Archive for May, 2011

Review: Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader

Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
Author: James Luceno
Release Date: November 2005

  • NOTE: The following contains SPOILERS!

The cover says that this is “The Must Read Sequel To Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith” After reading it, I have to agree. In fact, I’ve read it a few times. This novel had several points of interest, but it didn’t seem cluttered to me. Most prominent, I think, are the struggles that Vader faced immediately after the events of ROTS. Struggles, not only with his physical disabilities and how to adjust to the suit, but the inner struggles as well. Dealing with the loss of Padme, the “death” of Anakin, his new allegiance to Palpatine and the Sith, and adjusting to the power and control that has been laid at his feet. I thought Luceno did a great job communicating those things to the reader.

Also worthy of mention is the fact that some clones actually disobeyed Order 66, and provided a way out for the Jedi they served with. The novel stops short, though, and doesn’t show what the punishment was for disobedience. We all know it had to have meant death, but I would have liked to see an exchange between the clones and Palpatine, if they were indeed brought before him.

The Jedi who were spared learned the ‘whys and hows’ about what transpired on Coruscant that brought on the Jedi executions, little by little. Information trickled in, instead of a quick reveal. I liked this. I felt that Dark Lord took on the role as mystery novel, among it’s other roles.

The 2nd battle of Kashyyyk was riveting from start to finish. This was an important event to read about, because so many plots from other novels pick up where this leaves off. We also learn more about Tarkin, and his new relationship with Vader. Not to be forgotten are the Jedi who lost their lives to Vader in order to save others; perhaps the first Jedi to die at the hands of a suited Vader.

Finally: Obi-Wan. He learns that Vader is alive from watching a Holonet report on Tatooine. Talk about a jaw-dropper, for him. I felt that this too was important to read about. And of course I enjoyed his conversation with Qui-Gon.

There are a few errors in Dark Lord, but I can overlook them. Other than that, I felt this was a brilliant novel. A must read.

Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader receives a 4 out of 5.

- Master Optician

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Upcoming Scholastic Publication Covers

Here’s some new cover reveals from product listings at Amazon.

Star Wars: Darth Vader: A 3-D Reconstruction Log (Oct 1, 2011) [Link]

Lego Star Wars: Darth Maul’s Mission (Sep 1, 2011) [Link]

Lego Star Wars: Anakin: Space Pilot (3D) (Sep 1, 2011) [Link]

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Fate of the Jedi: ASCENSION Back Cover Art has posted the back cover art for Fate of the Jedi: ASCENSION, which is due to be released August 9, 2011. [Link]

FOTJ: ASCENSION Blurb Now Online
Fate of the Jedi: ASCENSION Synopsis
Cover For ASCENSION Revealed

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The Old Republic: Revan Blurb Now Online

Random House has posted the blurb for The Old Republic: Revan, which is currently slated for a November 15, 2011 release. [Source][Via]

There’s something out there:
a juggernaut of evil bearing down to crush the Republic—
unless one lone Jedi, shunned and reviled, can stop it.

Revan: hero, traitor, conqueror, villain, savior. A Jedi who left Coruscant to defeat Mandalorians—and returned a disciple of the dark side, bent on destroying the Republic. The Jedi Council gave Revan his life back, but the price of redemption was high. His memories have been erased. All that’s left are nightmares—and deep, abiding fear.

What exactly happened beyond the Outer Rim? Revan can’t quite remember, yet can’t entirely forget. Somehow he stumbled across a terrible secret that threatens the very existence of the Republic. With no idea what it is, or how to stop it, Revan may very well fail, for he’s never faced a more powerful and diabolic enemy. But only death can stop him from trying.

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Review: The Force Unleashed

The novel is my only exposure to the 2008 multimedia project. I’ve seen trailers of the game, but never played it. Never seen the comics either. I read this for the first time about a year ago, and reread it recently. I wasn’t impressed the first time, but after giving it a second read, I thought it was entertaining.

We follow the events of Vader’s secret apprentice, as he hunts down Jedi while being trained by his master. Along the way, unlikely alliances are formed, friendships made. There are several lightsaber duals, including an epic encounter with Shaak Ti.

The Force Unleashed takes a surprising turn almost as soon as it begins, and the secret apprentice soon finds himself on a new mission, one unlike any he’s had before. It’s this mission that shakes the apprentice to his very core, and challenges his allegiance to all that he’s ever known.

Throughout the novel, there are impressive displays of Force power. At one point, even the fates of Vader and Sidious are in the hands of the secret apprentice. Those who enjoy reading about Sith manipulation, non-stop action and surprising twists will enjoy The Force Unleashed.

New DK Publishing Covers Revealed

Here’s a couple of new cover reveals from product listings at Amazon.

The Clone Wars: Incredible Vehicles (August 15, 2011) [Link]

LEGO Star Wars: Character Encyclopedia (October 3, 2011) [Link]

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Galactic News Minute (5.16-5.22)


  • Drew Karpyshyn compares Revan the video game character to Revan the novel character over at his blog.

    To put it bluntly, Revan in the book will not be the uber-powered death machine you controlled at the end of the video game. You might have min-maxed your character to smack Darth Malak down in seconds without breaking a sweat, but in a book that battle would have been a brutal, hard fought affair spread over multiple pages. In a video game it’s fun to kill hundreds of Sith Masters, but in a book that would just be boring. It would suck out any drama or conflict or tension, and as an author I have no interest in writing that.

    He writes much more about this, so head on over and check it out. [Link]

  • A new statement has been revealed in the blurb for the upcoming Star Wars: Shadow Games. [Link]


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Review: Allegiance

Author: Timothy Zahn
Release Date: January 2007

I’ve seen many negative opinions about this novel, but I disagree with them. Allegiance was a good read from start to finish.

Here we find a story about a squad of idealistic stormtroopers that are bothered by the brutality of the Empire. They defect, but interestingly they still act as those who uphold Imperial standards. Standards that they feel benefit the citizens. During the course of the novel, they intervene on the behalf of others, in spite of the danger of being caught by Imperial intelligence. In doing so, they unknowingly stumble upon an intricate plot involving traitorous Imperial officers, the Rebellion, space pirates and Mara Jade, who is acting on the behalf of the Emperor.

All of these individual plots eventually meet up, with a very interesting outcome. Mixed in, of course, with the classic characters we love, space and ground battles, lightsaber action and intrigue. Timothy Zahn creates yet another satisfying adventure which leaves me eagerly awaiting the upcoming sequel, Choices of One. Don’t let the negativity out there prevent you from giving this novel a try.

Allegiance receives a 3 out of 5.

- Master Optician

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Dark Horse Star Wars Comics August 2011


Alexander Freed (W), George Freeman (P), Dave Ross (P), Mark McKenna (I), Michael Atiyeh (C), and Benjamin Carré (Cover)

On sale Aug 10
FC, 32 pages

The war that ended in a tense peace agreement is in danger of beginning again, but elite Republic spy Theron Shan is going to do everything in his power to prevent it—including infiltrating the Imperial space of Darth Mekhis to find out what is happening! Along with Master Zho, and the criminal in his custody, Teff’ith, Theron is headed to Port Nowhere. He hasn’t got a plan or any idea what he may be going to face, but for a spy, he’s got great style!

The soon-to-be-released online game comes straight to comics!

Starring Theron Shan, the son of legendary Jedi Master Satele Shan!

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Star Wars on Blu-ray May 4th Reveal

Scores of details are being released today, May the 4th, the day recognized by many to be Star Wars Day. The details are trickling out of the source, so this post will be updated throughout the day.

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