shed light on one of the most fascinating points in the timeline when it This novel is set in the period between and takes us on an epic journey along with Jedi master Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, War Hero Lando Calrissian, and Rey’s mysterious, scared parents. .
The novel also explores ancient Sith mysteries and identifies new threats to our galaxy. The mysteries revealed in the novel will intrigue you.This book is essential reading. It will answer most of your questions, and it opens up many exciting storytelling possibilities in the future.
It was written by a New Zealand-born passionate author Adam ChristopherHis previous work includes superhero-noir adventures The sci-fi horror. Stranger Things tie in novel .
During a lengthy Zoom interview, Christopher from the UK gave me a deep dive on Shadow of the Sith. He discussed Rey’s parents, Luke as a Jedi master and explored a new side of Lando.
Full SPOILERSThe novel’s final chapters lie ahead so I recommend that you wait until you have finished it before proceeding. Below is a transcription of our conversation, slightly edited for clarity.
Let me know your Star Wars origin story.
Christopher: I am a classic child from the 1980s. I was just the right age to grow up with action figures, movies and toys. Because my dad was a huge fan of science fiction, he took me to see Star Wars 1978.
He was an advertising executive and used to travel to Asia and Taiwan on business. He brought back tons of toys that were impossible to find in New Zealand. It was a Star Wars-rich childhood.
I watched the Original Trilogy on VHS. My family used to rent it at the video store every weekend for five years. It was the only thing I ever watched. I can still remember the movies by heart. I am sure many others my age can.
How did Shadow of the Sith come to be?
Christopher: Two short stories I wrote for the From a Certain Point of View Anthologies — these were to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Christopher’s passing. Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back— And I’d also done a backup strip in . A couple of years back, I had planned to write a Mandalorian novel. But that didn’t happen.
They offered me to do another book in the early 2021, and I was like, “Well we have this story about Lando chasing Luke Ochi of Bestoon. Can you do that story?” It was unbelievable. I can’t remember ever responding to an email faster than this.
I can recall hearing Lando’s line in The Rise of Skywalker, where he mentions that adventure. I thought, “Oh, that would be great!”
Christopher: When Rise of Skywalker was released, I saw it probably four to five times. Rey heard Lando say that to her. My reaction was “What do you mean Lando, Luke, went on this adventure?” It was a strange combination. Before I even thought about writing the book, I imagined what a great story it would be. Then, I get to write the book years later, which is kinda weird. Star Wars fan aside, I am just excited to be able to tell that story.
This episode was treated as Episode 6.5. It is set between Return of the Jedi (the Force Awakens) and this epic cinematic adventure. Although I loved Star Wars, it was a joy and a challenge to write. I also had to connect the original trilogy with the sequel trilogy.
Shadow of the Sith revealed that Rey’s parents were Miramir (or Dathan) in Shadow of the Sith. What is the origin of these names?
Christopher: Here’s a deep and secret, magical in-depth look at how writing works. Dathan was a friend of mine at school. It was just a cool name. It’s probably a more popular name in the States. However, I wanted something less common but still recognizable as an earthy name. Star Wars is a magical world where you have a mixture of weird alien names, and then there’s Luke and Ben. There are many more examples when you read the comics or the books.
Miramir is a fantasy character. I wanted to give it a fantasy name because we see her home world in the book. Although it’s not magical, it does have a twilight forest, and it’s very mysterious. Miramar is the name of a New Zealand place. This is where Weta Studios are based.
I simply typed it in, changed some letters and was amazed at how cool it sounded. It has a magical quality that almost sounds like Elven. It was also a contrast with Dathan, who is quite simple. Miramir, however, sounds a bit more exotic.
Right. Dathan is an almost cloned of an evil space wizard. But he’s quite ordinary. Miramir might have Force potential, I felt.
Christopher: Yes, she has talents. Dathan is aware of that and she’s the one who rescues them from a few scrapes. It would be fascinating to learn more about her family, as we are given hints in the book.
It appears that Dathan shares some characteristics with Palpatine. I was struck by the description of Dathan’s “glib tone” and “charming smile”.
Although he has had an extraordinary childhood on Exegol, he is still Palpatine in some way. Palpatine was trying to find the perfect vessel, so he wasn’t a clone. [for his spirit to inhabit]. However, you can recall Senator Palpatine manipulating the entire prequel trilogy. [where he wipes out the Jedi and declares himself Emperor]It is simply amazing.
Dathan may not know the Emperor, but he does know where it came from. Although he isn’t Force sensitive, he does not know what Palpatine has in store for him. So he is somewhat anxious about his history. However, this line is a reflection about where he came from. That’s what Palpatine had. Charmer and manipulator.
Palpatine’s presence is fascinating in the novel. He’s not even in it but there’s an eerie feeling that he’s always there.
Ochi gets the knife, his eyes go off and then he hears the voice from the blackness. It’s a great cinematic moment. As if it were a movie, the screen turns black and you hear Palpatine’s voice echoing, followed by the piercing red lightsaber. It was the first thing to come to my mind so I wrote it.
Palpatine is now dead, but that doesn’t mean he’s dead. There are things going on in the background, and nobody knows what his plan is to survive past the end the Original Trilogy. Nobody knows. Although he is a wonderful character, he is only present in a few lines. But that’s all.
It was interesting to look back at Miramir’s flashbacks of Dathan and Dathan in The Rise of Skywalker, after having read the novel. I’ve seen the movie several times and have never noticed the goons behind the scenes.
Christopher: I watched The Rise of Skwalker a frame at a time to fully understand it. The flashbacks are very important because that’s the first time we see Miramir and Dathan.
During the outline I was like “There’s people behind the ship! Miramir, Dathan are killed by two aliens who have guns. Let me explain. It all fits together because I found a way.
As a child, my favorite part of The Empire Strikes Back was the bounty hunters. They are only visible for 20 seconds. There is no backstory or dialogue. The only thing we have to do with are the action figures. These were the ones I played along with. I could tell their stories because we didn’t see them in the movie. So I created it. The beauty of the sequel trilogy is its continuation of that tradition with amazing background characters. These are the things that interest me.
It was your job to make Luke Skywalker famous in his prime. That was a lot of pressure.
Christopher: I felt the responsibility to properly serve him. We haven’t seen this Luke Skywalker before. He embarks on an emotional journey that includes becoming a Jedi, reconciling with his past, his family, and redemption for Anakin.
To see him nearly twenty years later was truly fascinating — what was his personality at that time? We see at the end ofWhen he arrives to save Grogu, he is a Jedi fighter — doing amazing things with a lightsaber which was incredible. You get to We see him beginning to train Grogu. He’s calm and peaceful, the peaceful Jedi master.
His character is based on two aspects post-Return of the Jedi. At that time, he is the most powerful person in all of the galaxy.
I found the key to his character was his awareness of the power he holds. He was balancing and judging everything he did. He is constantly asking what he can do and what he should. He has the best knowledge about the Dark Side and the Force, as well as what it can do if misused.
He’s rebuilding the Jedi Order, he’s training his nephew — he’s aware of that responsibility as well because of the family history. We recognize him as a Luke Skywalker. But, he has a new Luke Skywalker because he has moved on.
Although he tries to be constantly aware, it causes him to become somewhat disconnected from others. Lando is able to bring back some human touch, which is why he’s so important. Lando is focused on the present and trying to help Rey’s loved ones, while Luke looks at the larger picture. They balance well.
It is quite powerful to see Anakin speaking to Luke. This is another meeting between father and son. It was Palpatine being a rascal, I thought.
Anakin. I was thinking, “What’s the most important thing I can do?” Meet Luke with his father. Which [Lucasfilm] let me do. They believed in me and that I would tell the great story.
Lando in Shadow of the Sith felt just like the character that we’d never seen before.
Christopher: We all know Lando as the gambler, the playboy and the businessman with a plan. What would happen to someone like that after he experiences the personal tragedy of his child being abducted? It would change the course of anyone’s lives.
Particularly since the book is set six year after her kidnapping and he still hasn’t found them — all the leads are dead and he’s drifting.
He’s having a few drinks and gambling when we meet him for the first time in the book. Because he is in control, it’s easy for him go back to old habits.
He is not in control of his life. He is energized when he hears Ochi talk about the Sith, and the whole plot of kidnapping. He has been searching for a way to get back on his quest and pick himself up.
Although he’s Lando, there’s something fundamentally new about him. It is rare for a book that can develop one of Star Wars’ main characters in a meaningful way. It was great for Luke, too.
They also discovered that their paths had diverged. They were not best friends but they were close friends for 20 years. The story is about their re-discovering the friendship they once had. The book teaches them a lot about each other.
Each of them also detonated a Death Star.
Christopher: They were bound to be together, they are the Death Star destroyers.
The strange arcane Sith stuff was my favorite part of the novel, as it was surprising. How did you come up with that idea?
Christopher: Star Wars can be made more scary by using the Sith. Sith relics are the idea of power that comes from the past. This is very mysterious and nebulous. I wanted the Sith to be creepy and the reader’s imagination to take over.
Kiza is the bad guy. Kiza is the victim of her own tragedy. She’s on her own journey, with her own need to find redemption, but she is still trapped.
Exegol has several scenes where Luke sees the wraiths in a vision. Also, we see Dathan as a younger clone, or strand cast. He follows the cultists while they chant all the Sith Lords’ names — it’s quite creepy. Star Wars’s Sith allows us to see this side. This is what we see in The Rise of Skywalker. The cultists also show it, but I focused it on specific characters.
It was quite delicious to be a fan of those men chanting the names of the dead Sith Lords. Is it possible to define them?
Christopher: I was left to do what I wanted. With this scene, the initial draft was only two pages. This is a large list. So, what Sith Lords should I mention? Oh, “Noctus and Shaa.” I also made up some. However, the list was too long and I decided to reduce it to as many as possible.
This is the kind of stuff I love. If there is stuff that a superfan can recognize, it’s the best tie-in book. You don’t have to know any of this; it’s just one cool, creepy scene. I also love the idea that you can add things to the canon that weren’t there before. I also like to add my own stuff.
They are Sith Lords. There are two I made. Some were adapted from other stories and books.
Darth Noctysss (which is an awesome name) played a significant indirect role in Shadow of the Sith. Kiza uses the lightsaber of the dead Sith Lord and its curved knife.
Christopher: Noctyss comes from George Mann. It’s part a series. You can also find out more about a He co-wrote the story with Cavan Scott. They’re not Star Wars canon. Instead, they’re Star Wars fairy tales. As with any legend or myth, there is often a element of reality. It was an amazing opportunity to combine it all.
Exim Panshard was also a Sith Lord, who controlled Kiza via his mask. It is extremely gothic and metal to flashback to his reign.
Christopher: It was a great opportunity to explore an area we’ve never seen or heard of. It’s not clear from whom he comes from. The flashback seems almost medieval. We knew that Sith relics and possibly Jedi artifacts could hold power. It is a common mistake for foolish people to believe they have the power to control it.
In the Trilogy Aftermath [by author Chuck Wendig]It is now known that the mask emits the screams from all the souls of those who he’s killed. How did he generate such power? He believed he could go on living forever. To do so, he needed the power generated by the deaths as many people possible. It’s industrial destruction. He has machines that he can use to destroy the planet’s population. This is a level of villainy you rarely see.
Kiza appeared for the first time in the Aftermath novels. Here we learn more about her history. One of the Emperor’s advisors gave her the mask because he wanted her to act as a puppet. He was aware he couldn’t wear the mask so he gave the mask to an Acolyte of the Beyond who he could control and gain power.
Panshard seemed to be threatening us at a level never seen since the Legends novels. (stories)
Christopher: It was just the way it came out. Star Wars fans will know that my bookshelf is filled with Star Wars books. I have enjoyed them for years. So, I was really just trying to tell the best story I could.
Panshard is an interesting Star Wars villain. Because the readers don’t know what he can accomplish, it’s frightening. Kiza is even more scared as the story progresses to the conclusion, where Luke and his friends face off against the monster of another age.
It was fascinating to me that Kiza didn’t get redeemed in spite of having every opportunity.
Christopher: Redemption is a key theme in Star Wars. But she lost herself to the mask. She knew it was going after her, but couldn’t stop it. It was too strong.
Between Kiza’s mask and Ochi’s dagger, it felt like there was a strong theme about addiction in those Sith artifacts. Did you intend that?
Christopher: Yes, that’s because of the Dark Side temptation and allure. Ochi was obsessed with Exegol. Vader went with Ochi to Exegol in It was a difficult time. [Ochi was disfigured]. Because he believes Exegol is a place for rebirth, and regeneration, he wants to go back.
Kiza and Ochi both have addictions, so it was clear that the book’s theme of addiction was deliberate. Kaiser doesn’t like the mask but can’t help but put it on. Ochi is so obsessed by Exegol that it’ll do any thing for him. Therefore, the blade feeds on his emotions (hatred and obsession) creating a feedback loop. They are pumped back into Ochi.
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’ll live longer.” That’s straight from the 1970s Los Angeles Times newspaper strips.
Once people have read Shadow of the Sith, are there any Legends novels you’d recommend they jump into?
Christopher: The by Matthew Stober, which is the greatest Star Wars book ever written. And one of my favorite Star Wars authors is Michael A. Stackpole, who wrote , and quite a number of other books. There’s an Easter egg about him in Shadow of the Sith, but I’ll leave that as a surprise for people who can spot it.
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