Monday, May 14, 2018

Book Review: Star Wars The Last Jedi by Jason Fry

Star Wars The Last Jedi by Jason Fry

Hardcover, 336 pages

Published March 6th 2018 by Del Rey

For all their faults the Prequels got a few things right. Obi-wan was perfect, the Darth Maul light saber battle and without crappy direction all three novelizations were better than the movies. During those years I looked forward to those novels, they always gave deeper insight into the SW universe and often had depth the movies lacked. So I read The Force Awakens and now the Last Jedi novelizations.

These last two were very basic, in fact almost flatly following the scripts. It is not to say that the new canon has not added to the universe in the novels, it has. It has done so in books like the Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Windig or Bloodline by Claudia Gray. This novel was a little bit of a disappointment for me. Don't worry it didn't ruin my childhood, I am not going to make videos crying about how upset I am.

First off I LOVED the movie. I think Last Jedi is the second best film in the Skywalker saga and my third favorite SW film behind Rogue One which hit my military sci-fi sweet spot. I think the majority of haters are silly fan-boys who felt crushed after two years of making "who is Snoke?" theory videos. I know some of you just didn't like the humor or the story. I know some of you wanted Luke Skywalker to go Rambo on the first order.

I am sorry you got the grown-up Star Wars film that was heartfelt, smart and beautiful looking. Honestly you haters don't deserve Rian Johnson's film. So you see I LOVED Last Jedi. in fact it is one of the reasons I think this novel is lacking. It doesn't touch the power of the film for me. It transcribes the events sure, but it adds very little. It doesn't capture the scope, it doesn't add to the story. I had hope since they made sure to say on the dust jacket that it had input from Rian Johnson. I learned far more about the story from RJ's empire magazine spoiler special interview.

Some highlights:

> Luke's first conversation with Rey he explains himself just slightly better. I suspect Johnson and Hamill gave the viewer too much credit and trimmed the dialogue.

> Luke tells Rey "This is my nightmare. A thousand wannabe younglings showing up on my doorstep hoping they are the chosenwhoevers, wanting to know how to lift rocks." (was this in the script and cut from the film because it made me laugh)

>Luke opening himself up to the force triggers Leia coming out of her coma.

>Rey in the cave with the various versions of herself in the cave was well done and cemented the idea that she comes from nothing but is indeed the chosen hero still.

>Snoke gets a little fleshed out but not much. His methods are called improvisational compared to Palpatine. Snoke felt the Skwalker family had to dealt with before he could unleash his powers. That he centralized his power on his massive ship instead of a capital.

The Last Jedi was great for many reasons but if you think of Luke's journey and how it plays into the saga going back to his father's childhood it is a beautiful ending. Luke becomes the most powerful Jedi of all not by facing down the First order like a one man army. He defeated them by using their evil against them. he refused to compromise and that is awesome.

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