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The Phantom Menace: Star Wars: Episode I Mass Market Paperback – Feb 29 2000

151 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: LucasBooks (Feb. 29 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345434110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345434111
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.6 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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 Post

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Tatooine. The suns burned down out of a cloudless blue sky, washing the vast desert wastes of the planet in brilliant white light. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Howard on July 3 2003
Format: Hardcover
I normally don't read books after I've already seen the movie, and especially not books based on a screenplay. But since I like Star Wars, I thought I would make an exception with this book.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Oct. 13 2003
Format: Hardcover
Episode I had many problems, poor script, poor actors and indifferent direction, but the novel by Terry Brooks was definately a highlight for the movie. A strong adaption of the Lucas screenplay, Brooks gives stunning insight into the world of the Star Wars prequal. His writing about the Sith and about a young Anakin give the reader a much better grasp of the story while providing a dynamic setting. Overall, it's a top notch effort and well worth the readers time. I would like to see Brooks write in the regular expanded universe some time soon.
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By Joe Sherry on March 5 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Author Terry Brooks was given the task to write the book adaptation of the first Star Wars prequel movie: "The Phantom Menace". The novel is based on the screenplay by George Lucas. As with any other book there are good things and bad things about this novel. In this case, the good and the bad are the same thing: Terry Brooks must stay close to George Lucas's screenplay. This is good because Brooks must stay close to what the movie would end up being. This is bad because the screenplay wasn't very good.
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ever heard the expression - "The book was better than the movie?" This time around, it appears to be true (see my review on the movie for an example) and the only writer who could save Lucas' loss of storytelling is Terry Brooks. There is a difference between this book and the others -the quality of the writer. I have been a fan of Star Wars since I was 4 years old and The Phantom Menace, as a movie, held so few good moments that it isn't timeless. The book is written in a mature fashion similar to the original "A New Hope" story. What I mean by this, and I'm not talking about gore, sex, and anything else that wouldn't be graphic in the Star Wars Universe, is that the story is told intelligently. The review seems to favor the author, rather than the story, but bear with me. You've seen the movie, liked it or didn't, I don't know. Anyone reading this review has a general idea in either case of the story. That stated, the only thing left to comment on is the life that Terry Brooks has brought to a shifty and often lifeless screenplay. That is a writers job and he did it well. I recommend seeing the movie, but before giving up all patience with the Prequel series, read the novel. The Force May Be With You ... again...
***The reviewer is author of: Amber Spirit: Poems & Stories (Hats Off Books, 2001) and a frequent magazine contributor & short story contest judge.
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By A Customer on April 6 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you found the movie in any way disapointing, and even if you didn't, read this book! It's way better than the movie, which, while enjoyable was also confusing at some points, and I found it very difficult at times to connect with the characters. Not so with this book. Anakin especially was well done; I found him extremely annoying when I watched the movie, but here not only can we finally see what makes him so special, but we can even relate to him. Qui-Gon as well is much better portrayed here, and his relationship to Obi-Wan is better understood as well. The only character I felt could have been better was Padme/Amidala. The author was so intent on keeping us in the dark over who is who, that up until Padme reveals herself to Boss Nass as Queen Amidala we see her only through Anakin's adoring eyes and Qui-Gon's slightly disdainful ones. Until close to the end of the book nothing is from her point of view, which doesn't leave much room for fleshing out her character. Besides this however, I can say I would definitely recommend this book to any Star Wars fan, especially those dissapointed with how the movie turned out. A testement to how good this book is is that, for a moment or two, I even felt sympothy for Jar Jar!
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