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Terry Brooks - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace | Review
on 16 July 2013
Let's face it - Star Wars Episode I was never the greatest Star Wars film. In fact, short of Caravan of Courage (a rare Ewok special that I've downloaded but never watched), it's probably the worst one out there. In many ways, it's unfortunate for Brooks that his source material wasn't of a higher standard - he's even forced to phonetically replicate the jarring speech of Jar Jar Binks. Meesa reviewa.
If you can get past that, and the fact that if you've seen the film, you already know what's going to happen, it's not actually that bad - I mean, I wouldn't re-read it, but it's better than some novelisations I could mention (*cough* Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure *cough), and at least it's based upon the original screenplay by George Lucas.
Having said that, there are better Star Wars novels out there, and I'm particularly keen on the original series that were created and the work of Kevin J. Anderson. Brooks isn't a bad writer - in fact, he's competent, and there's nothing technically wrong with The Phantom Menace, but there are just better books out there, and I encourage you to go out there and discover them.
I can at least say one thing positive about Brooks' writing - it's vivid and evocative, and you can visualise the scenes and the characters as he talks about them. But in some ways, that's a problem - it's so similar to the film that there's no real use for your own imagination, and that's half the joy of reading.
I've given this a bad review and I really didn't want to because I feel like I ought to like it - I just don't, and I'm worried that you might feel the same. If you loved the film, you'll like the book.