Imagine if, after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker searched the possessions of Emperor Palpatine, Darth Sidious, and imagine if he found a book wherein the emperor was collecting all the documents he could find that belonged to the ancient Sith…
Welcome to the Book of Sith.
Like The Jedi Path before it, Book Of Sith isn’t just an EU (Expanded Universe) book, but rather it’s an in-universe book. Imagine Star Wars was real, well here is a book from that universe. It’s a novel (ahem) idea. And it works well, although it worked better with the first book – but that was mostly because of the wealth of loose articles included, coins, Padawan braid, napkin from Dexter’s diner etc.
The first part of the book dates back to 7,000 BBY (Before Battle of Yavin – the battle at the end of the first Star Wars movie in 1977. This point has become the lynchpin of the Star Wars universe with everything being dated before -BBY – or after -ABY. Sort of like using BC in our time line) and is written after the 100 year war and tells of the dark Jedi, a race who would eventually become the Sith; grandfathers of Maul, Tyrannus, Vader, Sidious and their ilk.
This is all both the blessing and the curse of this particular Star Wars book. I am more than a casual Star Wars fans and while I’m not as knowledgeable as many, I have spent a fair time in the EU, but even I felt lost from time to time, this booked is steeped in references I didn’t get until I paid a quick visit or two to wookieepedia.
This is by no means a terrible thing, I welcome anything that allows me to delve deeper into the galaxy far, far away, however it may alienate the casual fans, those who are fans of the Clone Wars series or original movies alone may find the going tough. Because, while it reads as a complete piece – a snippet at the history that exists in this fictional world, it’s only when you can relate it and research it that the whole story will reveal it self.
As for the presentation, the six ‘books’ collected here by Palpatine look beautiful. Each one full of illustrations and with a different cutting on the pages so each section is distinct from the last, they are fun, but it’s the little notes written around each page that truly make this a little special. Remember when you used to get books at school that were years old? And previous students had written notes and ideas around the pages? Well, if the idea of Palpatine, Luke Skywalker or maybe Master Yoda sitting in their chambers, studying the teachings of the Sith and writing in their thinkings gets you a little giddy, then this book is clearly intended for you and you’ll have fun with it; I know I did.
So, in closing, Book of Sith is a little too smart for the casual fan, it’s not a book to just lift up if you don’t know your Mandalorians from your Kowakian Monkey Lizards but if you do like spending time in this universe outside of the movies and animated show, then this may just be the droid, sorry, book you’re looking for.
4 out of 5 Nerds