by John Grgurich
When I first heard about Lucasfilm moving over to Disney, I couldn’t help but have mixed feelings. I thought it would be a good business move for the man who created it. But as a fan, I thought it would the end of an era – that the Star Wars I had grown to love would be gone forever. So, when I first heard they were making a new film, I was far from excited. And I was so focused on pursuing other interests that I didn’t even bat an eye.
That was until I saw the trailer for The Force Awakens – a movie I vowed I would never see. I was beginning to think that it might be worth watching, and I was surprised to find out that it was. It rekindled my love for a story that had influenced much of my childhood, and it was a passion that stuck with me as an adult. So, I decided to read the new books, and Dark Disciple was the first one.
It took me by surprise in the same way as Episode VII.
I read some of the books from the Expanded Universe (which are no longer part of the official Star Wars storyline), and some of them were pretty good. Of course, there were others that were mediocre at best. Then again, that’s the way it is with any literature related to some part of Pop Culture. With that being said, Dark Disciple is one of the best Star Wars books I’ve ever read. And I don’t say that lightly.
The book features some of the more popular characters from the Clone Wars series, including Quinlan Vos and Asajj Ventress. And the relationship between these two characters is something you would not expect. They join forces in a plot to kill Count Dooku, and it’s completely sanctioned by the Jedi Council. In fact, Obi-Wan shows up on a periodic basis to meet with Vos, who has to keep his identity as a Jedi a secret. But his subterfuge ends in failure, because Ventress is able to figure it out. She discovers the real reason for their partnership, and she knows that Quinlan won’t succeed unless he flirts with the Dark Side. However, the temptation of crossing over is too much to bear.
Dark Disciple is full of plot twists that leave you in doubt until the very end, and you wonder if Quinlan has really turned to the Dark Side. Believe it or not, Asajj Ventress plays a major role in his redemption. And conversely, it was Asajj’s love for Quinlan that plays a role in hers. That’s what made this book so exciting. You see a gradual change in a character who is supposed to be the hero of the story, which is why you’re left with such doubt.
One interesting fact is that Quinlan Vos has the gift of psychometry, which gives him the ability to see images of the past by making contact with an object that’s related to a specific event. And he discovers a terrible secret that pushes him over the edge. When the Jedi finally rescue him from Count Dooku, there is a question of whether he has really fallen to the Dark Side. And they suspect that he may be trying to sabotage their effort to kill him. This is what makes the story so riveting. It leaves you wondering who Quinlan is really working for.
Dark Disciple is one of the best Star Wars books I’ve read in a long time, and it was hard for me to put it down. Every part of the plot left me wanting to find out more, so I was able to savor every part of the experience. Was Quinlan Vos a double agent, or was he just faking it to get close to Count Dooku? Read the book if you want to find out!