Review via Yodasnews Contributor Jacob Burdis:

Star Wars The Last Jedi Novelization Review

*Spoiler Alert — This post contains spoilers of Star Wars Episode XIII The Last Jedi film and novel*

The novelization of Star Wars: The Last Jedi written by Jason Fry is a great companion novel to the most recent Star Wars Episode by Ryan Johnson. It is an enjoyable read that follows the film very closely, while contributing a few insightful nuggets to the backstory and character development.

First and foremost, let me help you set appropriate expectations in regards to the novel’s status as an “expanded edition”. In short, don’t get your hopes up. The additional scenes and bits of conversation explored in the novel are welcome, but hardly merit such a claim. Don’t expect any grand reveals or ground-breaking new scenes.

The novel itself is surprisingly short, and I get the feeling that had I read the novel and not watched the movie, I would have actually missed out on several important pieces of the story. In other words, the novel seems to be more of a companion to the film instead of a true novelization replacement.

That having been said, the additions helped me resolve some of my unanswered questions, even after watching the film multiple times. Here’s a list of several of the key additions that the novel contributes to the overall Star Wars Story.

    • Luke’s Dream — Prologue of Luke on Ahch-to dreaming what would have been if he didn’t leave Tatooine
    • Burning the Jedi Library — Luke has tried to burn the Jedi library multiple times but each time couldn’t bring himself to do it
    • Rey’s Identity? — Luke tells the caretakers on the island that Rey is his niece
    • Luke’s 3rd Lesson — An additional scene on Ahch-to revealed that Luke’s 3rd lesson may be that a Jedi must only act when it is possible to maintain balance
    • Luke’s Green Lightsaber? — After Luke vanished, caretakers place his things in storage, including a “weapon”
    • Luke decides to Leave with Rey — until he sees Rey communicating with Kylo Ren. Then he flips and changes his mind again, commanding Rey to leave
    • Snoke’s Backstory — Snoke was part of the emperor’s contingency plan, but wasn’t well respected at first and was an unlikely candidate to rise as he did to Supreme Leader
    • How Kylo Killed Snoke — Snoke was distracted with Rey’s powerful resistance to his force manipulation, and misinterpreted Kylo’s new hatred and resolve to kill Snoke and not Rey
    • Finn’s Character Development — Finns transition from wanting to run away with Rey to becoming part of the resistance is made more clear
    • Finn and Rose’s Development — Rose’s annoyance with Finn’s seeming obsession with Rey is exposed, with her falling for him as he truly joins the resistance’s cause
    • Rey and the Force — Rey’s understanding that the force isn’t hers to control, and her acceptance that she is its instrument to fulfill its will
    • Temmin (Snap) Wexley — He isn’t dead, he was sent on a mission prior to the First Order’s arrival to rally additional forces sympathetic to the resistance
    • Baffler — Device that Rose created to mask resistance ships’ signatures. Began with the Starfortress bombers and Holdo installed on fleeing resistance transports.
    • Hux’s Hyperspace Tracker — Less of a device, and more of a data-crunching algorithm that tracks last known trajectory with possible hyperspace routes
    • The Supremacy — Mega-class star dreadnought that acts as a self-sufficient First Order mobile capital, complete with refineries, foundries, training facilities, etc.
    • Holdo’s Kamikaze Maneuver — Relied on a set of precise “one in a million” conditions that made this daring move possible

Overall, the read was well worth it if just for the expanded understanding coming from the points listed above. Though with the novel being relatively short (just over 300 pages), it acts more as a companion to the film and not a complete novelization replacement. I give it a solid 4 of 5 stars.

Click Here or the image below to pick this up via digital, audio or physical form.  We would like to thank Del Rey/Penguin Random House for providing the review sample.

 

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