Books: The Star Wars Triilogy (Part II)
Welcome to part two of my book review on the Star Wars trilogy. Today I will cover "The Empire Strikes Back" by Donald F. Glut.
Again, I'm going to assume that you are very familiar with Star Wars story, plot, characters, etc. What I am going to primarily do is see what notable additions and subtractions were made to the original trilogy movies, as well as any insight pointing towards the new one (specifically, the upcoming Episode III movie).
The Empire Strikes back is a better book than the Star Wars novel, as the author takes time to describe the inner thoughts of the characters, giving them more depth and, quite frankly, making reading the book more worthwhile.
There is one big difference between this book and the movie however: Yoda is blue.
I'm not kidding.
He is described as:
"The little wizend thing could have been any age. Its face was deeply lined, but was framed with elfin, pointed ears that gave it a look of eternal youth. Long white hair was parted down the middle and hung down on either side of the blue-skinned head. The being was bipedal, and stood on short legs that terminated in tridactyl, almost reptilian feet. It wore rags as gray as the mists of the swamp, and in such tatters that they must have approximated the creature's very age."
So there you have it. Blue Yoda. Green Yoda is better.
In this book, the motivations are explained a little more clearly, as due to the benefits of the medium of a novel. Yet at times, you can tell that the dialogue is a bit clunky and unrefined.
There was a lot of improvement from the writing of the book and the making of the movie in Han Solo's climactic Bespin scene. In the movie, it ends simply with Leia saying "I love you" and Han replying "I know".
That was classic.
The original idea, according to the book, was:
Then Leia pressed her lips to his in a lingering kiss of passion. When their kiss ended, tears were in her eyes. "I love you," she said softly. "I couldn't tell you before, but it's true."
He smiled his familiar cocky smile. "Just remember that, because I'll be back." Then his face grew tender and he kissed her gently on the forehead.
Tears began to roll down her cheeks as Han turned away from her and walked quietly and fearlessly toward the waiting hydraulic platform.
Ugh. I'm really glad they didn't do that.
The books finest moment was its description of the Vader-Skywalker lightsaber duel. While the action is a little different, what makes the books special is its look into the mind of Luke Skywalker:
But Vader did not light his own sword, nor did he make any effort to defend himself as Luke drew nearer. The Dark Lord's only weapon, in fact, was his tempting voice. "Attack," he goaded the young Jedi.
Confused by the ploy, Luke hesitated.
"Only by taking your revenge can you save yourself..."
Luke stood locked in place. Should he act on Vader's words and thus use the Force as a tool of revenge? Or should he step away from this battle now, hoping for another chance to fight Vader when he had gained better control?
No, how could he delay the opportunity to destroy this evil being? Here was his chance, now, and he must not delay...
The action then continued.
The Empire novelization is pretty solid. Its only failing is that the film is so much better. But the main characters are developed very well, and the oncoming Leia-Han romance is developed well. Ultimately, fans of the series will enjoy it.
Next, the last, and best book of the original trilogy, Return of the Jedi.
I can't wait!
Episdoe I Review
Episode III Review
Star Wars picture page
Star Wars Pictures