|The Trail of the Jedi|
The Trail of the Jedi is the second in a series of young reader novels that chronicle the adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker between Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Narration for the audio version was performed by Jonathan Davis.
- ISBN 0439339189; April 23, 2002, Scholastic, 128-page paperback
- ISBN 0807208329; April 23, 2002, Random House Audio, Unabridged cassette
- ISBN 3897485575; February 2003, Dino Entertainment, 176-page German paperback
Master and apprentice.
Chosen by fate. Destined for conflict.
Anakin Skywalker knows that Obi-Wan Kenobi did not choose him as an apprentice. Instead, it was the dying wish of Obi-Wan's own Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, that brought them together. Now, Anakin is beginning to doubt his Master's commitment…and Obi-Wan is starting to wonder if he will ever be as good a Master as Qui-Gon.
With these things in mind, Master and apprentice head out on a training exercise that soon turns into a struggle to survive. A squad of bounty hunters has been hired to capture the Jedi—and they will stop at nothing to do it. Anakin and Obi-Wan must avoid the traps and ambushes…and try to discover who is behind the deadly Jedi hunt.
An excerpt from Scholastic.comEdit
From deep space, the planet Ragoon-6 lay concealed by a blue mist shimmering in the midst of a cluster of stars. As the transport descended, the mist broke into sparkling particles that swirled around the viewscreen. Then the ship broke through into a planetary atmosphere so clear it seemed as transparent as water.
Anakin Skywalker's breath caught as he leaned forward. He had never seen such a beautiful approach to a planet.
Obi-Wan Kenobi put a hand on Anakin's shoulder as he, too, leaned forward. "I had forgotten how beautiful it is."
Anakin glanced at his Master. Despite his beard, his face suddenly looked young, even younger than when Anakin had met him five years before, when Anakin was nine years old. Obi-Wan had been a Padawan then, just like Anakin was now. No doubt Obi-Wan was remembering his other trips to the planet, the ones he had taken with his own Master, Qui-Gon Jinn.
"It's amazing that it hasn't been colonized," Anakin said.
"It was given in trust to the Senate by its own government," Obi-Wan explained. "Only small tribes of natives still inhabit it. A senate committee handles requests to visit. Only the Jedi and small groups of beings can visit at any one time. Access is strictly controlled. That way Ragoon-6 will remain unspoiled, as the government wanted. There are no air lanes, no factories, no cities."
"The Ragoons never allowed colonizers to settle," Wren said. "Their own population sickened and dwindled until finally there was only a handful left. They could no longer keep out all those who wanted to come. They knew they would have to give up what they loved most in order to save it."
"But if they'd just allowed colonizers to come, they could have kept the planet," Anakin pointed out.
"Yes, but they chose not to. The beauties of their world were too important to them," Obi-Wan explained. "To keep the planet unspoiled was their first goal."
"They sound selfish to me," Anakin said. "They wanted to keep their planet beautiful for themselves and a few others."
"Or perhaps they were wise," Obi-Wan said. "It is not for us to say."
Anakin turned his gaze back to the planet's surface and sighed under his breath. One of the hardest things he found about becoming a Jedi was suspending judgment. To Anakin, things were good or bad, smart or stupid. Obi-Wan had this maddening way of not taking a stance on things.
"If I had a planet that was truly my homeworld, I wouldn't give it away. I'd want to be able to come back whenever I wanted," Anakin said. He had spent his early years on Tatooine, but he had been a slave. He did not feel as though the planet was his home, even though his mother still lived there.
"The Temple is your home," Obi-Wan said gently.
Anakin nodded, but he knew that in his heart he did not feel that way. He loved the Temple and was always glad to return to it. He loved its order and its grace. He loved the beauty within it, the Room of a Thousand Fountains and the deep green lake. But it did not feel like home.
Unlike the other Jedi students, Anakin had once had a home. Unlike them, he remembered his mother. He remembered running home through the heat and bursting through the door to be met with cool and shade and open arms. He remembered his warm cheek against her cool one...
No, his home had not been a planet. It had been smaller, and humbler, and much more precious.
Life in that home had not been easy. There had been times of food shortages, times when they had shivered at night for want of fuel.
The Temple was never short of food or fuel. The temperature was maintained at the optimum degree for the various beings who lived within. It was warmer and safer than the slave quarters on Tatooine.
But it still didn't feel like home. Home will always be where Mom is. No matter how old I get. No matter how long it's been since I've seen her.
"There are the Rost Mountains," Wren said. "We'll land and I'll say good-bye there." He grinned over his shoulder at Anakin. "And then you'll try to catch me."
Wren was an older Jedi with a graying beard who had chosen to teach at the Temple rather than continue to go on missions. Anakin had studied the politics of governments with Wren, and he knew the Jedi Master had a wide-ranging grasp of political philosophies in the galaxy. As part of his Jedi service, Wren also volunteered to take part in training missions for Jedi teams.
Anakin and Obi-Wan would try to track Wren through the wilderness. The exercise was designed to strengthen the bond of trust between Master and Padawan. On Ragoon-6, they would have only each other to depend on as they tracked Wren through the rugged terrain.
Anakin's eyes danced as he bowed respectfully to Wren. "It will be my honor and pleasure to find you in a single day, Wren."
"Ah, in only one day, you say. You are almost as cocky as your Master used to be," Wren said. "I think my clues just got harder. I enjoy teaching lessons to overconfident Padawans."
Anakin hid his grin. In his classes, Wren had been respected, but he'd also been teased behind his back by the Jedi students for taking himself a little too seriously. Anakin would love to find him before a single day had passed. That would deflate his superior manner a bit!
Still, Anakin couldn't help wondering why Obi-Wan had decided to take him on this training exercise. He already trusted his Master with his life. They had been on difficult missions together. He had known him since he was a boy. Every mission brought them closer. Why did they have to take a detour for what seemed to be an elaborate game?
They skimmed over a meadow lush with wildflowers and tall green grass. Above the grassy field, snowcapped mountains hugged the tiny meadow. The sky was deep blue streaked with violet. Anakin could almost smell the fresh scent of the flowers. He had never seen such as lush world with so many vivid colors.
Wren landed the craft expertly in a sheltered spot tucked into the rocky side of the mountain. He accessed the landing ramp and turned to them. "Remember, you must leave your comlinks aboard the ship. No homing devices or droids can be used. You must rely on each other and the Force."
Anakin and Obi-Wan nodded. They both knew these things, but it was part of the ritual that Wren repeat them. They placed their comlinks in Wren's hand, and he stowed them in the secure storage bin.
"If you can't find me, we will meet back here in ten days." Pausing only to sling a survival kit over his shoulder, Wren nodded a good-bye. "May the Force be with you." His gray eyes twinkled. "You'll need it."
Wren ran lightly down the ramp. He swung himself up on a flat rock, then jumped to another. Within moments, he had disappeared.
"Wren is certainly looking forward to puzzling us," Obi-Wan observed.
"He really should get out more," Anakin said.
Obi-Wan turned to Anakin. "Do you think Wren is taking this too seriously?"
"No," Anakin said hesitantly. "But I don't understand why a Jedi Knight would want to spend his time this way when he could be on missions."
"Wren has been on hundreds of missions," Obi-Wan said with a frown. "He has served for most of his life. Now he wishes to give back his knowledge to the Padawans. It is a noble gesture."
Noble, but boring, Anakin thought.
He thought it better not to share the thought with his Master. "How long do we give him?" he asked instead.
"Just a few hours," Obi-Wan answered. "Time enough for us to explore the surroundings a bit and have a meal, you'll be glad to hear. We'll be on rations and protein cubes once we leave, but we can raid the ship's galley now." Obi-Wan gave Anakin a piercing look. "This is designed to teach us, Anakin. But it is also supposed to be fun."
"Of course, Master." Anakin didn't want Obi-Wan to think he wasn't looking forward to the exercise. He knew Obi-Wan had been here twice with Qui-Gon and treasured the memories. Anakin wanted to have that same experience with his Master.
Obi-Wan heated up a meal for them, which they ate sitting in a meadow surrounded by flowers. The morning sun was brilliant yellow, casting its warmth on Anakin's skin. He ate quickly, anxious to start the day.
"Qui-Gon and I tracked a Jedi named Winso Bykart," Obi-Wan said, pushing aside his plate and leaning back on his elbows. "It was our second trip to Ragoon-6. On the first trip, we had to cut the exercise short. I didn't know why at the time, but Qui-Gon had received a disturbing vision about Tahl."
"I have heard about her," Anakin said. "She was supposed to be brilliant."
"She was. Brilliant and funny and kind. She was unique." Obi-Wan looked out over the meadow. "She was a great friend of Qui-Gon's. I don't know if he ever truly accepted her death."
"But a Jedi must accept death," Anakin said. "It is a part of life."
"Yes," Obi-Wan said quietly, his gaze still far away. "That was the difficulty for Qui-Gon."
What do you mean? Anakin wanted to ask. But something stopped him. Sometimes, when Obi-Wan spoke of his Master, he became distant. Anakin could tell by the expression on his face. He did not want to intrude by asking prying questions.
Silence fell between them. Anakin was used to that. Usually their silences felt comfortable. This one was not. Anakin watched Obi-Wan's face. He saw the quiet yearning there. Obi-Wan was missing Qui-Gon. And for the first time, it bothered Anakin.
He wasn't feeling jealous of Qui-Gon, Anakin told himself. It wasn't that. He loved Qui-Gon, too. Something else was bothering him about his Master's preoccupation.
Maybe it was because he was still envious of their relationship. Obi-Wan had taken Anakin on as his Padawan with reluctance. Anakin had always sensed that. Qui-Gon had believed in him, and Qui-Gon's belief had influenced Obi-Wan. How could Obi-Wan ignore his beloved Master's dying wish?
Anakin had thought himself lucky at the time. To arrive at the Temple already chosen by a Jedi Knight! It was unheard of.
Now that he was fourteen, he had seen his fellow Jedi students wait and hope to be chosen by a Jedi Knight. He had talked to his new friend, Tru Veld, about it. Tru had told him about how his Master, Ry-Gaul, had studied him. Tru had felt Ry-Gaul's eyes on him during lightsaber matches, during classes, even walking around the Temple. They had shared many conversations together. When Ry-Gaul had officially chosen Tru at last, he had felt honored.
Anakin too had always felt honored to be Obi-Wan's Padawan.
But why? Anakin suddenly wondered. Obi-Wan did not choose me.
Today, for the first time, Anakin saw the difference.
Then a new thought pierced his heart. Had Obi-Wan brought him here as a desperate act, to develop a closeness he did not feel?
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
This is a gallery of the different cover variations of Jedi Quest: The Trail of the Jedi.