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Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Stories of Light and Dark
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‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark’ audiobook review

A must listen, especially for fans of The Clone Wars.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark was released in August 2020, in the wake of the final season of The Clone Wars being released on Disney+. The book is a compilation of 11 short story adaptations of The Clone Wars episodes, as told from the perspective of various characters within the cartoon series.

Since there are 11 different stories by 11 different authors, I think it would best to outline exactly what the book entails. My personal recommendation would be to listen to the stories in audiobook format as well, since each of the stories is read by a different Clone Wars voice actor.

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  • “Sharing the Same Face”
    • Author: Jason Fry
    • Episode: “Ambush” – Season 1 Episode 1
    • Point of view character: Yoda
    • Read by: James Arnold Taylor
  • “Dooku Captured”
    • Author: Lou Anders
    • Episodes: “Dooku Captured” and “The Gungan General” – Season 1 Episodes 11-12
    • Point of view character: Count Dooku
    • Read by: Corey Burton (original voice actor for character)
  • “Hostage Crisis”
    • Author: Preeti Chhibber
    • Episode: “Hostage Crisis” – Season 1 Episode 22
    • Point of view character: Anakin Skywalker
    • Read by: Matt Lanter (original voice actor for character)
  • “Pursuit of Peace”
    • Author: Anne Ursu
    • Episodes: “Heroes on Both Sides” and “Pursuit of Peace” – Season 3 Episodes 10-11
    • Point of view character: Padmé Amidala
    • Read by: Catherine Taber (original voice actor for character)
  • “The Shadow of Umbara”
    • Author: Yoon Ha Lee
    • Episodes: “Darkness on Umbara”, “The General”, “Plan of Dissent”, and “Carnage of Krell” – Season 4 Episodes 7-10
    • Point of view character: Captain Rex
    • Read by: James Arnold Taylor
  • “Bane’s Story”
    • Author: Tom Angleberger
    • Episodes: “Deception”, “Friends and Enemies”, “The Box”, and “Crisis on Naboo” – Season 4 Episodes 15-18
    • Point of view character: Cad Bane
    • Read by: Corey Burton (original voice actor for character)
  • “The Lost Nightsister”
    • Author: Zoraida Córdova
    • Episode: “Bounty” – Season 4 Episode 20
    • Point of view character: Asajj Ventress
    • Read by: Nika Futterman (original voice actor for character)
  • “Dark Vengeance”
    • Author: Rebecca Roanhorse
    • Episodes: “Brothers” and “Revenge” – Season 4 Episodes 21-22
    • Point of view character: Maul
    • Read by: Sam Witwer (original voice actor for character)
  • “Almost a Jedi”
    • Author: Sara Beth Durst
    • Episode: “A Necessary Bond” – Season 5 Episode 9
    • Point of view character: Katooni
    • Read by: Oliva Hack (original voice actor for character)
  • “Kenobi’s Shadow”
    • Author: Greg van Eekhout
    • Episode: “The Lawless” – Season 5 Episode 16
    • Point of view character: Obi-Wan Kenobi
    • Read by: James Arnold Taylor (original voice actor for character)
  • “Bug”
    • Author: E. Anne Convery
    • Episode: “Massacre” – Season 4 Episode 19
    • Point of view character: Bug
    • Read by: Catherine Taber

The book is laid out in chronological fashion, with each story progressing through The Clone Wars, with most of the adaptations taking place during Seasons 1 and 4 of the show. Although the book does move chronologically, there are not many ties between the stories. Each entry seems to be a stand alone story, even though they do all tie back into the greater Clone Wars time frame.

The stories in general, even though they are written by 11 different writers, felt very cohesive and I actually rather enjoyed them. To put it in perspective, I am one who really does not like short story compilations and was also not a huge fan of The Clone Wars, although I appreciate it for what it gave us. These stories, though, were really enjoyable, fast-paced deep dives into the characters’ minds and motivations, which we otherwise wouldn’t have seen.

The stories are also fresh retellings of episodes that I personally hadn’t seen in close to a decade, and in some instances longer. For fans of The Clone Wars, this is a must have. For people like me, this may be a purchase to consider. The character focus bounced back and forth between the good guys and the bad guys, giving the readers a pretty well balanced assortment of characters. The most jarring story was probably “Almost a Jedi” for me, because it was focused on a much lesser known character (Katooni), who happens to be a child, read by the voice actor in the voice of a child. This immediately followed Sam Witwer’s sonorous Maul voice, making it even more of an audio whiplash. However, once I settled into the story, I rather enjoyed where the author was taking the character. It just seemed off at first.

As someone who is interested in new stories, most of these don’t really fit that bill. Yes they are written by the authors as new content, but they are essentially just retellings of the episodes. The one that stands apart from this is the last story, “Bug”. This story is based on the episode “Massacre” but it is not a retelling of the episode. It is a new story that uses that episode as a jumping off point. And on top of that, it is written by E. Anne Convery, who just so happens to be the spouse of Dave Filoni. So, all around this story was a highlight of the book because it was a new chapter for an ongoing story.

As I mentioned earlier, I can’t recommend the audiobook enough. The reason that the audiobook is perfect is that, of the 11 different short stories, eight are read by the original voice actor for the character. It feels like a diary journal compilation where the characters are relating the story of the episodes from their perspective. This also helps keep the story not only new and fresh, but moving along. The in-between parts of the episodes that are outside of the character’s perspective are essentially skipped and usually only slightly referenced. Listening to Cad Bane retell his part of the Bounty Hunters arc, or having Maul tell us everything that went wrong in his revenge plot against Kenobi, were downright exhilarating.

With all that is presented here, I do have some problems with the compilation. I would argue that the biggest character to come out of The Clone Wars was Ahsoka, who is noticeably absent from the story roster. That has to be a deliberate choice, but I couldn’t even fathom a guess as to why they would do that. The characters are also mostly male (7/11), and I think throwing Ahsoka into the mix would have helped that balance. However, the writers are a majority female (7/11), which is absolutely fantastic — especially given that several of the writers are names that I am not familiar with and hopefully will be able to participate in the galaxy a bit more in the future.

The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark is a must listen, especially for fans of The Clone Wars. The stories are fun, quick adventures, diving into the minds of the characters. Not only what they are doing, but also what they are feeling and thinking. I also can’t emphasize the audiobook for this one enough. I don’t think reading the stories in the physical format would have been as impactful for me as a reader. Listening to the characters tell me their tales is what really cemented this book for me as a downright enjoyable retelling of the now-classic The Clone Wars episodes.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Stories of Light and Dark
‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Stories of Light and Dark’ audiobook review
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Stories of Light and Dark
The Clone Wars - Stories of Light and Dark is a must listen, especially for fans of The Clone Wars. The stories are fun, quick adventures, diving into the minds of the characters. Not only what they are doing, but also what they are feeling and thinking.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
A fun, fresh, quick-paced retellings of The Clone Wars episodes from the characters' perspectives
Includes a new story based on an episode of The Clone Wars that is not simply a retelling of the episode
The audiobook is read by the voice actors for the series, giving an authentic feeling to the stories
A lot of new writers adding their take on that galaxy
The lack of an Ahsoka story feels jarring in a compilation about The Clone Wars
For people looking for new content, there is not much here not seen in the episodes
7.5
Good

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