This volume contains a reissue of the novelisations of Star Wars: A New Hope
, written by George Lucas himself, The Empire Strikes Back
by Donald F. Glut and The Return of the Jedi
by James Kahn. The three novels have also been reissued separately but, if you want to buy them all, this omnibus volume is better value for money.
These were the first Star Wars novels and, to a reader familiar with the more recent written adventures, they lack the wealth of background detail that has developed over the past 20 years. The plots are simpler, each one based around a few big action sequences, and the many alien species have yet to come fully into focus. But the adventure is there, the clarity of the struggle between good and evil, and the simultaneous messiness that makes these galaxy-spanning adventures seem so authentic: technology that doesn't always work, and real people struggling to live their lives amongst often hostile circumstances.
Reading offers a different kind of entertainment from watching a film, and although these stories will be well-known to most readers, there is still something about using one's own imagination to reconstruct the characters and settings that is extremely satisfying and makes the experience more than just a repetition of familiar plots. --Elizabeth Sourbut
*To tie-in with new STAR WARS film, THE PHANTOM MENACE, on release in the UK on 16th July (May 21 in US).