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Star Wars: Darth Plagueis

Written by: James Luceno
Narrated by: Daniel Davis
Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

He was the most powerful Sith lord who ever lived... but could he be the only one who never died? 

“Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It’s a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying." -Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith 

Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master - but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side, Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power... over life and death. 

Darth Sidious: Plagueis’s chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor. 

Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Master and acolyte, target the galaxy for domination - and the Jedi Order for annihilation. But can they defy the merciless Sith tradition? Or will the desire of one to rule supreme, and the dream of the other to live forever, sow the seeds of their destruction?

©2012 James Luceno (P)2012 Random House Audio

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  • kalei
  • 09-11-12

See Episodes I-III in a whole new light!!!

If you were like me and thought that Star Wars episodes I-III were ruled by special effects and the music of John Williams rather than an epic story with epic characters, then you need to read/hear this book! You will come to understand the nature and history of the Bannite Sith Order, and the masterful and ruthless subterfuge that resulted in the fall of the Galactic Republic and the Jedi order.

All of the characters from episodes I-III are given greater depth and texture than could be conveyed in the roughly 8 hours of film in the movies. Emperor Palpatine will no longer be just a stooped,gravelly-voiced shadow hidden in a cowl to you after this, Darth Maul will be more than a silent, scowling killer wielding an exotic weapon, Count Dooku will no longer seem like Saruman in a cape and boots. The mystery of the death of Jedi Master Sifo Diyas will puzzle you the same way it puzzled the Jedi Council.

And you will understand that Anakin Skywalker was destined for greatness, but NOT in the way that the Jedi imagined when they accepted him for training.

97 people found this helpful

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  • Terryn
  • 08-06-12

Great prequel to The Phantom Menace

Would you listen to Star Wars: Darth Plagueis again? Why?

I would listen to this again. The story was great. It gave a lot of background to what happened in Episode 1, The Phantom Menace, but it was also a great story in itself. It was interesting to hear the story told with the Sith being the main protagonists, to see what their motivations are. Although the book is titled "Darth Plagueis", it is really about both Plagueis and Sidious. It shows how Plagueis became a Sith Lord, how he tried to unlock the secrets of life (which is important in Episode 3), and how he recruited Palpatine to be his apprentice. It shows why Naboo and Tatooine were critical in Sith plot. I highly recommend it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Star Wars: Darth Plagueis?

Memorable moments were when Plagueis met Palpatine, when Palpatine feel to the dark side, and when Plagueis was surprised by events even though he thought he had everything under control.

Have you listened to any of Daniel Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first Daniel Davis performance, and I thought it was excellent. Of course, Lucasfilm does a good job on all the Star Wars audio.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Episode 0: The Dark Side Emerges

Any additional comments?

I think George Lucas should make a movie from this book. I don't understand why he hasn't made any more movies given the volume of expanded universe books. He runs the risk of the general public "moving on" and forgetting about Star Wars. This would make a great "Episode 0" because of its tie to the prequel movies. Then he should make films from Zahn's Outbound Flight and Thrawn trilogy.

35 people found this helpful

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  • J. Whitney
  • 31-08-13

Easily the best Star Wars audio production

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I've already told many friends about this audio book, both for the story and the excellent performance of mister Davis.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Star Wars: Darth Plagueis?

Definitely the climax at the final chapter, and Palpatine's revelation of his intentions towards Plagueis and

Which scene was your favorite?

The aftermath of the Grans' assassination attempt on the Sith Lords, a turning point which really defines the motivations and goals of both of the main characters, loaded with all the violence we wouldn't get to see on the screen of a PG movie.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, however 14 hours is a long time. I listened to it for about an hour at bed time nightly as I do with all my other audio books, but multiple nights I had skipped a good night's rest just because I became so involved with the story I stayed up to listen for 3-4 hours instead.

Any additional comments?

As a fan of the Audible full scale productions of many of the Star Wars novels (especially Drew Karpyshyn and Jonathan Davis' work), this one is my favorite. While I'd enjoy this as one of the planned six films announced by Disney, I think it may be too mature and dense to be made well in to a two hour film. James Luceno does really well at expanding both the known and obfuscated details of the characters and the motivations which drive them. I particularly enjoyed some of the philosophy of the Dark Side of the Force and moral relativism presented in the novel. For those listeners/readers who aren't of the morbid opinion that the Sith are actually the heroes of the ongoing saga during the era in which the six films occur with the greater good of the galaxy in mind like myself, this book tells the story from their point of view and makes sure to separate the concepts of darkness and evil as entirely different and not necessarily connected ideologies very well.
While most of the Star Wars expanded universe books are well told stories and great pulp fiction, I think this one in particular stands apart, and would have been used as a good example of ethical relativism, and the struggle for spiritual balance (whether it be skewed towards one direction or another) that even Joseph Campbell would have mentioned as noteworthy. Characters and stories like these are our modern day mythology, and serves the same purpose, both as something to make us think about the world around us, and as entertainment. Darth Plagueis has appealed to both the literature scholar and dime novel fan in me, and should not be overlooked as anything less legitimate than many of the books we praise as classic literature dealing with human nature and ethics due to its backdrop as sci-fi/fantasy setting or serial backdrop.
My two cents being thrown it, I should probably mention my day job for the last half decade was watching television at a broadcasting facility all day.

44 people found this helpful

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  • oblivion7
  • 27-02-12

Easily worth 10 stars!

Not only does the pace and power of Luceno's story turn SW:TPM into a movie that makes sense (it's my least favorite), but the choice of Daniel Davis was absolutely brilliant. The depth and smoothness of his voice was the crown of perfection; he has the right touch of magnificent malevolence needed for a Sith-based story. I hope that if Random House decides to make the Darth Bane stories available on audio, they choose Mr. Davis as the reader. And thanks to James Luceno (ok, and George Lucas) for filling in all the unanswered questions about Palpatine, Dooku and the so-called "rule of two" among other things. I would highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys SW history.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Mark Andre Haumont
  • 20-11-18

Spell bounding

I feel like this story told a lot of background to the Sith Lords. The narration made me feel quite literally as though I was listening to a movie, which I greatly appreciated. Darth Plagueis unravels many unanswered mysteries that enshrouded Darth Sidious's role in the early stories/movies. Thank you James Luceno and Daniel Davis for this work of art. I highly recommend this book to any Star Wars follower and fan.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mike Naka
  • 09-07-12

couldn't stop listening

Any additional comments?

let me first say, this is my first star wars book. i'm a huge star wars fan and saw star wars 33 times as a kid. i have enjoyed the movies, even the last 3.

all i have to say is that this book is instrumental to understanding what the 6 movies are about. i can't say it enough...this book adds so much depth to the story and answers so many questions- why invade nabooo? why did count doku leave the jedi? where did darth maul come from? who was darth plagueis?

wow...this book was soooo much better than i thought.

george lucas should make this into a movie. well maybe not. lucas makes movies too kid friendly, e.g. ewoks and jar jar. we would need christopher nolan. think darker like the batman reboot.

this book is darker than the movies. being in my 30's, i got just as much a thrill listening to this story as i did seeing the original star wars.

the narration is excellent. there are some sound effects, and they add to the listening.

the story is complex, but i enjoyed understanding how the dark side, the sith, amassed power and influence throughout the galaxy.

one of the things i most enjoyed was the insight into the way the sith think. the history and influence of the major sith lords adds another layer of enrichment to the overall story. i found myself rewinding and re-listening to darth plagueis explaining the sith's understanding of the force to palpatine.

in the movies, i didn't really like palpatine. this book has changed my mind about him. this book does an awesome job building and revealing who he is and why he does what he does. this book adds a new dimension to that character. he is a schemer, and you get drawn into his machinations. this book covers palpatine from uncomfortable child to new apprentice to sith lord and does it in a way that's utterly irresistible. i just kept wanting to listen.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-08-19

Thick plotted story

Pretty long, and a ton of plot and detail. But it really fills in the gap leading up through the Phantom Menace. Bridging the plot and master plan started by Darth Bane all the way through to Sidious.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jim Hutchins
  • 08-08-19

a true masterpiece

this is a truly marvelous story. it is tightly woven and incredibly densely packed. not one word is wasted.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brian silva
  • 08-08-19

great insight

loved it, great insight into how the Emperor truly came to power. Also how powerful Plagueis really was.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-08-19

One of the best SW novels hands down

Amazing book. Amazing performances. Amazing back story. One of my top three all-time favorites Star Wars books.

2 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 26-03-19

One of the best!

Other than the Bane trilogy this is the best Star Wars audiobook yet. Truly amazing.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jonny
  • 06-07-19

just fantastic

Epic story and narration. I wad blown away and fascinated to learn more of the backdrop of the movies.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stuart John McKissock
  • 21-07-19

Amazing

I enjoyed this immensely. Daniels voice was absolutely perfect, well suited for the wise Muun.

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  • JurassicJack
  • 10-07-19

Amazing!

Amazing book, highly recommended! It covers before The Phantom Menace and behind the scenes during it.

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  • Benjamin Rolfe
  • 09-07-19

Simply brilliant

Absolutely fantastic. Loved every minute the narrator brings the characters to life and the story has so much depth. Adds so many new layers to the films I can't wait to watch them again after listening to this. A must for any starwars fan.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anthony M.
  • 12-03-19

Great audiobook

I enjoyed the narration and the plot in this book. I liked the way the author developed the story over the course of the book. Highly entertaining and worth every cent. Well done.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Geek Sensei
  • 25-03-20

Palpatine at his finest!

James Luceno does it again! What a pure joy of Palpatine's journey and back story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-03-20

The Sith done right!

if you've ever found the Sith to be flat, two-dimentional boogeymen; then the tale of Dath Plageuis the Wise is the best place to find a true understanding of how one becomes a follower of the Dark Side. If you're planning on diving into the stories of the eternal enemies of the Jedi but weren't too sure where to begin; then THIS is the story you're looking for.

The Pros:

- Daniel Davis' narration. His voice is the only one I will ever accept as Darth Plageuis and his smooth narration will keep you hooked.

- A decades-spanning story of how one lone being engineered the fall of a Republi and, the rise of an Empire. THIS is the prequal to Episode 1 that we all want.

- Excellent use of sound effects and John Williams fantastic scores.

- A facinating insight into the philosophy of the Sith and their relationship with the Force.

- The early years and tuitelage of a young boy from Naboo who would one day rise to become Emperor.


The Cons:

- The story, while not lacking in action or combat, focuses more on how the Sith manipulate, lie and coerce to achieve their goals rather than with straight-on brute force. This might turn some people off, but there's still enough bloodshed to keep even the most die-hard action fans engaged.

- The only place where Daniel Davis' narration slips is (understandably) the female characters. There aren't many women characters, and the few that are involed don't get much speaking time, but with the exception of one old force-user, Daniel's women sound quite flat and two-dimentional when compared to the rest of the cast. It's not nearly so bad as to take you out of the story or make you want to stop listening, but it is fairly noticable.

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  • peter odonnell
  • 11-03-20

Darth plagius

Amazing story telling from star wars , could not put this book down after page after page.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-03-20

Worth every penny.

I've been a star wars fan all my life, and long been considering the legends material, but was unsure. This is the only audiobook that's had me gripped from beginning to end!

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  • Gav
  • 26-06-19

I loved it

Ties everything pre-Episode 1 brilliantly. Highly recommended. It makes me want to delve deeper into the stories of the Sith. Well done.

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  • stephen
  • 18-06-19

great intro for the series

great insight into how the emperor came to be
very very very good and stuff

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-05-19

to truly understand the force

loved it, for anyone interested in everything that was happening behind the phantom menace, this is the book for you. I truly hope they turn this into a tv show

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  • Jacob Galway
  • 25-02-20

Great story and wonderful voice acting by Mr Davis

Really enjoyed this story and the voice acting that delivered it. Daniel Davis did a great job in delivering Plagueis and the other characters, and definitely kept me hooked.

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  • chur bro.
  • 14-01-20

The rise of Palpatine

The beginning was a bit slow, the author really took me into Plagues mind and how he operated. I found tbis made Palpatine when he is mentioned really shine. Once Palpatine was introduced found myself hanging out for Palpatine to reenter the story.

From his lessons on manipulation to kill his family. You can see the various echo of Anakin fall to his constant planning. Really enjoyed seeing the in depth character development of Sidious in this book. A must of you enjoy other legend writings or enjoy Palpatine rise, really great story

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  • Benjamin
  • 12-01-20

great book

heads up, there's sound effects. but they're not distracting
great listen though, wish there was more

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  • angus jack russell
  • 16-12-19

cracking read

Brilliant star wars adventure. bit heavy on politics but necessary given the story. highly recommend

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  • Avon Carter
  • 14-12-19

Fantastic

It was a fantastic book

Portrayed the character of Palpatine perfectly
And how the events that set up episode 1
The sith and the 1000 year plan to defeat the jedi
And things hinted at in the prequel trilogy

The author also gives slight references to other characters and sith lords in the starwars universe
From other stories
Which was great for a giant universe

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  • jordan
  • 02-10-19

great listening

i have alway wondered about the back stories of the characters in the movies this explains a lot. the voice is easy to listen to.

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  • Mrs
  • 19-10-16

What a load of complete rubbish, why bother

I love Star Wars and have read and listened to well over 50 books from the franchise. This book stands out for being slow paced and uneventful. It seems to be a very poor attempt to tie everything together before the start of the phantom menace. A shopping list may have been more interesting.