Star Wars: Episode IIIóRevenge of the Sith Review
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A long time ago, in a galaxy far away... Star Wars... If youíre in your mid-20s, as I am, youíve pretty much grown up with these movies. And now, coming on May 19, is the release of what George Lucas promises is the last Star Wars movie heíll ever make: Episode IIIóRevenge of the Sith. With anticipation running extremely high, those of us who canít wait to see how Anakin Skywalker finally succumbs to the Dark Side luckily have this novelization of the movie.

The novelization, written by Matthew Stover (who previously wrote the original Star Wars novel, Shatterpoint), is a far cry from the rushed-out hack-job novelizations you may have read. No, this novel is more like a companion to the movie. It lets you get inside characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padme Amidala in a way you never could in a mere two-hour film. More than that, because the author can be omnipotent, you can read the thoughts of characters, their backgrounds, and how they feel about the circumstances they find themselves in. For instance, the book gives us three solid pages on the character of Count Dookuówhere he came from, what heís thinking about the Jedi, and his plans for the future. Itís really fascinating.

For those who have been living under a rock, or who otherwise havenít been following the story, hereís the gist of whatís going on: Itís several years into the Clone Wars, which began at the end of Episode II (see the review of the movie), and Anakin Skywalker is now a full-fledged Jedi. Along with Obi-Wan Kenobi, heís become one of the warís biggest heroes. The story begins with the two of them thwarting a kidnapping attempt, and the action doesnít stop from there. While the Jedi get closer to penetrating the true identity of Darth Sidious, Anakin turns to Chancellor Palpatine for help in saving Padme, his now pregnant wife, whom he married secretly in Episode II. Heís been having visions that she will die in childbirth, and heís desperate to save heróeven if it means getting closer to the Dark Side than a Jedi usually goes. The story threads weave together to tell a very powerful story that, despite the fact that itís sci-fi, is basically about the nature of good and evilóand how the choices we make can take us in directions we may not have intended to go.

Perhaps the best thing about the book is it gives you a chance to go through the story at your own pace. When you see the movie, the scenes play out quickly, with no regard to whether youíve gotten a chance to look at everything on the screen or to really understand everything thatís happening. But in the book, everything happens at your own pace. So if you want to take your time with some of the bigger moments, you can.

Lastly, with this novel, you can really get a sense of the bigger world that is the Star Wars universe. You can read about characters, scenes, and details that would be trimmed down or cut entirely to keep a movieís run-time down. And youíll get more in-depth with the Jedi way of life and philosophy than you might have ever thought possible.

Star Wars: Episode IIIóRevenge of the Sith is a fantastic book in its own right. It adds to, and complements, the movie experience, while at the same time standing on its own as a novel thatís well worth your time. If youíre even the slightest Star Wars fan, do yourself a big favor and pick up this book. Itíll put you in just the right mood to see the movieóand itíll give you a fun literary experience, enjoying all the nuances the story has to offer.

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