1. Attack of the Clones Novel
Before I begin, I'm thinking that these analyses will, after a few of them get done, be compiled and posted as part of The Star Wars Dissection. Perhaps as an intersessional "The Star Wars Dissection: Book Club Edition". The timeline I presented included no less than 316 items, so I will doubtless group several together for each column post.
On to the analysis:
The novelization of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was written by R. A. Salvatore. I used the hardcover version of the novel, which had 353 pages. It cost $26.00 USD, $40.00 CAD. It was released on April 23, 2002. The paperback version, which cost $7.99 USD or $10.99 CAD, was released April 3, 2003, and included photo-quality paper showing storyboards and concept art (the first Star Wars novel to do so, the second being Knight Errant, which included an excerpt from the first issue of the Knight Errant comic).
For these analyses, I will briefly summarize the events of the story, and follow with a look at the pros and the cons, and some fun facts, in bullet-point form. The summaries will not contain many details, especially for the novels and films.
After multiple assassination attempts on Senator Padmé Amidala, the Jedi agree to protect her and investigate the attacks. Padawan Anakin Skywalker takes her to Naboo for protection, and his Master, Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates. Obi-Wan visits Kamino, and learns of a massive Clone Army being developed for the Republic in secret. He also finds Jango Fett, the clones' template and the man responsible for the assassination attempts. Obi-Wan follows Fett to Geonosis, where he discovers the Separatists are allying with the various commercial groups to build a massive Droid Army. Meanwhile, Anakin and Padmé travel to Tatooine to locate Anakin's mother, whose suffering he feels. Anakin finds her just before she dies, and slaughters the Tusken Raiders who abducted and tortured her. Obi-Wan is captured by the Separatists, and Anakin and Padmé attempt to rescue him. The three end up in a Geonosian execution arena when they are rescued by a Jedi strike team, and subsequently by the Republic's new Clone Army. The Separatists are routed at Geonosis, and Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda duel Count Dooku, Separatist leader, and learn he has fallen to the Dark Side.
-I find the beginning to be very interesting. The first few chapters deal with events not seen in the movie, such as normal life at the Lars homestead, the abduction of Shmi Skywalker Lars, and the rescue party that tried to retrieve her. It was an interesting bit of insight.
-The beginning also features new insights into Padmé, including her current lifestyle on Naboo and on Coruscant, and her insights into the Military Creation Act.
-The novel included numerous deleted scenes from the film, including Obi-Wan visiting the Temple's analysis droids, Anakin and Padmé having dinner with the Naberrie family, Padmé trying to negotiate with Dooku on Geonosis, and Anakin and Padmé's trial on Geonosis.
-The novel had additional insight into Jango and Boba Fett. We meet the two of them earlier, watching Obi-Wan's starfighter land on Kamino. Through narration and introspection, we also learn that Jango has been hired by the Trade Federation to kill Padmé much earlier than in the film (just before Obi-Wan meets Jango in his apartment).
-Interestingly, the space battle between Jango and Obi-Wan was told entirely from the perspective of Jango and Boba on the Slave I. That made it a bit different and, in my opinion, more interesting.
-The novel started slow. Because this is a novelization, I expected it to begin much in the same way as the movie did, but instead there were numerous new scenes at the beginning, which, while interesting, did slow the book's pace. Obi-Wan doesn't begin his investigation into Jango's toxic dart until page 133 of 353 (over a third of the way into the novel).
-Jar Jar Binks only is only featured briefly in this novel, like in the film. However, in those brief scenes, he is incredibly annoying. In the first part, where he meets Obi-Wan and Anakin for the first time since Episode I, the scene goes on longer than it did in the movie, and he was so much more irritating. Subsequent scenes were mostly identical to the film, but the first one was bad.
-Anakin spent a lot of time thinking about how beautiful Padmé is. There is a significant amount of text, both by the narrator and his own mind (in italics), where it goes on and on about how lovely she's become, how he's only thought of her for ten years, how badly he wants her, etc. I have not read Twilight, but my wife has, and her one major qualm about it is that there are parts where Bella goes on about how dreamy Edward is, which go on for many pages. This reminded me of that. I am not happy that I had to compare Star Wars to Twilight.
-One continuity issue that came up recently was that the Trade Federation and Banking Clan were shown to be members of the CIS in Attack of the Clones, but were also freely cooperating with the Republic as well in The Clone Wars. This was retconned by stating that the "official policy" of these groups was Republic support, or at least neutrality, decrying their CIS-supporting leaders as terrorists (and that in secret the group as a whole was working with the CIS). The novelization makes one important clarification: all Dooku wanted was the support of these groups in secret. Shu Mai (Commerce Guild) pledged her support in secret, and San Hill (Banking Clan) pledged his support, but without exclusivity. These groups can all operate in public however they want, but their money and armies are pledged to Dooku.
-Anakin didn't steal C-3PO! In the film, when Anakin and Padmé flew away with both droids, I thought Anakin was stealing C-3PO. But there's a scene in the book where Owen gives the droid back to Anakin.
All in all, the novelization offered more perspective, often through the narrator, than the film, making it a deeper and more enjoyable experience. Oddly, I didn't seem to remember liking this book as much as I do now. I always thought before that it offered almost nothing new, that it essentially re-told the same events from the film. It certainly isn't as good as the Episode III novelization (which we'll eventually get to), but this was a fun read.
I'm not going to rate these numerically, since over the long haul I'll probably slowly change my perspectives. I may give this a 7/10, and many months down the line giving something I like just as much (or a bit less) a 7.5/10. So instead I'll just say I really enjoyed this book, and recommend it to anyone/everyone.
Anyone else's thoughts?
Next on the line: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (film).
It was the year of fire… the year of destruction… the year we took back what was ours.
It was the year of rebirth… the year of great sadness… the year of pain… and the year of joy.
It was a new age. It was the end of history. It was the year everything changed.
The year is 2261.
The place: Babylon 5.
Last edited by Taral-DLOS on Sun May 15, 2011 5:47 pm; edited 1 time in total