Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith Matthew Stover

Title: Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith
Author: Matthew Stover
Publisher: Del Rey
Series: The Dark Lord Trilogy, Book 2
Hardcover: 418 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
The turning point for the entire Star Wars saga is at hand 
After years of civil war, the Separatists have battered the already faltering Republic nearly to the point of collapse. On Coruscant, the Senate watches anxiously as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine aggressively strips away more and more constitutional liberties in the name of safeguarding the Republic. Yoda, Mace Windu, and their fellow Masters grapple with the Chancellor’s disturbing move to assume control of the Jedi Council. And Anakin Skywalker, the prophesied Chosen One, destined to bring balance to the Force, is increasingly consumed by his fear that his secret love, Senator Padmé Amidala, will die.  
As the combat escalates across the galaxy, the stage is set for an explosive endgame: Obi-Wan undertakes a perilous mission to destroy the dreaded Separatist military leader General Grievous. Palpatine, eager to secure even greater control, subtly influences public opinion to turn against the Jedi. And a conflicted Anakin–tormented by unspeakable visions–edges dangerously closer to the brink of a galaxy-shaping decision. It remains only for Darth Sidious, whose shadow looms ever larger, to strike the final staggering blow against the Republic . . . and to ordain a fearsome new Sith Lord: Darth Vader. 

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5

I am a second-generation Star Wars fan, so when my dad bought Revenge of the Sith, I definitely had to borrow it from him and read it. While I enjoyed getting to know the characters in a new way, I wasn't all that impressed with this book. However, that didn't surprise me, because I also wasn't impressed with the movie on which Stover based it.

You do get more from the book than in the movie -- especially in terms of character development. I think that Stover went a lot more into Yoda's feelings about the fall of the Republic and he did a great job in showing the friendship between Obi-Wan and Anakin. I loved that. For me, it brought entirely new elements into the story line that I had never thought of and made Luke's story a little more interesting, even. However, the same problems that were in the movie still persist. I get that Anakin was tempted to the Dark Side, and that clouds his judgment, but he truly loves these people. In the book, how he feels for Padme and Obi-Wan is way more obvious than it is in the movie. Yet, within a chapter he changes and is ready to turn is back on Obi-Wan, who is practically his brother at this point, and then he even becomes suspicious of Padme, the woman he used to trust absolutely. I think a lot more development and explanation was needed for this character shift, because otherwise, it simply seems too convenient.

Also, don't think that you can read this book without watching the movie. Stover relies heavily on the fact that the reader knows what he's talking about and what's going on. Not much description or explanation is given in terms of places, characters, and background information. This isn't a problem for those of us who have seen the movies (although it does make the writing feel less developed), but it would be a huge problem for someone who only wanted to pick up the book.

However, for a Star Wars fan, Revenge of the Sith is still an okay read. I wouldn't say that you should go out of your way to read it, but it's kind of cool to get a different perspective on all the characters and what they're feeling about all the chaos that's going on in this novel. Star Wars in general is a brilliant story about growing up, love, friendship, doing what's right, and making hard choices. No matter what format it's in, that holds true throughout all the stories.