While fans are awaiting the last of Timothy Zahn’s Ascendancy trilogy, Lucasfilm announced their next batch of Star Wars novels. One that stands out is a prequel story to the sequel trilogy (indeed) titled Shadow of the Sith. It will take place between episodes VI and VII and its main characters will be Luke and Lando. The idea is to explain the events that led to The Force Awakens and especially The Rise of Skywalker.
Hunt For Rey
The novel will revolve around Ochi of Bestoon - the character the audience likely remembers - correction: doesn’t remember - from The Rise of Skywalker. He was the corpse Rey&co. found in a cave, holding the Sith dagger. According to the description, Shadow of the Sith is going to explain the backstory of Ochi’s hunt for Rey, largely through the eyes of Luke and Lando (and seemingly also Ochi himself).
Two decades after the Battle of Endor, “Jedi Master (sic!) Luke Skywalker is haunted by visions of the dark side, foretelling an ominous secret growing… on a dead world called Exegol.” Meanwhile, Lando crosses paths with Ochi, who has been tasked with finding Rey and her parents for the Sith Eternal. “Luke’s fears are confirmed when his old friend Lando comes to him with reports of a new Sith menace.”
What Wasn’t In The Film
Just from the little that has been revealed so far, the novel promises one thing: it might finally make The Rise of Skywalker make sense - or rather, finally provide some coherence for the entire trilogy. It may explain what in the name of all was Luke and everyone else thinking if they knew about who Rey was, yet still retreated to their respective retirement plans, likely believing that the evil had been defeated for good. It should explain the grand plan of Palpatine and the Sith Eternal. In other words, it seems like it will be the thing that should have made it to the films so that Palpatine’s appearance in TROS would not come completely out of the blue.
There are more details that might be interesting about the story. One will be seeing Luke at the height of his power (also post-The Mandalorian), as a true Jedi Master. The synopsis also mentions that Lando stumbled upon Ochi, a Sith assassin tasked with kidnapping a young girl, while looking for his own daughter who “was stolen from his arms”. This adds a nice little subplot and something more about Lando. The fact that Lando lost a child ties in with his final scene with Jannah in TROS. In the light of losing his own daughter, it makes sense that he would feel for the orphan who was taken from her parents and raised to be a stormtrooper.
What Will It Be Like?
As for what we can expect from the author, Adam Christopher is a writer that has over a dozen novels set in popular S&F TV universes behind his belt. He participated on the anthology “Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View” and otherwise wrote books set in the universe of Stranger Things, Elementary and the video game Dishonored.
There is a decent chance that Shadow of the Sith will be a good story, at least in the sense that it could fill the gaps left by TROS - or majority of them. Of course, it would have been better if the explanation was not needed in the first place…