Posted by : Wendy B Friday, 16 November 2012

Traitor (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #13)Traitor by Matthew Stover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The issue I have with the Force is that the movies made everything so black and white. Give in to your hate and passion and poof, you’re dark side. The Sith have their code about killing all the things and power, and the Jedi have their code about not having sex and only killing all the things when you really, really have to. Both are annoying opposites and their philosophies and drama grow tiresome after a short time, more so when the struggle for every Jedi in the Star Wars universe includes going dark and staying dark, or going dark and finding redemption.

Thankfully, my recent gaming adventures into the Old Republic have renewed my faith in the Star Wars universe by providing numerous characters and stories that go deeper than the black and white/good and evil trope.

Yes, I did say Jedi Chicken.
Not to be confused with the
Jedi Bunny
Jolee Bindo started me down the path in KOTOR. In KOTOR2, Kreia, my beloved and hated master (spoilers), truly broke this trope, and then Traitor took it all one leap further, with the help of a Jedi chicken named Vergere who was once a source of ridicule for me, but is now a subject of respect, curiosity and maybe even some awe and adoration.

I initially had trouble with the New Jedi Order series – though I only read the first book – mainly because of the new enemy, the Yuuzhan Vong. While I liked the idea of a dominating race outside of the Force, I got a little tired of the “organic app for that” way the Yuuzhan Vong could deal with every single thing (except Lando’s pocket world melters and those pesky Jedi kids). The events on Sernpidal broke the Star Wars bubble of heroes (not including Jedi Masters who need to motivate their padawans) never die and set the tone for the subsequent series.

I skipped several books to pick up Traitor, as recommended by my fandom hero, Beccatoria. That bubble breaking had continued (though I’d already spent enough time on Wookieepedia to know that) and we now have Jacen Solo (spoilers) dealing with his “death” with the help of Vergere who robs him of the Force, tortures him with pain and forces him to question everything he is and everything the Force is and is not, in order to find his own path that surpasses both the darkness and the light.

It is a very personal journey that we get to go on with Jacen that initially had me at about three stars, but once all was said and done and Vergere revealed her pride in her student/teacher, I found myself overwhelmed with curiosity about what this means for the future of the Jedi and Sith through Jacen’s ... enlightenment.
“Love doesn’t lead to the dark side. Passion can lead to rage and fear, and can be controlled… but passion is not the same thing as love. Controlling your passions while being in love… that’s what they should teach you to beware. But love itself will save you… not condemn you.” - Jolee Bindo, Knights of the Old Republic

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This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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