I think we all pretty much agree that Darth Vader is a badass… well the non screaming ‘NOOOOOOO’ Vader that we all know and love that is. The latest novel to come out in the new line of books, which are considered official canon, is Star Wars: Lords of the Sith. Featuring a kickass Vader and an evil Emperor, Lords of the Sith is full of action, death and Lord Vader kicking some ass with the Force. It also builds more on the relationship between Vader and the Emperor and connects the universe together by bringing back characters from the Clone Wars Cartoon series. Anyway, lets discuss the book some more after the jump…
Publication: 2015 Pages: 321
First off, let’s establish exactly where this novel is taking place. From what I can gather, I believe it takes place just after Anakin is turned into Vader and before you see him at the end of Revenge of the Sith hanging out with Tarkin and watching the Death Star being made. The reason I say it takes place at this time, is in this novel Vader’s Star Destroyer is titled the Perilous and as far as I know that isn’t the same ship at the end of Revenge of the Sith.
As we all now know, the entire Expanded Universe of books has been wiped clean and we are starting over. Lords of the Sith is the fourth novel to be released in this new Canon line and so far, I’m really liking how they connecting everything together. In Lords, our main hero of the story is Cham Syndulla, who you may know from the first season of The Clone Wars cartoon and his daughter Hera in the Star Wars: Rebels cartoon. The novel also has Vader thinking about the past and all the events that have led him to where he is now. You have references to the cartoon series, Ashoka, the prequels and even a hint at a future confrontation with the Emperor. This book goes to great lengths to show you how this new Canon is trying to connect everything. It’s actually quite nice.
Cham Syndulla and a young Hera in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
The Emperor is very much front and center in the story, always testing Darth Vader and his loyalty to the Empire. He is basically the fuel that fans Vader’s anger. He is always questioning him, wondering what he is thinking, making sure he keeps him in line. Honestly, the Emperor thinks he is in control and more powerful, but I feel like he is scared and he is manipulating Vader into thinking he is weaker and should serve and not become too strong. The Emperor also gets Vader to do his dirty work for him, which usually involves senseless slaughter and boy, does this book get pretty dark come the end. I won’t spoil anything, but man, that’s a pretty harsh ending and drives home the point that Vader has crossed a line and he may never come back (of course, we all know he does eventually, but not before killing several more people along the way.) It was nice to see that early on, Vader wasn’t just Vader. He was still Anakin Skywalker, feeling remorse and anger at everything that has happened. There are several times in the novel where the good of Anakin pops out, even for a second, but is quickly hidden again as the Emperor slowly chips away at that side of Vader and eventually Anakin we remember will be no more. (I like to think the Anakin we remember is the one from the Clone Wars cartoon and not the whiny prequels version.)
As you can probably tell, I really loved Star Wars: Lords of the Sith. It’s non stop full of action and destruction. There is double crosses happening left and right and it’s nice to read a book where the main focus is on the Empire. Yes, we do follow the rebels at times, but Vader, the Emperor and the Empire are what drive the story forward. Plus, when you have a book that has Vader and the Emperor side by side using the Force like there is no tomorrow, how can you not end up loving this book. The ending also leaves it open to continue on with the rebels story and I hope they pick up again down the road. They can easily connect and reference this story in the next season of Star Wars: Rebels and I really hope they do. All and all, this new line of stories is going great and Lords of the Sith is just another notch on the list of excellent Star Wars tales. Highly recommended!