Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review: Star Wars: Darth Plagueis

The votes from the Reader's Choice were in and you voted for Darth Plagueis.

Thoughts: I have heard many great things about this Darth Plagueis book, and it did not disappoint. The book is basically a prequel to The Phantom Menace. It explains just about everything leading up to Episode I. Since the book is relatively new, the story tie into some of the story arcs form The Clone Wars. Also it contains many references to other Star Wars continuity, my favorite being, references The Old Republic. For those of you who hate The Phantom Menace and Midichlorians read Darth Plagueis, it explains things much better and makes it an even better movie. The books relies on the reader's knowledge of the Star Was Universe to some degree, therefore for someone new to the Star Wars universe could become lost in some areas of the book but that was not really a problem for me. The book's plot plays out like a history book from Palpatine's and Plagueis' point of view. The audio book I listened to was better than most audio books but it was not as high quality as Heir to the Empire or The Old Republic Revan (more about the audio book below). There were many cameos by different characters from the prequel era, which were great to see. Some of Darth Maul's origin was explained and Count Dooku's path to the Dark Side was explored briefly. Palpatine's character is developed and I have more interest in him now than I did previously. Darth Plagueis is also one of my favorite Expanded Universe characters now and I hope the next season of The Clone Wars will make a few references to Darth Plagueis and this book. It also possibly explains the birth of Anakin Skywalker. The book starts in the year 67 BBY and ends at the end of Episode I in 32 BBY.
Darth Plagueis also explains the Sith's plan and why they started the war.

Author: James Luceno
Genre: Sci-Fi, Star Wars,
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Audiobook Running Time: 14 hrs and 49 mins

Plot: The novel begins just after Darth Sidious kills his Sith Master Darth Plagueis. The Sith Lord experiences a moment where he feels a dramatic shift in the Force, which promises him that its dark side will use him as a tool just as he will use it as a tool for his own purposes. This moment in the Force is what promises Sidious that he will have a great impact on the galaxy in the future.
The book then cuts back 35 years, as Darth Plagueis and his Master Darth Tenebrous arrive on the world of Bal'demnic to examine its cortosis supply, which is being mined unbeknownst to either the Republic or the Jedi Order. Tenebrous plans to take advantage of the cortosis' natural resistance to lightsaber blades for his future attempts to overthrow the Jedi and replace the Republic with an empire ruled by the Sith. During the examination, the mining probe droid begins digging at a pocket of explosive lethane next to a cortosis deposit against orders, leading Tenebrous and Plagueis to rush back to their ship and escape the resulting explosion. The explosion occurs before they make it back to their ship, though Tenebrous was able to use the Force to contain the explosion so it doesn't kill him or his apprentice, while Plagueis makes sure that their ship isn't destroyed by the impact of the blast. In the process, Tenebrous is severely wearied, and Plagueis finds himself with the opportunity to end his Master's life and take on the role of Sith Master. He uses the Force to hurl falling debris on top of his Master and inflict a mortal wound, attempting to make it look natural as he rushes to his master's side. However, he cannot resist revealing to Tenebrous how he died, and what it means for the future of the Sith. The Muun tells his Bith Master that he will put an end to the old order of the Rule of Two before breaking Tenebrous's neck and observing his dying body through the Force in an attempt to manipulate midi-chlorians. However, Tenebrous dies before Plagueis is even able to at least prolong his Master's life for the sake of his experimentation. Read the book to know what happens next.

Plot: 9.5/10- The plot is excellent and it spans several years. Plagueis' and Palpatine's story is very interesting and their relationship is unique compared to other Sith, although the politics might bore some readers. However, I rarely felt the “Edge of my seat” suspense that other books like The Thrawn trilogy had.

Audiobook: 8.9/10- While the audio book is much better than most of the other ones I have listened briefly it was not near as good as The Heir to the Empire or The Old Republic audio books. The narrator did not imitate the original character's voice very well compared to Heir to the Empire but Palpatine was really the only character that was in the movie that had a lot of dialogue in the book. The use of music to highlight important parts was perfect, For example when Darth Maul was first introduced the music was perfect and added bone chilling effect.

Overall: 9.5/10- Although one would have to be a Star Wars fan to truly appreciate Darth Plagueis, it is one of the best Star Wars book I have read thus far. 

Closing comments: Darth Plagueis is highly recommend for any Star Wars fan of the prequel era.

Recommended for: Star Wars fans, Prequel haters, Sci-Fi fans,

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  1. I loved it too :) I read it after a few weeks it came out :) I think Luceno is a good author, aside from his use of SAT words which constantly made me look up the dictionary- annoying, but educative.
    Some thing messes up cannon. This book reveals that Maul is merely a pawn, not a true apprentice sith I believed him to be before.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much! It's one of my favorite Star Wars novels ever -- beautifully written, and just information-heavy enough to make it an educative read. I loved finding out Plagueis and Palpatine's origins -- I never really knew anything about Plagueis before, so this was a treasure trove.

    Solace - I actually wasn't annoyed by Luceno's extensive vocabulary -- it's always fun learning new words, especially when they pertain to sci-fi.
    However, I do have to mildly disagree with you on the Darth Maul thing: to Sidious (and Plagueis before him), everyone is a pawn, even their apprentices. We just never realized how much of a pawn Maul was until now.

  3. Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed the book! :) I agree, it wasn't the edge of your seat read like many other Star Wars novels but it was still very well written.
    I agree, the two main Sith were definitely very interesting to read about and I liked all the things that were revealed. :)

  4. Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed the book! :) I agree, it wasn't the edge of your seat read like many other Star Wars novels but it was still very well written.
    I agree, the two main Sith were definitely very interesting to read about and I liked all the things that were revealed. :)


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