Book Thoughts: Star Wars Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories

The Star Wars Novel Project is a hobby of mine to read every Star Wars novel released. I write my thoughts after reading each book both to create a living memory of my progress on this project and in case any Star Wars fans find themselves curious about a particular novel. I have created a nice index of all the Star Wars novels, including links to my thoughts on each book. Please check it out to see my thoughts on the other novels.

Star Wars Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories was a 2009-2012 series of nine stories by John Jackson Miller. The first eight were short stories and released for free in ebook format. The last story was a longer novella and only available in The Collected Stories. Lucasfilm has been known to experiment with marketing and business models. That’s how I saw the Lost Tribe of the Sith series. They released most of the story for free, but the ending required a small fee. It’s easier to get someone to buy something after they’ve had a good taste of it. I might have been annoyed if I had been reading each free story, but I only read everything in this collection. I saw it as just another novel.

The first eight short stories were each around 30 pages in length. The final, novella story was around 130 pages. That totalled up to around 380 pages, slightly longer than a typical Star Wars novel. I found all of the stories to be great. They each had a good beginning and end, but there were always a few hints that kept me ready to start the next story. Unlike most Star Wars books, the story was not about the epic struggle between Jedi and Sith or Republic and Empire. This story was much more focused, taking place entirely on the remote planet of Kesh.

A Sith transport carrying rare Lightsaber crystals for the war effort was ambushed. The ship was damaged during hyperspace causing it to veer way off course into an unknown system. There, the ship was caught in a nearby planet’s gravity well and crash landed. The ship was wrecked. On top of that, the planet was so remote, there was no chance of a random ship passing by they could get help from. Luckily, the planet was inhabited by intelligent life, the Keshiri people. They were basically primitive humans but with purple skin. With their help, the Sith found a way to survive.

Lost Tribe of the Sith had nine stories, but there were four story arcs. The first story arc, made up of the first four short stories, told of the Sith’s initial survival on an alien planet. By the second story arc (two short stories), the Lost Tribe of Sith had built a wealthy and powerful society, largely on the backs of the Keshiri people. The third story arc (two short stories) covered the new Sith society’s near collapse and recovery. United once again, in the fourth story arc (the novella), the Lost Tribe of Sith discovered a previously unknown continent and sought to conquer it as they had their original continent.

The four story arcs happened over the course of 2000 years, each one taking place centuries in the future. The beginnings occurred 5000 years before the Battle of Yavin (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope). By the end it was around 3000 years before Yavin. Despite the huge span of time, the book focused completely on the planet Kesh. This narrow focus gave John Jackson Miller, the author, enough pages to cover a lot of ground. Upon finishing it, I had gotten to know the planet Kesh and its history pretty well.

I really enjoyed the uniqueness of this story. It wasn’t typical Star Wars, but that’s what made it interesting. The movies have epic stories. The video games have epic stories. Most of the books have epic stories. I’ve seen, read, and played through many epic Star Wars stories. The Lost Tribe of the Sith’s focus on daily life on a remote planet was fresh and new. The stories continually surprised me but always in a good way. At the same time, I also knew that this elaborate story wouldn’t just be created for nothing.

The Star Wars universe is a connected web. No story is isolated. They all have connections to at least one other story. I am eager to read the later books and see how they connect to this one. That may be fifty books later or just one book later. I won’t know until I read them. With how slow I am reading these books, it may be many years before I read another book that involves the Lost Tribe of Sith, but I will some day. How all the stories connect is what makes the Star Wars universe so great. Right now, I am only reading the Legends novels. Many of these stories are no longer part of the official “canon”, but I don’t mind at all. I don’t need the stories to be official to be entertained by them.

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