Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side [Vault Edition] Review

Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side [Vault Edition]
by Daniel Wallace

How do you like my 1986 Kenner commercial for the book above? Well, younglings if you act fast, you too can own Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side [Vault Edition]! Go Vault Edition or don't even bother. The Book of Sith is housed in a Sith Holocron. For Star Wars aficionados that's the pyramid like structure you see in the included photos. It opens and closes with the push of a button, and it's lighter than you may think.

Before we even get to the book, which is a fun piece of Star Wars collectible and a good read, let's go over the Sith Holocron. It's the delightful housing keeping your book safe from annoying Jedi scum. I know more about it from the book, like it's based on Sith burial tombs. For fandom sake I merely mentioned the book to another Star Wars fan without a visual and they guessed it was in the shape of a pyramid. For non-Star Wars hardcore fans, most holocrons are square like cubes, and usually  small enough to fit into your hand, so I didn't know what to make of this dark pyramid containing Sith knowledge when I first got it.  Then I pressed a button and heard it breath to life, it slowly dispensed the book as I  pondered why can't more books be this cool.

Let's get to manual itself or is it history book or guide or journal? It's all those things in one! Just touching the red dark cover with Sith embossed on it makes you want to cackle with joy. The history behind it is akin to it's sister book The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force [Vault Edition] which I reviewed here. Luke now has it and it was previously owned by The Emperor/ Darth Sedious and has some written in commentary from other Star Wars historical figures. It is the collected history of the Sith by Darth Sedious who tells us early on how knowledge can be a great tool. A great tool for a Sith by both locking it away and spreading lies about it. We also learn of Darth Sidious hoarding Sith artifacts on Naboo before he even became a Sith, what an adorable scamp who goes on to kill entire planets.

You have different parts made up of the book as it's not a complete guide, different books by different Sith, kind of what's left that Luke found, he's even a bit concerned to share it as it could be used for dark purposes. Daniel Wallace does it again having to deal with the vast continuity of Star Wars and piece a book together as multiple people. I just complemented Matthew Manning on his The Batman Files, retaining to continuity in order, but Star Wars history is like a vast ocean, with history going back eons. Compiling it must have taken some time, I would have like to seen his desk while he was preparing the book.

When I say the book has multiple writers, it's not only in the writing, but the book has real changes based on the author, some pages seem ancient or saved from a fire, other look like their taken from a textbook.  Just like it's predecessor the book reminds me of a history book with scribbles from previous owners in it.

Which section will be your favorite? Perhaps learning about the Rule of Two or how to deal with picking your troops and elite Shadow Guard. Sections on Sith animals and weapons have nice visuals. You'll also learn the history of how the Sith split from the Jedi. Some other fun lessons are how to send mind shards into enemies head, yes it teaches you psychic Sith mind attacks. Then on weapons again, I don't remember hearing about a Thought Bomb, that not only killed many Jedi, but it's Sith makers as well.

 I just happen to love how cruel and evil it is. The book teaches you who to kill and who to keep alive, but only as long as their useful. It reminds me a bit of Machiavelli's The Prince and if you were forced to read it in school like I was you'll notice some similarities. If you never read it, I don't blame you, it's a guide on how to be a prince, which scholars delve into deeper meaning from into politics and morals. Those morals sometimes not being very high. As it was put together by Darth Sedious almost all of it is used in his ends on how to conquer the galaxy. There's even a section on how Darth Sedious new galaxy will work under his rule.

The book also comes with some goodies in it like a box of cereal. You'll just flip open a page to maybe a mini-poster of the emperor or piece of a death shroud.

Then there's Luke. Luke, Luke, Luke, Skywalker! Luke, oh, Luke never shuts up and likes to add how everything is fine now and good won over evil and blah, blah, blah. I want my book of evil and how to defeat my enemies without mercy not to have happy little scribbles from  pathetic Jedi scum.

As the foolish Sedious wrote of past Sith, learn from his mistakes and become a true Sith Lord.

The book was provided by the publisher for review.