Darren Vincent's Reviews > Darth Plagueis

Darth Plagueis by James Luceno
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Jun 02, 12

bookshelves: 2012
Read from May 25 to June 02, 2012

Major Letdown!

I wills start by addressing the caption on the back of the book stating 'Plagueis was the most powerful Sith Lord who ever lived.' Really? Wouldn't you like to know how or why he got to be so powerful? Me too. Starting at the very beginning, we see that he has been an apprentice for decades and only advances through combining luck with opportunity. What does he do to further impress us with his power throughout the rest of the book? Not much. Plagueis comes across as very ineffectual as a leader, teacher and Sith in general.

But maybe I need to restart this review with the title of the book, Darth Plagueis. This is not a book about Darth Plagueis. It is more about Darth Sidious than anyone else, and even more than it being about Darth Sidious, it is a direct prequel to the Phantom Menace. This book concerned itself too much with trying to weave itself through events that we are already aware of. I have seen other books do this well and when you are done reading it, you feel like you belong to a small group of people who will ever know these nuggets of information. When it is done in this book, you feel that the author knows that the book can't stand on its own and has to lean on what we already know for this book to be relevant. And it happens way too often. Not all of the loose ends and threads need to be tied up in one book, or at all for that matter. But this book tries and fails.

And in trying to have the plot weave through an already established universe and have all of the answers in one book, it gives us the shortest, easiest, least thought out answers possible. Dooku? Maul? Sifo Dyas? All of their backstories suffer as a result of these attempts.

Here are a few examples of this that are full of SPOILERS:

*****SPOILERS*****
Wise? You might would think that someone named Plagueis the Wise would actually have to prove over a long span of time that his decisions were wise. Or possibly that history would look back long after his passing to pass a judgment such as this. Rather we get Sidious saying 'We will call you Plagueis the Wise in the years to come' or something just as bad as that.

Live Long? One would think that someone who had the knowledge of extending life forever would actually have lived longer than his natural life span. That doesn't really happen. We learn that through experiments on Force users that he is seeking this knowledge and that he has some breakthroughs, but does he get to cash this knowledge in? Nope. See next.

Most Powerful? Sidious gets him drunk and kills him, in a nutshell.

Balance? Anakin's birth was not influenced in any way by Plagueis, a Sith who can control midi-chlorians? Wouldn't that have made the Sith just a bit more badass? Nope, Anakin was truly created by the Force to bring balance. Plagueis believes in a very un-Sith like way that the Force does what it wants. No bending the will of the Force for his own personal reasons for this Sith Master.

Rule of Two? Nope. Plagueis is in touch with his emotional side and wants to share his power equally with Sidious. Aww.

Darth Maul? Plagueis knew about Maul? He was willing to share power with a third? You mean to tell me that Plagueis knew that Sidious was training Maul from birth as a weapon and did not fear this?

Dooku? Sifo Dyas? A couple of conversations with Palpatine and any disgruntled Jedi will do his bidding.

*****END SPOILERS*****

I really could go on and on about how bad this book was. In thinking back on my score of two stars, it should probably be one star, but I am sticking with my gut.

In the meantime, I will still be awaiting a story about Plagueis, maybe from birth to apprentice, that would shed some actual light on who he is and why we should care.
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