Lit Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Skywalker8921, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2011
    star 4
    Just started it this morning, but it's always been one of my favorites. The flashback to 82 BBY with Yoda and Dooku and Dooku's holographic message to Yoda are top notch. I'd forgotten that Anakin wasn't the only one to suffer a lightsaber scar to the face. Poor Jai Maruk. He was just a tool in Dooku's designs.
    Last edited by Skywalker8921, Jun 9, 2013
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  2. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    It is indeed awesome at more than a few times. The verbal duel between Yoda & Dooku springs to mind.
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  3. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2011
    star 4
    Even though we know it's an act, Dooku still infuses his message to Yoda with just enough seeming regret that it comes across as plausible. I got cold chills reading this:

    "I have come to the end of myself. I don't know what is right anymore. I am tired, Master. So tired. And like any old man, as the end nears, I long to go home."

    And this:

    Count Dooku of Serenno, warlord of a might army, among the richest beings in the galaxy, legendary swordmaster, former student, notorious traitor, lost son, flickered in front of Yoda's ancient eyes, and went out.

    Viscountess Malreaux gave me the creeps. It's interesting to think that if Whie hadn't been turned over to the Jedi, he would have succeeded his father as Viscount Malreaux, becoming a noble like Dooku eventually did.

    A shame this was Sean Stewart's only Star Wars work; I would have liked to see him do another novel like Dark Rendezvous centering on a major character.
    Last edited by Skywalker8921, Jun 9, 2013
  4. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    It really was a great novel. Though we knew Dooku had to bite it in ROTS, I still loved his characterization in this book. Better than the moustache-twirling villain of TCW. That was one of TCW's few flaws, IMO.
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  5. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    Oh yeah. I could sing the praises of Yoda: Dark Rendezvous in perpetuity and oh, what a beautiful song it would be.

    Stewart, in my humble opinion, is the only Star Wars author I'd put above Luceno & Stover -- as he combines the best elements of both those fine wordsmiths. Impeccable characterization from start to finish: he managed to hybridize OT!Yoda with PT!Yoda and bore some serious depth into Count Dooku of Serenno. Scout is one of the very best heroines in the Star Wars franchise and Fidelis & Solis rank alongside I-5YQ, HK-47, and G0-T0 in the realm of entertaining droids. Ventress is awesomely deranged and Darth Sidious is the embodiment of creepy sadism. Love it, love it, love it.
  6. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I read it a couple of years ago for the first time and loved it. Yoda seeking out his former apprentice to try to talk sense into him, giving new meaning to his ESB comment that "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."

    I liked reading about Dooku's background and his mother, horrible woman that she was. And Scout...geez, poor Scout, trying so damn hard.

    And the ending with Dooku, on the beach, alone--so sad. :(
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  7. Wonderllama Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2013
    It is a well written book. My biggest complaint is probably the pace of the story. The trip to Vjun seems like a third of the book itself.

    I would say this book and Legacy of the Jedi are the essential Dooku stories.
  8. Starkeiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2004
    star 4
    It's good to see that this excellent novel is universally liked.
  9. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Give me my rose!

    I don't remember the exact wording but that was hilarious. Dooku wanted to make Yoda see what was so great about the Dark Side but all Yoda wanted was a rose. Dooku coming to the realization that Yoda falling to the Dark Side would be bad, really bad was great.
    Last edited by Force Smuggler, Jun 10, 2013
  10. wmu'14 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2012
    star 1
    Aside from Labyrinth of Evil, the best prequel trilogy era novel.
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  11. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I'd put Shatterpoint up there as well, but...yeah.
  12. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Darth Maul Shadow Hunter
  13. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    Best prequel book? Nah.

    The best in the EU at large? YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
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  14. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    That one is on my Kindle but I haven't gotten to it yet.
  15. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    It takes place before TPM so the ending might be obvious but I still loved it.
  16. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    As Yoda points out, it's not an act, Dooku just thinks it is. That's even more amazing.

    Uh, sorry for bumping. I went back a few pages, saw a thread on this awesome book and had to take a look.
    Last edited by CT-867-5309, Jul 5, 2013
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  17. The Compeer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2013
    star 2
    I very much regret that I wasn't a member on here when everyone was reviewing Dark Rendezvous, because I love this book. I love it because it does more than any other work in the entirety of the Star Wars franchise to put the lie to the idea of Jedi as austere Benedictine monks. They dress the part, yes, but they're not monks. They're men, women and children. Especially children, as Dooku aptly recognizes. What's best about this is that the characters themselves don't pretend they're not human; Jai Maruk admits to having loved another Jedi, and Obi-Wan is aware of and tolerates Anakin seeing someone on Coruscant. If the Jedi had been this tolerant and understanding during ROTS, then they wouldn't have pushed Anakin away like they did.

    Another thing I love about this story is that it actually engages with powerful themes including age, loyalty, love, pacifism and family. If we're being brutally honest, most Star Wars books don't attempt to be classic literature, with really ambitious structure or challenging morals. They're pulpy sci-fi action and should be engaged on that level. I love Dark Rendezvous because it aspires to be more than that.

    More than anything, I love this story because it can make you laugh, or cry, or both. Who couldn't be touched by the diligent efforts of a girl who has all the passion and drive needed to be a great Jedi, but who nevertheless struggles because the Force doesn't come to her as easily as others? And who didn't fall over themselves with glee when they read about Yoda wrestling his inedible food away from that Temple serving droid? Sean Stewart has a gift for tugging at the heartstrings, and the kind of nakedly emotional moment that you'd get once or twice in any other book can be found on every third page of this one. It is, without a doubt, the absolute best Star Wars book ever written, and I love it unreservedly. A genuine masterpiece.
  18. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    @The Compeer & @CT-867-5309

    What are your favorite parts/elements of DR?
    Last edited by Sable_Hart, Jul 5, 2013
  19. The Compeer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2013
    star 2
    Well, I'm just making some snap decisions here, because like I said in my last post there are all manner of amazing moments here, but I'd select the flashback to young Dooku talking with Yoda as one. That "Every Jedi is a child their parents decided they could do without" line was really powerful stuff. It's a chilling reality check to think that every Prequel Jedi is basically an orphan to some degree or another.

    Another moment that stands out for me is when Maruk admits to Scout that he's had feelings for women. The Jedi in this book don't pretend they don't love, which is nice to see. Granted, it's not exactly faithful to the PT, but I honestly think Anakin's story would have had a happier ending if the Jedi Order were closer to Stewart's imagining than Lucas'. In general, though, Dark Rendezvous explores pretty much everything when it comes to the Jedi and how they lived within the Order and in the context of the Clone Wars. You get snapshots of children and how they cope with the momentous responsibility that's been thrust on them, the awkwardness of adolescence, the emptiness of the Temple as all the older Jedi head off to war, the changes to Jedi training that reflect the encroaching spectre of militarism. It's all very comprehensive and emotionally affecting, and just in the act of writing all of this I can tell that it's made its impression on me because not only do I not have my copy of the book in front of me, it's actually been well over a year since I last read the thing. These themes, these characters and these amazing moments really do stay with you long after you put the book down. That, more than anything, is a real testament to the power of Stewart's prose.
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  20. FTeik Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2000
    star 4
    It is no wonder, that Stewart wrote only one SW-novel, because after almost perfect Dark Rendezvous things could only go downhill.
    Last edited by FTeik, Jul 6, 2013
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  21. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    I never registered any substantive difference between Stewart's Jedi and Lucas's Jedi. Lucas's Jedi talk a big game and while they certainly don't welcome attachment and emotion with open arms, they're definitely susceptible to them on some level. Cf. Mace Windu's secret attachment to the Republic that motivates him to stage a coup on the Chancellor and strike down an "unarmed" enemy; Obi-Wan's filial attachment to Anakin and Qui-Gon and his romantic feelings for Satine Kryze; and even Yoda's despair and rage in the aftermath of Order 66.

    The book really is a colossal success for the EU. Part of its appeal for me is that it's not a story with apocalyptic stakes; yes, it's set during a galactic war, but witnesses no fleet battles or planetary invasions. The only weak parts of the book have to do with Anakin and Obi-Wan, ironically. Every other character shines on one level or another.

    And as a Sidious-fan, I have to say that Stewart's Sidious is one of my favorites. His interactions with Dooku are some of my favorite scenes.
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  22. Sniper_Wolf Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2002
    star 4
    One of the more portentous EU novels I have read. Found the novel silly when I browsed for the first time at the least, and found the novel even more lacking when I revisited the book around half a year ago.

    The attempt at "depth" by rearranging the chronology and illuminating an alleged new introspection on the titular character and his antagonist, our count, fail due to an inept building of the novel. Why are bland original characters spending two-third of the novel engaging in powered down duels at the Temple? Why must Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padme make appearances in a novel not relevant to their narrative arcs? Dark Rendezvous, a novel full of air and not substance.
  23. The Compeer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2013
    star 2

    Believe that word should be "pretentious". Just saying. "Portentous" is a description I'd agree with.
    Todd the Jedi likes this.
  24. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Dark Rendezvous was one of the few PT-era novels I'd bothered reading, and one of the fewer still that I actually liked. It was fun, it was well-crafted, and my only complaint is that I wish it focused more on the original characters (though the Dooku - Yoda bits were essential).
  25. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6