Book Review: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

WARNING: THIS DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR BOTH EPISODES 7 AND 8 OF THE STAR WARS FILMS. AS WELL AS THE NOVELIZATION ITSELF.

June 29, 2018

“It is you,” Ren murmured. His words unsettled her: Not for the first time, he seemed to know more about her than she did about herself.” ― Alan Dean Foster, The Force Awakens

Oh, look another post in which I can boast about how much I love Star Wars!

I did this a bit out of order, huh? You see I read The Last Jedi novelization by Jason Fry before I went back and read Episode VII. You can read my review for that Here: Book Review: The Last Jedi by Jason Fry Anyways, I did indeed decide to read the novelization of The Force Awakens as well and I was thoroughly happy with it. Of course, it was exactly like the film with a few additional scenes that were deleted from the final film.

There are always some more obvious differences between the films and the novels, but the one thing that I am finding rather consistent for the sequel trilogy is that Kylo Ren speaks a lot more in the books than the films, which I am definitely okay with.

Let’s start with Finn because I think he is so underrated and underappreciated. Finn, formerly known as FN-2187. I definitely prefer his story in 7 rather than 8 (that is a whole other conversation). I love that they chose one of the main characters to be a defecting stormtrooper. I never thought I would see something like that in Star Wars and I applaud those who made the decision. I think Finn is a character that you can’t help but love because he is so…blunt about things, I suppose.

One of the most notable moments would be when both Poe and Rey tell him they want to go back to Jakku and he gets frustrated because that is where the enemy is basically waiting for them and it is just so funny and quite realistic. I’m with Finn in this situation!

I know many people disliked TFA because it paralleled A New Hope a lot, but I think that was very smart. The new Star Wars films are really targeting the newer generation while still paying homage to the original fans. I think mirroring seven after four was great as it really reintroduced the world of Star Wars to the fans, new and old. I can tell you that the first time I saw it, I got really emotional when Han and Chewie stepped onto the Falcon.

Speaking of…my favourite space BROTP is back and I love them so much. Chewie and Han are those two characters that are always able to bring comedy to the story as well as drama. Of course, we have their witty banter and them running around spaceships with their blasters. Then we also have the moments that they realize they may never see each other again and that is why I love them so much.

Han is a character that I have loved since I watched the Original Trilogy. I haven’t seen Solo yet, but I am sure I will love it as well. Han’s connection with Rey is so special for both of them. Though their relationship is short, Han is like the father Rey always wanted and she the child he lost. Their scenes in the Falcon are some of my favourite and Alan Dean Foster really captured their personalities on page.

Foster also includes all of the deleted scenes from the film and I personally never watched the deleted scenes, so these were fun for me to read. From Chewie ripping off Unkar Plutt’s arm to Kylo entering the cockpit of the Falcon, I just loved it all!

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And like with The Last Jedi, there are moments that are written from the perspective of BB-8 and they were some of the saddest. Though he is a droid, he really is like Poe’s little best friend and when he finds out Poe has “died”, it almost breaks my heart. WHICH IS ANOTHER THING. It’s not a deleted scene so the only way you know Poe Dameron gets off of Jakku is if you read the novelization and it was rather comical. Poe Dameron is a flirty and charming man in the book and I hope we get more of that in IX because I loved it! Poe is another underrated character in my opinion.

I want to get into Rey for a bit here. I like Rey, I know some don’t, but I do and the way Foster managed to write her, it was brilliant. There is this underlying skepticism that turns to wonder throughout the book with Rey and then there is fear that is rather evident. The scene on Takodonna where she finds Luke’s or rather Anakin’s lightsaber and has the Force vision is intense. The vision is a lot longer in the book and shows more which of course really scares Rey but there is something else there. Her innocence and natural curiosity make her the perfect protagonist in my opinion. Then of course, she runs from the castle and meets my favourite character: Kylo Ren.

And unlike the film, there is actual dialogue when they meet in the forest. Kylo is immediately drawn to the strange woman in front of him and he is trying to be civil? Which is not what he was supposed to be doing at all. That boy needs to work on his social skills. This scene along with the interrogation scene are really the highlights for me. That is probably because I like when Force users use the Force for mind reading and such. Then there’s the fact that I started noticing something between Kylo and Rey. I actually didn’t start shipping them until TLJ, but there was something there.

And finally, let me wrap this up by saying Alan Dean Foster’s version of Han’s death was great. Probably one of the saddest moments in Star Wars and while I thought it was done great in the film, there is one particular difference in the book that I think would have made a bigger impact on screen.

We all know the scene. Han yells for Ben to come to him, Kylo tells his father about being torn apart and how he doesn’t think he can do this anymore, resulting in Han getting a lightsaber through his chest. However, whereas in the film Chewie shoots Ren which causes him to fall over, it is different in the book. Foster writes that as soon as Han falls, Kylo drops to his knees in shock as he can’t believe what he just did. THEN, Chewie shoots him. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH BETTER. It would have shown that Kylo isn’t a soulless monster, he just does monstrous things.

AND THAT IS AN IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE MY FRIENDS.

Overall I give the novelization of seven full five stars. It was great. Everything from the Resistance (It is the RESISTANCE in the sequels not the Rebellion, guys) to the First Order to the epic Starkiller duel which still gives me chills. I loved all of it and if you enjoyed the film then you will enjoy the book too because Alan Dean Foster is a genius.

What is your favourite moment from The Force Awakens? Let me know!

May the Force be with you!

– Haley

 

Author: My Thoughts are a Blog

21. Blogger, Book Enthusiast, Over-thinker, Aspiring Author who hates everything she writes, and mother to Gracie & Ghost.

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