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Gungan to the left

A delightful 'Young Qui-Gon' story...
A review of Defy Not

By : Valeda Kor

Quiller, whose other stories I've enjoyed (see Hidden Agendas and Good Fortune in the TF.N Archive) has another winner in "Defy Not."

Trying to avoid the demons that torment his sleep Padawan Qui-Gon Jinn feels himself pulled by the Force to a place deep within Coruscant's dark streets. As he follows this calling he's captured and thrown into a cell, soon to be joined there by a young Wookie, a kidnap victim. The author uses short, jerky sentences to illustrate Qui-Gon's pain and fear as he undergoes his predicament. It is a powerful effect, for you breathe in relief along with him when he remembers who he is, or more precisely, what he is.

As a devotee of the "early days" of Qui-Gon Jinn I appreciated the opportunity to imagine him as Quiller's young man, growing too fast and feeling out of place. Add to this the sickness he feels and the disappointment that he's failing his Master, the great Yoda -- nothing could be more traumatic for an apprentice Jedi, especially one so filled with the Living Force, as Qui-Gon knows himself to be.

Quiller has an uncanny grasp of her leading character. Readers will recognize the stately, supreme Jedi Master in this gawky, awkward youth, so filled with the Force. I especially loved this particular passage, as Qui-Gon reassures his fellow prisoner that everything will turn out all right, and that he, Qui-Gon Jinn, is master of the situation: "A Jedi and a warrior, friend." Softly he added, "Believe it." The author's "just right" combination of description and dialog moves the story along unfailingly, as we watch this youngster engage in battle, save a life and finally, receive confirmation of his worth from Master Yoda, at the same time learning what's been causing his illness.

Qui-Gon's ultimate fate in The Phantom Menace ("I will do what I must") is hinted at throughout the story as the author provides readers a look at Qui-Gon's motivations, as he begins the walk down a path that he cannot but follow. And lest you think that the thrust of the piece is all darkness and despair, Quiller uses humor to lighten the mood and further underscore her understanding of the characters that populate "Defy Not." The engaging quality of Quiller's fiction is a delight. Don't miss this story.

Comments to Valeda Kor or post it in the Jedi Council Fanfic Forum.
Uploaded: Monday, August 6, 2001

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