Wednesday, August 26, 2009

5000 BBY - 4999 BBY: The Fall of the Sith Empire


The Fall of the Sith Empire picks up where the Golden Age of the Sith left off. After Jori Daragon fled Sith space and returned to her home planet of Cinnagar in the Koros system, she was welcomed home with an arrest warrant, and quickly placed on trial for her crimes. Because of her quick wit, she managed to escape her captors, and sought refuge in Empress Teta, the ruler of the system. Jori warned the Empress of the incoming Sith invasion force, and in doing so managed to gain a reprieve from her crimes.

Empress Teta’s Jedi advisers, Odan-Urr and Memit Nadill, advise the Empress to take Jori’s warnings seriously, and she does. She readies her fleet for the coming invasion, while Memit Nadill fled to Coruscant to warn the Republic of the coming threat.

The Sith invasion force arrives and an epic battle begins. One of Naga Sadow’s strategies, through the use of darkside magic, is to make it appear as though his forces are stronger than what they actually are. At first the armies of Empress Teta and the Republic fall for his trick, losing heart in battle. But through the efforts of Gav Daragon, Sadow’s ruse fails. Gav, once taken under the wing of Sadow earlier in the series, underwent a change of heart while in battle, and betrayed his master.

Losing the battle, Sadow fled Republic space and headed back to his Sith Empire. Unfortunately, upon his return, he was greeted by his formal rival, Ludo Kreesh, and this time a Sith on Sith battle erupted. Sadow managed to defeat Kreesh again, only to have Republic forces appear through hyperspace onto his doorstep and engage him in battle once more. Once again, the Dark Lord managed to escape, but this time with only one ship and a crew of Massassi warriors. At the end of it all he fled to the planet Yavin, where he begins to rebuild his Empire.

The Fall of the Sith Empire was an entertaining story. As I’ve said before, I enjoy Kevin J. Anderson’s work. One particular scene I enjoyed was when Odan-Urr, a character that is quickly becoming one of my favorites, finds a Sith holocron on one of the abandoned ships, and muses with the idea of starting a Jedi library on the planet Ossus, the planet on which he was trained as a Jedi knight. Here, Anderson gives us a little background into the origins of the Jedi library, and introduces the idea of holocrons,(repositories of Jedi knowledge) which will play a significant role in the following Star Wars tales.

I had a couple of points of critique with regards to this text focusing on dialogue, and characterization. Firstly, some of the dialogue in this tale was awkward. There is a particular scene where Naga Sadow fires upon the Starbreaker 12, Gav and Jori's ship. Gav replies to the action with "My sister better not have been on that ship! This deal is getting worse all the time..". I find this line awkward for two reasons, the first being that there was never any mention of a "deal" in any of the dialogue leading up to this. We are never given any sense that Naga Sadow and Gav Daragon have worked out some kind of "deal" in relation to the invasion of the Republic. What makes this more awkward, is that the line" This deal is getting worse all the time" is a quote from Lando Calrissian in the film The Empire Strikes Back. Why do authors feel the need to quote lines in their EU texts that have appeared in the movies? I'm not against this use of movie dialogue, but only if it works. For example, the line "I've got a bad feeling about this" occurs frequently in the films, and subsequently finds itself in EU texts, and usually this line fits. But the line "This deal is getting worse all the time" was a weak reference to the Empire Strikes back, and was a sour note in what was an otherwise enjoyable tale.
Secondly, relating to characterization, there were a few more confusing cause and effect issues. What I mean to say is that some scenes did not logically follow from one to the other. For example, when Gav landed on Cinnagar with his Sith invasion force, and came upon Aarrba the Hutt, a deadly confrontation ensued where Aarrba was killed. Jori came upon this scene, blamed Gav for his death (to which he was not responsible) and then disowned him as her brother. The reason I found this confusing was because for most of the story she is searching for her brother through intermittent cries and sobs. When she finds him again, but this time in a precarious circumstance, she immediately disowns him. But what is more confusing is that she then says 'Talk to me, I'm your sister" as Gav is running away from her. I found this particular scene poorly played out, and took away from their realtionship as brother and sister.

All in all I enjoyed the Fall of the Sith Empire. For my next post I’ll be revisiting our text Jedi vs. Sith: An Essential guide to the Force, and examining the Great Hyperspace War.

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