ISBN is

978-0-345-42765-6 / 9780345427656

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (Based on the Screenplay and Story by George Lucas)

by

Publisher:Del Ray (Ballentine Books)

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

When casting about for an author to novelise the script for The Phantom Menace--the first in a series of three prequels to the eternally popular Star Wars saga--it's no surprise that creator George Lucas chose Terry Brooks. After all, Brooks is a perennially bestselling epic fantasy author whose Sword of Shannara is a classic adventure story, not far removed from the swashbuckling exploits of our favourite Star Wars heroes.

Brooks handles the job of modern mythmaker well. He deftly juggles a hodgepodge of characters: a young stately queen (Amidala) and her handmaidens; a pair of Jedi knights (Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui Gon Jinn); a bumbling amphibious side-kick (Jar Jar Binks); two Sith Lords (Darths Maul and Sidious) who add more than enough menace to the mix; a couple of familiar robots (C-3P0 and R2-D2); a teeming host of Senators, Chancellors, diplomats, warrior droids, and spies, and one young slave boy who aspires to be a Jedi knight (Anakin Skywalker). With cinematic prose, Brooks brings to life a number of epic battles, skirmishes, and dog-fights in space--all the elements that we've come to expect from a rousing Star Wars instalment. The Phantom Menace doesn't stray far from those expectations: there is a clear division between the good guys and the bad; good things come in small (and surprising) packages; heroes lose battles only to emerge victorious on another day. But Phantom does illuminate in ways the other instalments didn't. For the first time, we get a glimpse at the whys and wherefores behind the curtain; at times it reads almost like a socio-political thriller as the emerging Federation shuffles for power with the waning democracy of the Republic. The Force is also further illuminated. Turns out it has something to do with "midi-chlorians"--microscopic life forms that live in the cells of all living things.

The Phantom Menace is a fun read, sure to satisfy Star Wars junkies young and old. And don't forget: turn your lightsaber off before you go into the swamp or you'll fry your energy pack. --Tod Nelson, Amazon.com

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