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Film novelizations!


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1) what was the best novelization of one of the Star Wars films?

 

2) what was your favorite moment in a film novel that weren't in the films? (These usually come from deleted scenes or script revisions so I always liked this shit)

 

3) did you ever read one of the novels before seeing the movie?

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1. The Last Jedi by Jason Fry. :p (Okay, okay, it hadn't come out yet, but I love everything Jason writes so it's pretty much a given.) I actually haven't read a film novelization since The Phantom Menace, (yes, this includes Revenge of the Sith, I just don't care to read it), although I've heard that Rogue One was pretty good so I might try it eventually.

 

2. The extended Luke and Obi-Wan conversation from Return of the Jedi. Completely non-canon now, but I always loved it and it informed so much of my prequel-era lore before those movies came out.

 

3. SACRILEGE!

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I read AOTC and ROTS before the movies came out. I actually don't remember a lot of stuff from the novels off hand. I have a better recollection from the rest of the EU.

 

The OT novels area interesting because if the stuff in there that had to be scrapped for the sake of the series. Such as Obi Wan and Owen Lars being brothers. Also the idea the Palpatine was anti alien was kinda shelved.

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I actually read ROTS before the movie came out cuz I figured we pretty much knew what was going to happen anyway. I've always believed that doing this made me actually like that movie, which is why it's my favorite novelization. It filled in some of the gaps and explained character motivations and just made the movie work. It explained every movie plothole.

 

For instance it explains why Yoda suddenly bitched out when fighting the Emperor and it was an explanation that worked for me. That would have really bothered me otherwise. There are dozens of examples like this.

 

And before Tank weighs in, obviously this isn't the way it's supposed to go. The movie should be able to stand on its own without needing a novel to help you swallow it. But we live in the world we have ... not the world we wish we had. And in this world the novel made the movie really good so I have affection for it for that reason.

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1) Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover. Phenomenal book. Stover is also my favorite EU author, though his Star Wars work is rather limited, making him rather underrated.

 

2) Anakin's inner struggles represented as a metaphorical dragon. Nice touch.

3) No, I have not.

The prequel novelizations are pretty good in general, while the original Trilogy novelizations are rather lackluster. It's the complete opposite of the films themselves.

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The original Star Wars novel by Alan Dean Foster remains my favorite if only for the extra insight it provided back in the day when there was no EU. Hints of what happened to Vader that put him in the suit, the Clone Wars, a bunch of stuff was in that book-- some of which became canon, some, (like Owen being Ben's brother) did not.

 

I tried reading the PT books hoping that on the page the stories would seem more fluid and less stilted without bad acting, but most of them adopted a writing style I utterly despised.

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I don't think any of the novelizations are particularly good, but the original Star Wars and The Phantom Menace are probably best, though I haven't read any of the new books. I flat out couldn't get through Attack of the Clones after the opening scenes repeated itself a thousand times (yes, Shmi's happy, got it). And the Revenge of the Sith one was just too different from the movie for me, so I was discounting it even as I was reading it.

 

Of course, the original novels had some of that too, I mean, blue Yoda anyone?

 

 

 

3) did you ever read one of the novels before seeing the movie?

 

I'd seen bits and pieces of the Original Trilogy before, but I actually read the novelizations in 9th grade shortly before I'd watched my first full viewings of each movie.

 

I'm the rare person who became a Star Wars fan through the novels before the movies, which largely influenced my fandom for a long time and is probably why I gravitated so heavily towards the EU.

 

 

 

Also the idea the Palpatine was anti alien was kinda shelved.

 

I think the EU picked up on the film Empire's monolithic culture vs. the Rebel's diversity more than the other way around.

 

 

 

The original Star Wars novel by Alan Dean Foster remains my favorite if only for the extra insight it provided back in the day when there was no EU. Hints of what happened to Vader that put him in the suit, the Clone Wars, a bunch of stuff was in that book-- some of which became canon, some, (like Owen being Ben's brother) did not.

 

Owen being Ben's brother was Return of the Jedi. Anakin and the lava too.

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The Palpatine species hating did play into the EU. It was part of the reason Thrawn was "tucked away" in some deep part of the universe.

 

Think of how Admiral Daala would play in today's Star Wars. A female Admiral sure, but being Tarkin's lover would have feminist heads exploding.

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To be honest--and this is just my own theory--I don't think Palpatine was actually xenophobic or a human supremacist. I think he calculatingly chose that particular angle to strengthen allegiance to the Empire. It seems to have worked.

It was just one of his many facades. He was masterful actor.

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The Palpatine species hating did play into the EU. It was part of the reason Thrawn was "tucked away" in some deep part of the universe.

 

Think of how Admiral Daala would play in today's Star Wars. A female Admiral sure, but being Tarkin's lover would have feminist heads exploding.

No, it was a stupid plot line in 1994 when I was 13. Also, super gross.

 

Admiral Sloane is a million times better.

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The Tarkin thing never really bothered me. I mean, it's not like powerful older men don't attract women no matter how gross one might think it.

 

Admiral Daala's biggest problem was that she was supposed to be some big threat, but pretty much all her plans ended in disaster. Instead of building her up with actual accomplishments, we were just sorta told how awesome she was even as the plot contradicted her.

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You know what I LOVED as a kid that was full of extra info was the radio dramatization of ANH. It was full of extra story, Mark Hamil voiced Luke. It was considered canon for a long time.

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The ANH one had Luke doing the Beggar's Canyon run, Leia on Alderaan, Leia getting the Death Star plans transmitted to her, all the Biggs scenes, Tosche power station-- everything cut from the film plus more.

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I'm the rare person who became a Star Wars fan through the novels before the movies, which largely influenced my fandom for a long time and is probably why I gravitated so heavily towards the EU.

I think we both came to SW in similar ways. I watched the SE at the cinema when they were released in '97, and loved them, but I didn't properly get in to SW until I found a copy of The Bacta War in a bookshop in Chester a few months later. Because it was book 4 in the series, I obviously needed the first three, so I hunted them down and never looked back. That, and the gold VHS box set I got that Christmas helped too...

 

That X-wing series is the most well-thumbed of any books in my collection. Even now I think I can pretty much recite what happens in my head as it happens when I read them, and it's been a few years since I read them last.

 

As for film novelizations, the only ones I have are the OT ones, and I actually only remember reading the ANH novelization. I guess that means it's my favourite. It definitely helped flesh out a lot of details and cemented a few ideas that were EU standard for years (I think it was the ANH novelization where I first discovered that TIE stood for Twin Ion Engine).

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I saw the OT and immediately read Heir to the Empire and Dark Force Rising afterwards (The Last Command hadn't come out yet), so I always say that Luke Skywalker made me a Star Wars fan and Mara Jade kept me a Star Wars fan. There's a reason I will jump at anything by Zahn. (I didn't read the X-wing series until I was in college, but now they're some of my favorites.)

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I grew up watching the original Trilogy on VHS tapes my parents had recorded from TV airings (we didn't even own the official VHSes). I sat beside my older brother as he played TIE Fighter on our PC. In December of 1997, my father bought me Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight (my favorite game ever), which got me really interested in what came after Return of the Jedi. Then in early 1998, I saw an expansion for Jedi Knight at Costco called Mysteries of the Sith. I begged my dad to buy it for me, which he eventually did. Sith starred Mara Jade, whom the box mentioned was introduced in "Timothy Zahn's award-winning trilogy." My curiosity being piked, I sought out and purchased the Thrawn trilogy, and the rest is history.

And Mara, I know you were recently surprised about my coming to the EU "late" (if you consider 1997/98 late, which I hardly do). It seems you are a tad older than I, since you mentioned getting into the early EU when you were in college. I was only in the seventh grade.

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Back before the OT was available on VHS, my Dad bought the bootlegs in Japan for his old Quasar video player. The Bootlegger had projected them onto a wall and then videotaped that. LMFAO You could see shadows as people came into the room to check the progress of the taping. Oh such an uncivilized time!

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In December of 1997, my father bought me Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight (my favorite game ever), which got me really interested in what came after Return of the Jedi. Then in early 1998, I saw an expansion for Jedi Knight at Costco called Mysteries of the Sith. I begged my dad to buy it for me, which he eventually did. Sith starred Mara Jade, whom the box mentioned was introduced in "Timothy Zahn's award-winning trilogy." My curiosity being piked, I sought out and purchased the Thrawn trilogy, and the rest is history.

Oh man, my parents got me that game for Easter one year and holy shit, I'm pretty sure that even now, it's one of my all-time most-played games. It was also the game that I first found cheat codes for, I remember literally flying around levels with the concussion rifle. That sound effect of it firing is permanently seared in to my brain.

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The original Star Wars novel by Alan Dean Foster remains my favorite if only for the extra insight it provided back in the day when there was no EU. Hints of what happened to Vader that put him in the suit, the Clone Wars, a bunch of stuff was in that book-- some of which became canon, some, (like Owen being Ben's brother) did not.

 

I tried reading the PT books hoping that on the page the stories would seem more fluid and less stilted without bad acting, but most of them adopted a writing style I utterly despised.

Pretty sure the Ben-Owen connection was revealed in the ROTJ one? After Yoda's death?

 

I loved the Alan Dean Foster book. It was very well-written. It complemented the kinetic visual of the film with descriptive elements and exposition: You see a stormtrooper get shot in the film, and Foster describes armor, bone and flesh being blasted away in the book. (It made me look up "zephyrs," for example.) I didn't read any novelizations after the first three.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

1) what was the best novelization of one of the Star Wars films?

 

2) what was your favorite moment in a film novel that weren't in the films? (These usually come from deleted scenes or script revisions so I always liked this ****)

 

3) did you ever read one of the novels before seeing the movie?

It has been decades since I read the OT novels....like talking since the early 1990s, but this is what I remember. So I could be off on some things.....

 

1. Tough call between ANH and ROTJ. I'd say they tie.

 

2.

ANH: I liked the exposition about Palpatine in the excerpt from the Journal of the Whils mentioning how he was a politician, now sequestered by his military an government staff. While we know this not to be true, it still works for the galaxy at large believing it to be true. I also remember differences like Luke seeing the Tantive IV being captured using binoculars, Ben lived in a cave not a mud hut, and I seem to remember him being near death or dying prior to the events (I think he was sick?) which explains why he doesn't just go rescue Leia himself. I want to say Vader was mentioned as a Sith Lord, and there was a reference that he wasn't the only one, and there were others before him.

 

ROTJ: Ben and Luke's extended conversation that details the Obi Wan VS Vader duel. While vague, it does not contradict ROTS, but Obi Wan seemed to be pretty clear that Vader was irredeemable, and it was his own damn fault. The Ewoks were a little more vicious during the battle scenes. Don't remember it well, but I seem to remember Mon Mothma having a brief backstory as a founding member of the Rebel Alliance being mentioned.

 

3. No, unless you count graphic novels. The ROTS graphic novelization was released days before the movie, and I read most of it except the last few pages (I think up to the duel) inside a Barnes and Noble the day before seeing it.

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