Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Having finished the new High Republic books, I'm back to catching up on the old Star Wars books that slipped under my radar. This week, I read The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure by Jason Fry, illustrated by Phil Noto. It's a part of the "Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens" collection of stories, meaning I was way behind in only reading it now. The story takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
My spoiler-free review was that really enjoyed it. While I do like Luke a lot, he isn't a character I tend to list among my favorites, but I was pleasantly surprised by how fun of a read this was. We also get to see a little bit of Jess Pava in the prologue and epilogue, which is fun since she's a great character that doesn't get tons of action. Plus, we get to see some cool moments as Luke learns what it means to be a Jedi and trust the Force. Overall, I'd recommend this book if you're looking for a fun original trilogy adventure, and especially if you're a big Luke Skywalker fan.
Spoilers for The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure ahead!
Weapon of a Jedi starts with C-3PO telling Jessika Pava pre-The Force Awakens that he can tell her the story of when Luke Skywalker first used his lightsaber in battle. When we flash back to Luke in his X-Wing, he's struggling slightly to grapple with the Force. He has a slightly better understanding of it, but he still feels lost, especially without Obi-Wan to guide him. However, Luke is still optimistic and wants to trust the Force, so when it calls him to a certain planet, Luke goes there. On the planet, he hires Sarco Plank (a character we see briefly on Jakku in The Force Awakens) to guide him, R2-D2 and 3PO to a partially destroyed old Jedi temple.
The scenes in the Jedi temple were really beautiful, in my opinion. We get to read Luke's thoughts, and see how he feels. Luke at this point in the story has a lot of complicated feelings on the Jedi, so watching him get to work through them was really interesting, carrying us partially from his feelings at the end of A New Hope to what we see of him in The Empire Strikes Back. There was also a really poetic part of these scenes that I liked, where Luke finds himself growing angry at the Empire when he sees that they'd destroyed the Jedi statues, but upon finding some of the pieces that were blown off, he gets a little happier, because although the Empire tried to destroy the beauty of the temple, they were unable to do so successfully, and the Jedi lived on. I thought that was such a beautiful sentiment, and it mirrors what the Empire had done to the actual Jedi too- tried to wipe them out, but a few Jedi still remain.
After Luke does some training with remote droids in the Temple, he comes to learn that he needs to fully trust the Force in order to be successful, though he struggles doing so. Another part that I liked here was when he says he can't be trying to control the Force, he needs to let the Force control him. I just thought it was worded nicely. Regardless, Luke soon has to put his new training to the test after the Empire finds him, holding a girl from the nearby village hostage to keep him from fighting. However, that doesn't stop Sarco Plank, who helps Luke fight the stormtroopers.
But once the Empire is taken care of, Sarco shows his true colors, and attacks Luke. They battle for a while, and Sarco uses a grenade to blind and deafen Luke. Luke struggles at first, but soon he's remembers what he learned in the temple- to trust the Force. Without his senses and only the Force as his guide, Luke is able to fight Sarco and win, and he can go home free with 3PO and R2, after thanking the girl from the village for her help in bringing him to safety after his fight with Sarco. The book ends with C-3PO telling Jess Pava that Luke did return to the planet and they saw the girl again, as Luke had promised to come back and help their village- though he can't go into a lot of detail, because poor Jess' commlink rings and she has to leave.
Another thing I did like about this book was that C-3PO was the one telling the story. I don't think C-3PO always gets enough credit, but it is really nice to see him valued as a storyteller in its own right. I like the idea that even long after the age of our favorite Star Wars heroes, their stories are still being told by droids and organics alike.