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The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition (Star Wars) Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
|The Force Awakens||The Last Jedi||Resistance Reborn||Catalyst|
|The official novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the blockbuster film directed by J. J. Abrams.||Written with input from director Rian Johnson, this official adaptation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi expands on the film to include scenes from alternate versions of the script and other additional content.||Before The Rise of Skywalker, Poe, Rey, and Finn must rebuild the Resistance after their devastating loss to the First Order.||The prequel to Rogue One, revealing the origins of the Death Star in an intense tale of ambition and betrayal.|
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Rey sat cross-legged, eyes closed. She didn’t remember rising off the ground, but she was vaguely aware that somehow she’d ended up floating. Pebbles and small boulders hovered around her, like a field of asteroids orbiting their sun. The Force flowed through her, buoyed her, connected her to everything. The lush rain forest moon of Ajan Kloss was teeming with life. She could feel every tree and fern, every reptile and insect. A few strides away in a hidden den, a small furry creature groomed its litter of four kits.
“That’s it, Rey,” came Leia’s voice, deep and soothing as always. “Very good. Your connection becomes stronger every day. Can you feel it?”
“Now reach out. If your mind is ready, you’ll be able to hear those who have come before.”
Rey inhaled through her nose and sent her awareness into the void. Peace and calm were key, Leia always said. She reached, she searched, she felt the breeze on her cheeks, she smelled loamy soil, damp from the recent rain.
“Be with me, be with me, be with me,” she murmured. But she heard . . . nothing except wind in the trees and chirruping insects.
She didn’t want to admit that she was failing, so instead she said, “Why did you stop training with Luke?” Her words came out too harsh, almost like a challenge.
Leia took it in stride. “Another life called to me.”
Eyes still closed, Rey asked, “How did you know?”
“A feeling. Visions. Of serving the galaxy in different ways.”
“But how did you know those visions were true?” Rey pressed.
“I knew.” She heard the smile in Leia’s voice.
Rey didn’t understand how Leia could be so sure. Of anything.
“I treasured each moment I spent with my brother,” Leia added. “The things he taught me . . . I use them every day. Once you touch the Force, it’s part of you always. Over the years, I continued to learn, to grow. There were times on the Senate floor when the meditations I’d practiced with Luke were the only thing that kept me from causing a galactic incident.”
Rey frowned. Leia didn’t need patience. She could have made anyone do anything she wanted, with the power of the Force. Surely she’d been tempted?
“Was Luke angry? When you quit?” She hoped Leia noticed that she could talk and float at the same time now. That was progress, right?
Leia paused to consider. “He was disappointed. But he understood. I think he held out hope that I’d return to it someday.”
Rey almost laughed. “He should have known better.” Once Leia made a decision, it was for keeps.
“I gave him my lightsaber to convince him otherwise. Told him to pass it on to a promising student someday.” But–Leia’s voice had grown tight. Rey sensed she was holding something back.
“Where’s your lightsaber now?”
“No idea. Now stop trying to distract me,” Leia said. “Reach out.”
Rey refocused and emptied her mind of worries, just as Leia had taught her. She cast out her awareness. Opened herself to anything the Force might want to tell her. Tentatively, she called for him: Master Skywalker?
Nothing, nothing, and more nothing.
“Master Leia, I don’t hear anyone.”
“Let go of all thought. Let go of fear. Reach out. Invite the Jedi of the past to be with you.”
“Be with me . . . be with me . . .” She waited all of a second, maybe two. “They’re not with me.” Rey made a noise of exasperation, then flipped herself neatly to land on the ground. Rocks toppled around her.
“Rey,” Leia said. The general could put so much into a single word: chastisement, acceptance, amusement, fondness. Maybe that’s why she’d become such a powerful leader. “Be patient.”
“I’m starting to think it’s impossible. To hear the voices of the Jedi who came before,” Rey said, striding toward Leia.
Her Master always managed to look neat and tidy, no matter how muddy their makeshift base got. Her hair was pulled back into a circlet of braids, and she wore a quilted vest over a brown tunic. Alderaanian jewelry always dangled from her earlobes, wrapped her wrists and fingers. Her eyes were bright and knowing, as always, but Rey had noticed that her movements had slowed recently, as though her bones ached.
Leia’s face held a hint of a smile. “Nothing’s impossible.”
Rey grabbed her blast helmet and leapt to her feet. “Nothing’s impossible . . .” she echoed, trying to believe it. “I’m going to run the training course. That I can do.” Rey needed to run. Or maybe hit something.
Leia handed her Luke’s lightsaber. Rey took it reverently. Then she dashed into the jungle. BB-8 rolling after her.
Leia watched Rey sprint away, a hint of a smile on her lips. Training the girl always filled her with pride, but also misgiving. Rey was both a wonderful and an exasperating student. Frustrated with anything she didn’t pick up quickly, completely unaware how fast she did pick things up.
She wasn’t one to judge, though. Leia had exasperated Luke just as much. Besides, there was something about growing old that made her connection with the Force even stronger. When the body began to fail, the mind reached out, unencumbered by physical ability. The truth was, Leia couldn’t run through the jungle if she wanted to. Peace and calm came easily because her body craved them.
Then again, perhaps Leia had never been young. By the time she’d reached the age Rey was now, she was leading a rebellion.
Rey could be a great leader someday, and she would be, if Leia had anything to do with it. The girl had darkness inside her, just like Ben. But Leia would not make the same mistakes she had with her son. She would not give in to fear—neither of the darkness rising within her pupil nor of her own questionable qualifications as a teacher. Most important, she would never send Rey away.
Leia turned and began walking back toward the base. She reached out a hand and let her fingers trail through the ferns and broad-leafed creepers that lined her path. Ajan Kloss held so many good memories. Years ago, she’d trained here with Luke, who had declared it “Nice Dagobah.” He’d claimed it was as wet, warm, green, and overflowing with life as the planet where he’d trained with Yoda—except it didn’t smell bad.
She stepped into a clearing. To her right, a large tree with a massive trunk reached for sunlight, spreading a canopy of branches that shaded the clearing, keeping anything else from growing except ground creeping ferns and low, sparse grass. Leia had trained right here, in this very spot. She reached out and touched the tree trunk reverently. A large bole of bark had formed around an old wound. It was almost sealed shut.
Leia had been the one to damage the tree. She’d swung for Luke with her lightsaber and missed, slashing into the tree trunk instead. This tree had been healing itself for more than two decades.
Oh, Luke, I hope I’m doing this right, she thought. Leia was no Jedi Master, but she had learned from the best. And not just from Luke; over the years she’d occasionally heard the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi through the Force, and even more rarely, that of Yoda. Some days it had felt as though she’d learned from the Force itself. She was first and foremost a politician and a general, but she had accepted her Jedi legacy and embraced it as best she could.
And maybe that’s exactly what Rey needed: training in the Force not from a formal Master, but rather someone grounded in the everyday minutiae of life and survival. Obi-Wan had failed to keep Vader from the dark side. Luke had failed the same way with Ben. She could not fail Rey.
Insects sang as she walked. Birds warbled overhead, and tiny amphibians trilled their mating calls. Odd how such a raucous place could be so peaceful. The noise was so loud, so ever-present, and so soothing, it was almost as perfect as silence. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B07YJZRNDG
- Publisher : Del Rey (March 17, 2020)
- Publication date : March 17, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 25949 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 345 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #137,451 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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First, lets get into the extra content. While it can be nice to have the dialog at your hands to go over again and catch what you might have missed, the real draw of any novelization is getting more out of the story. This novelization delivers on that in several ways. For anyone who was a fan of Zorii Bliss in the movie, you get a lot more of her in the novelization. The book explores a bit of her spice runner gang and helps connect the dots with what she did once everyone else left, how she wound up with Babu Frik, and how they wound up in the big battle at the end. It dives into her thoughts to explore more of her character. And the book doesn’t stop there. There are precious insights throughout the book where the story goes into the characters’ heads to reveal what they’re thinking and what they’ve been through. There’s reveals of Leia and her Force abilities and connection to the Force, what Hux thought he was up to, Poe’s reservations after Crait, Finn’s subtle realization of his Force connection, Rey’s lingering fear of the darkness within her and much more.
Furthermore, there’s some big reveals with Palpatine. The book lays out how he survived his fall in the shaft of the second Death Star, why he looks like a rotting corpse, and he wound up with a son which lead to Rey. Not everything is completely revealed or explored, though. There’s still much about Ben Solo that we don’t know. There’s some cryptic stuff about that dyad that still leaves a lot to be fleshed out. But the book isn’t meant to be an encyclopedia to answer everyone’s questions or fill in all the voids. The book is simply capturing the story of the movie while also giving the reader a bit more to enjoy.
Another factor that adds to that enjoyment is little bonuses like the cameos at the big space battle. At the end of the battle, there are thousands and thousands of ships. Far too many to identify while watching the film. We know there’s all kinds of visual cameos hidden in that scene. However, the book takes the time to point out some of those cameos, and even gives them a bit of dialog. Even the Wicket scene gets expanded with some dialog and background. It’s not a ton, but it’s a nice inclusion.
In the end, The Rise of Skywalker novelization does a good job of retelling the story of the movie, keeping it fun, and giving readers something extra to enjoy. For hardcore Star Wars fans, this is a must read as you’ll get more out of the movie by reading the book. On top of that, it’s a good read. As such, I give it a four out of five.
Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and BB-8 follow a clue from Luke’s notes to Pasaana, where they hope to find a Sith wayfinder to guide them to Exegol. Kylo Ren, having met with the cloned Palpatine and summed the Knights of Ren, searches for Rey who he believes is destined to rule the galaxy alongside him. Rey and company find a dagger on Pasanna with a Sith inscription that purports to lead them to the wayfinder, but C-3PO is forbidden from translating the language of the Sith. When Ren arrives, he captures the dagger and Chewbacca. Rey, Finn, and Poe take C-3PO to Kijimi to get the assistance of Babu Frik, who can reprogram Threepio to translate Sith. With his help, they learn that the wayfinder is on Endor in the wreckage of the second Death Star. There, Rey confronts her own darkness as well as Kylo Ren, who reveals to her that she is the Emperor’s granddaughter. She nearly kills Ben, but they both feel Leia’s passing through the Force. Rey heals him and flees to Ahch-To. There, the spirit of Luke Skywalker assures her that she may choose her destiny, giving her his X-Wing as she travels to Exegol.
Rey broadcasts the path to Exegol in order that Finn, Poe, and Rose Tico may follow with the Resistance fleet. Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca go to recruit help, building on contacts that Leia had nurtured following the disaster on Crait. On the moon of Endor, Ben Solo imagines an encounter with Han Solo, mirroring their final meeting from “The Force Awakens.” Ben chooses the light this time and sets off to help Rey on Exegol, where she faces Palpatine while the Resistance fleet combats the Sith Star Destroyers in the planet’s atmosphere. Together, they defeat the Emperor, Ben sacrificing his life in order to save Rey’s, while the Resistance fleet and their allies defeat the Sith Star Destroyers. After celebrating with her friends, Rey visits the ruins of the Lars homestead, taking the name Skywalker in honor of Luke and Leia and to continue their legacy.
Rae Carson’s “expanded edition” novel adds scenes that did not appear in the film, adding more to Leia’s inner thoughts in a way that J.J. Abrams could not due to limitations in using previously-filmed footage. The novel also explains how Mustafar transformed from “Revenge of the Sith” to “The Rise of Skywalker” (pgs. 19-21). Carson helps to explain how Palpatine survived his death in “Return of the Jedi” through the use of a clone body, now disintegrating (pgs. 26-27, 220). In this, she recalls Tom Veitch’s “Dark Empire” trilogy from 1991-1995. She explains that Rey’s father was a failed clone of Palpatine, without powers, but that Palpatine kept him alive in the hope of continuing his lineage (pg. 220). Carson also spends more time examining the nature of identity in the novel than the film did. As Leia muses, “If Vader could become Anakin again, Kylo Ren could become Ben… She was Leia Skywalker Organa Solo. As she caressed Han’s medal, she fully embraced all those inheritances. And she would pass them all to the next generation. Her Skywalker legacy would go to Rey, Organa to Poe, and she would try one last time to pass her Solo legacy to her son” (pg. 172). Carson likewise uses Lando’s musing on the members of the Resistance in order to tie this story in with the novels bridging the Original and Sequel Trilogy. He thinks about Snap Wexley as “Wedge’s stepkid,” a reference to Rebecca Roanhorse’s “Resistance Reborn” (pg. 195), though here as in the film I would have liked to see Wedge react to Snap’s death based on this relationship (pgs. 223, 225). The final battle directly identifies the Ghost from “Star Wars Rebels,” Phantom Squadron from Chuck Wendig’s “Aftermath” trilogy, Alphabet Squadron from Alexander Freed’s novel of the same name, and Zay Versio of Inferno Squad, daughter of Del Meeko and Iden Versio, from “Battlefront II” (pgs. 224-225). Carson even works in a pun at the moment of Allegiant General Pryde’s death aboard a Star Destroyer, writing, “Pryde fell” (pg. 233).
Carson’s previous “Star Wars” credits include the short story “The Red One” in the 40th anniversary anthology “From a Certain Point of View,” the story “Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing” in the “Last Jedi” tie-in anthology “Canto Bight,” and “Most Wanted,” a YA tie-in novel for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” One thing that is somewhat distressing is how short this novel is for the film’s runtime. As the “expanded edition,” I thought it would be longer than 247 pages for a 144-minute film. For comparison, the novelization of “A New Hope” is 260 pages (121 minutes), “The Empire Strikes Back” is 216 (124 minutes), “Return of the Jedi” is 229 pages (131 minutes), “The Phantom Menace” was 324 pages (136 minutes), “Attack of the Clones” is 353 (142 minutes), “Revenge of the Sith” is 418 pages long (140 minutes), “The Force Awakens” is 260 pages (138 minutes), “Rogue One” is 319 (133 minutes), “The Last Jedi” is 312 (152 minutes), and “Solo” is 282 pages long (135 minutes). That said, it does answer many of the questions J.J. Abrams left unanswered in his film and includes some nice callbacks to the new canon of novels that began in 2015.
This doesn't add much, just a couple of scenes that happen outside of the film. I'd hardly call it 'Expanded'.
Top reviews from other countries
Unlike a certain director who said he did not care about Star Wars lore when he made the movie, Rae has done her research, adding in bit of information for the other Star Wars book in the Disney era. Including what could/should have been a great bridging book to the movie.
The book manages the fix many of the inconsistencies of the movie, goes into more detail of the characters. Though having to follow the screen play there are many things that could not be fixed or many characters who could not be given a lot more of a larger role.
I enjoyed this book a lot more that I was expecting to. This book is supposed to be the end of the Disney saga, but with so many thing left loose I would not be surprised to see more prequels definitely and possible a sequel. I just hope they are written by real Star Wars fans that respect continuity of whichever era.
Reason I didn't like the film was that I believed that the story could of gone in a different direction and certain decisions were poor but the book gives more details and helps the film out and I believe certain scenes from the book should of been included in the film like Darth Vaders castle for example.
I also found that the book helped me pass time during the lockdown due to the corona virus here in the UK.
Stay home stay safe and give this book a read.
I read the ebook version, which syncs up nicely with the Audible version, the first time I've done this, and found it a really enjoyable and immersive experience. I'd highly recommend doing the same if you're willing to spend a little extra to get the audio version too.
I don't want to spoil the additional bits added to the film, but I can say that it really does help to fill in some of the holes and answers quite a few questions I had after watching the movie in the cinema. One in particular - how Palpatine survived!
It's a fantastic read, I devoured it in a couple of days, which is really quick for me, and if you enjoyed the movie then I highly recommend reading the novel to accompany it.