The Year of Kenobi: Jedi Apprentice #9: The Fight For Truth

Missed a post? Catch up on The Year of Kenobi here.

The Story

Some time after the events of The Day of Reckoning, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are a duo back and better than ever. Obi-Wan is off temple probation, and back to being a fully-fledged Padawan once more.

In an effort to teach them about the importance of communication and teamwork, Yoda sends Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan off to assess a potential Force-sensitive child on the isolated world of Kegan, accompanied by Adi Gallia and her Padawan Siri. Though Siri is two years younger than Obi-Wan she is far more intense about Jedi training and resents him for having taken time away from the order. Naturally, because they’re like oil and water, Yoda decides this is the perfect opportunity to send them all on a long trip together.

When they arrive on Kegan, they realize that despite the outward appearance of harmony and utopia, all is not as peaceful as it seems. The planet, which has one major city, claims to be working in the interest of the Greater Good, and everything every citizen does is meant to be in service of that.

With that mentality in mind, non-conformity is punished, no one is allowed to leave and everyone is streamlined into lives and situations decided on for them by those in charge. With no other concept of how things should be, they fall in line. But when the parents of the Force-sensitive baby. seem keen to send her away, and find their child taken from them instead, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Adi Gallia and Siri get embroiled in a plot to find her and find out what’s really going on on Kegan.

Thoughts and Impressions

The scariest thing about The Fight For Truth is how real it felt. Obviously no one with any shred of self awareness is labouring under the delusion that we live in some sort of utopia, but the question of how information is disseminated, and how the young are taught what is true and what isn’t really jumped out at me.

While Qui-Gon and Adi are given the run-around by the adults on Kegan, Obi-Wan and Siri are given instructions to slip away thereby allowing their masters to move about freely under the guise of looking for them. however, they are caught and thrown into a Learning Center, where they are tossed in a class with others their age and fed propaganda about how corrupt the rest of the galaxy is in comparison to the flawless perfection that is Kegan.

Obi-Wan and Siri protest that the information being taught is untrue, but when faced with an audience who doesn’t want to listen, their appeals are ignored. And really, how can you prove anything is true when in possession of no evidence and with no way to obtain any?

Putting Obi-Wan and Siri in this type of academic environment, removed from the context of the Jedi Academy was peak early-2000s kids books. It felt almost like A Series of Unfortunate Events, where the kids are placed in an absurd situation that is frustrating (in an engaging way) to a young reader and juuuuust this side of a little #TooReal for an adult.

Meanwhile, something far more chilling is going on elsewhere on Kegan, and with far deeper ramifications. One of the adults on Kegan whom the Jedi interact with is visited by visions of the future. Though they cannot give more detail, they foresee that the first Keganite to leave the planet will die, and they make continued reference to hoards of men coming to invade their planet. It isn’t until these visions become more insistent that you realize they’re talking about the Clone Troopers. The Keganite who will die, then, is the baby taken for training by Qui-Gon and Adi at the end of the book, who will live with the Jedi until Order 66 (tragic to think she was sent away for a better life and has maybe 20 years to live).

But worst, and most painful of all, the note the book chooses to end on, is Qui-Gon having a sudden vision of Obi-Wan as an older man living alone in the desert with nothing but his loss and sad memories for company.

You know, I knew Obi-Wan’s life was painful, but to read this right as we’re in the middle of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series and I am in my feels about it.

Qui-Gon thinks for a moment that the vision might be about himself, but realizes that no it’s his apprentice. He tries to banish the thought by assuring Obi-Wan the future is always in motion. But we know this part of his vision will come true, and that’s maybe the most painful part of it all.

What’s Next?

Pain. That’s what’s next. Because every damn thing to do with Obi-Wan Kenobi is nothing but pain.

***

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