Book Review - Darth Plagueis

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Posted on : 2/04/2013 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : ,

George Lucas has spawned many lifetimes worth of creative creations with his Star Wars movies.  By Internet count, there have been roughly 131 books written about the Star Wars universe.

My first encounter with those books a couple decades ago was with "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" written by Alan Dean Foster.  This was the first book produced for the expanded Star Wars universe.

Fans of the movies will recall then Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (aka Sith Lord, Darth Sideous) tempting young Anakin Skywalker with the power to save people from death.  This knowledge being originally derived by Darth Plagueis, the Wise.  Naturally, there isn't enough time in the movies to explore the story of Darth Plagueis...and his supposed wisdom.

And thus we explore this part of the larger story in a book written by James Luceno.

"Darth Plagueis" is really two stories.  The first story being that of Darth Plagueis and his twin life as galactic financier and Sith lord.  In public he is Hego Damask; an influential Muun among the International Banking Clans.  In private he is a Sith Lord who seeks to achieve the longstanding Sith plan to take control of the Republic.

The second story is that of young Palpatine; who adopted the mononym as a stylish reference to his influential family of Naboo.  It is quite a coincidence that the future Emperor Palpatine and mother of the future Darth Vader are from the same planet.  What else are books good for if not for the odd coincidence. 

Hego Damask recruits young Palpatine to become his Sith apprentice.  The two then work together to foment crisis after crisis to maneuver supporters and opponents each in the proper relative direction to place Palpatine first as an ambassador for Naboo, then a Senator, and then penultimately as the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic.

Along the way, Damask conducts all manner of dark research into the domination and use of the midi-chlorians to not only enhance life, but to fully resurrect the recently deceased with the dark side of the Force.  The results of these studies are eventually discovered by Palpatine as well.

The close of "Darth Plagueis" corresponds quite closely with the "Episode I: The Phantom Menace".  It fills in a great many lingering questions about the events that we have all come to know from Mr. Lucas' movies.

While I wasn't terribly taken with "Darth Plagueis" for the first few chapters, it eventually grew on me.  For a Star Wars fan, this book is an excellent read.  For those that are less inclined towards science fiction, perhaps not so much.

  

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