A guest review by Melissa Villy.
Star Wars: Book of Sith. Daniel Wallace. April 16, 2013. Chronicle Books. 160 pages. [Source: Personal copy]
The Book of Sith by Daniel Wallace contains a wealth of information on the Dark Side. Written as if compiled by Emperor Palpatine himself, the text sheds light (pun intended) on the history and powers associated with the Dark Side of the Force. Each chapter is a different smaller text by a different character brought together as one all-encompassing Book of Sith.
The first section is written by Sorzus Syn, one of the exiled Dark Jedi banished after the 100 year Darkness, provides information on the period of galactic history, on the Sith species, and how the exiled Jedi became Sith Lords. Included is information on Sith culture, everything from power granting amulets to weapons. I found this quite fascinating because while I knew the Sith were once a species, I knew nothing about them or how Dark Siders came to be called Sith Lords.
The next section by Dark Malgus is taken from his journal during the Rim Campaign of the Great Galactic War, which is featured in The Old Republic MMORPG. Malgus mainly details Sith warfare and tactics, but the most interesting piece of information was that Malgus was in love with a Twi’lek named Eleena. Despite his expressed anger and hatred, he was still capable of love. It’s rare to hear of a Sith or Jedi that has fallen in love, and this shows that maybe it happened more than we realize.
The third section, “The Rule of Two,” is by Darth Bane. It details why the rule was instated, how to pass on your knowledge, Sith lightsabers, Sith combat and techniques, and other information on Sith beliefs. This is perhaps the most important section, at least in my opinion, as it clues us in on why and how the Sith got to be only two as well as informing us about their ultimate goal. Bane was smart and patient. He set in motion events that would culminate centuries after his death, knew his apprentice would one day kill him, keenly aware he would never see his plans through to completion, and he was more than okay with this. He only cared that the Sith would survive and endure. One might consider him a visionary genius; I know I would.
The fourth section is by Mother Talzin, leader of the Nightsisters. As many fans know, the Nightsistes are mystic users of the Force that are considered Dark Siders. Star Wars: The Clone Wars brought them to the forefront. I even saw a group cosplay of Mother Talzin and the Nightsisters in their characteristic red clothing at Star Wars Celebration VI, but could not get my camera out fast enough and never caught them again. This section gives even more insight into their beliefs and customs and how they think their beliefs are superior to all other Force users. For fans of Ventress, this section would be the most interesting.
A fifth section by Plagueis details his experience manipulating midi-chlorians and his skewed beliefs. The man was clearly a bit mad and obsessed with his experiments and plans. He was so engrossed by the subject that it made it easy to see how Palpatine could take his master out. It remains unknown whether he realized he was successful in creating a being out of midi-chlorian manipulation or not, but I’m guessing he had no idea that he was successful.
The final section is by Palpatine himself. It shows his plans for galactic domination and his lack of regard for any of his apprentices. Maul, Dooku, Vader–they were all a means to an end and to be discarded when they outlived their usefulness. Of course we knew this, but the extent of his hatred for all life and the self-absorption in believing he alone would live and rule forever is staggering. If Plagueis was mad, then Palpatine was delusional.
Sprinkled throughout each section are notes by Palpatine, Vader, Ventress, Yoda, Mace Windu, Luke, and Quinlan Vos. This brought about another dimension and further adds insights into the minds of all these characters. Several of the sections also mention the prophecy of the Sith’ari, their version of the Chosen One. To me, this says that if they have almost the exact same prophecy, then they are a lot more connected to other Force users than we originally thought, even if there are different interpretations. It definitely points to common roots that eventually split into several factions.
The Book of Sith stores a wealth of information on the Dark Side of the Force and Dark Side users. I would consider it an invaluable resource to all fans, no matter what side of the Force you prefer. Wallace did a great job creating the voice of all these characters and truly brought them to life. My only complaint is the choice of fonts used for some of the characters. I found the fonts used for Palapatine, Vader, and Plagueis’ handwriting hard to read. All in all, I still give it five stars.