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Jedi Healer: Star Wars Medstar II    by Michael Reaves & Steve Perry order for
Jedi Healer
by Michael Reaves
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

In MedStar II, Michael Reaves and Steve Perry address medical as well as habitation technology, the Dark Side of the Force, and the Jedi lightsaber. They relocate Rimsoo Seven, Med Unit, after a full-fledged Separatist attack in the lowlands. Re-established in the highlands on Drongar, in the stifling Jasserak jungle, the trauma team (including chief surgeon Jos Vondar, nurse Tolk le Trene, and Padawan Barriss Offee) is joined by Lieutenant Kornell 'Uli' Divini, recent graduate of Coruscant Medical, replacing the deceased Zan Yant.

Exiled from Corellia after marrying outside of the culture, Jos's Uncle, Admiral Erel Kersos, arrives on Drongar as the new commander. It has been many years since Jos has seen his uncle. Jos's plan to marry Lorrdian Tolk would form a relationship between an 'enster' and an 'ekster', and Uncle advises his nephew. Reporter Den Dhur and protocol droid I-Five continue their friendship and sparring. I-Five lends humor to the story as he programs himself to become intoxicated. Joining a Wookie in a game of dejarik, I-Five wins to an unhappy Wookie, who removes one of I-Five's arms. Never displease a Wookie! The Med Unit has its share of problems before they are forced to abandon their site again. Changes occur in the atmosphere within Rimsoo Seven's dome, causing temperatures to drop heavily. And 'Snow. Holy milking Sith! Snow?' is the reaction of many as the droids work hard shoveling.

There's an exchange between Barriss and Uli in regard to the use of lightsabers, and the temptation of the Dark side. Barriss tells Uli, 'Part of becoming a Jedi Knight is learning how to become better connected to the Force ... Those who embrace the dark side don't see themselves as evil ... believe they are doing the right thing for the right reasons ... and come to believe the end justifies the means, no matter how awful those means might be.' Black marketeer and smuggler, Kaird the Nediji, makes his way around the med site disguised as 'The Silent', one of those who perform as a religious and meditative unit to the ill and wounded. A technician discovers that the wonder bota med is chemically changing and will become useless. Kaird bribes the botanist to hold off telling anyone else until he can arrange to leave the jungle. When Kaird does make his final journey with a booty of still healthy bota, he is ecstatic in his thinking about winning free from the Black Sun organization. However, there's a surprise on board ship.

This second Medstar episode is healthy in dialog, descriptive in technology, and warm in characterization. Readers can toast the tale with a 'Bantha Blaster', 'Coruscant Cooler', or a 'Dark Side Daiquiri', served by droid Teedle, while Card Shark deals a game of sabacc! Jedi Healer is a hearty read, with a gratifying ending, and suspense as to the identity of 'the spy' (a.k.a. Lens and Column). Best of all, Padawan Barriss Offee accepts herself as a Jedi, saying 'You truly become a Jedi Knight on the day when you realized that you already were one.'

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