Kenobi – John Jackson Miller

Kenobi book coverFrom Goodreads.com

The greatest hero in the galaxy faces his toughest challenge yet: He must stop being Obi-Wan-and become Crazy Old Ben. For fans of movie-related novels like Darth Plagueis!

In this original novel set between the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi comes to the aid of the residents of Tatooine during his exile. But he struggles with his new mission when he realizes that protecting Luke Skywalker-the last hope of the galaxy-means setting aside his compassion and his Jedi warrior training, for the future of the galaxy lies not with Obi-Wan Kenobi, but with a mystical desert recluse known only by the name of Crazy Old Ben.

Why I Chose It:

I have always wanted to read a Star Wars book, but didn’t really know where to start. When I saw the cover of this book on Goodreads, I knew I had to check it out!

The Review:

Kenobi was a really neat read for me. Being a Star Wars fan, I’ve seen the movies quite a few times and know them fairly well. I’ve never read a Star Wars book, however, so I wasn’t sure exactly how the book would present the premise of the story. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book before where I know so much about the setting going into it. I think it was just an interesting experience for me. Usually when I read a book part of the process is to learn the type of world that the characters are living in, and of course learn about the characters themselves, so I was interested to see how the book would go about the opening.

I actually think the story was well written in this regard. Miller introduces a set of characters local to Tatooine. I was able to read about these characters and their homes, re-learning the setting of Tatooine from a local’s viewpoint. We also meet Obi-wan through these characters as “Ben,” and therefore Miller avoids having to re-introduce his character to readers. As their stories become more intertwined, the locals slowly learn more about Ben – things that we know as readers, because we already know who he is and what he’s doing there. I really appreciated this stylistic approach to the story.

It was also really neat to engage in Tatooine in such an integrated way. Miller incorporates animals that are local to the planet that were fun to read about. As the area’s newest resident, Obi-Wan needs to learn how to work with (or avoid) these creatures. I liked reading about how Obi-Wan adapts to living alone in the desert, and the different struggles that he goes through.

While I really enjoyed reading the story, I do wonder if a large part of that is because I’m a Star Wars fan. (I’m also a huge Obi-Wan fan because of Ewan McGregor…but that’s another post. ;) ) But I think that either if I wasn’t a fan, or if I didn’t know the premise of the movies, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the story that much. Even liking the characters and the main story, I did find parts slow or dragging, and I didn’t find some of the characters to be that interesting. A part of me felt like I was just accepting parts of the story because I already knew the bigger picture, and not necessarily because it fit in the book. Still, it was a really interesting adventure into the world of Star Wars books – one I hope to repeat soon!

Rating: 3 / 5

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2 comments on “Kenobi – John Jackson Miller

  1. OMG! If you want an awesome Star Wars book you HAVE to read Heir to the Empire!! Or even just listen to it on audio book (which is what I did). The guy who does the audiobook is awesome at doing all of the voices (although the female characters sound a bit odd lol). The story continues where Star Wars VI left off….so basically where the new movies will continue. Some of the plot points from Heir to the Empire are supposed to be in the new movie too…

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