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Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope Mass Market Paperback – September 12, 1986

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"'I want to come with you to Alderaan,' Luke said, resolved. 'I want to become a Jedi like my father.'" This marks the start of Luke Skywalker's involvement with the Rebellion in George Lucas's grand narrative of good versus evil, Star Wars. You know the story, you've seen the film--but this chunky little book is a real gem. Star Wars fans of all ages will enjoy both the fine abridgment and Brandon McKinney's 146 two-color illustrations, drawn in classic comic book style. --C.B. Delaney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Cinematography is not about technology. It's about art, it's about taste. In the end it's about understanding your craft." - GEORGE LUCAS ""FRAMES" is about allowing the reader the time and the space to examine fully that ("cinematography") craft." - J.W. RINZLER, Executive Editor, LucasFilmAuthor of "The Making of Star Wars" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: LucasBooks (September 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345341465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345341464
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Désirée Greverud on January 25, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, let's dispense with the myth that Lucas wrote this himself. It was fully written by noted sci-fi/fantasy author Alan Dean Foster (who also wrote the novelizations for Alien, Aliens, Alien3, Krull, Black Hole, Alien Nation and although credited to Gene Roddenberry, he also wrote Star Trek The Motion Picture) Lucas was busy actually making the movie while ADF was writing this novel based on Lucas's working script. This accounts for some of the differences in the story.
ADF is a great writer, with a good voice and a great use of brevity to convey details. This is a quick read and a real treat for star wars fans. When this was first released it was called "Star Wars: From the adventures of Luke Skywalker" and was released before the movie even came out. ADF was already contracted to write a sequel since no one had any idea how the film would do, thus "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" makes a wonderful companion piece (the similar style between the two should be a dead giveaway that Foster wrote both).
This where it all began. If you want to read the SW books, make sure you start here.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Pruette on March 26, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novelization of the first Star Wars film is the alpha ancestor of the entire Star Wars universe. Published several months before the release of the film (which was simply titled "Star Wars" in 1977, picking up the "A New Hope" signifier in the 1979 theatrical re-release), the book was a success on a small scale but did not take off until the film became a phenomenon. George Lucas is credited with authoring this novel, but as he acknowledges in his introduction, the book was ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster based on Lucas' screenplay. Foster went on to write two more Star Wars novels, Splinter of the Mind's Eye in the late 70's and The Approaching Storm in 2002.

Credit must be given to Foster for capturing a Star Wars "feel" in this novel without any preceding Star Wars material to work from and without knowledge of the scrutiny every scrap of Star Wars literature would eventually be subjected to. He follows the screenplay quite faithfully, and except for the inclusion of a sequence on Tatooine that was shot but cut from the film late in the editing process, his novel follows the film's sequence of scenes exactly. He does toy with the dialogue to an extent, re-writing lines throughout. To a modern-day Star Wars nut, this can sometimes be jarring, as everything about this story is so familiar. It's interesting in movie novelizations how the authors often change dialogue but nothing else: I like seeing a little more experimentation, such as that in Matthew Stover's superb novelization of Revenge of the Sith.

Foster is a descriptive writer and this story flows along briskly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Pruette VINE VOICE on June 13, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Reading and reviewing the book of A New Hope is impossible without using the film as a frame of reference. For most of us, the film was our introduction to the amazing new world of Star Wars. This is when we first met Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Obi-Wan, R2-D2, and C-3PO. We all know how the story goes and that is my only problem with the book. It is still great fun to read, but it is so much like the film that it is almost too familiar. It is not precisely like the film, but it is extremely close. The book was ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster in late 1976 based on the George Lucas screenplay. Considering that Mr. Foster did not have the visual benefit of seeing what Star Wars looked like on screen, I think he did a remarkable job.

The story begins on Tatooine as Luke acquires R2 and 3PO and our favorite little droid is bound and determined to deliver a mysterious message to some one named Obi-Wan Kenobi. The adventures that follow lead us through the cantina at Mos Eisley where we meet Han and Chewie and on to Luke's destruction of the Death Star. You undoubtedly know how it goes.

If by some fluke of nature you actually have not seen the film, then you definitely should read the book. It is a rousing adventure story and leaves you wanting to read more. The edition I read was the very nice trade paperback version of the Star Wars Trilogy that was published in 2004. Having all three of the trilogy books in one volume is a good feeling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. White on September 20, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although George Lucas's name is on the cover, this novelization was actually ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster and published months before the movie was released, but it was of course based on Lucas's screenplay. ADF did a superb job at making the Star Wars universe come alive with only what George provided, which is not often suited to print works and is something taken for granted these days considering all that is now available. While the story is largely verbatim of the screenplay there are certinaly some subtle differences in dialog, 'deleted scenes', and other additions that SW fans can still enjoy, even after having seen the movie dozens of times as I have. I'm surprised to say that I now have a greater appreciation of 3PO and that this book is notably more violent than the film. The novelization is also quite short, so the average reader can probably finish it over a weekend.

I rated this five stars primarily due to the genuine enjoyment of reading it, despite typically reserving that position for more than just one characteristic; what can I say, I'm a nitpicker. I do have some criticisms; however, but they are relatively minor and may be easily explained away. I can't say if this was the case in the 70s or before but usually people read novelizations to glean more than what was presented on film, and for the most part that isn't the case here. I don't hold that against the author, after all he did take on the difficult task of changing mediums, but since Lucas's name is on it George may have given ADF instructions to not deviate much, which if true would be unfortunate because ADF is an accomplished writer (including the very first two SW books), and the story definitely could've benefitted from more exposition.
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