Book Review | Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark
Find out what your favorite Star Wars characters were thinking during the most memorable Clone Wars episodes.
This anthology sparked excitement among fans of all ages when it was first announced. Not only did we finally get a fitting ending to the series, but we were getting a book too? Star Wars book twitter was ecstatic. I was momentarily a bit disappointed upon finding out these would not be new stories, but retellings of episodes told from a specific character’s point of view. That changed when I heard who was writing for this anthology and what characters had been chosen. Plus, who wouldn’t want to get inside their favorite character’s head during key moments?
We get perspectives of Maul, Cad Bane, Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Amidala, Asajj Ventress, Captain Rex, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and more. My personal favorites were Padmé’s version of the events of “Pursuit of Peace” (Season 3 Episode 11), Obi-Wan’s of “The Lawless” (Season 5 Episode 16), and the delightful surprise of Jedi Youngling Katooni’s during part of the Younglings arc (Season 5 Episodes 6-9). Admittedly, I skipped Bane’s as I was never a fan of his and wasn’t interested in his POV of the Rako Hardeen story arc (Season 4 Episodes 15-18). I would have preferred Obi-Wan’s perspective of his time undercover until I got to his story that is.
Star Wars The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark | by Various Authors
The Galaxy According to Padmé and Obi-Wan
Padmé has been a favorite character since she was introduced. I was a year younger than the young queen when The Phantom Menace came out and was very excited for her character, and even more so when I spotted the lone blonde handmaiden. However, I have since been a bit disappointed in the lack of Padmé content, and unfortunately am not impressed with the author Disney Lucasfilm press has chosen to write her stories. So I was excited to see a different author was writing her here, and I very much enjoyed – and preferred- this author’s version of this strong young woman. Her determination and dedication to peace really shine through, as does her struggle at trying to prove herself to the Senate at large and Chancellor Palpatine. We also see her fighting spirit as she evades those pesky Bounty Hunters. This story gave us the Padmé I know and love from The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. The young woman who takes matters into her own hands when traditional means fail.
In Obi-Wan’s story, we get a perspective I’ve longed to see: his thoughts during “The Lawless” episode of Season Five. As a Satine fan and Obi-Wan/Satine shipper, this is a major part of their story. We are given insight into Obi-Wan’s decision to disobey orders and rescue Satine, his thoughts during the rescue, and his emotions during their final confrontation with Maul. Obi-Wan quickly cycles through fear of losing her, to anger at Maul for what’s he done, to hating him, and wanting to kill Maul once and for all. But in true Obi-Wan fashion, he realizes he would be betraying his beliefs – and Satine’s – if he does give in to his dark emotions. He triumphs as the better man, and Jedi. Obi-Wan and Satine’s relationship has long stood as a foil to Anakin and Padmé’s, and this difference between how Master and Apprentice deal with losing a woman they deeply care for drives this home. Obi-Wan can love without attachment and come out the other side of loss without losing himself to darkness.
Katooni’s point of view was an added delight. I did not expect to get the point of view of a Youngling, not to mention my favorite one. This one jumps in as they are attempting to escape from Hondo’s crew after rescuing Ahsoka. The author perfectly captured the personality of this fan-favorite, showing a girl who was almost a Jedi as she learns to trust in herself and the Force, even when she thinks she’ll fail.
A Galaxy of Authors
Many authors contributed to this anthology, including already established Star Wars authors and some new to the galaxy. Star Wars Adventures authors Cavan Scott and Lou Anders, Resistance Reborn author Rebecca Roanhorse, Crash of Fate author Zoraida Córdova, Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear author Tom Angleberger, and Servants of the Empire author Jason Fry. New to Star Wars authors include Sarah Beth Durst (Katooni’s story), Preeti Chhibber, E. Anne Convery, Anne Ursu (Padmé’s story), Yoon Ha Lee, and Greg van Eekhout.
There was artwork included before each story, alas, my ARC was read on a Kindle Paperwhite, so it did not show up in color. It looked to be watercolor and match the cover art. I’d love to see it in color and hope that it is included in color in the print copy.
Overall, this anthology is a great insight into the characters of Star Wars that we don’t usually get to see. It’s also a great companion to The Clone Wars series. While geared towards Middle-Grade readers, this would make a great family read. Recommended for Clone Wars fans of all ages.
Star Wars The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark is published by Disney Books and is available to buy NOW!
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Melissa Villy is a regular Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars fan and is the custodian of the FOTF Jedi Archives. Follow her on Twitter @JediLibrarian42 where she uses the force frequently!
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I’m Mina, the Jedi Librarian. I’m a teen services librarian, lover of all the books, and a lifelong Star Wars fan. I’m also secretly a Jedi.