Sunday, January 8, 2017

Book Review: Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope- by George Lucas [Alan Dean Foster]

Star Wars: A New HopeStar Wars: A New Hope by George Lucas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being as big of a Star Wars fan as I am I had never read the original movie adaptation. For a little background I saw the movies out of order in 6th grade because at the time TBS did Christmas Day marathons of the original trilogy. I ended up seeing Return of the Jedi [RotJ] first. Coincidentally, I also ended up with a copy of the novel version of that book about the same time because we did a book swap in elementary where you donated a book and then were allowed to pick out a book. Somehow I ended up getting to pick out a book late in the day when most of the books had been picked already and I ended up with RotJ and it sat on my shelf gathering dust for quite a while. Eventually after watching the movies and starting to get into reading the novels I read RotJ first, probably early in 8th grade. Later that year I managed to borrow a copy of The Empire Strikes Back from a friend and read it through. Throughout 8th grade I began to learn a lot of Star Wars trivia and that same friend had a book of trivia questions and through that book I learned about some of the minor differences between the movies and the novels. There were also only two technical questions that I missed which is what led to me memorizing Luke's stormtrooper number [TK-421] and the serial code to the trash compactor on the Death Star [3263827]. Still I could not get my hands on a copy of the novelization of A New Hope . About this same time I started listening to Star Wars audiobooks because my library had audio, but not print copies, of many of the books. I also had an odd habit of not reading some of the books that I owned, while devouring others- more on this another time. It wasn't until I graduated college that I managed to find a copy of A New Hope in a used bookstore (there was a collection of all three novels into one book that my local bookstore sold, but I was never interested in owning it, because I preferred the individual books). By the time that I owned a copy of the book, though, I had become addicted to audiobooks and also had very little time to read, so it also gathered dust on my bookshelf.

Now, finally, I have come across an audio copy of the original novelization. Those original novels were short, but I suspect that the audiobook version is abridged, even though it didn't say so specifically in the transcript of the title or credits. Either way, it was a very good read. There is plenty of background material that was added to the novel. Furthermore, Alan Dean Foster's writing is beautiful. His choice of adjectives and adverbs really added depth to the novel, helping it to stand on its own. It is a shame that I took so long to read this one because I think, especially after listening to the other two for the first time [despite having read them previously, this is the best novel adaptation from the original trilogy, and despite its shortness, possibly all of the movies. Additionally, it is great that now, finally, Alan Dean Foster has gotten the recognition that he deserves for ghostwriting the novel for George Lucas.

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