Science Fiction

Star Wars: The Tenebrous Way

Author: Matthew Stover

Originally Published In: Star Wars Insider Magazine

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Ever since that scene in Revenge of the Sith, when Emperor Palpatine (AKA: Darth Sidious) seduced Anakin to the Dark Side by telling him the tale of Darth Plagueis and his ability to keep those he loved from dying, Star Wars fans have craved for more information about this character.  Anyone who could have apprenticed Sidious to be this evil had to have quite an interesting background.  People begged for more information about this Darth Plaguies and the powers that be obliged.  The novel, Star Wars: Darth Plaguies by James Luceno, will be released on December 27, 2011, but Matthew Stover gives us a sneak peak at Plaguies in his new short story for Star Wars Insider Magazine entitled The Tenebrous Way.

            As the story opens, we learn that Darth Plaguies’ master, a Bith Sith (that’s just too much fun to say) named Darth Tenebrous is dying, having been struck the death blow by his own apprentice.  Tenebrous isn’t shocked by the fact that his own apprentice was the one to kill him - he had already foreseen it taking place.  He is actually surprised that death came as such a pleasant and welcome experience.

            As we read on, we discover that Tenebrous set Plageuis up.  Apparently the Bith’s massive brain lends well to calculations.  His foresight ability, matched with this superior calculation ability, has given Tenebrous the power to predict just when and how a Dark Side apprentice, born completely from the Force and possessing of amazing Force abilities and a massive midi-chlorian count, will come to be.  Tenebrous has created a sort of midi-chlorian virus inside himself that he planned to release on Plageius just as he takes Tenebrous’ life.

            In this way, Tenebrous believes that he will be able to influence this coming Force creation and become one with it; manipulate it into a dark side being of his own creation.  But has he underestimated his apprentice…or perhaps overestimated his own Force prowess? 

            As we read this short story, we discover that Darth Tenebrous doesn’t think much of his apprentice.  He scoffs at Plageius’ fear of death and exploits it to his own purposes.  Is this the way all Sith masters feel about their apprentices?  After all, they know that there will come a day when their apprentice will attempt to take their lives…does that knowledge cause them to change their approach to their apprentices training.  If they stunt the growth of the apprentice, will this prolong the death of the master?  Something to ponder.

            Parts of The Tenebrous Way are a bit tedious to read, presenting a somewhat detailed discussion of Tenebrous’ calculations that led to his foresight of Anakin’s birth.  However, I found it was worth it to push through the tedious parts to gather information about Plageius (Did you know he was a Muun?) and get to the surprise ending.  Not a bad tale, despite the tedious parts.  I can’t wait to read more about Plageius in the upcoming James Luceno novel.


For more short stories found in Star Wars Insider Magazine, check out these links:

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Pengalan Tradeoff

Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Third Lesson

Star Wars: The Fate of the Jedi: First Blood

Star Wars: Buyer's Market

Star Wars: And Leebo Makes Three

Star Wars: A Fair Trade

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