make clear probably the most fascinating eras within the timeline when it , bringing us on an epic journey with Jedi grasp Luke Skywalker, warfare hero Lando Calrissian and Rey’s mysterious, terrified dad and mom in a novel set within the interval between and .
The novel additionally dives in to some shocking historical Sith mysteries and units up new potential threats to the galaxy. When you had been intrigued by the mysteries hinted at in, that is a vital learn. It’s going to reply lots of your questions and open up a bunch of thrilling storytelling prospects for the long run.
It is written by passionate New Zealand-born writer Adam Christopher, whose earlier work contains superhero-noir journey , the sci-fi horror and Stranger Issues tie-in novel .
I obtained to take a deep dive into Shadow of the Sith with the UK-based Christopher throughout a prolonged Zoom interview, the place we mentioned naming Rey’s dad and mom, defining Luke as a Jedi grasp, exploring a brand new aspect of Lando and establishing new Sith threats to the galaxy.
Full SPOILERS for the novel lie forward, so I would advocate ready till you have completed the e-book to proceed. Here is a transcript of our dialog, evenly edited for readability.
Inform me your Star Wars origin story.
Christopher: I am a basic little one of the ’80s; I am precisely the correct age to have grown up with the flicks, the motion figures and the toys. It is largely all the way down to my dad as a result of he was a giant science fiction fan; he took me to see Star Wars in 1978.
He labored in promoting and he used to do enterprise journeys to Asia and Taiwan, and convey again a great deal of toys that you just could not get in New Zealand. So it was a very privileged Star Wars childhood.
And I’d watch the Authentic Trilogy on VHS; we used to hire it from the video retailer, like each weekend for 5 – 6 years and I’d watch nothing else. I can nonetheless recite these motion pictures off by coronary heart — I am certain lots of people my age can.
How did you find yourself writing Shadow of the Sith?
Christopher: I had accomplished two brief tales for the From a Sure Level of View anthologies — these had been for the fortieth anniversaries of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Again — and I would accomplished a backup comedian in . I used to be going to do a Mandalorian novel a few years in the past, however that did not go forward.
They invited me to do one other e-book as a substitute in early 2021 and had been like, “Properly, we have this story about Lando and Luke after they go chasing Ochi of Bestoon, how about you do this story?” And I used to be like, “Yeah, in fact” — I could not consider it. I do not suppose I’ve ever replied to an e-mail quicker than that.
I keep in mind listening to the road in The Rise of Skywalker when Lando alludes to that journey, and “Oh, I would very very like to get extra on that.”
Christopher: I noticed Rise of Skywalker most likely 4 or 5 instances when it was launched. When Lando says that to Rey, my response was, “What do you imply Lando and Luke went off on this journey? What an odd pairing.” Lengthy earlier than I used to be gonna do the e-book, I assumed what a cool story that may be. Then I get to put in writing it years later, which is form of bizarre. As a Star Wars fan, I am simply geeking out as a result of I get to try this story.
I handled it like Episode 6.5 — this story is ready between Return of the Jedi and The Power Awakens — this wanted to be a cinematic epic journey. It was a pleasure to put in writing as a result of I like Star Wars, nevertheless it was additionally a accountability as a result of I needed to hyperlink the unique trilogy and the sequel trilogy.
Shadow of the Sith reveals that Rey’s dad and mom are referred to as Miramir and Dathan. The place did these names come from?
Christopher: So, it is a deep, secret, magic in-depth take a look at the writing course of: I had a good friend in school referred to as Dathan. And I simply thought it was a cool title. I believe it is a extra widespread title within the States, however I needed one thing that was not tremendous widespread, but additionally like an earthy title. Star Wars is that magical factor the place there’s a mixture of form of unusual alien names and you then’ve obtained Luke and Ben. And once you dig into the books and the comics, you discover much more examples.
With Miramir, I needed a form of fantasy title, as a result of within the e-book we see her house planet — it isn’t magical, nevertheless it has a twilight forest and may be very mysterious. There’s a spot in Wellington in New Zealand referred to as Miramar, which is the place Weta Studios, who made Lord of the Rings, are primarily based.
I simply typed it in, switched a number of the letters and I used to be like “Properly hold on — that sounds actually cool.” It had a form of magical high quality, it sounds virtually Elven. It was additionally a distinction to Dathan, which is comparatively easy. Whereas Miramir sounds somewhat bit otherworldly.
Proper. Though Dathan is type of a clone of an evil area wizard, he is a comparatively atypical man. However I obtained the sense that possibly Miramir has Power potential.
Christopher: Properly, she’s positively obtained skills. And Dathan acknowledges that; she’s the one which will get them out of some scrapes within the e-book. Her household, which we get hints of within the e-book, can be fairly attention-grabbing to discover.
It looks as if Dathan shares a few of Palpatine’s attributes. “A glib tone and a captivating smile,” I learn that and thought “sounds lots like his dad.”
He is had an uncommon childhood on Exegol, however he is nonetheless Palpatine in a approach. Not a clone, however a genetic pressure solid, as a result of Palpatine was experimenting with looking for the proper vessel [for his spirit to inhabit]. However yeah, you suppose again to Senator Palpatine and the best way he manipulates all the prequel trilogy [where he wipes out the Jedi and declares himself Emperor], which is superb.
Dathan does not actually actually know the Emperor however he is aware of the place it comes from. He isn’t Power delicate in any respect, however he does not know what else Palpatine has deliberate or engineered for him. So he is form of a bit angsty about his personal background. However yeah, that line is a mirrored image of the place he comes from — that is what Palpatine had. A charmer and a manipulator.
Palpatine’s presence within the novel is admittedly fascinating — he is barely in it, however there’s an eerie sense that he is all the time within the background.
The scene the place Ochi is given the knife and his eyes flip off … and he hears the voice within the blackness — that is a giant, cinematic second. If it was a film, the display goes black, you get the voice of Palpatine echoing after which the searing purple of a lightsaber. That was the very first thing that got here to my thoughts, so I wrote it first.
Palpatine is lifeless, however he is not lifeless; issues are shifting within the background that no person is aware of about, his plan to outlive past the tip of the Authentic Trilogy is underway. And no person is aware of. He is an ideal character, he is solely within the e-book for a handful of traces, however that is sufficient.
It was fascinating to look again on the flashbacks of Miramir and Dathan in The Rise of Skywalker after studying the novel — I’ve seen that film a number of instances and I do not suppose I ever seen the goons within the background.
Christopher: I watched The Rise of Skwalker body by body to actually perceive it — the flashbacks are actually essential as a result of it is the one time we ever see Miramir, Dathan and Ochi; it is just for a number of seconds.
Through the define, I used to be like, “There’s individuals behind them within the ship! There’s like two aliens with weapons behind Miramir and Dathan after they’re killed. I want to clarify that.” I discovered a approach for all of it to suit collectively.
My favourite factor in The Empire Strikes Again as a child was the bounty hunters, since you see them for 20 seconds. We have now no backstory, no dialogue, no names even, till the motion figures. These are those I performed with, as a result of I might inform their story — we did not see it within the film, so I might create it. The wonderful thing about the sequel trilogy is that it continued that custom of fantastic background characters and particulars you see for, like, 5 seconds. These are the sorts of issues that fascinate me.
You bought to outline Luke Skywalker in his prime. Did you’re feeling strain with that?
Christopher: I positively felt the form of accountability to do him correctly. But in addition, it is a Luke Skywalker that we’ve not actually seen earlier than. Within the authentic trilogy, He goes on his entire emotional journey; turning into a Jedi, coming to phrases along with his previous and his household and the redemption of Anakin.
So, to have him almost 20 years later was actually attention-grabbing — what was he going to be like at that time? We see ultimately of, when he is available in to rescue Grogu, he is a Jedi warrior — doing superior issues with a lightsaber, which was superb. And you then get to , the place we see him beginning to prepare Grogu — he is the peaceable Jedi grasp, serene and calm.
There’s two parts to his character at that time, post-Return of the Jedi. He’s principally probably the most highly effective particular person within the galaxy at that time.
The important thing to his character for me was that he is conscious of the facility that he has. Which signifies that every little thing he was doing, he was fastidiously judging and balancing. At each level, he is pondering what might he do and what ought to he do? He is obtained the final word first-hand data of what the Darkish Facet can do and what the Power can do if it is misused.
He is rebuilding the Jedi Order, he is coaching his nephew — he is conscious of that accountability as nicely due to the household historical past. He is a Luke Skywalker we are able to acknowledge, nevertheless it’s additionally a brand new Luke Skywalker, as a result of he is moved on.
He is attempting to be all the time conscious, nevertheless it disconnects him barely from others. Which is the place Lando is available in, bringing again a little bit of that human contact. As a result of Lando may be very a lot on the second and attempting to assist Rey’s household whereas Luke is wanting on the greater image. They work nicely to stability one another.
The scene the place Anakin speaks to Luke is fairly highly effective, one other assembly of father and son — is that positively Anakin? I questioned if it was Palpatine being a rascal.
Positively Anakin. I used to be like “What’s probably the most important factor I might do?” Have Luke meet his father. Which [Lucasfilm] let me do. They trusted me sufficient for the story, which is nice.
Lando in Shadow of the Sith felt like a model of the character we hadn’t seen earlier than.
Christopher: We all know Lando because the playboy, the gambler, the businessman who’s possibly barely shady typically — a person with a plan. So what would occur to an individual like that when he goes via the private tragedy of his daughter being kidnapped? That will flip anyone’s life the other way up.
Particularly because the e-book is ready six years after she was kidnapped, and he hasn’t discovered her — all of the leads have gone chilly and he is drifting.
Once we first meet him within the e-book, he is in a cantina — he is playing and having a drink. It’s extremely simple for him to return to these outdated habits as a result of that is the scenario the place he is in management.
Within the greater image, his life is uncontrolled. So when he overhears Ochi speaking in regards to the Sith and this entire plot of kidnapping, that galvanizes him and reignites the hearth. He is been in search of a way of selecting himself up and getting again on his quest.
He is the Lando we all know, however there’s one thing basically totally different about him. It is uncommon for a e-book to have the ability to develop one of many major characters to Star Wars in a very significant approach. With Luke as nicely, it was a very nice alternative — it is form of like creating a brand new character, however he is the character that we already know and love.
It turned clear additionally these two have gone on divergent paths. They weren’t finest buddies, however they have been buddies for 20 years, and a part of the story is them rediscovering the connection that they had. They be taught from one another within the e-book.
Additionally they every blew up a Dying Star.
Christopher: In fact they had been going to come back collectively — they’re the Dying Star destroyers.
My favourite side of the novel was the bizarre arcane Sith stuff, as a result of it was sudden. How did you develop that?
Christopher: You should utilize the Sith to carry out the horror side in Star Wars. The thought of Sith relics and the form of energy that’s echoing from the previous, that has survived someway, it’s extremely nebulous and mysterious. I needed to dial up the Sith’s creepy issue and let the reader’s creativeness take over.
Kiza is the villain. She has her personal private tragedy. She has her personal quest, in her personal want for redemption, however she’s trapped.
There are a number of scenes on Exegol, the place Luke has a imaginative and prescient the place he is preventing these wraiths. We additionally see Dathan, as a youthful clone or strand solid, following the cultists as they chant the names of all of the Sith Lords — that is creepy. The Sith permit us to look at that aspect of Star Wars. We see it in The Rise of Skywalker with the cultists, and I managed to focus it on specific characters within the e-book.
These guys chanting the lifeless Sith Lords’ names was fairly scrumptious as a fan. Did you outline them or did it come via an edit?
Christopher: I used to be left to my very own units. With that scene, the primary draft was most likely simply two pages — a giant listing. Like, “What Sith Lords can I point out? Oh, , Noctus and Shaa.” And I made some up. However then the listing was ridiculously lengthy, so I reduce it again to nevertheless many it’s within the e-book.
I like that form of stuff. One of the best form of tie-in books, whether or not it is Star Wars or Physician Who or no matter, if there’s stuff that the superfan can acknowledge and get a buzz out of — superb. However you needn’t acknowledge any of that; it is only a actually cool and creepy scene. And I like the thought of bringing stuff into the canon which maybe wasn’t canon earlier than. And including my very own stuff.
With these Sith Lords. I imply, there is a couple I created. After which some introduced from different books or tales, and others which are immediately linked coincidentally to Kiza.
Darth Noctyss (which is a very cool title) performed a serious oblique position in Shadow of the Sith. since Kiza makes use of the lifeless Sith Lord’s lightsaber and its curved blade.
Christopher: Noctyss is from by George Mann. It is a part of a sequence with and a he co-wrote with Cavan Scott. They are not canon, they’re fairy tales inside the Star Wars universe. So I assumed like every form of legend or delusion in our personal world, there’s usually a component of actuality. It was a very cool alternative to suit all of it collectively.
We additionally had Exim Panshard, an historical Sith Lord who kinda lives on and controls Kiza via his masks. The flashback to his reign is extraordinarily steel and gothic.
Christopher: It was a possibility to delve into an space we’ve not seen or heard about. Who is aware of what period he is from? The flashback is nearly medieval. And we knew Sith relics, and presumably Jedi artifacts, can maintain energy. And silly individuals suppose that they will management that energy, which is clearly a giant mistake.
Within the Aftermath trilogy [by author Chuck Wendig], it is established that the masks echoes with the scream of all of the souls of these he is killed. What did he must do to generate that form of energy? He thought he might dwell eternally, and with a view to do this, he wanted the facility created by the deaths of as many individuals as he might kill. It is destruction on an industrial scale. Within the flashback, he has machines constructed to kill the inhabitants of the planet he guidelines. It is villainy on a scale you do not usually see.
Kiza first appeared within the Aftermath books, the place we obtained a little bit of her background and he or she was given the masks by one of many Emperor’s advisors as a result of he needed to make use of her as a puppet. He knew he could not put on it himself, so he gave it to one of many silly Acolytes of the Past that he might management and achieve energy from.
It appeared like the specter of Panshard escalated to a degree we have seldom seen because the novels of the Legends period (tales
Christopher: It was simply form of the way it got here out. And as a fan, my bookshelf is filled with Star Wars books, which I like and have learn for years and years. So I actually was simply targeted on telling the most effective story that I might.
Panshard is a distinct form of Star Wars villain. It is scary as a result of the readers do not actually know what he can do. And it will get worse for Kiza main into the finale, which sees Luke and his allies dealing with off towards this monster from one other age.
I discovered it fascinating that Kiza wasn’t redeemed ultimately, regardless of getting each alternative.
Christopher: Redemption is a serious theme of Star Wars, however she was misplaced to the masks. She knew it was going to destroy her, however she could not do something about it, regardless of how a lot she may need needed it. It was too robust.
Between Kiza with the masks and Ochi with the dagger, I felt like there was a robust theme of habit with these Sith artifacts. Was that intentional in your half?
Christopher: Yeah, as a result of that is the temptation of the Darkish Facet and the attract of it. Ochi developed an obsession with Exegol. He went there with Vader in and it was a foul time [Ochi was disfigured]. He needs to get to Exegol once more as a result of he thinks it is a spot of rebirth and regeneration.
Dependancy was positively a deliberate theme of the e-book, since Kiza and Ochi have these obsessions. Kaiser hates the masks, however she will’t not put it on. Ochi is so obsessive about attending to Exegol that he’ll do something, so the blade is feeding off his feelings — hatred and obsession — making a suggestions loop. It pumps them again into him.
Do you think Exegol would have offered Ochi the answers? Because I reckon that place sucks.
Christopher: Yeah, Exegol was not the answer.
So, do you have a favorite Easter egg that you’d love for people to notice or appreciate in Shadow of the Sith?
Christopher: When Lando orders drinks at the bar [when we first meet him in the novel], the bartender says, “Sip ’em. You will dwell longer.” That is straight from the Seventies Los Angeles Occasions newspaper strips.
As soon as individuals have learn Shadow of the Sith, are there any Legends novels you’d advocate they leap into?
Christopher: The by Matthew Stober, which is the best Star Wars e-book ever written. And one in all my favourite Star Wars authors is Michael A. Stackpole, who wrote , and fairly quite a few different books. There’s an Easter egg about him in Shadow of the Sith, however I am going to go away that as a shock for individuals who can spot it.
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