Picking up where the last book left off, Dark Warning continues the story of events after Revenge of the Sith, attempting to fill in some of the gaps between that film and A New Hope. Readers are launched into a setting where the Jedi have been all but destroyed and a scattered few who survive are being hunted down by the Emperor.
Obi-Wan Kenobi has left his charge over the baby Luke to try to help a former Jedi he found was in danger. Now traveling with Ferus Olin and a teenage orphan from the planet Bellassa, Trever, they are just one step ahead of the bounty hunter Boba Fett who is intent on capturing Ferus. Obi-Wan can’t take the chance of going back to Tatooine with the bounty hunter on his tail for fear that Luke’s existence would be discovered. When he learns an Imperial Inquisitor is taking a harder look at the medical outpost where the twins were born, he knows he must do what he can to throw them off the trail. Ferus would like to build himself another lightsaber, but needs a Kyber crystal to do so. They soon also learn that there’s another Jedi alive and in hiding who might be gravely injured.
There’s a lot going on with different plots in Dark Warning. However, they work together really well in that it seems just an endless sequence of events that seems to want to thwart Obi-Wan from returning to Tatooine. He resigns to go back at the next chance, and then he finds out abut the Inquisitor; and then another possible surviving Jedi. He doesn’t seem nervous about something happening to the infant, but knows the longer he’s away from him the more he’s taking a chance on not being able to get back there to protect him.
We get a lot more insight into the grieving that Obi-Wan goes through. At the end of Revenge of the Sith, he seemed content to secret himself away on Tatooine watching Anakin Skywalker’s son grow up from a comfortable distance. With this series, we see more of the pain he is going through and reconciling grief, duty, and the desire to help any Jedi that might have survived. He reflects often enough on Anakin and his fall to the Dark Side that it’s obvious h’s also feeling guilt as well. All of this combines to create a complex character that is torn apart in many ways.
Although aimed at young-adults, I found Dark Warning to be quite readable. The books aren’t too long in this series, so it’s not overwhelming with a lot of the story all at once or too many tangents to what’s going on. Ferus Olin is an interesting character. We haven’t seen anything before alluding to Jedi who wash-out of training or choose to leave the order. It seems logical that there were people like that – even Anakin developed an attachment that went against the order and might have left had things not gone the way they did. Ferus is experiencing his own grief and regrets as the book goes on and he copes in his own way by deciding to form a Resistance to the Empire. I’m hopeful this will all tie into later events, but at this point it’s wait and see.
Trever is the most uneven character so far, and I’m anxious to see where he goes. His street-smarts are a great addition to the two Jedi, and I hope he doesn’t suffer from Wesley Crusher syndrome. I imagine he’s also been included as a character young adults can relate to, so to that end I think he’s doing a good job.
I’m enjoying the series and will continue with it. The characters, both new and old, are interesting and there’s plenty of action and suspense. I liked getting to know the Jedi better as well. Although a few situations seem forced and convenient, it’s an excellent addition to the Star Wars universe.
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