--discovered, to his howling chagrin, that the medium-level bad guy was his father
--abandoned the training/quest he was supposed to be on in order to try to save someone he cared about, and only partly succeeded, but -- lo and behold oh my oh my -- did not manage to wreck his quest completely as everybody wise said he would
--discovered that the parentless female of about his own age, who had been wandering around with him acting a bit like a love interest but not in a nakedy way, was his sister.
You just can't do that any more. You just can't. You should never give the reader the opportunity to mutter, "Luuuuuke...I am your father..." or "There is...another...Sky...walker...." Ever ever ever.
I have often given the "you must educate yourself in your genre" speech, and I still think it's true. But this is worse than that. When this author was ripping off Prydain, he could at least hope that his young readers had not yet gotten to Lloyd Alexander. Nobody in our culture has not yet gotten to Star Wars. Even my godfather Joe, who has never seen a Star Wars movie, knows the references to Star Wars. It's just lame. Lame, lame, lame.
I'm going to retreat into my own book now, where everybody's parentage is known and nobody is assigned quests externally. And then I'm going to have Leftover Fest '04 with dd_b and lydy (yes, sdn, this does constitute rubbing it in -- sorry). And then I don't know what. But it will not involve me muttering, "You have hibernation sickness. Your eyesight will return in time." And that is final. (This character did not have hibernation sickness, but he did have to recover sight from blindness. SIGH.)