Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden

Fans of The Clone Wars, rejoice! 8 more undeveloped episode scripts from Katie Lucas have been masterfully transformed into a novel that unleashed the full storytelling potential of the series. May it not be the last such story treatments we get. Some loose ends continue to be explored in Rebels, but for the rest, novels like this are the answer. This one proves it. I had heard some questions going in as to whether or not Christie Golden was the right choice for the job. Yes. Yes she is.

Those who are familiar with the Dark Horse Comics that introduced Quinlan Vos will be pleased to see character themes that made him a favorite are explored here. Putting Vos in an unlikely alliance with Asajj Ventress turns out to be a natural choice, and the result is not only a successfully told romance, it also ends up being powerful explorations of the Dark Side of the Force and the concept of redemption.

Set in the time period where the events of Revenge of the Sith loom large, the Jedi have seen just how far they’ve fallen from their roles as guardians of the peace. To end the Clone Wars, they ponder the unthinkable: assassinate Count Dooku, and the war will end. I know what you’re thinking, that we already know when and where Dooku is killed. So what can this story possibly do to give us suspense? The Clone Wars has always ratcheted up the drama by pushing non-cinematic characters into the spotlight. The team-up of one Jedi who flirts with the Dark Side and one former Sith apprentice who has already been burned by it proves to be a most worthy focus. In an era where the Light is being consumed more and more rapidly, these characters — whose final fates are unrecorded in the new canon — take the stage, playing off Dooku, the Jedi Council, and each other.

Veteran Star Wars narrator Marc Thompson is always a superb choice. His interpretations of character voices is close enough without being mimicry to evoke the personas we know so well. I was especially impressed with his Count Dooku. Given the recent passing of Sir Christopher Lee, of whom I am a huge admirer, I can’t help but express bittersweet joy at the treatment of the character, both in performance and in narration, for we’re treated to a story that really pushes Count Dooku’s character in a way that matters. Likewise, returning to the Clone Wars era as it comes closer to its inevitable outcome becomes equally bittersweet. All in all, it’s the right story at the right time with the right talent behind it. Toss in some John Williams theme music and familiar sound effects… it’s another homerun for the Galaxy Far, Far Away.

5 stars

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