Surprise! One last book review for the year! In the grand tradition of this time of year, consider this a “Biweekly Book Review Holiday Special” rather than a full-on book review.
This is just going to be a mini review, as there isn’t a ton to really dive into. The entire book is a fairly straight adaptation of the first 8 Skywalker Saga movies. I figured I’d done 49 Star Wars books this year, and I wanted to make it a nice round 50. Plus this one doesn’t really fit in with the others. So, with that said, let’s dive into The Skywalker Saga by Delilah S. Dawson.
I was hesitant to get this book when it was first announced. “How,” I wondered back in October 2019, “are you going to do a book called the Skywalker Saga, and leave out the conclusion to the whole thing?”
Then I saw The Rise of Skywalker and decided its exclusion was a feature of this book, rather than a drawback.
The Skywalker Saga is clearly designed to be read aloud at story time, it doesn’t include absolutely everything about each movie that it covers. But I think that actually works here. By not trying to cover every aspect of the plot, it manages to hone in on the heart of the whole thing: Anakin, then Luke, then Rey. Once the story gets going, it does check in with other characters, but not nearly as extensively as our three Jedi protagonists. As someone whose favourite parts of the story are always the Jedi parts, there were no complaints here.
Though the prose reads like a summary of events (as it should) all the dialogue is actually pulled directly from the films. Though this may not be the case with a younger reader reading this on their own, I couldn’t help but hear the characters voices in my head as I went through it.
The illustrations, by Brian Rood, are also absolutely beautiful. They are in this style that looks half like a photo, half like a painting (like a photorealistic sketch? Can you tell I don’t art?). Some of them even take up a full two pages.
A couple of observations:
- Though the stories mostly stand on their own, there are a couple of thematic connections that are made more explicit. Like how Luke standing in front of Anakin’s funeral pyre, with an uncertain future ahead of him mirrors Anakin standing in front of Qui Gon’s pyre with a similar dilemma. I love when things weave together.
- In the Last Jedi portion, we have the conversation between Rey and Kylo where the Force accidentally connects them before he’s fully dressed. Though the dialogue – “I’d rather not do this right now”, “yeah, me too” – stays intact, the context for Kylo’s hesitation is removed. I mean, I understand. This is a book for kids, and the detail isn’t necessary. But it was funny to me all the same, since that scene lives in my head rent-free for many reasons.
That’s all I have to say on that, I told you it was short! I want to wish you all a happy holiday season, thank you for coming along with me on this book adventure this year!
I will see you all in 2021 for The High Republic, the movie novelizations, and maybe some other fun stuff!