(Suicide by Star Wars Apocrypha is a foolish attempt to examine the entirety of the now decanonized Star Wars Expanded Universe and quantify its assorted artistic merits. Read the introduction. Check out the archives.)
Author: Drew Karpyshyn
Publication Date: November 2011
Timeline Placement: 3,954 – 3,950 BBY; 3,900 BBY (epilogue)
Series: The Old Republic
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC AND STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC II: THE SITH LORDS ENSUE
Our story begins two years after the first Knights of the Old Republic. Revan, the hero of that game, has retired from the galactic limelight and is now married to Bastila Shan, the love interest for players who selected a male avatar on the character creation screen. Also for some reason his name is Revan. Which is odd, because I thought that “Revan”/”Darth Revan” was the KotOR player character’s previous evil personality that was destroyed when Darth Malak blew him up and the Jedi Council reprogrammed his mind with a new identity. Like there are several points in the game where you can say “I’m not Revan anymore, I’m [INSERT PLAYER’S NAME SELECTION HERE].” I guess that would look awkward on the cover of a novel though.
[Continuity Note: Although both KotOR games allow the player to choose the sex, race, and morality of their character, various Star Wars publications later established a “canon” version of the games’ events, dictating that Revan was a white man, KotOR II‘s Jedi Exile was a white woman, and the light-side ending of both games was the true historical outcome. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. Part of the appeal of KotOR I and II, as the only RPGs in the Star Wars videogame library, was the ability to customize your character’s personality and choices, so you could basically insert yourself into these pivotal moments in Star Wars history. The games took place so far in the galaxy’s past that there was no real danger of later stories needing to define precisely what had happened in them, but they did it anyway so here we are. I should point out that Drew Karpyshyn and Revan aren’t to blame for this, though; it had already happened long before this book came out.]
All is not perfect wedded bliss for our generic all-purpose hero, however. As forgotten memories of his past life return, Revan has been plagued with nightmares of a storm-covered world and a hidden threat to the Republic that is preparing to strike. In search of answers, he reunites with his old friend, Mandalorian mercenary Canderous Ordo, who tells him that the Mandalorian clans are scouring the galaxy for the mask of Mandalore. When Revan slew Mandalore the Ultimate at the end of the Mandalorian Wars, he took his ceremonial mask and hid it somewhere, preventing the Mandalorians from uniting under a new leader. Apparently this has some relevance to Revan’s dreams, because he decides to drop everything and locate the mask himself. But first he makes a quick stop at the Jedi Temple, where we get a short cameo appearance by Atris from KotOR II. She acts like a complete bitch, which to be honest isn’t the worst characterization in this book. The text specifies that she is around Bastila’s age, but there’s no way that can be right because she was a Jedi Master on the Council before the Mandalorian Wars even began, and Bastila was a neophyte Padawan at the beginning of the first KotOR. Since it’s highly evident that no one involved with planning, writing, or editing this book ever played KotOR II, however, you can see how they might make that mistake.
Anyway, Revan tells Canderous that he’s going to help him track down the mask. “Time to get the old gang back together for one last adventure,” Canderous declares with a grin only slightly less broad than my own, but because this books is terrible, of course that doesn’t happen. “Well,” says Revan, “Juhani and Jolee can’t come, because they’d rat us out to the Jedi Council, and Mission and Zaalbar are apparently running some kind of importing/exporting business now and can’t afford to take the time off work to go on an adventure. HK-47 would just start shooting everyone in the face, because that’s literally all that he’s good for, so since we’re inevitably going to end up shooting a lot of people in the face he’s definitely out. And the plot of KotOR II requires the Jedi Exile to be in exile somewhere so we can’t even ask her. So that just leaves you, me, my trusty droid
R2-D2 T3-M4, and Bastila.”
This was the exact scene when I knew this book was going to irredeemably suck. These are the self-aware excuses they make on Fuller House to explain why Mary Kate and Ashley never show up. This is a book based on a videogame; there’s no reason they had to go to such absurd lengths to exclude almost all of the characters from that game. I know why they did it, though. It’s right on the cover: Star Wars: The Old Republic. Despite this novel ostensibly being about the central character of the KotOR era, this isn’t a KotOR book; it’s a TOR book. So forget about all the characters you know and love and say hello to new assholes like the Sith Emperor and Lord Scourge. Gotta promote that sweet MMO brand, yo. What’s that? You wanted KotOR III? Well FUCK YOU.
Speaking of Scourge, this is as good a time as any to bring him up since he’s the main character of this novel. At the very least, he’s the only character who learns anything or undergoes any sort of arc. Every other chapter is from his point of view, while the rest are split between Revan and the Jedi Exile. The book should have been called Star Wars: Scourge, but then they couldn’t trick the Revan fanboys into buying it.
Scourge is a pureblood Sith Lord on the planet Dromund Kaas, the capital of the Sith Empire reconstituted in the Unknown Regions after the Jedi thought they had wiped out the Sith in the Great Hyperspace War. While Revan is running around chasing dreams and playing detective, Scourge finds himself embroiled in political intrigue when he is pulled into a conspiracy against the Sith Emperor. All of the secondary characters in this section are boring nonentities, but Scourge himself is the most interesting character in the book so it sort of balances out. Note that in this context “most interesting character in the book” means next to nothing.
Meanwhile, Revan returns home to tell his wife he’s signed them up for a quest, only to find this sentence lying in wait for him: “Bastila was sitting in the living room when he got home, watching holovids while she waited for him to return.”
I know this book was written by the head writer of Knights of the Old Republic, but did he ever actually play his own game? Because it’s hard to imagine anyone who did writing a scene where Bastila sits around the house all day watching soap operas and waiting for her husband to come home. Look, I don’t have some highly exacting standards when it comes to positive representation of women in fiction. As long as the writing is believable in its context and not overtly misogynistic, I probably won’t sit there writing a thirty-page feminist critique of how everything I read reinforces sexist tropes or doesn’t pass the Bechdel test or whatever. But fuck this. Bastila is an awesome, kickass, slightly annoying character who deserves better than this trash.
In fact, all the KotOR characters in this book do. The only one who sounds or acts anything like himself is Canderous; otherwise it’s like reading someone’s KotOR fanfiction. That’s the danger of taking a videogame protagonist whose personality is literally a blank slate and trying to turn him into the central character of a novel. Throughout the book I kept thinking “Revan would never do that” or “Revan would never say that,” because my Revan never would. Maybe Drew Karpyshyn’s would, if he played the game as the most boring man in the universe.
Anyway, Bastila announces that she’s pregnant, so, surprise surprise, she’s not going on the trip either. After a brief disagreement over how much Revan owes the galaxy versus how much he owes his own family, Revan has no trouble convincing his wife to accept the fact that he’s going who knows where for who knows how long and leaving her to give birth and raise their child alone until he gets back, if that ever happens. They bang, then the next morning Bastila’s like “Be careful out there” and Revan says “Sure thing, toots,” and that’s that.
Let’s see how this compares to Kreia’s description of their separation at the end of Knights of the Old Republic II: “. . . He knew he must leave all loves behind as well, no matter how deeply one cares for them. Because such attachments are not the way of the Jedi, and they would only bring doom to them both in the dark places where he now walks. It would have been better if he had made her understand. But she was always strong-willed, that one, and did not understand war as Revan did.”
Just as I thought: they match up perfectly!
Revan, Canderous, and T3-M4 take Revan’s ship, the Ebon Hawk, to the ice planet Rekkiad (yes, really, another one), where they meet up with Canderous’s old Mandalorian clan, led by a woman named Veela . . . who is Canderous’s wife! Canderous introduces Revan as his friend “Avner,” which to be fair produces a mildly humorous moment when Revan confronts Canderous over his lack of creativity. Revan and Canderous help their allies fend off an attack from a rival clan by shooting a bunch of Mandalorians in the face. No one says “I guess it would have made sense to bring HK-47 after all.”
Following memories gleaned from his dreams, Revan leads the Mandalorians to an ancient Sith crypt where he and Malak hid Mandalore’s mask after the Mandalorian Wars. Revan remembers how, with his final breath, freed at last from the evil spell that had bewitched his mind (Jesus, really?), Mandalore the Ultimate revealed that the whole war had been a scam orchestrated by the Sith to weaken the Republic. In the crypt, Revan and Malak found evidence confirming that the Sith Empire had survived the Great Hyperspace War and continued to thrive somewhere in the Unknown Regions, and together they set out to find it.
Suddenly Canderous’s wife betrays them, sneering, “Did you really think rearranging Revan into Avner would fool us?” Revan and Canderous make short work of the Mandalorians, with Canderous himself shooting a laser through his wife’s heart to defend his friend.
“Bros before hoes,” says Canderous. They fist-bump.
Revan resolves to venture out into the Unknown Regions in search of the Sith Empire once again, because that worked out so well for him the last time. Canderous wants to come too but Revan gives him the mask and says “Instead be Mandalore.” Canderous puts on the mask and declares himself Mandalore the Preserver, vowing to restore the honor and glory of his people.
Let’s see how this compares to Canderous’s recollections in KotOR II: “I wanted to go with him. I respected him, knew he could use me where he was going. But Revan refused, saying that he must travel alone. . . . Before he departed, he left me with a simple mission. He told me where I could find the Mandalore’s helmet, and that I must take it and reassemble the clans. When I asked him why he told me nothing, only that I should wait for him to return and be ready for it. . . . Revan never said what he was looking for—or what to be ready for. I don’t know if I’ll ever know.”
Close enough for government work!
Revan and T3 take the Ebon Hawk to the ancient Sith world of Nathema, where they are immediately shot down by Lord Scourge and his employer, Darth Nyriss. Scourge finds Revan unconscious in the wreckage and brings him to Nyriss, who recognizes him from his previous visit to the Empire five years earlier. They take him back to Dromund Kaas to interrogate him in Nyriss’s dungeon, leaving the Ebon Hawk behind with T3-M4 still aboard.
Scourge tortures Revan but is able to glean no information from him because he’s forgotten everything that happened to him when he was on Dromund Kaas before. Darth Nyriss resolves to keep him alive and study him in the hope that they will find a way to use him in their plot against the Sith Emperor. Revan sits in her dungeon and does nothing for four years.
All right, just for fun: “The Sith is a belief. And its empire, the true Sith Empire, rules elsewhere. And Revan knew the true war is not against the Republic. It waits for us, beyond the Outer Rim. And he has gone to fight it, in his way. He left the Ebon Hawk and its machines behind, for he knew he would not need them.”
Yeah that’s totally what happened. I can’t tell the difference and neither can you.
Anyway, at this point, a little over halfway through the book, the story jumps forward four years, leapfrogging the events of Knights of the Old Republic II and picking up with that game’s protagonist, the Jedi Exile, paying a visit to Bastila Shan. Karpyshyn helpfully recaps the events of the game, though, revealing that a group of rogue Jedi started calling themselves Sith, after the alien species, and wiped out the Jedi by the tens of thousands. All of this is wrong, of course, or at least erroneously phrased. But wait, there’s more!
The Exile’s name, like Revan’s in the original game, is entirely the player’s choice; characters in the game address him or her only as “Exile.” This book, however, finally establishes her canonical name as “Meetra Surik.” I won’t say too much about this because I’m getting sick of listening to myself, but that’s the best they could do? Really? “Meetra”? And why doesn’t the player’s choice matter for the Exile’s name but Revan’s name is still Revan, even though the KotOR comics already established that that wasn’t even his birth name? But wait, there’s more!
HK-47, along with T3 and Canderous, returns from the first game as a recruitable party member in The Sith Lords. In Revan, the Exile mentions to Bastila that he’s gone missing, and they speculate that he’s gone off to look for Revan. “The last thing Revan needed while helping Canderous and the Mandalorians was a homicidal droid following him around,” says the Exile. “Someone should try to track him down. Find and disable him before he hurts anyone else,” suggests Bastila. “HK’s a little too trigger-happy to bring on this mission,” Revan had commented earlier. “If we bring a homicidal assassin droid with us, I don’t think they’re going to give us much of a chance to explain why we’re there.” Why does everyone in this book hate HK-47? He’s awesome, and not at all a one-note joke character like they try to write him off to be. “Oh that rascally HK-47, always going around murdering people at random!” You can’t even complete the Sand People quest in KotOR without bloodshed unless you have HK-47 in your party to translate their language. But wait, there’s more!
Bastila thinks to herself that the Exile was one of Revan’s most trusted advisers and closest friends; she actually says out loud, “You stood by Revan’s side at the beginning; he had no truer friend.” I hate to contradict you, Bastila, but HK-47 might have shared a different opinion, if you’d thought to ask him.
“Revan said that many Jedi have the capability to form connections to life around them, although few of them realized the extent to which this is possible. . . . He said you had such a capability, master, but it would be your downfall. To tie so much of yourself into others—if they suffer or die, then you would die as well. I think Revan pitied you, master. It was very insulting, if I may say so. . . . I believe Revan wanted you to face the Jedi Council, master. As if there was something that you would show them and possibly undermine their strength. Perhaps Revan wished the Council to see how far the Jedi had fallen. Knowing Revan, it was no doubt a strategic decision on many levels. . . . There is a certain strength in parading defeated leaders before their people. Perhaps Revan felt that your return to the Council in your state would show them what Jedi were capable of—and the cost. Revan often referred to you as a Jedi who was already dead, and felt your reception by the Council would further show you their hypocrisy.”
Jeez, no wonder everyone in this book seems to hate him.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Because she is a woman, Bastila is insensibly jealous of the Exile and her relationship with Revan. “There is no emotion, there is peace, she thought. The familiar words of the Jedi mantra were easy to recite, but much more difficult to follow. . . . She knew her feelings of resentment were neither justified nor fair, but even her Jedi training couldn’t quell her emotions.” She then confesses to the Exile how helpless and useless she feels without her husband, and that she just waits around all day for him to come back. Wow what great characterization, I completely believe that this is the same person who faced down two separate Dark Lords of the Sith on their own ships. You know how women are, all emotional and irrational and completely useless without a man, right?
So the Exile and T3 discover the location of Dromund Kaas and the Exile makes contact with Scourge, who has spent the last few years building a sort of give-and-take relationship with Revan as each tries to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the other’s people. Scourge knows that the Sith Emperor is building up his Empire’s military for an attack on the Republic, a course of action that Scourge opposes because he believes another war will lead to the eradication of his people and their way of life. I’ve put off talking too much about the Sith Emperor for most of this review but now I guess we have to, so here goes.
The Sith Emperor, born as Tenebrae, renamed Vitiate, known later as Valkorion (“I have so many names!”), is the bastard son of the Sith Lord Dramath and a peasant woman, both of whom he murdered when he was six years old. Ooh, what a spooky badass. When the Sith Empire was under attack by the Republic during the Great Hyperspace War, Vitiate lured thousands of Sith Lords to his stronghold on Nathema, where he used their collective life force in a ritual that killed every living thing on the planet, leaving the world devoid of the Force and also turning him into an immortal dark-side aberration somehow. He then led the surviving remnants of the Empire deep into the Unknown Regions, where they spent the next 1,000+ years rebuilding their strength.
The Sith Emperor reads like a child’s idea of a villain. Oh he’s so evil he was born with BLACK EYES and he NEVER CRIED and animals were ascared of him! He spent MONTHS torturing his mom to death when he was a little kid! He can EAT PLANETS and create HOLES IN THE FORCE and he’s like A THOUSAND YEARS OLD and he can NEVER DIE! He’s so evil and badass and cool, he was the real bad guy behind the scenes of KotOR all along! He turned Revan to the dark side and I don’t care if it doesn’t even make sense, he wants to kill everybody in the galaxy and then kill everybody in the UNIVERSE!
He’s basically a combination of Darth Nihilus and Emperor Palpatine from Dark Empire, except less interesting than either of them and written by an idiot.
I’m not opposed to such a ridiculously overpowered, over-competent villain in concept, but who the hell is Lord Vitiate? He’s some random nobody who was just born comically strong in the Force and comically evil for no reason, then became immortal the same way. All the central villains in the KotOR games had some measure of depth and complexity to their characters; not so with the big bad of The Old Republic. He’s just a stupid evil asshole.
Jesus Christ, why am I still talking about this book?
So Scourge agrees to help the Exile spring Revan from Darth Nyriss’s dungeon, but the only way he can get her inside is by having her dress up in a sexy dancing girl’s costume and pretend to be his slave. Because of course it is. Scourge creates a distraction by telling the Emperor that Nyriss is plotting against him, so while the red-armored Imperial Guard (sigh) storm Nyriss’s stronghold, Scourge and the Exile are able to infiltrate the dungeon. They free Revan from his cell, but he’s weak from the drugs constantly administered to him to keep from from using the Force to escape. The Exile has a present for him from Bastila, however: the iconic mask he wore when he was the Dark Lord of the Sith! “I was afraid that if I showed it to him, it might trigger something inside his mind,” Bastila explained earlier. “It might awaken some dormant evil, rekindle the spark of the dark side. . . . I tried to keep Revan’s past at bay, but now I understand that was wrong. I was being selfish. His past is a part of him, whether I like it or not. So turn my husband evil again, baby don’t need no good daddy.”
Revan touches the mask and instantly regains all his lost memories. When he and Malak first came to Dromund Kaas, they tried to get in to see the Sith Emperor so they could kill him, but they were led into a trap and the Emperor dominated their minds and broke them to his will. He sent them back to the Republic on a mission to conquer it for him, thereby retroactively undercutting the back story of the original game almost ten years after the fact. “But though we had underestimated the Emperor’s power, he underestimated us, as well,” Revan recounts. “Our wills were stronger than he thought; our minds twisted and perverted his instructions until we thought we were acting of our own accord. Malak and I were turned to the dark side, but in doing so we found the strength to block out all memory of the Sith and the Emperor, partially freeing us from his control.”
So all that talk in both KotOR games and LucasArts’ own Chronicles of the Old Republic document about how Revan and Malak had already mostly turned to the dark side before the Mandalorian Wars were even over, we can just throw that out the window, right? Revan’s search for the Star Forge and discovery of the Trayus Academy, his scheme to use the war to recruit an army of Jedi and soldiers loyal only to him, his positioning of all his disloyal followers at Malachor V when he knew it was about to be destroyed, how he brutally ripped the Rakatan language from the minds of the surviving Rakata on the Unknown World, Malak’s desire to murder the Jedi Exile when she abandoned their cause—just forget about all that stuff, it turns out they were actually stand-up guys all along until the Sith Emperor messed with their brains.
Darth Nyriss comes in and easily overpowers both the Exile and Scourge, but equipping his mask gives Revan a +5 bonus to his Wisdom attribute, allowing him to reflect her Force lightning back at her and incinerate her on the spot. They make their escape and hide out in a cave, where T3 plays Revan a hologram of Bastila and their son, Vaner. “Revan smiled, realizing it was an anagram of his own name.”
It turns out that the Emperor has destroyed not only Darth Nyriss’s household, but the houses of all twelve members of his Dark Council as well. The entire city is on lockdown, providing the perfect opportunity for our uninteresting protagonists to stage an assault on the Emperor’s fortress. Scourge gets them in the front door, then he, Revan, the Exile, and T3-M4 fight their way to the throne room. T3 seals the door behind them, locking them in for the final confrontation with the Sith Emperor. “I did not expect you to return,” Vitiate says to Revan, then expresses his disapproval of Scourge’s treachery. “He has seen the depths of your evil,” Revan counters. “He stands with us now.”
The Emperor blasts Revan with so much Force lightning that his stupid mask superheats and starts melting onto his face. T3 uses his flamethrower on the Emperor but Vitiate blocks it with the Force, then blows the little droid “into a million pieces, internal circuits and external casing obliterated in a single instant.” So passes T3-M4, companion character in two great RPGs, sacrificed on the altar of hack writing.
Revan, the Exile, and Scourge unite against the Emperor, with Revan declaring that he can’t stand against all three of them. But suddenly Scourge has a vision of the future where he sees the player character from the Jedi Knight class in Star Wars: The Old Republic striking down the Emperor. Realizing that it isn’t their destiny to succeed here today, Scourge backstabs the Jedi Exile, killing her instantly, and the Emperor lightnings Revan into unconsciousness.
As a reward for his loyalty, the Emperor elevates Scourge to the newly created position of Emperor’s Wrath and makes him immortal by hooking him up to a bunch of tubes with green liquid inside. Scourge vows to himself that he will use the centuries given to him to find another way of stopping the Emperor, so his sacrifice of his allies will not have been in vain. But when the Emperor presses the IMMORTAL button on his infernal machine, Scourge’s body is flooded with intense physical anguish that the Emperor tells him will never abate. Eventually he will get used to it, until he’s no longer able to feel anything at all, just like Captain Barbossa. As Scourge writhes in agony on the floor, screaming and weeping, the Sith Emperor tells him, “This is the price of immortality.”
Meanwhile, Revan, our supposed hero, has been imprisoned in a stasis field in a secret location, unable to move or age but fully aware. He’ll spend the next 300 years with the Sith Emperor feeding off his life energy and waging a mental war against him for access to his knowledge about the Republic and the Jedi. But while the Emperor tries to read his mind, Revan is also planting ideas in the Emperor’s head, tricking him into delaying his invasion for centuries. All the while, the Force ghost of the Jedi Exile is hanging out outside Revan’s prison, silently bolstering his resolve without his knowledge, because even in death she’s just so devoted to him, despite all that shit he told HK-47 about her.
The book ends with an epilogue set 50 years later. Bastila, now an old woman, is visited by her son and grandchildren on her wedding anniversary, because she always gets more depressed than usual at this time of year. Vaner asks if she ever wishes his father had stayed at home with them, and Bastila replies that she never once had that thought, because the fact that the galaxy hasn’t been destroyed proves that Revan accomplished whatever he set out to do and bought his family a long life of sitting around watching soap operas. Bastila falls asleep on the couch, dreaming of her husband who never came home.
Wow what a great follow-up to such a fun, lighthearted adventure game. I always suspected that the most satisfying direction to take the story after this well-earned happy ending was for the character I played as to lose the girl he spent the whole game romancing and leave her to grow old alone and depressed, get one of his companions and the player character from his sequel killed for absolutely no reason, and then be imprisoned and tortured for literally hundreds of years without end, having achieved the absolute bare minimum of what he was trying to do. Fantastic storytelling decisions all around, guys.
This whole review is full of my Meditations™, but here are a few more:
When the Exile visits Nathema and learns of the Sith Emperor’s ability to simultaneously drain the life of everyone on an entire planet, she is completely horrified and reacts as if she’d never suspected such a perversion of the Force was possible. I guess she forgot that she killed a guy who could do the same thing just last week.
Strangely, the book also makes no reference to the Exile’s unique ability to subconsciously manipulate the minds of Force-sensitives and grow more powerful with the more Force-sensitives that surround her. As the Jedi Masters in KotOR II describe it, “You are a cipher, forming bonds, leeching the life of others, siphoning their will and dominating them. . . . You must have noticed as you’ve fought across all these planets, killing hundreds, only to become more and more powerful. Why do you think that was? But what’s worse is that bonding you have. It hasn’t gone away. It’s gotten stronger, and the more attachments you form, the more you draw others to you. And that is why you are a threat to us all.” Instead, the only memorable trait she has in this book is being Revan’s number-one fangirl.
The only people to whom I could recommend this book are players of the MMO who haven’t played or have no emotional attachment to either Knights of the Old Republic or The Sith Lords. I honestly don’t see how someone with any real affection for those games and their characters could find any redeemable value in this tripe.
Stylistically, Revan isn’t unreadably bad, but the writing is incredibly basic and unsophisticated. For example, we’re frequently told in the text what characters feel or want. “Scourge was angry.” “Bastila was jealous.” “Revan was sad.” “The reader was bored.” The most concise analysis is a comparison I made before: it reads like bad fanfiction.
Honestly this book would have been so much better, even with its limited, uninspired prose, if it had just been what Canderous proposed at the beginning: “Time to get the old gang back together for one last adventure.” The first half of the book could have been about the search for Mandalore’s mask (or some other macguffin, if we’re actually respecting the continuity of The Sith Lords for a change), with Revan reuniting with all his old party members from the first game for the last time before he disappears from the known galaxy. Then the second half, since KotOR III is apparently off the table forever, could have been a chance to dot all the i‘s and cross all the t‘s left undotted and uncrossed at the end of KotOR II.
As it is, Revan is present as an active character for less than half of his own novel. Most interesting character or not, the book isn’t called Scourge; there was no reason to waste half of it on the political machinations of a bunch of all-new characters, almost all of whom are dead by the end of the book. This should have been a sequel to KotOR, but instead it was a prequel to TOR, and that made all the difference in the world.
Fuck this book.
1/5 Death Stars. I’d rate it lower if I didn’t know there are even worse things waiting for us in the dark.