© and (P)1999 Lucasfilm LTD. & TM.
Much like with Episode II, Lucas trimmed down a LOT of the story for "pacing" reasons when he made the final cut of Episode I. Unfortunately, those things would have added quite a bit to the story. In addition, Lucas has many movie-making skills, but writing dialogue and directing are NOT two of them.
Fortunately, all three of those issues are fixed in the novelizations for Episodes I and II. If you're interested in Star Wars enough to even be reading this review right now, you'll probably enjoy the book. It was much better than the movie, and there's quite a bit of content that didn't exist in the film.
It would have been better had they not used sound effects; while some of them are actual Star Wars sound effects, some clearly are not (including a really cheesy motorcycle sound effect for Annakin's speeder). That aside, the narration was quite good.
The sound effects are really annoying. They are so loud that they really take you out of the story. The story itself is okay, but skip this unless you can really tune out distractions.
Like all books, the big advantage over the movie is the additional insight that you get. While the action does closely mirror the movie the book lets you get inside the minds of the main characters and understand them better. They also discuss the history of the Jedi and Sith, which is not discussed in the movie. There are also a number of scenes that didn't make it into the movie. I could have done without the sound effects though. They add nothing.
A couple of sound effects sprinkled through a book I can tolerate, but this book had constant sound effects and was really annoying.
I also thought it was weird that George Lucas wasn't the author, but then it said in the intro that it was a novel based on his screen play. I was hoping for a more indepth story with more details and not just a retelling of what I had already watched on the big screen.
The reader's voice did a barely tolerable job at mimicking Yoda's distinct voice. Also, the author didn't capture Yoda's famous reverse sentences. With this book, not impressed, I am.
If you liked the movies and just want more information on the story this is a must read. I though that it was a great book. The sound effects and voices made the story that more fun to listen to.
Expounding on the characters. While most books expound on the story beyond their movie counterpart, this one just seems to be a play by play the movie itself! Why read the book then?!
I'ts just like the movie.
If you've seen the movie, you've pretty much heard the book.
If you've seen the movie you don't need to get the book. Some enhancement of Anakin Slywalker's character but not enough to thrill.
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