Book Review – Darth Plagueis By James Luceno

Anyone who knows me will know how much of a Star Wars geek I am, so when I saw Darth Plagueis in the book shop, I knew I had to read it.

For those of you that don’t know, Darth Plagueis was first mentioned in Star Wars Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith when Palpatine talks to Anakin about a Sith Lord who could stop death, so this book gave an excellent opportunity to know more about and understand the person who would become Palpatine’s master and show him the ways of the Dark Side.

The book starts off well, with Darth Plagueis on a planet with his master, Darth Tenebrous (who the hell thinks up these names for Sith Lords? If I was a Sith I’d probably end up being called Darth Gordon or something like that). It then follows Plagueis’s journey to enacted the Master Plan of the Sith, which ultimately leads to a meeting with Palpatine, and the latter’s conversion to Darth Sidious.

It was so far so good, but then, and this is only my opinion, it went off track and started following Palpatine more than Plagueis himself, which was quite disappointing. There was no full explanation of how Plagueis came to be with Tenebrous, why he became a Sith and why he hated Jedi so much. It was almost like the whole aim of the book was to get Plagueis and Palpatine together, but I wanted to know more about the Muun himself (see what I did there? Plagueis is a Muun…oh forget it).

Plagueis was the man who found a way around death, to become immortal, but the book doesn’t cover this all that much. There is a character who he brings back to life, allows to die and brings him back, but eventually that character dies, so really, he hasn’t found a way around death.

Then there’s the question of Anakin Skywalker. Any Star Wars fan will tell you that Anakin was conceived by the force, but I was under the impression this would be explained in the book. I had done some research on Anakin and discovered Plagueis and Palpatine had pushed the force so that, rather than preventing death, it created life, a life form so powerful it would destroy the Sith. Again, this wasn’t covered and, although Anakin did come into it, how he was brought into existence wasn’t explained. Maybe that’s for Shmi’s story one day (Shmi is Anakin’s mum in case you don’t know).

What I did enjoy was the Sith plotting to overrun the galaxy. Count Dooku features towards the end of the book as a Jedi Master and his fall from the order is explained, and Master Sifo-Dyas, who was the Jedi responsible for placing the order for the clone army in Episode Two also plays a part.

But the one thing I absolutely loved, and was a brilliant piece of writing, was the death of Darth Plagueis. In Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine explains how Plagueis’s apprentice killed him in his sleep, but the scene is played out absolutely brilliantly in the book and reveals a lot about Sidious that, when you look back over the book you get those “oh yeah, that’s why he did that” moments, which made up a lot for making a majority of the middle about Palpatine.

Overall, the book is a good addition to any Star Wars novel bookshelf and I rate it at 8 out of ten.

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