The Phantom Menace Novelisation by Terry Brooks Review

When this book came out I was so excited. Then I realised that I couldn’t afford it. I was literally 50p short (curse my body requiring liquid sustenance). I placated myself by buying the Illustrated Screenplay and the Junior Novelisation and they were good for a time.

When I did get the book I blitzed it and really enjoyed it, and after the recent ‘Phantom Menace’ hype over the last few weeks I felt inspired to read it again.

I had forgotten how enjoyable a read it was and how well written it is. The additional scenes of Anakin on Tatooine before the arrival of Qui-Gon give us a look at how caring and sweet a child he is which is alluded to in the film but don’t get to see so much.

We get some back story to the Sith and their 1000 year slow game to rise to power, the origin of the ‘Rule of Two’ and, what I believe, is the first reference of Darth Bane.

Some of the scenes are written from Anakin’s perspective, which gives those moments a fresh feel and a look into Anakin’s thought process.

Brooks has toned down Jar-Jar substantially and his crazy antics don’t get highlighted, they are mentioned but somewhat glossed over, like when he zaps his tongue and gets his hand stuck in the Podracer engine are there but are not played for laughs like in the film. A lot of his antics are referenced as merely being clumsy and I felt more sorry for him than anything because you get the feeling that he felt bad for his clumsiness.

Brooks writes the action well and doesn’t dwell on each action beat, I really enjoyed his adaptation to the Podrace, whist taking the majority of a chapter it still didn’t drag as much as watching the extended sequence on Blu-Ray. The lightsaber duel on Naboo is well written and Brooks adds a little detail about Obi-Wan during his one-on-one with Maul that Kenobi does touch the Dark Side which is understandable but it’s cool to see it in some official capacity.

As far as novelisations go this one is very good. Not quite ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘The Last Jedi’ quality but not ‘The Force Awakens’ terrible. It’s a very good adaptation and worth a read for both fans of the film and those who are on the fence, because it is written towards a more mature audience and the sillier aspects of the film (which I personally enjoy, don’t @ me) are toned down.

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