- Series: Star Wars
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (January 5, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781101965498
- ISBN-13: 978-1101965498
- ASIN: 1101965495
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 926 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Hardcover – January 5, 2016
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“Like all the best novelizations, Alan Dean Foster’s adaptation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens enriches the movie experience. The novel goes beyond simply giving us insight into the characters’ thoughts, with plenty of additional scenes painting a broader picture of the galaxy.”—New York Daily News
“Fast-moving, atmospheric and raises goose-bumps at just the right moments. [Foster] not only evokes entire onscreen worlds . . . he also gives us glimpses of an even more vast, unseen universe.”—The Washington Post
“Was my experience of the film enriched by the book? Yes. No question. Is the novelization worth reading? Yes. . . . Foster has written a book that captures the spirit of the film, while presenting additional information that helps answer some of the questions that linger.”—Coffee with Kenobi
About the Author
Alan Dean Foster has written in a variety of genres, including hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: The Approaching Storm and the popular Pip & Flinx novels, as well as novelizations of several films, including Transformers, Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction, the first science fiction work ever to do so. Foster and his wife, JoAnn Oxley, live in Prescott, Arizona.
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OK - now I've read the whole book. Could the action have been written in a more exciting way? Possibly, but I found myself getting swept along with the action most of the time. I appreciated the extra scenes and feel that I understand the movie better. I wish that there was more backstory, but am hopeful that all will be revealed in good time (you hear that Disney/Lucasfilm?1?). I'm just happy to have Star Wars back on track!
As many have pointed out, you do not get much more in the novel than what was in the movie. It is a fine novelization of the film, but it does not answer any of the big lingering questions that many have after seeing the movie. There are a few added details to some of the events (like explaining what happened to Poe after the Tie fighter crash), a little bit more about Finn's mindset before defecting etc, and includes what will likely be a deleted scene from the movie in the Cantina. There is also a reveal that Leia knows a bit more about Snoke that the one line she gave in the movie, but still no big reveal on who he actually is, and how long he has been around.
Ultimately, if you liked or loved the movie you will like the book just fine. Likewise, if you did not like the movie or are lukewarm to it, there is really nothing about the book which would have made the story more likable. It would have been better with a bit more backstory fleshed out, although it seems pretty clear that some of that is being saved for the later movies and/or canon books. As long as you do not expect the book to connect all the dots for you, then you will not be disappointed with it.
Foster carries the narrative via the third person omniscient point of view, and at almost every turn it took me out of the story. Many of the mid scene point of view transitions were quite jarring and I spent the first third of the novel just trying to get used to them. Once I did, I was able to enjoy getting to know a little more about the characters I fell in love with on screen. I never really expected to get earth shattering revelations about Rey’s past or a full blown Kylo Ren origin story. However, with most of the characters I was left wanting more inward reaction to all of the events we saw on screen.
There are a few brief scenes in the novel that were not in the film. One brief interaction between two of the new main characters that did not interact in the film may be a fun foreshadowing of things to come. I also loved Poe Dameron in the film and we get a bit more of him in the novel. While these additions are few, they are still fun for fans looking for every little bread crumb.
After reading The Force Awakens novelization, I cannot help but wonder if Alan Dean Foster was a victim of Disney’s attempt to keep a tight rein on this story and future plot points for the saga. I certainly understand and appreciate the need for secrecy, but so much of this novel just felt restrained and limited. Perhaps my expectations were just too high because of my love for the film and my recognition of Foster as a very accomplished writer.
The new Star Wars canon has struggled to meet the expectations of a demanding fan base and there has a been a lot of push back (both fair and unfair). Unfortunately, the novelization of the biggest Star Wars film to date does little to silence the resistance.
This book was sent by the publisher for review.
Unfortunately the author doesn't bring a whole lot more to the story the way Salvatore and Stover were able to in their adaptations. Foster does not leave his mark in this novel, and his writing style has not improved since his previous Star Wars work. Glad the author was considered for nostalgic purposes, but give the future adaptations to someone else.