Continuing the tradition of pre-released Star Wars novelizations, Matt Stover, author of other Expanded Universe books such as Shatterpoint and The New Jedi Order: Traitor, was commissioned to write the final book of the prequel films. Revenge of the Sith thus covers the events of Anakin's last days as a Jedi, but does more than merely recap them. Stover's book is often told from the second-person perspective, and makes both the action and non-action events highly psychological. Unusually for a novelization, it frequently references other EU books, such as the events of Labyrinth of Evil, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Stover's own Shatterpoint. The book also introduces new subplots as part of actions seen in the film, and restores deleted scenes. As such, fans often consider it just as good, if not better, than the film that it is based on.
In addition to tropes inherited from the film, this book includes examples of:
Alas, Poor Villain: Poor Count Dooku. Seconds from death, he realizes everything he has done or accomplished, all his talent and power and intellect, has been used by Sidious to fulfill his plans with no regard for Dooku's wishes. Even worse, he realizes Sidious had always planned to kill and replace him. "Treachery is the way of the Sith."
All Issues Are Political Issues: When Anakin is having a discussion with Palpatine and says he doesn't want things to "get political," the Chancellor responds that "in a democracy, everything is political."
Amplified Animal Aptitude: Since the reader can hear Obi-Wan's thoughts, Boga's increased intelligence is more obvious. This is partly intentional, as Obi-Wan used the Force to sense which mount would be the most loyal. Sure enough, he sees an almost Jedi-like calm dedication to service in Boga's eyes, she follows spoken orders to go home and then comes back to be there when he needs another lift, and obeys more spoken orders to destroy a specific part of a parked ship with her tail. For his part, Obi-Wan banters as playfully with her as with Anakin or Commander Cody, and acts like she's an intelligent being who can understand him and his reasoning.
Aura Vision: Before the duel, Dooku sees everyone else this way:
Kenobi was luminous, a transparent being, a window onto a sunlit meadow of the Force. Skywalker was a storm cloud, flickering with dangerous lightning, building the rotation that threatens a tornado. And then there was Palpatine, of course: he was beyond power. He showed nothing of what might be within. Though seen with the eyes of the dark side itself, Palpatine was an event horizon. Beneath his entirely ordinary surface was absolute, perfect nothingness. Darkness beyond darkness. A black hole of the Force.
Bad Boss: Grievous kills several Neimoidans when he's angry. He only stops when he realises he's killed all of them.
Becoming the Mask: Anakin finally loses his dread and become the Hero With No Fear, as the public calls him, when he becomes Palpatine's apprentice, Darth Vader. Or so he thinks. His fear slowly begins returning on Mustafar.
Body Motifs: The novelization does this with Anakin's mechanical hand. It aches when Count Dooku is near, crushes things when he's angry, and is mentioned often.
Bond One-Liner: While the execution of the Separatist leaders is actually one of the better scenes of the entire movie and played entirely seriously, in the novelization it would appear that Stover couldn't resist Bonding it up. Almost every time that Anakin killed one of the leaders, he spouted off a one-liner.
Captain Needa appears as a mere lieutenant commander during the battle of Coruscant, trying to parley with General Grievous. It predictably fails.
Centipede's Dilemma: At one point during the duel, Dooku taunts Anakin over the anger in his heart and his fear of said anger. This causes Anakin to worry about controlling his anger, ruining his ability to fight. He's even compared to the Corellian multipede.
Chekhov's Skill: Early in the novel, Obi-Wan uses the Force to force Grievous' hands to open and drop his and Anakin's lightsabers. During the climactic duel on Mustafar, he uses the same trick against Anakin.
Contemplative Boss: Palpatine has this pose during the book's first office conversation between him and Anakin. Even includes him opening the conversation by telling Anakin to look upon the city.
Cowardly Lion: The novelization compromises between Grievous' two canonical portrayals as a Hero Killer or a Dirty Coward, by making him a very dangerous fighter who nonetheless has a healthy respect for his own skin. He'd rather run than fight, but when cornered, as he eventually is by Obi-Wan, he is a match for nearly any member of the order.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: In a deleted scene and the novelization, as well as subtly implied in the movie itself, the Clone Troops, after betraying Obi-Wan on Sidious' command, sent some drones down to search for Obi-Wan's body just to make absolutely sure he had in fact died in the fall. Obi-Wan uses the Force to trick a nearby creature to eat them.
Lieutenant Commander Needa sees through Grievous' attempt to bluff him pretty easily.
When Sidious abandons him to be killed, Dooku realizes that all his accomplishments, victories, and plans amount to nothing because he was being bred for one sole purpose: Anakin's first murder.
In his duel against Sidious, Yoda finally breaks through the cloud of the dark side of the Force, only to realize that he and all Jedi are utterly powerless against the Sith, because the Sith have evolved to the future and the Jedi haven't. He escapes with his life, but knowing he can never hope to stop Sidious.
"Only my pride [is wounded]", Yoda said, and meant it, though Bail could not possibly understand how deep that wound went, nor how it bled. "Only my pride."
Anakin's final scene where he's been assembled into Darth Vader, and is informed that he killed Padme. He tries to shirk off the blame, only to realize there is no one to, and that it was him committing evil all along.
When you could have been thinking about her, instead you were thinking about yourself. It is then that you realize the final cruel irony of the Sith. Because now yourself is all you will ever have.
Engineered Public Confession: Of a sort. Palpatine secretly records the Jedi attempt to arrest him, using it as evidence of the so-called Jedi Rebellion.
Palpatine knows perfectly well about Padme's pregnancy and prophesied death by childbirth, which he reveals to Anakin at the critical moment when he can also offer his solution.
Obi-Wan admits to Padme halfway through the story that he can tell she and Anakin have feelings for each other, and are pretty bad at hiding it. The only reason why he didn't know about their secret marriage and her pregnancy until later is simply because he's too polite to pry further.
Exact Words: As Obi-Wan tells Padme, the prophecy states that the Chosen One will destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force, but it never said anything about whether said Chosen One was actually a Jedi...
Failed a Spot Check: Palpatine owns a sculpture made of solid neuranium, a mineral so dense that most sensors cannot penetrate it. A more powerful gravimetric detector would have shown that one part of the sculpture has just a little less mass than it should, because it contains Sidious's Sith lightsaber.
Fantastic Racism: Count Dooku doesn't like cyborgs or aliens. Low-class, filthy creatures that they both are. Anakin starts picking up on this too, finding the Chagrian Mas Amedda to be hideously repulsive. Both of these are exclusive to the novelization.
Towards the end of the book, it's implied there's an anti-droid feeling beginning to spread around Coruscant.
Go Out with a Smile: Kit Fisto. Anakin finds his severed head is frozen mid-grin, and wonders if Fisto found his own death funny.
Got Volunteered: During a council meeting, Obi-Wan asks which Jedi is to lead the hunt for General Grievous. Everyone else looks straight at him.
Gravity Screw: Much more in the novel than the film, and specifically stated to be the generators going screwy. At one point, it help the heroes against a squad of Droidekkas.
He Who Fights Monsters: Anakin and Obi-Wan fear this of Mace Windu, due to his heavy distrust of Palpatine and advocating for more direct action against him. Towards the end, once the Council starts planning for a possible Sith attack, Mace himself realizes how far he's gone.
Honor Before Reason: Stover's narration gives this as the reason why Obi-Wan doesn't kill the dismembered and burning Anakin:
"In the end, there was only one choice....In the end, he was still Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he was still a Jedi, and he would not murder a helpless man. He would leave it to the will of the Force."
Humble Hero: Stover goes out of his way to describe Obi-Wan as this. It seems that Obi-Wan is the only being who doesn't understand how great a Jedi he is.
I Need to Go Iron My Dog: With all of his lightsabers destroyed by Obi-Wan, Grievous "seemed to suddenly remember that he had an urgent appointment somewhere else. Anywhere else."
The Insomniac: After he had his nightmare of Padme dying in childbirth, Anakin Skywalker swore off sleep and was using the Force to sustain himself. No wonder the guy's about to go Sith.
"The Force could keep him upright, keep him moving, keep him thinking, but it could not give him rest. Not that he wanted rest. Rest might bring sleep. What sleep might bring, he could not bear to know. He remembered Obi-Wan telling him about some poet he'd once read—he couldn't remember the name, or the exact quote, but it was something about how there is no greater misery than to remember, with bitter regret, a time when you were happy."
Ironic Echo: Anakin drops his lightsaber down a turboshaft, thus earning himself another lecture about holding on to the damn thing. This lecture, however, comes when Obi-Wan's saber has been confiscated by Grievous' droids, allowing Anakin to throw Obi-Wan's own words back at him.
Dooku gets one in his mind. Before the duel, he reflects on how he plans to eventually destroy his non-human allies: "Treachery is the way of the Sith." During the fight, when Palpatine starts shouting encouragement to Anakin, Dooku wonders what the hell he's doing before it hits him: "Treachery is the way of the Sith."
Jedi Mind Trick: Stover shows this from the point-of-view of the mind-tricked:
Then the taller of the two Jedi murmured gently that it would be better if he and his counterpart were to stay with the Senator, and really, he seemed like such a reasonable fellow, and it was such a good idea—after all, the Grand Convocation Chamber of the Galactic Senate was so secure there was really no way for a Jedi to cause any trouble for anyone and they could just as easily be apprehended on their way out, and the guard didn't want to seem like an unreasonable fellow himself, and so he found himself nodding and agreeing that yes, indeed, it would be better if the Jedi stayed with the Senator.
Jurisdiction Friction: Discussed in an argument between Anakin Skywalker and the Jedi Council over who commands the Grand Army of the Republic after Palpatine is given oversight of the Jedi Council. When argument breaks out after Anakin clarifies that with his new powers, Palpatine is now Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, Yoda states "Pointless it is, to squabble over jurisdiction."
Mood-Swinger: Anakin can go from loving husband towards Padmé to dangerously angry when she starts wondering out loud about the war.
My God, What Have I Done?: When handling the scene where Vader's just been assembled on a slab, he has a moment of Never My Fault before he realizes that it ishis fault. Then he tries to call on the Force to kill Sidious - but he's lost so much of his power that he can only destroy droids and equipment, he can't even touch Sidious - and in the end he doesn't want to, because now this is all he has left. The same person who caused him to kill his wife, their unborn child, and thoroughly alienate everyone he ever thought of as a friend is now the only person who will understand, and forgive, and care. Anakin - or now, Darth Vader - will spend the rest of his life burning in self-hatred the way he burned on the shores of the river of lava. All alone, with himself.
No Kill Like Overkill: Sidious orders the Clone Troopers to blow up the entire senate building if they have to, just to find Yoda.
Obi-Wan can say nothing more than "Oh" when Mace tells him they've tracked the Sith Lord to 500 Republica, the most exclusive address on Coruscant, meaning it might actually be true that the Sith Lord may be someone within the Senate.
Mace pauses for quite a while when inspecting Anakin through the Force and finding he's become the "shatterpoint" to everything. Moments later, Anakin reveals why: he's just found out that Palpatine is the Sith Lord.
Pragmatic Adaptation: The Novelization was a departure from the other movie novelizations in that it wasn't just a prettied-up transcript of the movie. This was written by Matt Stover, who changed parts of the script given to him and expanded on some points while minimizing others, although George Lucas approved of all of the changes he made.
Rule of Symbolism: After Order 66, Darth Sidious is treated more like a walking shadow than a living being.
Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The book mentions near light speed engagements and shots powerful enough to vaporize small towns. Neither of these descriptions can be seen from the movie.
Second-Person Narration: Stover does this three times, each time starting with "This is how it feels to be Anakin Skywalker..."
The Sociopath: Count Dooku just sees everything as either something he can use, or a potential threat.
The Stars Are Going Out: Early on, Anakin remembers a mission where he and Obi-Wan visited a world orbiting a dead star, made of hypercompacted metals just above absolute zero. Having grown up on a desert world where the twin suns burned him everyday, Anakin is astonished to learn that stars can die. Having also heard legends as a child about dragons that eat suns, he begins to personify his fear as a cold dragon reminding him that "all things die. Even stars burn out..."
Tell Me How You Fight: Stover goes into detail about the fighting styles of Jedi and Sith. The headstrong Anakin uses the powerful Djem So; the aristocratic Dooku favors the elegant Makashi; the peaceful Obi-Wan has mastered the defensive Soresu; tiny Yoda uses Ataro gymnastics against larger foes; uber-badass Mace Windu is the only master of the dangerous Vaapad, which taps into one's inner darkness without the user going over the edge (hopefully).
This Is Gonna Suck: Obi-Wan thinks to himself "Oh, oh this is bad" when Anakin grabs both his arms and starts to crush them in their duel on Mustafar.
Villainous Breakdown: Dooku's starts when he realizes he underestimated Obi-Wan and Anakin and culminates in him begging for his life when Palpatine's Uriah Gambit becomes all too clear to him. This part was removed for the movie, since Christopher Lee thought it was out of character, so Anakin just executes him without Dooku saying a word.
Xanatos Gambit: The chapter Death on Utapau lovingly details the things that must be part of such a trap before Obi-Wan goes to confront Grievous. After he wins, the narration explains how it was still a perfect trap, since the bait and the killer - Grievous - was going to need disposing of soon and the true purpose of this trap, the one that made the Jedi lose the moment he stepped in, was having him not be on Coruscant at a pivotal moment.