SW: Dark Disciple
- Kol Drake
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Kol Drake created the topic: SW: Dark Disciple
So far, the my other reviews (Tarkin, Lords of the Sith, A New Dawn) covered the period after Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. One other, Heir to the Jedi, popped up shortly after Episode IV: A New Hope. Now, Dark Disciple falls five years after Episode II: Attack of the Clones and is actually part of the 'missing last season' of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Katie Lucas (yes, THAT Lucas) worked for many years as a script writer for the Clone Wars series and she had a full story arc which never was produced since they cut Clone Wars short. Dark Disciple is specifically based on eight scripts for unfinished episodes of The Clone Wars. With that show somewhat infamously cut short, it is no secret many huge storylines were in the works. Christie Golden took what Katie produced and merged it into an (almost) seamless full blown story with some cool characters we have met before.
Jump to the screen crawl...
For years, the galaxy-wide conflict known as the Clone Wars has raged. The struggle between the rightful government of the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems has claimed the lives of untold billions.
The Force-wielding Jedi, for millennia the guardians of peace in the galaxy, have been thwarted at nearly every turn by the Separatists and their leader, the Sith Lord Count Dooku.
With the war showing no signs of ending, and the casualties mounting each day, the Jedi must consider every possible means of defeating their cunning foe. Whether some means are too unthinkable — and some allies too untrustworthy — has yet to be revealed . . .
The book follows what happens when the Jedi Quinlan Vos is tasked with a decidedly un-Jedi like mission – to assassinate Count Dooku. Suffice to say, this is not a decision made lightly (nor with everyone onboard with it). However, when it is suggested that Vos could use help from someone with inside knowledge of Dooku’s operations, he ends up tracking down none other than Asajj Ventress – Dooku’s disciple-turned-enemy.
Recall during The Clone Wars series, Asajj Ventress’ path went from sadistic villain, to betrayed disciple seeking revenge, to bounty hunter and then to someone finding her own heroism which is a pretty awesome character arc in any grand backdrop. There was simply too much potential with Ventress to not ever see her again, making it very satisfying to have her take the spotlight in such a big way again here. Did you know she started out training as a Jedi?
Quinlan Vos meanwhile is a bit more complicated. He was a very popular character in the EU who starred in a ton of comic books… all of which are no longer canon. That leaves his background Phantom Menace cameo and a single episode of The Clone Wars as his only “official” appearances up until now, with some fans upset that on that Clone Wars episode, Vos’ cocky, jokey depiction felt so different from his usual brooding, dark side-tempting comic book persona.
Put these two together and you get fireworks (mostly). I enjoyed the read and was actually to the point where I was hoping one character (I won’t spoil it by saying who... whom?) would overcome the odds and come to some form of happy ending. Then again, it is still war and war seldom has many happy endings when whole races are still being wiped out. Guess I’m getting soft in my dotage.
Yes, it is a patchwork of taking a cartoon series and turning it into a full blown book but, Golden does a pretty good job. There are some rough patches but nothing gut wrenchingly bad. The second half was a bit 'less' than the first and some things seemed to be given -- repeatedly, like a good ballpeen hammer to the head to get the point across -- HOWEVER, overall, I admit I enjoyed the dynamic of the two main characters, Ventress and Vos, and was disappointed when it came to an end.
All in all, Dark Disciple is a strong entry – and one that resonates even more if you are specifically a fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and share the joy over returning to those characters and that time.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it 3 1/2 --
(maybe even a 4 since I was cheering for a character, even near the end of the read.)