So, this past Saturday I wrote a post celebrating my obtaining of The Last Jedi novel and after finishing it over the course of two days I’m here to give you an exciting review of this newest Star Wars book. Enjoy!
One of the least liked aspects of the movie were the Resistance scenes. People disliked Poe and Holdo’s dynamic, people disliked the slow motion chase between the First Order and the Resistance, and overall it wasn’t received very well. Now I, after the second viewing of The Last Jedi, thoroughly enjoyed the Resistance side of the story but the book really makes those portions of the movie shine.
The novel goes into great detail about the hopelessness of the Resistance’s situation and Poe’s agitation with the dire scenario. To him, Holdo was leading the Resistance to utter doom and he couldn’t handle seeing the members of the Resistance succumb to despair as they watched their lives slowly coming to an inevitable demise. These portions of the book actually happened to become my favorite scenes simply because they shed such a fascinating light on a part of the movie I didn’t like as much as other scenes of the movie.
I also LOVED Admiral Holdo in the book. She was already a leader who didn’t falter under pressure and didn’t allow “flyboy” Poe Dameron to mess with her mind but the novel really highlighted how stern and sometimes, unkind, she was at certain points towards the demoted Commander and I was like, “YES!” There’s nothing cooler than a woman who doesn’t take stuff from no one, especially an insubordinate like Poe, and it made me love her character. And that hyperspace maneuver! That was undoubtedly, even on paper, one of the coolest things that I have ever read.
Finn and Rose
I really loved the dynamic between Finn and Rose in The Last Jedi novel. When they first meet, like in the movie, Rose is gushing all over Finn because he’s the epitome of what she believes a Resistance hero should be but after she realizes he’s just trying to jump in an escape pod to get away from the danger from of the First Order she despises him for quite a while.
In the movie it doesn’t truly delve deep into the details of their evolving relationship but after reading the book I have a completely different view on not only their companionship in the movie but also Rose as well. For a great deal of the book she was annoyed with Finn. She didn’t like how he was constantly harping on Rey and she was annoyed by his naivety but as much as he got on nerves she gradually began to realize how good of a man he really was. It was almost, to her, strange to see a man who was once a stormtrooper have such an innocence about him and his kind heart is what led to her liking him…a lot.
By the time she saved him from sacrificing himself on the salt plains of Crait you realize just how much she actually loves him and it’s really sweet reading the development of their story. I already liked Rose before but now I really like her thanks to the novel.
In the movie Hux was turned into a source of comedy relief for the film but the book delved into the dark recesses of his mind and it was riveting stuff to read. The other day I wrote a post saying who I thought was the evilest villain in Star Wars and Hux was second on my list because he really is calculated in his evil ways. People underestimate him because he’s young and brash but he’s a lot more cunning than individuals realize and I have to say, I’m legitimately worried for Kylo Ren as Supreme Leader of the First Order.
I already believed that the movie hinted at the fact that Hux will try to find a way to relieve Kylo from his leadership position but the book literally confirmed that theory. Hux has Kylo Ren in his sights and if Ren isn’t careful he’s going to find himself like the rest of Hux’s targets; dead.
The Rest of the Story
And of course it was fascinating reading about the other side of the spectrum which would be the story lines between Rey, Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren, and even Snoke. The Force was taken to a whole new level in this novel, literally. SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT AHEAD! If you haven’t read The Last Jedi novel and you’d rather stay in the dark about some of its contents I suggest you skip this portion of the post. Thank you for heeding my warning and enjoy the rest of the review.
There’s this new thing called the Cosmic Force which is supposedly a more powerful version of the Force that Luke discovered in the ancient Jedi texts and Snoke discovered in the Unknown Regions. I don’t know how it works or what it exactly means to the story but if it’s responsible for conjuring incredible spells like Luke making himself into an apparition all the way across the galaxy that sounds pretty awesome to me.
It was also exciting seeing the relationships between Rey and Luke and Rey and Kylo Ren evolve and change throughout the novel. I also appreciated how much the novel focused on Rey. Even during the Praetorian Guard scene the author didn’t go back and forth between Rey and Kylo as they fought the guards. It focused solely on her and her side of the battlefield. Awesome!
And Luke, gosh Luke was down in the dumps. He had truly lost all hope not only in the galaxy but in himself and Rey made him see the purpose of being a hero again. In fact, he was actually about to go with her to the Resistance after he opened himself back up to the Force but when he found Rey in that hut holding hands with Kylo Ren he felt betrayed and decided not to join her. Can you believe that?! He was actually about to go help save the Resistance but that one moment changed everything for him.
It was also interesting reading the novelization version of Kylo Ren. When you see his character in writing you realize just how evil and full of hatred he truly is. He just emanates every bad emotion you could possibly have at all times and it’s kind of sad. I mean I knew he was evil but he’s not just a villain, he’s also a broken being who just can’t seem to find a way to not be angry. Even when he had the chance to go to the light he decided he’d rather not join Rey because, frankly, he’s been traumatized after what happened to him and he believes his way is the only way. It’s terrible to see what he’s become and the effect it has on those around him is destructive, to say the least. Kylo Ren is, in a word, difficult and I have no idea what he has in store for him in Episode IX.
Snoke’s past also was delved into…vaguely. There wasn’t a lot of information on the topic of the deformed and scarred Supreme Leader and that is totally purposeful. I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced next year during the Star Wars celebration a Snoke-standalone film because that’s how hard they’re keeping his past wrapped in secrecy.
My Conclusion of the Novel
If you watched The Last Jedi and it confused you at times or left you wondering what you had just witnessed I highly suggest you read this novel. It fills in so many gaps and answers so many questions you might not have even realized you had that now I can watch the movie with an entirely different perspective.
Jason Fry is an absolutely fabulous author and his work on this novel is exceptional. When I got to the last fifty pages or so I literally could not put the book down, it was that riveting. I give this book 5 stars because not only did it enhance the movie in all of the best ways but it was just a fun read altogether. This is seriously one of the most riveting books I’ve ever read and that’s not even because it’s a Star Wars novel. It’s just that good.
I thank you for reading my review and I hope you have a fabulous day. May the Force Be With You.