The Empire Strikes Back

April 25, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

The Empire Strikes Back by Donald F. Glut


Reading a novel that inspired a movie is one thing. You get a lot more detail and background into a story than what winds up on the screen, and it’s usually worthwhile to read a novel after (or before) seeing the movie that was inspired by it. Novelizations are different, though. You usually just get a rehash of the events from the movie, with a few extra scenes thrown in for flavor.

The Empire Strikes Back is first and foremost a novelization. It’s like reading a narrative of a screenplay, which is exactly what it is. By itself, it lacks emotion and connection, since Glut doesn’t delve any more deeply into the characters than the movie does. I would actually expect it to have more emotion, since I already have the characters and events imprinted on my brain, but somehow it still comes across as dry and inactive. Glut’s descriptions are fine, but it’s hard to tell if they’re evocative, again because of my memories of the movie. Events move quickly, and feel emotionless. This was the case with the novelization of Star Wars, too.

Strangely, I don’t remember this being the case with the prequel novelizations. Events moved quickly there, too, but I felt more of a connection with the characters. Is it due to narrative styles changing over nearly forty years, or is it because I’m more familiar with the original trilogy than I am with the prequels? I guess I won’t know for sure until I get to the novelizations of the new trilogy.

This isn’t a book I would recommend, since it doesn’t add anything new to the universe (aside from the fact that Yoda was initially supposed to be blue), and since the movie does such a better job with presenting the characters. It makes me wonder how many people still read novelizations of movies, since I haven’t come across one that does anything better than the movies themselves.

Started: February 7, 2018
Finished: February 11, 2018

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