Thursday, April 18

‘The Living Force’ Drops New Excerpt After Initial Wave of Reviews

The embargo lifted earlier this week on John Jackson Miller’s The Living Force, and Random House has used the good buzz built by those positive initial reactions to drop a new excerpt from the book and generate more enthusiasm. The Living Force comes out on April 9, and is now available for pre-order.

The story is set a year before The Phantom Menace, and follows the attempt by the Jedi Order to save an outpost on Kwenn. It features much-recognizable characters like Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi (who star in a little adventure in the excerpt below), but it has the peculiarity that it tells the story from the points of view of all 12 members of the Jedi Council, giving us unique insights into their distinct lines of thinking.

In his review, Nate Manning called it “the Jedi-centric story we needed”, adding that “it is the ultimate example of comfort reading.” Check it out in full here.

Here is a portion of the excerpt, which is taken from the first chapter of the book, but do head over to EW.com to read the rest:

While on a routine mission helping to close a decommissioned Jedi outpost, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi encounter hijackers attempting to steal their transport.

In the past, Qui-Gon Jinn had encouraged his Padawan to use the quieter moments on their journeys to get to know people. To connect with them. It wasn’t that the young man had problems making friends; Obi-Wan had a natural ability in that regard. But the structures that turned younglings into Jedi Knights also tended to isolate them—and that could give them the wrong idea about their places in the galaxy. That was why Qui-Gon often chose commercial transport, such as the inaccurately named Regal Zephyr, one of a dwindling number of pas­senger vessels serving the Ootmian Pabol, once a key route leading from the Slice to Coruscant. A seemingly endless flight aboard a ship that smelled like a trash compactor was both humble—and humbling.

Doors opened on Qui-Gon’s right. He and Obi-Wan watched as a haggard man entered from the galley, carrying a squirm­ing child in each arm. Ignoring the two Jedi as he trudged past, the man approached a woman Obi-Wan had spoken with. After passing a tod­dler to her, he displayed a single food pouch, one of the meager rations offered by the galley concessionaire. The reunited family looked ex­hausted but also hungry. They tore into the pouch and emptied it in seconds.

Qui-Gon walked down the aisle and approached the young parents. He drew a pair of tokens from the folds of his cloak and got their atten­tion. “Pardon me. You dropped your meal vouchers.”

“Those aren’t mine,” the man said, eyeing him. “I just used our last one.”

“Then these must have stuck to your shoe. Easy to believe, around here.” He looked to the hungry children—and back to their parents. “Please. They shouldn’t go to waste.”

The wary mother stared for a moment before taking the tokens. She rose. Daughter on her hip, she trotted off to the galley. Qui-Gon re­treated to his previous station.

Obi-Wan smirked. “We’ll be skipping breakfast, then.”

“You wouldn’t have enjoyed it.”

“You’re probably right.” He surveyed the surly faces around the cabin. “I’m afraid I lack the common touch, Master.”

“There’s that phrase again.” Qui-Gon shook his head. “Every being is your better, Obi-Wan. Remember that, and service becomes second na­ture.”

“I never tire of hearing that one.” Obi-Wan spied another open seat, nearer to where the two Jedi stood. He straightened. “Back into the fray.”

“Try a bit more energy this time. The galley’s out of caf.”

“Done.”

Qui-Gon watched as his apprentice gamely stepped over and sat be­side a large huddled figure. The Jedi Master had seen him earlier: a mas­sive member of the Houk species, with leathery blue skin and no apparent ears or nose. None of that was visible now, as he was wrapped in a cape and cowl—odd choices, given the warmth in the cabin.

Checking quickly to ensure that the Houk wasn’t asleep, Obi-Wan adopted an antic smile and addressed the passenger. “Hello there!”

Beady yellow eyes went wide. The bruiser growled—and abruptly rose to his towering height. The Houk threw off his cloak to reveal a blaster holstered to his chest.

Obi-Wan’s eyes widened. “If you wanted to be left alone, you only had to say so.”

“Quiet!” The muscular Houk turned to face the rest of the cabin and shouted, “Now!”

Two more cloaked passengers rose and shed their disguises. A scar-faced Klatooinian and a horned Devaronian reached for their weapons. The latter had his blaster in his hand first. Golden eyes and sharp fangs flashed as he shouted, “Nobody move!”

Qui-Gon saw Obi-Wan start to rise—only to pause. His Padawan looked instead to him. Qui-Gon had his hand near his lightsaber, still hidden inside his robe—but he, too, waited. He shot a look he knew his student would understand. No bloodshed. Not with so many innocents about, with nowhere to go.

source: www.starwarsnewsnet.com