Nicholas Karpuk's Reviews > Rule of Two

Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn
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Mar 09, 2011

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Read in March, 2011

If anyone should have the means to pay for decent cover art, it's Lucasfilm. That's why seeing the cover to The Rule of Two, with its potato-headed Sith-Lord upset me. It looks like a poser creation one of your friends keeps posting on Facebook that everyone politely ignores. No one should have to pay for a cover that ugly.

Anyhoo, Darth Potato now has an apprentice. I guess they don't call them padawans if they're evil. If I understand the style guides of the two camps, Jedis get names that sound like a baby imitating an African drum, sort of a "padoobadooba" rhythm, and Sith get names that sound a letter off from adjectives. Darth Potato raids the tomb of the ancient Sith Lord Freedon Nadd, just as a for instance.

The second book benefits greatly from the death of the league of twirly mustaches. An organization devoted to evil never sounded like a good idea, you'd spend all your time watching your back. It's actually part of the reason Bane tricked them all into killing themselves with the (ug) "thought bomb" back in the first book.

Bane recruits his tiny apprentice in what has to be one of the most direct sales for villainy. It's basically, "You're sad and angry, wanna be evil?" And it works surprisingly well. Maybe the trick is in his delivery?

This book works better because its essentially the tale of fairly bright villains doing excitingly villainous things. Star Wars normally comes with a sort of corny heroics that works well in movies but wears thin after a few dozen books. I don't mind reading a story where Jedis get murdered without anyone acting like it's particularly tragic.

I doubt a Star Wars book will ever crack 3 stars in my rating system, so this may represent the pinnacle of what one of these books can do. Which is to be competently written and amusing. It's odd, considering the Joseph Campbell origins and the supposed monomythic origins of the series, that none of these books aspire to anything more than amusement. Wouldn't it be fun to dig a little deeper just once?

The only detail that utterly rankles me in this one is the reveal that the Jedi's and Sith originated on a planet over 25,000 years before this book started.

No I did not slip and hit the 0 key an extra time, 25,000 years before Darth Bane Jedi worked out lightsabers and hyperdrives and left their home planet. And this is the series set millenia before Luke ever complained about power converters.

Which suggests some sort of stupification field over the entire Star Wars universe. Are people in this galaxy just really slow learners? If this is how fast their culture progresses, a special needs student from a poor American school could probably master the Jedi arts at summer camp. I mean, really, the libraries the Jedi use to store their information are less sophisticated than the internet we have now, but they've had flying cars and space travel for longer than our Western Civilization has existed.

I should let it go. Licensed fiction is a bully whose level I should stop sinking to.
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message 1: by Colin (new)

Colin McKay Miller Hey, brah, it's not like Yoda's English got any better over hundreds of years.

Also, the 25,000 years bit reminds me of what they wound up undoing from "Highlander 2." The ancient planet storyline is usually a bad idea.

Daniel i enjoyed the trilogy and at the point I read them (over a year ago), they were the best star wars books I had ever read. While Darth Bane has been canonized, the books haven't. So I'm eager to see what Disney decides to do with the old republic era. I'm with you on this whole 25000 year history and ultimate stop in tech development. The only thing that consistently evolve are the armor design for clone/storm troopers... and hair

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