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Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Conviction

By Julio Angel Ortiz on 05 March 2012

‘Conviction’, written by ‘Star Wars’ veteran novelist Aaron Allston, is the seventh in the nine-book ‘Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi’ series.

With the finale due out next month, I dusted ‘Conviction’ off of the proverbial to-read pile (okay, more like virtual pile, since I read this on my Nook Color) and engrossed myself with it.

‘Conviction’ is noteworthy in that it kicks off a mini-trilogy to wrap up the series (along with book eight, ‘Ascension’, and the finale ‘Apocalypse’), bringing a distinct color scheme for the cover and raising the urgency of events coming to a head. Several running threads are tied up, only to leave room for fallout throughout the remaining books.

‘Fate of the Jedi’ took its inspiration from the classic Greek work ‘The Odyssey’, in that Luke Skywalker and his son, Jedi Knight Ben Skywalker, undertook a journey in an attempt to understand what made Jacen Solo fall to the dark side and become the Sith Lord Dark Caedus. They retraced Jacen’s earlier journey in meeting with different groups of Force users, gaining insight into not only how they uniquely used the Force but also discovering clues as to what drove Jacen to darkness. The series also focused on tensions back home on Coruscant, where the Jedi Order finds itself in conflict with Chief of State Daala, as she attempts to bring the Order under her heel. Complicating matters is a strange madness that begins enveloping younger Jedi Knights, who come to believe their loved ones and the Order itself have been replaced by impostors, and attempt to root out the conspiracy, often placing civilians in harm’s way.

And that doesn’t even include a Lost Tribe of Sith, whose ship crashed on a planet 5,000 years ago, and which grew in isolation until an opportunity allowed them re-emerge onto an unsuspecting galaxy, as well as the true threat of the series: an ancient dark side being named Abeloth intent on spreading her horror across the galaxy.

‘Fate of the Jedi’ has been much more ambitious in scope than its predecessor series, ‘Legacy of the Force’. Whereas the former took its inspiration from the Prequel trilogy (debatable as to whether that was a good or bad thing) and focused on Jacen Solo’s fall and a second Galactic Civil War, ‘Fate of the Jedi’ tells a much grander and complex tale. Much of it has to do with the political fallout from ‘Legacy of the Force’, but also side-stepped the sticky issue of having Sith return. The Lost Tribe of the Sith are a throwback to the Old Republic-era Sith, but are in many ways the mirror image of the New Jedi Order. These are Sith who have family, a unique, creative, and passionate society, and which are more complex than simply being a foil to the Jedi. Del Rey and Lucas Licensing have provided an impressive level of detail in developing these Sith (including releasing a free series of eBooks under the ‘Lost Tribe of the Sith’ banner depicting events over their 5,000+ year history), providing a case for them being more than just a cheap rehash.

The biggest surprise in this series has been the advent of Abeloth. When reading depictions of Abeloth, the only thing that comes to mind is her being a Lovecraftian Force Horror. Unbelievably old and powerful, she is a unique creation that was a welcome change, and the fact that she has altered the balance of power between the Jedi and Sith (sometimes causing them to team up against her) is a breath of fresh air.

‘Conviction’ takes this rich setup and begins hurtling towards the endgame. As expected, the title works on several levels. There is the literal trial of Tahiri Veila, the opposition of the Jedi against Chief of State Daala’s increasingly militant tactics, Luke’s determination to find and stop Abeloth, and the Sith’s intentions of removing Skywalker. These are just a few of the subplots running through ‘Conviction’, and Allston does a great job of keeping events moving and the reader engaged. Allston can write a great action or space sequence, and he gets these characters. His plotting is spot-on, creating a page-turner that ‘Star Wars’ fans will burn through.

Although the novel works well enough as a standalone, and explains prior events as needed, I highly recommend picking up previous novels in the series. ‘Conviction’ is a great beginning of the end for ‘Fate of the Jedi’, and if you want a wonderful combination of space opera, political thriller, and science-fantasy adventure, you could do a lot worse than this.


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By Julio Angel Ortiz

Julio Angel Ortiz maintains his collection of curiosities at www.julioinprogress.com. You can also Like him on Facebook as well and check out his latest writing projects.




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