REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cover for Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark

The stories surrounding Star Wars: The Clone Wars have quickly become a staple in the Star Wars franchise. Earlier this year, season seven of the animated series delivered a well-received end cap that gave fans another round of adventures with our favorite characters.  If you are still looking to have that Clone Wars itch scratched, look no further than Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark. Published by Disney–Lucasfilm Press, Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark features stories directly from episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars focusing on the perspective of one character. The eleven stories come from eleven different authors: Lou Anders, Tom Angleberger, Preeti Chhibber, Zoraida Córdova, Jason Fry, Rebecca Roanhorse, Anne Ursu, Sarah Beth Durst, Yoon Ha Lee, Greg van Eekhout, and E. Anne Convery. This powerhouse team of authors is joined by  Ksenia Zelentsova who provides both the cover art and the illustrations throughout the anthology.

Despite being stories from the animated series, the focused perspective on the main character gives a fresh take on stories that fans have come to love. Readers can expect to see  Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, Darth Maul, Count Dooku, Cad Bane, Padmé Amidala, Asajj Ventress, and Katooni in ways that fans may have not quite experienced back in the early 2000s. There is no question that this vast range of characters are on different sides of the Clone Wars conflict. However, by retelling these episodes and arcs from their perspective, the field evens out as we see each character’s motivations without the influence of a structured animated episode.

As a canon anthology, readers won’t glean any new or groundbreaking information outside a different point of view from the events of the animated series. This certainly does not take away from the amazing voice that each author is able to inject into their stories with their unique writing styles. While the majority of the stories are retelling, readers can expect a nice treat at the end of theStar Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark with “Bug” from writer Convery. The story is an all-new story in the Star Wars canon that features a story focused on a Nightsister after the assault on Dathormir at the hands of General Grevious.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark is largely aimed at a younger audience. Coming in at over 300 pages with eleven different stories, this anthology feels largely like the young adult version of Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. The text takes center stage on each page and is presented in a way that is easy to read. Scattered throughout is art from artist Zelentsova of the character-focused on in each story which provides an easy reminder of what the characters look like. This could easily serve as a nightly bedtime story for children just learning to read or an introduction in the vast world of the Star Wars expanded universe for slightly older children.

Despite its clear intended audience, the new story at the end of Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark may be enough for lore diehards to pick up the anthology. However, if you are fine with a TL;DR of that story and do not care much for reading stories you have already heard, then this may not be the book for you. That said, I found myself going back to watch the corresponding episodes to compare and contrast. This really showed how well this team of authors was able to bring all of the stories together in a cohesive book. From that perspective, it is hard to find much fault with Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark outside of not getting more original stories.

I hope that Disney–Lucasfilm Press adapts stories from the other animated shows like Rebels and Resistance, especially since as those shows have characters that we really don’t know as much about compared with The Clone Wars. Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark shows that telling these stories we have already seen from a first-person perspective can be done and shows that other animated series could also benefit from this treatment while even giving new stories as well.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark is available now wherever books are sold.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark
4.5

TL;DR

I hope that Disney–Lucasfilm Press adapts stories from the other animated shows like Rebels and Resistance, especially since as those shows have characters that we really don’t know as much about compared with The Clone Wars. Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark shows that telling these stories we have already seen from a first-person perspective can be done and shows that other animated series could also benefit from this treatment while even giving new stories as well.