There’s a bizarre group of Star Wars fans out there who like to spread bogus stories about how Disney will be removing the Prequels from the canon and making them “Legends” status. Despite Lucasfilm calling the Prequels “unmovable objects” of canon, these rumors persist as negative Prequel news riles up those who hate the movies and that results in a lot of clicks on that story. The latest entry in the new canon, the novel Heir to the Jedi, is a huge slap in the face to those hoping that Lucasfilm will sweep away the Prequels.
Heir to the Jedi merges the Original Trilogy characters with repercussions from the Prequels better than anything else has done yet. Those who love all of Star Wars will really enjoy this first-person adventure where Luke Skywalker connects with the Clone Wars era and learns more about the Jedi.
To not spoil the whole thing, the story is set right after A New Hope (but before the new Marvel comics) where Luke is sent off on a solo mission by Leia and we follow him on a story set in an extremely interesting time for him. Luke just lost Obi-Wan on the Death Star, and he wants to learn more about the Force.
Luke ends up on Rodia, and there’s a lot of call backs to the Clone Wars. There’s some really awesome things Luke learns on his adventures, and the best is when he hears of the heroic deeds of another Skywalker who fought in the Clone Wars. Luke doesn’t know that Vader is his father at this point, so the story builds up a heroic Anakin for Luke. That way when he learns the truth at the end of Empire, it’s all the more devastating. This book is canon, and it’s awesome how much more amazing what Luke learns here makes the “No, I’m your father” moment.
There’s also a great illustration about how the Jedi of the Prequels were wrong/didn’t know the true nature of the Force. Those who study Star Wars, and understand the story of the Prequels, will know how Qui-Gon was the one who got it right (by defying the council all those times) and was the one who figured out how to conquer death and then teach Yoda and Obi-Wan how to become blue glowies. Luke witnesses this by seeing a Jedi’s burial location and wondering why he didn’t fade away like Obi-Wan.
Along the same lines, it’s awesome to see Luke find out about Order 66 and how the story the Empire spread about the Jedi being betrayers may not be completely true.
When early copies of the book began to go out, I remember seeing some people complaining that it was boring. It’s not, especially if you want to know what happened between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. That time period really hasn’t been explored in a satisfying way yet, and this book (along with the Marvel series) is filling in the canon pretty well. I could see where those who hate the Prequels could probably be really offended with a Luke story addressing and acknowledging those stories, but if they can’t deal with it in this book; they’re going to have some real problems with all Star Wars content going forward.
I enjoyed Heir to the Jedi about as much as I did Tarkin, and it comes recommended.