The Jedi Apprentice series by Jude Watson seems a success to me from several different perspectives. The character development and plotline is quite sophisticated for so-called "fiction for young readers." In fact, I would go so far as to say that this series is on the whole better than much of the "adult fiction" written in the Star Wars universe. I read the series to learn more about the Qui-Gon Jinn character, his background, and his calling as a Jedi moved particularly by the Living Force. (Let's face it: the film gave the audience little more than a teaser about the character, precious little to go on, but enough to fascinate.) I know other adults who have read the series because they were similarly intrigued by the story of Jinn's life, the apprenticeship of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the development of the relationship between Master and Padawan. I recognize that some fans reject Watson's history for and characterization of the pair, but that's another issue for another day.
In retrospect, some of the most memorable moments of the series for me are dark glimpses into the future that foreshadow Qui-Gon's untimely death before his padawan achieves knighthood. The allusions to Qui-Gon's fall and Obi-Wan's lonely adulthood are striking when they appear, eerily poignant, and haunting.
My examples will serve as my quotes for the day:
"But your visions could be wrong," Adi said. "Visions sometimes are. The Jedi themselves are not unused to them. Yet we recognize that we can only see things that may be."
"That is why we act as we do." O-Vieve looked at Qui-Gon with an intense gaze. "If you could choose your death, Qui-Gon, wouldn't you rather die in peace and comfort than violently in battle, in shock and despair?"
Qui-Gon fixed her with an icy stare. "We are not allowed to choose our deaths." (pp. 105-106)
and, from the same novel...
Obi-Wan shook his head stubbornly. "She saw darkness coming from the Jedi itself. That could never happen."
Sun suddenly burst through the clouds overhead, dazzling Qui-Gon's sight. The glare caused Obi-Wan's features to blur and dissolve. For a moment, Qui-Gon didn't see the boy. He saw an elder man, alone, living on a desolate planet, his only companions his dark memories.
Qui-Gon felt the same shiver he'd experienced in O-Vieve's presence. Did he just have a vision of himself as an elder? Was that the dark vision O-Vieve had seen for him?
Then a sudden truth pierced him. That isn't me. That's Obi-Wan.
Or was it?
The sun retreated behind the clouds. The world became clear again. Qui-Gon studied Obi-Wan. He saw the familiar boyish features, the shining eyes. He found reassurance in the sight of his youth. The future is not fixed, but fluid, he told himself.
"Qui-Gon, are you all right?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Perhaps we should not speak of evil and darkness just as we've completed a successful mission," Qui-Gon suggested lightly. "Let us enjoy this moment." (pp. 137-138)
Star Wars Jedi Apprentice #9: The Fight for Truth by Jude Watson
and, later in the series...
Another image of Obi-Wan flashed in Qui-Gon's mind. An older Obi-Wan, ready to begin the intensive path toward the trials. Soon he would be more man than boy. He would take the leap toward becoming a Jedi Knight.
Pride and sadness flooded Qui-Gon as he pictured Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. He looked forward to the day that the two of them would work side by side as Jedi Knights, but with this thought no image came. Qui-Gon's chest tightened. He was so proud of Obi-Wan's path, of his achievements. Why couldn't he see him as a Knight? Perhaps I do not want to see the boy grow up, he thought. (p. 27)
Star Wars Jedi Apprentice #18: The Threat Within by Jude Watson