The Year of Kenobi: Jedi Apprentice #18: The Threat Within

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

The Story

Obi-Wan Kenobi is on the cusp of adulthood, and his master Qui-Gon Jinn is having a hard time adjusting to how much his apprentice has grown. He knows it going to be time to let him go soon, but can’t imagine what that will look like. For his part, Obi-Wan feels constrained by the order. He knows he wants to be a part of it but isn’t sure what it’s all building to.

Before they can brood too much on this, however, they are sent by the council to the world of Vorzyd 4 to oversee a potential dispute with the nearby world of Vorzyd 5, who are allegedly attacking them and throwing off their infrastructure and productivity. On arrival, however, they realize that the cause of destruction isn’t another planet, but rather a group of Vorzydiak youth calling themselves the Freelings, who want their parents and elders to see that their work driven ways are killing them.

Thoughts and Impressions

The plot as a whole, with the youth trying to force change on their elders, felt very similar to the Melida/Daan arc, and honestly I feel like that was intentional. They even draw that parallel themselves. But really, I feel overall that the mission itself was secondary to the emotional core of the story.

Because really, at the end of the day, this is the last book in the series that is 100% focused on Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, without tying into Anakin’s apprenticeship. The heart and soul of the story is devoted then to them coming to realize how far they have come together and how much they still have to learn from one another. In a particularly heartbreaking moment, Qui-Gon reflects on all he has seen Obi-Wan do, and tries to visualize him as the Jedi Knight and Master he will be one day and finds he can’t quite picture it. Obvious? Absolutely. Heartbreaking? Also yes. I know we have two more books to look over, but I’m really not ready to say goodbye to these two and their ersatz father-son relationship, and just the sheer amount of love it’s clear they have for one another. Combine this with Master and Apprentice and Padawan and it makes The Phantom Menace and even Obi-Wan Kenobi hurt all the more.

What’s Next?

I’m an idiot and assumed that the two special edition books came chronologically after this one. Blame Anakin Skywalker for being on the cover, honestly. He threw me off. I’m a 90s baby, I really should have known better. So next time is the first Special Edition book that is partially set between books 13 and 14, and partially set during Obi-Wan and Anakin’s time together. It’s a tad out of order but I’m excited to see what it brings.

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