04 November 2016

BOOK REPORT: Star Wars: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farmboy

This was a fun, quick read.

The beginning is told from the perspective of Princess Leia—the opening scene on the rebel ship and the droids taking a secret message in search of Ben Kenobi. Then the viewpoint switches to Han Solo, and you see his surprise when a strange old man chops off somebody’s arm in a bar. This perspective continues through the whole Death Star tractor-beam and rescue of the princess part, Act II, so you get to see lots of Han’s attitude and get a better understanding of why he’s so concerned with money (Jabba!). The last section, the Death Star trench run, is told from Luke’s perspective. The movie favors Luke’s perspective throughout, so it’s cool to get more depth from these other angles.

The author digs deeper into a couple of things that get skimmed over in the movie. For example, Leia’s whole home planet gets destroyed in the movie, and we only see her mourn for a couple seconds and then it’s never mentioned again. In this book version, this is a lingering theme, which seems more true to human character. The same is true of Bigg’s death. Although I still think Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru are a little underplayed.

I have the movie of A New Hope memorized, which made me appreciate this retelling. I can imagine the film could be pretty awesome if it were rebooted. That’s not to say it might not also be dumb, but I do think the story could grow with some added creativity and interpretation.

I’d recommend this book to any young readers who love Star Wars but don’t read very often.

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— J