Star Wars The Approaching Storm [NOOK Book]

Overview

“ENTERTAINING AND INTELLIGENT . . . This book is pure class all the way. . . . The final page is a great climax.”
Starburst


The Republic is decaying, even under the leadership of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who was elected to save the galaxy from collapsing under the forces of discontent. On the tiny but strategic planet of Ansion, a powerful faction is on the verge of joining the growing secessionist ...
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Star Wars The Approaching Storm

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Overview

“ENTERTAINING AND INTELLIGENT . . . This book is pure class all the way. . . . The final page is a great climax.”
Starburst


The Republic is decaying, even under the leadership of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who was elected to save the galaxy from collapsing under the forces of discontent. On the tiny but strategic planet of Ansion, a powerful faction is on the verge of joining the growing secessionist movement. At the Chancellor’s request, the Jedi Council sends two Jedi Knights, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luminara Unduli, along with their Padawans Anakin Skywalker and Barriss Offee, to stabilize the planet’s population. To succeed, the Jedi will have to fulfill near-impossible tasks, befriend wary strangers, and influence two great armies, stalked all the while by an enemy sworn to see the negotiations collapse and the mission fail. . . .

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

A prequel of sorts to Star Wars: Episode II, this exciting new Jedi adventure -- written by beloved Star Wars veteran Alan Dean Foster -- features a new character from Attack of the Clones.

VOYA
Obi-wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, the latter now in his teens, join a female Jedi and her apprentice on a diplomatic mission to the planet Ansion. They hope to convince Ansion's government to vote against secession from the galactic Republic, an event the Jedi Council believes could trigger a chain reaction. To accomplish this goal, the Jedi must negotiate a delicate treaty between Ansion's city dwellers and the nomads who roam the planet's vast wilderness. Although described on the cover as a prologue to the latest Star Wars(tm) movie, this novel represents a generic quest adventure rather than an important chapter in the Star Wars(tm) saga. The heroes journey across Ansion in search of the elusive nomads who require the foursome to complete various tasks, such as obtaining a handful of wool from a rare albino herd animal. Although some readers will enjoy the action and alien creatures, more sophisticated young adults likely will recognize the arbitrary and ultimately meaningless nature of these tasks. The book also exhibits the same condescending attitude toward more primitive species that critics noted in the 1999 movie The Phantom Menace, right down to a character almost identical to the controversial Jar Jar Binks. Unfortunately, there is not enough character development to offset these serious flaws, but the perceived relevance of this book to the latest movie likely will result in more patron requests for this title than for most Star Wars(tm) books. VOYA CODES: 2Q 4P S A/YA (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2002, Del Rey, 344p,
— Amy Sisson
Library Journal
A Jedi adventure that foreshadows events in the upcoming movie, Star Wars: Episode II; by a popular genre author. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
“The best things are the new creations. The landscape and animal life of Ansion is wonderfully described. . . . [along with] some excellent fight scenes and a display of lightsaber gymnastics.”
–SFX Magazine

“FOSTER DELVES INTO THE INTERNAL CONFLICT OF ANAKIN SKYWALKER AND THE PSYCHE OF THE JEDI.”
–USA Today
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307795717
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Series: Star Wars Series
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 95,806
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Alan Dean Foster has written in a variety of genres, including hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He is also the author of numerous nonfiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as novelizations of several films including Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first science fiction work ever to do so. Foster and his wife, JoAnn Oxley, live in Prescott, Arizona.

Visit the author at his Web site at www.alandeanfoster.com.


From the Paperback edition.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter Two

"Haja, sweet scent--what're you hiding under that big ol' robe?"

Luminara Unduli did not look up at the large, unshaven, rough-hewn, and unpleasantly fragrant man or his equally coarse and malodorous companions. She treated their knowing grins, the eager forward tilt of their bodies, and their leering eyes with equal indifference--though their collective body odor was some-what harder to ignore.
Patiently, she raised the spoonful of hot stew to her lips,
the lower of which was stained a permanent purplish black.
A series of interlocking black diamonds tattooed her chin,
while more intricate markings decorated the joints of her fingers. The olive color of her skin contrasted strikingly with the deep blue of her eyes.

These rose to regard the younger woman who was seated on the other side of the table. Barriss Offee's attention shifted between her teacher and the men crowding uncomfortably close around the two of them. Luminara smiled to herself. A good person, was Barriss. Observant and thoughtful,
if occasionally impulsive. For now, the young woman held her peace, kept eating, and said nothing. A judicious reaction, the older woman knew.
She's letting me take the lead, as she should.

The man who had voiced the impropriety whispered some-thing to one of his friends. There was a ripple of crude, unpleasant laughter. Leaning closer, he put a hand on Luminara's cloth-draped shoulder. "I asked you a question, darlin'. Now, are you gonna show us what's under this lovely soft robe of yours, or d'you want us to take a peek ourselves?" An air of pheromone-charged expectation had gripped his companions. Huddled over their food, a few of the establishment's other diners turned to look, but none moved to voice outrage at what was happening or to interfere.

Spoon pausing before her lips, Luminara seemed to devote greater contemplation to its contents than to the insistent query. With a sigh,
she finally downed the spoonful of stew and reached down with her free right hand. "I suppose if you really want to see . . ."

One of the men grinned broadly and nudged his hulking companion in the ribs. A couple of others crowded closer still, so that they were all but leaning over the table. Luminara pulled a portion of her outer robe aside, the intricate designs on the copper- and bronze-colored metal bands that covered her upper forearms glinting in the diffuse light of the tavern.

Beneath the robe was a metal and leather belt. Attached to the belt were several small and unexpectedly sophisticated examples of precision engineering. One of these was cylindrical, highly polished,
and designed to fit comfortably in a closed hand. The aggressive spokesman for the group squinted at it, his expression slightly confused. Behind him, a couple of his heretofore hopeful cronies abandoned their leering expressions faster than a smuggler's ship making an emergency jump to hyperspace.

"Mathos preserve us! That's a Jedi lightsaber!"

Expressions falling like hard rain, the band of would-be aggressors began to back off, split up, and drift hurriedly away. Unexpectedly deserted, their erstwhile leader was unwilling to admit defeat so quickly. He stared at the gleaming metal cylinder.

"Not a chance, no. A 'Jedi' lightsaber, is it?" He glared belligerently at the suddenly enigmatic object of his attentions. "I suppose that would make you a 'Jedi Knight,' sweet splash? A lovely, lithe Jedi at that!" He snorted derisively. "Sure and that's no Jedi lightsaber, is it? Is it?" he growled insistently when she failed to respond.

Finishing another spoonful of her meal, Luminara Unduli carefully set the utensil down on her nearly empty plate, delicately patted both her decorated and her untouched lip with the supplied linen napkin, wiped her hands, and turned to face him. Blue eyes peered upward out of her fine-featured face, and she smiled coldly.

"You know how to find out," she informed him softly.

The big man started to say something, hesitated, reconsidered. The attractive woman's hands rested, palm downward, on her thighs. The lightsaber--it certainly looked like a Jedi light-saber, he found himself thinking apprehensively--remained attached to her belt. Across the table, the younger woman continued to eat her meal as though nothing out of the ordinary was taking place.

Abruptly, the gruff intruder became aware of several things simultaneously. First, he was now completely alone. His formerly enthusiastic companions had slipped away, one by one. Second, by this time the woman seated before him was supposed to be anxious and afraid.
Instead, she only looked bored and resigned. Third, he suddenly remembered that he had important business elsewhere.

"Uh, sorry," he found himself mumbling. "Didn't mean to bother you. Case of mistaken identity. Was looking for someone else." Turning, he hurried away from the table and toward the tavern's entrance, nearly tripping over a scraps bowl on the floor next to an unoccupied serving counter.
Several of the other patrons watched him go. Others eyed the two women fixedly be-fore finding reason to return to their own food and conversation.

Exhaling softly, Luminara turned back to the remnants of her meal.
Making a face, she pushed the bowl and what remained of the meal away from her. The boorish intrusion had spoiled her appetite.

"You handled that well, Master Luminara." Barriss was finishing up her own food. The Padawan's perception might occasionally be lacking, but never her readiness to eat. "No noise, no fuss."

"As you grow older, you'll find that you occasionally have to deal with an excess of testosterone. Often on minor worlds like Ansion." She shook her head slowly. "I dislike such distractions."

Barriss smiled gaily. "Don't be so somber, Master. You can't do anything about physical attractiveness. Anyway, you've given them a story to tell, as well as a lesson."

Luminara shrugged. "If only those in charge of the local government,
this so-called Unity of Community, were as easy to persuade to see reason."

"It will happen." Barriss rose swiftly. "I'm finished." Together, the two women paid for the meal and exited the establishment. Whispers,
mutterings, and not a few awed words of admiration trailed in their wake.

"The populace has heard we're here to try to cement a permanent peace between the city folk of the Unity and the Alwari nomads. They're unaware of the far greater issues at stake. And we can't reveal the real reason for our presence here without alerting those who would oppose us to the fact that we know of their deeper intentions." Luminara drew her robe tighter around her. It was important to present as subdued yet impressive an appearance as possible. "Because we can't be completely honest, the locals don't trust us."

Barriss nodded. "The city people think we favor the nomads, and the nomads fear we're on the side of the city folk. I hate politics, Master
Luminara." One hand fell to her side. "I prefer settling differences with a lightsaber. Much more straightforward." Her pretty face radiated a zest for life. She had not yet lived long enough to become inured to the new.

"It's difficult to persuade opposing sides of the rightness of your reasoning when they're both dead." Turning up one of Cuipernam's side streets, chaotic with traders and city folk of many different galactic species, Luminara spoke while scanning not only the avenue but also the flanking walls of commercial and residential buildings. "Anyone can handle a weapon. Reason is much more difficult to wield. Remember that the next time you're tempted to settle an argument with a lightsaber."

"I bet it's all the fault of the Trade Federation." Barriss eyed a stall dripping with jewelry: necklaces and earrings, rings and diadems,
bracelets and hand-sculpted flash corneas. Such conventional personal ornamentation was forbidden to a Jedi. As one of her teachers had once explained to Barriss and her fellow Padawans, "A Jedi's glow comes from within, not from the artificial augmentation of baubles and beads."

Still, that necklace of Searous hair and interwoven pikach stones was just gorgeous.

"What did you say, Barriss?"

"Nothing, Master. I was just expressing my dissatisfaction at the continuing scheming of the Trade Federation."

"Yes," Luminara agreed. "And the Commerce Guilds. They grow more powerful by the month, always sticking their money-hungry fingers in where they're not wanted, even if their immediate interests are not directly involved. Here on Ansion, they openly support the towns and cities that are loosely grouped together as the Unity of Community even though the law of the Republic guarantees the rights of nomadic groups like the Alwari to remain independent of such external influences. Their activities here only complicate an already difficult situation." They turned another corner. "As they do elsewhere."

Barriss nodded knowingly. "Everyone still remembers the Naboo incident.
Why doesn't the Senate simply vote to reduce their trade concessions?
That would settle them down a bit!"

Luminara had to fight to keep from smiling. Ah, the innocence of youth!
Barriss was well meaning and a fine Padawan, but she was unsophisticated in the ways of governance.

"It's all very well to invoke ethics and morals, Barriss, but these days it's commerce that seems to rule the Republic. Sometimes the Commerce
Guilds and the Trade Federation act like they're separate governments.
They're very clever about it, though." Her expression twisted. "Fawning and bowing before emissaries of the Senate, issuing a steady stream of protestations of innocence: that Nute Gunray in particular is as slippery as a Notonian mudworm. Money equals power, and power buys votes. Yes, even in the Republic Senate. And they have powerful allies."
Her thoughts turned inward. "It's not just money any-more. The Republic is a soiled sea roiled by dangerous currents. The Jedi Council fears that general dissatisfaction with the present state of governance is giving way to outright secession on many worlds."

Barriss stood a little taller as she strode along beside her Master. "At least everyone knows that the Jedi are above such matters, and aren't for sale."

"Not for sale, no." Luminara sank farther into preoccupation.

Barriss noted the change. "Something else troubles you, Master
Luminara?"

The other woman mustered a smile. "Oh, sometimes one hears things. Odd stories, unaccredited rumors. These days such tales seem to run rampant.
This political philosophy of a certain Count Dooku, for example."

Though always eager to display her knowledge, Barriss hesi-ated before responding. "I think I recognize the name, but not in connection with that title. Wasn't he the Jedi who--"

Stopping sharply, Luminara threw out a hand to halt her companion. Her eyes flicked rapidly from side to side and she was suddenly no longer introspective. Her every nerve was alert, every sense on edge. Before
Barriss could question the reason for the action, the Jedi had her lightsaber out, activated, and fully extended before her. Without moving her head, she raised it to a challenge position. Having drawn and activated her own weapon in response to her Master's reaction, Barriss searched anxiously for the source of unease. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, she glanced questioningly at her teacher.

Which was when the Hoguss plunged from above--to spit itself neatly on
Luminara's upraised lightsaber. There was a brief stink of burning flesh, the Jedi extracted the beam, and the startled Hoguss, its now useless killing ax locked in a powerful but lifeless grip, keeled over onto its side. The heavy body made a dull thump as it struck the ground.

"Back!" Luminara started to retreat, the now anxious and alerted Barriss guarding her Master's rear and flanks.

The attackers swarmed down from rooftops and out of second-story windows, came bursting through doorways and up out of otherwise empty crates; a veritable flash flood of seedy infamy. Someone, Luminara mused grimly as she retreated, had gone to considerable trouble and expense to arrange this ambush. In the midst of genuine concern for herself and her
Padawan, she had to admire the plotter's thoroughness. Whoever it was clearly knew they were dealing with more than a couple of female tourists out for a morning's sight-seeing.

The question was, how much did they know?

There are only two ways for non-Jedi to defeat Jedi in battle: lull them into a false sense of security, or overwhelm them with sheer force of numbers. Subtlety obviously being a notion foreign to their present assailants, a diverse rabble of bloodthirsty but untrained individuals,
their employer had opted for the latter approach. In the crowded, active streets, the large number of attackers had gone undetected by Luminara,
their inimical feelings submerged among those of the greater crowd.

Now that the attack had begun, the Force throbbed with an enmity that was out in the open as dozens of well-armed hired assassins fought to get close enough to their rapidly withdrawing targets to deliver a few final, fatal blows. While the narrowness of the street and the aimless fleeing of panicked bystanders eliminated a clear line of retreat and kept the two women from sprint- ing to safety, it also prevented those of their attackers who were wielding firearms from setting up a clear shot at their intended targets. Had they been tacticians, those in front swinging blades and other less advanced devices would have stepped aside to give their more heavily armed comrades room in which to take aim. But a reward had been promised to the ones who made the actual kill. While this served to inspire the truculent rabble, it also made them reluctant to cooperate with one another in achieving their ultimate objective,
lest it be a colleague who claimed the substantial bonus.

So it was that Luminara and Barriss were able to deflect bursts from blasters as well as blows struck by less technical weaponry such as long swords and knives. With high walls shielding them on either side and merchants and vendors continuing to run for cover, they had room in which to work. Bodies began to pile up in front of them, some intact,
others missing significant portions of their anatomy, these having been neatly excised by whirling shafts of intensely colored energy.

Barriss's exuberance and occasional shouted challenge were complemented by Luminara's steady, silently ferocious work. Together, the two women not only kept their attackers at bay, but began to force them back.
There is something in the hushed, frighteningly efficient aspect of a fighting Jedi that takes the heart out of an ordinary opponent. A
would-be murderer has only to see a few blaster shots deflected by the anticipatory hum of a lightsaber to realize that there might be other less potentially lethal ways to make a living.

Then, just when the two women were on the verge of pushing the remaining attackers around a corner and back out into an open square where they could be more effectively scattered, a roar of anticipation rose above the fray as another two dozen assassins arrived. This melange of humans and aliens was better dressed, better armed, and tended to fight more as a unit than those who had preceded them. A tiring Luminara realized suddenly that the previous hard fighting had never been intended to kill them, but only to wear them out. Steeling herself and shouting encouragement to a visibly downcast Barriss, she once more found herself retreating back down the narrow street they had nearly succeeded in escaping.

Drawing new courage from the arrival of fresh reinforcements, their surviving assailants redoubled their own attack. Jedi and Padawan were forced steadily backward.

Then there was no more backward. The side street dead-ended against a featureless courtyard wall. To anyone else it would have appeared unscalable. But a Jedi could find hand- and footholds where others would see only a smooth surface.

"Barriss!" Lightsaber whirling, Luminara indicated the reddish-colored barrier behind them. "Go up! I'll follow." Dropping to his knees, a man clad in tough leathers took careful aim with a blaster. Luminara blocked both his shots before taking one hand briefly off the lightsaber to gesture in his direction. Like a living thing, the dangerous weapon flew out of his hands, startling him so badly he fell backward onto his butt.
Protected by his fellow assassins, he did not panic like a common killer but instead scrambled to recover the blaster. They couldn't keep this up forever, she knew.

"Up, I said!" Luminara did not have to turn to sense the unyielding wall behind her.

Barriss hesitated. "Master, you can cover me if I climb, but I can't do the same for you from the top of the wall." Lunging, she disarmed a serpentine Wetakk who was trying to slip in under her guard. Letting out a yelp of pain, it stepped back and switched the hooked blade it was holding to another hand, of which it still had five remaining. Without missing a breath, the Padawan added, "You can't climb and use your weapon, too!"

"I'll be all right," Luminara assured her, even as she wondered how she was going to make the ascent without being cut down from behind. But her first concern was for her Padawan, and not for herself. "That's an order, Barriss! Get up there. We have to get out of this confined space."

Reluctantly, Barriss took a last sweeping swing to clear the ground in front of her. Then she shut down her lightsaber, slipped it back onto her belt, pivoted, took a few steps, and leapt. The jump carried her partway up the wall, to which she clung like a spider. Finding seemingly invisible fingerholds, she began to ascend. Below and behind her,
Luminara single-handedly held back the entire surging throng of eager killers.

Nearly at the top, Barriss looked back and down. Luminara was not only holding off her own assailants, but had moved forward to ensure that none of those in the back would have time to take aim at the climbing
Padawan. Barriss hesitated.

"Master Luminara, there are too many! I can't protect you from up here."

The Jedi turned to respond. As she did so, she failed to see or sense a small Throbe standing behind a much larger human. The Throbe's blaster was small, its aim wild, but the undeflected shot still managed to graze the woman in the umber robes. Luminara staggered.

"Master!" Frantic, Barriss debated whether to ascend the remaining distance to the top of the wall or disobey her Master and drop back down to aid her. In the midst of her confusion, a subtle tremor ran through her mind. It was a disturbance in the Force, but one very different from anything they had experienced this dreadful morning. It was also surprisingly strong.

Yelling encouragement, the two men plunged past on either side of
Luminara. Neither was physically imposing, though one had a build suggestive of considerable future development. Lightsabers flashing,
they fell in among the bewildered band of assassins, their weapons dealing out havoc in bantha-sized doses.

To their credit, the attackers held their ground for another couple of moments. Then, their associates falling all around them, the survivors broke and fled. In less than a minute, the street was clear and the way back to the central square unobstructed. Letting go of the wall, Barriss dropped the considerable distance to the ground, to find herself facing an attractive young man who wore confidence like a handmade suit.
Smiling cockily, he deactivated his lightsaber and regarded her appraisingly.

"I've been told that morning exercise is good for the soul as well as the body. Hello, Barriss Offee."

"Anakin Skywalker. Yes, I remember you from training." Automatically nodding her thanks, she hurried to her Master's side. The other newcomer was already examining Luminara's blaster wound.

"It's not serious."

Luminara pulled her garments closed rather more sharply than was necessary. "You're early, Obi-Wan," she told her colleague. "We weren't expecting you until the day after tomorrow."

"Our ship made good time." As the four emerged onto the square,
Obi-Wan's gaze swept the open space. Presently, it was as void of inimical disturbance, as was the Force. He allowed himself to relax slightly. "Since we arrived early, we suspected there would be no one to meet us at the spaceport. So we decided to come looking for you. When you weren't at your stated residence, we decided to take a stroll to acquaint ourselves with the city. That's when I sensed the trouble. It drew us to you."

"Well, I certainly can't fault your timing." She smiled gratefully. It was the same intriguing smile that Obi-Wan remembered from working with her previously, framed as it was by its differently toned lips. "The situation was becoming awkward."

"Awkward!" Anakin declared. "Why, if Master Obi-Wan and I hadn't--" The look of disapproval the Jedi shot him was enough to destroy the observation in midsentence.

"Something I've been curious about ever since we were given this assignment." Barriss moved a little farther away from her counterpart and closer to the two senior Jedi. "Why are four of us needed here, to deal with what seems to me to be nothing more than a minor dispute among the native sentients?" Her impatience was palpable. "Earlier, you spoke of greater issues." "You remember our discussions," Luminara explained patiently. "Well, the Alwari nomads think the Senate favors the city dwellers. The city folk are certain the galactic government will side with the nomads. Such perceptions of favoritism on the part of the
Senate are dangerously close to persuading both groups that Ansion would be better off outside the Republic, where inernal disputes could be settled without outside interference. Their representative in the Senate appears to be leaning in that direction. There is also evidence to support the contention that offworld elements are stirring the pot,
hoping to induce Ansion to secede."

"It's only one world, and not a particularly important one at that,"
Barriss ventured.

Luminara nodded slowly. "True. But it's not Ansion itself that is so critical. Through a multiplicity of pacts and could pull other systems out of the Republic as well. More systems than I, or the Jedi Council,
likes to think about. Therefore, a way must be found to keep Ansion within the Republic. The best way to do that is to remove the suspicions that exist between the city dwellers and the nomads, and thereby solidify planetary representation. As outsiders representing the will of the Senate, we will find respect on Ansion, but no friends. While we are here, suspicion will be our constant companion. Given the fluid complexity of the situation, the matter of shifting alliances, the possible presence of outside agitators, and the seriousness of the potential ramifications, it was felt that two pairs of negotiators would make a greater and more immediate impression on the situation than one."

"I see now." There was much more at stake here, Barriss found herself thinking, than a disagreement between city folk and nomads. Had Luminara been instructed to conceal the real reason for their journey from her
Padawan until now, or had Barriss simply been too preoccupied with her own training to see the larger issues? Like it or not, it appeared that she was going to have to pay more attention to galactic politics.

For example, why would forces beyond Ansion want to see it secede from the Republic badly enough to interfere in the planet's internal affairs?
What could such unknown entities possibly have to gain by its withdrawal? There were thousands upon thousands of civilized worlds in the Republic. The departure of one, or even several, would mean little in the overall scheme of galactic governance. Or would it?

She felt sure she was missing some vital point, and the fact that she knew she was doing so was exceedingly frustrating. But she couldn't question Luminara further about it, because Obi-Wan was speaking.

"Someone or several someones beyond Ansion doesn't want these negotiations to succeed. They want Ansion to secede from the Republic,
with all the problematic consequences that would ensue." Obi-Wan squinted at the sky, which had begun to threaten rain. "It would be useful to know who. We should have detained one of your attackers."

"They could have been common bandits," Anakin pointed out.

Luminara considered. "It's possible. Anyway, if Obi-Wan is right and that rabble was hired to prevent us from continuing with our mission,
their employer would have kept those who at-tacked us in the dark as to his or her identity and purpose. Even if we had been successful in capturing one of them, an interrogation might well have been useless."

"Yes, that's so," the Padawan had to admit.

"So you were on Naboo, too?" Feeling left out of the conversation between the two older Jedi, Barriss turned curiously to her counterpart.

"I was." The pride in the younger man's voice was unapologetic. He's a strange one, she mused. Strange, but not unlikable. As stuffed full of internal conflicts as a momus bush was with seeds. But there was no denying that the Force was strong within him.

"How long have you been Master Luminara's Padawan?" he asked.

"Long enough to know that those who have their mouths open all the time generally have their ears shut."

"Oh great," Anakin muttered. "You're not going to spend all our time together speaking in aphorisms, are you?"

"At least I can talk about something besides myself," she shot back.
"Somehow I don't think you scored well in modesty."

To her surprise, he was immediately contrite. "Was I just talking about myself? I'm sorry." He indicated the two figures preceding them up the busy street. "Master Obi-Wan says that I suffer from a surfeit of impatience. I want to know, to do, every-thing right now. Yesterday. And
I'm not very good at disguising the fact that I'd rather be elsewhere.
This isn't a very exciting assignment."

She gestured back in the direction of the side street they had left piled high with bodies. "You're here less than a day and already you've been forced into life-or-death hand-to-hand com-bat. Your definition of excitement must be particularly eclectic."

He almost laughed. "And you have a really dry sense of humor. I'm sure we'll get along fine."

Reaching the commercial district on the other side of the square and plunging back into the surging crowds of humans and aliens, Barriss wasn't so certain. He was very sure of himself, this tall, blue-eyed
Padawan. Maybe it was true what he said about wanting to know everything. His attitude was that he already did. Or was she mistaking confidence for arrogance?

Abruptly, he broke away from her. She watched as he stopped before a stall selling dried fruits and vegetables from the Kander region to the north of Cuipernam. When he returned without buying anything, she eyed him uncertainly.

"What was that all about? Did you see something that looked tasty but on closer inspection turned out not to be?"

"What?" He seemed suddenly preoccupied. "No. No, it wasn't the food at all." He glanced back at the simple food stand as they hurried to catch up with their teachers. "Didn't you see? That boy over there, the one in the vest and long pants, was arguing with his mother. Yelling at her."
He shook his head dole-fully. "Someday when he's older he'll regret having done that. I didn't tell him so directly, but I think I got the point across." He sank into deep contemplation. "People are so busy getting on with their lives they frequently forget what's really important."

What a strange Padawan, she mused, and what an even stranger young man.
They were more or less the same age, yet in some ways he struck her as childlike, while in others he seemed much older than her. She wondered if she would have time enough to get to know him better. She wondered if anyone would have time enough to get to know him. She certainly hadn't,
during their brief encounters at the Jedi Temple. Just then thunder boomed overhead, and for some reason she could not quite put a finger on she was afraid it signified the approach of more than just rain.

From the Hardcover edition.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    Great book for Star Wars Fans

    My son and I have decided to read as many Star Wars books together as possible. This is definitely a book that I feel confident letting my 11 year old read. As I read a large amount of non-fiction, I prefer to call this type of book my "mental sorbet."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2008

    Good prelude to Episode II... consider in a Clone Wars prequel novel

    While not as action-packed as other 'Star Wars' novels, this book is recommended for anyone who wants to understand the behind-the-scenes scheming of the Clone Wars and Anakin's internal conflict a little better. While the novel is sometimes bogged down by excessive description of the surrounding world of Ansion, the reader must realize that this is Alan Foster's style, much as he wrote his first 'Star Wars' novel, 'Splinter of the Mind's Eye.' Foster gives a lot more credibility to Obi-Wan, who is responsible for settling the ultimate conflict at the end. In fact, he even manages to bring additional character development to Skywalker. However, Jedi Knight Luminara Unduli and her apprentice Barriss Offee star in this novel just as much, or perhaps more, than the two familiar Jedi heroes. Foster brings his audience closer to these characters to the point that it will be much more sad to find them killed in Episode III. Foster also brings in the character Tooqui, who seems to be a mix of Jar-Jar Binks and Dobby the House-elf, in additional to Alwari outcasts Kyahkta and Bulgan, who help the four Jedi on their quest. Foster does deserve much credit for the foreshadowing to later crucial events in the entire saga, from the shocking scene in Ep. II when Yoda battles with a lightsaber to Vader's duel against his old master on both Mustafar and 19 years later on the Death Star. Most of this great foreshadowing involves Anakin's future tragic turn from the light. This book gets a lot more intruiging in its second half, so fight to get through the first 180 pages and then it will begin to feel more like 'Star Wars.' In addition, the final page of the book is guaranteed to thrill any fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The Approaching Storm

    Of the book Star Wars The Approaching Storm, Starburst said: "ENTERTAINING AND INTELLIGENT...This book is pure class all the way....The final page is a great climax." I couldn't agree more. This novel reminds me of the Jedi Quest series, except it's a little less juvenile. Obi-Wan Kenobi and his padawan, Anakin Skywalker are accompanied by Luminara Unduli and her own padawan, Barriss Offee as they journey to the planet of Ansion to settle a border dispute that Jedi master Mace Windu makes reference to in Attack Of The Clones.

    A lot of great, essential groundwork is laid for Star Wars Episode 2 in this book. Contrary to my original beliefs, a good rousing Star Wars tale can take place without the involvement of the Clone armies, and that is demonstrated in this exiting action epic.

    Although it did take some time to get going, I believe that Star Wars The Approaching Storm fully deserves a five star rating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    Bad reviews, no free sample

    I don't buy books but SOMETIMES samples. I won't budge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    definitely not one of the better Star Wars authors.  Decent stor

    definitely not one of the better Star Wars authors.  Decent story, Writing is poor.  It's a shame.

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    Did we really need to know the boring story of the unimportant m

    Did we really need to know the boring story of the unimportant mission Obi-Wan and Anakin went on just before Episode II? Not really. Was this an interesting story that would tide you over while waiting for the release of Episode? Probably. Is it all that great now, years later? No.

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  • Posted January 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Definitely not worth reading unless you want about a chapters worth of information on the start of the Empire

    a good book to read if your a Star Wars fan. But i have to say i was board with the cliche story 65 pages in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2006

    The Storm Has Come

    This is a great book. I would have given it five stars, but it needed more detail about what the Ansionians and the creatures looked like. It was kind of hard for me to get a good visual picture. However, this book was full of nonstop action and I just couldn't put the book down. The conflict between master and apprentice was just astonishing. This is a must read book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2005

    For those who want insight to Episode II...

    ... read this!! I'm slightly new to reading Star Wars books so bear with me, but I really did like this. Me being an Obi-Wan fan thought it focused a little too much on Luminara but other than that things were great! I liked the conversations and insights of Anakina and Barriss. Also, it adds a little more information to Episode II. The duels with their lightsabers were very well described and yet they left freedom to let the mind make up some things. Read it it's worth your time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2005

    Ehh....

    A fair read, good enough to keep my interest but not exciting enough to zip right through. Though I'm a fan of the movies, this is the first Star Wars novel I've read. I think this makes me a little more objective than many of the reviewers above, so here goes... The four protagonists shine in this novel. Obi-Wan and Anakin are familiar faces from the movies, and Foster writes them well, keeping them in character. Luminara Unduli, a Jedi, and Barriss Offee, her Padawan learner, are intriguing as well, easy to accept as partners to Obi-Wan and Anakin on this mission. The two aliens, Bulgan and Kyakta, are tolerable, necessary to move the story--though I think one of them should have been lost along the way. Two alien guides equal too much clutter. The Tooqui character was downright ridiculous, a piece of unnecessary fluff for the benefit of any children who might be reading. Mechanically, this is a rough novel at best. Dialogue attributes are lacking, making one often wonder who is speaking. Foster has a broad vocabulary, which is just fine...until he starts abusing the reader with unnecessary tedium. I'm sorry, but the word 'chary' should never be used in place of the far more common word 'wary'. For lack of a better word, that's just silly. The plot is very simple, the outcome predictable. I doubt very highly that this novel will wind up on anyone's shelf of fame (other than a few Star Wars junkies, that is). Nevertheless, it's a good book for the airplane or the waiting room--an entertaining time killer and a good workout for the visual side of your imagination.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2005

    not up to par

    This book as a whole proved to be just as long (and tedious) as the multi-week quest that the Jedi embark on in the story. The attempt at including political thrills pales in comparison to the various twists and turns present in DM:Shadow Hunter or CoD. The only rejuvenating factor of the novel was the fair depiction of a restless Anakin Skywalker in comparison to the rest of the Jedi. The novel is filled (past the breaking point) of Ansonian wildlife and even goes so far as to bring back one of the worst elements of Episode I with a very Jar-Jar-esque character. As far as The Approaching Storm's necessity to the timeline, absolutely nothing happens in it that is absolutely crucial to understanding Episode II. This book is only for the die hard fan with excessive amounts of spare time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2003

    starwars attic in Michigan...

    Great!...can't wait for the next one...! Loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2003

    This book rocks

    I thought this book really fills in the gaps between the movies well. The reason I read my first star wars book was for science class. I read star wars: rogue planet. I was hooked. It was really good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2002

    Another Great Star Wars book

    This book was so cool. I totally loved it. Barriss Offee was so cool. It's action packed and exciting! A great way to understand Episode II better!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2002

    cool book, but its just not anakin.

    The approaching storm is a really awsome book, a must read for star wars fans. the only thing i did not like about the book was that anakin was not the same anakin as in attack of the clones, and that obi-wan was a little to boring. but over-all its a really cool book. ignore the 1,2&3 star people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2002

    A Must Read

    The events of this book take place right before Episode II of the continuing Star Wars saga. The Jedi Council has sent two Jedi Knights, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luminara Unduli, to resolve the conflict on Ansion between the city dwellers and the fierce independent nomads of the planet. Ansion is a strategic planet in the growing secessionist movement. If the conflict is not resolved and secessionists win then a long list of alliances with join the movement. Obi-Wan and Luminara, along with their Padawans Anakin Skywalker and Barriss Offee, set out across the wilderness filled with many perils, natural and otherwise. Darker forces are behind a number of enemies bent on seeing the mission fail. This is a great book to understanding the events in Episode II that soon follows. Keep in mind we see here the beginning of young Anakin¿s growing awareness of the Force and his role with it. Alan Dean Foster¿s book will not disappoint the avid Star Wars fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2002

    Sigh...Another Political SW prologue book

    At least this was better than Cloak of Deception. I thought Foster did a pretty good job with two characters whose only the names where handed too him(Barris Offee and Luminara Unduli) and also with a very thoughtful book(especially with the corporate Alliance and Shu Mai) but this book did not feel SW-sy at all Obi Wan barely had any action because he spent half the time scolding Anakin even though Anakin didn't act like a baby at all compared to Ep 2 the only character that felt in place were Shu Mai and Barris Offee(who were made up in this story) Only read this if your an avid SW fan like me, like the way how the political Sw universe works, or you want something different from the very epic battles that brought this empire(the Empire and the Star Wars' novels one) otherwise this isn't for you

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2002

    Action Packed or Another Bedtime Story

    This book is a key part in Anakin Skywalkers life.It provides the reader with a great new view of Anakin's personality before The clone wars . Lightsaber fighting and Anakin's troubles with Obi-Wan are what make this book worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2002

    Star Wars: The Approaching Storm

    I liked it. Very enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2002

    Excellent Lead for Episode 2

    Even though this book was not the most exciting in world of Star Wars Novels, it did lay the foreground to the much anticipated Episode 2. The introduction of Luminara and Barriss was great, however they were very limited in the movie. What is also important is if you're really interested in getting to know how/why Anakin falls to the Dark Side and what his journey was like. As in Rogue Planet, we see the turmoil that is bestowed upon Anakin and we get somewhat of an understanding as to what can lead him to temptation. All in all, when you put the books together, they all make for a very nice fit and are enjoyable to read. That is if you're interested in the Star Wars Time Line.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews

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