- "Her [Asajj Ventress'] strength and vulnerability resounded profoundly with me. […] I was in the throes of a bad breakup, and writing for Ventress and Vos was incredibly cathartic for me. […] At its core, Dark Disciple is a story of redemption; a story of how people can be unbelievably broken, and yet find a way to rebuild despite the odds. All of us are given chances time and time again to transform our lives, and it is our responsibility to seize those opportunities before they disappear."
- ―Katie Lucas
Dark Disciple is a canon novel starring Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos, written by Christie Golden for release by Del Rey on July 7, 2015. The novel is part of The Clone Wars Legacy multimedia initiative, since it is based on an eight-part story arc that was scripted for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series, comprising the episodes "Lethal Alliance", "The Mission", "Conspirators", "Dark Disciple", "Saving Vos Part I", "Saving Vos Part II", "Traitor", and "The Path". The scripts were not produced as episodes prior to the show's cancellation. The novel includes a foreword by Katie Lucas, one of the writers for the original episodes, and skews toward adult readers. The book's audio edition is narrated by Marc Thompson.
- 1 Publisher's summary
- 2 Opening crawl
- 3 Plot summary
- 4 Development
- 5 Continuity
- 6 Reception
- 7 Media
- 8 Appearances
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 Notes and references
- 11 External links
The only way to bring down the Sith's most dangerous warrior may be to join forces with the dark side.
"Dooku continues his attacks. Stop him, we must," Yoda said solemnly....
Finally Mace spoke. "The question before us now is—who will strike the killing blow?"
In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. Despite the powers of the Jedi and the military prowess of their clone army, the sheer number of fatalities is taking a terrible toll. And when Dooku orders the massacre of a flotilla of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council feels it has no choice but to take drastic action: targeting the man responsible for so many war atrocities, Count Dooku himself.
But the ever-elusive Dooku is dangerous prey for even the most skilled hunter. So the Council makes the bold decision to bring both sides of the Force's power to bear—pairing brash Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos with infamous one-time Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress. Though Jedi distrust for the cunning killer who once served at Dooku's side still runs deep, Ventress's hatred for her former master runs deeper. She's more than willing to lend her copious talents as a bounty hunter—and assassin—to Vos's quest.
Together, Ventress and Vos are the best hope for eliminating Dooku—as long as the emerging feelings between them don't compromise their mission. But Ventress is determined to have her retribution and at last let go of her dark Sith past. Balancing the complicated emotions she feels for Vos with the fury of her warrior's spirit, she resolves to claim victory on all fronts—a vow that will be mercilessly tested by her deadly enemy . . . and her own doubt.
In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. And when he orders the massacre of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council can see no alternative but to take drastic action: targeting the Empire's most cold — blooded disciple for assassination. But Dooku is dangerous prey, so the Council decides to bring both sides of the Force to bear - teaming brash Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos with infamous ex-Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress. Through Jedi distrust for the cunning killer who once served Dooku still runs deep, Ventress's hatred for her former master runs deeper. Determined to have vengeance and let go of her Sith past, Ventress must balance her growing feelings for Vos with the fury of her warrior's spirit — and resolves to claim victory on all fronts. It is a vow that will be mercilessly tested by her deadly enemy . . . and her own doubt.
In a Republic ship fleeing Mahranee, a refugee, Ashu-Nyamal, runs away from her family, as she wants revenge on the Separatists. After evading a Clone trooper, she reaches the bridge where she sees Jedi General Chubor pleading to Count Dooku by hologram, to allow the refugees to escape. After revealing that he knows the conversation is being broadcast back to the Jedi Council, Dooku orders the ships destroyed. The Attack on Mahranee was witnessed by the Jedi Council. This pushes them to a morally questionable decision - as suggested by Master Mace Windu: assassinate Count Dooku and thus end the Clone Wars. Master Obi-Wan Kenobi suggests Quinlan Vos for the task, despite being against the decision.
Partnering with Asajj Ventress
Meanwhile Master Vos, disguised as "Tal," along with the Mahran Jedi Knight Akar-Deshu, foils a black-market operation in Otor's Hub run by the Koorivar merchant Sheb Valaad. While returning to Coruscant, they receive news of the Separatist attack on Mahranee, and a message from Kenobi requesting that Vos attend a meeting with the Jedi Council. At the meeting, the Jedi Council briefs Quinlan about their plans to assassinate Count Dooku. Vos accepts the mission, but insists that a companion accompany him. Master Yoda recommends the Nightsister and failed Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress as Vos's partner. In the end, Vos reluctantly agrees to the mission, and promises to get in touch with Ventress.
Following the meeting, Vos travels down to Coruscant's level 1313 to inquire about Ventress's whereabouts. At a seedy bar, the undercover Jedi meets several bounty hunters who are acquainted with Ventress, including the Trandoshan Bossk, and the late Jango Fett's son Boba Fett. Fett reveals that Ventress took a job on the planet Pantora, chasing down a Volpai fugitive named Moregi. Using this information, Vos travels to Pantora, where he stumbles upon Ventress' hunt. Due to Quinlan's arrival, Moregi managed to escape. After a tense reunion, Vos and Ventress joined forces to capture Moregi.
Later, Vos meets up with Ventress in her starship, Banshee. There, the undercover Jedi poses as a wannabe bounty hunter who is interested in partnering up with her. Believing that Vos has potential to become a bounty hunter despite his irritating behavior, Ventress reluctantly agrees to accept him as her partner. Vos spends the next two weeks aboard Ventress's ship, training and conducting several hunts together, usually involving underworld contracts and outlaw targets. On one occasion, Vos saves Ventress' life by using the Force to knock the blaster out of a Weequay target's hand; allowing Ventress to finish him off.
On their fifth hunt together, the two bounty hunters work together to capture the estranged former first mate of the Blood Bone Order's captain Lassa Rhayme. Ventress manages to bait the fugitive using her feminine charms. As part of their payment, Rhayme gives them a bottle of Tevraki whiskey, which the two hunters enjoy together. While drinking, Vos tries to prod Ventress with information about her training, but she remains tight-lipped. The two hunters also began to develop feelings for each other.
Later, while Ventress visits Coruscant's Level 1313 to make modifications to the Banshee, Vos takes the opportunity to meet up with Kenobi to discuss the progress of their mission. Since Vos has established a rapport with Ventress, Kenobi urges his fellow Jedi to find a way to motivate her against Dooku.
While on Coruscant, Ventress accepts a job from the Pyke Syndicate, a powerful cartel of drug-runners and spice-dealers, which is based on the rocky planet Oba Diah. The Pyke Syndicate-boss Marg Krim tasks the two bounty hunters with rescuing his wife Tezzka Krim, and their two children Laalee and Vram, who had been kidnapped by the rival Black Sun crime syndicate. Black Sun is holding his family prisoner at their fortress on the volcanic world of Mustafar. Traveling to Mustafar, they rent two lava fleas, and visit a bar called The Last Resort. There, they accost a Falleen Black Sun guard, and force him to divulge information about the Pyke-hostages.
The two hunters manage to infiltrate the Black Sun fortress through an exposed balcony-outcropping. They manage to rescue Krim's two children, but are unable to find their mother. Pursued by the Black Sun-sentries, the two hunters and the children escape on their lava fleas through the lava-flow. While Ventress with Laalee manage to jump onto their lava flea-mount, a blaster bolt hits Quinlan's back; causing Vram to lose his grip and fall into the lava flow. However, the undercover Jedi uses his Force-powers to levitate the boy to safety. After returning to the Banshee, the two bounty hunters formulate a plan to rescue Tezzka, while Ventress treats Vos' wounds.
Using his psychometric powers, Vos touches Laalee's locket and discovers that her mother Tezzka is still in the fortress, and a prisoner of the Black Sun leader Ziton Moj himself. While Ventress enters the fortress disguised as a negotiator, Vos manages to free Tezzka from her cell. Following a struggle with Moj and his men, the two hunters manage to escape Mustafar on the Banshee with Krim's family. After returning to Oba Diah, Marg Krim rewards Ventress with double-pay. As they depart the planet, the two hunters witness a Black Sun fleet exiting hyperspace to settle scores with the Pyke Syndicate. Unable to help the Pykes, Vos and Ventress have little choice but to flee into hyperspace.
Joining forces against Dooku
Burdened with the guilt of being unable to protect Krim's family, Quinlan Vos reveals that he is a Jedi Knight to Asajj Ventress. However, Ventress is already aware of this fact, since she had witnessed him using his Force-powers to save himself and Vram during their earlier escapade on Mustafar. Vos also tells Ventress that the Jedi Council had sent him to kill Count Dooku, and also wants him to enlist Ventress's support. Having come to respect Vos, and seeing an opportunity to strike back against her former Master, Ventress agrees to help, but warns Vos that assassinating the Separatist leader would not be possible without tapping into the dark side of the Force. Later, Vos informs Kenobi of this new development in their assassination-plot. However, Kenobi cautions his fellow Jedi to be wary of Ventress's manipulative nature. Still, Quinlan insists that he can trust her for the moment.
To begin Vos's training in the dark side, Ventress takes him to her adopted homeworld of Dathomir, a planet that is strong in the dark side. While in Ventress's company, Vos learns about her background, including her enslavement, her apprenticeship to the stranded Jedi Knight Ky Narec, her subsequent apprenticeship, her falling-out with Count Dooku, and the loss of her Nightsister-comrades. During his discipleship, Vos develops a romantic relationship with Ventress, but struggles to avoid fully embracing the dark side of the Force. In an effort to drive Vos closer to the dark side, Ventress claims that Dooku had murdered his later Master Tholme; when in reality, she had been the real culprit. Under the tutelage of Ventress, Vos undergoes a rigorous training-regime designed to expose him to Nightsister-culture while simultaneously boosting his strength, endurance, fighting spirit, and Force-powers.
Later, Ventress receives word from one of her informants, the Gossam Sumdin, that Dooku is planning to visit Raxus Secundus, a planet in the Tion Hegemony. As part of his final trial, Vos has to kill The Sleeper, a near-extinct crustacean creature that inhabits a series of pools near the former Nightsister-village. Despite his initial hesitance, Vos manages to kill the Sleeper and passes the trial; completing his dark-side training. After Vos fails to meet up at their pre-arranged Level 1313 bar, Kenobi meets with Yoda to discuss his fear that something wrong has happened to Quinlan. Yoda assures Kenobi that Vos has undergone many undercover missions, and knows what he was doing. He also opines that it is sometimes necessary for one to tread through a dark path in order to better appreciate the light side.
Meanwhile, Ventress and Vos travel to Raxus Secundus, where they meet up with her informant Sumdin. Vos is horrified when Asajj kills Sumdin in order to prevent any secrets from leaking about their mission. The two hunters then make their way to a large public square, when Count Dooku gives a patriotic speech to a large crowd. The Count is accompanied by the Separatist military commander General Grievous. After the speech, the two part company while attending a large public feast. Ventress takes the opportunity to sneak up on her estranged former master Dooku, who is mingling with the crowds. Unwilling to cause a public disturbance, she challenges Dooku to meet her on the overlook for a fair fight later that night. Dooku agrees, and the two split up.
In secret, however, Dooku secretly contacts General Grievous, and instructs him to meet him on the overlook with reinforcements. Before Grievous can join the Count, Quinlan attacks him, and overpowers Grievous and his battle droids. At the overlook, Ventress and Vos engage Dooku in a lightsaber-duel. After Dooku manages to knock out Ventress by hurling her against a stone bench, Quinlan attacks the Sith Lord, who taunts him about his flirtation with the dark side. Following a fierce duel, Vos is defeated by Dooku, who incapacitates him with Force lightning. Grievous arrives with droid-reinforcements to apprehend the intruders, but Asajj manages to escape into the sewers. Meanwhile, Quinlan is taken prisoner by Dooku.
Rescuing Quinlan Vos
In Separatist-captivity, Quinlan Vos is transported to Serenno. There, he is locked in a cell, where he is tortured by Count Dooku, who also intends to complete Vos's journey to the dark side. Back in the Jedi Temple, Vos's Jedi colleagues become worried about his safety, and fear that he has perished or strayed from the light side. Meanwhile, Asajj Ventress travels to Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina on Tatooine, where she enlists the support of several bounty hunters, including Boba Fett, Bossk, Latts Razzi, C-21 Highsinger, and Embo for a mission to rescue Quinlan. Back on Serenno, Dooku manages to turn Vos against Ventress by revealing a hologram showing that she has murdered his late Master Tholme. Dooku's version of events is confirmed when Vos uses his psychometric abilities to touch Tholme's lightsaber.
Shortly later, Asajj and her bounty hunter allies arrive on Serenno to rescue Quinlan Vos. As part of their plan, the bounty hunters stage a diversion by attacking Dooku's battle droids. Meanwhile, Ventress makes her way into Dooku's palace, where she encountered a vengeful Vos in his cell. Enraged at Ventress for lying about her role in his master's murder, Vos attacks the Nightsister with his lightsaber. Ventress tries to reason with her former disciple by telling him not to let the dark side dominate him, and reminds him about their mission to kill Dooku. Unable to rescue Vos, Ventress is forced to retreat with her bounty hunter confederates. As they leave, she catches a glimpse of Vos walking with Dooku, showing that he has indeed become Dooku's newest Sith apprentice.
Distraught, Ventress travels back to Coruscant, where she informs Kenobi about Quinlan's fall to the dark side. For the next few months, Asajj bides her time, taking on various bounty-hunting jobs. Struggling to cope with Quinlan's rejection, Ventress turns to alcohol. Meanwhile, Vos becomes Dooku's new right-hand man in the Separatist hierarchy, and gains the nickname "Admiral Enigma." At some point, Asajj is contacted by Quinlan's Jedi-comrade Desh, who has been dispatched by Kenobi to bring her to a Jedi Council meeting to discuss the matter of rescuing Vos from the Separatists.
The Jedi Council obtains intelligence that "Admiral Enigma" was last sighted on a Providence-class Dreadnought. In return for recovering Quinlan, the Jedi offer to pardon her for her crimes against them and the Republic. The inclusion of Asajj is controversial among some of the Jedi, particularly Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker. However, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda stand up for her. Ventress agrees to the deal, and takes part in the rescue-mission. Following a struggle with Dooku and his battle droids, Ventress and the Jedi rescue-team manage to free Vos from his cell in the brig, where Ventress finds an emaciated and half-naked former Jedi hanging from a set of shackles.
While Quinlan Vos's Jedi companions are relieved to rescue their comrade, Ventress sees Vos's eyes flash with fury, and realizes that he has fully embraced the dark side. Ventress attempts to attack her former lover, but is restrained by Kenobi. After freeing Vos, Ventress and the Jedi escape the Separatist dreadnought aboard her starship Banshee. After returning to the Jedi Temple, Ventress is formally pardoned of her crimes by Yoda. However, this news is bittersweet for Asajj, since none of the Jedi believe that Vos had changed sides with the Separatists. Vos attempts to reconcile with Ventress, but she rebuffs him.
Meanwhile, Skywalker discusses his suspicions about Ventress with his secret wife Padmé Amidala. Still suspicious of the former Dark Sider, he suggests that Ventress had seduced Vos to the dark side, and expresses skepticism that she was capable of showing love.
Enemy in the Ranks
While Quinlan Vos's Jedi comrades debate in private whether he has succumbed to the dark side, Vos and his Jedi comrades take part in a mission to steal medication, weapons, foodstuffs, and ship repair-parts from a Separatist asteroid base. For this mission, Vos is accompanied by his friend Akar-Deshu, Kenobi, Skywalker, and the Clone Commander Cody. However, the Separatists have already booby-trapped the asteroid with explosives. Vos and his Jedi and Republic-comrades manage to escape, but all the supplies are destroyed. Following the failed mission, Vos meets up with Asajj Ventress in a Coruscant bar, where he affirms his love for her, and forgives her for killing Master Tholme. He promises to formalize his relationship with her after helping the Jedi to destroy Count Dooku.
Later, Quinlan takes part in a mission with Kenobi, Skywalker, and Cody to destroy a Separatist listening-post. However, upon arriving there, they discover that the station has already been abandoned. Meanwhile, Desh visits the site of the former Separatist asteroid-base and discovers evidence that there is a traitor within the Jedi ranks leaking information to the Separatists. Suspecting that these two incidents are no coincidence, Yoda arranges for a private meeting with Vos, and is able to sense that he has indeed fallen to the dark side. Yoda discusses his findings with his fellow members of the Jedi Council, who hatch a plan to test Vos's allegiance by sending him on a mission to kill Count Dooku. Kenobi is instructed to watch over Vos, and execute him if his true loyalties are revealed.
After receiving his assignment, Vos informs Ventress about his new mission to kill Count Dooku. After some arguing, Vos agrees to allow Ventress to accompany him. At the Jedi Council briefing, the Council agreed to allow Asajj to accompany Vos on his mission after she reveals that Dooku would be traveling to Christophsis on a Separatist dreadnought. Together, Vos and Ventress travel on the Banshee to Christophsis, where they discover Dooku's dreadnought among the Separatist fleet. Meanwhile, Skywalker and Kenobi tail Vos from a captured Separatist shuttle, and manage to infiltrate Dooku's dreadnought. After boarding the dreadnought with the help of reprogrammed battle droids, the two Jedi witness Vos engaging Dooku in a lightsaber duel.
However, Vos fails to kill the Count, and instead forces Dooku to lead him to his mysterious master, Darth Sidious. Realizing that their suspicions about Vos's loyalties have been confirmed, Skywalker and Kenobi have little choice but to arrest Vos and Dooku. After capturing the two darksiders, Kenobi and Skywalker bring their prisoners to the Venator-class Star Destroyer Vigilance. Despite Commander Cody's best efforts to secure the prisoners, Vos tricks Desh into approaching him, and steals his lightsaber. He then uses it to free himself and Dooku. During their escape, Vos kills his former friend Desh and the Chagrian Jedi Knight Kav Bayons. Vos and Dooku then escape with Ventress aboard the Banshee.
Showdown on Christophsis
Ventress attempts to land the Banshee on Dooku's dreadnought, but the Vigilance gives chase, and succeeds in damaging the ship. As a result, Asajj is forced to crashland the Banshee on Christophsis. Kenobi, Skywalker, and several clonetroopers probe the wreckage of the Banshee, and deduce that the fugitives have survived. Meanwhile Ventress, Vos, and the seriously-wounded Dooku navigate across the crystal-covered landscape of Christophsis to reach a nearby Separatist base. Kenobi secretly contacts Ventress, and informs the former Nightsister about Vos's fall. He also instructs her to convince Quinlan to surrender, or they will kill him. When Ventress confronts Vos about this revelation, he convinces her that he is close to completing his mission, but does not disclose its goal. Meanwhile, Windu orders Kenobi and Skywalker to execute the fugitives.
Ventress, Vos, and Dooku finally arrive at the Separatist base built into a giant crystal-pillar. There, they receive word that Darth Sidious wants to talk with his apprentice Dooku. During the brief hologram conversation, Dooku pleads with his master to send a ship to Christophsis to evacuate him. However, Vos fails to learn Darth Sidious's true identity. Shortly later, the Separatist base is bombarded by Republic clonetroopers and Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighters. Despite Windu's orders, Kenobi still insists on getting the fugitives out unharmed. Despite Anakin's objections, the former master and apprentice venture into the Separatist base to find Vos and Dooku.
During the Republic bombardment, Ventress is badly wounded by the artillery fire and falling debris. Vos helps his wounded lover up as they attempt to follow Dooku and complete his mission. Meanwhile, Skywalker and Kenobi order a ceasefire in order to sneak into the fortress and kill Dooku. Back in the fortress, Asajj confronts Quinlan about his fall to the dark side and alignment with Dooku. After some hesitance, Vos confesses that this was true. Shortly later, Dooku attacks Vos with Force lightning. However, in a selfless act of sacrifice, Asajj shoves Vos away, and takes the full force of Dooku's attack. Dooku then attempts to goad Quinlan into killing him, but Vos refuses to give into the dark side, and affirms that he is a Jedi. While Vos reconciles with Ventress in her final moments, Dooku takes the opportunity to escape.
Following the events on Christophsis, Quinlan Vos surrenders to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, who bring him back to Coruscant. There, in the presence of the Jedi Council, Vos confesses that he had embraced the dark side and joined Count Dooku in order to use Dooku to get to Darth Sidious, and thus eliminate the two Sith Lords once and for all. He accepts responsibility for all the crimes and damage he had committed under Dooku's service, and for killing his two Jedi comrades Desh and Bayons, as well as the clonetroopers aboard the Vigilance. Vos also defends the late Asajj Ventress for bringing him back to the light, and giving her life to save him from Dooku.
During the hearing, Kenobi speaks out that it was folly for the Jedi Council to have considered using the tactic of assassination to eliminate Count Dooku, since it only led one close to the dark side. He also defends Ventress as a "friend" of the Jedi. Following the proceedings, Vos is pardoned for his crimes against the Jedi and the Republic. Kenobi also accompanies Quinlan to Dathomir to bury Ventress. Together, the two Jedi lay the Nightsister to rest in a dark pool near the abandoned Nightsisters' village. As Ventress's body enters the waters, the pool turns green, and the voices of the spirits of the deceased Nightsisters are heard, welcoming Ventress back.
- "Ventress had become one of the most interesting characters… we had all this material, we had all these designs… This is based on scripts we had written with George Lucas… I'm super excited about this book."
- ―Dave Filoni
The novel was first announced on July 25, 2014 at San Diego Comic-Con, in Del Rey's Star Wars panel that prominently featured the novel A New Dawn. The author was announced as Christie Golden, who adapted scripts that were written in conjunction with Series Producer George Lucas, for what would have been the seventh season of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series prior to its cancellation. According to Jennifer Heddle, the novel skewed toward adult audiences, with Pablo Hidalgo noting that the novel could explore the characters in deeper ways than the television series was able to. The first illustration for the novel was developed as conceptual art for the animated series.
On September 25, 2014, StarWars.com launched a new section dedicated to what was termed The Clone Wars Legacy, a multimedia project to release other unproduced The Clone Wars scripts in various media. The site revealed the title of Golden's novel as Dark Disciple—named for one of the adapted episodes—and also contained a gallery featuring concept art from the episodes. Although the gallery listed the story as being a four-part arc, Del Rey editor Shelly Shapiro later stated that the novel was based on eight episodes in total. Golden reaffirmed the number via Twitter, stating that the eight episodes had constituted a single, lengthy story arc.
The episodes were titled "Lethal Alliance," "The Mission," "Conspirators," "Dark Disciple," "Saving Vos Part I," "Saving Vos Part II," "Traitor," and "The Path." The episodes were written by Katie Lucas, Head Writer Matt Michnovetz, and Series Supervising Director Dave Filoni. Golden received animatics for the first four episodes and the scripts for all eight of them.
Del Rey editor Erich Schoeneweiss was the first to announce a July 2015 release for the novel. Amazon.com listed the novel's release date as July 7, while the British release date was July 9. StarWars.com unveiled Matt Taylor's cover art for the novel on December 9, 2014. On January 16, 2015, Golden reported that she had finished the novel and passed it on to her editor, and was finishing the second draft as of February 24. In an interview released on March 11, Shelly Shapiro revealed she had just finished working on the novel. The novel included a foreword by Katie Lucas, one of the writers for the original episodes. Golden also wrote a prequel short story entitled "Kindred Spirits," which was published in Star Wars Insider 159, and later included in the paperback release of Dark Disciple.
Wullf Yularen's first name is misspelled as Wulf on page 236.
- ISBN 9780345511539; Del Rey, July 7, 2015, 336-page hardcover
- ISBN 9781780893744; Century, July 9, 2015, 320-page hardcover
- ISBN 9781101884959; March 1, 2016; Del Rey; US paperback
- ISBN 9780099580133; Cornerstone, March 31, 2016, 400-page paperback
- ISBN 9780606385183; Turtleback Books, March 1, 2016, 384-page library binding
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
Notes and references