Friday, January 8, 2016

The Force Awakens Novelization (no spoilers, yet)

Just finished the novelization of "The Force Awakens" by Alan Dean Foster, as read on my Kindle Fire. I really liked it! Not only was it a fast and easy read, packed with movement and action, it did what one hopes a novelization of a movie you've already seen will do: add to the enjoyment of the overall experience.

My least favorite portions of the movie definitely have to do with a certain secret base with special properties. The novelization helps in this respect, by adding a bunch of pseudoscience gobbledeegook* that serves to make the entire thing a bit more palatable. Hand waving at its best, perhaps, to shoehorn an outrageous concept into a semi-plausible sounding portion of the story. Hand-waving of this type is a necessary art for writing in a shared universe, where super nerds like us that want everything to hang together in some semblance of order and internal logic. Alan Dean Foster does an admirable job in this regard.

*In this case, I do not mean this as a disparaging term. Space opera like Star Wars need not (in fact should not) have too hard an edge to the science aspect of science fiction.

Other portions I quite enjoyed were some more details about Poe's escape from Jakku, a bit more on Lor San Tekka, as well as a couple of extended scenes here and there which give one the feeling of getting a peek at an earlier version of the screenplay, before changes brought about by filming and editing and whatnot.

I must say, this read has solidified my already certain love for these new characters. Particularly Rey, but also Finn, Poe, and BB-8. I will be very interested to see where the next movie takes these adventurers (and glad to have a certain secret base behind us, story-wise).

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