Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (AU Star Wars) (英語) CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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The turning point for the entire Star Wars saga is at hand.
After years of civil war, the Separatists have battered the already faltering republic nearly to the point of collapse. On Coruscant, the Senate watches anxiously as Supreme Chancellor Palatine aggressively strips away more and more constitutional liberties in the name of safeguarding the Republic. Yoda, Mace Windu, and their fellow Masters grapple with the Chancellor's disturbing move to assume control of Jedi Council. And Anakin Skywalker, the prophesied Chosen One destined to bring balance to the Force, is increasingly consumed by his fear that his secret love, Senator Padme Amidala, will die.
As the combat escalates across the galaxy, the stage is set for an explosive endgame: Obi-Wan undertakes a perilous mission to destroy the dreaded Separatist military leader, General Grievous; Palpatine, eager to secure even greater control, subtly influences public opinion against the Jedi; and a conflicted Anakin--tormented by unspeakable visions--edges dangerously closer to the bring of a galaxy-shaping decision. It remains only for Darth Sidious, whose shadow looms ever larger, to strike the final staggering blow against the Republic...and to ordain a fearsome new Sith Lord: Darth Vader.
Based on the screenplay of the eagerly anticipated final film in George Lucas's epic saga, bestselling Star Wars author Matthew Stover's novel crackles with action, captures the iconic character in all their complexity, and brings a space opera masterpiece full circle in stunning style.
Revenge of the Sith Novel Excerpt
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
By Matthew Stover; Based on the story and screenplay by George Lucas
A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY. . . .
This story happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
It is already over. Nothing can be done to change it.
It is a story of love and loss, brotherhood and betrayal, courage and sacrifice and the death of dreams. It is a story of the blurred line between our best and our worst.
It is the story of the end of an age.
A strange thing about stories --
Though this all happened so long ago and so far away that words cannot describe the time or the distance, it is also happening right now. Right here.
It is happening as you read these words.
This is how twenty-five millennia come to a close. Corruption and treachery have crushed a thousand years of peace. This is not just the end of a republic; night is falling on civilization itself.
This is the twilight of the Jedi.
The end starts now.
INTRODUCTION: The Age of Heroes
The skies of Coruscant blaze with war.
The artificial daylight spread by the capital's orbital mirrors is sliced by intersecting flames of ion drives and punctuated by starburst explosions; contrails of debris raining into the atmosphere become tangled ribbons of cloud. The nightside sky is an infinite lattice of shining hairlines that interlock planetoids and track erratic spirals of glowing gnats. Beings watching from rooftops of Coruscant's endless cityscape can find it beautiful.
From the inside, it's different.
The gnats are drive-glows of starfighters. The shining hairlines are light-scatter from turbolaser bolts powerful enough to vaporize a small town. The planetoids are capital ships.
The battle from the inside is a storm of confusion and panic, of galvened particle beams flashing past your starfighter so close that your cockpit rings like a broken annunciator, of the bootsole shock of concussion missiles that blast into your cruiser, killing beings you have trained with and eaten with and played and laughed and bickered with. From the inside, the battle is desperation and terror and the stomach-churning certainty that the whole galaxy is trying to kill you.
Across the remnants of the Republic, stunned beings watch in horror as the battle unfolds live on the HoloNet. Everyone knows the war has been going badly. Everyone knows that more Jedi are killed or captured every day, that the Grand Army of the Republic has been pushed out of system after system, but this --
A strike at the very heart of the Republic?
An invasion of Coruscant itself?
How can this happen?
It's a nightmare, and no one can wake up.
Live via HoloNet, beings watch the Separatist droid army flood the government district. The coverage is filled with images of overmatched clone troopers cut down by remorselessly powerful destroyer droids in the halls of the Galactic Senate itself.
A gasp of relief: the troopers seem to beat back the attack. There are hugs and even some quiet cheers in living rooms across the galaxy as the Separatist forces retreat to their landers and streak for orbit --
We won! beings tell each other. We held them off!
But then new reports trickle in -- only rumors at first -- that the attack wasn't an invasion at all. That the Separatists weren't trying to take the planet. That this was a lightning raid on the Senate itself.
The nightmare gets worse: the Supreme Chancellor is missing.
Palpatine of Naboo, the most admired man in the galaxy, whose unmatched political skills have held the Republic together. Whose personal integrity and courage prove that the Separatist propaganda of corruption in the Senate is nothing but lies. Whose charismatic leadership gives the whole Republic the will to fight on.
Palpatine is more than respected. He is loved.
Even the rumor of his disappearance strikes a dagger to the heart of every friend of the Republic. Every one of them knows it in her heart, in his gut, in its very bones --
Without Palpatine, the Republic will fall.
And now confirmation comes through, and the news is worse than anyone could have imagined. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine has been captured by the Separatists -- and not just the Separatists.
He's in the hands of General Grievous.
Grievous is not like other leaders of the Separatists. Nute Gunray is treacherous and venal, but he's Neimoidian: venality and treachery are expected, and in the Viceroy of the Trade Federation they're even virtues. Poggle the Lesser is Archduke of the weapon masters of Geonosis, where the war began: he is analytical and pitiless, but also pragmatic. Reasonable. The political heart of the Separatist Confederacy, Count Dooku, is known for his integrity, his principled stand against what he sees as corruption in the Senate. Though they believe he's wrong, many respect him for the courage of his mistaken convictions.
These are hard beings. Dangerous beings. Ruthless and aggressive.
General Grievous, though --
Grievous is a monster.
The Separatist Supreme Commander is an abomination of nature, a fusion of flesh and droid -- and his droid parts have more compassion than what remains of his alien flesh. This halfliving creature is a slaughterer of billions. Whole planets have burned at his command. He is the evil genius of the Confederacy. The architect of their victories.
The author of their atrocities.
And his durasteel grip has closed upon Palpatine. He confirms the capture personally in a wideband transmission from his command cruiser in the midst of the orbital battle. Beings across the galaxy watch, and shudder, and pray that they might wake up from this awful dream.
Because they know that what they're watching, live on the HoloNet, is the death of the Republic.
Many among these beings break into tears; many more reach out to comfort their husbands or wives, their crèche-mates or kin-triads, and their younglings of all descriptions, from children to cubs to spawn-fry.
But here is a strange thing: few of the younglings need comfort. It is instead the younglings who offer comfort to their elders. Across the Republic--in words or pheromones, in magnetic pulses, tentacle-braids, or mental telepathy -- the message from the younglings is the same: Don't worry. It'll be all right.
Anakin and Obi-Wan will be there any minute.
They say this as though these names can conjure miracles.
Anakin and Obi-Wan. Kenobi and Skywalker. From the beginning of the Clone Wars, the phrase Kenobi and Skywalker has become a single word. They are everywhere. HoloNet features of their operations against the Separatist enemy have made them the most famous Jedi in the galaxy.
Younglings across the galaxy know their names, know everything about them, follow their exploits as though they are sports heroes instead of warriors in a desperate battle to save civilization. Even grown-ups are not immune; it's not uncommon for an exasperated parent to ask, when faced with offspring who have just tried to pull off one of the spectacularly dangerous bits of foolishness that are the stock-in-trade of high-spirited younglings everywhere, So which were you supposed to be, Kenobi or Skywalker?
Kenobi would rather talk than fight, but when there is fighting to be done, few can match him. Skywalker is the master of audacity; his intensity, boldness, and sheer jaw-dropping luck are the perfect complement to Kenobi's deliberate, balanced steadiness. Together, they are a Jedi hammer that has crushed Separatist infestations on scores of worlds.
All the younglings watching the battle in Coruscant's sky know it: when Anakin and Obi-Wan get there, those dirty Seppers are going to wish they'd stayed in bed today.
The adults know better, of course. That's part of what being a grown-up is: understanding that heroes are created by the HoloNet, and that the real-life Kenobi and Skywalker are only human beings, after all.
Even if they really are everything the legends say they are, who's to say they'll show up in time? Who knows where they are right now? They might be trapped on some Separatist backwater. They might be captured, or wounded. Even dead.
Some of the adults even whisper to themselves, They might have fallen.
Because the stories are out there. Not on the HoloNet, of course -- the HoloNet news is under the control of the Office of the Supreme Chancellor, and not even Palpatine's renowned candor would allow tales like these to be told--but people hear whispers. Whispers of names that the Jedi would like to pretend never existed.
Sora Bulq. Depa Billaba. Jedi who have fallen to the dark. Who have joined the Separatists, or worse: who have massacred civilians, or even murdered their comrades. The adults have a sickening suspicion that Jedi cannot be trusted. Not anymore. That even the greatest of them can suddenly just . . . snap.
The adults know that legendary heroes are merely legends, and not heroes at all.
These adults can take no comfort from their younglings. Palpatine is captured. Grievous will escape. The Republic will fall. No mere human beings can turn this tide. No mere human beings would even try. Not even Kenobi and Skywalker.
And so it is that these adults across the galaxy watch the HoloNet with ashes where their hearts should be.
Ashes because they can't see two prismatic bursts of realspace reversion, far out beyond the planet's gravity well; because they can't see a pair of starfighters crisply jettison hyperdrive rings and streak into the storm of Separatist vulture fighters with all guns blazing.
A pair of starfighters. Jedi starfighters. Only two.
Two is enough.
Two is enough because the adul...
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Readers like myself attempt to describe the beauty of this novel, but we cannot do it justice. But to put it simply, Stover hasn’t just written a good Star Wars book; he’s crafted an experience. He draws in the readers, helping us identify and sympathize with Anakin. The novel allows you to view scenes from the film from different viewpoints, from the perspective of different characters, and through the lens of expert prose.
Books like this remind me why I enjoy Star Wars, reading, great storytelling, and even the English language. This novel speaks to the ideas of despair, hope, loyalty, manipulation, courage, and, of course, darkness and light. With Revenge of the Sith, Stover sets the standard for not only a great film novelization, but for an engaging Star Wars book. I fully plan on returning to this book regularly.
When one thinks about adapting screenplays into books, it doesn't sound like too heavy a literally work. Certainly not the place to find complex storytelling devices or deep soul-searching inner monologues. One thinks the author will be bound and gagged by the movie.
... Someone forgot to tell Stover all of that.
The Revenge of the Sith is everything the movie should have been - and more; that only literature could give you. Even the stunted dialogue seems to be dissolved by everything going on around it. Characters are far better explored, far deeper, and whole new storylines are developed from things that were taken out of the movie - and the book's better for it; hell, the MOVIE is better after reading the book.
Not to mention some very remarkable quotes.
Emotional, complex and beautifully written; the RotS novelization is far beyond an adventure and far beyond a sci-fi novel; it is a book about people (human or not). And in bringing this feeling to life, Stover also brings the feeling that made Star Wars so well loved by both people who are sci-fi fans and those who aren't, back.
The sole reason I purchased this book was on account of Matthew Stover's name being attached to it. I had recently jumped back into Star Wars novels thanks to his book, SHATTERPOINT. Up until then, as I've mentioned before, I had only perceived the Star Wars line of books to be marketable pieces of fanfiction (no thanks to previous experiences). But thanks to Stover, I came to believe in Star Wars again. He showed that there can be some ruthlessness in that realm, and that there is some room in the Expanded Universe for deep, philosophical musings about the ever-present clash between light and dark.
I found that book just shy of a five-star rating because of a few gratuitous action scenes and some hang-ups I had with character development and pacing.
His novelization of REVENGE OF THE SITH, however, not only came to fully deserve a five-star rating, but also developed to become one of the best, if not THE best, novels I've ever read. Again, I realize how silly that might sound: that a novelization of a Star Wars movie could accomplish such a thing. But I couldn't be more sure of it, because this novel is more than a mere interpretation of a screenplay, it serves the core-story to an extent that if I had read this book before seeing Episode III for the first time, I probably would have felt cheated by the amount of content that had all but disappeared in translation.
I don't think I have to recap the story as, essentially, the main story-arc remains the same as the movie. But as I said, it expands on this to an insane degree. Characters, like Count Dooku, who really only seemed evil for the sake of evil, now have motive, fears, ambition. Every turn of emotion and every betrayal seems more devastating because of this exposition. Even Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who we've followed through three movies, seem almost alien as we completely rediscover who they are, what motivates them, and exactly how close they were to each other. The pair actually feel as though they're brothers-in-arms here, not the squabbling pair they came off as on film.
Some scenes are extended and pack more of a punch. One particular addition that I was mesmerized by came just before Palpatine reveals his true identity as Darth Sidious, where he tells a troubled Anakin that he can give him anything he wants in the galaxy. Anakin playfully begins naming off anything from an expensive speeder to an entire star system, and Palpatine, without hesitation, grants all of these things purely to prove a point. Scenes like this worked so well on paper that I haven't the foggiest why they didn't make an appearance in the movie.
And, yes, I would certainly say this book is better than the movie it's based upon. It goes so far as to transcend the Star Wars canon itself, providing such entrancing moral dilemmas and philosophical thoughts that, at some points, these thoughts leap off the page and make you wonder their context within our own universe: the frail divide between good and evil, relativity, and giving in to tradition.
Again, this is a Star Wars book.
I must also mention the writing, because Stover has a natural gift for making the reader feel what his characters are feeling. He tells this story from many points of view so that this vast story is properly covered, and he tells it all with the exuberance of a narrator of a tragic play. He allows you to see through the eyes of the characters, and takes you aside to really point out key moments in their lives. And when the end comes, and Darth Vader dons his trademark armor for the first time, there is no "Hey, look, it's Darth Vader!" moment, there's only the pity and sadness for a boy that you've come to know and care for who had flown too close to the sun. And he sums it all up perfectly in a way where you come to understand Vader so much more intensely:
"This is what it's like to be Anakin Skywalker, forever."
I must fiercely recommend this to any Star Wars or Stover fan. The way this book reads, it's as if you've missed out on half of the movie--the good parts--and you will come to know some of your favorite characters in a way that you didn't think possible. [SPOILER]: Mace Windu's death will actually shock you! Yeah! And if you've read SHATTERPOINT, it will most certainly sadden you.
I have two more Stover/Star Wars novels left to go. Here's hoping he doesn't stray too far from that universe, because it's in desperate need of him. May the Force be with us all.
While the best of the prequels, the story still left much to be desired. Anakin goes from Padme's husband and an upstanding and talented (though whiny) Jedi into a sudden reversal into a ruthless, hate-driven Sith Lord. The movie never really explained this transition well, since it is not the kind of transition that occurs suddenly and without logic. I always felt a disconnect from the character of Anakin, and as a huge fan of Vader, I always wanted a deeper insight into his transition.
Well, this book gives you that depth. It shows you what emotions and actions were happening "off screen", as it were, and is a great look into not only Anakin's descent into darkness and hatred, but also of the failings of the Jedi order, and the faults that led to the fall of the Republic.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has thirsted for more details related to Anakin's fall and the rise of Lord Vader. It is not only well-written, but also immersive, and grants rare insight into characters that have been distant and perhaps even tertiary to the story as a whole.