The Defenders of the Dead by Jude Watson is the fifth in a series of young reader novels called Jedi Apprentice. All the books in the series are written by Jude Watson, except for the first book, Jedi Apprentice: The Rising Force, which was written by Dave Wolverton. The series explores the adventures of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi prior to Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.


Publisher's summary[]

Peace over anger.
Honor over hate.
Strength over fear.

The Defenders of the Dead live in the past while they destroy the future. They face a revolt of the Young—a band of rebels led by two teenagers, Cerasi and Nield.

Thirteen-year-old Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn are not supposed to take sides in any war. But once Obi-Wan meets Cerasi and Nield, he feels he must join their fight…even though Qui-Gon forbids it.

The rebellion has become personal.

And Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are on opposing sides.

Plot summary[]

The planet Melida/Daan is caught in a civil war where the two factions, the Melida and the Daan, have been killing each other for centuries. During peace talks, a female Jedi named Tahl was taken hostage by the Melida, and Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn are sent to retrieve her.

Their Melida contact Wehutti takes them to meet the Melida Council, but it is a trap. The Melida hope that three Jedi hostages will force the Galactic Republic to take their side in the war. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon escape with help from Cerasi, who takes them to the sewers where The Young hide. The Young are a group of orphaned Melida and Daan children who are determined to end the war waged by their Elders, no matter what it takes.

Obi-Wan is captivated by the Young's cause and determination, and he joins them when they fake an attack on Daan territory, which starts another battle between the two sides. While they are distracted, Cerasi takes Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to where the Melida are holding Tahl. She reveals that she is Wehutti's daughter to get past the guards, and fakes attacks to make the guards think the Daan are attacking.

Qui-Gon finds Tahl, injured and blinded, and they bring her back to the Young's hideout where Nield, leader of the Young, reveals that while during the fighting, while the Jedi were rescuing Tahl, the Young stole the Daan's weapon stores while the Melida blow theirs up in fear. The Young send messages to the Melida and Daan, demanding disarmament, which go unanswered.

The Young then send a declaration of war. Nield and Cerasi plan to bring down the deflection towers that separate Melida and Daan territory. If they do, the Young who live in the countryside can join them with their weapons and they will outnumber the Elders. Obi-Wan takes the starfighter Queen Veda gave the Jedi.

Qui-Gon has secretly arranged a meeting between the Melida and Daan Council, and he warns them that if they don't form a coalition government, the Young will win the war. As they speak, the Scavenger Young march into the city. The Melida and Daan want to join forces, but Qui-Gon convinces them not to fight their own children and acts as their emissary to the Young.

Nield and Cerasi, however, don't believe their offer of peace is genuine. Qui-Gon realizes Obi-Wan risked their only way offworld to destroy the deflection towers. Obi-Wan is sorry for betraying Qui-Gon's trust, but he isn't sorry that he helped the Young.

The Elders attack the Young. Obi-Wan tries to take the starfighter to defend the Young, but Qui-Gon is using it to transport Tahl offworld. They draw their lightsabers. Qui-Gon tells that if he does not come with him, he can no longer be a Jedi, and Obi-Wan hands him his lightsaber before returning to battle.

Cover gallery[]

This is a gallery of the different cover variations of Jedi Apprentice: The Defenders of the Dead.


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Sentient species

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Weapons and technology


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