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Lit The JC Lit Reviews Special: DARTH PLAGUEIS (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac , Jan 15, 2012.

  1. jmf4

    jmf4 Jedi Knight star 1

    Jul 20, 2008
    After hearing so much hype about this book before I started reading, this book had very high expectations to live up to. Thankfully, it very nearly lived up to all of them. My only main gripe is that I felt like towards the end the book started rushing along (although this is probably due to other material being around that Darth Plagueis draws from) and that there isn't much suspense at all in the end sections. The lack of suspense is of course forgivable due to the nature of the book and waiting for Palpatine's moment to kill Plagueis did carry some suspense.
    I'd say Darth Plagueis joins Shadows of Mindor, Revenge of the Sith, The Unifying Force, and Heir to the Empire in the discussion for best Star Wars book.

  2. HedecGa

    HedecGa Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 19, 2006
    I easily give this a 10/10. This thing was a masterpiece--not only as an intricate character study on the nature of Plagueis and Sidious, but as a EU tour-de-force. This thing had so many nods to so many other sources that you would have thought the entire EU was planned from the outset. A really great book.
    VanishingReality likes this.
  3. Boba Frett

    Boba Frett Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 21, 1999
    10/10. Fantastic. Best Star Wars book in some time. Makes me want to see him writing some post-ROTS books NOW!!!
  4. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 191.3/20 = 9.57
  5. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 5, 2004
    I give it a 9/10. There were some parts that dragged, but overall I thought it was a compelling read and completely changed the way I look at TPM. Plagueis/Damask is a great character and I appreciate that Luceno kept Palpatine as evil as ever while still delving into his mindset. It was also nice to see a prominent droid character in 11-4D.
  6. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 200.3/21 = 9.54
  7. Nobody145

    Nobody145 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Feb 9, 2007
    Others have already discussed the many, many good points of this book. As expected of Luceno there's almost an insane amount of continuity references from most prequel sources (I didn't even know Darth Maul had owned C-3PX before I read this book), while also writing an excellent story of Sith Master and apprentice and their rise and fall. Plagueis is an interesting character, with how he's officially known as Demask, wealthy Muun who also oversees an exclusive club that is also following Sith traditions with those regular Gatherings on Sojourn. He's evil, and his experiments are horrifying, but he actually thought they had moved past the typical Sith backstabbing... unfortunate for him that Palpatine loves that aspect of Sith. I'm also glad to get confirmation that Plagueis didn't intentionally create Anakin Skywalker, but that the Force was reacting to his actions. He's also not just a typical, cackling mwa-ha-ha Sith like in the first part of the book when he actually understands and bothers to thank the droid for its service whereas Tenebrous couldn't care less. Plagueis isn't a nice guy, but it was interesting to hear his version of the Sith philosophy of control for a better galaxy. And though Muuns aren't the most physically impressive species, I could actually see Plagueis fighting his way through dozens of assassins despite being half-dead. Not to mention that after that close brush with death he focuses even more on the mystical parts of the Force, actually teaching himself not to sleep for literally decades.

    Despite the book's title, Palpatine is also a main character, and he was always evil, he just hid just how evil he was. Although that last minute deathbed revelation that he was manipulating Plagueis seemed a bit sudden. We had a few POVs of Palpatine, and while he didn't always like the Muun lording his superiority over Palpatine (like when Plagueis almost casually Force-choked him), it wasn't like he was always plotting "One day, I'll get him back for this!". Although there was probably an intentional parallel with how Plagueis didn't really plan Tenebrous' death ahead of time, the opportunity just presented itself and the darkside seemed to nudge him towards that conclusion too, and with how Palpatine almost walked out of that apartment it seemed the same way too. I tried and reread some passages, and Palpatine's last talk with Veruna before he nuked Sojourn would probably count as manipulation, but not too sure about the rest. By the end he's definitely going mwa-ha-ha as he's getting ready to make Anakin his apprentice, so maybe he was just gloating over his dying Master. Not quite entirely sure why Plagueis didn't fight back more (not to mention with how the death happened on Coruscant I thought the Jedi would've sensed something, but guess that falls under the general "darkside clouds their vision" excuse). I kind of wish we had seen more of Plagueis, but oh well, following Palpatine's rise to power was great too.

    Before, I was afraid of learning too much about Palpatine and the Plagueis mentioned in Episode III, that quite often when something mysterious is filled in its... just not that impressive anymore, but Luceno does an excellent job of showing these two Sith who begin the downfall of the Republic and the Jedi Order. Seeing the preparations for what would become the Clone Wars, incorporating so many things from the Yinchorri uprising (using them as slaves) to Dooku's gradual fall. Also I thought Darth Gravid was an interesting addition to EU canon. We have tons of fallen Jedi who went evil either on their own or after getting too interested in Sith artifacts, but Sith actually coming around to the lightside is very rare, he wasn't even a fallen Jedi (not like Ajunta Pall from KotOR). Wouldn't mind finding out more about him, and he is also a convenient explanation for why Palpatine didn't have even more ancient Sith holocrons, as well as getting rid of essence transfer (at least one version of it, since Palpatine eventually uses it with his clones of course). Not to ment
  8. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 210.3/22 = 9.56
  9. Darth_Gamek

    Darth_Gamek Jedi Knight star 6

    Aug 10, 2009
    Darth Plagueis was brilliant. 9/10
  10. DAR

    DAR Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 8, 2004
    I was debating whether or not to get this, I think my decision has been made.
  11. 13thsithlord

    13thsithlord Jedi Knight star 1

    Aug 30, 2005
    fantastic book - it has flaws like anything but it was compelling and i struggled to put it down between reading time.

    i too was disaapointed that plagueis was still around so near to TPM but it was written well and allowed you the space to make certain decisions for yourself

    i liked that dooku was well on his way but disappointed that it plagueis seemed to be the one exploiting this as with sifo as well.

    loved the force pushing back concept - really intelligent way of controlling the siths power.

    would have liked a bit more sith action but im a sucker for that

    some big old words throw in there too - a little random as well really

    overall another great book by a great star wars writer

    9/10 at least

  12. Valin__Kenobi

    Valin__Kenobi Author: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji star 4 VIP

    Mar 30, 2004
    This was almost literally the book I'd been waiting to read for the last 13 years. A tour de force with plenty of "WTK??" mindblowers.

    My only concern was Plagueis' death coming so late--even with the left-field reveal in the climactic scene, it slightly cheapens Sidious' rise to find out that Plagueis did at least half the legwork and was present but off-screen for many of the important scenes of Shadow Hunter, Cloak of Deception, etc.

    But that quibble still leaves me with 9.9/10.
  13. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 238.2/25 = 9.53
  14. Krusty_the_Clone

    Krusty_the_Clone Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 4, 2006
    9.6/10 great book.
  15. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 247.8/26 = 9.53
  16. BennyM

    BennyM Jedi Knight star 1

    Oct 20, 2007
    Great book.
  17. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 257.2/27 = 9.53
  18. aeods

    aeods Jedi Youngling star 1

    Dec 3, 2004
    To begin my review, I need to explain that I have been reading Star Wars books for as long as I can remember. Born in 1992, I've essentially lived as long as the EU since Zahn's Heir to the Empire in 1991. Not since reading Vector Prime for the first time and reading of Chewbacca's death has an EU book so enthralled me as Darth Plagueis has done over the past week. Not since Revenge of the Sith was released in novel form have I pored so anxiously over the pages of a Star Wars book, eager to drink in the content as fast as possible, if only to find out what happens next, and next, and next.

    Darth Plagueis was the first Star Wars novel I have bought in hard cover since Outcast - which understandably left a sour taste in my mouth and a reluctance to buy hard cover novels thereafter - and I was not left wanting. Since it's announcement in 2007/08, I had eagerly anticipated the release of a novel that would provide the backstory for one of the most important characters in the entire Star Wars saga: Emperor Palpatine/Lord Sidious. That it was penned by James Luceno, one of my favourite Star Wars authored, filled me with an immense sense of confidence that the book would be a success. Being a nit-picker of continuity myself, I appreciate the way he goes about writing his novels, and the huge effort he goes to to weave in existing continuity with new material so seamlessly that I would be checking Wookieepedia articles about mentioned events in the novel, and planets, without knowing whether they were newly created in the novel - like Sojourn - or call-backs to the very ealiest of EU material.

    What I expected when I first pre-ordered this book back in August of last year was a fantastic book that would fulfill my desire to learn all there was to know about Palpatine's history. What I received a week ago was so much more than that. This book artfully covers the period of pre-TPM history that has been left vague in all but a few books. That it covers the dying days of Plagueis' own Apprenticeship, up until his death - which ocurred much later than expected, but something I will get to in a minute - amazed me, and delighted me to no end that this book was so self-contained. Reading books such as the Bane Trilogy demonstrate one way to do this sort of thing, conveying several important events in a character's life in several different books, versus giving a more condensed view of key events chapter by chapter.

    That Damask was revealed to be a key player in galactic events up until TPM - funding the re-opening of the Boonta Eve Classic, stirring discontent in the Outer Rims which would see the creation of the CIS, and encouraging Sifo-Dyas to place an order for a Clone Army ten years before the outbreak of war - gave depth to a character who was but a passing reference in Revenge of the Sith. That this character has been revealed to be such a crucial character in the Star Wars saga adds depth to both Plagueis himself, and his Apprentice Darth Sidious.

    The novel's first third deals with Plagueis under his Master, and his reaction to the death of Tenebrous, and his own quest of mastery over the Dark Side when he takes Sidious as his Apprentice. Plagueis develops his experiments into the midichlorians, and manipulation of the Force itself.

    The second third shifts the focus ever so slightly to Sidious, but still focussing on Plagueis and his exploits, around 10-15 years before TPM. A lot of Palpatine's back story is revealed, and the political history of Naboo, leading up to Episode One is also revealed, giving the reader a greater understanding and appreciation of Episode One.

    The final third of the book is a lot more hectic and helter-skelter, as it covers the events directly in lead up to Episode One, as well as the events of the movie itself. I found myself growing increasingly amazed at how long Plagueis survived into the movie, up until the eve of Palpatine's election. That Palpatine was still but an Apprentice whilst sending Maul on missions of his own, and masquerading to the Trade Federation as if he was the Dark Lord of t
  19. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Thread Reaper and Rumor Naysayer star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 25, 2000
    One of the best works of Star Wars EU. 5/5 mics :p
  20. KnightDawg

    KnightDawg Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 26, 2007
    Now I can't wait to see Episode I again and re-read Shadow Hunter. This may be the #1 SW novel of all time. He needs to write another one these based off of Dooku or even Darth Tenebrous' Twi'lek Sith Master.


  21. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 286.7/30 = 9.56
  22. Kol_Skywalker

    Kol_Skywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 9, 2006
    I finished the book a few days ago.

    BEST Star Wars novel I have read in years.

  23. Darth_Kiryan

    Darth_Kiryan Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 13, 2009
    I have to renege on my previous rating.
    Having reread the book, and gone through the concurrent events in canon, all i can say is that this is masterful peice of writing.

  24. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 296.6/31 = 9.57
  25. King_of_Red_Lions

    King_of_Red_Lions Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 28, 2003
    I have become selective with the SW titles I will purchase. Luceno is one of the top three SW authors out there today and I was pleased with Darth Plagueis. There have been rumors of this book for so long that I had preconceptions of how it would be executed - on a smaller scale but similar to the expectations I had for TPM. Other reviewers have mentioned the unexpected delight of the inclusion of Tenebrous, Plagueis's own political and corporate machinations leading toward realizing the Sith's revenge and his survival deep into TPM. I enjoyed the references to past Sith and their accomplishments. Luceno excels at making me want so much more from throwaway lines. I believe more could have been done with Venamis and Maul and Dooku but perhaps I am expecting too much from one book. I was somewhat disappointed with Palp's cliched turn to the dark side. I imagined something more extra special for him. The final third of the book was fragmented when the narrative dovetailed or jumped over events in other novels and the "Rosencrantz and Guildentstern Are Dead" style of presenting events during TPM was nearly overdone. Sidious's subtle manipulation of his master was masterful. Though it wasn't the book I was expecting, Darth Plagueis exceeded my expectations - much like TPM nearly 13 years ago.