Darth Bane: Path Of Destruction Literature Review

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Darth Bane: Path of Destruction

written by: Drew Karpyshyn

Mentioned in passing at first during the novelization of Episode I, Darth Bane quickly grabbed the imagination of many Star Wars fans who clamored to know more about the history of the father of the modern day Sith. So much so, that there was certainly a danger to the overhype of a character that no story would have reached the legends built up in a rabid fanbase’s mind.

However I have to say that after a slow deliberate grinding start, the ending was as legendary as I thought it would be. Epic would be a better word. It just took a little while to get there.

Who knew Bane would have such destitute beginnings…although it does make sense. Bane was the hardended miner of cortosis on an outerrim world, his only family a drunken father who blamed him for everything.

Despite the fact we know he will be the root of all evil, he is surprisingly sympathetic, especially at the beginning. Even the evil he does, is minor and in most case nothing different than any average citizen would do if in the same circumstances.

But again, I have to point out it is slow going. Until we get off world and Bane joins the Sith military. The second part of the book does pick up a bit and is highly reminiscent of the Clone Wars as the Sith military fights off the Republic forces until Bane shows off his innate gift with the Force until he is noticed by the Sith Lords and drafted into training on Korriban.

It is a great interacting with the past as Korriban is further explored and references to Darth Revan enrichens the continuity and connects legends and ages past and future of the Galaxy Far Far Away.

The story from that point on is a fairly typical – special outcast who learns and surpasses all those around him until he is bigger than the institution type of tale. What makes the story really worthwhile is the characters.

Bane himself is fascinating and it is telling how impressively he is written that despite his evil acts, it isn’t until the very end of the book that you realize just how he evil he is. It’s a truly well developed transition from reulctant Sith to full fledged Darth Bane.

The Sith Lords all have their own pros and cons and like Bane’s transition it is fascinating to see their decline in charisma and presence, as we are watching them through Bane’s eyes. Only Kas’im, Bane’s secret teacher of the lightsaber keeps his honor througout even as Bane cuts him down.

Githany, Bane’s part time lover/part time teacher/part time apprentice really serves as a catalyst througout the tale of war with the Jedi and keeps things moving on all angles as the inevitable conflict between Bane and the Brotherhood builds.

On the other side are the Jedi who are understandably not as well developed. Key though is the well named General Hoth. It’s a nice touch of continuity of how planets are named possibly.

I wish we could have gotten a bit further into the Jedi, perhaps more of an Anti-Bane as Hoth proved to be more of an Anti-Kaan, leader of the Brotherhood.

It’s a fun exciting book with top notch action, a climactic final battle where multitudes of Sith and Jedi are taken out and the new Sith Empire with Bane is born. The only negative thing I had to say was the choice of having Bane find his apprentice in the epilogue in Rain, a girl who was on Ruusan during the war. They teased that Gilthany would be the one and their relationship was so well drawn that I think that if they had followed through on that angle it would have been a far jucier tale to tell as the Bane story continues.

But that slight negative doesn’t detract from the tale all that much and I would definitely recommend it, especially to those Knights of the Old Republic Era fans.

B+

-Paul Talon

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