, I found myself lost into this world again. It was a bit strange to accept that this was canon, as I find myself every time something non-movie comes out, but I still enjoyed it. Also the fact that Luke starts to practice reaching out to the Force more with the help of his new friend, Nakari Kelen, to me, really fit well and was something I was excited they added. It’s little details like this that made me excited this was canon. Also, new female character to become a fan of, so hell yes!
Being introduced to the new characters like the Given, Drusil, and Luke’s new friend and crush, Nakari, made Heir to the Jedi a fun ride. Seeing the journey throughout the novel starting slow, but picking up at a nice pace, and while it’ll probably never come close to some of the other EU books, it definitely was a good way to start off the canon series… that is until the ending.
After finally finishing Heir to the Jedi, it actually made me disappointed that it was included in the new canon series, and all these feelings pertain to that damn ending. Why did Kevin Hearne have to go the “already done a million times route and kill off Luke’s love interest just to give Luke another sob story. LUKE HAS LOST WAY MORE PEOPLE BEFORE NAKARI SHOWED UP. He’s not walking through a daisy field, he’s still mourning and questioning his state even when Nakari shows up in his life. Killing her off added NOTHING to his character, other than another friend/future love (?) has died. Why couldn’t Nakari live? I mean, I understand that the SWU is FULL of women characters (please note: Sarcasm!), but there was no need for Nakari to be killed off, much less off screen! Yes, I didn’t mention that part, but you don’t even witness her death, Luke ~feels~ it with the force instead. Her death also did nothing to the plot. Seriously, nothing. The book basically ends right after she dies. Sigh. I really, really loved the character of Nakari and was actually hoping for more from her. Maybe in the comics? Spinoff novel? Something. Just not her death.
I will say that that ending really ruined the novel for me. I’m tired of that damned trope and to see it used yet again, just made me “Ugh” nonstop for the past 24 hours. BUT I do believe that the novel was pretty good up until that point, so I would recommend the beginning/middle of it, if that’s a thing? But that’s about it. If for some instance, you don’t mind the death of Nakari, go ahead and read it! Heir to the Jedi is actually a fun novel, just suffers from a poorly written ending. Also, look at that cover art. Wowza.
Side note: If you’d like a more in-depth reasoning as to why Nakari’s death was junk, read Nanci’s post about it over at Tosche Station here.