When I was younger, we did not have television and rarely went to the movies. This meant that if I wanted to enjoy a film a second or third time, or even know what happened in some films, I had to find a copy of the novelization at the library.
This past weekend, I was very lucky to attend Emerald City Comic-Con semi-unexpectedly (well, as unexpectedly as buying tickets a month and a half before can be). After missing several convention exclusive editions of Star Wars books, I was thrilled to be able to purchase the convention exclusive edition of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi novelization on Thursday afternoon.
I started to dig into the book Thursday evening and made it a few chapters in before falling a sleep after a long day of being at the convention. From the truly incredible hook in the first line of the prologue, I was hooked – not just to the book, but to the feeling of being a kid and experiencing Star Wars. Reading this book felt like exploring a story that I simultaneously knew and yet did not expect.
This novelization might be the most approachable Star Wars book, yet the most complex. Author Jason Fry manages to make this story silky smooth, in a text form you simply cannot put down. When I sat down to really dig into this book on Saturday morning, I kept reading until I finished it – I do not know that I remember when that was, because time is a blur.
Fry and The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson have been pretty open about adding some sequences to this book – a couple notable sequences flesh out Paige Tico (Rose’s sister who we do not get to spend much time with in the film), Maz Kanata, Rey’s time on Ahch-To, and Luke’s feelings/motivations in a couple key places.
We also get some great perspective, in the form of BB-8 during some space fights, on Canto Bight and during the escape from the Supremacy or Rose’s internal dialogue about Finn, and a few moments that Reylo shippers will no doubt not let us forget for the next two years.
While the text goes into deep detail in feelings, background, and perspective (we get explanations for why Snap is not around, despite having just been at Starkiller Base, the history of hyperspace tracking is explained in more detail than most folks want, and Snoke thinks about Rae Sloane (and others)), it skims over some action sequences that felt like prominent and longer-lasting moments in the film, describing them with such brevity, I had to go back and make sure I had not missed them.
Overall, a fantastic novelization, and I cannot wait to reread it.
Soon. After I get through the rest of my stack of books. I still have not finished Cobalt Squadron, or Canto Bight, and I have a bunch of books from a library book sale – not to mention some ARCs I picked up at ECCC. Hoping to review Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah Dawson & Kevin Hearne, as well as Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman in the very near future.