Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker by Alan Dean Foster

When it comes to famous science fiction movies, they don't come more famous than Star Wars. Not having seen the films since I was a very young kid, and not having access to them now, I felt that a fun way to re-enter into the saga would be through the trilogy of novelizations based on the first three films. As each is a separate novel, each will get its own review.

Eventually known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and originally released in theaters simply as Star Wars, the first released movie was novelized as Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker. Credited as written by George Lucas, the tie-in novel was in face ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster, famed both for his original fiction as well as his huge number of media tie-in books. Having read (and thoroughly enjoyed) both Foster's tie-in and original works, I looked forward to this one.

In the far future, all of known space is ruled by a powerful Empire. Over the years, the Empire became corrupt, and its totalitarian grip over every planet lead to hideous crimes perpetrated by the ruling bodies. Trying to escape this fate, the Rebel Army arose, attempting to overthrow this evil government.

As the book opens, the ship of Senator Leia Organa is attacked by Imperial forces, and she is captured. However, two 'droids escape her ship, See Threepio and Artoo Detoo, and crash on Tatooine, eventually winding up in the hands of Luke Skywalker, who works for his uncle as a mechanical repairman. Artoo carries with him an important secret, a message from a princess, and he escapes to deliver this message to a man named Obi-wan Kenobi. Thus starts a galactic adventure of action and intrigue, as Luke, joined by Obi-wan and the two 'droids, as well as meeting up with a couple famous smugglers, try to reach Leia and join the Rebels.

Last I saw the movies, I was far too young to remember them, and so most of this book, minus a couple main characters that have entered popular culture, was like a new story to me. The action never flagged, and the pace was wonderful, introducing new characters and events at just the right pace. This wonderful book is just brilliantly fun.

There was very little to complain about. Foster handles the store deftly, and doesn't make many mistakes. This is one of the best novelizations that I have read. From a relative newcomers perspective in regards to the story, it was wonderful. Yes, at times some of the dialogue was rather stilted, and, for lack of a better word, dumb, most was just fine, and it certainly didn't detract harshly from the story. A fun adventure well worth reading, especially for those without much experience of the movies, pick up a copy of the book, especially in the very reasonably price volume out now that has all three novels.


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