Missed a post? Catch up on The Year of Kenobi here.
Following Xanatos’s infiltration of the Jedi Temple and the accidental death of Padawan Bruck Chun, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are en route for Telos in hot pursuit. The two of them are unsure where they stand with one another but for once Obi-Wan is not letting it bother him. Instead he has committed to going with the flow and seeing what happens.
The two of them don’t have time to hash out their issues, because immediately on arrival they have to go on the run from Telosian security who are tracking them down. They end up at a large arena that is home to “Katharsis” a day-long gambling game that Telosians and tourists bet on in increasingly high increments in the hopes of striking it rich and changing their lives.
While hiding there, they meet a young man named Den, who enjoys playing the game and who lives on the wrong side of the law – if just barely.
When the Jedi realize that Xanatos is not a fugitive on his homeworld, but rather a local hero who the population see as a figure helping to preserve the beauty of the planet, the two Jedi realize that stopping him might be more complicated than they bargained for.
Thoughts and Impressions
Somehow, going into this I didn’t think our two Jedi would have the chance to talk it out at all. I imagined this getting dragged out for another book or two before they really had a chance to come to terms with everything that happened between them.
Instead, the two start to very quickly work in tandem with one another. There is the carry-over of Qui-Gon’s trust issues, of course. How can he trust Obi-Wan when they’re literally on the heels of another student of his who abandoned him and broke his trust?
But Obi-Wan isn’t Xanatos, as he makes very clear. Where Qui-Gon reacts with pain, Obi-Wan just does his best. Together with Den and his friend Andra, the four of them investigate Katharsis, and discover that of course the whole thing ties back to Offworld, the major, extremely shady corporation that Xanatos runs, and that Offworld is using it to distract the people of Telos while they conduct shady mining operations in the planets sacred pools.
This investigation I enjoyed more than most others in the series so far, because it felt like we had actually built to it. This had the highest stakes, even though I really expected Xanatos to live and fight another day. This is where I saw some kind of shift coming. I guess Xanatos dying fulfills that expectation.
In all honesty, I thought whenever Qui-Gon and Xanatos did have their big confrontation that it would be a much longer, almost book-long confrontation. I suppose this makes sense for a middle-grade series and I wasn’t ever really going to get my drawn out, ugly-crying “you betrayed me” confrontation. That said, the angst we do get in the finale was top tier.
With Xanatos now dead (RIP you angry, confused and confusing man), and Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan on the same page and Master and Apprentice once again, I literally have no idea where this is going next!
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