2015 IS the year of THE Star Wars. It’s hard to imagine that Episode VII hits theaters this holiday season, but Star Wars is back in full ‘Force’ across the board. As a long time Star Wars comic book and novel reader, I was of course disappointed when most of what I called ‘canon’ growing up was suddenly dubbed ‘Legends’ when Disney purchased the franchise. There went my chance of seeing Mara Jade on the big screen! Disney wanted to rebuild from scratch, by creating a whole new universe for us to explore. Under the belief that everything that had been written in some way, fashion, or form was too confusing for the “new kid” wanting to jump on the Star Wars wagon, out it went.  Star Wars Heir to the Jedi coverBut the best part of all this?  Comics, TV shows,  books, and other Disney owned media from here on out would all tie into the new Star Wars Canon, leading in to The Force Awakens and beyond! I like to consider myself a pretty understanding geek when it comes to change-ups, so just to be clear, I have no problem with this move. Disney has done great things with Marvel, and I trust them to do the same with Star Wars. Maybe even better things. The “shared-world” idea is one that has proven to be successful.

Star Wars ‘Heir to the Jedi’ is the third book to be released under the new ‘Canon’ umbrella. Following ‘A New Dawn’ (Rebels prequel), and ‘Tarkin’ (review here), it’s easily my favorite outta the bunch. What author Kevin Hearne does so well, is write Luke Skywalker from the first person point of view. One of my favorite parts from the book is his introduction, where Hearne addresses that he always wondered how Luke learned to pull the lightsaber to him, during his perils in the Wampa cave. This is a neat way to allude to what he would later make a major concentration of his novel. I also knew that there was a true Star Wars fan writing the book I was about to venture into! A little side note about Kevin Hearn is that I have never read anything by him. But when I mentioned to my wife that he was the author of the book I was reading, she mildly geeked out. Expressing love of his Iron Druid series (officially known as The Iron Druid Chronicles, and being really excited that I was reading a book by an author she enjoys. I wonder if I can get her to read this book, or maybe, I should read those….

The main focus of this review, and the book, is Luke Skywalker. Heane is excellent at capturing the essence of this fledgling Jedi.  When you watch Star Wars, who’s really your favorite character? We can all claim to be Boba Fett boys, Leia lovers, Chewbacca comrades, and Han haters. But there is one true fact about being a Star Wars fan, you love Luke Skywalker. The story of a farm boy who joined the Rebellion, blew up the Death Star, and became a Jedi. From A New Hope to Return of the Jedi, Luke’s journey is what we are witnessing when we watch the ‘Holy Trilogy’. Now thanks to Disney, Marvel, and Del Rey, we are reading stories that take place right after Episode IV in the comics and books. A time when Luke Skywalker was only in the early stages of understanding his powers. This is what I love so much about reading ‘Heir to the Jedi’, especially the inner-monologue of one the greatest sci-fi heroes of all time.  But what happens when he realizes that he has these powers, yet has lost the one person in the universe that he knew that could help him understand them? He Rebels on.


What I Liked:

  • The adventures of Luke Skywalker from the first person perspective. In my opinion it really makes the book flow well. There was only one other Star Wars book that did the same. 1998’s ‘I, Jedi’ by Michael A. Stackpole, following the adventures of Jedi trainee Corran Horn.

  • Supporting cast was dynamic and each added something important to the plot.

  • You never really knew who you should trust. I had suspicions of all of Luke’s companions, well not Artoo of course.

  • Didn’t throw a crazy amount of Jedi lore or discovery at us. This is Luke at the beginning, without a mentor. Yet soldiering on, being a rebel and an amazingly skilled pilot.

  • Nakari Kelen. Add one more awesome female character to the Star Wars roster! Nakari adds a lot of the comic relief and much, much more to the story.

  • A budding romance. I really enjoyed the interactions between Luke and Nakari.

  • Pacing. Hearne does an excellent job having the team jump from planet to planet. Introducing new situations and new factions to the reader. This really helps keep the story fresh and interesting.

  • Han and Chewie weren’t even around for this story and Leia played a very small part. With the absence of these icons, this really gave Luke the chance to shine in the spotlight.

  • I experienced feelings reminiscent of watching A New Hope for the first time.

  • It’s really exciting to be reading new canon. I know that some fans will have a hard time adapting, but I have and I love it.

  • If you are reading the comics out there right now from Marvel, ‘Heir to the Jedi’ takes place before the Jason Aaron run. If you are not reading the comics by Jason Aaron, get on that.

  • Coming in at 305 pages, this is a relatively short book. I thought that it was perfect story at the perfect length. I can’t really think of anything else I would have liked to see happen.

There wasn’t really anything that I disliked about the book. Other than contradicting one of my “likes” and saying that it was too short and I wish that it would have kept going. Hopefully we’ll see a follow-up or two from Kevin Hearne in the near future. I now trust this man to give Luke Skywalker a proper and intriguing backstory that Star Wars fans (and new fans) will accept into their vision of that Galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars: ‘Heir to the Jedi will be available on Tuesday, March 3rd wherever, and however, books are sold!