The Dedication from the
To Ewan McGregor, a fine actor who brought young Obi-Wan Kenobi so perfectly and heartbreakingly to life
"Oh, crap," I thought when I first read that. "This was written by a Fan-Girl."
Look, there is nothing wrong with being a fan of Star Wars, or even dedicating your book to George "The Maker" Lucas, but when you single out one particular actor, you're labeling yourself as primarily a fan of the actor, not the series, imo.
What really irks me (to my chagrin) is that she quickly covers her tail in the Acknowledgments, thanking GL, Lucas publishing honchos Shelly Shapiro & Sue Rostoni (both of whom must go; they've been handling the SW publishing side very poorly the past few years, and new blood is needed), some friends, family and colleagues, then she acknowledges the fans...
...who have helped to keep the galaxy far, far, away alive and vibrant for more than three decades. We may not always agree, but we know what we love.
"We may not always agree, but we know what we love." Damnit! She apologizes right off the bat to the reader in case they disagree with what she's written! I wanted to have room to shout "YOU GOT IT WRONG" at her, but she already knows that, in the readers' eyes, her vision may not coincide with theirs, and she accepts that the reader may disagree, and she doesn't mind. This will make arguing with you at convention panels very difficult Ms. Miller, very difficult.
There is No Crying in Star Wars
Okay, there's some crying over the various films, but pretty much every character but Mace Windu has shed tears, and I'm ONLY FIFTY PAGES IN!! The first three chapters take place just after the battle of Geonosis. At the end of the third chapter, when Anakin wakes from his healing-trance, he blames Obi-Wan for his mother's death, tries to force him away, discovers his prosthetic arm, recalls the events of Geonosis, then the chapter ends with "And Obi-Wan held him as he wept." Earlier in the chapter, on Yoda's orders, Obi-Wan tells Padmé to stay away from Anakin, the ensuing conversation nearly brings her to tears. Then there's this section from Ahsoka's point-of-view After watching a vigorous sparring match with several padawans and Jedi Knights between Obi-Wan and Anakin:
Tired now, they finished their bout. Wringing wet, blowing hard, they bowed politely to each other. Then Obi-Wan reached out his hand and pressed his palm briefly to Anakin's cheek. Ahsoka saw his lips move. Saw him say: Well done.
And the look on Anakin's face, at those two small words, brought her treacherously close to tears.
"I swear to God," I thought, "if he kisses him I am never reading another Star Wars book ever again!"
Even Palpatine nearly breaks down when he asks Yoda about Anakin's wounds!
Yoda is a rube
Seriously! The Jedi fall apart on his watch, he can't figure out what's the deal with Anakin and Padmé, and he feels sympathy for Palpatine who is always coming to the Jedi for advice. He means well, Yoda thinks at one point, but, boy, do we know how wrong he his. The little gremlin just can't say "no." Palpatine keeps trying to draw the Jedi into more of the Senate's business (after all, "he means well"), and Yoda is just slow to refuse. They're both trying to save the Republic, so they should work together, shouldn't they?
The only time people paid attention to those two words was in the club when Anakin and Obi-Wan captured Zam Wessel. The phrase has been repeated a number of times in the book so far, and nobody wants to listen. Padmé insists on seeing Anakin at the Jedi Temple where he's under a healing trance, but refuses to be sent away when told that she can't see him. Even when Palpatine asks about the casualties on Geonosis, Yoda hesitates in revealing Jedi issues, but since Palpatine "means well" he tells him. Only Bail Organa, who has turned to favoring the clone army to defend the Republic, seems reluctant to ask about Jedi Business.
We find out in the scene where Padmé tries to see Anakin at the Jedi Temple that her wounds from the battle have yet to be treated! I'm sorry, but wasn't there an issue of time involved in Padmé and Anakin going to Geonosis from Tatooine to rescue Obi-Wan because the Jedi wouldn't be able to get there from Coruscant in time? So how long is the trip from Geonosis, anyways? Wouldn't someone have looked after Padmé's injuries on the trip back? Apparently she spent most of the trip at Anakin's side, but no one cleaned or treated the nexu cuts on her back? Seriously?
When Obi-Wan goes to tell Padmé that she can't see Anakin anymore, See-Threepio is the person who wakes Padmé, at one point saying, "I did try to convince him to go away, but he's insistent, almost rude, so unlike him...." How would Threepio know that being "almost rude" is "so unlike" Obi-Wan? Unless Obi-Wan made a big impression on the droid on the trip back from Geonosis, the two HAVE NEVER MET!! This is one of the reasons why they need new editors at Lucas Books, imo. (Plus it should have been a handmaiden waking Padmé, not Threepio!)
But I do like what I've read so far, and I'm hoping my early complaints won't become an issue. It may come out looking like glamorized fan fiction, and granted, it does make reference to the Jedi Apprentice young-adult reader series, a series that I ignore in my personal Star Wars-canon, but it shouldn't be a problem with this book, I think.
In summary, so far, so good.