Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Darth Plagueis review
I've been wanting to read this book ever since I heard about it several years ago. I mean, a book about Palpatine and his mysterious Sith Master, Darth Plagueis; that's definitely a story I want to hear. I finished the book last night and I can say that the story was very good and I wish there had been more to the book though I am glad it ended how it did.
The book was not what I was expecting, but it still was a very good read. I loved Luceno's style in this novel; his writing talent has really improved(though I have enjoyed all of his Star Wars books). It was a different novel compared to other Star Wars books I have read about the Sith; Plagueis is definitely of a different stock then his apprentice Sidious and Darth Bane and the Sith philosophy has developed a lot since Bane destroyed the Brotherhood of Darkness and set up the Rule of Two.
The plot: I very much enjoyed the plot. The story begins with Sidious reveling in the fact that he just killed his Master and experiencing the effect of the being the galaxy's sole Sith. Then the first chapter cuts way back to when Plagueis kills his Master Darth Tenebrous and takes the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith. The story unfolds with Plagueis finding an apprentice of his own, their efforts to carry out the Grand Plan(which is revenge against the Jedi Order), and Plagueis's obsessive desire to find the secret of eternal life.
The story is kept interesting by delving into the major players, Plagueis and Sidious, and the explorations of what the Force and midi-chlorians are. This book was sort of like a Sith allegory of the Force and I loved seeing how the Jedi and Sith view everything. All Star Wars books talk about the Force but Mr. Stover's novelization of Episode III is the only other book to have explored it in this depth.
Getting to see more of the political workings was interesting, if a little freaky. No wonder the Jedi didn't like the majority of the politicians and no wonder Palpatine rose so quickly to power; they're was so much corruption, though I don't doubt that people in the world today are just as corrupt. I also enjoyed seeing references to other EU sources, such as Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had only a few problems with this book and really, they weren't that big of a deal, which was nice.
My first problem were the blatant attempts to put TCW references into the book(such as Talzin and the TCW's version of nightsisters); it seemed a bit forced as if Mr. Luceno was told to put it in there and he didn't exactly want to(in my personal opinion, the Clone Wars and the EU should stay separate since, really, they are two different canons all together).
I also didn't like what this weird lady(a term I use loosely) said. Here it is- "I've often wondered whether they have secret relationships; gallivanting around the galaxy, using the Force to seduce innocent beings." I thought it was a very rude comment and obviously not true and I was glad that Palpatine said that he sincerely doubted it(step forward back-thrust kicks person, hiya!). Though luckily she goes away very soon. I also found it slightly ironic that she said cleft-chins meant that the Force had turned people away, yet two powerful individuals(Obi-Wan and Sidious) both have them. I also liked that there was no whole 'Look! Darth Maul is alive' scene in the book; really, it appears in the novel that Darth Maul died, which is what I believe. Also, how Plagueis manipulates Palpatine into becoming his apprentice is very similar to how Sidious seduces Anakin to the darkside, though I have to admit, Palptine's reasons weren't as convincing or as tragic but that is the point of the event.
The Characters: For the most part, I felt that the characters were done well in the story. Palpatine's quickness at killing his entire family didn't have enough buildup and I wish we could have seen a bit more of his back story. Other than that, however, the characters were good. Plagueis was a nice contrast to his apprentice and other Sith we have read about and quite frankly, I found him to be a bit odd. I actually thought that Plagueis was too trusting; especially at the end. I'm no Sith, nor do I want to be one, but I do know that the Master should never trust the Apprentice. I mean, he got drunk and fell asleep in the presence of someone he trained to have the desire to kill him. Did he really think that Sidious would want to share his power? He didn't realize he had become a...third wheel, I guess you could say; he never grasped that his apprentice no longer needed him to succeed.
The characters also show that the Sith are, indeed, the villains in Star Wars and are, for the most part, evil beings. Some people say they want to be a Sith, but do they really? Some people say they want to be Sith because they can fall in love but actually, Sith aren't aloud to fall in love or form attachments either and their reasoning for it is not a good thing.
The only characterization I had a problem with were Obi-Wan and Anakin in the epilogue; they didn't seem quite right. But then, Mr. Luceno isn't the greatest at writing a younger Obi-Wan(though he does him well in the Clone Wars era) and I've been spoiled by Jude Watson and Matthew Stover on those two :)
Another thing I thought was interesting in the book was Sidious's lecture to Maul about becoming too triumphant that you let your guard down and taunting your opponent, thinking they are unable to continue fighting. That ended up being the fatal mistake Darth Maul made when he thought he had Obi-Wan soundly beat but didn't, thus allowing the Jedi to kill him.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to any Star Wars fan, especially those who want to know more about the Force or about Sidious and his Master.
I loved Mr. Luceno's chapter titles, they were very unique and different, and I loved the story. So, if you haven't read it, you should check it out. If you have, what did you think of it?
I hope you enjoyed this review and I hope you have a good rest of your day.
May the Force be with you...Always :)
Jedi Shena Tokala out