Friday, 16 October 2015

Darth Plaugeis, James Luceno

Publishers: Lucas Books

Pages: 368

Main Characters:

Darth Plagueis (Hego Demask), Darth Sidious (Palpatine)

As December rapidly approaches with the release of the new Star Wars movie, I have been getting seriously hyped for the new chapter in the franchise’s saga! This excitement has led me into all things Star Wars as I’ve been playing some of the old video games, watching the old movies and for a long time I’ve wanted to read a Star Wars novel.

However, reading a SW novel has always made me a bit dubious, as many of the books and literature are always released as companions to the movies and have left me doubting the time and originality put into the stories. After doing some research, I found quite a few ‘top ten’ lists of the best SW novels, with quite a few respectable bloggers and journalists backing up these books. One book I noticed in most of these lists was Darth Plagueis by James Luceno.

As some of the more dedicated SW fans will know, Darth Plagueis was the Sith Palpatine tells Anakin of in Revenge of the Sith, when trying to turn him to the Dark Side.

“Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It’s a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.”
—Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, 
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith

Darth Plagueis was Palpatine’s Master and this book tells of how he persuaded Palpatine to become his apprentice and how they forged a partnership which helped the youmg Naboo (Aka Darth Sidious) becoming the Galactic Emperor. A partnership which took decades to manoeuvre Palpatine to the summit of the Senate through betrayal and murder. But even longer for Plagueis to control the Force and have sway over life and death.

I have to say that I was really disappointed with this book! It never really grabbed me and made me want to read more and at times it could be quite tiresome and confusing. Since I first watched Revenge of the Sith, I’d always wanted to know more about Plagueis. Finding this book had me dreaming of lightsaber battles, deceit and an extension to the SW universe that I’d never known about before. However, it was mostly filled with confusing (but I guess important) events about companies, politicians and gangs whose names were hard to pronounce; never mind remember later in the book! These facts about the SW universe do make the plot seems more believable and explain Palpatine’s rise down to every minute, boring detail. However, I wanted big, brash action packed SW which we all know and love from the films.

'The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis

Take for instance the death of Plagueis. Right at the start of the novel we read about Sidious standing over his master’s corpse as a crack is sent through the Force, confirming Plagueis’s death. So I thought, ‘WOW, I cannot wait to get to the end and read about the epic fight that must happen’. As I said, the book is dense with details about the Outer Rim and the workings of the Republic but you think, ‘ah it’s worth it to get to the end and read about the fight’. However, you read about Plagueis’s death and think, ‘is this a joke?’ It’s almost done as an afterthought and takes up about two pages which you rub together with your fingers, believing there must be more- the pages must have all stuck together! But they haven’t and it left me feeling extremely frustrated!
Artist's impression of Plagueis

However, the book was not all bad. I did enjoy reading about the infamous Darth Maul and his rise to power as you don’t learn that much about him in Episode I, in which I’m pretty sure he only has about two lines. The book also gives a great context to the start of Episode I and explains for example; why a 13 year old girl is the Queen of an entire planet, and why the Trade Federation is blockading Naboo.

I think if this book had been a history book and was named something like: ‘the Secret History of the Collapse of the Republic’  I would have enjoyed it more. I would have found it really interesting but I wouldn’t have been expecting too much from it and therefore could come away disappointed, instead coming away satisfied that I’d read it and would want to read more history like it. Which to be fair, is kinda how I feel. I do want to read other SW novels so in some ways the book has done a good job.

I would suggest this book to anyone who is looking to learn more about the wider SW universe but I’d suggest you don’t get too excited about it.

For author’s official wookieepedia entry click here.

Anyone interested in Star Wars rumours should read this though....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...