Star Wars EU Reviews: The Empire Strikes Back Novelization


Like the A New Hope novelisation this book offers just enough differences to make it an interesting curiosity, but not a necessity for EU readers who already know the film. In fact this book has less differences than the A New Hope novelisation did. For the most part Donald F. Glut’s adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back is virtually identical to the film aside from very minor differences.

Since the story of The Empire Strikes Back is known to all reading this review (or at least it should be) I feel that I have very little to review story-wise that would be beneficial. As I had pointed it is for the most part identical to the film. So in this review what I am simply going to do is point out and discuss some of the notable differences featured in the book in an organised, numbered fashion and let reader know my thoughts on them.

  1. The dialogue.Like in Alan Dean Foster’s adaptation the dialogue is the main difference. However, in this case most of the dialogue is only slightly different and is in no way as jarring as it is in A New Hope.
    That being said, I have had some sad disappointments with the differences here and there. Many classic lines that I loved in the movie are missing here or altered significantly. My favourite Darth Vader quote, “Apology accepted, Captain Needa” is completely absent and replaced with a scene where it is implied that Vader had the unlucky officer executed rather than killing him himself. Also Han Solo’s snappy and hilarious, “Chewie, take the professor and plug him into the hyperdrive!” is also missing. He doesn’t say it. I felt cheated.
    And worst of all in the carbon freezing chamber the famous “I love you; I know” dialogue is gone! Instead we get this pathetic rubbish:

    Leia: I love you. I couldn’t tell you before, but it’s true.
    Han: Just remember that, because I’ll be back.

    Effing terrible!

  2. Yoda is Blue!That’s right. Our beloved little Jedi master is blue not green. Blue is not worse than green per se, but we are so used to the iconic green skin that it is impossible to picture him in any other colour.

    It’s just not doing it for me, I’m sorry.
  3. Enhanced Jedi TrainingUnder Yoda’s tutelage in the book Luke fights remote controlled orbs with his lightsaber. Lifting rocks is one thing, but this is totally different. I don’t know why this scene is not in the film, but I suppose it is for the best since the training did him little good anyway when you consider the objects Darth Vader hurled at him on Cloud City and Luke’s attempts at blocking them. I guess Luke never did comprehend Han Solo’s wisdom in pointing out that good against remotes is one thing while good against the living is something else. Maybe Han Solo should have trained Luke. He has been handier with a lightsaber than Luke has been so far.


There are other differences of course. But these are the ones that stood out the most. As a final statement I found this book to be an interesting and easy read, but as far as delving into the EU goes all you really need is the film. There are no exclusive references in here to my knowledge that make it necessary to read it to understand the rest of the EU books and comics. It’s an interesting curiosity, but nothing vital.

Check in next time for my review of Classic Marvel #39-44: The Empire Strikes Back comic adaptation.


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