Possibly slipping through the cracks in the excitement between quite a bit of material released under the Journey to The Last Jedi banner, Forces of Destiny: Daring Adventures vol 2 reintroduces us to Ahsoka, Leia, and Jyn Erso in three fun adventures! Are they worth revisiting?
I mentioned in my first review of the Daring Adventures that most of these stories are just recapitulation of the shorts that we have seen already on YouTube. This volume contains “The Padawan Path,” “Beasts of Echo Base,” and “The Stranger.” As in the previous volume, they mildly expand the shorts to add a bit of extra context. Author Emma Carlson Berne brings a new perspective on the stories with which we are already familiar.
The stories are again framed with Maz. As in the first volume, Maz tells us these stories at her bonfire. She sits making soup as small creatures join and she shares the food with them. These are fun, and I’m sure they make the kids feel like the story is being told to them directly. The fun part is that, as Maz uses these stories to demonstrate different moral stories, she herself is learning a story.
“The Padawan Path” doesn’t really expand the story much, but it does provide some necessary context to the episode. It is fun to have Anakin, Yoda, and Ahsoka in yet another story. For those who want more The Clone Wars, it seems like Forces of Destiny is the way to go! This story is familiar: Ahsoka is late for a ceremony with Anakin and Yoda to receive her Padawan braids. Along the way, she runs into some Aleena who are in the path of a malfunctioning droid. One of the things that confused me in the original episode was why she went for the pipe, rather than destroy the droid itself. The book answers the question: she figured she would short out the droid rather than destroy it, hoping it would be fixable. The biggest highlights of these books are the new dimensions that are added to the animated shorts. Here, we see a bit more about the ways that Ahsoka has learned from Anakin and digested his teachings. It is not always about violence: how can you save the most lives at once? This way, both the droid and the Aleena family can be saved.
“The Beasts of Echo Base” is one of the stories which brings in new dimension to the adventure. Luke is waiting for Chewbacca so the pair can fix his X-Wing, but Chewbacca has been missing for over two hours. Leia offers to go find him, telling Luke to stay behind in case Chewbacca returns soon. I liked this added bit of context, giving Leia even more initiative on her own. It was interesting to read this story with more context, showing more of Leia’s courage. She could have brought Luke, aspiring Jedi in training, but her pragmatism overrides whatever fear she may have. I enjoyed a window into her trepidation about going into battle with a wampa. Too easily, we may deify Leia without opening a window into her human side. Stories like this remind us she is human, and brave by going face to face with the fear that threatens to paralyze her. Again, the moral lesson of the short is amplified greatly by the extra nuance in the written form.
Finally, “The Stranger” brings to the forefront a bit more of the tragedy that is Jyn Erso’s life. Those who have read Catalyst: A Rogue One Story, Rebel Rising, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are familiar with her tragic backstory. This story only adds more to the tragedy that is her life. First, we are touched by her compassion. She does not want to see the young girl lose her cat to the Empire in the same way that Jyn has lost her family to the Empire. Even this small moment makes it harder to see her destroyed on Scarif with the base – her heart, though scarred, was open to the vulnerable. Readers of Rebel Rising understand how much Jyn had to lose by revealing her real name, but Jyn is moved by this same compassion to reveal her name to the young girl. This moment of honestly shows how brave Jyn is, and the depths to which she would go to save someone’s livelihood.
The second volume of Forces of Destiny doesn’t give us any new stories. Rather, it gives us a greater understanding of the stories themselves. Isn’t this the purpose of any good novel adaptation? This book does a great job of taking the same principle and aging it down to a younger level to help them enjoy adaptations.
The Old Republic Era: Dawn of the Jedi: Into The Void | Lost Tribe of the Sith | The Old Republic: Revan | The Old Republic: Deceived | Red Harvest | The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance | The Old Republic: Annihilation | Knight Errant | Darth Bane: Path of Destruction | Darth Bane: Rule of Two | Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
The New Jedi Order Era: Scourge
Canon Novel Reviews:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Star Wars Young Reader Reviews:
Adventures in Wild Space: The Escape (Prelude)
So You Want to be a Jedi?
Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
Poe Dameron: Flight Log
Princess Leia: Royal Rebel (Backstories)
Darth Vader: Sith Lord (Backstories)
The Force Awakens: Finn’s Story
Forces of Destiny:
Daring Adventures vol 1 | Tales of Hope & Courage
LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Reviews:
“A Hero Discovered” 1×01 | “The Mines of Gabralla” 1×02 | “Zander’s Joyride” 1×03 | “The Lost Treasure of Cloud City” 1×04 | “Peril on Kashyyyk” 1×05 | “Crossing Paths” 1×06