Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse
Author: Troy Denning
Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
It felt like forever, but the date finally arrived - the last novel in the Fate of the Jedi series was released and I quickly purchased myself a copy. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for our heroes. Would the Sith finally retake the galaxy again? Would Abeloth prove too strong for either Jedi or Sith? And just what the heck was Abeloth anyway? All of these answers and more were promised us in Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse.
In the previous Fate of the Jedi novel, readers learned that the Sith, with the help of Abeloth had infiltrated Coruscant. Abeloth had taken over the body of charismatic rebellion leader Roki Kem and ensconced herself in the role of Galactic Alliance Chief of State. Her Sith allies had infiltrated all aspects of the Coruscanti government, finding posts as Senators, military leaders and news anchorman. Meanwhile, war had broken out in the Imperial sector. Disgraced former Chief of State Natasi Daala assembled a group of supporters and decided to make a stand and take over the Empire, wresting its control from the current Head of State Jagged Fel. But Jag was not willing to let go without a fight.
In Apocalypse, it is the Jedi’s turn to infiltrate Coruscant. Hunted the galaxy over thanks to the undercover Sith’s propaganda painting the Jedi as spice smugglers with only their best interests in mind, the Jedi must go undercover and find a way back on planet. Their mission: to retake the Jedi Temple from the Sith and their Beloved Queen, Abeloth. The Jedi, working in conjunction with the few military and civilian personnel who are privy to the true happenings in Coruscant, plan to infiltrate the Temple secretly. Once inside, the must take down the Temple’s shields and open the blast doors, so other Jedi, along with the few military beings still on their side can launch an all out assault. The infiltration team will include Vestara Khai, a former Sith, now love interest of Ben Skywalker. The team is uneasy about her being included, Ben and his father Luke are certain that Vestara has more than proven herself a worthy ally.
Across the galaxy, Jagged Fel and his forces have battled Natasi Daala’s forces to a virtual standstill. As the two sides ponder their next move, a vessel makes its way in through Jag’s blockade. Piloted by the same Lieutenant that lied about Tahiri Veila at her trial, the vessel makes it to Natasi Daala’s flagship and offers her a unique idea. Why not agree to an election and let the people of the Empire choose their Head of State? Jag agrees readily, wanting a democracy for the Empire, but also because he has an ace up his sleeve. Tahiri Veila is on his flagship and he intends to use her to find Abeloth, who he believes has now formed an alliance with Daala.
Meanwhile, the Jedi have sent three of their own on a very special mission. Traveling to the Reo System, Raynar Thul, Lowbacca and Tekli will attempt to make contact with the oldest of the Killik colonies in an attempt to discover Abeloth’s history and possibly a way to destroy her. What they will uncover will be incredibly shocking to all of them and may shake the very foundation of the New Jedi Order to its core.
The final novel in the Fate of the Jedi series features a tremendous amount of action, intrigue and betrayal. Suspense lies around every corner and there are so many twists and turns in this story that, just when you think you’ve completely figured things out, author Troy Denning throws you for another loop.
Apocalypse ties up a great many loose ends. I was rather pleased with how they explained Jacen's descent into the Dark Side. Ironic that he would become a Sith Lord to prevent the galaxy from the rule of another Sith Lord, but once you realize why he did what he did, you realize that his intentions had been noble. This novel also helps link the Fate of the Jedi series and all those before it with events chronicled in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series. I wasn’t exactly pleased with this tie-in as the Mortis episodes represented my least favorite Clone Wars animated series story arc. In seeking to explain why the Force is so off balance, Denning has taken us back to the time of beings known as The Ones. Animated series fans may remember these beings from the Mortis story arc.
My big problem with this link is that it flies in the face of everything George Lucas stated he had planned for Star Wars from the very beginning. According to Lucas, it was Anakin who was supposed to bring balance to the Force by destroying the Emperor. But in this novel, although Anakin redeemed himself in this way, he apparently did not bring balance to the Force. In fact, if one believes the Killik story, Anakin may have caused the Force to become irrevocably out of balance by refusing to comply with The Ones’ requests.
And yet, despite my misgivings about the animated series tie-in, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse. Troy Denning is a gifted storyteller who knows just how to keep the reader captivated. I had trouble putting the book down and finished it in a matter of a couple of days. Each chapter brought more action and suspense and a great many revelations. Blink once and you’ll miss something. Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse is definitely worth all of the hype and a definite must read for all Star Wars fans.
For more about the Fate of the Jedi series, check out these links: