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Literature / Revenge of the Sith

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The dark is generous, and it is patient.
It is the dark that seeds cruelty into justice, that drips contempt into compassion, that poisons love with grains of doubt.
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.
The dark's patience is infinite.
Eventually, even stars burn out.

Continuing the tradition of pre-released Star Wars novelizations, Matt Stover, author of other Star Wars Legends 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 in the present tense and three times from the second-person perspective and makes both the action and non-action events highly psychological.

Unusually for a novelization, it frequently references other Legends works, 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. This, combined with Stover's rich writing and the book's insights into the characters and their motivations, means that many fans consider the book a superior work to the film; it's earned praise even from known detractors of the prequel trilogy. However, like the other novelizations of the Star Wars films, any material expanding upon the events of the film or contradicting the film is considered to be in the Alternate Continuity of Star Wars Legends following the Continuity Reboot of 2014.

In addition to being the novelization of the third part of the Prequel Trilogy, Revenge of the Sith is also the center of the unofficial "Dark Lord" trilogy, continuing the story begun in Labyrinth of Evil and concluded in Dark Lord—The Rise of Darth Vader, both by James Luceno. Together, the trilogy acts as the unofficial end to the original Clone Wars multimedia project that began following Attack of the Clones in 2002, though none of the three novels are branded as such.

Not to be confused with the junior novelization of Revenge of the Sith (written by Patricia C. Wrede), although that is a good read in its own right.

In addition to tropes inherited from the film, this book includes examples of:

  • 100% Heroism Rating: Anakin and Obi-Wan, which is how Palpatine wants it.
    From the beginning of the Clone Wars, the phrase Kenobi and Skywalker has become a single word. They are everywhere. HoloNet features of their operations against the Separatist enemy have made them the most famous Jedi in the galaxy.
  • Academy of Evil: Count Dooku believes that Palpatine’s ultimate plan is to form a galaxy-wide Sith Order like that of the Jedi.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Minor example with Kit Fisto. In the movie, Kit Fisto blocks three strikes before going down in seconds, before Anakin even flies off. Here, he's still alive when Anakin lands the speeder and dies between when Anakin lands and when he arrives.
    • Palpatine himself is presented as being far more formidable than in the film. His duel with Mace gets far more description, with Mace's dialogue indicating a draw would have been the best he could have hoped for if he weren't unconsciously drawing on the fear of the newly-arrived Anakin. Also, in stark contrast to trying to flee in the movie, he's openly delighted he gets to kill Yoda himself when the Grand Master arrives - here, the duel also ends in outright victory for Sidious when one of his lightning blasts knocks Yoda into the depths of the Senate, rather than losing control of it as in the movie.
    • Palpatine’s use of mind games in combat is also played up in the novel, which depicts him as using psychological tricks to take down 2 of the 4 Jedi Masters who tried to arrest him. Palpatine ignites his lightsaber at the same time as the Jedi, but he keeps it hidden behind his desk so the Jedi don’t even know he has it. He then presents himself as a tired old man helplessly screaming at the “Jedi traitors” while shaking an empty fist at them. He then asks Saesee Tiin, one of the two Jedi who are right in front of his desk, to read his mind. When Tiin relaxes to do so, Palpatine’s lightsaber comes “hurtling” from behind his desk and beheads Tiin whose “head bounced when it hit the floor”, before stabbing Agen Kolar in the forehead.
  • Adaptational Explanation:
    • Stover provides an additional reason for why Anakin is so pissed about not being named a Jedi Master: because the promotion would've allowed him to access restricted holocrons in the Archives, and those holocrons have information that he thinks can help him save Padmé.
    • He also provides a deeper explanation for Anakin's questionable and often paranoid behavior and decision-making — Anakin sees the vision of Padmé dying every time he sleeps, and so he swears off sleep entirely, using the Force to (barely) sustain himself. He makes such poor decisions because he's suffering from Exhaustion-Induced Idiocy, physically not in the right state of mind to make more well-informed decisions.
    • And as for Anakin's paranoid belief that Obi-Wan turned Padmé against him: Stover includes lines of dialogue in which Palpatine insinuates that the two of them are having an affair; when Anakin stops by the apartment shortly thereafter, he senses Force-echoes of them sitting on the couch together, seemingly too close for a casual chat. Once Padmé shows up on Mustafar with Obi-Wan having tagged along, Anakin puts two and two together in the worst possible way, not accepting that Obi-Wan stowed away without Padmé's knowledge.
    • More detail is given into why Yoda decides to separate Luke and Leia. Not only does this make them harder to find, but Yoda specifically does not want them trained from birth, having concluded from his defeat by Sidious and communion with Qui-Gon's spirit that the old Jedi way was flawed. Additionally, Threepio is more open about wanting to tell Leia all about her parents, prompting Bail's order to have his memory wiped.
    • Padmé's medical status is also given a few fixes.
      • Nobody knew she was having twins because Padmé herself asked her medical droid to keep the baby's sex a surprise, and it apparently took that overly literally.
      • Padmé doesn't die of a "broken heart" (although that certainly doesn't help), but because Anakin/Vader's attempted murder of her by Force-Choke caused internal injuries that the medical droids in question missed because they weren't designed to work on humans, and under the circumstances it wasn't safe to bring her to any doctor that was.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Dooku was always a villain, but in the movies, he's generally presented as Affably Evil (or at least Faux Affably Evil) and as a Man of Wealth and Taste. Here, Dooku is openly racist against aliens, a quality that's exclusive to this novel. See also Adaptational Villainy.
    • In the movie, Anakin stoically and silently cuts down all of the Separatists. Here, he takes exceptional glee in the matter, spouting degrading and sarcastic comments to his victims.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the novelization it implied that as a slave Anakin was frequently beaten by Watto, and that anger comes out in his fight with Dooku. In the previous movies and other material, Watto was depicted as stern but surprisingly kind as far as slave owners go, especially compared to Anakin's former master Gardulla the Hutt who would be the kind of person to do what Watto is described as doing. Anakin was always on good terms with him, saying he had a prior owner who was violent towards him and his mother, and Watto even held off on selling Shmi until Cliegg Lars made a bid in order to free her.
    • Dooku's ultimate ambition is revealed to be the creation of a human-centric Galactic Empire, and this is implied to be what Sidious got him on board with. This is likely a Call-Forward since that's exactly the sort of empire Sidious would go on to create, but nowhere else in the entire Star Wars mythos, Legends or Canon, hints that Dooku had any such prejudice or goal. In fact, his characterization here as a xenophobe flat-out contradicts previous aspects of his character, such as his former devotion to his master Yoda and the many non-human friendships and alliances he had as both a Jedi and a Sith Lord (including his Dark Acolytes, several of which were either Human Alien or downright non-human). Whether all of this was feigned or he became a racist only from some point onwards (likely when he fell to the Dark Side) is never clarified. Another small deviation is this book describes Dooku as a solipsist, while previous books at least depicted his idealism and relationship with Yoda as genuine, to a point.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In Anakin and Obi-Wan’s duel with Dooku in the film, Dooku is seemingly in control the entire time until Anakin overpowers him. In the book, Anakin and Obi-Wan are able to tire Dooku out by switching mid-battle from simple sword styles to more complicated ones, and Dooku only narrowly regains the upper hand by knocking out Obi-Wan. Then when alone with Anakin, Dooku realizes midway through their duel that Anakin has become stronger than he is and that he's doomed.
  • Adapted Out:
    • All of Yoda's scenes on Kashyyyk are excised; he is only seen there via holoconference in the Jedi Temple. By extension, Chewbacca, Tarfful, and the rest of the Wookiee army are not shown. Instead of covering Yoda's escape, the viewpoint is of Senator Organa and his crew picking him up, wondering what sort of life-form they're reading in the weird little Wookiee escape pod they found.
    • Order 66 as a whole is described more generally in the novel, and so the deaths of Ki-Adi Mundi, Aayla Secura, Plo Koon, and Stass Allie are not explicitly shown, unlike the film.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Dooku, when Anakin has him (literally) disarmed and at double-bladepoint. Word of God says that this was originally meant to be in the movie as well, but Christopher Lee objected, as it would be too undignified. Not that it's at all effective.
    Dooku: Chancellor, please! Please, you promised me immunity! We had a deal! Help me!
    Palpatine: A deal only if you released me. Not if you used me as bait to kill my friends.
  • 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.
  • And I Must Scream: The book makes no bones about how hellish Darth Vader's existence is after his reconstruction. Even breathing hurts, and he can't slow down or stop it because he doesn't have lungs anymore.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Downplayed, but when Mace learns that Dooku is dead, he almost smiles, knowing that without Dooku, the Confederacy will collapse.
  • And This Is for...: During the final stage of his fight with Dooku, Anakin uses his previous sufferings as fuel for his attacks.
    When Count Dooku flies at him, blade flashing, Watto's fist cracks out from Anakin's childhood to knock the Sith Lord tumbling back.
    When with all the power that the dark side can draw from throughout the universe, Dooku hurls a jagged fragment of the durasteel table, Shmi Skywalker's gentle murmur I knew you would come for me, Anakin smashes it aside.
  • Angry Fist-Shake: Palpatine does this when confronted by Mace and his team, giving "the perfect image of a tired, frightened old man."
  • Arc Words:
    • "The dark is generous, and it 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 realizes he's killed all of them.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Invoked in-universe when Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Mace meet to discuss the Palpatine situation and his impending constitutional authority to disband the Jedi Order. Yoda fiercely opposes Mace's proposal to move openly to depose Palpatine, arguing instead that they need to be cautious and should focus instead on gathering evidence to expose Sidious first. Yoda fears that moving openly and in haste is exactly what the Sith Lord's trying to get the Jedi to do: Launch a coup attempt that, even if justified, will turn the Senate and public against them and could ultimately destroy the Order. Subsequent events tragically vindicate all of Yoda's concerns.
    • For the novelization, Stover reworks the Jedi's hunt for Grievous and Yoda's presence on Kashyyyk as one. By putting all their focus on Grievous, the Jedi hope Sidious will become desperate and move openly (since Palpatine had just publicly stated the Clone Wars wouldn't end as long as Grevious was alive). Yoda's departing Coruscant is to give the illusion the Jedi are short-staffed and to be bait for Sidious (Mace also proposes joining him, but Yoda points out both of them leaving at the same time would be a Contrived Coincidence and make Sidious suspicious). Finally, with Anakin as the Chancellor's liaison, they'll use him to feed all this misinformation to Palpatine (and which Sidious will then 'discover'). Of course, the flaw of this plan is that Jedi had no way of knowing that Palpatine was Sidious, or that his endgame might account for (and even require) the Jedi pulling this exact Batman Gambit...
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Anakin becoming Darth Vader is presented as this (albeit in his heart rather than his brain), with the newly anointed Vader confronting the "dead star dragon" (the personification of his inner turmoil and anxiety) and crushing it with dark power, grinding it to dust under his heel.
    I am Darth Vader, and you— You are nothing at all.
  • Becoming the Mask: Anakin finally loses his dread and becomes 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.
  • Beneath Suspicion: Having tracked Darth Sidious to the vicinity of the Chancellor's residence in Labyrinth of Evil, Mace Windu discounts Palpatine himself as a suspect because he already rules the galaxy—not realizing that revenge upon the Jedi is also a goal of the Sith.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The narration goes out of its way to describe Anakin landing what's left of the Invisible Hand as this.
    This is, put simply, impossible. It can't be done.
    He's going to do it anyway.
    Because he is Anakin Skywalker, and he doesn't believe in impossible.
  • Big Bad: Palpatine/Darth Sidious.
  • Blade Spam:
    • Grievous’s electronic reflexes let him swing a lightsaber faster than the eye can see. When he brings out all four lightsabers on Utapau, he’s described as making twelve-to-eighteen attacks per second—not that it helps him against Obi-Wan’s impregnable defense.
    • When Mace and Palpatine duel, their blades move so fast that even Anakin can't keep up.
  • Blind Jump: After escaping Utapau, Obi-Wan makes a series of random jumps that leave him in the middle of nowhere. It takes a few minutes for him to figure out where he is so he can decide where to go next.
  • Body-Count Competition: During the opening battle, Anakin bets Obi-Wan that he can blast twice as many vulture droids. And he promises that he won't let R2 cheat this time.
  • 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 Vader kills one of the leaders, he spouts off a one-liner. Some of them technically fall under Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
      Gunray: The war ... The war is over—Lord Sidious promised—he promised we would be left in peace...
      Vader: 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.
  • Bookends: The three short segments of Second-Person Narration each begin and end with This is how it feels to be Anakin Skywalker—for now, right now, and forever.
  • Boring, but Practical: How Soresu is described. It's nowhere near as flashy as some of the styles used by others (such as Mace Windu's Vaapad or Yoda's Ataru), but being almost entirely defensive, it makes Obi-Wan virtually invincible against Grievous.
    There is an understated elegance in Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber technique, one that is quite unlike the feel one might get from the other great swordsbeings of the Jedi Order. He lacks entirely the flash, the pure bold élan of an Anakin Skywalker; there is nowhere in him the penumbral ferocity of a Mace Windu or a Depa Billaba nor the stylish grace of a Shaak Ti or a Dooku, and he is nothing resembling the whirlwind of destruction that Yoda can become.
    He is simplicity itself.
    That is his power.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Yoda and Mace's argument (with Obi-Wan serving as mediator) after the Jedi get wind of Palpatine's new amendment which will allow him to legally disolve the Jedi Order. Mace wants to move now to remove Palpatine from power, arguing they can't afford to wait any longer while Sidious has their government in his grip and and could bring down the Order. Yoda counters that they need to move carefully and focus on finding Sidious first. Yoda is (rightly) worried that moving in haste is exactly what Sidious is trying to get them to do and that the PR backlash might end up destroying them anyway. Obi-Wan convinces them to Take a Third Option: focus all their efforts on Grievous, which would (hopefully) draw Sidious out of hiding so that the Jedi can catch him and finally end the war.
  • Brain Bleach: A Tear Jerker example when Obi-Wan views the holo-recording of the attack on the Jedi Temple.
    Obi-Wan, staring, wished that he had the strength to rip his eyes out of his head.
    But even blind, he would see this forever.
    He would see his friend, his student, his brother, turn and kneel in front of a black-cloaked Lord of the Sith.
    His head rang with a silent scream.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Dooku starts the duel supremely confident that no Jedi can ever be a match for him; that confidence starts to crack when he realizes that his opponents (especially Anakin) are far more powerful than he gave them credit for, and it completely shatters when Anakin slices his hands off. What's left of his confidence disintegrates as it finally sinks in how utterly expendable he's been the whole time.
    • Yoda suffers this at Sidious's hands. He admits that he had grown arrogant and inflexible, and the Jedi complacent, making their defeat against the Sith inevitable.
  • 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.
  • Broken Pedestal: Mace's feelings about Palpatine, even before learning the truth about Sidious.
    Mace: The Chancellor loves power. If he has any other passion, I have not seen it.
    Obi-Wan: I recall that not so long ago, you were something of an admirer of his.
    Mace: Things change.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Palpatine states that Darth Plagueis was his master, whom he then murdered, as casually as though he were saying what he had for lunch that day.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: After Palpatine tells Anakin about The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise, Anakin wants to know what happened to Plagueis's apprentice, and Palpatine tells him that he went on to become "the greatest Dark Lord the Sith have ever known." As he reveals later, of course, it's no mere legend, and he's talking about himself.
  • Call-Back: Obi-Wan says to Mace that, as a very, very wise Jedi once said to him, "We don't have to win. All we have to do is fight."
  • Call-Forward:
    • In the opening battle, Anakin and Obi-Wan lead the tri-fighters pursuing them through a trench in a larger enemy ship. Anakin's call sign for the space battle is also Red Five according to Odd Ball, the same as Luke's will be during the Battle of Yavin.
    • Captain Needa appears as a mere lieutenant commander during the battle of Coruscant, trying to parley with General Grievous. It predictably fails. In a harsher way, he also provides information for the rescue team sent to retrieve Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Palpatine from the wreckage of their ship, thus helping the man who will kill him twenty years later.
    • Obi-Wan, facing possible defeat at the hands of General Grievous, reflects that he always expected Anakin would be with him when he died.
    • Bail Organa protests to Padmé that her idea of a rebellion could take twenty years. He's not far off; A New Hope takes place nineteen years later.
    • A subtle one: Yoda muses that the Jedi cannot hope to defeat the Sith as they are now in open combat. As it turns out, when Palpatine is defeated, it will be through The Power of Love instead.
  • Caught on Tape: When the Jedi come to "arrest" him, Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious activates a recording and puts on a dumb show, just enough to make a great performance for playback at the first Empire Day before the Imperial Senate. Then he smiles, winks, and lightsabers the device to the point that it can no longer keep recording, declaring "That's enough of that."
  • 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 Gun: Just before Palpatine reveals to Anakin that he is Darth Sidious, Anakin finds him staring at an abstract sculpture in his office—the sculpture that holds within it his Sith lightsaber.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Early in the novel, Obi-Wan uses the Force to force Grievous's hands to open and drop his and Anakin's lightsabers. During the climactic duel on Mustafar, he uses the same trick against Anakin's mechanical hand.
  • The Chessmaster: Palpatine is this trope. As Dooku himself muses:
    [...]Sidious was also a political manipulator so subtle that his abilities might be considered to dwarf even the power of the dark side itself.
  • Children Raise You: The novel expounds on a teacher-student variant:
    It is a truism of the Jedi Order that a Jedi Knight's education truly begins only when he becomes a Master: that everything important about being a Master is learned from one's student. [...] And Obi-Wan Kenobi knows, too, that to have lived his life without being Master to Anakin Skywalker would have left him a different man. A lesser man.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The novelization offers a better explanation (that is to say, an explanation) of how Palpatine kills three of the best swordsmen in the galaxy without breaking a sweat. When the Jedi Masters come to arrest him, he pretends to be a helpless politician, terrified of four armed men threatening him for no reason. The moment their certainty falters, he's across the room and one's head is bouncing off the floor, while another staggers away with a hole drilled through his forehead. He may be old, but he's a Master of the Dark Side.
  • Contemplative Boss:
    • Palpatine has this pose during the book's first office conversation between him and Anakin, including opening the conversation by telling Anakin to look upon the city.
    • Grievous also assumes this pose at one point while on Utapau.
    • Inverted early on when Dooku does this while talking to Palpatine/Sidious.
  • Continuity Nod: The novelization nods often to the Star Wars Legends, 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 Legends adventures Anakin and Obi-Wan have been on are referred to. Though he never appears in person, the powerful Corellian senator Garm Bel Iblis is part of the proto-Rebellion. Asajj Ventress is also mentioned a few times.
  • Continuity Snarl: a few minor details, but surprising considering how much the novel references other EU books. In one scene Palpatine attempts to sow doubt about Darth Sidous' existence in Anakin, suggesting there is no evidence of his existence and he could be a fabrication, and Anakin doesn't bother to bring up the holographic recording he and Obiwan found of Sidous in the preceding book, Labryinth of Evil. The opening chapters of the book also suggest that the republic is losing the war, when the previous book suggested the exact opposite.
  • Cool Old Uncle: A variation of sorts. Obi-Wan uses this trope to describe Palpatine's longtime friendship with Anakin; he outright compares Palpatine to a kindly old uncle doting on his favorite nephew. Of course, this is also exactly why the Council's always been uncomfortable with Palpatine's relationship with Anakin (and they couldn't exactly do much about it given Palpatine is Chancellor).
  • Cowardly Lion: The novelization compromises between Grievous's 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.
  • Dead Man Walking: Once Anakin stops fighting the fear and anger in his heart and starts actually using them, the narration makes it clear that Dooku's a dead man; despite keeping up the duel as well as he can, even he realizes it.
    This is the death of Count Dooku:
    A starburst of clarity blossoms within Anakin Skywalker's mind, when he says to himself Oh. I get it, now and discovers that the fear within his heart can be a weapon, too.
    It is that simple, and that complex.
    And it is final.
    Dooku is dead already. The rest is mere detail.
    Even his knowledge of the Force has become a joke.
    It is this knowledge that shows him his death, makes him handle it, turn it this way and that in his mind, examine it in detail like a black gemstone so cold it burns.
  • Death Glare: When C-3PO tells Obi-Wan about how Anakin saved the Republic from the Jedi Rebellion, Obi-Wan looks "fully prepared to dismantle him bolt by bolt."
  • 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 cultivated 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 knows 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; he's been rebuilt as Darth Vader, and is informed that he killed Padmé. He tries to shirk off the blame, only to realize there is no one to, and that it was him committing evil all along.
      You killed her because, finally, when you could have saved her, when you could have gone away with her, when you could have been thinking about her, you were thinking about yourself...
      It is in this blazing moment that you finally understand the trap of the dark side, the final cruelty of the Sith—because now yourself is all you will ever have.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Mace and the other senior Jedi were so convinced that Palpatine was being influenced and/or controlled by Darth Sidious that they never considered (if anything, were incapable of considering) the possibility, however remote and unlikely, that Palpatine might actually be Sidious.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: Anakin's fears and inner turmoil are anthropomorphized in the form of a dragon; throughout Anakin's interior monologues, we hear the dragon taunt him, and when Anakin becomes Darth Vader, he imagines himself slaying the dragon...and then he imagines the dragon coming back on Mustafar.
    Yet it was as though when he had crushed the dragon under his boot, the dragon had sunk venomed fangs into his heel.
    Now its poison chilled him to the bone.
  • Dramatic Irony: So, so much involving the fact that Palpatine is actually Darth Sidious, and neither the heroes nor most of Sidious' lackeys have any idea.
    • When Anakin and Obi-Wan fight Dooku, Anakin mentions that they found out information about Sidious and that he'll be soon caught by the Jedi. Dooku says "Really?", and is "terribly, terribly tempted to wink at Palpatinenote , but of course that would never do."
    • When the duel goes against him, Dooku decides to just kill Anakin and Obi-Wan, reasoning that "Sidious could come up with a new plan better than he could a new apprentice." What Dooku doesn't realize yet is that Sidious's plan has always been about replacing Dooku as his apprentice.
    • When Grievous is forced to abandon the Invisible Hand after it sustains critical damage, he reflects that Sidious will not be happy that he abandoned Chancellor Palpatine to death after going through so much effort to capture him, but also feels that the Sith Lord would surely understand the circumstances and forgive him. He is, naturally, completely unaware that Sidious and Palpatine are the same person.
    • Mace tells Obi-Wan that it's been hard to convince Palpatine that a Sith may be among his advisors, because Palpatine may not even believe the Sith exist. Also, while discussing all the possible suspects for being Sidious, he rules out Palpatine himself, reasoning that he already rules the galaxy. He doesn't quite comprehend that Palpatine wants absolute power.
    • Later, Anakin and Palpatine are speaking about the Council's hunt for Darth Sidious. Palpatine argues that even if Sidious is real, he might well not be as evil as the Jedi make him out to be. When Anakin has a Dude, Not Funny! moment (see below), Palpatine agrees that he's right, with this comment.
      "After all—" [Palpatine] offered a tired, sadly ironic smile. "—what are the chances of an actual Sith Lord ever walking through that door?"
    • And for another one involving Palpatine: Anakin considers a list of Senators who may be conspiring against Palpatine and notes how several of them are considered incorruptible. He then entertains a thought about them that would actually apply to Palpatine:
      A Senator might carefully construct a reputation, appearing to all the galaxy as honest and upright and honorable, all the while holding the rotten truth of himself so absolutely secret that no one could sense his evil until he had so much power that it was too late to stop him...
    • When Anakin thinks about his vision, he muses that there were cases when attempts to prevent catastrophes mentioned in prophesies did cause them and he can actually be the cause of Padme's death by trying to prevent it, only to conclude it's impossible.
  • invokedDude, 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 such things in front of the Jedi.
  • The Dreaded:
    • With loving detail in the first few chapters, Stover establishes General Grievous as this to the galaxy at large.
    • Sidious, in turn, is this to Grievous:
      Dooku: Matters are so because Lord Sidious wishes them so; should you desire to press your objections, please feel at liberty to take them up with him.
      Grievous: I, ah, don't believe that will be necessary...
  • Dying Smirk: On Kit Fisto's face.
    On Palpatine's desk lay the head of Kit Fisto, faceup, scalp-tentacles unbound in a squid-tangle across the ebonite. His lidless eyes stared blindly at the ceiling. Anakin remembered him in the arena at Geonosis, effortlessly carving his way through wave after wave of combat droids, on his lips a gently humorous smile as though the horrific battle were only some friendly jest. His severed head wore that same smile.
    Maybe he thought death was funny, too.
  • Emphasize EVERYTHING: Many lines of dialogue have frequent use of italics for emphasis.
  • End of an Era: How the prologue describes the coming events.
    This is how twenty-five millennia come to a close. Corruption and treachery have crushed a thousand years of peace. This is not just the end of a republic; night is falling on civilization itself.
    This is the twilight of the Jedi.
    The end starts now.
  • 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.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Until Anakin reveals the truth, the Jedi Council, Mace Windu in particular, believes that Palpatine is merely a (possibly unwitting) puppet of Darth Sidious, rather than the Dark Lord himself.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Okay, "loved one" is stretching it a bit, but Dooku seriously entertains the thought of turning Obi-Wan to the Sith; since Obi-Wan was the apprentice of Dooku's own Padawan, Dooku considers him "practically my grandson." He later dismisses this, however, as "the product of a certain misplaced sentimentality."
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • Palpatine knows perfectly well about Padmé'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 Padmé 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 doesn't know about their secret marriage and her pregnancy until later is simply that he's too polite to pry further, and because Padmé can make Anakin happy when nothing else can.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: The Jedi hunt for Sidious ultimately doesn't benefit much from the discoveries of Labyrinth of Evil. Even without the Jurisdiction Friction with the Chancellor’s Office, the intel the Jedi uncovered during Labyrinth — that Sidious is a bipedal humanoid and has easy accesss to 500 Republica and thus to Papatine –- doesn’t significantly narrow down the field of suspects. There are still far too many possibilities, from aides to Vice-Chancellor Mas Amedda; Mace also wouldn't put it past Sidious to be hiding among Palpatine's Guards. The irony of course is that, by all that same deductive/evidentiary logic, Palpatine should also be considered a suspect, but they’ve written him off as Beneath Suspicion since he already all but rules the galaxy.
  • Evil Evolves: Yoda realizing that the new Sith (as represented by Sidious) are nothing like the old Sith.
    The Sith had changed. The Sith had grown, had adapted, had invested a thousand years' intensive study into every aspect of not only the Force but Jedi lore itself, in preparation for exactly this day. The Sith had remade themselves.
    They had become new.
    While the Jedi—
    The Jedi had spent that same millennium training to refight the last war.
    The new Sith could not be destroyed with a lightsaber; they could not be burned away by any torch of the Force. The brighter his light, the darker their shadow. How could one win a war against the dark, when war itself had become the dark's own weapon?
  • Evil Is Burning Hot:
    • How Obi-Wan senses Anakin in the Force just before their lightsaber duel. Throughout the book, Anakin has thought of his rage as a blast furnace in his heart, and during the climactic duel, Darth Vader lets it out.
    • Even before Anakin's Face–Heel Turn, Dooku can sense how hot the potential for evil burns within him during their duel.
      There was a thermonuclear furnace where [Anakin's] heart should be, and it was burning through the firewalls of his Jedi training. He held the Force in the clench of a white-hot fist. He was half Sith already, and he didn't even know it.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: How Anakin senses Dooku in the Force. Goes against his expectations that Evil Is Burning Hot.
    In the Force, he could feel the focus of Palpatine's eyes: the source of the fear that rolled off him in billows like vapor down a block of frozen air. And he could feel the even colder wave of power, colder than the frost on a mynock's mouth, that slid into the room behind him like an ice dagger into his back.
    Funny, he thought. After Ventress, somehow I always expect the dark side to be hot...
  • Exact Words: Doubles as a subtle Call-Forward. As Obi-Wan tells Padmé, 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...
  • Explosive Instrumentation: The Neimoidians that are not killed by Grievous die when their consoles explode under Republic fire. In the film their fates are mostly unseen, though the film does show the occasional battle-droid snuffing it.
  • 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.
    • This is the fatal mistake Mace makes during his duel with Sidious. He's so focused on Palpatine's Shatterpoint (Anakin) that he never thinks to look for Anakin's (Padme). It ends up costing him his life and seals the fate of the Jedi Order.
  • Fake Defector: As per Padmé's suggestion, Bail Organa tells Yoda and Obi-Wan that he's going to be one, 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, and with Anakin, it's only ever manifested as internal.
    • Towards the end of the book, it's implied there's an anti-droid feeling beginning to spread around Coruscant.
  • Fast-Roping: The clone troops on Utapau, to a greater degree than in the film. The novelization describes them spiraling down from their gunships in the hundreds and alighting on all levels of the sinkhole city.
  • Fearless Fool: Deconstructed and more when it comes to Anakin. The public reveres him as a fearless hero, specifically, "the Hero with No Fear," when Anakin himself is constantly battling his fear in everything he does. Not helping things is that the Jedi Order denounces the very notion of being afraid to lose that around him, never mind his loved ones. The Jedi don't teach him to move past his fear so much as they tell him that he shouldn't be afraid at all which for Anakin is practically impossible. For the Jedi, being fearless isn't seen as any different than being courageous because the Jedi do not regard having attachments as an acceptable behavior. Palpatine, for all his evil, allows Anakin to recognize his emotions instead of denying them which suggests to Anakin that living without fear is unreasonable. Then, when Palpatine finally manipulates Anakin into joining the Dark Side the newly born Vader attempts to finally become "The Hero With No Fear" and it leads to pretty horrific results. Even then, Vader cannot help but start feeling fear later on when the threat of losing his wife hasn't gone away, until Obi-Wan arrives and his anger boils over. This culminates in this trope being reconstructed when the arrogant Vader was overconfident when fighting Obi-Wan. As Vader is ultimately defeated and forced to live in a cybernetic suit he is forced to surrender to fear and become Palpatine's enforcer as he has nothing else left, bringing this trope full circle.
  • 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.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Invoked by Palpatine, who tells Anakin that if Darth Sidious was a real person, he would ask him if he had any power he could use to end the war.
  • 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 Invisible Hand generators going screwy. At one point, it helps 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.
  • Happy Flashback: At the start of Chapter 14, while waiting to meet Palpatine, Anakin remembers being the Poster Boy for the rescue mission and the pride he felt...right before the nightmares started and everything began going to hell.
    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 day when you were happy...
  • 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, Padmé 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, and she sits silently for the rest of the meeting, not objecting as the rest of the Senators reject the idea of bringing in any Jedi.
    • Anakin has one that's much more intense than it is in the film when he reports to Mace Windu that Palpatine is actually Sidious. In the film, he's clearly upset and agitated but still functioning mostly as normal; in the book, however, he's on the verge of a total breakdown.
    • Mace has one in the same scene, where it's revealed that Mace has an attachment, a secret love: he loves the Republic. Hearing that Chancellor Palpatine is a Sith Lord, Mace realizes that the Republic has already lost, already been destroyed, and he's been serving the very evil he thought he was fighting. Mace recovers rather quickly, however.
    • Obi-Wan has to force himself out of one after reuniting with Bail and Yoda on the Tantive IV.
    • He later has a low-key version when fighting Anakin on Mustafar. Obi-Wan has been very good, all through the book, of letting go of all his attachments, even to his own life, but realizes mid-duel that he has an attachment to Anakin that's hampering his performance. Obi-Wan does manage to let it go, as well, but it's something of a struggle.
    • Yoda has one after his fight with Palpatine, realizing that his Jedi Order never had a chance against Palpatine's version of the Sith.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: “When the Force closes a hatch, it opens a viewport.”
  • Honor Before Reason: Stover's narration gives this as the reason why Obi-Wan doesn't Mercy Kill the dismembered and burning Anakin (along with the fact that he can sense Sidious's approach and may not have time to escape):
    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.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Yoda eventually realizes his battle with Sidious is this:
    Finally, he saw the truth.
    This truth: that he, the avatar of light, Supreme Master of the Jedi Order, the fiercest, most implacable, most devastatingly powerful foe the darkness had ever known...
    have it.
    He'd never had it. He had lost before he started.
    He had lost before he was born.
  • Hope Spot: During the Battle of Coruscant, people cheer when the droid attack withdraws from the planet—and then they learn that Palpatine has been abducted.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The novel consistently depicts and refers to Darth Sidious as "the shadow," the terrifying, inexorable manifestation of the dark side of the Force that merely adopts the affable persona of Palpatine.
  • Humble Hero: Stover goes out of his way to describe Obi-Wan as this: "He is modest, centered, and always kind." It seems that Obi-Wan is the only being who doesn't understand how great a Jedi he is—when the Council proposes to send their "most cunning and insightful Master" after Grievous, he has no idea who they mean. He's also surprised when Mace Windu—the man who invented his own form of lightsaber combat—calls him "the master of the classic form. [...] Not a master. The master." Anakin, however, is a subversion, in that he does his best to act, think and feel as a Humble Hero, but is still burning with the ambition and entitlement inside—all ripe for manipulation by Palpatine.
  • Hypocrite: Palpatine makes a fair point that it would be wrong for the Jedi to kill someone without a trial simply for being Sith. This is exactly what he had Anakin do to Dooku.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Dooku's duel with Anakin and Obi-Wan aboard 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 and taunting Anakin into overthinking.
  • I Am the Noun: Sidious warns his newly minted apprentice Darth Vader that he senses a disturbance in the Force, and that though he cannot say exactly what the danger is, it is real and he should be mindful. (It is, in fact, Obi-Wan Kenobi.) Vader responds respectfully enough outwardly, but...
    He got to his feet, and now the sneer was on his lips and in his eyes. "You're the one who should be mindful, my 'Master.' I am a disturbance in the Force."
  • Ideal Hero: Obi-Wan is described as basically the perfect Jedi. Powerful, wise, humble, preferring to negotiate but invincible in combat, he has it all.
  • I Have My Ways: When Mace presents Yoda with a report on an upcoming amendment that will give Palpatine even more power.
    Yoda: This report—from where does it come?
    Mace: The Jedi still have friends in the Senate, for now.
  • 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."
  • I Warned You: After Anakin's disastrous first meeting as Palpatine's representative on the Jedi Council, he vents about the political games to his former Master. A weary Obi-Wan pointedly reminds his former Padawan that he did warn him that relations between the Council and the Chancellor’s Office had become severely strained. Obi-Wan was very explicit about this — and he's now left exasperated that Anakin didn't heed the warnings at all and blindly walked right into this political minefield.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: Anakin thinks he is in a love triangle with Obi-Wan and Padmé. This, like so much else about him, is the result of his rampant paranoia.
  • The Insomniac: After he has his nightmare of Padmé dying in childbirth, Anakin Skywalker swears off sleep and uses 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.
  • Ironically Disabled Artist: After the triple-amputated and immolated Anakin awakens for the first time in the iconic Darth Vader cyborg suit, the narration compares him to "a painter gone blind, a composer gone deaf".
  • 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's 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, though it's only a joke in the Black Comedy sense. 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."
  • It's All About Me: Dooku's interior monologues make it clear that this mentality is standard operating procedure for wielding the power of the Sith.
    He called upon the Force, gathering it to himself and wrapping himself within it. He breathed it in and held it whirling inside his heart, clenching down upon it until he could feel the spin of the galaxy around him.
    Until he became the axis of the Universe.
    This was the real power of the dark side, the power he had suspected even as a boy, had sought through his long life until Darth Sidious had shown him that it had been his all along. The dark side didn't bring him to the center of the universe. It made him the center.
  • It's All My Fault: After retreating from his duel with Sidious, Yoda blames himself and his inflexibility for the Jedi's defeat. Qui-Gon demurs, arguing that it's not entirely due to him.
    Yoda: My failure, this was. Failed the Jedi, I did.
    Qui-Gon: Do not blame yourself, my old friend.
    Yoda: Too old I was. Too rigid. Too arrogant to see that the old way is not the only way. These Jedi, I trained to become the Jedi who had trained me, long centuries ago—but those ancient Jedi, of a different time they were. Changed, has the galaxy. Changed, the Order did not—because let it change, I did not.
    Qui-Gon: More easily said than done, my friend.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Anakin says this word-for-word re his request for R2 to reactivate the turbolift — when it hurtles down the turboshaft where Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Palpatine are hanging on for dear life.
  • 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.
    • He also uses one to escape a pair of seeker droids sent to confirm his death by convincing a nearby Huge Slimy Cave-Monster that the droids are tasty snacks. The monster proceeds to eat them.
  • 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 an 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." (Yoda couldn't be more wrong—Palpatine's gaining direct control over the clones is exactly what allows him to order them to execute Order 66, the order that wipes out almost all of the Jedi.)
  • Just a Machine: Obi-Wan tends to overlook droids, and worries about Anakin's fondness for R2-D2 (another attachment discouraged by the Jedi), correcting Anakin's use of "him" for the droid to "it." Anakin gets back at him about it when R2 saves him from buzz droids during the battle, leading Obi-Wan to reluctantly thank "him."
  • Just Following Orders: This is how the clones feel about carrying out Order 66. They feel no malice or hatred towards their Jedi commanders (which might have given them some warning through the Force) but they have been programmed since before birth to follow any and all orders given to them.
  • Just Toying with Them: Dooku doesn't take Obi-Wan and Anakin at all seriously early in the fight—until they reveal how much stronger they've become. He actually thinks of it as a farce, since (he believes) the goal is for him to kill Obi-Wan before being defeated and arrested by Anakin (as if he could!) and sit out the rest of the war, primed to be Palpatine's right hand when he transforms the Republic into the Empire.
  • Killing Intent: Notably averted re the clones — the narration states that they have no malice towards the Jedi, which is how they catch the Jedi completely off-guard when Order 66 is issued.
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: When Palpatine comes out as a Sith Lord, Anakin is fully prepared to slice him into pieces. Palpatine, to his surprise, offers to let him do just that, knowing damn well that he won't.
    Anakin: You. It's you. It's been you all along! I should kill you. I will kill you!
    Palpatine: For what?
    Anakin: You're a Sith Lord!
    Palpatine: I am. I am also your friend. I am also the man who has always been here for you. I am the man you have never needed to lie to. I am the man who wants nothing from you but that you follow your conscience. If that conscience requires you to commit murder, simply over a ... philosophical difference ... I will not resist. Anakin, when I told you that you can have anything you want, did you think I was excluding my life?
    Anakin: You—you won't even fight—?
    Palpatine: Fight you? But what will happen when you kill me? What will happen to the Republic? What will happen to Padmé?
    Anakin: Padmé ...
    Palpatine: When I die, my knowledge dies with me. Unless, that is, I have the opportunity to teach it ... to my apprentice ...
    Anakin: I ... I don't know what to do ...
    Palpatine: Anakin, let's talk.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The narration goes into depth about why Yoda chose to retreat from his duel with Palpatine, as it has the Grand Master having a epiphany about how stagnant the Jedi have become while the Sith have evolved and grew stronger since the New Sith Wars and the Russan Reformation. Yoda believes that because of this, he never had a chance of winning to begin with.
  • La Résistance: Bail Organa and Mon Mothma begin to form it. Padmé participates in the initial discussions, which increases the tension between her and Anakin as he grows into his position as Palpatine's right-hand man.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Dooku's execution has a measure of this.
    He is reduced to begging for his life, as so many of his victims have. [...] And his begging gains him a share of mercy equal to that which he has dispensed.
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    • When Obi-Wan warns Anakin to be mindful of his training just before their duel with Dooku.
      Heat rose in Anakin's cheeks. "I am not—" your Padawan anymore snarled inside his head, but that was adrenaline talking; he bit back the words and said instead, "—going to let you down, Master. Or Chancellor Palpatine."
    • And later, when Padmé thinks that Anakin has come to visit, but it's actually Obi-Wan.
      "Obi-Wan," she said breathlessly, "has—" She bit off the following something happened to Anakin? How would she explain why this was the first thing out of her mouth?
      "—has See-Threepio offered you anything to drink?"
  • Late to the Realization: It's only when he's on his knees, handless, with Palpatine ordering his death, that it hits Dooku that for years, he's been royally played and nothing more than a pawn in Sidious's game.
    As he looks up into the eyes of Anakin Skywalker for the final time, Count Dooku knows that he has been deceived not just today, but for many, many years. That he has never been the true apprentice. That he has never been the heir to the power of the Sith. He has been only a tool.
  • Leave No Witnesses: When Bail witnesses the clone troopers kill a Padawan, they try to kill him too, and he barely escapes. This is in contrast to the film, where they let him go without much of a fuss.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: On Utapau, after Cody returns Obi-Wan's lightsaber to him, Obi-Wan asks if they can make sure Anakin never hears about this and Cody jokingly asks if he's making it an order.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Not only does his duel with Mace and the others reveal Sidious is a master swordsman good enough to kill three out of four Jedi Masters in seconds and stalemate Mace (who's explicitly second only to Yoda as the Jedi Order's greatest duellist), but he's shown to use the Force to enhance his speed in the fight to the point where even experienced warriors like Windu and the newly arrived Anakin describe watching him fight as little more than a blur.
  • Loophole Abuse: Played for Black Comedy when Mace and the Jedi try to arrest Palpatine. He points out that even if he were a Sith Lord, his religious beliefs are technically a protected civil right under the Republic Constitution.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: After Anakin reveals Sidious' true identity to Mace, he briefs Yoda by Holo-Net and the other Council members on site before they head for the Chancellor's Office. But while the Temple is placed on high alert and goes into lockdown, the rest of the Order is left in the dark about why (and the Order's allies are similarly left out of the loop). This backfires, leaving the Temple Jedi uninformed and ill-prepared when Mace's confrontation fails and Order 66 begins.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Palpatine's ability to convince Anakin to his way of thinking is given a lot of focus.
  • Megaton Punch: At one point while talking to Nute Gunray, Grievous reflects on his desire to "boot the Neimoidian viceroy so high he'd burn up on reentry."
  • Mighty Glacier: By the standards of the Jedi, Anakin's Djem So style sacrifices mobility for strength, which Dooku uses to his advantage in their duel. Anakin is still much faster than he will be as Darth Vader, however.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Anakin thinks this of Padmé and Obi-Wan, courtesy of Palpatine's insinuations.
  • Money Is Not Power: Grievous seems to think so, compared to his cyborg strength.
    Grievous: Don't whine to me about money, Viceroy. I have no interest in it.
    Gunray: You had better, General. It's my money that finances this entire war! It's my money that pays for that body you wear and for those insanely expensive MagnaGuards of yours! It's my money
    Grievous: [holding his fist in Gunray's face] How much use is your money against this?
  • Mood-Swinger: Anakin can go from a loving husband towards Padmé to dangerously angry when she starts wondering out loud about the war. Even before embracing Darth Vader, Anakin exhibits some classic behaviors of an abusive spouse.
  • Morality Chain: One of Dooku's internal monologues has him reflecting that Obi-Wan is this to Anakin. It's why he and Palpatine want him dead — and when that fails, Palpatine goes with Plan B: get him away from Anakin long enough to turn the young Jedi to the Sith.
    Dooku understood: not only would the death of his mentor tip Skywalker's already unstable emotional balance down the darkest of slopes, but it would also remove the greatest obstacle to Skywalker's successful conversion. As long as Kenobi was alive, Skywalker would never be securely in the camp of the Sith; Kenobi's unshakable faith in the values of the Jedi would keep the Jedi blindfold on Skywalker's eyes and the Jedi shackles on the young man's true power.
  • Multiple Narrative Modes: Most of the book is written in the third-person past tense, but on three occasions switches to the second-person present tense.
  • 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, and 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. Forever.
  • 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.
    • One of Grievous' bodyguard droids on the Invisible Hand screeches "some improbable threat regarding its staff and Kenobi's body cavities" while Obi-Wan is busy slicing it to pieces.
  • Neutrality Backlash: Grievous reflects on this while on Utapau.
    Utapau had no interest in the Clone Wars; it had never been a member of the Republic, and had carefully maintained a stance of quiet neutrality.
    Right up until Grievous had conquered it.
    Neutrality, in these times, was a joke; a planet was neutral only so long as neither the Republic nor the Confederacy wanted it. If Grievous could laugh, he would have.
  • No Hero Discount: Averted by Obi-Wan via Jedi Mind Trick. He takes Boga without paying, but apologizes to the dragon-wrangler (who can't understand Basic anyway), pointing out that it's for the purpose of saving the planet.
  • Noodle Incident: In addition to "that business on Cato Neimoidia" from the film (which is fleshed out in Labyrinth of Evil), Anakin realizes that Padmé has been entertaining visitors (the Senators who form the proto-Rebellion) when he smells hoi-broth in their apartment—Padmé doesn't like hoi-broth, and Obi-Wan's allergy to it had once "nearly triggered an intersystem incident."
  • Not Helping Your Case: It's not outright stated in the movie, but here Obi-Wan spells out to Anakin that his anger at not being promoted did him no favors.
    Obi-Wan: Your outburst in the Council was an eloquent argument against granting you Mastery. How can you be a Jedi Master when you have not mastered yourself?
  • Not Hyperbole: When Palpatine tells Anakin that he can have anything he wants, Anakin sarcastically says "Corellia." Palpatine asks whether he wants the planet or the system.
  • No Time to Explain: Said word-for-word by Bail Organa when he tells Captain Antilles to steal Saesee Tiin's homing beacon.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Bail returns to the Senate in the middle of Palpatine’s declaration of the New Order, he drops by the Naboo delegation’s pod to speak with Padme. Bail notes that Jar Jar is unusually subdued and solemn – and if even the irrepressible Gungan’s worried, things must be even worse than he'd feared.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Unlike the film, the book shows only the beginning of Anakin's masterful crash-landing of Grievous's flagship, at the end of Part One; Part Two picks up with his already having succeeded.
  • Off with His Head!: In contrast to their deaths in the film, where they're killed by a slash to the torso, Saesee Tiin and Kit Fisto are both decapitated in their duel with Sidious.
  • 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.
      Dooku found himself having a sudden, unexpected, overpowering, and entirely distressing bad feeling about this...
      His farce had suddenly, inexplicably, spun from humorous to deadly serious and was tumbling rapidly toward terrifying. Realization burst through his consciousness like the blossoming fireballs of dying ships outside: this pair of Jedi fools had somehow managed to become entirely dangerous.
      These clowns might—just possibly—actually be able to beat him.
    • 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 he inspects Anakin through the Force and finds he's become the "shatterpoint" to everything. Moments later, Anakin reveals why: he's just found out that Palpatine is the Sith Lord.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: after lecturing Anakin several times about holding on to his lightsaber (including one instance early in the book), Obi-Wan drops his own saber on Utapau while chasing General Grievous and is briefly glad that Anakin's not there to make sure that he never lives it down.
  • One-Man Army: Jedi in general, but especially Obi-Wan and Anakin, the latter of whom is described as "a brigade's worth of firepower in his own right."
  • One Riot, One Ranger: The rather poetic introduction claims that as adults across the Republic watch in fear as the beloved Palpatine is captured by the enemy, their children comfort them, because the great Anakin and Obi-Wan will be there any minute to set things right. They're correct.
    A pair of starfighters. Jedi starfighters. Only two.
    Two is enough.
    Two is enough because the adults are wrong, and their younglings are right.
    Though this is the end of the age of heroes, it has saved its best for last.
  • 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.
  • Out-Gambitted: Dooku realizes that he's fallen victim to this when Palpatine orders Anakin to execute him.
    And he knows, then, that all has indeed been going according to plan. Sidious's plan, not his own. This had been a Jedi trap indeed, but Jedi were not the quarry.
    They were the bait.
  • The Paranoiac: Anakin is utterly convinced that someone on the Jedi Council is the reason he's not getting the titles and accolades he deserves. And this is before Palpatine starts his mind games. He's also thoroughly convinced Yoda's hated him from the moment they met.
  • Pardo Push: Anakin uses his fighter to push Obi-Wan's damaged fighter into the Invisible Hand's hangar.
  • Phantom Limb Pain: Anakin feels pain in his mechanical arm after he and Obi-Wan board the Invisible Hand. Obi-Wan asks him when he got it fitted with pain sensors, but he replies that he didn't. Obi-Wan tells him that the pain is in his mind, but Anakin is convinced that it's a sign that Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus, the man who cut off his real arm, is aboard the vessel. Whether or not he's right, Dooku is aboard.
  • Pitiful Worms: When Anakin confronts Padmé about a recent visit by Obi-Wan after Palpatine made him start thinking that the two are having an affair.
    He towered over her. For one stretching second she looked very small, very insignificant, very much like some kind of bug that he could crush beneath his heel and just keep on walking.
  • Plummet Perspective: When the Gravity Screw aboard Invisible Hand turns the elevator shaft from a hallway back into a pit, Anakin has to drop his lightsaber to grab onto something; the narration pauses to follow the saber as it falls out of sight.
  • Poor Communication Kills: As stated under Locked Out of the Loop, this is Mace's fatal mistake and a major reason why Order 66 is so successful. After Anakin shares the truth about Sidious, Mace quickly briefs Yoda and the remaining Council members on-site — but no one else. While the Temple is placed under lockdown, the rest of Temple Jedi are left in the dark about what the hell's going on. Mace similarly makes no move to warn any of the Jedi in the field or their allies in the Senate and Republic government just in case things go wrong. So when everything does go to hell, the Jedi in the field and the Temple are caught off guard by Order 66. They don't understand why senior Jedi tried to kill the Supreme Chancellor, or how this could justify a pogrom. And the people like Bail who know the truth can't do anything they have no evidence (and the best people who could take out Palpatine are now all dead).
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The novelization is a departure from the other movie novelizations in that it isn't just a prettied-up transcript of the movie. Matt Stover changed parts of the script given to him and expanded on some points while minimizing others, and introduced symbolism and imagery totally original to the text. George Lucas approved all of the changes he made.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: When what's left of the Invisible Hand is falling to Coruscant.
    Lorth Needa was not religious, nor was he a philosopher or metaphysician; he knew of the Force only by reputation, but nonetheless now he found himself asking the Force, in his heart, that when the fiery end came for the men in that scrap of a ship, it might at least come quickly.
  • Pre-emptive Declaration: When Obi-Wan stops Grievous from escaping in his personal shuttle.
    "I hope you have another vehicle, General!" Obi-Wan waved his lightsaber toward the shuttle's rear thrusters. "I believe there's some damage to your sublights!"
    "You're insane! There's no—"
    Obi-Wan shrugged. "Show him, Boga."
    The dragonmount dutifully pointed out the damage with two whistling strikes of her massive tail-mace—wham and wham again—which crumpled the shuttle's thruster tubes into crimped-shut knots of metal.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: In the film, Vader silently carves his way through the Separatists. In the book, he starts spouting "ironic" one-liners.
    Shu Mai: We were promised a reward. A h—h—handsome reward—
    Vader: I am your reward. You don't find me handsome?
  • Present Tense Narrative: For the This is [character X] character studies, and the This is how it feels to be Anakin Skywalker segments, along with Second-Person Narration. It's also used during the final phase of the duel against Dooku, starting with "This is the death of Count Dooku." The introductory text notes that a strange thing about stories is though they may have happened a long time ago, they also happen in the present, as one reads the words.
  • Prophecy Twist: Anakin sees the end of his duel with Count Dooku before it happens—the count kneeling with two lightsabers at his throat. Anakin assumes this is his blade and Obi-Wan's, subduing Dooku and taking him prisoner. In reality, it's Dooku's saber and Anakin's, both in Anakin's hands, just before Anakin murders the helpless man.
  • Punch a Wall: When Grievous learns that the Jedi have killed Dooku and are escaping with Palpatine, he angrily smashes the security console — which makes it harder for the security chief to find their escaped prisoners.
  • Purple Prose: Stover does a lot of this, but it's awesome.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Of course. Palpatine destroys the Jedi Order and the Republic, establishes the Galactic Empire, and corrupts Anakin into Darth Vader, who, at the end, succeeds in nothing. ... But Darth Vader is forever broken, preventing the Sith from totally winning, Obi-Wan and Yoda are safe and secretly helped Anakin's children to survive, which, in turn, will lead to Palpatine's fall.
  • Reverse Polarity: Obi-Wan uses the Force to "temporarily reverse the polarity of the electrodrivers in [Grievous's] mechanical hands," forcing them to open and drop his and Anakin's lightsabers. He later uses the same trick on Anakin's artificial hand.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Obi-Wan heads off into Tatooine's Binary Sunset at the end of the book, after dropping off the infant Luke Skywalker with the Larses.
  • Rule of Symbolism: After he begins his seduction of Anakin in earnest, Darth Sidious is treated more like a walking shadow than a living being. Likewise, during their duel, Yoda is portrayed as an "avatar of light" set against the shadow—until he realizes that he is incapable of winning.
  • Rule of Three: When Palpatine affirms his trust in Anakin, each time emphasizing a different word.
    Palpatine: I trust you. I trust you. I trust you.
  • Running Gag: Upon Anakin and Obi-Wan revealing that their true abilities, Dooku has a sudden "bad feeling about this."
  • 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.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Obi-Wan is explicitly told not to tell Anakin about what Mace and Yoda know about Darth Sidious. He tells Anakin anyway, as it's the only way to make him go along with spying on Palpatine.
  • Second-Person Narration: Stover does this three times, each time starting with "This is how it feels to be Anakin Skywalker..."
  • Secret-Identity Identity: There are several instances in the novel where Palpatine is referred to as a disguise for Darth Sidious:
    “And so the mask becomes the man,” he sighed with a hint of philosophical melancholy. “I shall miss the face of Palpatine, I think; but for our purpose, the face of Sidious will serve. Yes, it will serve.”
  • 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 Padmé.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Obi-Wan is revealed to be one, being well aware that Anakin and Padmé have a relationship the Jedi Order would consider inappropriate, but he doesn't pry or tell anyone because he wants Anakin to be happy.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: By trying to prevent Padme's death in childbirth and turning to the Dark Side, Anakin did cause her death. Bonus points for him realising such a possibility, only rejecting it as impossible.
  • Shoot Everything That Moves: During the Battle of Utapau, Commander Cody notes that TradeFed battle droids no longer just go dead when their control center is destroyed; instead, they default to pre-programmed standing orders.
    Standing Order Number One was, apparently, Kill Everything That Moves.
  • Shout-Out: To Monty Python and the Holy Grail; like the Black Knight, one of Grievous's MagnaGuards continues to shout ineffectual threats after Obi-Wan has rendered it incapable of fighting by slicing off three of its limbs. It even manages to hop after and weakly kick at Obi-Wan with its remaining foot, before he cuts that off too. Even as a limbless torso writhing on the deck, it keeps shouting.
  • 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.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The narration seems to take a bit of glee in using Purple Prose around the phrase "Anakin's butt."
    Obi-Wan Kenobi opened his eyes to find himself staring at what he strongly suspected was Anakin's butt.
    It looked like Anakin's butt—well, his pants, anyway—though it was thoroughly impossible for Obi-Wan to be certain since he had never before had occasion to examine Anakin's butt upside-down, which it currently appeared to be, nor from this rather uncomfortably close range.
  • Spared By Adaptation: A very, very short-lived example — in the film, when the Jedi confront Palpatine in his office, he first kills Agen Kolar then Saesee Tinn. In the novel, it's the other way around.
  • Spirit Advisor: The Force ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn is briefly mentioned in the film; he appears here having a conversation with Yoda at the end, offering to teach Yoda the secret of disembodied immortality. Yoda accepts a position as his apprentice and advises Obi-Wan to expect training from the spirit as well. It is implied that Qui-Gon, having been a less conventional Jedi in life, will also teach Yoda how to train Luke to defeat the Emperor, which the traditional and set-in-his-ways Yoda could not accomplish himself.
  • 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 every day, Anakin is astonished to learn that stars can die. Having also heard legends as a child about the dragons that live within suns, he begins to personify his fear as that dead star's 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 lightsaber style is not as powerful as Mace Windu's Vaapad or Yoda's Ataru, 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.
  • Strong Flesh, Weak Steel: Especially when the Force is involved, as demonstrated when Obi-Wan and Grievous get into a grappling match during the final phase of their battle.
    But Obi-Wan's arm had the Force to give it strength, and the general's arm only had the innate crystalline intermolecular structure of duranium alloy.
    Grievous's forearm bent like a cheap spoon.
  • 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 Padmé 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."
  • Summon Bigger Fish: When hiding in the caverns of Utapau from a pair of seeker droids, Obi-Wan uses the Force to suggest to a nearby Huge Slimy Cave-Monster that the droids are actually delicious snacks. It obligingly eats one and chases the other away.
  • Super-Detailed Fight Narration: Slightly zigzagged. For the most part, Stover is just having a ball describing every minutiae of the fight scenes (especially the Anakin and Obi-Wan vs. Dooku duel). This also has the effect of making said scenes longer than in the film. However, it's later downplayed for the climax of Obi-Wan's duel with Grievous (which ends differently to the film in that Obi-Wan rather abruptly destroys the lightsabers themselves rather than cutting off two hands and then disarming him with the Force), the duel between Yoda and Sidious (which is effectively mutated into an excellent philosophical debate), and the duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin - but since that duel was already so long to begin with, it's less noticeable.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Yoda has a conversation with the ghost of Qui-Gon Jinn in which he acknowledges Qui-Gon as the superior Jedi:
    Yoda: A very great Jedi Master you have become, Qui-Gon Jinn. A very great Jedi Master you always were, but too blind I was to see it. [bows respectfully] Your apprentice, I gratefully become.
  • Switching P.O.V.:
    • Especially during the opening battle, switching between the viewpoints of Anakin and Obi-Wan.
    • Used for dramatic effect during the last third of the book. After Anakin is "knighted" as a Sith Lord, every scene from his POV refers to him as "Darth Vader", but those from Obi-Wan or Padmé's POV still call him "Anakin".
  • Sword Pointing: Dooku does this at one point while taunting Anakin.
  • Take a Third Option: Attempted by Grievous.
    Obi-Wan: General Grievous, you're under arrest.
    Grievous: Kenobi. Don't tell me, let me guess: this is the part where you give me the chance to surrender.
    Obi-Wan: It can be. Or, if you like, it can be the part where I dismantle your exoskeleton and ship you back to Coruscant in a cargo hopper.
    Grievous: I'll take option three. That's the one where I watch you die.
    (as thousands of battle droids surround Obi-Wan)
    Obi-Wan: I'm sorry, was I not clear? There is no option three.
  • Take That!: During his declaration that the Republic is being transformed into the Empire, Palpatine declares that it is "Morning in the Republic," a reference to Ronald Reagan's campaign slogan "It's Morning in Amerca."
  • Taking the Bullet: Not shown in the film, but the narration makes it clear that Boga did this for Obi-Wan.
    He remembered...
    Boga's wrenching leap, twisting in the air, the shock of impacts, multiple detonations blasting both of them farther and farther out from the sinkhole wall...
    Using her massive body to shield Obi-Wan from his own troops.
    Boga had known, somehow...the dragonmount had known what Obi-Wan had been incapable of even suspecting, and without hesitation she'd given her life to save her rider.
  • Talk to the Fist: How Grievous deals with Neimoidians who get on his nerves.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Deconstructed. As seen throughout the entire Clone Wars multimedia campaign, relations between the Jedi Council and the Chancellor's Office have become increasingly strained over the course of the conflict. Despite everything at stake, these cracks have finally reached the breaking point here (and especially in the wake of the revelations of Labyrinth of Evil). Neither party trusts the other anymore and things have deterioriated enough that the senior Jedi are now openly discussing forcibly removing Palpatine from power. This breakdown of relations, of course, is all part of Palpatine's long game. He wants the Jedi to move against him (especially after they learn he's Darth Sidious), frame them for an attempted coup (no matter that it's completley justified), and use that as his legal and political justification for Order 66.
  • 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 Ataru 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).
  • Tempting Fate:
    • When Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Palpatine are caught in a ray shield, Anakin is confident that they can easily wipe out the inevitable security team that will show up to take them prisoner.
      Obi-Wan: What if they turn out to be destroyer droids? Or something worse?
      Anakin: Oh, come on, Master. Worse than destroyers? Besides, security patrols are always those skinny useless little battle droids.
    • This is followed by the appearance of four of "those skinny useless battle droids"—and eight destroyers, sixteen super battle droids, and two of Grievous's custom-designed, Jedi-killing MagnaGuards.
      Obi-Wan: You were saying?
    • In a much later scene, Obi-Wan tells Padmé about how even though Anakin is probably The Chosen One, the prophecy doesn't require him to be a Jedi. He then says, "If his true path leads him away from the Jedi, so be it." He has no idea how far Anakin will stray from the Jedi path.
  • That's an Order!: Jokingly Discussed between Obi-Wan and Cody when Cody retrieves Obi-Wan's lightsaber (which he dropped while chasing Grievous) and returns it to him. Having already lectured Anakin about holding on to one's lightsaber, Obi-Wan knows that Ani won't let him live this down.
    Obi-Wan: No, ah, need to mention this to, erm, Anakin, is there, Cody?
    Cody: Is that an order, sir?
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Both arguably justified considering who is being dealt with.
    • Instead of just firing one cannon blast at Obi-Wan like in the movie, Cody uses the heavy weapons from five different companies to carry out Order 66.
      [Cody] had a very clear and unsentimental estimate of just how hard to kill the unassuming Jedi Master was. He wasn't taking any chances.
    • Sidious orders the clone troopers to blow up the entire Senate building if they have to, just to find Yoda.
  • 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.
  • Threat Backfire: When Obi-Wan and General Grievous face off on Utapau:
    Grievous: I have been trained in your Jedi arts by Lord Tyranus himself!
    Obi-Wan: Do you mean Count Dooku? What a curious coincidence. I trained the man who killed him.
  • 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.
  • Together in Death: A non-romantic example—in Grievous's backstory, it's mentioned that he killed two Jedi at the same time so they could watch each other die.
  • Tranquil Fury: Downplayed, but when Dooku starts going off on one about how repulsive Anakin's mechanical arm is, Sidious has this to say:
    "How fortunate I am"—the silk in his Master's voice softened further—"to have an apprentice who feels it is appropriate to lecture me."
  • Trap Is the Only Option: Obi-Wan states that intentionally setting off traps is SOP for him and Anakin.
  • 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.
    Anakin had forgotten the first principle of combat. Again. As usual.
  • Universally Beloved Leader:
    • The book plainly states how the Republic feels about Palpatine:
      Palpatine of Naboo, the most admired man in the galaxy [...] is more than respected. He is loved.
    • The Separatists are said to feel the same way about Count Dooku.
  • Unusual Euphemism: C-3PO suggests on Padmé's behalf that she and Anakin might "avoid a public scene" all afternoon and all night.
  • Villain Has a Point: When the Jedi try to arrest Palpatine, he points out that being a Sith is not a crime, and that they aren't justifying why they have the right to arrest him over a philosophical difference. Of course, he's just being manipulative, since he really is behind everything, but technically he's right about that. Of course, it's also all part of the show, as he's secretly recording all of this for later playback at the first Empire Day.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Dooku's starts when he realizes he underestimated Obi-Wan and Anakin, and it culminates in him begging for his life when Palpatine's Uriah Gambit becomes all too clear to him. This part was removed from the movie since Christopher Lee thought it was out of character, so Anakin just executes him without Dooku saying a word.
  • We Can Rule Together: Anakin actually makes this offer to Padmé, saying that Palpatine can call himself "The Emperor" and make himself the most-hated man in the galaxy and then they can overthrow him and rule together. Padmé, who has been a tireless advocate for democracy, is naturally appalled.
  • 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."
  • We Have Become Complacent: Yoda has this realisation when he understands that he can't defeat Palpatine, because in the centuries since the Jedi and Sith last clashed, the Sith have evolved into a new entity, thanks to the Rule of Two, whereas the Jedi remained the same, training and preparing in the same manner and never considering their Arch-Enemy might adapt.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Palpatine does this to the Senate and Anakin when the Jedi come to arrest him, thanks in part to an audio-recording device that implicates Mace Windu in an attempted coup.
  • 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 how an effective trap for a Jedi must be structured as a Xanatos Gambit 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.
    • Later, in a Meaningful Echo, the Clone Wars themselves are described as "the perfect Jedi trap" because war itself has been used to darken the Force and weaken the Jedi, but because they are Jedi, they can't not fight in defense of the Republic—a Republic that has already fallen into their enemy's hands, though they know it not. "By fighting at all, the Jedi lost."
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Downplayed when Mace gives Obi-Wan a pep talk before the mission to defeat Grievous. In this case, it's not Obi-Wan's moral compass that needs reassurance, but his skills as a swordsman.
    Mace: I am called a great swordsman because I invented a lethal style; but who is greater, the creator of a killing form—or the master of the classic form?
    Obi-Wan: I'm very flattered that you would consider me a master, but really—
    Mace: Not a master. The master. Be who you are, and Grievous will never defeat you.
  • You Fool!: Mace Windu tells Sidious that he's lost, defeated by fear, the same as any Sith Lord. Sidious calls him a fool.
    Sidious: Fool! Do you think the fear you feel is mine?! (reveals his ability to use Force lightning)
  • You Have Failed Me: Grievous does this repeatedly aboard Invisible Hand, killing officers who annoy him and promptly promoting the next guy in line. It leads to an amusing moment when Grievous kills one more guy who panics at the damage to their ship... and finds he's killed the last of his bridge crew (that weren't already killed by reflected blaster fire from the current ongoing fight).
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Granted, this has already been established by canon and EU sources as SOP for the Sith, but the narration here makes this explicitly how Sidious regards both Dooku and Grievous. It's why he (as Palpatine) orders Anakin to execute Dooku on the Invisible Hand, and why he sends Grievous to fight Obi-Wan — as effective as Grievous is as a general and a Jedi killer, he's still an expendable pawn, so if Obi-Wan kills him in their duel, that's one less pawn for Sidious to deal with.
    • Of course, this also applies to Dooku's post-war plans re his Separatist allies. In each case, the same rationale is given: "Treachery is the way of the Sith."
  • You're Insane!: Anakin reacts this way when Palpatine offers him whatever he wants, up to and including the entire Corellian system. This comes shortly before Anakin learns that Palpatine is Sidious.
    "I just—" [Anakin] shook his head blankly. "I can’t figure out if you’re kidding, or completely insane."
    "I am neither, Anakin. I am trying to impress upon you a fundamental truth of our relationship. A fundamental truth of yourself."
  • Younger Mentor, Older Disciple: When Yoda becomes Qui-Gon's apprentice, as Qui-Gon was killed in his 50's (or lower 60's) while Yoda is over 800 years old. (Of course, as Qui-Gon is one with The Force, his age at his death is somewhat less relevant.)
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Obi-Wan calls Boga "she", and asks the handler if that's the right term, but the Utai varactyl 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.)

The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins—but in the heart of its strength lies weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back.
Love is more than a candle.
Love can ignite the stars.