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Star Wars Novelizations #4

Star Wars: A New Hope

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Luke Skywalker challenged the stormtroopers of a distant galaxy on a daring mission - where a force of life became the power of death!
Luke Skywalker was a twenty-year-old who lived and worked on his uncle's farm on the remote planet of Tatooine ... and he was bored beyond belief. He yearned for adventures out among the stars—adventures that would take him beyond the farthest galaxies to distant and alien worlds.

But Luke got more than he bargained for when he intercepted a cryptic message from a beautiful princess held captive by a dark and powerful warlord. Luke didn't know who she was, but he knew he had to save her—and soon, because time was running out.

Armed only with courage and with the light saber that had been his father's, Luke was catapulted into the middle of the most savage space war ever ... and he was headed straight for a desperate encounter on the enemy battle station known as the Death Star!

247 pages, Paperback

First published December 5, 1976

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About the author

George Lucas

227 books552 followers
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an Academy Award-winning American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is the creator of the epic Star Wars saga and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones. Today, Lucas is one of the American film industry's most financially successful independent directors/producers, with an estimated net worth of $3.6 billion.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 753 reviews
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,142 reviews3,567 followers
April 24, 2018
Everything, here begun!

I have bought the Omnibus edition with the three original “Star Wars” movie novelizations but I’ve chosen this edition to make a better focused review of each single book.


This is the novelization of that movie that a long time ago changed the way that Hollywood does films, maybe you have heard about it (unless of course, you have been frozen in carbonite for more than 40 years), since there is the far far away chance that you have never watched the movie, but definitely you must have heard about it!

Star Wars

It was known just like that, Star Wars, at the beginning, but with the incoming of the rest of movies, TV series, novels, comics, etc... soon enough, it turned to be known as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

But hey! Episode Four?! Then why am I beginning with the fourth episode in the series?!

Because it’s Star Wars

…changing everything, even the way to tell stories (not to mention of re-inventing how the speciall effects would be done from then on).

And nowadays (2018) is more alive than ever!

OK, now, if you are of those frozen in carbonite and never having watched the movie, I warned you of NOT keep reading since there will be some kind of spoilers…


Well, first of all, no, George Lucas didn’t write the book (and to have balance in the Force, no, Gene Roddenberry didn’t write Star Trek: The Motion Picture novelization neither), but what both books have in common is that they shared the same “ghost writer” (and no, it wasn’t a Force ghost!), Alan Dean Foster, known novelist, popular writer of novelizations, and a staple name in sci-fi literature.

But don’t make a revolution about it, since it’s obvious that good ol’ Georgie indeed made the script (after several drafts, at least four official ones, and maybe more unofficials), so Alan Dean Foster made the “translation” of the crude screenplay to a prose novel format, and I can tell you that it was a really good work, nothing to envy from any other prose novel out there.

So, what’s new in the prose novelization that there wasn’t in the movie (counting the Special Editions’ additions)?

Well, nothing much that relevant, I can mention the infamous scenes of Luke watching from ground with (some absurdly good) binoculars the space battle between Leia’s ship and Vader’s Imperial Destroyer; along with Luke’s conversation about it with his Tatooine’s young pals, including Biggs Darklighter.

Oh, and a cool comment by the X-Wing Leader saying that he flew along with Luke’s daddy (wink, wink), so he trusted that Luke must be as good as fighter pilot.

And that’s pretty much it,…


Also, Foster could correct some wide-known mistakes or polemic topics, like…

…C-3PO commenting that the Princess wouldn’t be able to escape this time and later saying that he didn’t know who was the girl in the hologram, now in the prose novel the reference is done about the ship’s captain that he would be the one not able to escape this time.

…droids weren’t allow to get aboard escape pods, so there is now logical that those good ol’ Imperial officers couldn’t conceive that any other kind of intelligent form were in what it seemed like an accidentally ejected escape pod.

…Darth Vader is mentioned as a Dark Lord of the Sith, while in the original movies, the term was never used, and it was untile the prequel trilogy that the term was widely coined.

…General Kenobi weren’t in direct service of Leia’s father, but the Old Republic.

…Han Solo shot first, oh yeah!

…Tarkin didn’t bother to go over to Dantooine, since even if it would be a real active Rebel Base, it would be too far away of the main space routes to serve as an effective visual testimony of the Death Star’s power to infuse fear in the Core Worlds of the Galactic Empire, so Alderaan was going to be the intended target not matter what.

…Han Solo argues how the heck Leia would be able to pay her rescue if she wasn’t rich anymore (lacking of a planet).

…Chewie got his medal, oh yeah!

And many other things, here and there.

Of course, also there are things that they are STILL WRONG due changes during the making of the movie, while good ol’ Alan was far far away, typing his novelization at home, like…

…it’s said that Leia’s consular ship was warned to stay away of the space sector where the Imperial Starfleet was dealing with the Rebel Spies (true, this is something rather new due Rogue One, but still I mention it, since it’s like an “obligation” of not respecting previous continuity, canon or not).

…there is an odd paragrah indicating that Darth Vader has been in service of more than one emperor, and while Palpatine is mentioned, it’s not said that he’s a Sith too.

…old Ben Kenobi doesn’t remember of being owner of astromech droids (poor R4-P17 and R4-G9 must be twisting of indignation in their graves (yes, I know, it was a prequel thing, but still)), and even there is problematic comment indicating that R2-D2 model is “too modern” for having being already in service during the old Clone Wars.

…more than a mistake, it’s quite odd that in the prose novelization, the scene of the Death Star firing against Alderaan isn’t developed, so you have to read “between lines” to understand that fact. Even Obi-Wan Kenobi didn’t feel in the Force the sudden death of all those billions of Alderaanians.

…the climax of the lightsaber battle between Obi-wan Kenobi and Darth Vader is too much vague and you can’t get what really happened at the end of it.

…the stuff made by the Red Team in the movie, it’s done in the book by the Blue Team (besides the thing with Rogue One, this was a forced change while filming the movie, since the blue screen was troublesome to work with X-Wing maquettes painted with blue stripes). The Gold Team is referenced as simple Yellow, Also there is mention of a Green Team.

Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
August 13, 2011
RISING UNEMPLOYMENT: The “DARK SIDE” of the Rebel Victory at Yavin.


***The following is just one story of the economic devastation that resulted from the brutal and senseless attack by the so called rebels (called "domestic terrorists" by many) on the newly completed pork barrel government works project known as the Imperial Death Star...there are many, many more.***

To: Major Bigga Asshatian
Chief of Coruscant Internal Security

From: Chips O’Toole
Director FISEPRA (Former Imperial Stormtrooper Employment Placement and Relocation Agency)

Re: Employment Candidate Request

Dear Major Asshatian:

I have a candidate for the vacant file clerk position at Coruscant Internal Security (CIS) and I would greatly appreciate if you would consent to granting him an interview for the position. This is an unusual and tragic case, and one personally important to me, and so I would beg your indulgence while I provide a little background on the young man’s history.

The candidate is a 28 year old male, Imperial citizen with over 5 years experience in Security and Law Enforcement. Until recently, he also had a Class A3 Pilot’s rating, however this rating has been revoked for reasons that will become obvious during the course of this narrative. 2 years ago, the candidate was a member of Gamma Flight Squadron assigned to the Imperial Death Star Station when the ill-fated station was destroyed in the unprovoked attack by the Rebels in the Yavin system. He was one of only a handful to survive the attack as he was engaged in defensive flight operations against the Rebels at the time of the station’s destruction.

In addition to the tragic loss of life that occurred as a result of the loss of the Imperial Death Star, the event also cut short the bright and very promising career of this young man. The candidate had previously been on the fast track to advancement. In addition to his security experience and flight expertise, he had been part of the “Leaders of the Future” Program sponsored by the Sith Foundation and, in an ironic twist of fate, was actually part of the committee responsible for naming the new Imperial station.

Unfortunately, all this came to a screeching halt after the “Yavin Incident.” Following the attack and destruction of the Death Star, the candidate was diagnosed with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The condition left the candidate unable to perform his duties and suffering from a variety of PTSD-related symptoms, most notably night sweats and a chronic case of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

Shortly after being diagnosed with IBS, he was removed from active duty and 18 months ago was granted early retirement. Initially, with the Empire providing medical coverage for all its former stormtroopers, the young man was able to take some time off and focus on recovering.

Unfortunately, as you know, severe cuts in medical coverage were required to fund the Empire’s increased military budget for both the “Hoth” engagement and the “Bounty Hunter Work Program” (a project endorsed personally by Lord Vader). This led to the termination of Imperial medical coverage for all former Stormtroopers. With mounting medical bills and a growing addiction to both “death sticks” and Twi’Lek dancing girls, the candidate soon found himself in dire financial straights. As a result, he was forced to seek out new employment to cover medical expenses and the legal fees incurred in connection with several paternity suits.

However, as a former Imperial stormtrooper, he was not eligible for union membership under the Galactic CBA and was forced to take a variety of low paying jobs without benefits of any kind. These jobs ranged from:



Amateur Adult Film Star

As you might imagine, these jobs provided little help to the candidate and he continued his downward spiral into depression and increased addiction. He eventually “hit bottom” 9 months ago when he was arrested for exposing himself to an Imperial peace officer and for assault (stemming from his urination on the aforementioned peace officer).

Despite the vehement protest of the arresting officer, the charges were eventually dropped after the intervention of a member of the Sith Foundation and the young man was sent to rehab and given treatment for his depression and his growing addictions. He has been clean for the last 6 months other than one “incident” involving a female Hutt which both parties at this time swear was consentual....**shudder**...and appears to be back on track and ready to become a contributing member of the Empire.

Of course, his IBS remains chronic and so a desk job close to “facilities” remains a must. However, apart from that the candidate is fully capable of handling most any administrative task you would see fit to give me.

Thank you for your anticipated understanding and cooperation with this request. You will be doing a wonderful service for both the candidate and his mother (my sister). In addition, you will also be of tremendous help to me personally because I really want the creepy fucker out of my house would like to see the young man able to support himself again.

Kindest regards,

Chips O’Toole
Director FISEPRA (Former Imperial Stormtrooper Employment Placement and Relocation Agency)
Profile Image for Ethan.
236 reviews251 followers
January 29, 2021
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....


Ah yes, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The movie that started it all. But that was in 1977. Let's flash back to a time just before that, to where the story of this amazing book, and its sequel, began.


Some guy named George Lucas (never heard of him, wink) commissioned author Alan Dean Foster to write two books. The first, Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, would be a novelization of Lucas' upcoming movie, Star Wars. In case the movie bombed, Lucas wanted Foster's second novel to be a story that could be produced into a low-budget sequel to Star Wars. The franchise is, of course, now one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, but Lucas didn't know that would be the case at the time. This second novel is called Splinter of the Mind's Eye, and if you're a big Star Wars fan, go add this book to your TBR list right now, because although its ratings on GR aren't very good, 3.26 stars from 9557 ratings at the time of this writing, it is very literally a lost Star Wars movie that was never made, so you have to read it. I personally intend to read and review it in the coming weeks, but we'll see if that ends up happening.

Back to Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker. I really liked it, though I found the writing to be a bit wooden and two-dimensional at times. You just can't recreate something like the Mos Eisley cantina scene in a book. The movie has music you can hear, and the scene has its own atmosphere unique in the history of film. Alan Dean Foster did an admirable job trying to write scenes like this, but for me some of them didn't quite match the quality of their movie counterparts. Some of them, however, I think he did a great job with, such as the lightsaber duel between Obi-wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, and the attack run on and destruction of the Death Star at the end of the story.

One thing I really, really loved is the scene where the Millenium Falcon has infiltrated the Death Star, and Han and Luke have to overpower a few Stormtroopers to steal their armour and disguise themselves. A senior officer then calls out to one of the unconscious Stormtroopers over the radio, asking him why he's not reporting in. The scene is incredibly brief, and though it happens in both the book and the movie, there's a really cool difference between the two versions. Here is the scene as it occurs in the book:

"THX-1138, why don't you reply?" The officer was beginning to panic when an armored figure descended the ramp and waved toward him.

Notice anything about that scene? The missing Stormtrooper's unit number is THX-1138! That is the title of George Lucas' first movie! I simultaneously watched the movie the same week I read this book, and in the movie the missing Stormtrooper's name is changed to "TK421". I can't help but wonder why the easter egg reference to Lucas' first movie was removed in the eventual Star Wars film, but it's really cool that it's still in the novelization.

In conclusion, I normally wouldn't say a movie novelization is a "must-read", but this one really is. This book was the beginning of the printed world of Star Wars, which now encompasses hundreds of books, set across numerous different series. In fact, just the other day I happened to look at the Wikipedia page for the Death Star, and it listed this book as its first appearance anywhere. It's just a really cool book, and not just from a historical-importance perspective; it's also a captivating and well-written book in its own right. Given its sequel is fundamentally a lost Star Wars movie in novel form, you can bet I'll be checking that out sooner rather than later. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Louie the Mustache Matos.
1,010 reviews75 followers
December 28, 2022
So I was 12 years old when the movie was released, and I remember being mesmerized. It’s one of the first movies I went to see alone with my little brother. So reading the novelization, I got to revisit this old friend many times over the years. The screenplay was written by George Lucas, along with the conception of the story before and the story afterward, but even though it’s his vision, Lucas didn’t write the novelization. Alan Dean Foster did and years later, he was given due credit for answering little quibbles that Star Wars fans have argued about for decades. (Han shot first.) There is a nice mix of simple technobabble to satisfy science fiction fans; sufficient emotional beats to pull at the heart strings of drama fans; and enough high adventure to draw in the action junkies. There is humor, fantasy, and even a little romance. The story has it all and it was one of the early stories that captured the sci-fi imagination. The funny thing is that my kids are captured too. This is truly a classic and it should be treated as such.
Profile Image for Paul Haspel.
563 reviews84 followers
May 4, 2023
Star Wars is truly an empire unto itself. The eleven films of the series have grossed over $10 billion worldwide; and when one adds in television programs, action figures, soundtrack albums, video games, tie-in books, amusement park rides, lunchboxes, graphic novels, and other forms of licensed merchandise, one is looking at gross revenues somewhere in the range of $300 billion and climbing. And I find it interesting to contemplate how humble the beginnings of that empire were – a low-budget 1977 space-fantasy movie filmed in Tunisia and Guatemala, and this modest mass-market paperback novelization of the film’s screenplay.

George Lucas, of course, had a promising directorial career long before he became “the Star Wars guy.” A Modesto, California, native who attended the University of California film school, Lucas parlayed his teenage years in Modesto into the critically praised and commercially successful American Graffiti (1973), a thoughtful look at the angst facing a group of teenage friends on the cusp of adulthood in their little inland-California town. His next film, four years later, was the original Star Wars (1977).

But when you see George Lucas listed as author on the cover of this paperback, don’t believe it! – because the actual author, as Lucas acknowledges in a foreword, is Alan Dean Foster, a prolific science-fiction novelist who has written many novelizations of movie scripts, as with Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979). Foster, of course, knows the name of the game here: fans of the film want a book that will help them recreate and repeat, albeit in a different medium, the pleasures of viewing the film – just as the film fan listening to the soundtrack in their car is reliving favorite moments from a favorite movie while driving to work or to the mall.

So, what does this little mass-market paperback Star Wars book offer to anyone who is not already a Star Wars fan? To what extent does it convey anything different from the visual and auditory experience of viewing the original 1977 film?

Well, for one thing, it captures the idea of Star Wars, at that point in history, as very much a work in progress. This paperback’s official title is Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker – as if the events presented in the film are to be nothing more than a chapter in the larger saga of the life of one young man from the desert planet Tatooine. There needs no Force-ghost come from the grave to tell you that the series did not progress quite that way.

A prologue informs us that “Once, under the wise rule of the Senate and the protection of the Jedi Knights, the Republic throve and grew. But as often happens when wealth and power pass beyond the admirable and attain the awesome, then appear those evil ones who have greed to match” (p. 1). There is also a prefatory quote from Senator Leia Organa of Alderaan: “They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally they became heroes” (p. 2).

From there, we are thrown into the same situation explained in the screen crawl that opens the first movie. A rebellion is in progress against the rule of the tyrannical Galactic Empire, and the in medias res introduction presents us with the spectacle of a small civilian ship being captured by a large Imperial spaceship, a “star destroyer.”

Along with the human occupants of the ship – most of whom will soon be dead – there are two robots or androids, known in this fictive universe as “droids.” One, C-3PO, is a protocol droid that speaks billions of languages – a “tall, humanlike machine” with a bronze finish, and withal a fussy character that will remind the reader of many an English butler in many an American movie. The other, R2-D2 – “a stubby, tripodal robot”, “with his squat, cylindrical body’s low center of gravity well balanced on thick, clawed legs” – turns out to be a brave, loyal, and resourceful companion through all the adventures that are to follow.

R2 and 3PO – who, as characters, may well derive from the wandering peasants Tahei and Matashichi in Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s film The Hidden Fortress (1957) – will play a decisive role in this narrative; for just as the civilian ship is being overtaken by the Imperial forces, a young woman – “young, slim, and…of a calm beauty” – is placing something inside R2’s memory circuits. This is, of course, Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan – again, a parallel with a Kurosawa character, Princess Yuki from The Hidden Fortress – and while she will soon be in Imperial hands, the information that she has been carrying, placed within R2’s memory circuits, is a crucial piece of military intelligence that could threaten the entire Imperial structure of power.

The Empire knows this, of course, and therefore it has sent one of its most feared operatives after Princess Leia and the data tapes she stole. Please allow me to introduce one Darth Vader: “Two meters tall. Bipedal. Flowing black robes trailing from the figure and a face forever masked by a functional if bizarre black metal breath screen – a Dark Lord of the Sith was an awesome, threatening shape as it strode through the corridors of the rebel ship” (p. 7). With the “cloud of evil” that surrounds him, his “malevolent presence”, Vader of course makes a vivid impression right away. He captures Princess Leia, seeks the stolen data tapes, and invokes the power of an energy field called “The Force,” choking a dismissive Imperial officer without touching him: “‘I find,’ Vader mentioned, ‘this lack of faith disturbing’” (p. 43).

But R2-D2 and C-3PO make a successful escape by jet-pod from the captured spaceship to the surface of the nearby desert planet Tatooine. After a series of strange misadventures, they end up on the farm where 20-year-old farmboy Luke Skywalker lives with his aunt and uncle. Luke is described in terms of his ordinariness; with his “shaggy hair and baggy work tunic”, the book’s narrator observes, “The most prepossessing thing about the young man was his name” (p. 15).

A thought-provoking scene that does not appear in the film further emphasizes Luke’s ordinariness. At a repair station, Luke bursts in to tell some friends that he has seen signs of battle in the skies above Tatooine; but his friends dismiss Luke, calling him “Wormie.” The way these other characters treat Luke made me think of the socially maladroit Terry “The Toad” Fields from Lucas’s American Graffiti (1973) – and made me wonder if a young George Walton Lucas Jr., growing up as a skinny kid with glasses in Modesto, California, might have felt just as out-of-place in his desert world as Luke clearly does in his.

But one friend, Biggs, believes in Luke. A recent graduate of the Imperial military academy, Biggs confides to Luke that he is considering joining the rebellion against the Empire: “Only the threat of rebellion keeps many in power from doing certain unmentionable things. If that threat is completely removed – well, there are two things men have never been able to satisfy: their curiosity and their greed” (p. 35).

Luke is rescued from a dangerous desert encounter by one Obi-Wan Kenobi, an older man whose face shows some hint of all that he has been through:

[His] aged visage blended into the sand-stroked cloth [of his cloak], and his beard appeared but an extension of the loose threads covering his upper chest. Hints of extreme climates other than deserts, of ultimate cold and humidity, were etched into that seamed face. A questing beak of nose, like a high rock, protruded outward from a flash-flood of wrinkles and scars. (p. 79)

Obi-Wan Kenobi, or “Ben” Kenobi (a Franklinian allusion, perhaps?), educates young Luke regarding the ways of “the Force” – a powerful energy field that suffuses all things in existence, and that can be manipulated, for good or ill, by some but not all people. He also tries to urge Luke to avoid 1970’s-style apathy and get involved with the important issues of his time: “Remember, Luke, the suffering of one man is the suffering of all. Distances are irrelevant to injustice. If not stopped soon enough, evil eventually reaches out to engulf all men, whether they have opposed it or ignored it.” (p. 92)

In their efforts to get away from Tatooine and get the stolen data plans to the Rebel Alliance, Luke and Obi-Wan solicit the aid of Han Solo – “a sharp-featured young man” who “displayed the openness of the utterly confident, or the insanely reckless” (p. 112) – and his first mate Chewbacca, an “anthropoid” creature whom Lucas/Foster describes as “a great hairy mass” (p. 110). The two have a freighter, the Millennium Falcon, that is quick enough for effective smuggling operations.

Han Solo shows his readiness for action when he gets the drop on a bounty hunter that had been gunning for him – “Light and noise filled the little corner of the cantina, and when it had faded, all that remained of the unctuous alien was a smoking, slimy spot on the stone floor” (p. 116) – and he contracts to take Luke and Ben to the planet Alderaan, a center of resistance to the Empire. A series of capture-and-escape adventures proceed from there.

Fans of Star Wars will enjoy the frisson of re-experencing familiar moments from the film, with slightly different lines of dialogue. Viewers will remember the three-dimensional computerized chess game that Chewbacca plays against the two droids. When Chewbacca reacts with rage to an effective move by R2-D2, C-3PO protests: “There are certain standards any sentient creature must hold to. If one compromises them for any reason, including intimidation, then one is abrogating his right to be called intelligent.” Solo blandly replies, “I hope you’ll both remember that…when Chewbacca is pulling the arms off you and your little friend” (p. 132).

Ben meanwhile trains Luke in the ways of the force. When a blindfolded Luke effectively parries the attacks of a hovering practice droid, Han calls it luck, and Ben replies, “In my experience there is no such thing as luck, my young friend – only highly favorable adjustments of multiple factors to incline events in one’s favor” (p. 137).

The entire planet Alderaan, it turns out, has been destroyed by the Death Star, and the Millennium Falcon is captured and brought on board the space station. Luke, Han, Ben, and the two droids must figure out a way to rescue Princess Leia and escape the Death Star. In the process, Obi-Wan Kenobi finds himself facing Darth Vader, his former pupil. Vader expresses arrogant confidence that he will quickly slay his aging former instructor, and Ben responds in this manner:

“You sense only a part of the force, Darth,” Kenobi murmured with the assurance of one to whom death is merely another sensation, like sleeping or making love or touching a candle. “As always, you perceive its reality as little as a utensil perceives the taste of food….This is a fight you cannot win, Darth. Your power has matured since I taught you, but I too have grown much since our parting. If my blade finds its mark, you will cease to exist. But if you cut me down, I will only become more powerful. Heed my words.” (pp. 184-85)

All of this, of course, leads up to a final confrontation wherein the Rebel Alliance executes a daring plan to destroy the Empire’s mighty Death Star through attacks by small, one-person fighters against an exhaust port that, if struck the right way, will initiate a chain reaction that will destroy the entire space station. It’s a fine plot element. It’s just a pity that Lucas saw fit to use that same plot element, with variations, in one Star Wars movie after another.

We all know, of course, what a cultural phenomenon Star Wars became. I will never forget seeing it, as a 16-year-old in 1977, on the 70-by-35-foot Cinerama curved screen at the Uptown Theatre in Washington, D.C. – a transformative experience of pure cinematic magic. It is a great, entrancing movie.

And we all know that, for the Star Wars fan who just can’t get enough of that universe, there are plenty of ways to stay in tune with the Force. The Kindle version of Lucas/Foster’s Star Wars that I have offers excerpts from eight other Star Wars novels; and then there is a timeline that covers 5000 years, and sets the nine Star Wars films on that timeline among, by my count, 139 (!) Star Wars novels so far. Utinni! (that's Jawa for "Get going!") May the Force give you time to do some serious reading.

I won’t be traveling that far with you, I must confess. While, as mentioned above, I liked the first film very much, I found much of the action and dialogue in the subsequent films repetitive (though I must say that the Episode IX film provided a nice coda, and a pleasant farewell for actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford from the roles with which they will always be identified). Blade Runner is much more my style.

But even the grumpiest Dark Lord of the Sith cannot deny the potency of Star Wars as a cultural force. This modest 1977 novel (a mint-quality, first-edition paperback of which may set you back $270.00 on eBay) shows that cultural phenomenon at its very beginnings. Enjoy it if you are so inclined, and may the Force be with you.
Profile Image for Craig.
5,142 reviews123 followers
May 4, 2015
It's May 4th! In honor of Star Wars Day... a long time ago (December of 1976), in a galaxy far, far away (Bluefield, Virginia)... I was home from college for winter break and spotted this weird little paperback on the spin-rack of the corner drug store. (I believe it was Goodykoontz Pharmacy, but I'm not certain.) It looked like a nifty little space opera; I was familiar with George Lucas from THX-1138 and American Graffitti, though I didn't know him as a novelist. I picked it up and enjoyed reading it between the holidays; it was clever and nicely-written and held my interest in an old-fashioned pulpy manner. I never suspected the book would get another printing, or that the film which was to be released in a few months would enjoy any marked success, or that anyone would remember this Star Wars thing by next year, or that Alan Dean Foster was the actual author. It was fun, and I'm glad to have the irony of the memory, and long may it last... or, rather, may The Force be with us, always.
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews17 followers
January 7, 2017
A winter viewing marathon begins...

Description: The Imperial Forces, under orders from cruel Darth Vader, hold Princess Leia hostage in their efforts to quell the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, work together with the companionable droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO to rescue the beautiful princess, help the Rebel Alliance and restore freedom and justice to the Galaxy. Written by Jwelch5742

Jeepers, that was grrrreat! Does anyone else remember the Atari game? Watch it here
Profile Image for Jonathan Maas.
Author 24 books321 followers
January 18, 2016
Became a project of mine to read 'the Star Wars books' - and this was a great start. Loved it, and it really made me see Star Wars from a new perspective!

Great and honest intro by George Lucas about how he approached the ghostwriter Alan Dean Foster, and it is great to see both of their talents on the page.

Reading the next two currently! Love them as well, but man - Alan Dean Foster really started things off right!
Profile Image for Rahaf Potrosh.
161 reviews250 followers
September 30, 2022
حرب النجوم

أشبه بألعاب الفيديو القديمة ايام زمان
ايام لم يكن فيها الانترنت ولا الهواتف الخليوية ولا مواقع التواصل اجتماعي
ايام كنا نقضي فيها الليالي لإنهاء الحروب و تحرير الكون و إنقاذ البشرية

عادت بي إلى ايام الطفولة القديمة الجميلة البريئة البسيطة الخالية من كل ما نعيشه حالياً

فاصل خفيف و مناسب لاستعادة النشاط القرائي
Profile Image for Nathan.
Author 24 books19 followers
July 26, 2012
For the record, I read a yellowing 1977 edition complete with "16 pages of full-color photos from this spectacular space-fantasy motion picture." Ah, the nostalgia...

Such a fun read!
Profile Image for Jason Pierce.
742 reviews87 followers
February 11, 2023
They say that children should be seen and not heard. Likewise, science fiction should be seen and not read. I haven't read a ton of sci-fi, but every time I read a story that has a corresponding movie, the movie wins every time.

I enjoyed reading this, but not because it's great literature (it isn't, not by a long shot, though the chapter at the end concerning the fight over the Death Star was fantastic). George Lucas supposedly wrote this, but it was actually done by ghost writer Alan Dean Foster. When asked if it was hard for him to see Lucas get all the credit for it, Foster said "Not at all. It was George's story idea. I was merely expanding upon it. Not having my name on the cover didn't bother me in the least. It would be akin to a contractor demanding to have his name on a Frank Lloyd Wright house." In the introduction to the edition I have, Lucas credited Foster for writing the book even though Lucas' name is still on the cover. I don't think it's a matter of each being magnanimous enough to give credit where credit is due, but rather trying to pass the blame because this really isn't that good. The story is the same, and the story is great; I love it just as much now as I did when I was a wee tot. But the writing... It gets a little rough. Lucas and Foster were both in their early 30's when it came out, so maybe we can blame their youth. I'm not sure who gets credit for the clunkiness; it could be both. The action was constantly interrupted with brief side phrases, and awkward similes, and those always took me out of the story. It's not that they were bad similes, but they were poorly placed. E.g.: An X-wing is bearing down on something, ready to fire. There's a TIE fighter on its tail (insert simile here), getting ready to fire. Will it hit its mark? Some people like that kind of thing, but I don't. I think when the action is intense, the scene should play out without an off topic reference popping up in your face. I bitch about that a lot in my Sleeping Beauties review, actually. Oh Gods, will I ever recover from that book? It doesn't look like it.

No, my enjoyment for this particular book is mostly an academic interest. This book came out a few months before the movie was released. Sales were minimal, and everyone thought the movie would fare about the same. George Lucas was hoping to make just enough to be able to make a sequel. Well, we all know what happened. Star Wars exploded and exceeded everyone's wildest hopes and dreams. I think it's safe to say it will never go away, and the impact it's had on pop culture can't be overstated. The book was rereleased as a movie tie-in, and did much better the second time around. Side story (Foster and Lucas aren't the only ones who can interrupt with fiddle-faddle). My college music professor and his wife were in New York City when Star Wars came out. While riding in a taxi, they passed a line of people waiting outside a building, and the line wrapped around the corner. They asked the taxi driver what those people might be lining up for, and he told them "Oh, they're waiting to see that new robot movie," meaning Star Wars. The idea that it was once referred to as "that robot movie" tickles me. Everybody in the developed world, and most in the undeveloped world, know what the Star Wars franchise is. They might not know anything about it (such as one of my grandmothers), but they've at least heard of it.

What interests me most are the changes that happened between this book, which I assume was based on the original, pre-production screenplay, and the movie, and then with the subsequent movies. There were a lot of subtle changes with some of the characters in both how they behaved and how they looked. Darth Vader force floats a cup of coffee to himself and takes a drink during the meeting with the Death Star staff before he chokes Admiral Motti (named Romodi in the book), which couldn't possibly happen with the final design of his costume unless he took off his mask. Parts of the Storm Troopers' faces are exposed also. Jabba is a fat man instead of a giant slug. (There's actually footage of this that wasn't used in the original movie, but it was reinserted with the special edition, and a CGI Jabba was pasted on top of him.) R2 looks quite different, and has arms that can perform tasks instead of just the spindly things that pop out of him. The Emperor is not a Sith Lord, but a puppet of some other Senators. Vader is not the only Dark Lord in the Empire. Luke is not in the red squadron at the end, but the blue. Well, you get the idea. I just think reading the original plan is kind of neat, though I'm 100% in support of the changes. All the changes that made it to the movie make the story better, and the evolution from the first movie to the second are even better. We see the real Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, and some of the changes from the first movie have to be creatively explained away, such as why he kinda/sorta took orders from Tarkin, or was on equal footing with him. It's clear after this movie that Vader takes orders from nobody but the Emperor.

There were also Earthly references that made me think that maybe this story takes place in this galaxy right here instead of one far, far away. Obi-Wan mentions a duck, and Luke asks him what a duck is. Luke also thinks about a dog he once owned. Having seen all the movies, some of the TV shows and comics, and having read a few of the books, I've seen many creatures in the Star Wars universe, but I've never seen a dog or a duck. I suppose they could exist, though.

This book/movie also has the biggest coulda/shoulda/woulda moment in that galaxy far, far away which plays out between Captain Bolvan and Lieutenant Hija.

Bolvan ordered Hija to hold his fire on the escape pod which had no life forms in it. A total of half a page is dedicated to the exchange, but it's the keystone to the entire conflict. We know that the pod had the droids with the Death Star plans aboard, and if it had been destroyed, that would've been the end of the whole thing. The Death Star would not have been destroyed. Luke's training as a Jedi would probably have been delayed since he'd still be helping uncle Owen on his farm for another season or two. Leia would've been executed. The rebels would likely have been found and destroyed during that period. Han and Leia would never have met, so that would mean no Kylo Ren in later years, but you really wouldn't need him since the Emperor, Vader, and the Empire would still be around, and everyone in the First Order would just be a part of that instead. Yoda would probably have died alone on Dagobah, though I suppose he, Obi-Wan, and Luke would've met at some point and started a new resistance. We're not told what happened to Bolvan once Vader found out he ordered Hija to stand down, but it doesn't require a lot of imagination to figure it out if you know anything about Vader's MO in dealing with such blunders.

Like I said before, I enjoyed reading this, but not as much as when I read it in high school 25+ years ago, and I don't reckon I'll ever need to read it again. I'll probably hit The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi again eventually, but to hell with the prequel novels. I don't remember much about them other than I didn't think they were very good, and I'm certainly not brave enough to try the latest three.

Final thought: Just watch the movie instead; the book adds nothing that the movie hasn't improved.
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,694 reviews63 followers
January 15, 2018
While this is a fun novelization of the blockbuster film, purists may have some issues with it. Some of the iconic lines ("Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope") are changed, whereas others are added, such as Obi-Wan talking about a duck, to which Luke replies, "What's a duck?" Still, fans of space opera will enjoy it, as long as they're not expecting an exact transcript of the movie.
Profile Image for Mark Oppenlander.
777 reviews22 followers
November 25, 2011
It has been a long while since I revisited this, the very first Star Wars novelization. Having recently read one of the Timothy Zahn Star Wars novels, a couple of things caught my attention, partially in contrast to the Zahn work:

- It's remarkable how the use of high-quality language can make such a difference in my perception of a story. This book introduced me to words such as "lambent" and "actinic" when I was only seven or eight years old. I happily devoured these new words because I wanted to know what happened next.

- It is commonly held that although George Lucas' name is on the cover, Alan Dean Foster wrote the book. As a professional science fiction writer, he brings a little more gravitas to the telling of what could have been seen as a silly little space fantasy. His ability to write terrific descriptions has much to do with the success of this book, I think. When he describes Ben Kenobi's face as having a "flashflood of wrinkles and scars" or Grand Moff Tarkin as a "quiescent piranha" he is going above and beyond the call of duty for a genre movie tie-in. But it leaves a more lasting impression.

- Back at the beginning of the Star Wars phenomenon the stories were a lot simpler and there was a lot more left to the imagination. Much of the impression that the original Star Wars story leaves on us comes from the fact that we are left to fill in the back-story with only hints and pieces. What was the Old Republic like? Who were the Jedi knights? What is this mysterious Force? Obviously as the universe of Star Wars evolved, more pieces of the puzzle were filled in and there are more new worlds and ideas to explore. But we also lose something of value when the mysterious sense of a deep and rich history disappears.
Profile Image for ✨Bean's Books✨.
648 reviews2,926 followers
September 15, 2018
Just like the film.
We all know the story but here it is...
Luke Skywalker is a young man on the remote planet of Tatooine who longs for another life. Around him the solar system comes to life and small battles leading to a war. On one side you have the Diplomatic Senate and on the other you have the cruel Empire. The Empire seeks dominion over all the star systems in the galaxy. As Luke joins together with his old acquaintance Obi-Wan Kenobi, two droids carrying a vital secret and new friends Han and Chewbacca they embark on an epic adventure that can only be told in a galaxy far far away.
A play-by-play book of the movie which is almost like reading the screenplay. Believe it or not this copy of the book is the copy that was published before the movie was released. It is hard for someone like me (a huge Star Wars freak) to envision the story told any other way or for the characters to say anything else but what they say in the movie. But this book hold subtle differences from the film even though it's nearly so closely related I can almost hear the John Williams score playing in the background as I read through these pages.
Beautifully written by George Lucas himself this book is a great addition to anyone's library.
By the way did you know that C-3PO and R2 D2 names are actually spelled "See Threepio" and "Artoo Detoo"? LMAO 😂 I never would have known if I had not read the book.
I would definitely recommend this book to any who proclaim themselves to be a geek of the Star Wars universe. This is definitely a must if you love The Holy Trilogy.
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,206 reviews3,213 followers
September 27, 2021
4.0 Stars
The novelization was quite short and did not add a lot of new information. Yet the author still did a good job clearing up some inconsistencies. This is my least favourite of the original trilogy, so I was happy that I enjoyed this read as much as I did.
Profile Image for Catherine⁷.
345 reviews704 followers
January 16, 2022
This story does pretty well in novel form. The portrayal of the hero’s journey in Star Wars is such a classic.
Profile Image for Ingrida L.
530 reviews12 followers
March 27, 2022
Nusprendžiau pilnai susipažinti su "Žvaigždžių karų" pilna istorija ir taip pat peržiūrėti visus filmus. Taigi žengiau pirmą žingsnį - perskaičiau pirmą knygą. Tada sužinojau, kad tai yra ketvirtasis filmų „Žvaigždžių karų“ sagos epizodas. Pagaliau tiesiog supratau istorijos esmę - kai tai yra Dartas Veideris, Lukas Skaivokeris ir t.t. Tai tiesiog klasika.
Profile Image for Melindam.
665 reviews294 followers
July 24, 2023
5 stars for the memories & dedicated to my young, not-quite-9-year-old self & for my mum, who bought me the Hungarian edition of the book in 1983 because I was not allowed to watch it in the cinemas in Hungary at the time (age restriction) while desperate to do so. :)

I could only watch it in 1984 at Christmas when it premiered on the Hungarian TV.

Those were the days. :)

Otherwise it is a rather badly and blandly written book, mechanically following the movie script and does not deserve more than 2-2,5 stars on its own merits.
Profile Image for Shinnoma.
179 reviews6 followers
September 30, 2020
This is going to be a spectacularly biased review. Also, I'm listening to the Imperial March while writing this. *I should do this every time.*

The reason why I am giving this book five whole stars is because it let me have my childhood back, if only for the duration of 200 odd pages. Plus, I'm criminally low-brow. So I'm writing this review partly out of sentiment and partly out of dedication to my decision to review every book I read this year.

So, again, how can I NOT like this book? It's Luke. And Han and Princess Leia and Chewie and ol' Darth and R2D2 and C3P0 and Jabba and Greedo and Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru and Tusken Raiders and, and... heck, and even Admiral Motti (except he's not the one getting Force-choked here, which I find disturbing). Despite Alan Dean Foster's (I think we can all stop pretending Lucas wrote this) magnificently purple prose, despite his inexplicable bigotry towards Jawas, despite all the differences from the movie, I loved this book because it made me feel like I was discovering Star Wars all over again.

Surprisingly, there were things I genuinely liked about this book. I enjoyed reading a more detailed descriptions of Tatooine and Yavin IV, for one. With the movie, you're way too busy watching the X-Wings and stuff to appreciate the rebel base hidden inside an ancient temple. I mean, part of the reason Star Wars is so awesome are all the worlds. And it's interesting coming across familiar scenes and lines of dialogue, and seeing them treated differently. It's interesting to see what Lucas had in mind before the characters and events become the ones we know now. Also, Han shot first and this book proves it. Still, I prefer Jabba talking in Huttese and going all "Han ma buki" than in English (or is it Basic?). Also, it's a shame that the word "battle station" has to be used all the time. "Death Star" is possibly the best name EVER for a starship (and one of my favourite words in the English language apart from "drawings" and "forest" and "antebellum").

But the best part, of course, is the same adventure and feeling of being transported into another world. If you ever watched Star Wars as a kid, if you ever wanted to grow up to be a Jedi (or a Corellian smuggler, or a princess from Alderaan, or a Sith lord) then I dare you to read about the Millenium Falcon coming in to save Luke right before he blasts the Death Star and not smile. I dare you to read this - "Only when the freighter fully eclipsed the sun forward did the new threat become visible. It was a Corellian transport, far larger than any fighter, and it was diving directly at the trench." and not feel wildly happy. Go on, I double dare you.

I could complain a little about the writing, which has gems like - "... multiple treads that were taller than a tall man." Really, Mr. Foster? Really? And what were you thinking when you described Obi-Wan as a "night-stalking ferret"??? But honestly, I don't care. And sometimes it's so bad it's actually kind of funny - "Luke had never seen its like before; he knew neither its species nor its language. The gabbling might have been an invitation to a fight, a request to share a drink, or a marriage proposal."

I had once promised to stay away from the EU and anything other than the movies (this was after I read about Han becoming an alcoholic and Chewie dying) but I enjoyed reading this so much that I'm going to read the other two novelizations as well. What can I say, I have a very good feeling about this.
Profile Image for Laurel Rockefeller.
Author 150 books227 followers
December 29, 2012
Back before there were VCRS (let alone DVDs), this was one of my favorite books. Yes, I know, this dates me. I first read this book just as the lights were fading from the original theatrical release of "Return of the Jedi" in 1983. I never lost my love of the book.

As much as people love the films, the books are better and go into much more detail.

So I continue to revisit my old favorite...and refuse to call it "A New Hope." They added that later, after Empire came out. To those of us old enough to remember seeing the movie in the theater, this book and this movie will always be simply "Star Wars."
Profile Image for Di'ana (Knygų drakonas).
234 reviews74 followers
February 27, 2018
Ar galima įvertinti mažiau nei maksimumu? Kai užaugi su "Žvaigždžių karų" magija, geriau tik perskaityti ją, įsijausti kitu kampu, ne tik žiūrėti ką jau kažkas perskaitė ir sukūrė filmą. Skaitai ir tiesiog pasineri į knygą, viskas taip paprasta, o kartu ir ne, jog neįtikėtinai įtraukia, paperka, įvilioja į "Žvaigždžių karų" pasaulis, jog norisi tapti dalimi. Sklendžiant puslapiais vėl ir vėl prisimeni, kodėl norėjai tampti Džedajumi, o gal Lėja, ar vis dėlto Hanu Solo, galbūt net Vukiui ar R2D2. Nepaprastai kosmiškai dieviška. Jėga!!!!!!
419 reviews38 followers
April 10, 2009
Usually novelizations of movies are not as good as the movies themselves. This is certainly true here. The Star Wars movie is fantastic; but it loses a lot when transferred to print.
Profile Image for Dexcell.
178 reviews41 followers
April 28, 2023
"They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally, they became heroes." - Leia Organa.

I first read the original trilogy novels when I was about 13 or so. I decided to give it another go after reading dozens and dozens of Star Wars books. And I have to say it wasn't bad. It was pretty much a shot for shot telling of the film with some small differences in dialogue.

It was enjoyable. And now I'll see how the next two hold up.
Profile Image for Christopher Rush.
622 reviews9 followers
February 15, 2021
As with the comics adaptation, the novelization by George Alan Dean Foster Lucas differs in quite a few ways from the essentially "official" version of the story, the movie (and again, I refer to the original theatrical release, not the modified not-so-special editions released in multiple forms in the last 15 years). Perhaps the more notable differences are the nature of the political system and the ending, though the discrepancies in the political nature of the Empire - especially in Darth Vader himself - are certainly the most drastic change.

The additional scenes with Biggs at the beginning, Han's confrontation with a much different "Jabba," Owen Lars's temperament (much more angry than he is in the movie), the constant references to Ben as an imp, the different dialogue in key places, Kenobi getting "killed" instead of allowing Vader to strike him down - all of these are noticeable but less glaring (though Kenobi's death scene is much more gratifyingly done in the movie). The different political structure is intriguing - I wish it was a much larger element of this story and the latter episodes; I realize I wish that now, in my 30s, and definitely would not have wanted that or enjoyed the movies nearly as much as a youngster (unlike Ben Kenobi and the other "oldsters" - huh?).

That Darth Vader can't look upon Motti or even Tarkin as an equal not because of his status as a Sith Lord but because of his other spacial-political ambitions and such were an intriguing variation, as well as the sparse background on Tarkin as a potential rival for the Emperor. The timing of everything, the so-called Senate wherever it is/was and whatever it has been doing, the size and secrecy of the Rebellion, all of these could have been developed more fully. Ah, well.

Another noteworthy element is the aggravated feeling of just how little Princess Leia is in the story - it's an even starker absence than in the movie (combined with the embarrassing descriptions of her during the Death Star battle, and how she apparently kept chewing her nails out of girlish nervousness), made all the more bizarre by the final few sentences, with Luke ogling her and she just smiling back. At least the comic novelization brings us back out to a larger scope of how the freedom fighters have hope now after such a major victory.

The diminutive ending (set against descriptions of how apparently the entire Rebel Alliance is crammed into the one room, which isn't quite believable - I always felt only parts of the Alliance were gathered at Yavin and Hoth, and not just because of how much more diversity in aliens were in the Alliance in Episode VI), is oddly phrased and somewhat jarring. Perhaps the best aspect of the entire pre-novelization was the actual Trench Assault scene - that was impressively gripping, even after seeing the movie dozens of times in my life.

The differences are a little jarring at first (different callsigns, that Luke, Wedge, and Biggs make two assaults on the trench and not just one, the death of Biggs and Luke's little goodbye message (not nearly as juvenile by that point in the book as it seemed at the beginning), the timing of Han's rescue and Obi-Wan's messages, as well as the description of how Luke actually destroyed the Death Star), but on the whole it was very riveting.

I'm not saying it was the Iliad, but the brief character sketches were a nice touch, and the way Foster-Lucas described the various assault runs were intense. As I said, the different narrative approach to how Luke actually completes the job was not as enjoyable as the more stream-lined finish of the movie, but it was a nice variation to consider in propinquity. Though reading the book for the first half of seems more like a chore to be done only for completists, the differences and impressive extended finish make it worthwhile and actually enjoyable.
Profile Image for Danielle..
258 reviews239 followers
June 2, 2017
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

I grew up with having four older brothers. As a child I remember them watching Star Wars with Mom, but I don't remember the scenes from the films in particular; I just remember loving Yoda.

Fast-forward to now, in a galaxy far, far away...

Star Wars is one of the most talked about science fiction film franchises in the United States (and probably in the rest of Western civilization): the space action, the lightsabers, the wonderfully crafted and sophisticated dialogue, the hilarious banters, the droids and various creatures of different species, and everything else it has to offer. This was such a fun read, though at different intervals I was rather bored; it's the reason for which I rated this a 3.5 stars.

There's no need for me to write a summary for the book. George Lucas, the man behind the films, wrote this film novelization. So it's straight from the film. People recommend watching the films first before reading these, but I've done the very opposite. Yes, my dear readers, I have yet to see the movies. I just haven't had enough time. Whenever I try to watch the movie, there is always something I have to do or am constantly interrupted. Therefore, I took it upon myself to buy the books and read it on the go: on my way to and from work, in my room before bed, at my cousin's house, etc. I know the movie is far, far better because you have the exact visuals and graphics needed in order to enjoy yourself.

I'll get to watching them soon. Hopefully.

Anyway, the writing for this is simple, yet very informative. I absolutely adore Threepio and Artoo-Deetoo! Their love-hate relationship and thrown insults had me chuckling and smiling. I need these two together and more of them throughout Star Wars!

Luke Skywalker was a real pain 95% of the book: he constantly obsesses over Princess Leia and never listens.

Han Solo and Chewbacca are my second pair of favourites. Solo is just an all-around witty and sarcastic character.

The rest of the characters are pleasing and nicely crafted.

I have incredibly high expectations of the films and I know the books just aren't going to give the films justice.
Profile Image for Michael Criscuolo.
71 reviews6 followers
May 4, 2018
I'm giving this three stars because it's great fun to read aloud and do dramatic recitations. That is by far the best way to attempt getting through this (and I say this as a lifelong fan of the movie).
Profile Image for Maria Hill AKA MH Books.
321 reviews128 followers
November 8, 2020
I read this as a child over and over again. I loved the way it expanded Luke Skywalker's story and the appearance of Jabba the Hut (this doesn't happen in the movies until Return of the Jedi).
Profile Image for Sam.
170 reviews14 followers
September 13, 2022
"Remember, the Force will be with you... always." - Obi-Wan Kenobi, posthumously. And thus a legend was born--the film that started it all. Ah, yes, the classic, one of my most favorites that is fun and easy to read and watch, especially when you know who came up with this idea in the first place if he's very well-known and remembered.

First things first, allow me to say that I am a true Star Wars nerd. I have been in love with Star Wars my entire life. It was an important film I had to see, because it forever changed filmmaking. George Lucas is a real legend, and he is one of my favorite directors/producers/screenwriters. It all began in 1971 with THX-1138. The corporation known as THX is named after, and has allusions to, THX-1138. There is also a very interesting reference to the title of the film in this novel, as well as in the film, where one of the Death Star officers was referred to as "THX 1138". But, anyway, let's not waste any more time caring about that, and stay focused on the force. Let's review this sci-fi gem.

So, it's the year 0 BBY and The Imperial Forces under orders from the cruel Darth Vader hold Princess Leia hostage in their efforts to quell the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Moisture farmer Luke Skywalker, Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi and smuggler Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, work together with the companionable droid duo of R2-D2 and C-3PO to rescue the beautiful princess, help the Rebel Alliance and restore freedom and justice to the galaxy.

The force is so strong with A New Hope, also known originally as From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker (who is one of my favorite characters), because, without a doubt, this is the most iconic franchise of all time. Back in 1973 – while developing Star Wars – the legend George Lucas (also known as the God of Hollywood) described his ambitious work-in-progress as a combination of 2001: A Space Odyssey , the James Bond films, and Lawrence of Arabia. This has a good mix of action, adventure, drama, and even humor. It was a very easy read, even for me, even if you know the entire film very well. The impressive concept of the heroes' journey on the intergalactic war is very interesting. And there are very emotional and touching moments, including Obi-Wan's sacrifice and the destruction of Alderaan. However, the scene where Han Solo says that the Death Star is too big to be a space station doesn't make any sense as space stations can come in any size due being constructions.

As for the characters, Luke Skywalker, as mentioned before, is one of my favorite characters, as he is one of all the iconic heroes throughout. He evolves from a whiny brat to an adventurous hero as the story progresses. He was initially named "Annikin Starkiller" (that sounds like a very cool name indeed), but to make the film family-friendly, they changed his name from "Starkiller" to "Skywalker". His father, however, uses the initial first name "Annikin". Another favorite character of mine is the legendary Han Solo, who is a rebellious criminal with a hidden heart of gold. The famous legend Obi-Wan Kenobi is a wise Jedi master who knew Luke's father, Annikin Skywalker, and teaches Luke on how to use the Force. The robots C-3PO and R2-D2 are hilarious and often useful comic relief characters. And of course, there's Princess Leia, whose is a fearsome warrior and textbook strong female character, and also the only human female character (besides Luke's auntie Beru, but nope, she doesn't get much development, uh-uh). Even Darth Vader is a captivating and formidable antagonist.

Essential symbolism is also present throughout. The Force is meant to be a power that requires faith. The ethos of the Jedi is similar to real-world religions such as Taoism. The Empire, contrasted to the Rebels, puts their faith in the Death Star and depends on Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. The Empire's generals also wears clothing similar to the German Empire from World War I, which represents the Empire as basically Nazis in space; furthering this point, they also use a lot of black and red, and the Stormtroopers are basically bodyguards for the troop leader. Speaking of those, color's also an important factor, too. Vader and the Empire's highest members wear black, Luke and Leia wear white, and Han wears a combination of black and white since he's the anti-hero with a rebellious side. The Stormtroopers may wear white on the outside, but you can see the black underneath their shell, hinting they may be hiding something underneath their façade.

This pays as a homage to various others media, such as films and books made before this one, including, but not limited to: Dune , The Adventures of Robin Hood , The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , Lawrence of Arabia , and of course, as mentioned earlier, 2001: A Space Odyssey (that's another sci-fi masterpiece which focuses on life beyond our own; also one of my all-time favorites). Metropolis has a fringe element desperately at odds against a ruling class, and Maschinenmensch, the iconic female robot who looks eerily similar to C-3PO. Triumph of the Will (1936) has a scene where the protagonists are paraded through a room full of soldiers and given medals for their heroism, which Star Wars would later re-create for the ending of the their film. The Searchers has a scene where the main hero returns to his main home, only to find it in ruins and his family dead from an attack from the main antagonistic force; this is similar to Luke returning home to find that Stormtroopers have killed his aunt and uncle. The Hidden Fortress (1960) has a pair of peasants that are awfully similar to C-3PO and R2-D2 escaping a battle. They both have battle-hardened generals who work with a princess in a rebellion (Obi-Wan for Star Wars and Rokurota Makabe for The Hidden Fortress). Both generals also have to fight against an old rival from their past, and there's constant horizontal wipe transitions. And, to top it all off, Flash Gordon was George Lucas' first idea before creating Star Wars. When he couldn't license it, he borrowed a lot from the serials. Flash Gordon features the prince and Flash disguising themselves as enemy soldiers to enter the evil Emperor's fortress, while Star Wars has Han and Luke dressed as Stormtroopers at one point. Also, Darth Vader and the Death Star are partially based on Ming the Merciless and his planet Mongo. Both films also have an attractive space princess, a big, hairy humanoid alien, a sky city run by an ally with dubious loyalty, space dogfights and even an opening text crawl.

Now, about the film: Star Wars was named one of the 50 Greatest American Films by the American Film Institute as part of AFI's 10th anniversary celebration. That was in 1977 – while the film was still in theaters, of course. The original 1977 theatrical release of Star Wars featured neither the episode number nor the subtitle: A New Hope--not until 1981, the same year Raiders of the Lost Ark first released, when this film was rereleased the first time. The posters, like the one pictured here, became some of the most iconic in sci-fi history. The film opens up a world of possibilities of what may be creative worlds outside of ours. The special effects are visually stunning by mid-to-late seventies standards, and is one of if not the main reason this movie and franchise instantly became popular and iconic. The action scenes are awesome by mid-to-late seventies standards as well. The lead actors (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Alec Guinness) all do great performances. Interestingly, Robby Benson auditioned to play Luke Skywalker (and I wish he got this role; don't get me wrong, Mark Hamill did a great job but he was a bit too old to play Luke). James Earl Jones' voice performance as Darth Vader is outstanding. John Williams' score is fantastic and unforgettable. Especially the movie's main theme, as well as the music in the later films. Although most of the aspects of the movie are great (as mentioned above), they sadly haven't aged well, such as the effects, models and sets. With good use of visual storytelling, awesome cinematography, great pacing, and the perfect ending, let's end this review with some of the most iconic and memorable dialogue:
"The force is strong with this one"
"But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!"
"Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope."
"You fought in the Clone Wars?"
"A more elegant weapon in a civilized age."
"When I left you, I was, but the learner, and now I am the master."
"Strike me down, Darth, and I will become more powerful than you could ever imagine."
"I have a bad feeling about this."
"Good luck, and may the force be with you."
"Use the force, Luke."
"That's no moon...it's a space station."
"What a piece of junk."

So there you go: my official Star Wars review for A New Hope. Now, Join Us and Together We'll Read the Whole Saga!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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