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Solo: A Star Wars Story Book Review

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“Solo: A Star Wars Story” offers up some fun new material.

If you’ve seen the film version of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (and if not, you should), I probably don’t need to summarize the plot because this novelization tells the same story. However, I’m sure there are plenty of folks out there who have yet to see it so I’ll do a mini-recap. The novel (and the film) tell the story of a young Han Solo making his way in the galaxy. We learn about his harsh youth on Corellia as a scrumrat, his short time in the Empire, and his eventual beginnings as a smuggler and a scoundrel…with a heart of gold. Of course, this story isn’t just about Han Solo. It’s also about the people in his life namely Qi’ra (his love interest before Leia), Chewbacca, Lando, and a group of career criminals led by Beckett. To say anything more would be spoiling the adventure.

Normally, I’m not one for novelizations as they merely retell the film on the written page. Also, I spend most of the time reading them just replaying the film in my head and wanting to just watch the film. With “Solo: A Star Wars Story” though, I was curious to dig into this one as I wanted to check out the new material that was included in this “expanded edition” book release. Whether the new scenes were courtesy of author Mur Lafferty or actual scenes from the script that never made it into the final cut, I still don’t know, but regardless, there’s a lot of new content to pour over here and I’m happy to report it’s largely worth the time.

Even though the book is a novelization of the film complete with movie dialogue, author Murr Lafferty really makes sure that you aren’t just getting the same experience here in book form. In fact, she gives you more of what you love. Yes, there are new scenes (which I’ll get to in a bit), but the element that really struck me the most was the way she added little details, filled in gaps, and offered up numerous viewpoints and mindsets from characters like Val, Moloch and L3. She really gives readers a better picture of things you may not have thought about.

Of course, the thing that many of you readers are probably wanting to know about is the new scenes. While there are undoubtedly some buzzworthy moments here ala the Imperial Navy section and the epilogue that ties into “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Solo: A Star Wars Story” definitely works better without much of the new material. It works better from a pacing perspective and the film is much more subtle without these somewhat overstated new moments. Now, that’s not to say I regret reading them. As I said, I liked getting a different version of the story here and I especially liked reading things like character backgrounds on Qi’ra and L3. As a whole though, sometimes less is more. I especially could have done without some of the more comedic moments ala the fish market, loogie, and Chewie hair product scenes.

It should also be noted that there are pictures in this book! There’s one drawing of the Millennium Falcon that accompanies many new chapters and, near the middle of the book, there’s an 8 page section of color film stills that recap the events of the film excluding the final 20 or so minutes.

Overall Thoughts: If you love “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and want more from the story, by all means check this novelization out. However one may feel about all of the new content, there’s no denying that Murr Lafferty has written a very well paced and entertaining adaption of the underrated and underseen “Star Wars” film.

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September 4, 2018 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , ,

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