The Star Wars novel to end all Star Wars novels!
Cover Art By: Steve Anderson
Written By: Matthew Stover
“The Jedi never ask what you want. They simply tell you what you’re supposed to want. They never give you a choice at all. That’s why they take their students–their victims–at an age so young that choice is meaningless. By the time a Padawan is old enough to choose, he has been so indoctrinated–so brainwashed–that he is incapable of even considering the question.” – Sith Dark Lord Darth Sidious
The question is often posed, “What is your favorite Star Wars novel?” Similar to that question is, “What is the best Star Wars novel?” For me, in both cases there is only one answer and that answer is the novelization of Revenge Of The Sith by Matthew Stover. There is no other Star Wars novel that is as deep, thought provoking, exciting, and heart wrenching as the work put forth by Mr. Stover in Revenge Of The Sith. I have read Revenge Of The Sith more than a handful of times, and I have yet to discover a single flaw in the entire novel. Mr. Stover even takes elements from the film that are troublesome, such as Padmé’s death, and he makes them work. Through the power of the written word and Mr. Stover’s wonderful literary mind all the crags and cracks that were present in the film are smoothed over and covered up in the novelization.
Depth, is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Revenge Of The Sith. There’s tremendous depth given to the characters and the world they inhabit. The level of depth found in Revenge Of The Sith allows Mr. Stover to tackle interesting ground in many different stalwart areas of Star Wars lore. The battle between Jedi and Sith isn’t just a token clash of lightsabers and force power. In Revenge Of The Sith the differences between the two groups are fully realized and brought forth front and center. The corruption of the Republic Senate is on full display, and it isn’t just empty talk, it’s now corruption brought forth from a easily identifiable decaying government. General Grevious is more often than not a throw away character in any Star Wars tale. That’s not the case in Revenge Of The Sith, and that is due to Mr. Stover’s willingness to dig deep into Grievous as a character and shed light on his motivations and his internal drive. In so many ways Revenge Of The Sith is a novel of tremendous depth and substance.
The depth of the novel feeds into the action and the drama. There are Star Wars novels with better fights, and with better drama. But, in Revenge Of The Sith the characters matter so much more than they do in other novels and that makes the stakes that much higher. The action takes on a new meaning when I care so deeply, and have been given such great insight, into the characters who are partaking in said action. The drama never crosses the line to melodramatic in a way that is distracting. I’m not about to deny that aspects of Revenge Of The Sith are melodramatic. Said melodrama isn’t a problem, however, when it is built to and nourished by a universe given such great depth and meaning.
The depth of the novel feeds into the action and the drama which in turn feeds into the excitement and suspense of the novel. Revenge Of The Sith is not a static piece of literature. At every turn the story is moving and changing. Mr. Stover has a keen sense of how to grab hold of the reader and fill them to the brim with excitement and then bring them crashing down with dread filled suspense. One moment I found myself thrilled with a fight between Darth Sidious and Mace Windu, while in the next moment I was entranced by every action of Anakin Skywalker. The truth is that what Anakin does following the duel between Mace and Sidious should not be suspenseful. I already knew what he was going to do, I had already read him take the same course of action many times over. Yet, when Anakin strikes with his lightsaber I am always ready to burst from the suspense of the moment.
With the depth feeding into the action and the drama, and in turn those feeding the excitement and the suspense, they all come together to feed into the heart wrenching nature of Revenge Of The Sith. There’s a dire inevitability to the proceedings taking place during the novel. I often find myself begging a character to take a different path, though I know that will never be the case. It is heart wrenching to see a hero like Anakin fall, and to bear witness to a Jedi Order that is more than willing to help him fall. Revenge Of The Sith is a dark novel, and it’s made darker still because of the inevitable finality that awaits all of the characters and their world.
All of these elements are brought together by the pen, or keystroke as the case may be, of Matthew Stover. His words are masterful and paint the greatest picture that has even been drawn of the Star Wars universe. He has crafted a Star Wars novel that is equal parts exciting, suspenseful, and drama filled. There are many moving parts at play in Revenge Of The Sith, and never for a second does Mr. Stover falter in his maneuvering of said parts. Revenge Of The Sith is the best Star Wars novel I’ve ever read. Revenge Of The Sith is my favorite of all the Star Wars novel. When all is said and done, Revenge Of The Sith just may be one of my favorite, and one of the best, novels of all time.