‘Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith’ Cover and First Excerpt Revealed

There is no shortage of high-profile Star Wars novels in 2022, with major releases coming all year long. One of those is set to dive into the questions left behind after the release of 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker. On June 28th, author Adam Christopher will bring us Shadow of the Sith.


The book picks up nearly two decades after the Battle of Endor and follows Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian as they investigate Exegol and the mystery surrounding a new Sith menace. Elsewhere, Ochi of Bestoon is on a mission to find the granddaughter of Darth Sidious, who we all know as Rey, and bring her back to Exegol.


StarWars.com has just revealed the cover and given us our first excerpt. In the fragment, Luke finds Exegol, but things don’t go as planned. Check it all out below:



The third figure on the cover is unknown. If you’ve read anything beyond just watching The Rise of Skywalker, you’ve likely come across the secret Sith cult known as the Sith Eternal. This is the group that was largely responsible in helping maintain the essence of Emperor Palpatine before he returned in the climactic chapter in the Skywalker Saga. The novel’s synopsis mentions the cult, so we’ll surely see more of them in this book. However, that third figure could still be anyone, as the cult is said to not be Force-sensitive. It definitely isn’t Ochi, unless he’s suddenly picked up lightsaber training. A more plausible guess would be Snoke’s other apprentice, who has been mentioned in supplemental material for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but that’s all speculation.


Now onto the excerpt. StarWars.com gave us a really meaty one; be sure to head over there to read the rest as this is only a piece of it.


There was a bang, more like a thunderclap, and everything went black. The breeze dropped, the air still and warm. Luke took a breath and could taste dry dust on his tongue, and then he realized he wasn’t sitting on the seeing stone anymore. Tython was gone. 

He looked down. He was standing now on black dirt, hard-packed, cracked, coated with dust that swirled in eddies around his boots.

He looked up. The world was black and dry, the sky dark and filled with roiling black clouds, lit by constant flashes of lightning that shorted directly down into the ground. If it was day or night, Luke couldn’t tell — the place was both light and dark at the same time, the vast, flat plain of black stone lit evenly from a sun that wasn’t there.

Luke took another breath, the taste getting stronger in his mouth. Already his eyes were drying out, the atmosphere, the ground, the whole place so old, so desiccated.

He knew immediately where he was. He had been here many times recently, this nightmare landscape of his visions.

Only now he knew its name.

This was Exegol, the hidden world of Sith only whispered about in ancient texts. A place reachable only with a wayfinder.

And… by meditation? Luke took a step forward, finding the ground solid and most definitely real under his feet. He walked a small and slow circle, eyes at the horizon. Lightning flashed, lighting the farther reaches of the plain, revealing it to be featureless and dead.

The same place as his visions, yes, but this felt… different.

This felt real.

Could he have been transported? Luke frowned, his mind racing along with his heart. True enough, he didn’t know the full extent of the powers of the seeing stone. He had researched the place for years, but he had never actually used the stone for its ancient purpose, to commune directly with the Force. He knew himself what a powerful Jedi he had become, what untapped potential he still had within himself despite — or perhaps because of — his years of self-directed, Masterless training.

Had he done it? He had the holocron, or what was left of it, and the kyber crystals. Was there enough of the holocron data core left for the seeing stone to have been able to read it, somehow, taking him to where the original owner had failed to reach, all those centuries ago? And what about the kyber crystals? They resonated with the Force, their very structures in a natural, sympathetic vibration with it. Were they the catalyst, making the journey possible? Was that what the original pilot had tried — combining two very different forms of Sith power to overcome their lack of a true wayfinder?

It was then that a far more important question entered Luke’s head.

Could he get back to Tython?

Then he spun, ducking instinctively as something brushed past the hood of his robe, strong enough to shift the heavy fabric over his shoulder. There was nobody behind him. He turned the circle again. He was alone on the plain, the air perfectly still, the caustic sour taste growing ever stronger in his mouth.

Again. Something brushing past him, this time with a distinct whoosh of the dry air and the sound of someone’s feet scraping along the hard ground. Luke ducked out of the way again, moving a few meters from his original position. Looking down he saw his footprints in the dust — it was hardly an impression, but enough for him to see his own tracks.

And the tracks of someone, or something, else. Two large arcs, not footsteps but the signs of something being dragged along the ground, on opposite sides of where Luke had just been standing.

He looked up, turning slowly to see all around him. There was no place to hide—no rocks, no buildings, nothing. Luke could see from horizon to empty horizon.

Lightning flashed and then he saw it, just for an instant as it was lit up by the electrical storm. A figure, a fair distance away, perhaps one hundred meters. And then it was gone, before Luke could register any features or form at all.

“Hello?” he called out, feeling slightly foolish. He tried again. “Who’s there?”

Again the sound, louder now, and he felt something physically push his back. He went with the movement to keep his own footing, moved forward farther, then spun around, his hand whipping his lightsaber from his belt and presenting it in one smooth, fluid movement. He paused, feet spread, weight low, the defensive position that was as instinctive, as automatic, for him as breathing.

Luke was surrounded. They were tall, thin. Nine of them. Nothing more than wraiths. Nothing more than shadows. Tall, thin ghosts, their bodies curved and arced in a new wind that had picked up, a wind that gusted across the black plain, changing direction constantly.

Luke adjusted his grip on his lightsaber and thumbed the activator. With a searing swoosh, the green blade ignited, illuminating a large circle around Luke and the wraiths, lighting the ashy dust that swirled in the air like a halo.

Luke braced himself. Because these weren’t ghosts or shadows or wraiths. They were very real. With each flash of lightning in the dark sky above, the wraiths were lit as solid, three-dimensional figures, black-robed, bandage-faced.

It was disorienting. Luke narrowed his eyes as he focused, the foes surrounding him flashing between translucent billowing shadows and solid humanoid figures.

Then they began to circle him. They kept the same distance from Luke, and from oneanother, as they moved, all of them keeping their front facing this intruder into their world. Luke, balanced on the balls of his feet, fingers adjusting, readjusting on the grip of his lightsaber, was ready for the attack he knew was coming, all the while his mind racing.

How did I get here… and how do I get back?

And then the wraiths, moving in unison as though some unseen, unheard communication had passed among them, reached into robes that were in one instant eddies of ash and in the next flash of lightning a heavy, woven black textile, and pulled out lightsabers of their own.

Luke, with his years of experience, years of learning to master his emotions and control his actions, did not allow the sight of these nine weapons to surprise him. Because… of course they had lightsabers. He was on Exegol, the Sith world, the heart of darkness. He had dared to see into the planet with the Force, and was now here, in physical reality, facing nine embodiments of the dark side who clearly wanted their existence to remain hidden.

The wraiths lifted their lightsabers and activated them. Luke didn’t so much hear their ignition as feel it inside, the familiar sound somehow high-pitched and distant, a half-forgotten memory rather than an actual physical sensation. The wraiths lifted their blades, ready to meet Luke’s, but they were nothing, mere black outlines against the black figures standing on the black ground under a black sky. But when the lightning flashed, the nine blades were inverted, a negative flash of white that made spots dance in Luke’s eyes. Dazzled, Luke’s control slipped for just a moment, and he took an involuntary half step backward.

It was what the wraiths had been waiting for. They rushed at him in silence, their robes of shadow-ash disintegrating in the wind as they moved, their whole bodies becoming insubstantial, particulate matter that blew away in the breeze. And then the lightning flashed and Luke was surrounded by nine very real, very solid, black-clad figures swinging lightsabers of blinding, impossible light.

Driven by instinct, guided by his connection to the Force, Luke parried the first blows, his lightsaber connecting with his enemies’ with a familiar high-energy splash. But with the lightning flashing along with the nine black-white blades of his enemies, Luke soon found he that he was, effectively, fighting blind, his vision nothing but purple spots and red smears.

But Luke Skywalker did not panic, did not fear. Deflecting another attack, Luke closed his eyes and let out a breath. He didn’t need eyes to see his enemies. All he had to do was look inward, to feel the Force flow through him, to feel its connection with himself, and the galaxy, and all the beings that lived within.

I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me.


Again, be sure to head over to StarWars.com for the rest. Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith releases on June 28th and is available for pre-order now.


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Nate uses his love for Star Wars and movies in general as a way to cope with the pain of being a Minnesota sports fan. When he's not at the theater, you can usually find Nate reading a comic, listening to an audiobook, or playing a Mario video game for the 1,000th time.

Nate Manning

Nate uses his love for Star Wars and movies in general as a way to cope with the pain of being a Minnesota sports fan. When he's not at the theater, you can usually find Nate reading a comic, listening to an audiobook, or playing a Mario video game for the 1,000th time.