The Walking Dead returns tonight on AMC, and as part of that celebration of all things zombies, we review the best darn Star Wars zombie book in Legends — Star Wars: Red Harvest…
If you love The Walking Dead and Star Wars, then boy do we have the perfect book for you, as the Star Wars Legends novel, Star Wars: Red Harvest, will definitely scratch both of those-probably-zombie infected itches.
Image Credit: Del Rey
In 2010, published Del Rey released a Star Wars horror novel titled Star Wars: Red Harvest. The book was written by author Joe Schreiber, and its name was a purposeful homage to the working title for Return of the Jedi, Blue Harvest.
Here’s the book’s official synopsis: H/T – Star Wars Wiki
"The era of the Old Republic is a dark and dangerous time, as Jedi Knights valiantly battle the Sith Lords and their ruthless armies. But the Sith have disturbing plans—and none more so than the fulfillment of Darth Scabrous’s fanatical dream, which is about to become nightmarish reality.Unlike those other Jedi sidelined to the Agricultural Corps—young Jedi whose abilities have not proved up to snuff—Hestizo Trace possesses one extraordinaryForce talent: a gift with plants. Suddenly her quiet existence among greenhouse and garden specimens is violently destroyed by the arrival of an emissary from Darth Scabrous. For the rare black orchid that she has nurtured and bonded with is the final ingredient in an ancient Sith formula that promises to grant Darth Scabrous his greatest desire.But at the heart of the formula is a never-before-seen virus that’s worse than fatal—it doesn’t just kill, it transforms. Now the rotting, ravenous dead are rising, driven by a bloodthirsty hunger for all things living—and commanded by a Sith Master with an insatiable lust for power and the ultimate prize: immortality . . . no matter the cost."
The book is set in the Old Republic era, and centers around a dangerous and deadly black orchid called the Murakami orchid, and a Sith Lord by the name of Darth Scabrous who wants the orchid stolen from the Jedi Agriculture facility.
Darth Scabrous, you see, is the leader of the Odacer-Faustin Sith Academy, and he has some extremely nefarious plans for extracting something deadly from the Murakami orchid. Scabrous, an apropos name for this book, hires a bounty hunter by the name of Tulkh, to steal the Murakami orchid from the Jedi Agricultural facility on the planet Marfa, however, when he arrives on planet and steals the orchid, he quickly realizes that the orchid won’t survive the trip back to Darth Scabrous, without the plant’s handler, Padawan Hestizo Trace, and so Tulkh kidnaps the young Jedi, as well.
With the orchid and Hestizo Trace in his possession, Scabrous performs a procedure, using the orchid in a device hooked into a Sith apprentice by the name of Wim Nickter. The procedure kills Nickter, but he soon comes back as a zombie.
The infection that caused Nickter to become an undead quickly spreads throughout the Sith Academy, and even infects Darth Scabrous himself. Padawan Hestizo and the bounty hunter, Tulkh, find themselves trapped and trying to fight off the hordes of zombies that are now roaming in packs throughout the academy.
Meanwhile, Darth Scabrous is trying to find a way to become immortal, without the side effect of becoming a zombie. In order to do this, Scabrous infects the librarian, Dail’Liss, and orders him to lure Hestizo to the library by mimicking the voice of the Murakami orchid, something that the young Jedi Padawan is tuned into the Force, to hear. Darth Scabrous’ evil plan works and he straps Hestizo down on a sacrificial altar, planning to cut out her heart with a Sith sword, which would make him immortal…that and consuming Hestizo’s heart, once it has been removed from her chest.
During all this, Tulkh does is trying to find a way off of Odacer-Faustin and he comes into contact with Darth Scabrous’ personal HK-series assassin droid. Tulkh modifies the droid to fight the zombies, and together, they make it back to Tulkh’s ship, the Mirocaw.
Meanwhile, Hestizo is able to free herself from Scabrous’s sacrifice, and before Scabrous can kill her, her brother Rojo arrives and duels the Sith Lord. However, Darth Scabrous kills Rojo, but during the fight, Hestizo is able to kill Scabrous by telepathically convincing the Murakami orchid to sprout itself from the Sith Lord’s head, which severely weakens him. Scabrous turn into a zombie and Hestizo finishes him off.
Hestizo makes it to Tulkh’s ship and the two, plus a stowaway named Pergus Frode, escape the planet, destroying the Sith Academy in their wake. However, it is revealed that Tulkh had been infected, and he asks Hestizo to blow him out into the vacuum of space. She does so, then returns to Marfa. But, once there, she realizes she needs to train in the proper ways of a Jedi, and goes to Coruscant to the Jedi Temple there.
For a Star Wars Legends book, from The Old Republic era, Star Wars: Red Harvest really adds nothing to the overall storyline of that time, but it is a very fun one-off read. I highly suggest picking the book up at your local bookstore or online, and reading it for Halloween…or you know, to celebrate the return of The Walking Dead on AMC.
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We want to hear from you: Have you read Star Wars: Red Harvest? Are you a fan of The Walking Dead? What better way to celebrate the two than by reading this book! Let us know your favorite Star War scary moment in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag: #StarWarsHalloween. And, For more news, information, and all things The Walking Dead, check out our sister site: Undead Walking.