1. Notification emails are working properly again. Please check your email spam folder and if you see any emails from the Cantina there, make sure to mark them as "Not Spam". This will help a lot to whitelist the emails and to stop them going to spam.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. IMPORTANT! To be able to create new threads and rate posts, you need to have at least 30 posts in The Cantina.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Before posting a new thread, check the list with similar threads that will appear when you start typing the thread's title.
    Dismiss Notice

Review: Jason Fry Expertly Expands and Enhances The Last Jedi in His Novelization of the Movie

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Books & Comics + Legends' started by SWNN Probe, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. SWNN Probe

    SWNN Probe Seeker

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Posts:
    2,658
    Likes Received:
    6,373
    Trophy Points:
    3,842
    Credits:
    6,913
    Ratings:
    +10,059 / 19 / -11
    [​IMG]

    Author Jason Fry is no stranger to Star Wars, having written multiple source books and junior novels, including two tie-in books for The Force Awakens and the Servants of the Empire series, so it should come as no surprise that he is intimately familiar with the Star Wars universe, and this knowledge really shines through as he vividly brings Rian Johnson’s film to life in the pages of his novelization Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Expanded Edition). Spoilers Ahead...



    So, first things first…what’s with the “Expanded Edition” moniker attached to the title? Is there even a “regular edition” of the book? Well, after a few minutes of searching, I concluded that this seems to indeed be the only edition of the novel available. I assume the naming convention is there for the sole purpose of revealing the book’s intent to the reader. This novel was written to expand your understanding of the film and to enrich your experience by adding valuable details to the story that either didn’t make the final cut of the film or were impossible to convey on screen apart from the written word.



    [​IMG] Author Jason Fry



    Having been written with input from the movie’s director Rian Johnson, and given Fry’s vast knowledge of the galaxy far far away, this book delivers the goods as promised. Fry succeeds in expanding on the story of the film itself, while weaving a plethora of cross-media Star Wars canon connections throughout the book, and in some cases, fundamentally changing the way I now see certain scenes in the movie.



    Moving forward, this review will focus on the contributions that Fry makes with the book rather than the story itself. Simply put, if you enjoyed the film and enjoy a good read, then you will probably like the book. But if you didn’t like the film for its story, you will probably not enjoy the book either, though I still recommend giving it a chance as Fry’s book revealed certain things about the story, specifically concerning the character of Luke Skywalker that I didn’t get from watching the movie. Fans who were disappointed with how Luke was handled may find something of value here, and the ones who loved his part in the movie will grow to appreciate it all the more after reading this book.



    One of the things that Fry does take advantage of is the fact that being forced to cut scenes is never really a problem in the book format as it is on the big screen. Johnson made some decisions to cut some things out of his final script or from the film itself during the editing process to give the movie the pacing he wanted to achieve for the story he wanted to come across to the audience. What Fry was able to do was pick some of these things off of the cutting room floor and inject his novel with all sorts of extra character moments and details.



    [​IMG] Rey Crashes the Caretaker Party



    Many of the additional scenes in the book, such as Rey crashing the Caretaker party and Finn’s run in with trooper 926 (pretty sure this is Tom Hardy) can be seen in the deleted scenes on the home release of the film. But there are some other scenes that only appear in the book, such as Luke’s dream of what his life could have been if he had stayed on Tatooine and not gotten involved, playing out like an intriguing “what if’ scenario that Fry uses to open the book. In the dream, Luke decided to go after Artoo at night instead of waiting until morning. He gets lucky and doesn’t encounter any sand people, the Empire arrived the next day to confiscate the droids, and Luke grew old with his wife Camie (one of his friends from the deleted scenes of A New Hope).



    [​IMG] Trooper 926 Remembers Finn



    For the most part, I can understand why some of the scenes were cut, like the moment when Rose bites Hux’s finger after he taunts her on the Supremacy. There was actually quite a bit cut out of the movie from the Supremacy infiltration sequence, from Finn making sure their uniforms were convincing enough (as he fit BB-8 with a trash can droid disguise) to a near encounter with a First Order Security officer. However, most of these found their way onto the deleted scenes list so you can always enjoy them there as well.



    One of the scenes that I regret to say wasn’t in the film or its deleted scenes was actually one of my favorite moments in the book. I’m not sure if this was from Johnson or if it originated with Fry, but after their rescue on Crait, Leia has a sweet moment with Chewie where they embrace and reminisce about the old days. After this, Leia sobs into the Wookiee’s fur as the two lament over all that they had lost. Abrams really missed his opportunity for a moment like this in The Force Awakens, and Johnson did give us a hug, but he didn’t give us a moment like this, and it was a very soft yet powerful moment that I would have loved to see on screen.



    [​IMG]



    With Fry being the source book writer that he is, you can bet that he has a good handle on the technical stuff, as he effortlessly provides readers with explanations of how the technology works in the story, from the Resistance’s magnetic bombs (so that’s how they dropped their payload in zero gravity!) to what exactly happened to the First Order fleet when Holdo made her murderous jump to hyperspace. He also addressed how Leia was able to survive in the vacuum if space and the adverse health effects that the exposure may have caused. I could even see this as a way for them to explain her passing between films.



    His effortless ability to directly reference countless other canon stories like Leia, Princess of Alderaan, The Storms of Crait, Shattered Empire, Aftermath, Battlefront II and many others was also a delight to read. I love how interconnected the Star Wars universe has become, and things like this really bring out the significance and importance of every story, a testament to Fry’s gifts as a writer.



    Before I give you my final thoughts and attempt to score the novel, I want to address a moment in the book that fundamentally changed my perception of Luke’s actions against his nephew in the flashback sequence. Just like in the movie, we are presented with three different versions of this event – the version Luke told Rey, Kylo’s version, and the final version that revealed the whole truth of what happened. However, in the book we are given even more concerning Luke’s motivation for the near murder of his own flesh and blood, a moment that a lot of fans had a big problem with after watching the movie.



    [​IMG]



    Granted, I can’t honestly say if this was the original intent or if this is just Jason Fry’s spin on it, but in the book, readers are told exactly what that darkness was in Ben that caused Luke to actually consider ending his life while he slept. Luke witnessed Ben murdering his students and his temple in flames, a point which was alluded to in the movie when Luke mentioned that he realized Snoke had already turned him as the screams of his students can be heard in the background.



    When Ben saw that Luke had seen his dark thoughts (or possibly the plan he had already made with Snoke) that’s when he made his move. He wasn’t lashing out because of Luke’s betrayal of him, but rather, Luke’s discovery of his dark intentions. To me, this added a little weight to Luke’s actions and really helped me understand why he would even consider such a dark deed. I’m all the more impressed that he was able to resist the temptation knowing what he did about young Solo.



    I noticed a couple of smaller details in the book that I thought were interesting as well. For instance, DJ’s dialogue is not written with a stutter, which leads me to think this was a trait that Del Toro brought to the character on his own. Also, in the final moments of the book back on Canto Bight with the stable boy, it is also not explicitly stated that he uses the Force in any way to draw the broom into his hand, leading me to believe that this was an idea that perhaps Johnson had later on in the process.



    [​IMG]



    To sum up my thoughts on Jason Fry’s novelization of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I can say that it’s one of the better film adaptations I have read, and it’s definitely my favorite of the Star Wars movie adaptations. The richness it contains in relation to other canon media is quite impressive and the value it adds to the movie is exactly what I want in a book adaptation. In short, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the movie.


    <p style='text-align: center;']Score: 9/10</p>




    Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Expanded Edition) is available now in hardcover or digital format. Until next time, happy reading Star Wars fans!





    Click HERE to check out and comment on this topic on our main site
     
    #1 SWNN Probe, Mar 16, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
    • Great Post Great Post x 3
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ruralfarmboy

    Ruralfarmboy Jedi General

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
    Posts:
    2,452
    Likes Received:
    42,146
    Trophy Points:
    159,717
    Credits:
    20,960
    Ratings:
    +43,961 / 20 / -17
    Yep.
    I did the audio book format.
    It was Outstanding !
    I gotta find eleven more hours to give a second listen ... It's Just That Good.
     
    • Like Like x 6
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Addi Ras

    Addi Ras Jedi General
    1030th Commander *** (Mod)

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2015
    Posts:
    3,674
    Likes Received:
    50,854
    Trophy Points:
    169,977
    Credits:
    25,783
    Ratings:
    +54,133 / 13 / -6
    I have to fully agree with you about the Leia & Chewie scene for me that would have made a fantastic if rather sad ending to the film.

    I also enjoyed his insights into both BB8 & R2-D2 obvasly those insights probably wouldn't work in film but as a addition layer to there characters it works wonderfully in novel format.

    I would have to say this is probably my favourite new SW novel so far as it just edges Thrawn & now I know that I like his style of writing I will be looking out for more of his SW work in future.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  4. Choose Light

    Choose Light Jedi General

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Posts:
    1,365
    Likes Received:
    23,399
    Trophy Points:
    149,667
    Credits:
    17,450
    Ratings:
    +25,263 / 8 / -2
    I thought it was insightful that we see both Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker manipulated by Snoke just like young Ben was--all part of Snoke's plan. It was a terrible tragedy that Luke didn't understand that when he looked into his nephew's mind and saw fire, ruin, and death, that he, Luke Skywalker, was about to bring it about.

    The Skywalkers are a mess!
     
    • Like Like x 9
  5. Grand Master Galen Marek

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2015
    Posts:
    21,104
    Likes Received:
    86,861
    Trophy Points:
    174,817
    Credits:
    39,406
    Ratings:
    +100,409 / 336 / -131
    Yep I've got more into the listening than the reading.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  6. mylord

    mylord Rebelscum

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Posts:
    21
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    707
    Credits:
    446
    Ratings:
    +63 / 1 / -0
    Great book! What most intrigued me about it's expansion on the story is what it adds about Snoke. It also has some interesting info about Palpatine's Contingency plan and his initial exploration of the Unknown Regions as well as the Imperial remnants first foray into the Unknown Region to escape the New Republic and how they had to basically be saved by Snoke and his vast store of knowledge about the "terrors" of the Unknown Region. It also talks about how Palpatine knew that the galaxy's knowledge of the Force originally came from long lost and legendary star systems from the Unknown Regions.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  7. Hard Case

    Hard Case Porg Whisperer
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    Posts:
    617
    Likes Received:
    1,556
    Trophy Points:
    6,417
    Credits:
    2,982
    Ratings:
    +2,117 / 7 / -1
    I agree with you about the droid stuff. That's just something you can't get from the movies - like what R2 and BB-8 are thinking about. I enjoyed the little bit about R2 thinking about how difficult the Falcon was to deal with. It is mentioned that the Falcon has three droid "brains" running its systems, and that it has a rather finicky personality. It makes sense, especially when you consider moments from the movies like when Han tells Threepio he needs him to "talk" to the Falcon. I always just wrote this off as just a figure of speech basically amounting to Threepio plugging in and running a diagnostic or something. But the fact that the Falcon has a personality of its own is just very intriguing to me. Like I said, it makes perfect sense in retrospect, but in my mind I always placed droids and ships on a different level in regards to sentience. I loved the little moment where it said something about the Falcon liking R2's dirty jokes, of which he was in no short supply (paraphrasing).
     
    • Like Like x 6
  8. ObiWanKnowsMe

    ObiWanKnowsMe Rebel Official

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2017
    Posts:
    235
    Likes Received:
    1,537
    Trophy Points:
    7,467
    Credits:
    1,864
    Ratings:
    +1,694 / 4 / -1
    I plan On Buying soon. Can't wait.
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page