Review: "Darth Plagueis"
Book Name: Darth Plagueis
Author(s): James Luceno
Publisher: Del Rey
Number of Pages: 496 Pages
Throughout James Luceno’s book, Darth Plageuis, the author introduces his audience to the mysterious Sith Lord, known as Darth Plagueis. In the Star Wars universe, Plageuis is vaguely referenced in Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, when Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) provides Anakin Skywalker with details pertaining to the Sith’s ability to overcome death. Until the release of Luceno’s book, however, very little was known about this dark lord of the Sith, his affiliations, or what timeframe his character fit within the Star Wars’ canon. Luceno’s book not only answers each of these questions, but it also establishes a lucid and intriguing backstory that fills gaps before (and after) Episode I, The Phantom Menace.
Author's Main Points
Darth Plageuis begins several decades before The Phantom Menace, detailing the rise of Darth Plagueis to his position of power. The book showcases not only his early trials as a young apprentice under Darth Tenebrous, but also his quest for ultimate power, immortality, and his cultivation of allies amongst the Star Wars universe. Without revealing too many details of the story (so as to remain spoiler free), Luceno’s story introduces his readers to a wide array of familiar and unfamiliar characters that remain central to George Lucas’s main storyline. Spanning several decades, Luceno’s iteration of Darth Plageuis not only provides Star Wars’ fans with a better understanding of the politics and secret-dealings behind The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, but it also provides a fresh and unique perspective of events from the point-of-view of the dark side. Familiar characters within this story include Darth Sidious, Queen Amidala, Nute Gunray, Darth Maul, and Count Dooku, to name only a few.
For individuals curious about Emperor Palpatine and his rise to prominence, this book also provides many details pertaining to his ascension to power as well. From his younger years on Naboo to his rise in politics on Coruscant, the readers are afforded a rare and unique glimpse into the early life of the Emperor and his pursuit of the dark path. This insight is crucial for understanding later events in the Star Wars universe; in particular, Darth Sidious and his seduction of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side of the Force.
Readers will also benefit from Luceno’s impressive account of the Force. The author not only provides a thorough run down of how the Force works, but also the delicate equilibrium that exists between light and dark, as well as the role that both Jedi and Sith play in that balance. From the point-of-view of the dark side, his rendition of the Force is refreshing as it offers his readers an opportunity to understand the mysterious powers of the Force through the eyes of the Sith; a perspective that has largely been relegated in the books and films due to the focus on Jedi.
Throughout the story, Luceno also demonstrates a remarkable understanding of the Star Wars universe, and showcases his understanding of prior books, stories, movies, characters, and events on numerous occasions within this story. As a result, Luceno’s work is appropriate for not only long-term Star Wars fans, but newcomers alike.
Overall, I give this work 5/5 Stars and highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in furthering their understanding of the Star Wars universe. Luceno’s unique writing style, combined with his amazing attention to little details and facts, is a welcome addition to current Star Wars literature. Although Darth Plagueis is no longer considered canon, older Star Wars fans will certainly appreciate the lengths that Luceno went to explain events occurring in the prequel trilogy. At nearly 450+ pages, this book is brimming with facts and details, along with a large array of action, adventure, mystery and suspense. Definitely check it out if you get the opportunity, as you will not be disappointed with this book.
"The dark side is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural."— Chancellor Palpatine
About the Author
James Luceno is a New York Times bestselling author known for his contributions toward Star Wars literature. In addition to his work on Star Wars, Luceno has also written several other fiction books, including Headhunters, A Fearful Symmetry, and Rainchaser, to name only a few. His work, A Fearful Symmetry, was nominated for the "Philip K. Dick Award" for "Best Book" in 1989. Luceno currently resides in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife and child. He is 71 years of age.
Works by James Luceno
The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial.
The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse.
Darth Maul: Saboteur
Cloak of Deception
The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy
Labyrinth of Evil
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, the Visual Dictionary
Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
Were you familiar with the character, Darth Plagueis, before reading this review?
Luceno, James. Star Wars: Darth Plagueis. New York, New York: Del Rey, 2012.
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Larry Slawson