7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2003
Donald F. Glut's novelization of Lawrence Kasdan's screenplay for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, based on a story by George Lucas, is among one of the better adaptations in the continuing saga of the Galactic Civil War and the adventures of Luke Skywalker.
Three years after the Battle of Yavin, the Rebel Alliance is fighting for its very existence. Though they had won a significant victory with the destruction of the Death Star, the evil lord Darth Vader survived and made his way to the Imperial capital, where Emperor Palpatine gave him the ultimate assignment -- to find and destroy the Rebel leadership and crush the Rebellion once and for all. For three years Vader's Imperial Death Squadron of six Star Destroyers -- including his own massive flagship -- has pursued the Rebels from system to system.
Vader is driven, too, to find one Rebel commander in particular: Luke Skywalker. Sometime after the defeat at Yavin, Vader discovered that Luke was the pilot who, with the assistance of the mystical energy field known as the Force, fired the torpedo that destroyed the Death Star. Realizing the young Rebel's untapped -- and untrained -- Jedi powers, Vader has made it his mission in life to capture Luke and, eventually, turn him to the dark side of the Force.
So when an Imperial probe droid spots evidence of a hidden Rebel base on the remote ice world of Hoth, Vader unleashes his legions of stormtroopers against the small Rebel force. In a brief but violent battle, the Empire overwhelms the Alliance troops fighting a rear-guard action, but the bulk of the Rebels, including Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Luke, and the droids escape.
Vader doesn't know, however, that the Star Warriors have set out on diverging paths. While Han, Chewie, Leia and See Threepio fly off in the damaged Millennium Falcon in a desperate attempt to rejoin the Rebel fleet, Luke and Artoo are on their X-wing starfighter on a different mission altogether. For the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Vader's former Jedi Master and now Luke's spirit-guide, has sent Luke to the Dagobah system. There, he will seek Yoda, the Jedi Master who first instructed Kenobi.
Although Glut (like all Star Wars adapters) had to use an earlier draft of Kasdan's screenplay (Yoda, for instance, is described as being bluish and with long white hair parted in the middle), he is a good enough writer and captures the essence of the film's characters and new settings.
on 13 April 2011
The Rebel Alliance, laying low on the ice planet of Hoth, is tracked down by the Empire and attacked. Han & Chewie take Princess Leia and C3PO - after a chase through an asteroid field - to Bespin, where an old friend called Landa Calrissian isn't perhaps as trustworthy as Han thinks. Luke and R2 head to Dagobah, where they meet Jedi Master Yoda, who instructs `young Skywwalker' in the ways of the Force. However, Luke senses something wrong, involving his friends and Darth Vader and the scene is set for a showdown at Bespin. I went back to this novel - which I haven't read for years (decades, probably) - because they were showing the films on TV and I watched them with Matthew. I have to confess that, despite "Star Wars" being my favourite film of all time, science fiction isn't a genre I tend to read much as it often leaves me cold - and that's what happened at the start of this. Aside from some dodgy POV changes, Glut managed to make the Hoth section boring (I'm visual, the beginning of the film is almost all visual, so he was up against the wall but still...) and it was tough going until the Alliance escaped, whereupon the story really picked up pace and rattled through to the end. It was obviously written from a pre-shooting script (Yoda is the wrong colour, some of the dialogue changes, Cloud City as written doesn't look like the film version and there's a chase at the end), which was interesting and, overall, it turned out to be a lot of fun. I can't say this as a sci-fi nut, but it's well worth a read if you like the films (and can get over the Hoth section).
3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2000
Darth Vader's got a secret, people. True you probably know it now, but in case you don't, I'm not gonna tell ya! Put simply, Star Wars suddenly gains more depth, emotion and brilliance in just 4 words.