In Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale, we learn that

Shepherd Book was born Henry Evans and that he stole the identity of Derrial Book in order to join the Alliance as a Browncoat spy.

However, he continues to go by Book even after

he was discharged from the Alliance.

It seems odd that he would continue to go by a stolen name after finding religion. Is there anything to indicate why he did this?

  • 1
    Doesn't the title pretty much give away the text in the first spoiler block?
    – Tony Meyer
    Oct 27, 2015 at 1:18
  • 1
    Not really - it only gives away that Book had a different name once - not the reason or anything else about Book.
    – HorusKol
    Oct 27, 2015 at 4:12

1 Answer 1


Why doesn't he re-assume his old identity?

Henry Evans is wanted by the police for (erm...) crimes unknown. These crimes are evidently serious enough to merit the Alliance send nine police fliers after him and no less than 6 heavily armed men to arrest him at his home. We can reasonably assume that if he was to become Henry again, he would be immediately at risk of arrest and substantial sentencing.

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Why doesn't he assume another identity?

Ignoring the fact that he may simply not want to (his childhood was awful) or that stealing someone's identity would be quite difficult (the last time he did it involved killing someone), the reality is that Derrial Book is sufficiently well known that he is recognised in public, a decorated military man with a long track record of service. If he were to assume a third identity, that in itself would be highly suspicious behaviour that could lead to his arrest and trial where his other identity (and possibly his crimes against the Alliance) would be uncovered.

  • None of this explains why Shepherd Book's ID got him medical care on an Alliance cruiser. Oct 27, 2015 at 19:39
  • @HowardMiller He was a high ranking Alliance officer. I believe it's mentioned that his mistake wasn't made well-known in order to not make the Alliance look bad.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Oct 27, 2015 at 19:50
  • 2
    @HowardMiller - He was discharged without trial. Presumably as an ex-high-ranking officer, his ID still has certain privileges.
    – Valorum
    Oct 27, 2015 at 19:55

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