You probably get it by now. I love Star Wars, even the bad parts. Because even at its absolute worst, Star Wars still sparks joy. I even ranked the Star Wars TV shows so I could talk about Star Wars even more during work hours. But I will admit that even though I love Star Wars and I love reading, I never took the plunge into reading Star Wars books. It’s hard for me to enjoy something when I know it’s not canon. So I read because I patiently wait for the day it comes to life, whether through animation or live-action. My mindset is part of why I’m not a huge fan of fanfiction, but to each their own. So after binge-watching all the Star Wars shows, I wanted more Star Wars content. So I decided to read the new book, Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith.
Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith
Rey’s Origin Story
I just raved on about how much I love Star Wars, but there is a lot in Star Wars that annoys me. Luke’s whiny attributes make my eyes roll. Jar Jar Binks might be the most annoying character ever. And Rey’s parentage is the dumbest plot point of the new trilogies. There are a lot of reasons to hate the new trilogy. The writing alone is abysmal. People hate that Rey is a “Mary Sue.” (She’s not.) And honestly, I don’t care about that part of her story. I don’t think I could handle another training montage. We’ve already seen Anakin and Luke train to become Jedi. I’m almost over it as I’m over watching Uncle Ben die in every new Spider-Man trilogy.
So I was thoroughly surprised when Shadow of the Sith highlighted the new trilogy. The thing I hated the most, Rey’s lineage, has become such a great plot point. It’s no longer some random twist thrown into the script for shock value. Instead, her lineage now adds to the complexity of the Star Wars Universe and our idea of what the force can do, at least from the dark side. Dathan, Rey’s dad, is a force clone of Darth Sidious. He, and others, were made to preserve the essence of Darth Sidious so that if anything were to happen, there would essentially be a backup. But Dathan rejected the way of the Sith and ran away, hence the origin of Rey. (The Sith hunting down Dathan is ultimately why Rey’s parents abandon her. Safer alone than in the hands of the Sith.)
Luke and Lando’s Adventure
If I had one major complaint about Star Wars, it would be that we don’t get enough lore about the Sith and the dark side. Why is the dark side so tempting? Exploring Sith lore usually leads to some of the best Star Wars content. The episodes of Ezra, Maul, Kanan, and Ahsoka in the Sith temple are some of the best.
This book explores some of that missing Sith lore. Luke and Lando Calrissian, my least liked character in all of Star Wars (don’t ask me why; I don’t like him. I can’t quite articulate why). The idea of the Sith Eternal is so freaking cool. It makes sense that there would be some weird crazy cult that loves and reveres the Sith and Darth Sidious. I loved learning more about Excel, the Sith homeworld. Learning about the dark side was a blast. Snoke being a standcast, a force clone like Dathan of Sidious, also adds depth to the movies. I want to go more in-depth, but I could probably write a dissertation on this book. But I will say that this book made me appreciate Luke and Lando’s dynamic a little more. We get more depth in Luke. He is no longer just the hero. He is a man disturbed by forced nightmares of what is to come soon. I sympathized with Lando. He lost his daughter and was searching for her. How can you dislike a man who loves his kids?
3.5 out 5 Meilooruns (IYKYK)
This book isn’t the greatest book ever written. It’s not even the best Star Wars content released this year, but that’s not its purpose. If you go in hoping for the best novel, you will sadly be disappointed. But Shadow of the Sith does one thing well. The book fills the holes of the new trilogy. It takes the weak points and awkward twists of the movies and turns them into strengths. It shouldn’t take a book to make three multi-million dollar movies worth watching, but I’ll take the afterthought revisions when necessary.