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Return of the Jedi (Star Wars (Penguin Audio)) Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook
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Fifteen years after the dramatic success of National Public Radio's adaptation of Star Wars, the production team re-formed to create Return of the Jedi: The Original Radio Drama. Though the running time is scaled down to three hours, listeners are still treated to an expanded story line and new scenes. Another fine cast is assembled, with radio series veterans Perry King and Ann Sachs as Han Solo and Leia Organa, and newcomer Joshua Fardon as an excellent Luke Skywalker. While Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) is the only actor from the film, Ed Begley Jr. contributes a gravely voiced Boba Fett, John Lithgow adds a rather somber Yoda, and Edward Asner, hopefully not being typecast, makes a believable Jabba the Hutt--though only an expert would be able to tell if his Huttese pronunciation is correct. The characters of this radio production inhabit a stereo soundscape created by careful blending of sound effects and John Williams's music from the original films. As with the two previous productions--Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, Jedi is a treat for the ears--and the mind's eye. Any Star Wars fan will enjoy this production, even though it does mean imagining rather than seeing Anakin with his mask and helmet off or Luke defeating the Rancor. Besides, the Ewoks are much less annoying when you can't see them. (Running time: 3 hours, 3 cassettes) --C.B. Delaney
This stunning production, first heard on National Public Radio, is a must for all fans of science fiction, "Star Wars," or radio drama.It's a truly "cinematic" audio program, with outstanding production values, full stereo sound, vivid sound effects, and dramatic music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The acting is superb....HighBridge previously produced successful NPR productions of the first two part of the trilogy...and this final chapter should prove as phenomenally popular as the first two. -- Billboard, January 11, 1997
Winner of the Audie Award for Best Production of 1997 [brought to you by HighBridge Audio]. -- Audio Publishers Association
Winner of the Listen Up Award for Best Science Fiction of 1996 -- Publishers Weekly, January 6, 1997
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Kudos to James Kahn for writing a book from a movie that was not just a copy of the script. Kahn adds to the books things we don't see in the movie. Han, especially, has much more depth. Jerjerrod piqued my interest here and I hope to see him in the Expanded Universe. Darth Vader and the Emperor have their own motivations for wanting to recruit Luke and their own plans for what to do with him. There was a lot of emotion in the climactic battle between them, and Vader's death was very moving.
"Return of the Jedi" does read more like an Expanded Universe novel than Empire did. It may be a little too difficult for younger children to read, but older children and adults will enjoy it. I did.