The Lost Tribe of the Sith: Precipice by John Jackson Miller

Solid without being spectacular.
The Lost Tribe of the Sith: Precipice book cover

Precipice is the first book in John Jackson Millar's Lost Tribe of the Sith series published by Del Rey in 2009. This series is made up of short stories, set in the Star Wars universe 5000 years Before Battle Yavin (BBY), that follows the story of a Sith tribe lost on a strange planet. Each story is approximately 60 pages long and all are available for free in most ebook formats.

Precipice follows the story of Commander Yaru Korsin and the crew of the Omen, a Sith mining ship, who are ambushed in the middle of a critical delivery mission and forced to crash land on a desolate planet. Stuck on the planet with an unrepairable ship and all forms of communications destroyed, Commander Korsin must deal with a desperate and unruly crew, fighting to retain his place as leader, while trying to figure out how to complete his mission.

I think the best description for Precipice is that it's solid without being spectacular. The story is easy to read and easy to understand, with the Star Wars elements used to enhance the story rather than to define the story. There are some subtle expansions on previously unexplored Star Wars elements which will satisfy long suffering fans, the writing is not very complex which will make it accessible for those new to the Star Wars universe, and the foreshadowing of major events to come makes readers want to keep reading. The problem for me was that for all the work done foreshadowing major events, the story never really reached a noteworthy climax. I feel like this was a lost opportunity as the nature of Star Wars lends itself to high-octane action scenes which in this case never got out of first gear. As I said previously, solid without being spectacular.

The composition of the Star Wars universe has been well established over the past 30 years, and with Precipice Millar is tapping into a large source of material that has been largely unexplored. While Precipice may have been a little underwhelming in terms of action, it did a lot of work laying the foundations for the future and I expect this series to get much better as the characters and their relationships start to get fleshed out a little more. Through a combination of good writing and staying true to the essence of Star Wars, Millar has created an intriguing world full of interesting people that not only expands on the Star Wars universe, but can also be read and enjoyed by those without any prior knowledge of the Star Wars universe.

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