Book info

Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (2000)

Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (2000)
3.5 of 5 Votes: 2
0099409968 (ISBN13: 9780099409960)
Rate book
Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Men...
Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (2000)

About book: "The opinions of others whether you agree with them or not are something you have to learn to tolerate"Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, two Jedi knights (well, one is a Master, the other his Padawan, but who's counting?), are surreptitiously sent to Naboo to negotiate a treaty to put an end to the blockade the Trade Federation has on the planet. But negotiations are short when the Neimoidians try to kill them and now the Jedi try to get Queen Amidala, ruler of Naboo, to Coruscant, to spur the Republic into action.NOTE: Based on unabridged audiobook and novel.I Liked:Terry Brooks was given an huge task: put the first Star Wars movie for over 15 years into novel form. The previous authors had pretty much taken the screenplay and frilled it out a bit for novel form. But Brooks bucks that. He includes three distinct scenes that are never seen in the movie and were never filmed. One is how Anakin destroys his pod in the first unseen race. This is fundamental to showing Anakin's skill and how the Force is with him in the Boonta Race (which he wins). The second is a scene where Anakin shows compassion on a Tusken Raider. That scene is really poignant especially in light of Attack of the Clones. Instead of hearing how compassionate Anakin is, we get to see it. And the third is a nice summary of the demise of the Sith Order and the rise of the Rule of Two (okay, now we have Jedi Vs. Sith and Path of Destruction, but you have to realize in 1999, we had neither).Besides these two specific scenes, Brooks takes time to slow things down from the hectic editing of the movie and explain the things that don't quite make sense. Why does Qui-Gon bring the clumsy Jar Jar into Mos Espa? Why does Obi-Wan throw Jar Jar into the droid hold? These are only two of the myriad of minor questions you might have if you just watched The Phantom Menace.I also liked the insight into characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi (who was irritated by his master's constantly bringing along people for no reason), Qui-Gon (who rebelled because he felt the Force), Jar Jar (who really wasn't as stupid as the movie portrayed him), and Anakin (we get to see some of his dreams, which eerily reminds us of Clones).Brooks has a nice writing style, easy to understand, nice to listen to, good pacing, and nice descriptions. I had just finished reading Cloak of Deception, which in my review, I noted that it tended to overdescribe, and I was glad that Brooks didn't do that. Also, Brooks was pretty adept at transcribing the podracing scenes and the action scenes.I Didn't Like:It's hard, I'll admit, to review a novelization of a movie. It has to stay true to the movie, and yet add something more, else why read the book and not watch the movie? Unfortunately, other than a few unique scenes, there really is very little reason to pick up this novel.Firstly, I still didn't like how Anakin comes off as being a young adult and no where near the 9 that he is in the movie and in the book. I know part of this problem is in fact the movie, but Brooks doesn't help by having Anakin have way too many romantic thoughts about Padme--way more than a typical 9 year old should have.Another thing that REALLY bugged me was how Brooks never bothers to write from Padme's point of view. I know this might have blown the secret, but still, Padme/Amidala is a HUGE part of the movie, the main reason for it, from one point of view, and we can't have a single scene written from her? This might not sound like a problem until Brooks has to force Anakin and Jar Jar into the Senate Hall (?!) so that they can hear the big speech she gives the Senate. What the...??? Just put Amidala there! Stop treating her like a one-shot love interest and make her a character!A problem I had with Obi-Wan, actually with many characters, is how racist they appear. Obi-Wan says he doesn't want Jar Jar to tag along because he was a "foolish looking creature". So if Jar Jar was a sexy Twi'Lek it would be okay? Also, I grew embarrassed reading about Panaka's "dark skin" that was mentioned whenever he was in a scene. Why is this necessary? Why didn't anyone comment about Obi-Wan's "white skin"? Also, Padme stereotypes Neimoidians as all being cowards, and I absolutely loathe all-species stereotypes.The repetition was unnerving. You could make a drinking game out of how often we read about Qui-Gon being "leonine" or someone being "chagrined" (that last one made me want to double face palm).By far, the biggest problem with this book is how emotionless it comes across. I know that sounds odd, but although we learn more about characters, I still felt an emotional distance from everyone, as if the novel had merely been transcribed from the script (and in more than one place, it was very nearly). When you read a novelization of a movie, you want to learn more information from it, to grow close to the characters, understand what is going on in their heads, feel their feelings. I don't feel that Brooks ever tore down that barrier and truly brought me closer to any of the characters.Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:None.Twi'Lek slave girls.A few characters die. There is a large battle at the end and several smaller skirmishes.Overall:If I had to compare this to the movie, I would definitely say it is better. There is better flow, more clarification, and less wooden acting (and bad scripts). However, it still has its problems: namely never letting Padme speak for herself or letting us emotionally attach to the characters. If you haven't seen the movie, read this book. If you have seen the movie, then I would skip.

Ok, i have a confession to make. I am 20 years old now, and the last time i watched The Phantom Menace it was almost two years ago. And i actually had a lot of fun watching it. I also saw it in theaters when it was rereleased in theaters in 3D and I was 16 at the time. And you know what, i enjoyed it then. So ya, objectively, i know that the movie is horrible. But I still enjoy watching it anyway. The Phantom Menace for me is that one movie that I know is bad but I still love watching anyway.However, after reading the book for the 4th time, I am reminded of all its problems and why the movie is so bad. While i still enjoy the movie, the book seems to get worse every time I read it.THE BAD: I won't get into all the countless problems that this book has because they are present in the movie too. However, for the most part Brooks failed to distract me from those problems or really even fix many of them.There three extra scenes added that deal with Anakin on Tatooine, and despite adding to the story, they didn't add enough for me to warrant their inclusion in the story.THE GOOD: Because just about every problem with the book comes from its source material, the movie, the shortcomings of this book are not entirely Terry Brooks' fault. And too his credit, he handles some stuff better than the movie does and because of that the book is better. I actually think Anakin's character is written pretty well. Brooks acknowledges that he is only nine years old and, given how bad he was in the movie, this book makes him somewhat convincing. I actually had alot of fun reading as he flew the starfighter above Naboo, which by the way, this scene was done really well.The action scenes are very strongly written. The podrace and the first fight between Qui Gonn and Darth Maul on Tatooine are great. The Climax is excellently written. As i mentioned before I had alot of fun reading as Anakin flew the naboo starfighter and destroyed the droid control ship. The part where Padme and Panaka capture the viceroy actually integrates the bad lines of dialogue well, and the lightsaber duel between Obi Wan, Qui Gonn, and Darth Maul was fantastically written. I even got a chuckle from the end of the Battle between the gungans and the trade federation, and from Jar Jar no less. THE VERDICT: The problems with this book come from the movie and are not Terry Brooks' fault, and his handling of some of the content works. But by and large, this novel really fails in redeeming the Phantom Menace. If you read it, it is better than the movie, but you're not missing out on much if you skip it, either. If you want to find a way to make The Phantom Menace a little more palatable this book should suit you fine. However, if you are looking for a good star wars novel, this isn't a good choice.
download or read online
Finishing off the last few pages today, and I didn't like it much, I have to admit.First of all, there where all those names and creatures, and they were described so poorly that I really could not imagine them.The fight really keeps me in the dark. Why are they fighting? For what purpose and intent? Normally sci-fi has a clear outline, and a separation between good and bad. That is completely missing. Then there is one big deficit: the lack in morale. In everything I read I search for it, and especially in science fiction. Normally there is a sentence, captivating me, a gesture, something extraordinary; a deeper morale in what the characters do. In star wars there is nothing of that. They do accept their fate so willingly, be it good or bad, that I would say the characters are very naive. The blind acceptance and the drive to pursue their wishes does make them seem flat to me, and not very likeable. There is much science fiction out there, and I really do love this genre, just everything but star wars!
Better effort, in many ways, than the holes left by the screenplay; more meat to the story, and a few fewer of those loose ends Lucas is so (in)famous for leaving in his universe.All in all a thoroughly enjoyable read, even if you have seen the movie first ;)Actually, you will enjoy the movie more, after reading this novel, as you will feel as though you know more about what is 'really' going on and some of the motivation behind some of the characters.Brooks' attempts to cover up some of the *ahem* mysteries from the screenplay are ironic - like realizing that the most talented Jedi in the universe of The Force can be fooled by a bit of makeup, but a robot can pick out Padme in a lineup of hand maidens...Anyway, if you are a fan of either Star Wars or Brooks, you will not be disappointed.
There's an interesting re-edit of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace out there, called The Phantom Edit. It's one person's edit of the original movie, with as much of the moronic Jar-Jar, annoying Anakin, and redundant storyline removed as possible. It's an improvement, though the movie still falls far short of the original trilogy.Unfortunately, this book goes in the opposite direction. The author expounds on both the Jar-Jar and the Anakin idiocy, often taking it to extremes (for example, when Anakin first meets Padme in Watto's shop, the conversation in the book ends with Anakin stating that he is going to marry Padme...). The additional plot explanations are welcome, but those mainly manage to expose the absurdity of the storyline to the reader.This is not how to treat Star Wars. This is Star Wars for 7-year-olds. For excellent examples of how to treat Star Wars in book form, see virtually anything by Timothy Zahn.
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)