Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse Review

Apocalypse Review

About three years ago the Fate of the Jedi series started with the novel Outcast.  If you stuck with the series you know that Luke was exiled from Coruscant, Daala was in charge of the Galactic Alliance, Ben has a Sith girlfriend, Abeloth is a threat to the galaxy, and Jag and Jaina are back together.  We have been all over the galaxy including visits to planets from novels like The Courtship of Princess Leia and The Planet of Twilight.  The series has been a bit of a rollercoaster with some books outshining others and none of them shining too brightly.

On Tuesday, March 13th, the final book in the nine book series will be released.  With a title like Apocalypse, the series promised to end with a bang.  Here is the official novel description:

There can be no surrender.
There will be no mercy.
It’s not just the future of the galaxy at stake –
It’s the destiny of the Force.

In the stunning finale of the epic Fate of the Jedi series, Jedi and Sith face off—with Coruscant as their battlefield. For the Sith, it’s the chance to restore their dominance over the galaxy that forgot them for so long. For Abeloth, it’s a giant step in her quest to conquer all life everywhere. For Luke Skywalker, it’s a call to arms to eradicate the Sith and their monstrous new master once and for all.

In a planetwide strike, teams of Jedi Knights take the Sith infiltrators by swift and lethal surprise. But victory against the cunning and savage Abeloth, and the terrifying endgame she has planned, is anything but certain. And as Luke, Ben, Han, Leia, Jaina, Jag, and their allies close in, the devastating truth about the dark side incarnate will be exposed—and send shock waves through the Jedi Order, the galaxy, and the Force itself.

The novel is written by Troy Denning who lately has had a lot of influence on the Star Wars Expanded Universe.  Since 2005 he has written 9 of the 21 novels in the main, ongoing story.  In the nine book Legacy of the Force series he was also given the final novel.  One of the criticisms of certain Star Wars authors has been the overuse of pet characters or groups, like Zahn with Mara Jade and the Chiss.  For Denning it has always been the Killiks, Barabels, and Squibs and all play a part in this book.  I was happy to see that the Squibs were reduced to essentially a cameo appearance.  The Killiks and Barabels both play major roles but in my opinion both made sense for their part in the story.  The Killiks were used to reveal information that could be considered game changing for the Star Wars Universe and I just ate up that portion of the book.

Anytime a big series like this wraps up you have to wonder if something big is going to happen, like the death of a major character.  We all know the “big three” are safe (Luke, Han, Leia) but there are many other characters now that I care about, Ben, Jaina, Tahiri, Corran Horn, just to name a few.  This book does keep you on the edge of your seat and many characters are in peril throughout.  Where some of the other books in the series seemed to plod along, this one was almost all action all the time.  There is one scene of personal sacrifice that may even rival the epic death of Ganner Rhysode in the book Traitor.

One thing that has confused me about this series is the politics of The Galactic Alliance and the Empire.  There is very little logic to how leaders are chosen or come to power.  This book continues that trend with a borderline ridiculous debate/election that was thought up on a whim and the citizens just went with it.  I as a reader did not just go with it and the politics dragged me out of the book.  It was almost as if they knew this book would be released on an election year and were trying to parallel real world events.  I prefer Star Wars to be a little less real world and more like Star Wars.

A couple of small complaints aside, I really enjoyed this book.  There was something for everyone.  If you are a fan of Saba, Corran, Tahiri, or Zekk they all had their moments.  Jaina and Ben both kick some butt and do the Skywalker/Solo clan proud.  Even Boba Fett fans will have something to cheer about.  There was an unexpected (although I should have seen it coming) tie in to The Clone Wars TV show that should excite some fans and also spark much debate.  Hints of things from the Legacy comic series like the One Sith will make comic fans happy.  And speaking of the One Sith, there is an appearance of a character who might be someone, and if it’s who I think it is… well you’ll just have to read it.

Apocalypse was a satisfying ending to the Fate of the Jedi series.  It for the most part resolves the story of the Lost Tribe and Abeloth, but leaves just enough unanswered that you know there is more coming.  Some of the threads that were left open have me very excited for the future of the galaxy.

Random Thoughts:
The Jedi almost seemed to take too much joy in killing their Sith rivals.  Not very Jedi like.
Ben and Vestara have some cringe worthy flirtation.  Oh, teenage love.
Does bacta have the ability to regrow fingers?
Some moments with the Jedi leading the space marines made me think of the Clone Wars.
Allana is really good with a blaster for a 7 year old.

You can buy the book here.

Leave your thoughts comments and below.

– Aaron Goins

 

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  • Dom

    Fair review of a series that is altogether a wee bit meh! Id give it a 5 out of ten, simply because the series took way too long to actually go anywhere, and even then there were so many awkward side plots happening … the election you mentioned is a perfect example.

    By the way, Allana is 9 by the time of “Apocalypse” ;)

    Cheers

  • Someone

    Crappy book… Series had promise, Denning ruins it. I don’t know why you mention the “pet” projects, Zahn writes about Mara and the Chiss because he developed one of the deepest characters in the EU and one of the more mysterious and deep races to be found. Why should g he write about that which he created? Stackpole isn’t even allowed to write about Corran anymore. I have been reading Star wars EU for over 15 years now and if this is what I have to look forward to, counts out. This is getting ridiculous. Denning is worse than Kevin J Anderson and that is saying something. Whole dark nest was terrible. Legacy of the force was terrible, Only redeeming quality of the FotJ series was Allstons writing and his ability to give humor and banter to his characters. I don’t know how anyone could be proud of a book this poorly written. Get some real authors back in the fold, people who know how to write in this universe. Did anyone actually picture Boba Fett saying the garbage that Denning had spewing from his mouth? Garbage, absolute garbage…

  • Qristov

    While I share most of your opinion about the series, Aaron, I believe the ending fell flat. Denning is an OK writer (not the worst ever in the SW universe), but it’s his imagination this book needed, and he, in my opinion, got lazy. The idea that you can lay out Abeloth’s detailed history, and have the Jedi not only investigate it but pursue it, and lead the reader to believe there were some distinct ramifications to this intense investigation…only to find they just blast-hack-slash her separate physical manifestations until she is gone–which is what they would have done anyway, WITHOUT investigation–is an exercise in futility. He took this book to the door way of a new greatness, something you want from your conclusion…and then dropped it on the doorstep. When a writer expands upon an investigation to that degree, the necessary component to dramatic greatness is a paradigm shift, something that both the reader and the heroes do not see, but something that, if used correctly, will expedite their success. Denning could have provided that, a dynamic and serious link to something ancient (which I thought the Killik avenue would provide), yet distinctly anti-Abeloth, causing the Jedi to consider a different approach and rely on what is perhaps their greatest strength: their ability to change.

    Also, the argument/discussion between Luke and Jacen was a rather large blemish on the book, if not the series. Why does Luke expend the energy and time, during a critical period of crisis, to argue with Jacen? Particularly when Jacen is a static being…no longer able to benefit from ANY discussion because he is dead. We are told that Luke wanted some answers to personal questions, but through 8 books, we see a Grand Master who has martialed his mental capacity to focus EXACTLY on what is needed by the situation. Then, when his will and determination is needed the most at a pivotal point in the overarching battle, he suddenly takes to bickering with a dead Jedi/Sith, like a teenager arguing with his parents on the way out the door.

    I also think Ben rounding on Vestara at the end, his love so easily turning to anger, was a bit too…sophomoric. Ben has been through a lot. I expect his emotions to mature as well as his skills, particularly given the guidance of his father, something his grandfather didn’t have the luxury of having (thus the advanced skills and not-so-advanced emotional development).

    The battles were really good in many cases. I think it’s important to note that Denning is very good at building tension in battles. I wish he spent as much time developing richer plot lines and truer characters as he did exciting battles and clashes.

    Anyway, a 3 star ending to a 4 to 4.5 star series, in my opinion. While I don’t specifically dislike Mr. Denning, the results made me wish they had given the ball to someone else.

    • Ibatacbaranicity

      can u pls. answer this …..what is the plot summary at the chapter one.. Pls at this book

  • Cburbrink

    Alana is nine and force sensative. Most Jedi a century before where nearly a decade into training by the age of nine. But your right in being sceptical I was also.

  • Ibatacbaranicity

    what is the plot summary at the chapter one…PLS

  • Steedleyfarley

    jedi killing sith what absolute rubbish everyone know’s sith r stronger and more powerful in the force i 4 1 was hopeful that they would drop the good guy always wins garbage and show the sith really kick some lame jedi azz i want han dead leia dead luke dead jaina dead and the sith ruling the galaxy like it would be if it was reality