I know, I know… I’m a bit behind with my timing for this one. The novelization of The Last Jedi came out March 6, and here I am just now writing my book review for it. Maybe by now everyone has read it, so these won’t be spoilers for anyone.
I was VERY excited to read this! I’ve been obsessing over The Last Jedi since it first came out in theaters, and I couldn’t wait to read the novelization of it. I’ve said this before, but one of the things I love about reading novelizations is that you learn so much more. It gives you a chance to get inside of people’s heads instead of just seeing their actions. This book is no exception. It really allows you to see more of what is going on behind the scenes.
It’s difficult to write a book review for a movie novelization. Sometimes books are made into movies, and in those cases, you’ve usually read the book first. So why even write a novelization when the movie is already out? Well, it gives you an even deeper understanding of what happened in the movie and why. When you watch a movie, all you see on the screen are people’s physical actions. There’s obviously a lot more there than what you see and hear, and a book novelization gives the opportunity to get into that.
Without really going into to too many specific scenes, let me talk about some of my takeaways from the novelization. There are a couple of relationships that I really like in the movie/book. I like them in the movie, but the book definitely gives more insight into them. I think these relationships are a segue from the original trilogy to the sequel trilogy. They are the relationships between Poe and Leia and Rey and Luke. They’re both mentoring relationships, and they have some similarities but also differences.
Rey sought Luke out on Ahch-To not only to convince him to come help the Resistance, but also to be her mentor. Luke was resistant at first. The last thing he wanted to do was connect back to the Force and train someone else. He didn’t like Rey coming there and reminding him of what had happened. At first, he didn’t even seem to like her. One scene that I liked in the book that wasn’t in the movie (although part of it was a deleted scene) was where the Caretakers were having a party. Rey, mistakenly thinking something was wrong, rushes in with her lightsaber ignited. She ends up staying at the party, and Luke asks her to dance. I love this. It’s so sweet and seems to indicate that he’s accepted and is enjoying Rey’s presence. Despite his reluctance, he still ultimately became a teacher to Rey.
The relationship between Poe and Leia is the other one I like. Their mentor relationship is already well established, even by the time of The Force Awakens. Poe’s concern for Leia comes through a lot in The Last Jedi. You can see how much he cares about her. Their mentor relationship is a strong one, so much so that Leia can even slap him or shoot him and know that he will still respect her. You’ve got to admire that! I love the exchange between Leia and Holdo when they watch Poe carried to the transport. “I like him.” “Me too.” Despite his faults, Poe is passionate about his cause and they both know that.
One thing I like about The Last Jedi is that it’s such a beautiful illustration of this Star Wars universe that we’ve come to love. We are now up to several movies, books, and even a couple of TV shows that each give us more and more information about the characters in this universe. And it doesn’t all come from just one person’s head. Star Wars started out as a creation of George Lucas, but it has evolved into so much more than that. I love that it’s possible that you can take a story like this one and have it turn into a universe of so many rich characters and stories written by so many different people. Jason Fry did a great job of adding to that and creating a captivating book based on the movie written by Rian Johnson. I can’t wait to see what’s next, as always.
Check out The Last Jedi, available in hardback now wherever books are sold!