Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of the Sith
by Matthew Stover

After years of civil war, the Separatists gave battered the already faltering Republic nearly to the point of collapse. On Coruscant, the Senate watches anxiously as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine aggressively strips away more and more constitutional liberties in the name of safeguarding the Republic, Yoda, Mace Windu, and their fellow Masters grapple with the Chancellor’s disturbing move to assume control of the Jedi Council. And Anakin Skywalker, the prophesied Chosen One destined to bring balance to the Force, is increasingly consumed by his fear that his secret love, Senator Padmé Amidala, will die.

As the combat escalates across the galaxy, the stage is set for an explosive endgame: Obi-Wan undertakes a perilous mission to destroy the dreaded Separatist military leader, General Grievous; Palpatine, eager to secure even greater control, subtly influences public opinion to turn against the Jedi; and a conflicted Anakin – tormented by unspeakable visions – edges dangerously closer to the brink of the galaxy-shaping decision. It remains only for Darth Sidious, whose shadow looms ever larger, to strike the final staggering blow against the Republic… and to ordain a fearsome new Sith Lord: Darth Vader.

Based on the screenplay of the eagerly anticipated final film in George Lucas’ epic sagam bestselling Star Wars author Matthew Stover’s novel crackles with action, captures the iconic characters in all their complexity, and brings a space opera masterpiece full circle in stunning style.

When I told my YouTube viewers that I was going to be reading Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno, one of them told me that I must read the Revenge of the Sith novelization immediately afterwards. I’ve had a copy of this book since the movie came out, but I have never actually read it. so I decided to take this commenter’s advice.

I don’t think I have the words to properly express how much I enjoyed this book. It was compelling and rich and held my attention in a way that few other Star Wars books have. I mean, I love a good Star Wars book, but they are usually just an interesting romp through the extended universe. I’m comfortable taking my time with them if I need to. I was absolutely enthralled with this book.

It was everything that the movie should have been. It was definitely everything that I had wanted the movie to be. You get to see the camaraderie between Obi-Wan and Anakin that I don’t think was clearly outlined in the movie. You get to see how the Jedi Council tried to function despite their impairment from the Dark Side. You get to see why people made the decisions that they did and how the first stirrings of the Rebel Alliance really came to be. You get to see why the hell the Separatist factions did the things that they did, which was something that I never really understood when I watched the Prequels. And, most importantly, you could actually see Anakin gradually giving in to the darkness and fear inside of him instead of the odd burst of evil that the movies showed us.

Let’s be honest. The movie , as a complete story, pretty much failed. There were certainly pieces of it that I walked away with liking, but it wasn’t a cohesive narrative. This book took that chapter of the Star Wars mythos from being my least favourite story up to my top ten at the very least.

If you are a Star Wars fan, you have to read this book. I couldn’t believe how good it was. It has renewed my obsessive interest in the movies and extended universe and games and pretty much everything I can get my hands on. It’s the story you where expecting when you walked into the movie theater and it is wonderful.


Erica said...

Fully agree with you. THIS book was how the movie should have been. So much more insight into the characters' mindset, so much ... just more. I always wondered why Lucas couldn't have taken more time with the movies, either adding more time to explain (I mean, people sat through 3-hour Lord of the Rings movies, why not make the best of the most popular 'space opera' ever?), or take more time to write a better script. It's ONLY his legacy.

I particularly enjoyed DV visiting Mustafar, and his remarks as he wreaked havoc there. "Sidious promised to reward us handsomely!" "You don't find me handsome?" Vmmmmmm with the lightsaber. That might have come across as a cheesy one-liner on the screen, but in the book it held up well. I imagined Anakin/DV finally enjoying himself a bit there.

I read this when it first came out (right before I saw the movie) and was pleasantly surprised by this novelization. Matthew Stover is a good writer - he also wrote one about Mace Windu, can't remember the name of it, but it was good.

Freakish Lemon said...


Dude, the taking more time thing? I think there needed to be five Prequel movies to get this story out properly. There's too much that didn't get shown to make them the story they needed to be.

And I'll have to look for that Matt Stover Mace Windu book. I really like how he writes.