Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Star Wars!!

I think first I'll start off with an explanation. I think there are plenty of Christians out there who would hesitate to read any Star Wars novels because of the clear element of mysticism in the books, and that is definitely a valid concern. However, I think there are some equally good reasons to read them, as well. I find them acceptable for several reasons:

1) Most Star Wars books include characters that have a strong sense of right and wrong. In my reading of non-Christian fiction, I've found that this can be difficult to find. Characters will do things knowing full well that even though it's the right thing to do, they will probably get in serious trouble and/or die because of it. And then they do it anyway. This is a valuable thing to read about, even if the motivation isn't a desire to please God.
2) Star Wars books often grapple with questions that any Christian or human being needs to think about, including friendship and love, power, evil and good, and humanity (in a broad sense--there's a lot of aliens).
3) Most Star Wars books do not include description of violence, blood, intimate moments, or anything else that a reader could object to. As someone who does object to most of those things, I really appreciate it. There is also no swearing (although they do use swear phrases of the Star Wars universe).

Qualifier: The Star Wars universe, and the books, comic books, movies, and video games that describe it, have been written and created by a wide variety of people. Almost all of the books I've read were completely unobjectionable (with the exception of Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. However, this book was based on Heart of Darkness, so it wasn't particularly surprising). However, I have almost only read books set after the fall of the Empire but before Han and Leia's children begin to train to become Jedi, and these were some of the earliest books written about the Star Wars universe. Later books may have changed. I also have no experience with any of the video games, which are probably less unobjectionable.

And now, without further ado... a book review!

Book: Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Book 1 of the Jedi Academy Trilogy

Description: While Luke Skywalker takes the first step toward setting up an academy to train a new order of Jedi KnightsHan Solo and Chewbacca are taken prisoner on the planet Kessel and forced to work in the fathomless depths of a spice mine. After Solo and Chewbacca escape, they flee desperately to a secret Imperial research laboratory surrounded by a cluster of black holes-and go from one danger to a far greater one. (from

OK, this probably wasn't the best book to choose for my first Star Wars book review. I wasn't particularly impressed. I must say, the plot felt to me like a string of basically unconnected events. Most of the events were pretty improbable and slightly silly, even taking place in the Star Wars universe, and felt as if Anderson thought something like, "I've always wanted Luke Skywalker to use the Force to walk across a pit of boiling lava while almost being eaten by a cool worm-dragon that lives in lava. How can I make that happen?" 

OK, the lava-living worm-dragon (officially known as a Fireworm) was pretty cool: 
Photo source
But still. 

I would recommend this book only to get to the next book in the series, because the series does get a lot better.

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