Book Review: Kenobi

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.

The events of this book happen shortly after Revenge of the Sith.

I had high hopes for this book. I was looking forward to seeing just what would happen with Obi-Wan once he went to Tatooine. For those who have only watched the movies there is a huge gap between the end of Revenge of the Sith and where A New Hope picks up. What happens to Luke and Obi-Wan during that time is not know, other than obviously Obi-Wan succeeded in hiding Luke up to a certain point.

I found the introduction to be fairly good. There was a bit of history given on Tattoine and it’s inhabitants as well, such as why the Sand People are also referred to as Tusken Raiders. Of course there was also the reasoning behind Obi-Wan going into hiding. After the initial chapter with Obi-Wan in it I expected the story to follow either his travel into the desert to become hidden away or to follow the Lars family, now that they were raising Luke. Instead there was a tusken raider attack on another homestead, that I initially thought might have been the Lars’ until near the end of it, and the introduction of several other characters, ones that I could only assume would play an important role later on in the story. In a way I was disappointed that events turned away from Obi-Wan and infant Luke but I also understood that setting up the things that would play a part in both Obi-Wan’s life as a hermit or lack there of initially. But since background is important I was willing to accept this shift in the story and waited to see the return of Obi-Wan and how his part would play out in this book.

When Obi-Wan, now going by the name Ben, finally makes his appearance again it was very short and while I know he’s trying to remain hidden to keep himself and Luke safe I just didn’t feel like his character was the same anymore. Yes, he would need to change in order to adapt to his new life of hiding but something just didn’t seem right. Even as Ben made a more steady appearance in the book the story still seemed to mostly focus on the settlers in the oasis, Danner’s Claim, and the tuskan raiders, especially the leader A’Yark. Yes Ben was there, he was helping out but it still didn’t seem like the story was about him. It was as if the story was about the settlers and raiders but Ben also just happened to be there.

It was a bit interesting to see exactly how the locals came to refer to him as Crazy Old Ben. But really that was about as interesting as it got in the first half of the book. Sure there was action, plenty of raids from the tusken raiders but the story felt so lacking, mostly because the focus was not on the title character. In reality only about a third or so of this book is actually about Kenobi, which was pretty disappointing.

I debated for a long time on whether to rate this book at 2.5 stars or 3 and eventually I settled on a 3 star rating but it was not an easy decision to give that extra half a star. This book is not at all what I thought it would be and was pretty disappointed with it. I feel like so much is missing from Ben’s story, and overall Ben wasn’t in this book as much as he should have been. Really it left me with more questions than answers about Ben’s life on Tatooine as this book only scratched the surface. There is still so much that isn’t said about Kenobi’s time on Tatooine in his role of not only hiding from the Empire but watching over and protecting Luke. I had expected so much more, for the book to encompass a larger time frame but it was not so. Im not sure if another book is planned to cover more of Ben’s past but I think it is needed to fully explain his story.

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