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Literature: Jedi Apprentice

Peace over anger
Honor over hate
Strength over fear

Part of the deluge of new EU material resulting from the massive renewed interest in Star Wars after the release of Episode I, Jedi Apprentice is a series of Star Wars Expanded Universe books written for young adults. Basically an extended prequel to The Phantom Menace (yes, a prequel to the prequel), it follows the adventures of Qui-Gon Jinn and his young apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Although some of the books are stand-alone adventures, most of the series is told in story arcs that are at least three books long. The first arc, about Qui-Gon's old apprentice and enemy, doesn't end until the eighth book (within it is Obi-Wan leaving and returning to the Jedi, which lasts four books).

There were eighteen books in total and two Special Edition books that crossed over with the Jedi Quest series.


This series provides examples of:

  • Abdicate the Throne: Queen Veda of Gala's decision to end the monarchy in favor of democratic elections. In her case, it's the abdication of the entire system, which basically causes the plot of the book.
  • Ace Pilot: All Jedi are pretty capable, but Adi Gallia is one of the best.
    Her response time was amazingly fast, and her feel for her craft was instinctive. If anyone could lose four starfighters without risking damage to their craft, it was Adi.
  • Acid Pool: The pristine Sacred Pools on Telos were polluted into little ponds of opaque black acid so caustic it can dissolve an adult man in a matter of moments, but apparently have no fumes. Andra leans right over one without a problem, and nobody in the immediate vicinity of the man-dissolving is injured by escaping gas either.
  • Adventure Towns: Adventure Planets.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted in book 1. One of the few Star Wars works to portray the Hutts in a positive light.
  • Arch-Enemy: Xanatos to Qui-Gon.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration/Arson Murder And Life Saving: How King Frane reacts to the news that his son, Taroon, had staged an attack on his planet in hopes of becoming heir in The Shattered Peace. He promptly appoints the boy heir.
  • Artifact Of The Darkside: The Sith holocron in the second special edition is so evil that it makes the Jedi feel physically ill.
  • Assimilation Academy: Obi-Wan and Siri spend most of "The Fight for Truth" in one. Students who break the rules, ask too many questions, or have chronic illness are essentially Unpersoned to a shadowy basement level where they may be confined to sensory deprivation suits with a brainwashing audiobook.
  • Avenging the Villain: Xanatos wants payback for his father, Crion's death. In Jedi Quest, its Spiritual Successor, Granta Omega, seeks vengeance for Xanatos' death.
  • Back Story: Qui-Gon and Xanatos have a troubled history with each other.
  • Badass: Qui-Gon, and Obi-Wan's well on his way. Xanatos and Ona Nobis are excellent villainous badasses.
  • Badass in Distress: Qui-Gon spends most of books 12 and 13 tied to a science apparatus in Jenna Zan Arbor's lab, being subjected to experiments and having his blood extracted.
  • Bad Boss: Baftu & Terra, Xanatos.
  • Bald of Evil: Ona Nobis.
  • The Baroness: Terra in The Hidden Past. She's got the cold demeanour, ruthlessness, and unchecked cruelty down pat.
  • Because Destiny Says So: At first, Qui-Gon does not want to train Obi-Wan, but when The Force wants something, it gets it.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Taroon and Drenna in The Shattered Peace, Den and Andra in The Day of Reckoning.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Xanatos pulls this on Qui-Gon out of spite, ranting about how he's denying him the chance to kill him.
    "I am your biggest failure. Live with that. And live with this!"
  • Big Bad: Xanatos for Books 1-8 and Jenna Zan Arbor for 11-13. The last bit doesn't really have a clear villain.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: On Kegan, there are records for everything the civilians do, say, meet with, write, etc.
  • Bounty Hunter: Ona Nobis, from The Deadly Hunter.
  • Bread and Circuses: Used to great effect on Telos, where Xanatos operates massive gambling halls and uses their profits to fund his mining.
  • Bullfight Boss: Elan and the hill people versus a bunch of tanks in "Mark of the Crown."
  • Catch Phrase: Den: "Joke, right?" Guerra & Paxxi: "So/Just so/It is so."
  • Call Forward: In the Fight for Truth, two people have been having prophetic visions. They say they see the Jedi surrounded by darkness that comes from within and engulfs them, they talk about masked soldiers bringing suffering, they predict a planet-destroying explosive. Qui-Gon finds it far-fetched.
    "There is no explosive device powerful enough to destroy a whole planet."
    "Not yet, perhaps."
    • Qui-Gon's brief vision of Obi-Wan as an old man in a desert, with nothing for company except memories.
  • The Chessmaster: Xanatos throughout the series; Taroon in book 10, The Shattered Peace, who ruthlessly manipulates events to make his father pick him as heir over his brother.
  • Childhood Friend: Bant Eerin, a Mon Calamari girl who is Obi-Wan's closest friend at the Temple.
  • Clipboard of Authority: Qui-Gon teaches Obi-Wan that this is a valuable trick.
  • Collateral Angst: Tahl, for Qui-Gon. Cerasei for Obi-Wan, although her death sends ripples throughout the conflict.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In addition to being an ex-Jedi, Xanatos in the head of Offworld, a downright nasty mining corporation with its hands in slavery, environmental destruction, and illegal smuggling operations. And that's just before lunch.
  • The Corrupter: Xanatos to Bruck Chun and the entire planet of Telos.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Threat Within displays Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan dueling on a series of catwalks. This turns out to be a normal sparring session in a more suitable location, which is tense mainly because Obi-Wan is growing out of apprenticeship.
  • Create Your Own Villain: How Xanatos became evil.
  • Dark Action Girl: Ona Nobis.
  • The Dark Side: Inevitable in a series about Jedi.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Siri Tachi is always making sarcastic remarks and needling Obi-Wan.
  • Death from Above: The draigons attacking in book 1.
  • Disney Villain Death: Xanatos jumps into acid to avoid capture.
  • The Dragon: Ona Nobis to Jenna Zan Arbor. Xanatos appeared to be turning Bruck into one, but throws him away without batting an eye.
  • Dying as Yourself: Terra in The Hidden Past.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first book was written by a different author (Dave Wolverton) than the rest of the series.
  • The Evil Prince: Subverted. Taroon, in The Shattered Peace looks the part, and is a ruthless chessmaster out to escape his status as The Unfavorite by ruining his brother's reputation, even going so far as to kidnap his brother and risk war. However, his brother, Leed, does not want the job, a fact that Taroon is very aware of, and his manipulations ultimately prove that by local standards he will be the better king.
  • Evil Redhead: Jenna Zan Arbor.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Giving one to Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon is pretty much the whole point of the series.
  • Explosive Leash: In The Dark Rival, Obi-Wan is abducted and thrown into an ocean mining platform, which uses these to keep their workers in line.
  • Expy: Xanatos is Qui-Gon's Anakin/Vader, although he's never redeemed.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Longer than most examples in the trope, but most of the eighteen-book series takes place in the one year that Obi-Wan is thirteen.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Xanatos, Qui-Gon's former apprentice. He later talks Bruck, Obi-Wan's Rival into pulling one.
  • The Fettered: Jedi in general, to the frustration of a young Obi-Wan. When Obi-Wan becomes Older and Wiser, Siri starts having a role in the books so she can be frustrated by it.
  • First Name Basis: On Kegan, people have one-word names, but female names are prefixed with "O-" and male names with "V-". If someone becomes friends they remove the prefixes, so V-Davi becomes Davi.
  • Foregone Conclusion: A plot-arc in the middle of the series has Obi-Wan leave the Jedi Order. Since he's a member in The Phantom Menace, we know he'll come back.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The POWER party stands for "Preserve Our Wild Endangered Resources".
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Xanatos has a crescent scar that stands out on one of his cheeks. He burned it in with his dead father's signet ring, and a design based on it serves as the Offworld logo.
  • Greed: Xanatos and his father, Crion, both suffered from it, starting a War for Fun and Profit in order to enrich themselves, and Xanatos' current objective seems to be to make as much money as he can or die in the attempt. In The Day of Reckoning this trope is discussed by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, who can feel the greed and lust for money that has infiltrated Telos since the Katharsis gambling event was created.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: King Frane and Prince Taroon in The Shattered Peace.
  • Hot Scientist: Jenna Zan Arbor is an evil version.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Xanatos' are cold and frozen.
  • Innocent Aliens: Arconans.
  • It's Personal: Xanatos vs. Qui-Gon is very personal for both of them, no matter what Qui-Gon says.
  • Jumped at the Call: Obi-Wan really, really wants to be a Jedi Knight, and his impulsive actions in the first two books nearly result in that never happening. He can also get very swept up in whatever local conflict is happening, which has disastrous consequences in the fifth and sixth books.
  • Kick the Dog: Xanatos tries to break Obi-Wan during their final battle by playing on Obi-Wan's guilt of accidentally killing Bruck. It fails, but it was still extremely cruel.
  • Kill Him Already
  • Lean and Mean: Xanatos, later Ona Nobis (whose leanness and flexibility is a species trait, not so much the meanness).
  • Living Macguffin: The force-sensitive baby O-Lana in the ninth book. She brings the Jedi to the planet; when she vanishes, Qui-Gon and Adi learn a lot about the totaliarian nature of the planet over the course of their search for her, and Obi-Wan and Siri eventually find her in the Re-Learning Circle. Really, any baby could have fit the bill.
  • Loveable Rogue: Den from The Day of Reckoning.
  • Love Makes You Evil: The Jedi Council believes that Qui-Gon is in danger from this trope after the assassination of Tahl. Consider at this cover, for example.
  • Made a Slave: Obi-Wan in the second book. In legal terms, it's not actually named slavery, but when they strap on a collar that explodes if you escape....
  • Mad Scientist: Jenna Zan Arbor, who kidnaps Qui-Gon so that she might conduct experiments on the Force.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Xanatos to one of the candidates (Book 4), Bruck in Book 7, and god knows how many other people across the galaxy. Jenna Zan Arbor to Ona Nobis.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Xanatos. He utterly screws with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon's heads during all of their encounters, turns Bruck to the Dark Side, and manipulates public opinion with ease.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: The villainous scientist Jenna Zan Arbor's motivation is her desire to break down and measure the Force. She attempts this by kidnapping and torturing Qui-Gon Jinn.
  • Mega Corp.: UniFy in The Day of Reckoning is a Mega Corp. that through bribery and legitimate business dealings controls all of Telos' sacred spaces. UniFy is itself a front for Offworld, Xanatos' mining corporation, which has a hand in half the illegal dealings in the galaxy.
  • My Greatest Failure: Xanatos tries to force Qui-Gon to admit that he is his. Qui-Gon declines to dwell on it to that degree.
  • Myth Arc: Two in the form of Obi-Wan's growth as a Jedi and Xanatos's quest for revenge against the Jedi. In-between, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon spend most of their time solving the problems of Adventure Towns (problems in which Xanatos may or may not have an indirect hand).
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Qui-Gon shows severe Genre Blindness in choosing to trust a kid named "Xanatos".
  • The Obi-Wan: In this series Qui-Gon is Obi-Wan's, well, Obi-Wan.
  • Odd Friendship: Qui-Gon and diner proprietor Didi Oddo. Obi-Wan is shocked when they greet with a hug.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The POWER party on Telos is really just Andra (and Den, but only because he likes Andra). In fairness, there used to be more members before it was outlawed. Those who weren't "disappeared" decided to quit.
  • Offered the Crown: Queen Veda gives Elan the option of claiming her rights as the king's firstborn, but she declines as she has been a hill person for her whole life.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Our dragons are giant airborne fish.
  • Planetville: An attempt to subvert this trope is made, but the writers having no sense of scale gets in the way. Gala has multiple towns and lots of farming country, plus multiple biomes, but manages to be occupied entirely by three tribes. Melida/Daan has lots of cities and towns, but this is irrelevant as all you apparently need to be considered ruler of the planet is the city of Zehava. The planet Kegan has only one city, the rest being used for agriculture and animal raising, but its population is small and there are some other structures elsewhere.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Bant is Obi-Wan's best friend—she accepts him back immediately after Melida/Daan and he often tinks about how much he values her companionship, but there's no mention of any romantic feelings.
  • Police State:
    • Phindar is ruled by a totalitarian crime syndicate and memory-wipes anyone who offends them.
    • Kegan is a less violent one. They try at benevolence, but their laws are quite smothering.
  • Prequel: A prequel to a prequel, even.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Xanatos to Qui-Gon.
  • Revenge: Xanatos wants it on the Jedi. The people of the Crapsack World of Melida/Daan have it as a way of life.
    • Revenge Before Reason: The people of Melida/Daan put avenging past defeats ahead of feeding and educating their children, using what little farmable land they have left to build mausoleums they call "Halls of Evidence" so that they might encourage future generations to fight harder. They've wrecked their world, and for the most part, don't care.
    • Sins of Our Fathers: The Melida and the Daan will cheerfully butcher one another over wrongs that happened a hundred years ago.
  • The Rival: Bruck to Obi-Wan.
    • Rival Turned Evil: Bruck Chun to Obi-Wan. He lets his rage drive him to sabotage, attempted murder, and worse, all while trusting Xanatos.
    • Siri takes this role later on, which ends up as an Odd Couple dynamic as they get to know each other.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The Hill People on Gala soundly beat the royal tank corps thanks to their superior knowledge of terrain and weather conditions. They are on proper swoops, but they're widely considered to be primitive barbarians.
  • Royal Brat: Beju of Gala, who is absolutely incensed at his mother's decision to end the monarchy. He responds by entering the presidential race and plotting to throw the election with an engineered bacta shortage.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Xanatos, who commits suicide rather than submit to capture.
  • Sense Loss Sadness: Tahl is blinded and struggles to come to grips with it and the automatic pity people feel for her. Oddly, while this is a galaxy in which prosthetic eyes are easy to come by, they give her an annoyingly talkative seeing-eye droid and lessons in boosting her other senses instead.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: In The Day Of Reckoning, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan help a pair of ecological activists expose the effects of Offworld's operations on Telos. In the Special Edition book The Followers, it turns out that the planet was destroyed by more industrial companies some years later.
  • Spiritual Successor: Followed by Jedi Quest, which took place between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones and featured similar adventures for Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker. Future kidlit series - The Last of the Jedi, taking place after Revenge of the Sith, and Rebel Force, between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back - have a similar tone and many callbacks, but are a little different.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: There are only three tribes on the entire planet of Gala.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Bruck Chun oh so very much. Xanatos is also this, though in his case, he established the connections specifically so he could screw the rules.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Xanatos, via Offworld, his mining corporation.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: In The Shattered Peace. On the one hand we have Leed: The Wise Prince, The Ace, and a pacifist who has gone native in captivity, and seeks peace between his birth world and his adopted one. On the other we have Taroon: a physically awkward Chessmaster who wants the power that Leed is so willing to throw away, has a Hair-Trigger Temper worthy of their Hot-Blooded father, and loathes the Senali as much as Leed loves them. Surprisingly, Cain and Abel is averted; the brothers love each other even if they can't see eye to eye.
  • The Syndicate: "The Syndicat" which appears in The Hidden Past is a criminal organisation that has managed to seize control of the planet Phindar, controlling all supplies, and memory wiping those who oppose them.
  • Tank Goodness: When the Galan Royal Guards have a problem, their initial reaction is to throw tanks at it until it dies.
  • Time Skip: There is one between "The Day of Reckoning" and "The Fight for Truth", and mention of months passing. Obi-Wan is still thirteen, but somewhat less impulsive than before.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Obi-Wan decides to leave the Jedi in Defenders of the Dead, not wanting to abandon the Young just because the mission is over. It turns out badly for him, and he spends the next two-and-a-half books trying to regain Qui-Gon's trust.
  • Planet with a Dark Secret: Loads of them.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting:
    • The point-of-view swaps between Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon at regular intervals. They usually separate (intentionally or not) early in the story to conduct a full investigation of what's going on.
    • The Special Edition books switch off between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan starting a mystery and Obi-Wan and Anakin solving it years later.
  • The Unfavourite: Taroon in The Shattered Peace.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Xanatos in Day Of Reckoning.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Taroon in The Shattered Peace, whose father prefers his older brother Leed to him.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kegan's rulers, V-Tan and O-Vieve, had visions of a very dark future - the Empire - and took steps to try to protect their planet from it by completely isolating it from the galaxy, which does mean its technology is far behind and people regularly die from otherwise treatable diseases. They also monitor the every move of their citizens - who vote but only on things V-Tan and O-Vieve allow them to vote on - raise them to be xenophobic and trusting of their leaders, and secretly take willful or chronically ill children into solitary confinement to strap into "sensory deprivation suits" where the only sensation is of a voice whispering propaganda.
    "Everything we have done is to protect our citizens from a fate they cannot imagine. Perhaps some of our measures seem harsh, but they are only for the General Good."
    • It's hinted that the visions were of the planet falling victim to one of The Empire's superweapons. If ending their tyrannical rule did mean Kegan was better known later and got blown up, that makes The Fight For Truth a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Obi-Wan gets this from nearly everyone after he decides he wants to rejoin the Jedi after Melida/Daan. Of note are Qui-Gon, who takes two entire books to accept him back, and Siri, who tells Obi-Wan that his actions have caused tension between almost all Master-Padawan pairs.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Bruck Chun, Obi-Wan's Jerkass rival. He eventually falls under the sway of Xanatos and becomes his evil Padawan.
  • Workaholic: Vorzyd IV's society and identity is completely structured around work, to the point that they get panic attacks from work disruptions, and many lose the will to live after retirement. The young Vorzydiaks start an underground movement to try and relieve this.
  • World Half Empty: Not the galaxy in general, as Jude Watson portrays it, but the war-ravaged planet of Melida/Daan very much so.
  • You Killed My Father: One of the many, many reasons that Xanatos wants Qui-Gon Jinn's head on a plate.

Darth PlagueisRecap/Star Wars Expanded UniverseOutbound Flight

alternative title(s): Jedi Apprentice
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