Science Fiction

Star Wars: Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side

Author: Daniel Wallace

Published By: becker&mayer!

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Since receiving The Jedi Path: Vault Edition as a gift, I have been hoping for a Sith edition.  The Jedi Path told us all we wanted to know about the Jedi, their beliefs, their fighting forms, divisions within the order and more, complete with annotations by famous Jedi and Sith alike and artifacts, all contained in a cool case that opens at the push of a button with cool light and sound effects.  I longed for a Sith companion to this book, perhaps contained in something akin to a Sith holocron.  Happily, I got exactly what I asked for.

            Star Wars: Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side is a red leather-bound book featured inside a pyramid shaped Sith holocron that opens at the touch of a button with pretty cool light and sound effects.  Instead of rising out of the casing on a platform like the Jedi book, this one slides out on a shelf.  Under the book, one will find a dark side lightsaber crystal and a Nightsister amulet, possibly once used by Savage Opress.  Both items are removable for closer perusal. 

            The book features pages of varying sizes and textures.  This is explained by Darth Sidious - the book is a collection of informative writings from various Sith and Dark Side adepts collected by Sidious over the years.  Each of the chapters in the book contain notes written in the corners by various Jedi and Sith who have had access to the writings, including Sidious, Luke Skywalker, Quinlan Vos, Mace Windu, Yoda, Asajj Ventress and Darth Vader.  Unlike The Jedi Path, the Book of Sith is not a manual meant to teach a Padawan how to apply his knowledge and ability in the Force.  Instead, the Book of Sith is a collection of Sith and Dark Side philosophies.

            The first chapter features Sorzus Synís tale of the rise of the Sith Empire, beginning with the banished Dark Jedi discovery of the Sith Purebloods on Korriban.  From the Sith Purebloods, Syn and her people learned even more concentrated forms of alchemy, strengthening Sith weaponry with their newly acquired knowledge and creating monsters that followed their will.  It is here that Sith Amulets and Holocrons are discussed and the Sith Code is spelled out.

            The next chapter features excerpts from the journal of Darth Malgus dating back to the time of the Great Galactic War, a huge success for the Sith.  Despite their victory, when reading this chapter one is immediately taken with the divisiveness and treachery of those Malgus must rely on for supplies and assistance in the battle.  Thus, the reader can see that, although they strive for a similar goal, the Sith were constantly looking for a way to upstage one another in this battle.  This could have lost them the war had things gone differently.

            The third chapter is written by Darth Bane and clearly outlines how he single-handedly brought the Sith into a new era.  Shunning the way Sith Lords have become so plentiful and believing that to be their weakness, Bane strove to make their order stronger by eliminating all the middle men.  One lord with the Darth title and an apprentice.  Of course, that doesnít mean that you canít train a bunch of dark force users and then pit them against each other to find one that stands out to take for your own apprentice.  It is in this chapter that we learn about constructing a Sith lightsaber, the saberstaff, Sith armor and styles of combat, both with lightsaber and with other Sith abilities.

            This chapter is followed by the teachings of Mother Talzin, leader of the dark side wielding Dathomir Witches, also known as the Nightsisters.  Here, Mother Talzin explains what Nightsisters are, their beliefs, their communing with nature and their surroundings, the ways in which they use the Force, their mercenary nature and more.  Mother Talzin explains the history of the Nightsisters, various powers, talismans, warrior training and more.

            The musings of Darth Palageus come next.  His obsession with prolonging life and/or bringing one back from the dead leads him to tinker with midi-chlorians.  As we read on, we come to the realization that Darth Palageusí experiments and his discovery that he could manipulate midi-chlorian growth into a zygot form.  It is possible that his experiments could have culminated in the creation of Anakin Skywalker.  After all, according to Shmi, Anakin had no father and, according to Qui-Gon, Anakinís midi-chlorian count was off the charts.  Both factors would lead one to reasonably believe that Palageus wasnít just on to something, but may have actually enacted one of his experiments on the slave community of Gordulla the Hutt.

            Darth Palageusís musings are followed by those of Darth Sidious as he discusses how the powers of manipulation through fear are what eventually led to his rise into power.  But, unlike Bane, it would seem that Sidious believed in the Power of One rather than the Rule of Two.  As we can see, Sidious never truly wanted to share his power, making one wonder why it was that he wanted to make Anakin his apprentice so badly.  Perhaps Sidious believed that Anakin was the creation of his teacher as I do.  Either way, it is clear that he never intended for Anakin or any other Sith to rise above Sidiousí position of power.  All of the people Sidious surrounded himself with were intended to be underlings meant to do his bidding and keep him in power.

            I enjoyed checking out this glimpse into the world of the Sith.  Just as in The Jedi Path, the Book of Sith contains artifacts sprinkled throughout the book including a piece of a death shroud, battle plans and more.  I loved that the pages were different styles and textures and that the notations written in the corners of the pages were somewhat light depending on who wrote the notes, indicating that the penned items had faded over time.  Coming in a fun package, the Book of Sith is an interesting read and makes a great gift for any diehard Star Wars fan.


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