Thursday, 2 October 2014


As a lead-in to STAR WARS REBELS, AFICIONADO presents a series of images featuring characters, events and history linked to the ultimate creation of the Rebel Alliance against the Empire.

Taking place shortly after the cataclysmic power-shifting of EPISODE III, the new threat that is Darth Vader, servant to Emperor Palpatine, makes his presence, and his immense talents in the Force, felt across the new Galactic Empire, generating terror in his wake whilst also inspiring many questions as to his true identity under the mask, especially from Senator Bail Organa, returned home to Alderaan with a new addition to of his family- the hidden in plain sight baby Leia Skywalker, child of the seemingly deceased Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker- and first hand experiencing just how much the galaxy is changing for the worse-fears for the future additionally felt and shared by his former rivals/comrades in the former republic Senate, previously assembled as part of the Delegation of 2000, dissolved but now slowly but surely realising that a new resistance organisation against the rising evil must eventually be formed. Meanwhile, the Jedi Knight Roan Shryne has luckily survived ORDER 66, thanks to the intervention of several Clone Troopers disagreeing with their orders and the chaos taking place around them. In what must surely be considered an early test run for the ultimate format of the STAR WARS REBELS animated series, Shryne, together with a hot headed young Padawan, escapes Imperial pursuit in a clunky but serviceable freighter, the Drunk Dancer (piloted by Shryne's eventually revealed mother), to find new allies and hopeful Jedi survivors in which to eventually fight back. Ultimately, however, fate has other plans for them- our victimised heroes soon propelled into a no other choice conflict against Vader, now rapidly regaining confidence in his abilities within his breathing suit, allied with the insidious and cruel-hearted Admiral Tarkin in attacking the Wookiee worlds of Kashyyyk, enslaving its population as workers for a "special project" being built at a top secret location...

A fast paced, exciting, event packed story, DARK LORD: THE RISE OF DARTH VADER can be enjoyed as both a worthy stand alone novel and as a satisfying conclusion to James Luceno's 2004/5 bookend saga built around the official novelisation of EPISODE III by Matthew Stover. Luceno effectively develops the Vader character into what he will become by EPISODE IV, introduces plot strands that will be expanded by the arrival of the Classic Trilogy (including a nice cameo from the Tatooine hidden Obi-Wan Kenobi), and gives us some interesting, now ultimately one-off appearance Jedi survivors, notably the brave but doomed Roan Shryne. The book's final section, a huge action set piece set on Kashyyyk showing Vader leading thousands of troops into destruction-fuelled battle against the Wookiees, is one of those pivotal moments we'd love to have seen for real in a STAR WARS movie.

Get DARK LORD here: Star Wars: Dark Lord - The Rise of Darth Vader: James Luceno: Books

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