Elaine’s Thoughts On The Cover Of Dark Disciple By Christie Golden

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Yesterday, Del Rey’s Star Wars Twitter account tweeted this tease:

The Instagram picture was one of a yellow lightsaber on a black background. About thirty minutes after this was tweeted out, however, Star Wars Books came back with an official cover reveal of Dark Disciple by Christie Golden!

I don’t normally do blog posts about breaking news. I’m usually busy with schoolwork, and I also know that fifteen or twenty of my friends will be covering it, anyway. But this time, I felt like getting in on the discussion early. I’m just so impressed with this cover, and all it and its title allude to.

First of all, huge props to Matt Taylor (@matttaylordraws on Twitter), the artist behind this awesome cover. Second, I just love the overall design aesthetic and mood that this artwork achieves. Star Wars books have gone dark before; we’ve seen that in the covers of Deathtrooopers by Joe Shreiber and Darth Plagueis by James Luceno. But this one brings so much more to the Star Wars canon universe than horror and mythology. It brings mystery and intrigue, and shows the darkness that exists in all of us. It also signifies change, especially for Asajj Ventress. Not only does Dooku’s one-time apprentice have a hairstyle, but she also has a new lightsaber, one with a yellow blade. What has happened to her to make her change so drastically in appearance? Perhaps these alterations are suggestive of a new mindset, a sort of rebirth, or maybe is she still as lost as ever, trying to find her place in the grayness between the dark and light sides of the Force. The color scheme certainly seems to advocate that conflict, with its array of black shadows blanketing the protagonists and the red and grey background. And what does Quinlan Vos have to with her character development? How much of his brooding self from the Expanded Universe comics is still intact? Is he lost in the gray, as well, or is he simply just unconventional, as he was known to be in The Clone Wars television show?

I’m looking forward to seeing Quinlan’s character explored more in this novel, because the way The Clone Wars portrayed him was more like a surfer dude Jedi than a deep character. He does have some interesting powers, though; he can detect who touched an object last by probing the object with the Force. This may signify a certain ability to empathize with other living creatures and things. Perhaps he was chosen to be Ventress’s foil in Dark Disciple because he has the capability to truly understand her and the turmoil that she is likely experiencing.

Lastly, I’m happy that Del Rey and Christie Golden are taking these two particular characters and formulating a new kind of story around them. According to the Star Wars story group, their story is meant to be darker and more adult. I think that the cover conveys that. It’s also great to know that we’re getting (hopefully) some resolution concerning at least one of the characters original to the two Clone Wars series. The story group definitely had those fans in mind when they announced Dark Disciple.

Besides anything that we can glean from the overall feel and symbolism of the cover art, the latter is absolutely beautiful. I love Ventress’s new hairstyle, both character designs and the color scheme. It was really expertly done. Again, props to Matt Taylor for creating this lovely piece.

I’m really looking forward to reading this book. If judging the book by its cover is anything to go by, it’s going to be spectacular!

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