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Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace Hardcover – April 21, 1999

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Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp
Lords of the Sith
With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force and each other to depend on, the Emperor and Darth Vader, must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries. Learn more | See more by author Paul S. Kemp

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Product Details

  • Series: Based on the Screenplay and story by George Lucas
  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (April 21, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345427653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345427656
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (379 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

If you've seen The Phantom Menace in a theater--and, judging from the 1999 box-office figures, who hasn't?--you've probably been a bit frustrated by the speed with which the fantastic images and creatures fly past. There's no such problem with this audiobook. All the excitement of the Star Wars prequel is there, but this time there's breathing room, a chance to meet the characters, let them walk around in your imagination, hear their thoughts. Actor Alexander Adams's reading of fantasy master Terry Brooks's novelization is brisk but never rushed, punctuated at chapter breaks by snippets of John Williams's movie score. Unfortunately, those who hate amphibian pest Jar Jar Binks's voice probably won't find Adams's approximation any less obnoxious than the movie's. (Running time: 9.5 hours, 6 cassettes) --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Fans expecting a typical movie novelization--one that simply parrots the screenplay for Episode I--will be pleasantly surprised. Brooks, with Lucas' cooperation, has created something else altogether; a larger story that includes all of what you've seen onscreen, but also delves deeply into the history of the galaxy and the life and mind of Anakin Skywalker."
--The Star Wars Insider

--The New York Post

From the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

The book Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is an exellent book.
I guess there was a little more to the story...some expanded dialogues between characters, a few extended 'scenes', and so on, but not nearly enough.
I recommend anyone who loves the movie (as i do) to definitely read the book because it will make the movie experience more enjoyable.
Ashley Lewis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Only "Trials and Tribbleations" has put me into the story in a better style. Second best in a bunch of books that tend to be overblown and often lose me in yards of useless exposition.
Terry Brooks does a wonderful job describing the characters and their situations. He creeps into the heads of the characters and helps bring them to life further in the way only an author can. Qui-Gon Jinn is especially vibrant.
There are some inconsistancies. The end battles and swordfighting in the book is somewhat different, I think, from the movie's version; it includes many lines of dialogue cut from the movie (not that I'm complaining); Jar Jar seems more competent; and Brooks seems to be very vague on Queen Amidala's clothing. None of these significantly detract from enjoyment of this novel. Read it if you've seen the movie! You will not be disappointed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Star Wars fans the world over have been waiting sixteen years for the newest installation of the greatest saga of all time. In May, Americans got their first look at the newest movie and, for the most part, have been extremely happy. Some, however, were disappointed with the appearance of the novelization before the movie, in many cases letting loose secrects they did not want to know. Many were surprised, however, when, upon seeing the film, many of the story elements present in the novel were not in the movie. This is where the strength of "The Phantom Menace" novelization lies. Here, we are presented with an extended vision of the plot, one which captures the vison and excitement of the film, yet manages to add more than would be possible on the screen. We get an extended history of the Sith, given to us by Darth Sidious himself, as well as some more background about Anakin. In addition to the background, Brooks forshadows the next episode with Anakin's dreams about the future. He does it in his usual artful and elegant prose, reminding one of his "Shannara" books. All in all, this book is a very entertaining and exciting addition to an already great movie.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cero Gobnicht on March 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
How you rate this book depends on what you consider its purpose. If you are looking for new revelations and new story lines, as compared to the movie, you will be somewhat disappointed. But as a simple re-write of the movie, together with some additional insight into the characters' thoughts and motives, this is a pretty good book.
I have to confess I was looking for more from the book. Brooks does a good job of explaining each scene, and even adds in a couple scenes that did not appear in the movie. So while his writing is unspectacular, he does do a very good job of concisely--if unexcitingly--describing each scene, piece by piece.
I also came away from the book with a greater sense of cohesion to the story. The movie, which I enjoyed immensely, left me slightly confused as to why the various characters did such and such, and what they hoped to accomplish in each scene.
Brooks also did a good job of making some sense of the movie's opening: why Naboo was central to the Trade Federation's attention, and why a small out-lying planet would matter much in the grand scheme of the Empire.
Overall a good book. I found the last 50 pages or so quite compelling, not wanting to put it down. Considering its purpose, this is a good book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1999
Let the man work!! I can't believe how many Star Wars fans were dissapointed because Ep1 didn't turn out the way THEY envisioned it!! Star Wars is George Lucas' baby, who are we to tell him what comes next or who dies and who lives!?! As for Terry Brooks, I think he did an excellent job doing the adaption, especially if you have read the adaptions for the 2nd trilogy (Ep4-6). You might as well have bought the screenplay for those novels. Sure there are a few things different, like editing out the character's names next to their lines and Threepio smiling a lot(if you don't know what I mean, read Ep4 by GL), but overall, the books are just scripts. Phantom Menace devles into the plot a lot better and gives us background detail which better illuminates statements made by the characters (Like, 'Always two there is: a master and an apprentice'). The pod race scene, which is highlighted in both the book and the film IS central to the story and needed the attention tht it got. It shows Anakin's unusual power in the Force. Its one thing to hear that he is stronger than Yoda (who is how strong?????) Its yet another to see that strength in action. The book shows this a little bit better than the film since we cn see the effort involved...Anakin makes it look easy, we don't get to see the Force at work since its invisible. So, to ANY and ALL people who think they were let down by the movie, the soundtrack or the book, I quote William Shatner, 'Get a Life'!!!!!!!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
With the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith only months away, it seems like a good time to begin preparing myself for the new film. While I did not judge Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace as harshly as many Star Wars fans did, there can be no doubt that the film paled in comparison to the force of the original trilogy. Even as a six-year old child, everything about the first Star Wars film in 1977 seemed seared into my memory, and it somewhat saddens me to know that the children of this generation, after seeing The Phantom Menace for the first time, will never know the power and obsessive joy that the original Star Wars trilogy invoked in the children of my generation. Frankly, after two viewings of Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace a few years ago, only bits and pieces resonate in my memory, and I really do need to review the people and events of this film (as well as Episode Two: Attack of the Clones) before I feel ready to see Episode Three.

The powers that be certainly found an illustrious author to transform George Lucas' screenplay and story into novelized form. I've been a fan of Terry Brooks ever since reading The Sword of Shannara as a child, and Brooks has done a thoroughly professional job with this novel. Everything that happened in the film is described with great discernment, the furious action of intense scenes such as the battle between Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul is vividly rendered, the moments of light humor are translated expertly to the page, and the emotional aspects of the plot, especially those concerning Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala, are drawn in tender yet meaningful strokes. This is truly a commendable and faithful novelization of the film.
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