Written by Kevin Hearne, ‘Heir to the Jedi’ follows Luke Skywalker as he goes on a pair of missions for the Rebellion, firstly to Rodia where he is meant to set up a contact with some arms dealers, the second to rescue a Slicer who is working (under duress) for the Empire and reunite her with her family. Luke is joined on the second mission by Nakari, a fantastic sharpshooter/pilot/daughter of the owner a wealthy tech company.
The two of them hit it off and end up in the early stages of a relationship as their mission unfolds but at the end, after being chased by bounty hunters, Nakari is killed.
This was one of the first books released after the Canon reset in 2014 after ‘A New Dawn’ and was originally meant to be released as part of an ongoing series of books set in the now ‘Legends’ timeline set between ‘A New Hope’ and ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, but it got reworked slightly to incorporate some new details.
Written in the first person, from Luke’s point-of-view, we get to learn his mindset, his thoughts on the Force and his growing understanding of that mystical energy field, even learning to use the Force in a variety of basic ways that, with further development would lead to his understanding of it by the time he wakes up in the Wampa’s lair.
Set roughly at a similar time to the first run of Marvel’s ‘Star Wars’ series, my big concern is the timeline as we don’t get any definitive details on how long after ‘A New Hope’ either this book or the Comic series takes place. Although my head canon puts this as early in this period as by the time the comics get going, Luke doesn’t seem to have any romantic feelings towards Leia, which he admits to having in the book. If the book occurs between issues of the series then it would have to be before Volume 10 – ‘The Escape’ due to his feelings towards Nakari in the book and the fledgling romance with Tula in the comics.
In the fan community, this book gets put down a lot. I don’t really understand why though. The story is solid, a great adventure with Luke and some fun new characters. Maybe the writing style feels strange being in the first person but honestly it never really bothered me any time I have read it. In the overall collection of the Canon Novels, it’s not in my Top 5 but it’s enjoyable, the legacy characters are written well and the new characters are well crafted and fit in the universe believably.
Definitely one to read for some good Luke Skywalker content and fun adventure. It contains enough of the Star Wars tropes, such as weird monsters (brain sucking bugs), aliens, action and adventure to feel like a part of the Galaxy Far, Far Away.
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