Ever since The Last Jedi came out in theaters in December, I’ve basically been obsessed with anything and everything Star Wars, including the Star Wars books. Well, I mean, I obsessed about it before that too, but even more so now. I honestly didn’t expect to have the initial reaction that I did to the movie, but in reality once I had some time to process, I just wanted to see it more and more. And now I love it. I’m glad Rian Johnson didn’t go the safe route. Nope, instead he ended up pissing off a lot of Star Wars fans, and I’m actually ok with that. But that’s a whole other blog post.
To feed my increasing obsession in light of the fact that I have two years to wait to see the next chapter in the life of the Skywalkers, I’ve been reading some of the Star Wars novels. I’ve really only been reading the ones that are considered canon. These are the “newer” ones that have come out since the sequel trilogy was announced and all of the “old” Star Wars books were declared not canon, but instead just a part of the expanded universe (EU). And reading these books has been eye-opening. Why did I not do it sooner?
Reading these Star Wars books definitely gives a lot more insight. The movies are great, and I love all of them. One thing they are missing, though, is the ability to know what each of the characters was thinking when they did things. What was on their mind? Was something behind their actions? What were they feeling? The books give a great deal more insight into this, and as a result, almost give you a whole new take on the movies.
Revenge of the Sith
One book I read recently that was a perfect example of this was the novelization of Revenge of the Sith. You can’t deny, like it or not, that the movie was pivotal. It was the moment that the Skywalker twins were born. The moment that Anakin betrayed the Jedi. The epic lightsaber battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan. How Anakin became Darth Vader, more machine than man. And the book sheds so much more light on all of these things. The relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan… oh man. Between this book and The Clone Wars TV series, you really get a much better feel for it than you would from just watching the prequel trilogy. It also makes you see the final lightsaber battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan in A New Hope in a much broader light, how they really were once as close as brothers.
Leia: Princess of Alderaan
Another way the books give new definition to the movies is that the books include some things you may not know from the movies about smaller characters. I also just recently read Leia: Princess of Alderaan, which covers Leia’s younger teenage years on Alderaan. This is just a few short years before she was on that epic mission that recovered the Death Star plans. I learned a lot from this book. Like the fact that she was friends with Admiral Holdo from when they were teenagers! Who knew? You get some more details about their relationship as well as more information about Holdo’s personality. Also, nowhere in the movies do you ever see Leia with her adoptive mother and father, Bail and Breha Organa. Bail is in the prequels a bit and adopts Leia as a baby, but the only thing you know about him in the original trilogy is that he was tragically one of the ones on Alderaan when it was blown to bits by the Death Star. This book goes into their relationship in a lot more depth. It gives both Bail and Leia more background and personality as characters.
The more I read and learn about the Star Wars universe, the more I want to learn. What started as a ground-breaking sci-fi movie back in the 70s has not only turned into a cultural phenomenon, but a very intricate and rich universe contributed to by so many different writers and creators. Its evolution is fascinating to be a part of, and I’m very glad I am. I can’t wait to see what else is to come! So in the meantime, while we wait for more Star Wars on the big screen, I’d highly encourage any fan to take advantage of the other ways to learn about this universe that are out there, including the books. Happy reading!