The rise was fast, and the fall was perhaps even faster!
Cover Art By: Drew Struzan
Written By: Ryder Windham
The parts of The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader where Ryder Windham delves inside the head of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader are the best parts. Too often the book falls into the trap of retelling moments from the movies and rest of the expanded universe. That is boring and a bit a of a chore to read. When Mr. Windham was playing out scenes from the feature films word for word I quickly lost interest in The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader. There was too much in The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader that I found boring and nowhere near enough that I found interesting.
I did like the sequences when Mr. Windham would interject himself into the story. When I was given an inside glimpse into the thoughts rolling around in Anakin’s head my interest in the book grew exponentially. I felt that the inside glimpses were so much stronger than the moments of unoriginal regurgitation. That last sentence is a tad harsh, but it does sum up the negative feelings I harbor towards The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader.
My thoughts aren’t all negative though, not in the slightest. I really did enjoy the peek inside of Anakin’s head. Getting to know what made Anakin tick as Anakin and tick as Vader was a worthwhile reading experience. His personal thoughts were constantly in conflict, this could be said for his thoughts when he was an eleven year old dreamer and when he was a fifty year old Dark Lord of the Sith. Mr. Windham’s greatest triumph in The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader is in delivering those peeks inside of Anakin’s heads. The moments that show how the struggle of Anakin did not change whether he was young or old are the glue that hold The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader together.
Ultimately The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader is very uneven. It’s unevenness is found in the clash of originality versus word for word translation from previous materials. I wish there had been more originality in The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader. But, as an access point for young readers to tie Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader does its job well. It’s no great shakes, but The Rise And Fall Of Darth Vader is an enjoyable read.