Star Wars Rogue Planet

Star Wars Rogue Planet

3.7 88
by Greg Bear
     
 

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MASTER AND APPRENTICE

The Force is strong in twelve-year-old Anakin Skywalker . . . so strong that the Jedi Council, despite misgivings, entrusted young Obi-Wan Kenobi with the mission of training him to become a Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan? like his slain Master Qui-Gon?believes Anakin may be the chosen one, the Jedi destined to bring balance to the Force. But

Overview

MASTER AND APPRENTICE

The Force is strong in twelve-year-old Anakin Skywalker . . . so strong that the Jedi Council, despite misgivings, entrusted young Obi-Wan Kenobi with the mission of training him to become a Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan? like his slain Master Qui-Gon?believes Anakin may be the chosen one, the Jedi destined to bring balance to the Force. But first Obi-Wan must help his undisciplined apprentice, who still bears the scars of slavery, find his own balance.

Dispatched to the mysterious planet of Zonama Sekot, source of the fastest ships in the galaxy, Obi-Wan and Anakin are swept up in a swirl of deadly intrigue and betrayal. They sense a disturbance in the Force unlike any they have encountered before. It seems there are more secrets on Zonama Sekot than meet the eye. But the search for those secrets will threaten the bond between Obi-Wan and Anakin . . . and bring the troubled young apprentice face-to-face with his deepest fears, and his darkest destiny.

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!

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
May 2000

Science fiction luminary Greg Bear takes a turn at the helm of one of the most celebrated science fiction series of all time, putting to use his superior narrative skills and craftsmanship to give the beloved characters an even greater sense of depth. Bear is a versatile writer with an amazing range of science fiction topics, from the offbeat world of human change in Slant to a novel of viral infection across the ages of evolution, Darwin's Radio. Now, in Star Wars: Rogue Planet, Bear has given us a richly textured science fiction novel that combines three-dimensional characterization with insights into the immensely popular saga, connecting the chasm between Episode I: The Phantom Menace and the further adventures. This is possibly the most highly readable, intriguing, and involving portion of the Star Wars tale thus far.

Even as a Jedi Knight in training, 12-year-old Anakin Skywalker still has a need to find thrills and danger wherever he goes. Despite the tutelage of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin desires to find life-and-death challenges and participates in the illegal garbage pit races. With little more than a pair of glider wings, racers must drop kilometers into the heart of a deadly pit through levels of high-tech security. When Anakin is attacked by a Blood Carver assassin posing as another racer, only Obi-Wan's expertise and courage allow him to save his student in a last minute rescue.

Meanwhile, Raith Sienar, a designer of uniquely powerful ships and weapons (and creator of what will eventually becometheDeath Star), is contacted by his old friend Commander Tarkin, who informs Sienar that there are certain people who are interested in his work, especially for the purpose of crushing the Jedi Order. The Republic is crumbling, and as it does, the Empire begins to take shape. After the mysterious disappearance of another Jedi Knight operative, Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent on a mission that will hopefully teach both of them more about their Jedi responsibilities and duty to one another. On the distant planet Zonama Sekot, where the fastest ships in the galaxy are built, Obi-Wan and Anakin are drawn into the hands of Commander Tarkin and the growing dark forces behind the emergence of the Empire.

Taking up where George Lucas and author Terry Brooks left off with The Phantom Menace, Bear delivers the most human volume in the Star Wars saga, further developing a huge cast of characters who emote, react, loathe, waver, and desire throughout. How Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin suffer through their own personal trials and disasters in an effort to save humanity is at least as interesting as the action of the larger driving plot. Anakin is scarred from his years as a slave, and even as Obi-Wan does his best to help his apprentice find the balance within himself, Obi-Wan also suffers from the loss of his master, Qui-Gon Jinn. They are more like brothers than teacher and student, with many of the same internal struggles and conflicts that bind them even more tightly together.

Greg Bear should be commended for realizing that the only way to draw together all the elements of such an overwhelmingly popular series is by focusing on the emotional underpinning of the main characters as the highly anticipated sequel to The Phantom Menace looms closer. Bear skillfully and cleverly weaves the dilemmas and intricacies of plot into a novel that brims with imaginative energy and impassioned resolve. Star Wars: Rogue Planet is an ambitious, intriguing chapter that will astound and satisfy fans of all the movies and previous books.

—Tom Piccirilli

bn.com Review
bn.com Reviews

Science fiction luminary Greg Bear takes a turn at the helm of one of the most celebrated SF series of all time, putting to use his superior narrative skills and craftsmanship to give the beloved characters an even greater sense of depth. Greg Bear is a versatile writer with an amazing range of science fiction topics, from the offbeat world of human change in Slant, to a novel of viral infection across the ages of evolution in Darwin's Radio. Now, in Star Wars: Rogue Planet, Bear has given us a richly textured SF novel that combines three-dimensional characterization with insights into the immensely popular saga, connecting the chasm between Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and the further adventures. This is possibly the most highly readable, intriguing, and involving portion of the Star Wars tale thus far.

Even as a Jedi Knight in training, 12-year-old Anakin Skywalker still has a need to find thrills and danger wherever he goes. Despite the tutelage of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin desires to find life-and-death challenges and participates in the illegal garbage pit races. With little more than a pair of glider wings, racers must drop kilometers into the heart of a deadly pit through levels of high-tech security. When Anakin is attacked by a Blood Carver assassin posing as another racer, only Obi-Wan's expertise and courage allow him to save his student in a last minute rescue.

Meanwhile, Raith Sienar, a designer of uniquely powerful ships and weapons (and creator of what will eventually become the Death Star), is contacted by his old friend Commander Tarkin, who informs Sienar that there are certain people who are interested in his work, especially for the purpose of crushing the Jedi Order. The Republic is crumbling, and as it does, the Empire begins to take shape. After the mysterious disappearance of another Jedi Knight operative, Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent on a mission that will hopefully teach both of them more about their Jedi responsibilities and duty to one another. On the distant planet Zonama Sekot, where the fastest ships in the galaxy are built, Obi-Wan and Anakin are drawn into the hands of Commander Tarkin and the growing dark forces behind the emergence of the Empire.

Taking up where George Lucas and author Terry Brooks left off with The Phantom Menace, Bear delivers the most human volume in the Star Wars saga, further developing a huge cast of characters who emote, react, loathe, waver, and desire throughout. How Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin suffer through their own personal trials and disasters in an effort to save humanity is at least as interesting as the action of the larger driving plot. Anakin is scarred from his years as a slave, and even as Obi-Wan does his best to help his apprentice find the balance within himself, Obi-Wan also suffers from the loss of his master, Qui-Gon Jinn. They are more like brothers than teacher and student, with many of the same internal struggles and conflicts that bind them even more tightly together.

Greg Bear should be commended for realizing that the only way to draw together all the elements of such an overwhelmingly popular series is by focusing on the emotional underpinning of the main characters as the highly anticipated sequel to The Phantom Menace looms closer. Bear skillfully and cleverly weaves the dilemmas and intricacies of plot into a novel that brims with imaginative energy and impassioned resolve. Star Wars: Rogue Planet is an ambitious, intriguing chapter that will astound and satisfy fans of all the movies and previous books.

--Tom Piccirilli

Science Fiction Weekly
Greg Bear--winner of two Hugo and four Nebula awards--expertly blends his style with that of the Star Wars universe. He conjures the feel of Star Wars as adroitly as Ewan McGregor evokes the subtle cadence of the elder Obi-Wan's voice.
KLIATT
This exciting Star Wars adventure about 12-year-old Anakin Skywalker (who later becomes Darth Vadar) takes place three years after the events in the film The Phantom Menace. Anakin has been training as a Jedi knight for these three years. After his recklessness nearly gets himself and his master Obi-Wan Kenobi killed, he and Obi-Wan are sent on a mission to find out what happened to another Jedi who was exploring a distant planet that produced extraordinary space ships. They are pursued and attacked by Commander Tarkin (who later becomes Grand Moff Tarkin of the Empire). Tarkin is trying to kill as many Jedi knights as he can as the Republic weakens. There are hints of Anakin's specialness and of his eventual seduction to the Dark Side through his uncontrollable anger. This adventure lays some of the foundation for the later New Jedi series, which feature the grandson of Anakin. (Star Wars) KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Ballantine, Del Rey, Lucas Books, 330p., $6.99. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Hugh M. Flick, Jr.; Silliman College, Yale Univ., New Haven, CT , November 2001 (Vol. 35, No. 6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307795687
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/2011
Series:
Star Wars Series
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
118,429
File size:
5 MB

Read an Excerpt

Anakin's fall was cushioned by an island of the thick, smelly froth that floated across the lake of worms. He sank slowly into the froth, releasing more noxious gases, until a burst of ammonia jerked him to stunned consciousness. His eyes stung. The blow to his head had knocked his goggles and breather mask awry.

First things first. He spread his wings and unbuckled his harness, then rolled over to distribute his weight evenly along the wings. They acted like snowshoes on the froth, and his rate of sinking slowed. The wings were bent and useless now anyway, even if he could tug them from the foaming mass.

The Blood Carver had just murdered him. That death would take its own sweet time to arrive was no relief from its certainty. The broad island of pale yellow undulated with the rise and fall of worm bodies. A constant crackling noise came from all around: bubbles bursting in the froth. And he heard a more sinister sound, if that was possible: the slow, low hiss of the worms sliding over and under and around each other.

Anakin could barely see. I'm a goner. Reaching out to put himself in tune with the Force might be soothing, but he had not yet reached the point in his training of being able to levitate, at least not more than a few centimeters.

In truth, Anakin Skywalker felt so mortified by his lack of attention, so ashamed by his actions in being here, in the pit, in the first place, that his death seemed secondary to much larger failures.

He was not made to be a Jedi, whatever Qui-Gon Jinn had thought of him. Yoda and Mace Windu had been correct all along.

But acid awareness of his stupidity did not require that he take further insults in stride. He felt the noiseless flight of the Blood Carver a few meters overhead and almost casually ducked in time to miss a second blow.

A Jedi does not contemplate revenge. But Anakin's brain was in full gear now, his thinking clarified by the ache in his skull and the dull throb in his arm. The Blood Carver knew who he was, where he was from--too much of a coincidence to be called a slave, this far from the lawless fringe systems where slavery was common. Someone was either stalking Anakin personally or Jedi in general.

Anakin doubted he had attracted much attention during his short life, or was worthy of an assassin's interest by himself. Far more likely that the Temple was being watched and that some group or other was hoping to take down the Jedi one by one, picking the weakest and most exposed first.

That would be me.

The Blood Carver was a threat to the people who had freed Anakin from slavery, who had taken him in and given him a new life away from Tatooine. If he was never to be a Jedi, or even life to maturity, he could remove at least one threat against that brave and necessary order.

He pulled up his breather mask, took a lungful of filtered air, and examined his foundering platform. A wing brace could be broken free and swung about as a weapon. He stooped carefully, balancing his weight, and grasped the slender brace. Strong in flight, the brace yielded to his off-center pressure, and he bent it back and forth until it snapped. At the opposite end, where the wings socketed in the rotator, he made another bend, stamping quickly with his booted foot, then jerked the end free and snatched away the flimsy lubricating sheath. The rotator ball made a fair club.

But the entire set of wings weighed less than five kilograms. The club, about a hundred grams. He would have to swing with all his might to give the impact meaning.

The Blood Carver swooped low again, his legs drawn back, triple-jointed arms hanging like the pedipalps on a clawswift on Naboo.

He was focused completely on the Padawan.
Making the same mistake as Anakin had.

With a heart-leap of hope and joy, Anakin saw Obi-Wan winging over the Blood Carver. The boy's Master extended the beam on his lightsaber as he dropped with both feet on the assailant's wings and snapped them like straws.

Two swipes of the humming blade and the outer tips of the Blood Carver's wings fell away.

The Blood Carver gave a muffled cry and flipped on his back. The fuel in his wingtip tanks caught fire and spun him in a brilliant pinwheel, elevating him almost twenty meters before sputtering out.

He fell without a sound and slipped into the lake a dozen meters away, raising a small, gleaming plume of oily silicone. Ghosts of burning methane swirled briefly above him.

Obi-Wan recovered and raised his wings just in time to end up buried to his waist in the froth. The look on his face as he collapsed the lightsaber was pure Obi-Wan: patience and faint exasperation, as if Anakin had just failed a spelling test.

Anakin reached out to help his Master stay upright. "Keep your wings up, keep them high!" he shouted.

"Why?" Obi-Wan said, "I cannot vault the two of us out of this mess."

"I still have fuel!"
"And I have almost none. These are terrible devices, very difficult to control."

"We can combine our fuel!" Anakin said, his upper face and eyes bright in the murk.

The froth rippled alarmingly. At the edge of their insubstantial island of foam, a gleaming silver-gray tube as wide as four arm spans arched above the silicone slurry. Its skin was crusted with stuck-on bits of garbage, and its side was studded with a lateral line of small black eyes trimmed in brilliant blue.

The eyes poked out on small stalks and examined them curiously. The worm seemed to ponder whether they were worth eating.

Even now, Anakin observed the prize scales glittering along the worm's length. The best I've ever seen--as big as my hand!

Obi-Wan was sinking rapidly. He blinked at the haze of silicone mist and noxious gases wafting over them.

Anakin reached down with all the delicacy and balance he could muster and unhooked the fuel cylinders from his wings, taking care to disconnect the feed tubes to the outboard jets and pinch off their nozzles.

Obi-Wan concentrated on keeping himself from sinking any deeper into the sticky foam.

Another arch of worm segment, high and wide as a pedestrian walkway, thrust itself with a liquid squeal from the opposite side of the diminishing patch. More eyes looked them over. The arch quivered as if with anticipation.

"I'll never be this stupid again, " Anakin said breathlessly as he attached the tanks to Obi-Wan's wings.

"Tell it to the Council," Obi-Wan said. "I have no doubt that's where we'll both be, if we manage to accomplish six impossible things in the next two minutes."
The two worm segments vibrated in unison and hissed through the silicone like tugged ropes, proving themselves to be one long creature as they rose high overhead. More coils surrounded them: other, bigger worms. Obviously, the Jedi--Master and apprentice--looked tasty, and now a competition was under way. The segments whipped back and forth, striking the edges of the island. The froth flew up in hissing puffs, until there was hardly more remaining than an unwieldy plug.

Anakin gripped Obi-Wan's shoulder with one hand. "Obi-Wan, you are the greatest of all the Jedi," he told him earnestly.

Obi-Wan glared at his Padawan.

"Could you give us just a little boost--," Anakin pleaded.
"You know, up and out?"

Obi-Wan did, and Anakin lit off their jets at the very same instant.

The jolt did not distract him from reaching out with out-stretched fingers, grazing a curve of worm skin, and grabbing a scale. Somehow they lifted to the first shield and slipped into the updraft of a discharged canister. Spinning, knocked almost senseless, they were drawn up through a port.

Obi-Wan felt Anakin's small arms around his waist.

"If that's how it's done--," the boy said, and then something--was it is his Padawan's newfound skill at levitation?--lifted them through the next shield as if they lay in the palm of a giant hand.

Obi-Wan Kenobi had never felt so close to such a powerful connection with the Force, not in Qui-Gon, nor Mace Windu. Not even in Yoda.

"I think we're going  to make it!" Anakin said.

From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

Greg Bear is the author of twenty-four books, which have been translated into seventeen languages. His most recent novel is Darwin's Radio. He has been awarded two Hugos and four Nebulas for his fiction. He was called the "best working writer of hard science fiction" by The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear. They are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandra.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Star Wars: Rogue Planet 3.7 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 88 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the summary on Wookiepedia... Save yourself time and money. Meh.
Johnny3 More than 1 year ago
It wasn't the best book, but it did enough to keep my interest throughout....
Sibylla More than 1 year ago
While Rogue Planet embodies a bright idea: Show us Kenobi and Skywalker early in their relationship, during Anakin's troubled early adolescence, against the backdrop of an exciting mission, the pacing and somewhat pedantic style get in the way. The book tells us about the characters' emotional responses to various stimuli without actually showing us. The author's perspective hovers somewhere between third person limited and third person omniscient, too distant to allow us to see through any particular set of eyes--or into any particular mind or heart--without actually providing a bird's eye view of any scene. This book will be most appealing to readers who want more "trivia" or background information on the political situation in the Old Republic preceding the Clone Wars and the relationship between Obi-Wan and his misfit apprentice in particular. Readers hoping for insight into this or any other developing relationship will be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'd say if you're not into the Star Wars saga it rates a 3-Star. If you are it rates a 4-Star. I thought the storyline interesting and character development good but somehow it lacked enough gripping scenes involving the two main Jedi characters. This trait isn't completely absent but I wasn't completely satisfied with it either.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This offering isn't too bad. It does a good job handling a potentially volitile area -- the book goes as far as it can so that it doesn't get rendered obsolete by Episode II. Characters are handled OK, but there are some cheezy names (Blood Carver? Come on...). Obi Wan is a little too clueless at times so that Anakin will shine brighter. The concept of a planet with intellegence seems more at home in a Star Trek book than in Star Wars, but it is handled well. A pretty good read.
Anonymous 3 days ago
This book is cool but can definitely be skipped
Anonymous 6 days ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been reading thorough all the "legends" continuity books in chronological order, dreading this point. Young Anakin is just as horrible as he is in episode 1. It's not the author's fault, he just used what he was given. Unfortunately he was given one of the all-time crappy characters. The second star is a pity star for this poor author forced to use Lucas's abortion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ryan1234500 More than 1 year ago
I liked the parts of this book that dealt with Obi-Wan and Anakin's developing relationship as master and apprentice in the years following Episode I. The entire living planet storyline though was somewhat confusing to me. I know this is a prequel to something from the New Jedi Order storyline, which I haven't read yet, and it seemed like I didn't get everything I was supposed to from the book because I didn't really know the NJO story yet. Even allowing for that this was a pretty good novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It gives you more information about what happened between the movies. I would recommend this book to people who like starwars and have seen the movies. Not to long of a book and keeps you intreastead .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has action in the beginning and at the end. I did like the discussion into Obiwans feelings regarding Anikin's training. After Qui Gon forced it upon Obiwan. It is a book of explanations that you will find interesting after you have read through the New Jedi Order19 book series - The Vong Invasion. For info - YES? For action - NOT SO MUCH
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book bacause it gives more insite into Anakins training inbetween episodes one and two. It also shows how more intune with the force he is than with most people by subtle hints inside the text.
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ColoradoBR More than 1 year ago
This story does take the reader back to the early days of Anakin and Obi Wan as master and apprentice. It will also introduce a few facts that are brought up again in the New Jedi Order series, but there was not enough excitement like I have come to expect from a Star Wars story.