"You were the Chosen One! It was said you would destroy the Sith, not join them! Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness!" - Obi-Wan Kenobi
Revenge of the Sith represents the end of an era, the link between trilogies, and one of the most heartbreaking tragedies in cinema history. It is debatably the most important chapter of the entire saga.
At the heart of the story is Anakin Skywalker—the alleged Chosen One—who ultimately falls to the temptation of the Dark Side, transforming himself into the most feared villain in the galaxy, Darth Vader. Along with this shift in the balance of the Force comes a seismic shift in galactic power that topples the Jedi Order and leaves the Sith reigning supreme.
Fear of loss supersedes the joy of love. Inseparable brothers become mortal enemies. Ultimately, an empire is born—rather, the Empire is born.
Revenge of the Sith, indeed.
Every Star Wars movie has an accompanying novelization, but none so impressive as Revenge of the Sith. While it expertly tells the story of the film, it also manages to add to it in unexpected ways. Not only is it the best novelization, it’s a fantastic work of fiction in and of itself.
Matthew Stover outdoes himself in this novelization by painting Obi Wan, Anakin, and the rest of the Jedi as glorified super heroes in the eyes of the common man in the Star Wars universe. Somehow, this raises the stakes of one of the most intense episodes of the saga and makes Anakin’s ultimate fate even more impactful.
The junior novelization of Revenge of the Sith delivers the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker in a slightly diluted form. It effectively tells the same story as the film, but cuts out the darkest moments including Mace’s duel with Palpatine and the actual execution of Order 66. Though it omits these important scenes, it does not sacrifice the story.
Patricia Wren, who is responsible for penning all of the prequel trilogy junior novelizations, does exactly what she is tasked with doing: taking the story we all love and making it appropriate for younger readers.
Darth Sidious has expertly hidden his existence from the Jedi for many years. In Labyrinth of Evil, his elusiveness shines towards the end of the Clone Wars as his identity is being chased by Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.
While Anakin and Obi Wan are occupied with their intense mission, Count Dooku and General Grievous work on setting their master's next plans into motion. Author James Luceno uses this opportunity to offer us the backstories of these two villains before foreshadowing Anakin's fall to the dark side.
Following Order 66, General Obi Wan Kenobi vanished from the galaxy along with all the other Jedi. Years later, he re-emerged as a crazy old hermit by the name of Ben to play a hand in the fate of the galaxy. However, much more happened in the preceding years than one might expect. Even on a backwater planet like Tatooine, there is conflict, and soon Ben finds himself wrapped up in a decades-long feud between the moisture farmers and their arch nemeses, the Tusken Raiders. Ben must find a way to get to the bottom of an ever-deepening mystery that lies beneath the conflict while also keeping his identity—and his true purpose on Tatooine—a secret.
Kenobi is hands down one of the best books in the Expanded Universe. John Jackson Miller crafted a well-written, easy-to-read piece that not only focuses on one of the most beloved characters in all of Star Wars, but also manages to fill in a crucial gap in the story between movie trilogies. It takes the Western influences in Star Wars and runs with them to create not only an engaging story, but an essential one.
The job of the clone troopers is simple: destroy the enemy at all costs. But as the war wages on and its atrocities add up, some clones start question their purpose and plan to lay down their arms altogether. Suddenly, a seemingly simple command from Chancellor Palpatine ruins those plans and also leaves them wondering exactly who the enemy is that they’re supposed to destroy.
Karen Traviss—who has proved more than capable of placing the reader inside the helmet of a trooper—is once again successful with this novel. The pain and suspense of the Order 66 scene in Revenge of the Sith is somehow stretched the entire length of the novel. Readers who have followed the Republic Commandos series can’t miss this part of the story!
Order 66 may have unified the galaxy under the Empire’s control, but it split members of the clone army. Just weeks after the order was carried out, former brothers-in-arms now find themselves on opposite sides. Will they ultimately choose to serve their Emperor or their ex-comrades, the Jedi? And just how far are they willing to go in the process?
While the Jedi may have gotten the worst of it, Karen Traviss manages to brilliantly portray the struggle of the clones following Order 66. This book serves as a fitting end to her run with the Republic Commandos.
After the events of Order 66, survivors of the Jedi Purge must navigate the galaxy undetected. It's been a year since Ahsoka Tano watched the Galactic Republic fall, and she's leaving yet another planet to dodge Imperial suspicion and start over. Again. Something strange is happening, however, and she can't help but let her curiosity get her into serious trouble.
E.K. Johnston's young adult novel builds an important bridge between the Ahsoka we knew from The Clone Wars and the Fulcrum we meet in Star Wars Rebels. It's in this story that our hero must come to terms with her past and discover the role she is meant to play in her darkened galaxy's future.
The Order may have fallen, but not all the Jedi are gone. Jax Pavan is just one such Jedi who was lucky enough to survive the Purge. Living in the seedy lower levels of Coruscant, Jax now works as a private investigator. However, whispers from his past soon pull him into a mission that only a Jedi could carry out successfully—assuming he can survive the wrath of Darth Vader along the way.
Michael Reaves delivers a delightful story with a main character in Jax Pavan that is sure to quickly win over fans. As only the first book in a three-part series, the story is only just beginning.