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Obi-Wan Kenobi (Human Jedi Exile) {as 8BBY)

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Human Jedi Exile) {as 8BBY)
R2-A5 {Ayfive} (Astromech Droid)

R2-A5 {Ayfive} (Astromech Droid)
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River Qwewt (Small Reptilian)

Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures: Season 1: Story 13: The Jedi and the Thief

What is it ? : The Young Jedi are practicing their lightsaber skills against a training droid, but they have dressed it up as Taborr. Master Zanna notices this, and asks them why they have done it, and Kai tells her that it's because Taborr is a bad guy and a pirate and fighting bad guys is what Jedi do.
Zanna asks Kai to come with her on a special mission, which he readily agrees to and they leave aboard a shuttle, Zanna tells Kai that a cooling system has failed at the academy and she knows where to get one from a nearby market.
They arrive on a rocky work where a marketplace has been set up between canyons, and Zanna tells Kai this is where she trained when she was young.
They arrive at a trader who recognises Zanna, so while she bargains for the parts, Kai asks what Zanna was like when she was young, and the trader tells him that she was feisty and always ready for a fight with thieves and pirates.
While they are concluding their deal, they notice their shuttle lift off without them, so they borrow a speeder bike from the trader and race off to catch it.
They jump from a stone ramp and use the force to leap from the speeder bike onto their shuttle, but the bike crashes to the ground below and Zanna comments about destroying another of the traders speeder bikes.
Getting aboard Zanna recognises who has stolen the shuttle, Ace Callisto, a pirate she knew when she was younger. Ace taunts Zanna, and shrugs off the threat when Kai ignites his lightsaber, but he strikes a console and the ship crashes out of control into a cave.
When they have recovered, Zanna tries to call for help, but the cave is blocking their signal, and Zanna has injured her leg, so asks Kai and Ace to work together to get out of the cave and send a distress signal.
When Kai is reluctant to work with Ace because she is a thief, Zanna points out that even if a person has done bad things, they still have the chance to do good things as well, and Ace comments that Kai is just like Zanna was when she was young.
They leave the ship and discover the cave is home to fearsome beasts called Stalaat, and Kai is dismayed to see Ace run back to the shuttle leaving him facing the creatures alone. But she activates the shuttles weapons and scares the creatures off, allowing them to get out of the cave and send the distress signal.
Afterwards while she is getting treated by the rescue team, Zanna asks Kai what he thinks of Ace, and he realises that although she could have run away from the beasts and saved herself, she helped scare off the creatures and save Zanna. When they return to the temple, Kai removes the clothing from the training droid, telling Nubs and Lys that being a Jedi is not about fighting, but helping people to choose to do good, including pirates like Taborr. . . .

High Points : Good action in this one, a speeder bike chase, and some sensible tactics against some menacing creatures. While the main message of the episode is about giving people a second chance, I think the better message also contained within was that Master Zanna was just a kid like Kai at one point. That she made mistakes, did silly things, and grew and improved herself, something that the Young Jedi themselves will do over time.

Low Points : While I enjoyed the theme that people can redeem themselves, and even people who make bad choices can make good ones. I found it a little muddled because Ace is an active thief.
She steals the shuttle not as a prank and reminder of old times between old friends, but because she knows Zanna is a Jedi so has good stuff. While she helps save their lives, it's not a massive choice as she's helping save her own life, and all of this was caused due to her actions.
I feel the message of the relationship between Kai and Taborr would have been strengthened if Zanna and Ace were now firm friends, with a history of having been enemies when they were young. Which would indicate that Taborr and Kai might end up as friends at some point. But while the relationship between Zanna and Ace is friendly, it's still one based around one of the pair stealing from the other and generally trying to mess up their life, while the other shrugs their shoulders and says that they might do good once in a while and that makes up for it.
There's no lesson being learned by Ace here. She steals the ship, as she appears to have been doing to Zanna throughout their lives, and gets away with it, to do exactly the same again.

So what do you really think ? : An enjoyable episode, but one which lets the rogue character get away with far too much. But then again, this is Star Wars, where one of the biggest heroes in the franchise is a drug smuggler, so criminality is just something we shouldn't bother about too much.

Final Words : A solid little episode, it feels as if it could have been stretched into a two parter, with Ace having more chances to prove herself rather than just running away and using the ship weapons to save the day, which even if it hadn't been successful, would have meant she'd have been safe inside the starship. She seems to get credit for being heroic and saving the day even though she did little, and Zanna probably could have sat in the pilots seat to shoot the weapons even with her wounded leg.

Score : 8.5/10

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