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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

Novel | The Princess, The Scoundrel, and The Farm Boy

The Princess, The Scoundrel, and The Farm Boy is a kind of retelling of the beloved first film in the original Star Wars Trilogy. I say "kind of" because it is the exact same story as Star Wars Episode IV, but it has a different way of telling it because - *gasp* - it's a book. This is part of a project that Disney-Lucasfilm Press created and has each of the origial trilogy written by a different author. This one was written by Alexandra Bracken - most well known for her trilogy The Darkest Minds.

The novel is split into three parts: The Princess - Leia Organa - The Scoundrel - Han Solo - and The Farm Boy - Luke Skywalker. Each part tells the story from that character's perspective, but it is not written in classic First Person Narrative. It is written in Thrid Person. Each part helps give more insight to the characters - with the exception of Luke, in my opinion. I loved Leia and Han's characters more after reading their characters' sections. After reading Luke's section, I just saw more of the whiney kid that Han sees him as. Leia, honestly, becomes more of an amazing woman than she already is in the film. There is a bit more background that provides that character development that is needed in the realm of the novel. One of the things that I had never really thought about when watching the films, is the age of the characters. Like what the age difference between Leia and Han is. The novel kind of defines it a little more (which is why it crossed my mind), but it never defines it as she is sixteen and his is twenty-eight or something like that. It is implied that Leia is around seventeen, eighteen because it mentions a memory she has of when she was sixteen. Because of that implication, it is furhter implied that Luke is the same because we already know their connection (and if you don't, have you not seen the film?). The closest it gets to implying Han's age is during Luke's section, but it is so vague that you really can't get a solid idea. He could be in his thirties for all we know (not likely, in my opinion, but you never know).

I liked how the novel provided implications for what Chewbacca and R2 were saying when they contributed to the conversations. The way they made their respective noises were described as to what they could possibly mean, which provided that connection, that you need as a reader, to the characters.

I would have liked to see the format be an alternating chapter perspective instead of three separate parts. I think the novel misses out on showing what the Empire is truly up to by focusing soley on the heroes. In the film, the audience gets a glimpse at what the Empire is up to, but here you only get to see what our heroes see. Which isn't a bad thing, but it would have been cool to see in the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel. I think it captured the essence of Episode IV. I am interested to see how Episodes V and VI are adapted to novel form. Those episodes were adapted by other writers. This is the only one that Alexandra Bracken took on and she did well.

Until next time... Kara

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