The Phantom Menace: Star Wars: Episode I Mass Market Paperback – Feb 29 2000
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Alexander Adams, the actor who reads this full-length novelization of Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace, actually manages to do Jar Jar better than Jar Jar himself. Although he does sound a bit like a well-meaning dad doing an impression of the gangly amphibian for his kids, that added bit of restraint and unaffected goofiness actually works. Likewise, Adams's voice--all earnest and NPR-smooth--does good service to the rest of the cast, especially with Jedi teacher Qui-Gon Jinn and (surprisingly) Queen Amidala. (Only Anakin proves a little hard on the ears at first, perhaps a little too nasal.) The book's narrative receives the same competent treatment as the dialogue, with the added oomph of both John Williams's stirring score--woven in unobtrusively--and short suites of Lucasfilm sound effects that accompany every spike in the action, whether it's R2's beeping or the metallic bang of blaster fire.
Modern marketing has made movie novelizations a necessary evil and hence suspect, but Terry Brooks proves a deft embellisher of Lucas's well-loved epic, skillfully splicing in scenes and dialogue to fill out the breakneck, foreshadowing-filled story line of Phantom Menace. But that shouldn't be surprising: Brooks has long been the equal or better of Lucas when it comes to storytelling, most notably in his long-lived Shannara series, which began with The Sword of Shannara back in 1977, the same year Star Wars hit theaters. (Running time: 9.5 hours over eight discs) --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Breathless . . . filled with action from page one.”—New York PostSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It went a little slowly since I already knew the story, but I did enjoy it the whole time. The book was pretty much right in line with the movie, but there is a some extra information in the book that you don't get in the movie, such as a better picture of Annakin's life before the Queen and her entourage show up on Tatooine, and a better understanding of the relationship between Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, and a more in-depth explanation of the Sith, and their background.
If you're a Star Wars fan, you'll probably like this whether you've seen the movie or not.
The story is obviously the same as the movie (though fleshed out a little bit more). Two Jedi are sent to negotiate with the Trade Federation over the Federation's blockade of Naboo. The Neimoidians, under the power of Darth Sidious, try to kill the Jedi (Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi). The Jedi escape and travel down to Naboo where they end up rescuing Queen Amidala and a few select Nubians. To hide from the Trade Federation they land on the planet Tatooine where they meet a boy named Anakin Skywalker. Their ship is damaged and to get the parts they need Anakin helps them win something called a podrace, which Anakin is a driver in (the only human who is able to do so). Qui-Gon believes this boy is strong in the Force and is the one mentioned in a prophecy about a boy who will bring balance to the Force. The novel has two primary focuses: the time spend on Tatooine with Anakin and freeing the Naboo from the Trade Federation.
There are some things that this novel does very well. The opening of the novel is different from the movie in that we see Anakin in the podrace where he is wrecked by Sebulba (alluded to in the film). We see how Anakin is able to race the pod so well and this is the hint of how he is able to use the Force even without knowing what it is.Read more ›
***The reviewer is author of: Amber Spirit: Poems & Stories (Hats Off Books, 2001) and a frequent magazine contributor & short story contest judge.
Most recent customer reviews
What an amazing novelization by Terry Brooks! This story goes from a steaming pile of poodoo to an intriguing and enthralling story. Characters develop character! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tyler Gates
I was really hoping for some meat in this book. The way a typical novel has the ability to provide so much more detail and context than there's time for in the movie version. Read morePublished on July 15 2011 by J Reader
While I did not judge Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace as harshly as many Star Wars fans did, there can be no doubt that the film paled in comparison to the force of the... Read morePublished on July 4 2006 by Daniel Jolley
Terry Brook's most famous contribution to bookstores is his "Shannara" series, which I personally found a bit too close to the Tolkien formula to find particularly... Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2004 by R. M. Fisher
Every saga, proclaims the tag line for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, has a beginning, and every Star Wars movie has a novelization. Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2003 by Alex Diaz-Granados
I got a much better insight into the characters than I did from the film. The book, WAS better than the moviePublished on Oct. 14 2003 by Don
There is no doubt that Terry Brooks is a talented, intelligent writer to give him less stars than 4 would demean his standing in the best of the STAR WARS writers. Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2003 by Josephine Kaszuba Locke
This is a review of the unabridged audio book. Alexander Adams is doing much of the reading for the prequel books and does a great job. Read morePublished on July 16 2003 by JediMack
Terry Brooks works around George Lucas' script to give an expanded view that a movie can't. Reading this helps fill in all those holes that were there in the movie and what gave... Read morePublished on May 15 2003 by A. J. Cherrington