Book Review: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno (Four Stars)

Book Review: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno

Four Stars

“No true Sith cares about another.”

A worthy addition to the Expanded Universe. No, not four stars on any absolute scale of literary merit. (Is such a thing possible?) But certainly better conceived and executed than most Star Wars EU books. Darth Plagueis joins many threads from the EU into the canon of Star War orthodoxy (the movies).

“We stalk the Force like hunters, rather than surrender like prey to its enigmatic whims.”

Don’t let the title fool you, this book is mostly about Palpatine AKA Darth Sidious. Oh, it details the genesis, rise and reign of Hego Damask as Plagueis the Wise, but mostly the story is about how Palpatine was apprenticed by and superseded his Sith master. No, mostly the book reiterates copious Star Wars trivia, tying as many loose ends as possible from the EU into the canonical fourth movie (Episode One).

“The power of the dark side is an illness no true Sith would wish to be cured of.”

One of those threads is the theology of the Force. From Obi Wan Kenobi’s opening synopsis of Force theology in Episode Four, the Force has grown from, “The Force is … an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together,” to an independent consciousness able to will and choose light and dark. “The will of the Force begets …” and “[The Force] will strike back.” Therefore, differences of opinion as to the nature and use of the force naturally become sectarian warfare. (Think how Christians and Moslems settle their different concepts of the nature of God.) To themselves Sith are not evil, they’re just following a more real (and powerful) reality.

“Sith are more powerful than Jedi because we are not afraid to feel.”

Darth Plagueis is a space opera with very little space, let alone lightsaber fights, space battles, etc. Lots of dialogue and narrative. Reads like a history book—one on those which interprets everything “from a certain point of view.” With some ridiculous social commentary: “I blame the Senate for encouraging the galaxy to turn on credit.” Or “In the absence of armies there can be no wars.” Star Wars fans will give it a five, the rest may award three stars.

“Already his actions begin to echo across the stars.”

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One thought on “Book Review: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno (Four Stars)

  1. Good explanation and clarifies some questions I had about the Sith. Not a great Star Wars movie fan but sounds like the book is better. Thanks, Lenore

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