Synopsis: Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.
A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.
Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive.
“Betrayal always comes wrapped up in a friendly cloak. It’s one of the first things I learned in the Senate.”
When Disney bought Lucasfilm, much of the lore was thrown away & the slate was wiped clean after Return of the Jedi. Heir to the Jedi was originally intended as part of the Star Wars: Empire & Rebellion series. I recently read (& loved) Honor Among Thieves, which ended up being the last book published under the Legends continuity. Heir to the Jedi then became one of the first canonical releases after the relaunch, as a standalone.
Heir to the Jedi follows Luke shortly after A New Hope. He is embarking on a mission for the Rebel Alliance to break out a cryptographer who could become a spy. Along the way, Luke slowly discovers what his Force powers are capable of & tries to manage them on his own, while also learning everything he can about the Jedi.
I have read upwards of 70 Star Wars books & for the most part, I’ve enjoyed each one in some way. Unfortunately, this is probably right there with Jedi Trial as my least favorite. Although Jedi Trial was so cheesy that it was almost.. more readable? Heir to the Jedi was just such a slog fest. The most obvious reason for that is because it is written entirely in Luke’s narrative. As far as I know, this is only the second use of first-person POV within Star Wars. The other was I, Jedi – a book that holds a special place in my heart because it was my first ever Star Wars book that I picked up as a 14-year-old!
I struggled with Heir to the Jedi, not going to lie! I felt as though the characterizations were wooden, the plot incredibly slow-moving & the writing was just.. well.. I had some issues with it, let’s just say that. The tone felt off & the prose never managed to fully capture me. Truthfully, the main thing about the writing that stood out was when Luke says that Admiral Ackbar has a kind of “moist charisma” I just.. I –
For the most part, the new canon books have been brilliant! This one? Not so much. It lacked the usual Star Wars magic for me.