Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.
You can also find me on my blog.
I'll be far from anywhere, and alone, with nothing but my regrets to keep me company. If only there were a place to hide from those.
Following the devastation of Episode III, this novel gives us a glimpse of everyone's favorite (well, at least he's my favorite) Jedi master as he struggles to determine the new path for his life. He makes his way to Tatooine, the planet he has decided is the best place for Luke Skywalker to grow up in obscurity. Obi-Wan believes Anikan to be dead, along with almost everyone else he has ever known. He also believes that he has a relatively simple mission: to protect the Lars family and live quietly.
However, Obi-Wan, who begins giving his name as 'Ben', and Jedi in general have never been very good at quiet living. About the moment his boot hits the scorching sand, he finds himself in the middle of battles between settlers and Sand People, schemes involving the Hutts, and an accidental romance. He just cannot resist saving the day, and what Tatooine lady can resist the handsome stranger who always seems to be there when she needs him most?
This is when Ben realizes that living as a hermit may not be as simple as he anticipated. He has long lived without romantic love but as a part as a thriving community. Now he must learn how to do without both.
What does it mean to be a Jedi alone?
Being the hero draws far too much attention his way, and he knows that it is impossible for him to marry and have a family, even if a small part of him longs for that kind of life. After tying up the strings of the drama he discovered upon arrival, Ben recommits himself to Luke's protection and letting go of the heroic impulses that come so naturally to him. The seeds that grow into 'Crazy Old Ben' are planted, and Obi-Wan is buried.
It is bittersweet - for Ben, for the woman he rejects, for the reader - to see him reduced and left alone with his regrets and ghosts.