REVIEW: Star Wars – Brotherhood (2022)

A Book by Mike Chen

Taking place soon after Star Wars: Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars – Brotherhood shows Anakin Skywalker at the absolute beginnings of his tenure as a Jedi Knight Just prior to the Clone Wars movie. While the book does have a “main plot” involving the aftermath of a terrorist attack Cato Neimoidia, the meat and potatoes of the story involve Obi Wan letting go of his padawan and seeing him as an equal for once, and Anakin’s gradual slide to The Dark Side. Anakin gathers up attachment after attachment here, reminiscing about his now deceased mother, both angering and saddening him, as well as his secret marriage to Padme that results in him sneaking around behind everyone’s back. Palpatine also really starts his campaign of coercion to Anakin in earnest, becoming someone that Anakin’s sees as a mentor and friend, when in reality a seed of doubt and lust for power are being drilled into his head. Once again, Palpatine is playing his 4-D chess here, and basically fighting a fake war against himself, as he always does prior to his rise to power.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker must stem the tide of the raging Clone Wars and forge a new bond as Jedi Knights. The Clone Wars have begun. Battle lines are being drawn throughout the galaxy. With every world that joins the Separatists, the peace guarded by the Jedi Order is slipping through their fingers.

After an explosion devastates Cato Neimoidia, the jewel of the Trade Federation, the Republic is blamed and the fragile neutrality of the planet is threatened. The Jedi dispatch Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the Order’s most gifted diplomatic minds, to investigate the crime and maintain the balance that has begun to dangerously shift. As Obi-Wan investigates with the help of a heroic Neimoidian guard, he finds himself working against the Separatists who hope to draw the planet into their conspiracy—and he senses the sinister hand of Asajj Ventress in the mists that cloak the planet.”

The portrayal of the relationship between Obi Wan and Anakin in this book is leaps and bounds better than the actual films they appear in, and is more closely tied to how they are portrayed in The Clone wars TV show. For this very reason I appreciate this book a lot, since Episode 2 is my absolute least favorite film in the entire series, and welcome anything that can clean up the multitude of messes it caused. Granted, the two do end up staying apart for a bit of the book, but what we do have is solid character study of what is happening in each of their minds as they find their new places in The Jedi Order. Perhaps my only issue with the book is that it goes out of its way to foreshadow the future a bit too much – scenes with Anakin saying “he won’t ever get a padawan”, talking about his relationship to younglings, and Mace Windu’s constant hatred of Anakin’s presence near him are a bit too “wink wink nudge nudge” for my taste.

I have mentioned many times that these new canon books have helped me appreciate this particular period in the series’ history far more than I ever have in the past. They don’t make up for the bumbles in the films, but they build on them in such a way to where you can accept some of the more ridiculous parts. THIS is the sort of thing we should have had with the prequel trilogy, but I’m glad we have it in some way.

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