(NON SPOILER REVIEW)
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis “the wise”?
The above is the question heard around our world. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith answered many questions we had about the Saga, but left us wondering and perhaps fascinated about this new character, Darth Plagueis. We had precious little info given to us, but what was said, though likely twisted to suit the needs of Palpatine’s listener, left most of us yearning for more.
Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith who lived many years ago. He was so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life… He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.
Whoa, hold on a second. Did he just totally undermine our thinking in regards to Anakin’s creation? Is it possible that Anakin was brought forth because of the Sith? And did Anakin finally discover how to save Padme from death? Wait, this is Palpatine talking, who we know is a Sith. He has to be lying.
The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.
We heard this powerful statement at the beginning of the Revenge of the Sith theatrical trailer as well. I think most of us then realized that this movie would deepen our understanding of the Dark Side, and would likely make some in the audience uncomfortable in the process. In the first two prequel episodes, Palpatine used his influence covertly upon his prey; now he seemed to be brutally honest about his secret lineage.
He became so powerful… the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, and then one night, his apprentice killed him in his sleep. It’s ironic that he could save others from death, but not himself.
The look on his face looked so genuine, so satisfying. I know it convinced me that he was speaking some truth, and I began to conclude that he was referring to his master, his actions.
Is it possible to learn this power?
Not from a Jedi.
As it turns out, we would have to wait nearly seven years and endure one cancellation before the opportunity to learn more on a larger scale was available. That day is now upon us, in the form of Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, written by James Luceno.
That’s right: New York Times best-selling author James Luceno is back, and in my opinion is better than ever. What we now have before us is a novel that is absolutely delicious and satisfying. Admittedly, Darth Plagueis is more talk than action, but it is far from boring. It is extremely informative. Luceno does a masterful job in including scores of previous Expanded Universe content; this novel is a virtual big-city highway junction of references. The action that is contained in this novel, however, does not disappoint, as it rivals the somewhat mature content found in the Darth Bane trilogy written by Drew Karpyshyn in its detail and content.
Were you entertained and intrigued by Luceno’s 2001 novel Cloak of Deception? Then you are in for a serious treat. Luceno takes the term “political thriller” to a whole new level and executes it to perfection in Darth Plagueis. Lastly, James Luceno gives us rich back-stories for several characters, including the obvious: Plagueis, Palpatine, Darth Maul, but also some you may not have been expecting, including Count Dooku and Sifo-Dyas.
In short, Darth Plagueis more than deserves the title “highly anticipated”. It delivers on a scale rarely seen in the Expanded Universe. Hold on tight, you are in for the ride of your life. Now, read on for a more detailed review of the book.
(END NON SPOILER REVIEW)