As the Age of Rebellion transitions further into the Age of Resistance, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and General Lando Calrissian must reunite once again to go on a journey to help rescue a family who are being hunted by Sith Acolytes, and the assassin Ochi of Bastoon. While a simple rescue mission seems simple for these renowned galactic heroes, they face a great deal of personal turmoil during their adventure that they must face if they are to save the family from the deadly hunters.
Before delving too much into the story itself, let it be known that this book acts more like a piece of content that tries to flesh out some concepts that were established in Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker more so than the other films. So if you are an individual who truly dislikes the sequels, or the Rise of Skywalker, this book most likely won’t change your opinion on those films. However, this is not to say that the book is bad in any sense. It is actually quite the enticing read that fulfilled this original trilogy fan’s desire for more stories focused on the heroes from the Age of Rebellion.
Strengths and Challenges
While some novels take its time to get a reader engaged, it was within the first few chapters of this book that I was captivated by the stakes of the story and from there it was able to keep that engagement going for a fair bit. The set-up that is done at the start is very captivating, the story does have some small moments where the description of things drag out the flow of the story. But this is primarily due to Adam Christopher’s desire to really flesh out and describe the setting that the moments are taking place in and while such detail of what is happening is commendable, it is at times that attention to details that lost my interest. There are also many moments in the book where the same object is being described throughout the book but with little to no variations in its description. To a degree it did get tiresome and that did detract me from the story. However, these aspects should not detract from that the amazing characterization of Lando Calrissian, who for me was an absolute standout throughout this book. Lando acts as one of the characters that readers will most likely be invested in due to who well Lando’s demeanor and magnetic personality is captured from the moment he is introduced in the book to the very end.
The Luke Skywalker in this book acts as an excellent continuation of the Luke that can be seen in Return of the Jedi and the Disney+ Star Wars shows, but adds more depth to him by having him more accustomed to the ways of a Jedi and the methods that they go about trying to avoid the use of violence. This is made all the more interesting when one of the antagonists he must face is an individual possessed by a Sith who has their autonomy taken away from them to the extent where they are much more akin to a victim. Not only does Luke’s character bring an interesting point of view and conflict to this book, his connection to the force brings out a new level of fear and outlook of the dark side that has not been entirely explored in other forms of Star Wars media. An exert from the book has Luke describe the signature feelings of Vader and Palpatine in the force and how one felt like “a fire, twisting sun-dragon that curled in the core of a star about to go nova” and the other an “opposite- he was ice, terrifying cold of the bottom of an endlessly deep ocean, the abyssal plain, where there was no light, no hope, a cold so absolute, so ultimate, that all life withered in its presence.” These descriptions mixed in with the story of the Acolytes of the Sith and depth that is added to the dark side creates far more curiosity for dark side users to be explored in future stories to come out from Star Wars.
While Luke and Lando are the most notable characters in the story, the book does also focus on the two antagonists. Ochi of Bastoon and the Sith Acolyte, but also the family that is being chased. However, those aspects of the story cannot be discussed without spoiling parts of the story. So here is the
The family of the story who carries the most amount of emotional investment are Rey’s family. Her father Dathan and mother Miramir carry an unfathomable amount of emotional weight on their shoulders in the story that. The limited amount of moments that the reader gets to experience between Rey and her parents is very heartbreaking throughout, so much so that it will most likely leave some begging and hoping for more small moments just so that Rey will not be left behind like she inevitably will. On top of being such emotionally relatable characters through their love of their daughter, Rey’s parents also prove themselves to be very resourceful while being hunted by one of the deadliest assassins ever seen in the Star Wars universe. Some bone tingling moments that were very enticing throughout this book are the close call moments where Rey and Luke are about to directly cross paths, and as the reader we know that their paths won’t cross until the end of Force Awakens, but there are hopeful moments where one just hopes that the canon is broken so that Rey can be saved with her parents due to Luke’s interventions with the hunters.
The antagonists Ochi of Bastoon and the Acolyte who is possessed by the Sith are very intriguing characters throughout the book and they really make one want more content involving them, but due to the fact that they share the narrative with Luke, Lando, Dathan and Mairamir they do suffer from not having enough of the story focused on them. And in Ochi’s case specifically the novel almost feels more interested in focusing on the knife that’s used to kill Rey’s parents than him throughout the book. Though there is the narrative of how the dark side will use others as a tool and that can be seen with these two antagonists, but due to the scale of the story it doesn’t provide enough of an opportunity to properly delve into the concept. Thus hindering these two interesting characters.
Impact on the Star Wars Universe
The repercussions that this novel has on the Star Wars universe is that it does primarily expand upon the sequel era of Star Wars movies by providing Lando with the story of him loosing his daughter, really expanding on why Rey would want to head back to Jakku, and why Luke was conveniently on Pasanna in Rise of Skywalker. Aside from expanding upon parts of the sequel trilogy is that the book now canonizes the Sith Darth Noctus from the Dark Legends books.
If you have read this novel and want more Star Wars content that has some connective tissue to Shadow of the Sith, then I recommend the following pieces of Star Wars content:
- -Star Wars:Aftermath
- -Star Wars: Dark Legend
- -Star Wars: Darth Vader by Greg Pak Vol.2 – Into the Fire
- -Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker (novelization