Star Wars: The Last Jedi has proven to be the most controversial entry in the saga, but its upcoming novelization may win round some of the film's detractors.
Since 1976, the release of a new Star Wars film has been accompanied by a novelization. Alan Dean Foster wrote this first novelization (even though it was credited to George Lucas) and established a proud tradition of not just retelling but expanding the story. The likes of Terry Brooks and Matt Stover continued this, although the novelization for The Force Awakens, also written by Foster, was generally viewed as disappointing.
Thankfully, though, the novelization of The Last Jedi will be essential reading. Written by Jason Fry, an author with vast experience of the Star Wars universe, Lucasfilm are treating that this is an "Expanded Edition," promising a deeper story; one that may address those now-embedded criticisms.
This Page: What Makes The Last Jedi Novelization Different
What Makes The Last Jedi Novelization Different
On the face of it, Lucasfilm is making a strange claim, given that every novelization is "expanded". An author can dive deep into the character's mind or flesh out the history and backstory of events in a way that's just not possible on screen. The Rogue One novelization, for example, included amusing inter-office memos that revealed just how Galen Erso sabotaged the Death Star. Beyond that, it's certainly normal for a novelization to include parts of the script that ultimately didn't make their way on to the big screen.
However, Del Rey is promising that this novelization will go one step further. Writing on the Jedi Council Forums on TheForce.net, one of the publisher's Associate Editors has explained:
"It's not just about deleted scenes that you'll see on the Blu Ray. Expanded scenes, alternate scenes, and even brand new stuff you ain't ever seen before. With direct input by the filmmaker."
Jason Fry has a long history with Star Wars. He's particularly interested in the smaller details of the galaxy far, far away; in fact, Fry wrote many of the reference books fans love to pore over. Most recently he co-wrote The Last Jedi: Incredible Cross-Sections and Bomber Command, and is a frequent contributor to the Star Wars Insider magazine. This background gives him a unique depth of knowledge when it comes to Star Wars, and the novelization is sure to answer a lot of fans' curious questions.
That's why Del Rey has taken the unusual step of describing this novelization as an "Expanded Edition." They believe it's like nothing published in Star Wars before, and the label is designed to catch the eyes of non-readers. Again, as Del Rey's Associate Editor explained:
"THAT line is - mostly - for less engaged readers (notice, I don't say casual). People who believe that novelizations are just the movie script printed and bound (a sizable group of people). Readers who see a novelization and ask themselves - "why do I need that? I saw the movie. I have the blu-ray." (another sizable group). Marketing and promotion are all about talking to multiple audiences of readers."
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