Literature: Revenge of the Sith
The dark is generous, and it is patient.
The dark can be patient, because the slightest drop of rain will cause those seeds to sprout.
The rain will come, and the seeds will sprout, for the dark is soil in which they grow, and it is the clouds above them, and it waits behind the star that gives them light.
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, but, like other novelizations of the films, any material expanding upon the events of the film or contradicting the film is not considered canon following the announcement of "Star Wars
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. And everyone."
- 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.
- Arc Words:
- "The dark is patient."
- "This is how it feels to be 'X'"
- "All things die. Even stars burn out."
- 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.
Gunray: The war...The war is over—Lord Sidious promised—he promised we would be left in peace...
Anakin: His transmission was garbled. He promised you would be left in pieces.
- Obi-Wan's "So uncivilized" line after he kills Grievous is also interpreted as one, in contrast to the film where the line seems to be referring to the blaster Obi-Wan just used.
- Brick Joke: The Noodle Incident on Cato Neimoidia that Anakin and Obi-Wan discuss on Coruscant is brought up again between Obi-Wan and Commander Cody just before the Battle of Utapau.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Palpatine states that Darth Plagueis was his master, who he then murdered as casually as though he were saying what he had for lunch that day.
- Call Forward:
- 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.
- Continuity Nod: The novelization nods often to the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and not just to Stover's Mace Windu book Shatterpoint. In conversation with Anakin Palpatine mentions the worlds of Corellia, called the Five Brothers. Various EU adventures Anakin and Obi-Wan have been on get mentioned. And he never appears in person, but the powerful Corellian senator Garm Bel Iblis is part of the proto-Rebellion. Asajj Ventress is also mentioned once or twice.
- 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.
- Despair Event Horizon:
- 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.
- Subverted when Mace Windu is told that Palpatine is Darth Sidious, and the whole Republic and the war is under the control of the Sith. He first despairs, having idolized the Republic as the ideal to which he fights for, but then decides to deal with the Sith Lord and so regains his resolve.
- 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.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Anakin reacts this way to Palpatine's manipulations at first. He's so utterly convinced that Palpatine is trustworthy that he can only think he's joking whenever he starts praising the Sith. More than once, he cautions Palpatine not to say this in front of the Jedi.
- Engineered Public Confession: Of a sort. Palpatine secretly records the Jedi attempt to arrest him and very subtly edits the data, using it as evidence of the so-called Jedi Rebellion.
- Everyone Can See It
- 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.
- Evil Is Burning Hot: How Obi-Wan senses Anakin in The Force just before their lightsaber duel.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: How Anakin senses Dooku in The Force. Goes against his expectations that Evil Is Burning Hot.
- 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.
- Fake Defector: Bail Organa tells Yoda and Obi-Wan that he's going to be this, appearing to support The Empire while really part of La Résistance.
- 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.
- Field Promotion: After Grievous kills the senior gunnery officer, he immediately congratulates the junior officer on his promotion. The poor guy can't even stammer out a complete sentence.
- 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 droidekas, as their personal shields interpret the floor as an obstacle when knocked over, and thus burn up all their power trying to disintegrate the floor.
- 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.
- Heroic BSOD: During the meeting with the Senators against Palpatine's increasing power grab, Padme asks if she could discuss the matter with a Jedi she trusts. She meant to be referring to Anakin, but to her surprise instead finds she's thinking of Obi-Wan. The realization that she doesn't trust her own husband with this confidential matter fills her with guilt.
- 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 Am Not Left-Handed: Dooku's duel with Anakin and Obi-Wan aboard the Invisible Hand goes this way. The two Jedi deliberately use simple styles to lure Dooku into a false sense of security, then suddenly switch to their true styles mid-duel, surprising him and causing Dooku to tire. While the film depicts Dooku as easily dueling them both as before, by contrast in the book Dooku is nearly outmatched and only barely manages to regain the upper hand by knocking out Obi-Wan.
- 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.
- This then leads to a Brick Joke when Obi-Wan drops his lightsaber on Utapau and is glad Anakin isn't there to make sure he doesn't live it down.
- 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.
- Obi-Wan also uses it on Utapau to help him secure a dragonmount.
- 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."
- La Résistance: Bail Organa and Mon Mothma begin to form it.
- Manipulative Bastard: Palpatine's ability to convince Anakin to his way of thinking are given a lot of focus.
- Mistaken for Cheating: Anakin thinks this of Padme and Obi-Wan, courtesy of Palpatine's insinuations.
- 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 is his 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.
- Narrative Profanity Filter:
"Bail Organa was a man not given to profanity, but when he caught a glimpse of the source of that smoke from the pilot's chair of his speeder, the curse it brought to his lips would have made a Corellian dockhand blush."
- No Kill Like Overkill: Sidious orders the Clone Troopers to blow up the entire senate building if they have to, just to find Yoda.
- Oh, Crap:
- Count Dooku gets two major ones during the lightsaber duel. The first is when he realizes that Anakin and Obi-Wan have been holding back their true fighting styles. The second is when he realizes that Darth Sidious has turned on him.
- 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.
- Only Sane Man: Obi-Wan in spades, especially when he spells out to the Jedi Council exactly why ordering Anakin to spy on Palpatine is a very bad idea. Naturally, they don't listen to him.
- 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.
- Purple Prose: Stover does a lot of this, but it's awesome.
- 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..."
- Secret Keeper: The novel makes it clear that Anakin considers Palpatine to be this:
The Supreme Chancellor has been family to Anakin: always there, always caring, always free with advice and unstinting aid. A sympathetic ear and a kindly, loving, unconditional acceptance of Anakin exactly as he is—the sort of acceptance Anakin could never get from another Jedi. Not even from Obi-Wan. He can tell Palpatine things he could never share with his Master.
He can tell Palpatine things he can't even tell Padme.
- The Sociopath: Count Dooku just sees everything as either something he can use, or a potential threat. This is in contrast to how many in the Republic view him as an Anti-Villain, nobly principled while on the wrong side.
- 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..."
- Stone Wall: Discussed when Obi-Wan is commanded to kill General Grievous. Kenobi feels that his 90% defense Soresu is not as powerful as Mace Windu's Vaapad or Yoda's Ataro, but Windu explains it's the opposite. Both Windu and Yoda's techniques are to compensate for their weaknesses (Windu's internal darkness and Yoda's age and lack of height) while Soresu, as defense focused as it is, just suits Obi-Wan's personality and has no real weakness. Sure enough, when Kenobi duels Grevious, the cyborg gets frustrated at how Obi-Wan is countering every single one of his moves and starts getting more aggressive... and consequently more sloppy, letting Obi-Wan slice off two of his hands.
- Suddenly Shouting:
"Here—" The Chancellor rummaged around within his desk for a moment, then brought forth a document reader. "Do you know what this is?"
Anakin recognized the seal Padme had placed on it. "Yes, sir—that's the Petition of the Two Thousand—"
"No, Anakin! No!" Palpatine slammed the document reader on his desktop hard enough to make Anakin jump. "It is a roll of traitors."
- Talk to the Fist: How Grievous deals with Nemoidians who get on his nerves.
- 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 (which for him is almost everyone); 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.
- Title Drop
The Clone Wars have always been, in and of themselves, from their very inception, the revenge of the Sith. They were irresistible bait. They took place in remote locations, on planets that belonged, primarily, to "somebody else." They were fought by expendable proxies. And they were constructed as a win-win situation. The Clone Wars were the perfect Jedi trap. By fighting at all, the Jedi lost.
- Try Not to Die: First principle of Jedi combat: survive. At one point, Obi-Wan reflects on how often Anakin seems to forget this, particularly since Anakin's in the middle of one of his crazier stunts.
- 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.
- We Do the Impossible: It's explicitly stated that Anakin stands out in this regard, even for a Jedi. Obi-Wan even reflects on this at one point: "But for Anakin Skywalker, the completely impossible had an eerie way of being merely difficult."
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: While Palpatine is held hostage, many of the CIS leaders express confusion at why they're not allowed to kill him, especially Grievous. Their orders not to kill Palpatine come from Sidious... which of course means they come from Palpatine himself.
- 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 anyway 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.
- Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Obi-Wan calls Boga "she", and asks the handler if that's the right term, but the Utai varatycl handler doesn't understand him. Kenobi thus decides to go on with calling Boga "she" until proven otherwise. (Other EU material confirms that Boga was indeed female.)