The Last Jedi By Jason Fry
Published: March 8th 2018 by Century
“Yes I am,” Kylo said, and there was no menace in his voice – only misery.”
Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in this thrilling novelization of Star Wars: The Last Jedi written by New York Times bestselling author Jason Fry.
The moment I walked out of the cinema after seeing The Last Jedi I knew I wanted to buy this book. No, I take that back I was angry at the choices one of the characters made and proceeded to rant about it for the next hour me and my husband spent at Nando’s. BUT, the next morning when I was over it I headed to my local bookstore to grab the novelisation, just like I did when The Force Awakens came out. To my dismay I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE. I decided to do a quick check online and found it out it wouldn’t be out for another THREE MONTHS. I was suddenly not sure how I would read anything else until then and fell into a large Tumblr shaped hole. The 8th March came (also my three year olds birthday!) and when I came home it was there waiting for me. I excitedly devoured the first ten pages then fell asleep.
I can’t go too much into detail about the events of this book while keeping this spoiler free but I do intend to do a book talk video where I’ll go into MUCH more detail. I can tell you however that you don’t necessarily need to have seen the film to read this book, I imagine most people wanting to read this, like myself have seen the film though and want to know more. Also called “The Last Jedi: The expanded edition” this book contains the story we already see in the film but including some deleted scenes that didn’t make it in and some unique points of view and extra information unable to be addressed on screen.
The plot is not perfect by any means as it’s tied down by the plot of the film, which although I enjoyed does not have the best plot. The good news is that for the most part the extra things we get in the novelisation do help somewhat. Some of the extra scenes help to build characters more and see into their motivations for their actions a little better. We get a little insight into Snoke’s background with The First Order for example and I really enjoyed Finn’s character arc much more on the page were his change didn’t seem quite so sudden. There is a prequel scene featuring Luke (which I’m sure everyone has heard about but I’ll keep quiet about the specifics just in case) which a lot of fans have loved and I agree that it was a good addition, both the actual scene itself and the implications. I felt I just understood more from reading the novel but on the flip side I felt that a good few important moments, including a few of my favourites were completely downplayed and left me feeling quite dissatisfied towards the end and I’ve had a hard time trying to balance out the great new information we’ve received with the disappointment at the parts I felt should have had more to them.
Author, Jason Fry writes for Wizards of the Coast and Star Wars insider and is primarily known for writing reference books and articles but has written a couple of stories in the Star Wars universe already including The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy that although enjoyable I do feel are written for a target audience much younger than myself which could possibly be why this book didn’t quite hit the mark I thought it would for me. Fry is a fun writer and an avid fan but there were chunks of the writing that to me just felt dry and at times I considered not finishing it. I know not everything can be new in film novelisation and as the middle part of a trilogy with an unknown or plotted end your material is kind of limited but sometimes scenes felt a little like an audio description of the film and that kind of made them just seem boring.
I feel that the extra material and insight this book offers does mostly outweigh the boring parts and I really wish I could have given this a higher rating because when it was good it was pretty good and certainly worth the XXXX rating I would have given it. The problem wasn’t that it was necessarily bad and I’m sure a lot of people will enjoy it (as I’ve said I did at times) but the boring parts just felt too prevalent. Other than a few lines and one or two reveals that I loved I don’t feel this book had any lasting impact although in retrospect this may simply be due to the fact that I’ve seen the film, I know what happens and Fry can only embellish and add so much. I would be super interested to see what someone who hasn’t seen the film would think of it, I feel like maybe that would be the real test. In the end I’ve given it a split rating of XXX/X because a full out XXX or XXXX just doesn’t feel right either way. If you enjoyed the film it might be worth a read or I wonder if the audio book version read by Marc Thompson might just give it that extra bit of something which I found the case for The Force Awakening noverlisastion. Either way I feel like opinions on this book will easily be as divided as the thoughts on the film itself.