Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Path of Destruction: A Novel of the Old Republic (Star Wars: Darth Bane)

Book Review by Dan Tres OMI:
Path of Destruction: A Novel of the Old Republic (Star Wars: Darth Bane)
written by Drew Karpyshyn

For those of you who are readers of the Dark Horse (DH) comics, one will be familiar with Darth Bane. When fans get to the movies, the assumption is that the Sith have always been a two man show. One would be the master who embodied the power of the Dark Side and the other would be the apprentice who would crave the power. There was a time when there were several Lords of the Sith and there were many Sith academies throughout the galaxy. Each time, the Jedi were able to defeat the Sith because quite frankly the Sith would succumb to infighting. They were to envious of one another. They would spend too much energy fighting themselves then they would the Jedi.

Over one thousand years before the Battle of Yavin, the Sith have taken over a great portion of the galaxy. They have the Republic and the Jedi on the run. The Sith was finally united under Lord Kaan. It was through his leadership that enabled the Sith to gain the upper hand. Things look grim for the Jedi as more and more worlds fall the Sith. The Sith take advantage of the crumbling Republic by convincing more and more worlds to join their cause.

Enter “Des,” a miner on the backwater world of Apatros. He lost his mother at a young age and is abused by his father and other fellow miners. His father gives him the name “Bane” because he felt that his only son has brought him nothing but misfortune. Des never knew he was a Force adept. He just followed that “instinct” that helped him through fights and sabacc games. After a series of altercations, Des is forced to finally leave Apatros and join the Sith cause. In several battles, Des proves himself to be a tough and reliable foot soldier. He is promoted to a sergeant and is soon leading the charge. After refusing to lead his troops into a suicide mission, Des physically removes his commanding officer and changes their plans. His mission is a success after Des preforms several superhuman feats. It was through his action that the Sith Lords take note. He is arrested under the orders of Lord Kopecz and sent to the Sith Academy on Korriban. Des finally accepts the name Bane as he begins his apprenticeship in the ways of the Sith.

The book is superbly written. The perspective is that of the Sith so the Jedi are bathed in a negative light. Despite his insistence on hurting others and his hunger for power, one can help but to root for Darth Bane. He betrays everyone that even attempted to help him. Karpyshyn walks the reader through Bane's miserable life. Even after so many setbacks, Bane refuses to give up and finally realizes the solution to the Sith problem. Karpyshyn drops subtle hints throughout the book but the reader only comes to the conclusion towards the end.

The book focuses on the dark side of the Force. This is rarely done at all. Even when we see Jacen Solo start down this path, the authors tend not to focus on the subtleties of the dark side. Karpyshyn fills the reader in. He makes the reader feel sorry for Bane. If he was born on another world, things may have been different. He may have become a powerful Jedi. Bane does go on a path of destruction.

Despite the fact that Bane is physically imposing and powerful, he learns that it is not physical strength that will help the Sith win the day but it is their treachery, patience, and cunning that will prevail. Once he learns this he sets his plan in motion to beat the Jedi. Yet Bane begins with the destruction of the Sith order.

There is one major flaw in the book. There is a mention of the Vaapad lightsaber style. If one checks the EU, one will learn that Mace Windu was the creator of this style of fighting. While Vaapad does force the user to hinge onto the dark side, only the most powerful Jedi can wield it. However, it is mentioned in an event that transpired over 900 years before the birth of Mace Windu. Also if one has read the DH comics, one will find much of the material to be all too familiar. The book is still worth reading because one learns how Darth Bane set the Sith up for destruction.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Special Guest blogger...

Omi's Note: We have always promised our readers guest bloggers. Well here it is. As a matter of fact, it's a she. She goes by the name of Geekgirl Elitist and is a part of our wonderful community of bloggers. Read and Enjoy...

My affair with Star Wars has been cultivated since 1979. I was too young to see the movie when it premiered in '77. Okay, I was only 6, and I only cared about the Jackson 5 or The Monkees. SciFi had later become my love when I watched late night episodes of The Twilight Zone.

My first encounter was with my best friend, Leslie. We were in the 6th grade in Sacred Heart School, in Vailsburg. She told me about galaxies far, far away and at that time, she was the ultimate Star Wars fan. I can still hear her now, going on and on about how our safety guard looked like a young Han Solo. She was so immersed, she even signed me up for the Kenner Star Wars fan club. I even still have my Princess Leia pencil around here somewhere. I can even remember the countless mornings we would end up late for school because of her showing me her latest Star Wars doll collection. There was a time when the Star Wars dolls were actually full size, instead of the tiny action figures being sold. Now that I think about it, she had some of the little ones too. I never told her, but, I took her Lando Calrissian for a week. My Black Barbie had to see the beautiful nubian that was Lando. Actually, Billie Dee was my first celebrity crush because of Lando Calrissian.

When I left Sacred Heart, I left Star Wars. So I thought. By the time I had seen the last movie, Return of the Jedi, I thought I was done with it. My interests became makeup and boys and Michael Jackson. The Star Wars trilogy had become the 3:00 movies on Sunday afternoons. My love faded.

1992. I had a boyfriend who believed deeply in the force. I thought he was nuts. We read the comics and during this time, we were a rap duo. I named myself Shug Ninx. He was a smuggler who ran with Salla Zend in the Star Wars graphic novels. We would build all night about how the force was real and how all we needed to do was tap into it. We would smoke and play Empire Strikes Back while listening to Diamond D and Digable Planets. He would speak softly in the background, trying to guide my combos to defeat Deathstar bosses. Sometimes, I think he really was a Jedi, well, in his mind. There was a beauty in his voice when he would speak of Yoda's teachings. It was as if he was there. But, then my reality set in. Instead of worrying about getting to the Hoth level in Nintendo, I needed to begin my adult life. Thus beginning my life as a techgirl. Again, my love for Star Wars faded.

Present. My love was restored. When I saw Episode One, my childhood had been restored. All the new technology showed me the things that I wished I had seen back in '79. Yoda had CGI. It was then I learned a new respect for him. I think I gasped loudly, embarassing my boyfriend, when Yoda unsheathed his light saber, and began to administer Count Dooku an asswhuppin'. I got to learn the truth about Darth, even though I knew the whole story. I even watched the Cartoon Network Clone Wars everytime it came on. Mad dudes got deaded when they called or came over. If Clone Wars was on, it was a platonic blockbuster night. If you weren't prepared to build about it after it ended, I showed you the door. Some dudes still don't understand why I told them to bounce.

In this geekgirl life I've tried to hide, I've collected a few things. I own a light saber, and a bronze Millenium falcon. What I haven't said was, yes, I carried my light saber to the premiere of Revenge of the Sith. My boys didn't believe I had one, but, I do.

For 3 decades of my life, Star Wars has been my cult classic. My personal sci-fi love.

The reason why I still look into the atmosphere trying to imagine galaxies, far, far away....

Monday, June 04, 2007


The New joints.

Some more treats:

1. The teaser trailer for the Clone wars animated series. The word is there will 100 episodes of this. GL does not have a home for this yet meaning no TV or cable network has stepped up. I am sure that once GL makes the big announcement, there will be a bidding war.

2. The winner in Atom Films Star Wars Fan Films... these folks did work...

3. Billy Dee Williams on an old episode of Scrubs...