I always thought Jedi trials would be, I don’t know, not so laborious a read!
Cover Art By: Steven D. Anderson
Written By: Dan Cragg & David Sherman
“Commander, I estimate it requires two thousand metric tons of matériel and supplies to keep your army running at the level of combat you achieved today. I have stockpiled more than that at our off-loading point, but as long as the enemy occupies the high ground, I’ve only been able to get a thousand tons a day in here, and that was with an unacceptable loss of transport landing craft, I’m here to tell you. We have enough on hand to mount one more full assault, and then you’ll have to fall back and regroup.” – Quartermaster Mess Boulanger
Isn’t the above quote simply riveting! I know that when I read a passage like that one I can’t wait to keep moving on with the story and get to more exciting descriptions of the logistics of war. Wait a second, my sarcasm is getting ahead of me, and a little bit out of control. Maybe there are those out there who get a kick out of how much water needs to come into camp every day in order to properly resupply any given platoon. I guess people could exist who want to skip action, suspense, and good characters in favor of talk about how much food the human body needs to survive in a day of combat. I am not one of those people, I don’t care one iota about any of that information. Taking on a surly approach for a moment, why in the hell would I care about any of that information? Why in a fantasy world like Star Wars would I want to waste my time reading about the resupply rates of water? If someone out there does more power to you, but I don’t want to waste my precious reading time with something like Jedi Trial.
If my opening diatribe doesn’t give it away, I quite despised Jedi Trial. Not only did I find the majority of it useless, but I was bored to tears by how much did not happen in this novel. There were more lines describing how sweaty and perspired some male’s body was (the authors clearly have a homoerotic thing going on, but in an almost impossibly uninteresting way) than there were compelling entries of action or character related drama. The quote above was actually inserted into a part of the book that feels like it’s supposed to be completely action driven. But hey, who needs forward momentum and inertia when the specifics of resupplying an army need to be addressed?
When it comes to characters Jedi Trial is a complete and utter failure, the type of novel that gives Star Wars novels a bad name. Take the characters of Erk H’Arman and Odie Subu. Two characters who meet and within a couple of pages of nothing happening in terms of a relationship forming have decided to declare their love for one another. I was willing to give them a chance, I thought that perhaps the rest of the novel would flesh out their relationship. I was wrong, the rest of the novel treats them as shallowly as their first moments together. This culminates in their nuptials, at which point if I weren’t a completest I would have thrown the novel in the trash (or realistically donated it to a local reading drive as I’m all about youngsters getting help to read). Every character in Jedi Trial is shallow, and those who are given time, such as Anakin Skywalker, come across like they are alternate reality versions of their characters as we have seen/read them in other Expanded Universe materials. They don’t mesh at all, and help to make Jedi Trial a novel that can’t get across character in ways I didn’t know were possible.
You know who else pissed me off, the character of Pors Tonith. Jedi Trial is a military novel, and yet who is at the head of the Confederacy of Independent Systems forces, a fucking banker! Yeah, I just swore, that’s how pissed off a character like Tonith makes me. I don’t want a damn banker as a military leader. There’s nothing in the novel that suggests he should actually be a brilliant military mind. He is one because the authors want him to be one, but they don’t support their wish with any kind of relevant background information. Tell you what, next time I go and deposit some money in my local bank I’ll ask the teller if he/she has any ideas on how to move the United States military across Afghanistan. I’m sure he/she will have the best advice ever, because after all a freaking banker makes the best military mind!
I’m going to stop here, the more I think about Jedi Trial the more upset I get. Simply put, Jedi Trial is a horrendous novel. If this is the type of bland, banal, and boring storytelling, where no character has any meat to them, that Dan Cragg and David Sherman have to offer then I never want to read anything else by them, ever. Trust me, there’s no reason for any Star Wars fan to read Jedi Trial. Steer clear of this abomination of a Star Wars novel, there’s no reason any other Star Wars fans should have to suffer through Jedi Trial like I did.