If you will, return to the golden era of Star Wars fandom that followed the release of The Force Awakens 2015. It felt like the entire planet wondered about Reys'' parents'' identities and what Luke Skywalker had been up to in the decades since the original trilogy.
The sight of Luke Skywalker posing a green lightingaber on Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith''s cover is ludicrously exciting, and Adam Christophers'' novel exploits its potential.
Star Wars once again mattered. The thrill was great, and the narrative possibilities seemed endless. The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker (the second and third movies in the sequel trilogy) solved some of the difficulties with varying degrees of success, but didn''t dive quite as deeply as many fans expected.
Adam Christopher''s new film, Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith, will be released on June 28, the first time I''ve done it since 2015. Taking place 17 years after Return of the Jedi (and 13 years prior to The Force Awakens), Reys parents were introduced briefly in a flashback in The Rise of Skywalker, but this is their first significant appearance. Their names are almost immediately, but Christopher will not spoil them in this review.
While it is difficult to trust anyone with the agents of the undefeated Emperor Palpatine on their trails, the trios situation feels desperate. This plot thread has a sense of dark inevitability. Despite Christopher''s exploration of these characters with emotional depth, youll find yourself completely invested in their quest for refuge.
After a brief period with Reys parents in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the novel offers answers.
Luke Skywalker, who is attempting to train the next generation of Jedi Knights, is hampered by his impressive visions of a sinister presence at the galaxy. In his marvellous tone, Christopher deftly drops hints of the emotional state he''s had by the time of The Last Jedi.
With a rocky friendship with Lando Calrissian, Christopher finds his daughter in disgruntled isolation. This state allows him to explore the smooth gamblers'' inner life to an unprecedented degree; it combines Solo, the self-assured hustler of the original trilogy, and the haunted older warrior we met in The Rise of Skywalker.
Lando, seen in The Rise of Skywalker, is on an incredible journey.
The vocation of Luke and Landos to save Reys family is complicated by bad assassin Ochi of Bestoon (another character who made a blink-and-youll-miss-it appearance in The Rise of Skywalker), who is being tasked with by members of a Sith cult with hunting down the parents and child. He is a disgusting but compelling appearance and becomes unhinged as the story progresses.
The Ochis story here cleverly identifies plot lines from Greg Pak''s recent Darth Vader comics, but Christopher exposes enough detail that should not be addressed before reading it.
The villainous side of the story is a mysterious warrior who is given the dark side of the Force. This side of the story investigates the creepy Sith lore and proves to be the novels most fascinating element. It gets surprisingly dark and weird, and hopefully points out new possibilities in Star Wars.
In Shadow of the Sith, Ochi of Bestoon plays a little role in The Rise of Skywalker.
Christophers cinematic writing shines in some epic action sequences that will delight those interested in seeing Luke''s power. The author sets him up with a superior adversary, and it''s fun to see the threat escalate to a level similar to those used in Legends continuity stories.
Shadow of the Sith loses steam a few times at the end of its 496 pages. An extended sequence on a mining space station comes to an epic conclusion, but there''s a little too much jumping between characters and wandering around before reaching it.
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Even if they are fun to spend time with, one extended cameo from a baddy seen in The Rise of Skywalker feels extraneous to the main narrative thrust. Luckily, the other cameos are better judged, fitting nicely into the story and staying exactly as they need.
Despite these minor issues, Adam Christophers Shadow of the Sith is the best genre of Star Wars novel that serves as an essential link between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. It carefully investigates the ambiguous aspects of the films, tying up loose ends, adding emotional resonance, while opening up a slew of new storytelling possibilities. After more than a decade, the mystery of Reys parents is resolved in style.