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Star Wars Book of Sith: Secrets From the Dark Side (Review)

23/07/2013 10:24 BST | Updated 21/09/2013 10:12 BST

Writer Daniel Wallace has cleverly compiled a book that examines in some detail the mythology behind the Star Wars franchise. The Book of Sith reads like a series of "lost" manuscripts that have now been partially rediscovered and passed to Jedi knight Luke Skywalker for examination.

Throughout the book, Luke makes jottings in the margins challenging the Sith's version of events, a witty touch. Thus we learn how light sabres are made, and the difference between a Sith's light sabre and a Jedi knight's, about the history of the Sith, how warriors are trained (and even how Yoda and Darth Vader are able to dematerialise).

"The Force is not fire. It cannot be passed from one user's lit torch to another's... This is the secret. This is the Rule of Two: One Sith must contain all the power of the dark side..." writes Darth Sidious in the final manuscript. Thus we learn how Darth Vader came to power. "I may have been the one who fired the shot, but the Force itself wanted to purge the galaxy of the Death Star. It was the embodiment of everything that's wrong with the dark side."

Nor is the book a boys' only affair. The second "lost manuscript" in the book is called "Wild Power" by someone called Mother Talzin. This contains the writings of the Nightsisters, whom I don't remember from any of the films - but then I abandoned the Star Wars franchise after the Jar Jar Binks debacle.

With full-colour illustrations throughout, this is a well thought out and attractively presented book that's sure to provide fans with much pleasure. If I have one quibble, it is this: if you are not a Star Wars aficionado, then you are likely to find this book pretty impregnable. I hate to think how many times Wallace must have watched the films in order to compile this book.

Star Wars Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side is available from Amazon

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