Star Wars: Jedi Quest
The Shadow Trap
Author: Jude Watson
Published By: Scholastic Inc.
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Every so often, a friend who knows I’m a Star Wars fan will gift me with something Star Wars. This time around, it was a book from the young adults series – Star Wars: Jedi Quest: The Shadow Trap by Jude Watson. Not one to turn down anything Star Wars and having read and enjoyed part of the Young Jedi Knights series by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, I thought I might enjoy this book and decided to give it a chance.
The Jedi Quest series covers the period of time during which Anakin Skywalker learns the ways of the Force between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. In The Shadow Trap, the sixth book in the Jedi Quest series, we meet a sixteen-year-old Anakin Skywalker who has just returned from a mission that did not turn out as well as he thought it would. Master Obi-Wan Kenobi had chastised him about his tactics despite the fact that the mission had ended well. There was a rift between Master and Apprentice and neither Obi-Wan nor Anakin knew how to bridge that gap.
Unfortunately, the two would have to figure things out on the road as they are sent on a new mission. Along with Jedi Master Yaddle, Obi-Wan and Anakin travel to Mawan, a planet destroyed by war and its chaotic aftermath. Three crimelords have taken over the planet, battling over food, fuel and weaponry and making the Mawan refugees’ lives a living hell. The Jedi mission is to restore peace to the planet by eradicating the crimelords and setting up a government to end the chaos. However, the Jedi soon discover that there is more than meets the eye on Mawan. Someone from Obi-Wan’s past has used the chaos on Mawan to lure the Jedi into a trap they may never escape.
In The Shadow Trap, we see how impressionable Anakin is. The rift between Apprentice and Master has caused Anakin to become somewhat disgruntled. Thus, when the suggestion is made that perhaps he is missing out on a bigger and better purpose for his life, Anakin seriously considers the idea. It is here that we see a young Anakin struggling to decide whether he is being held back to prevent him from becoming ever more powerful, or simply to harness that power so that it doesn’t consume him. We also see an Anakin who suffers tremendous guilt – guilt from leaving his mother behind as a slave on Tatooine, guilt from the outcome of decisions he has made. Anakin’s eventual fall to the Dark Side begins here with guilt, indecision and painful loss.
For a young adult novel, The Shadow Trap deals with some heavy topics – nothing overly adult, but this novel is not without its darker moments. As an adult, I found the story to be just as entertaining for me as it would be for a youth. These young adult novels often serve to bridge the gaps in the main storyline and The Shadow Trap is no exception. I had always wondered about the disappearance of a particular character from The Phantom Menace and now I know what transpired to prevent that character’s return in Attack of the Clones. So, I not only got to enjoy another Star Wars adventure, but I learned something about the Star Wars Universe as well.
All-in-all, Star Wars: Jedi Quest: The Shadow Trap is an enjoyable reading experience for a Star Wars fan of any age. If you are a Star Wars fan with an interest in the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi Quest series is one you should definitely check into.
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