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Star Wars: Dark Legends Book Review

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“Star Wars: Dark Legends” is hit-and-miss.

Written by George Mann (who penned the underappreciated “Star Wars: Myths And Fables”), “Star Wars: Dark Legends” is another anthology book. This time around there are 7 stories in the horror/dark side realm.

First up is one of the best stories in “The Orphanage” which takes place on the Planet Gaaten. The story is told through the eyes of an orphan named Elish as a “creepy phantom” is abducting children from the orphanage. No spoiler on what the phantom is, but I will say the ending certainly delivers.

“Buyer Beware” ties into Galaxy’s Edge/Batuu as it involves an ambassador/ancient treasure collector (Slokin) who visits Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities and finds an alleged cursed and powerful mask that begins to corrupt him.

“The Predecessor” revolves around a newly promoted Imperial Officer (Alger Denholm) who becomes haunted by the disappearance of his predecessor (so much so that it eats away at him). It’s quite possible that a certain Darth Vader (who graces the cover) may be involved…

“Blood Moon” is essentially a werewolf tale. It’s set on the moon of Lupal where solar flares began to cause behavioral changes in a group of treasure hunters. The problems only worsen for the group.

“The Dark Mirror” involves a Jedi Master hero named Nil Idyth, his Padawan Sol Mogra, an amulet, and a hooded killer on Coruscant. I will say no more…

“The Gilded Cage” finds the Nightsisters of Dathomir (including Zeldin) attempting to seek revenge against a conniving and powerful Sith by the name of Darth Caldoth. This one actually connects to “Myths And Legends”!

Last, but not least is “A Life Immortal” which involves a Sith named Darth Noctyss who ventures to Exegol in order to seek immortality.

While not on par with “Myths and Fables,” “Star Wars: Dark Legends” has its moments. When it focuses on stories that feel like they are in the SW universe it works. For instance, “The Orphanage” comes across as a “Star Wars Rebels” episode that never was, “The Predecessor” feels like an offshoot of Darth Vader’s murderous ways in “Empire Strikes Back” and “A Life Immortal” seems very much like a past Sith legend. At other times, stories like the werewolf esque “Blood Moon,” the cliched “Buyer Beware” and the weird “The Dark Mirror” feel like fan fiction or stories that try too hard to mimic past horror works such as “The Wolf Man” and Edgar Allan Poe. These lesser tales also have a tendency to be rather tedious and one-note as they move towards their predictable climaxes. Still, anyone that is deeply steeped in SW lore will want to give this one a read (and it’s a quick read at that) if for no other reason than to get some SW tales in different eras.

I couldn’t end this review without noting that artist Grant Griffin also provides one image per story. Each of these vivid images do a fine job of showcasing what is to come in the story and, in some cases, are more appealing than the story themselves!

July 15, 2020 - Posted by | Book review | , , , ,

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