This article is about the young readers novel. You may be looking for the Mark of the Crown, from which the title of this book is taken.

The Mark of the Crown by Jude Watson is the fourth in the young readers Jedi Apprentice series. All of the books in the series are written by Jude Watson, except for the first book, 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.

A queen is dying. Her angry son is conspiring to thwart his planet's elections and maintain his rule. But he might not be her only heir. There may be another bearing the elusive Mark of the Crown.

Qui-Gon Jinn and young Obi-Wan Kenobi come to the planet of Gala as guardians of peace. Now they are facing a deadly battle for power and royal position.

The true heir must be found.

The Jedi must find the way.

Plot summary[]

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn arrive on Gala where Queen Veda is dying. Her last act is to turn the government into a democracy, much to the displeasure of her son Prince Beju. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon know that Beju was involved with criminal dealings on Phindar, and if he wins the election, he will preserve the monarchy and perhaps cause a civil war.

His rivals are Deca Brun and Wila Prammi, but Veda also anticipates difficulty with Elan, leader of the hill people, a separatist faction in the mountains. Unbeknownst to anybody except Veda, Elan is the daughter of her late husband King Cana and his first wife, whom he divorced due to pressure from the council. Veda believes Elan bears the Mark of the Crown, delineating her as the rightful heir.

Qui-Gon goes to meet with Elan, leaving Obi-Wan behind to oversee the election and pretend Qui-Gon is still there. Their guard Jono Dunn quickly realizes the truth, but he is loyal to the queen and keeps his silence. Obi-Wan meets the queen in the orchard, and her account of her illness makes him suspect she is being poisoned. He takes a sample of her nightly tea and brings it to Mali Errat, who discovers an unidentifiable substance during the test but can't say for certain that it's poison.

Qui-Gon is attacked by bandits and rescued by a swoop driver who turns out to be Elan. Due to Qui-Gon's injuries, she allows him to spend the night with the hill people, but she doesn't believe that she is King Cana's daughter.

Obi-Wan tells Veda about his suspicions, but he is overheard by Beju and Lonnag Giba who refuse to believe him. They wonder where Qui-Gon is, and Obi-Wan and Veda reveal he has gone to speak to Elan. Beju refuses to believe he could have a half-sister, and though he knows the truth, Giba says Veda is lying. Veda becomes faint and stumbles towards her son, collapsing in his arms and giving Obi-Wan the chance to escape.

Jono catches up with Obi-Wan and brings him to Deca Brun's campaign office where Obi-Wan finds documents showing Offworld Mining Corporation donated to Brun's campaign. He is caught by guards, who lock him in the kitchen freezer.

The royal guard attack the hill people the next morning. Elan leads their tanks to a snow drift, where they get buried. The hill people dig out the soldiers and bring them back to their camp. The soldiers are surprised and grateful, and one of them tells Qui-Gon that the hill people are nothing like Giba said they were when he sent them. Qui-Gon realizes Giba is behind the plot. He decides to return to Galu. He asks Elan to join him and take a stand.

Jono disguises himself as a delivery boy and helps Obi-Wan escape. Beju has imprisoned Veda, and she is refusing to eat. The other councilors have turned against Giba, and they want to speak to Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan insists on meeting Mali first, and he reveals the substance in Veda's tea was Dimilatis, a slow-acting poisonous herb.

Obi-Wan realizes Jono is the only one who had access to both the gardens, where dimilatis grows, and the queen's food. He is also from the seaside where the plant originates. Jono admits his guilt when confronted and says he did it because he doesn't want Gala to become a democracy. He might be a servant, but he is a royal servant. To escape the trap Jono set for him, Obi-Wan leaps out a window.

Beju catches Obi-Wan in a palace reception room. Obi-Wan convinces it would be cowardice to call the guards, and instead they duel with swords. Obi-Wan gains the upper hand before they are interrupted by Viso, a royal councilor. Viso takes Beju to "the square within the square" and shows Beju that he doesn't bear the Mark of the Crown. Beju is devastated, and Obi-Wan comforts and convinces him to turn against Giba.

Qui-Gon, Elan, and the hill people arrive to vote. Elan goes to meet Prammi, and Qui-Gon returns to the palace where Obi-Wan updates him on what happened. Giba is arrested, and Jono reveals his conspiracy to help Brun win the election with funding from Offworld. In exchange, he would get a position in Brun's administration.

Beju stands down, Brun is exposed, and Prammi wins the election by an overwhelming majority, thanks to the hill people's support. Veda recovers from the poison, and she sends Jono back home to become a farmer like everyone else. Viso asks Beju and Elan to meet him in the Council Chamber. Elan stands in the square within the square, and an image of a crown appears over her head. Beju and Elan acknowledge each other as siblings.


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Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology


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