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Star Wars: A New Hope The Princess, the…

Star Wars: A New Hope The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy (2015)

by Alexandra Bracken

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I borrowed The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farmboy because that’s such a great title.

It takes an interesting approach, telling the story from Leia’s perspective, than Han’s, than Luke’s. This means Obi-Wan gets remarkably little screen time and important events that happen to Luke early on are covered in retrospect.

I think this works - for this retelling. A reader who has already seen the film will be able to fill in any gaps, while a reader who hasn’t will be able to watch the film later and still be surprised. Even if it is only by “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”.

The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farmboy doesn’t quite feel like A New Hope to me, but I suspect that’s because the only thing that actually does is the original novelisation, which I read when I was young and impressionable - and before I’d seen the film. So I’m really not the right person to ask...

Another officer stepped up beside him, struggling to master his smirk at her words. He was younger than Tarkin, his face stirring some memory at the back of Leia’s mind. Admiral… Motti. Wonderful. No wonder the Death Star was so big - it needed to be to house some of the largest egos in the galaxy. ( )
  Herenya | Jul 6, 2017 |
I love Star Wars and have since the first time I ever saw it. How does one write a review of one of the most iconic and influential, at least to me, stories of all time? What I will do is try.
I felt refreshed listening to a familiar, yet new, version of the classic. The book was broken up into three aptly named parts that didn't overlap. The Princess part was told from the point of view of Princess Lia. Starting with her ship being boarded by Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers. To being held captive and tortured by Vader and the interrogation droid and the destruction of her home world Alderaan. The next part was The Scoundrel. Told from the point of view of Han Solo. Picking up in the cantina in Mos Eisley. Moving through his meeting of Obi Wan and Luke to the infiltration of the Death Star and ultimately the death of Obi Wan. The final part was The Farm Boy. Taking us through the escape of the Death Star to it's ultimate destruction. Alexandra Bracken didn't try to reinvent anything. She simply added the thoughts and insights from each of the parts main characters. While also filling in some story that was not explicitly mentioned in the original. For example, she told us of Lea's backstory of being on the senate, we get to find out that Han Solo isn't quite as two dimensional as many think he is, and that like had to go through trials before being allowed to fly an X-Wing with the rebels.If you are a Star Wars fan and are open to story that you know, yet you only know the surface. You should really check Star Wars: A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy out. You just might be pleasantly surprised as I was. ( )
  Biglee821 | Jan 19, 2017 |
A really great audio production of a retelling of the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, for kids. It comes complete with sound effects and familiar Star Wars music. Marc Thompson and Rebecca Soler do an outstanding job with the narration. The familiar movie story is given depth by given each of the characters more of a backstory, particularly Leia. ( )
  geraldinefm | Apr 12, 2016 |
Really good. No surprises here just a little insight into the behavior and thoughts of the main characters. Really Loved it. ( )
  jhadsell | Mar 23, 2016 |
I loved this young adult retelling of A New Hope! So much fun! It’s a YA novelization of Star Wars Episode IV, but in an easy-to-read, flowing, conversational style of writing. Perfect for kids, easy for adults. It actually made me want to rewatch the movie again (and I just rewatched it about a month ago!) The book does an excellent job of sucking you and making you remember how much you love these characters. The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farm Boy, indeed! (My mom saw what I was reading, read the title and went: “Yeah, that about sums it up, doesn’t it?”)

The book is divided into three parts, each focusing on one of the three main characters and telling the story exclusively from their POV. The first is Princess Leia and we see a faithful translation of the opening scenes of the movie, as well as some additional parts that feel just like they could have happened - such as her first attempt to escape the Death Star.

Leia is my favourite SW character and I loved seeing inside of her head, reading about her thoughts and feelings. I thought author Alexandra Bracken really nailed this part! Enough so that part of me wished the whole thing could have been told from Leia’s perspective. But it does make sense to switch them out, and so we get . . .

Part 2 is Han Solo’s POV, starting with his run-in with Greedo in the cantina and meeting Luke and Obi Wan. Han’s perspective carries through the rescue of Princess Leia from the Death Star. I thought the author did a good job with Han’s point of view and I enjoyed it, but there were some scenes where I thought it would have been more powerful to see it from a different character’s perspective. For example, we don’t get to see the bridge scene where Luke swings Leia and himself over the bridge because Han wasn’t with them for that. (Luke does remember it later, in his part, but it’s not the same.) Also, how much more powerful would it have been to see Obi Wan’s death from Luke’s perspective?

That said, in some ways the choice makes a lot of sense, because Han doubts the Jedi and the Force and even Obi Wan, so it’s interesting and a good introduction to these concepts to see it from the point of view of a skeptic. Also, it was great to see his soft side under the rogue-facade, where he really cares about Luke and wants the kid to be okay. And of course, his meeting/first impressions of Princess Leia . . . ;-)

And it only makes sense that the third part of the story would be told from Luke’s POV as he has to pilot the X-Wing and blow up the Death Star. Honestly, I felt this was the weakest part of the story. Bracken does a fine job with Luke’s voice and his thoughts, though it feels weird to be seeing them so late in the game and he has to constantly remember things that would have been more powerful to “experience” as they happened. She adds a scene of training to be an X-Wing pilot which works well, but the climax feels underwhelming in this format - maybe it just doesn’t translate to print that well. Or maybe it just isn’t my favourite part of the story (yeah, that could be it…)

All in all, I enjoyed reading this a lot! It was as much fun as experiencing the film all over again, through fresh eyes and I loved really getting inside the character’s heads! Bracken’s love for the material clearly shines through and the introduction she writes is genuinely heartfelt and touching. I bought the other two books in this series based on how much I enjoyed this one, although since they are all by different authors I am a bit trepidatious about starting the second one. I also wonder if they are planning on rewriting the prequels in this style because that would also be fun! ( )
  catfantastic | Feb 27, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexandra Brackenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Soler, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, MarcNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Dad, who opened up a whole galaxy of wonder and possibliity
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Introduction:  This story begins as so many do:  a long, long time ago...in a place far beyond the glittering stars you see in your night sky.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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