I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Star Wars: Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp

This book in the new cannon of Star Wars lore that is leading to the next movie, The Force Awakens, takes place sometime after Revenge of the Sith.  The planet Ryloth, whose inhabitants are called Twi'leks (there's one in Return of the Jedi in Jabba's palace, who is a dancing slave girl who is green and has twin tails coming out of the back of her head) are routinely used for slave labor and the spice mines on their planet are invaluable.  Cham has been leading a rebellion for a free Ryloth for years, slowly building up weapons, people, and ships in order to strike out against the Empire and take their planet back.  His second in command, Islev, is a former slave who is mainly interested in taking down the Emperor and Darth Vader.

While waiting for one of the teams to arrive at a rendezvous point in an imperial ship containing a large shipment of weapons, he shows up with fighters on his tail and a star destroyer on the way.  The Empire ships make quick work of the ship and Vader himself enters the ship and kills off the whole crew while Cham and his people listen in.  Cham recognizes the sound of what he thinks is a light saber that the Jedi's used during the Clone Wars. He, nor his people, have any idea what Vader is, or how formidable he can be.

Cham, with the help of an odious man named Balock who keeps an eye on things for the Moff, who lives on the moon, conducts covert operations to build up their rebellion.  The Moff is completely clueless as to what is going on and Balock, who thinks he is controlling the rebels, soon finds it is the other way around.  Cham plans on destroying a star destroyer that is coming to the planet, with not just their Senator, but also Vader and the Emperor.  Cham makes careful plans on how to take down the star destroyer and if they can kill Vader and the Emperor, even better.  This could mean freedom for his people.

Things seem to be going as planned, with unfortunate losses on their side, but Vader and the Emperor and the Moff on a different ship, crash land on the planet.  Vader and the Emperor find themselves at the equator in a jungle, with communications shut down by the rebellion, and strange and powerful beasts intent on destroying them.  As they run through the jungle, Cham finds their location, and he and some soldiers arrive to hunt them down and kill them, if they can be killed.

This book is a little bit sad, because you know that they will fail in killing Vader and the Emperor because of the next three movies.  The characters are not only engaging, but you find yourself connecting to them and hoping that maybe they will succeed.  I do not know for sure, but this could be the beginning of the Rebel Alliance.  You also get to see the Emperor really showing his powers here.  Normally he cannot, because no one must know he is a Sith Lord, but here, you see his true nature, also through his relationship with Vader.  You might even like the Moff, if for no other reason than Balock is so horrible she seems better, even though she works for the Empire.  This is a must read if you haven't seen the seventh movie yet.

Yoda once had told him that fear led to hate and hate to suffering.  But Yoda had been wrong.  Fear was a tool used by the strong to cow the weak.  Hate was the font of true strength.  Suffering was not the result of the rule of the strong over the weak; the Force mandated order.  The Jedi had never seen that, and so they’d misunderstood the Force and been destroyed.
--Paul S. Kemp (Star Wars: Lords of the Siths p 6)
The past is a ghost that haunts us. Ghosts must be banished.  Lingering on the past is weakness, Lord Vader.
--Paul S. Kemp (Star Wars: Lords of the Sith p 147)
He wondered if he’d completely lost his mind, but then figured that people who’d gone insane never wondered if they’d gone insane.
--Paul S. Kemp (Star Wars: Lords of the Sith p 263)

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lords-Sith-Paul-S-Kemp/dp/034551145X?ie=UTF8&keywords=lords%20of%20the%20sith&qid=1462462142&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1

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