May the FORCE be with you: Star Wars, Episode IV A New Hope Book Review


A Summary 

 In a galaxy far, far away Luke Skywalker dreams of adventure but is stuck living a boring life on his uncle's farm. His life quickly changes when he intercepts a mysterious message from a princess trapped by the Empire. With an old hermit, a smuggler and his Wookie companion, and two trouble-making droids, Luke embarks on a mission to save the princess but encounters more than he bargained for. 

My Top three LIKES from Stars Wars A New Hope

1. Biggs and Skywalker’s relationship // In the exposition of the novel we encounter a brief interaction with Luke and his dear friend Biggs. Biggs is about to leave Tatooine and travel to join the rebellion forces, while Luke Skywalker, desperate to join Biggs, must stay and live his mundane life on his uncle’s farm. This short scene gives a backstory that isn’t seen in the movie. Readers are able to better understand the relationship between the two characters and empathize with Luke later on when his best friend is blown up in his X-wing while trying to attack the Death Star.

We’re a couple of shooting stars, Biggs, and we’ll never be stopped.
— Luke Skywalker

2. The Storyline Design // Multiple stories are told at once in this action packed adventure. There is Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine. Princess Lia stuck aboard the Death Star. Han Solo and Chewbacca on the Millennium Falcon. Artoo Detoo and See Threepio getting into all sorts of trouble in various places throughout the galaxy. The layout and the design of the book creates smooth transitions for the reader to flawlessly transition from one character's story to the next in a similar fashion that Lucas uses in his films. One story frame would simply wipe in front of my eyes and be replaced by another. 

3. It's Star Wars // I liked this book for the simple fact that it is Star Wars. The Star Wars story is a timeless classic, a story I've enjoyed since early childhood. 

Even though Lucas is credited with being the author of the book, the novelization was created by Alan Dean Foster based on Lucas’s working script at the time the movie was in production.

Even though Lucas is credited with being the author of the book, the novelization was created by Alan Dean Foster based on Lucas’s working script at the time the movie was in production.

My top three DISLIKES from Stars Wars A New Hope

1.  Poor Writing // The story is lacking in detail and substance. I thought it would offer more light into the beginning of the Star Wars saga, provide more of a background.  Not so much. It is laden with poorly described scenes and characters. Kenobi is made out to be an old, crazy wizard who smokes a pipe all day in his cave. When I came across this section of the story, I felt like I was in the wrong sic-fi story. This is more Lord of the Rings details than Star Wars. Then there are areas with poor similes and metaphors. For example, "Luke's mind was as muddy as a pond laced with petroleum." Talk about bad imagery. In addition, I struggled with the lack of word choice. The word bowels is excessively used to describe any moment a place is located deep within something. 

  • "The central briefing room was located deep within the bowels of the temple." 
  • "There was a brief moan,the whoosh of powerful vacuum, and the small robot was sucked into the bowels of sand crawler as neatly as a pea up a straw."
  • "As they traveled farther and deeper into the bowels of the gigantic station, they found it increasingly difficult to maintain an air of casual indifference."

Give me some variety, please! 

2. Too many Earth references // These are several Earth references that surface in the book. They just don't fit within this realm and leave the reader and the characters confused.  

"I understand you're quite the pilot yourself. Piloting and navigation aren't hereditary, but a number of the things that can combine to make a good small-ship pilot are. Those you may have inherited. Still, even a duck has to be taught to swim." 

"What's a duck?" Luke asked curiously. 

3. Chunky Dialogue// I always tell my students that the book is better than the movie. This book, however, is not the case. The movie is far superior than the book. The novelization is filled with unnecessary changes in dialogue that slow down the story instead of progress it. I've watched the movie so many times that it was easy to pick up on the poorly altered dialogue. 

I decided to read through this novelization after discovering one of my close friends has yet to ever experience the Star Wars galaxy in any form! Don’t worry, we’re on course to fix this real soon. It was great to draw back into the world of Star Wars through text as the book was a fun read; however,  it does not come close to the beauty and wonder that is George Lucas’s Star Wars. I highly recommend that you choose the movie over the book.

If you’ve read the novelization, how would you rate this book? What ways do you stay connected to the galaxy far, far away…?

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