Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right he destroys his Master – but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power…over life and death.
Darth Sidious: Plagueis’s chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor.
Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Master and acolyte, target the galaxy for domination – and the Jedi Order for annihilation. But can they defy the merciless Sith tradition? Or will the desire of one to rule supreme, and the dream of the other to live forever, sow the seeds of their destruction?
Making Some Sense
The Phantom Menace disappointed everyone and left us with too many unanswered questions. ‘This makes no sense’ was uttered again and again by the critics and the die hard fans just accepted that if something could not be explained logically then the Force did it. Written by James Luceno, Star Wars: Darth Plagueis tries to bring back balance to the movie’s plot line while telling us an interesting story about Darth Sidious’s Master. From his rise to a Sith Lord, his obsession with midi-chlorians, finding an apprentice, and finally his death by Sidious’s hands. Luceno is no stranger to writing about the Star Wars universe, he is a New York Times bestseller and his previous titles include; Millennium Falcon, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, Cloak of Deception and the ebook Darth Maul: Saboteur.
I can’t help feel that the underlying reason for this story is to bring some rationality to the plot line of The Phantom Menace. Even the title of the movie has been questioned so at 83 pages into the book I find this line of text; We Sith are an unseen opposition. A phantom menace. Where the Sith once wore armor, we now wear cloaks. Midi-chlorians get whooping 51 mentions throughout the book so if your arse bleeds each time you hear or see the word ‘midi-chlorian’ get ready to dial for an ambulance. The Trade Federation’s blockade, how the clones came to existence, Darth Sidious’s deformation in Revenge of the Sith and even the appointment of a child to the throne of Naboo get some explanation. But something I thought that was obviously down to Plagueis did not turn out so. Ask me in the forum if you really want to know and no it’s not about Naboo’s planet core being made of water.
A Better Movie?
I’ve seen a few comments stating that this book would have been a better movie than The Phantom Menace but I think, and everyone else would probably agree, that anything would have been better. If Darth Plagueis was made for the big screen it wouldn’t have been a Star Wars movie. This story is all about how to manipulate your way to the top in politics and business with the help of the Force and murder. Does that sound like a Star Wars movie to you? Didn’t think so. Who wants to watch a movie about a member of the Banking Clan (Plagueis aka Hego Damask) and a young politician (Palpatine) take part in meeting after meeting discussing the running of the galaxy? This subject matter is best left in book form for the more geeky of fans wanting more insight into the inner workings of the Star Wars universe.
I can’t help picturing Lucas lurking over Luceno’s shoulder while he was writing this story. I don’t know how much influence Lucas had but it’s obviously there. James Luceno is a talented writer and did a great job with the material but it’s spoilt by unnecessary and forced in characters. Was Darth Plagueis’s pet droid, OneOne-FourDee, really that important that he needed to go everywhere with him? Could I done without the list of unpronounceable names with whom we are never introduced and are only written in so fans of the fiction are given a connection to other Star Wars books? Probably.
Even now, a week later, after finishing Darth Plagueis I am unsure if I like it or not. It didn’t quite meet my high expectations and threw in some unexpected plot. The title is a little misleading as I found that Palpatine’s rise to power seemed to be the focus point more than Plagueis’s quest for knowledge of the Force. I’ll have to conclude that it was Luceno’s writing that kept me reading and that I wanted to see if more of the movies nonsense could be explained. Should you have to read a book so you can make sense of a movie? Fuck no, that’s not a book’s job! Good job James Luceno. George Lucas, retire already!