The JC Lit Reviews Special: EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by lightsaber_wielder, Apr 2, 2005.

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  1. lightsaber_wielder Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2002
    star 4
    Before I begin, I'd like to say one thing: Mastadge, please have mercy on my soul. [face_praying]

    Now, most of you know that April 2 was the release date for all major merchandise pertaining to the upcoming Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, which included the release of the novelisation, by Matthew Stover (author of The New Jedi Order: Traitor and Shatterpoint). Being an Australian and all that, I was very surprised (but highly pleased) to find the novelisation sitting right there in the window of my local store yesterday morning. I had it finished by last night, and I know that others have finished it too, so I felt we were ready for a review thread.

    The drill, for those who don't know:

    - Please rate Revenge of the Sith on a scale of 1 to 10. Please do not rate the novel until after you have finished. Thank you.

    - Please supplement your rating with a few words (or a lot, as you see fit).

    Links to previous review threads:

    Republic Commando: Hard Contact, by Karen Traviss
    Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover
    The Cestus Deception, by Steven Barnes
    Medstar I: Battle Surgeons, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry
    Medstar II: Jedi Healer, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry
    Jedi Trial, by David Sherman and Dan Cragg
    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, by Sean Stewart
    Labyrinth of Evil, by James Luceno
    Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine, by Veronica Whitney-Robinson
    Tatooine Ghost, by Troy Denning
    Survivor's Quest, by Timothy Zahn
    Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream, by Aaron Allston
    Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand, by Aaron Allston
    Traitor, by Matthew Stover
    Destiny's Way, by Walter Jon Williams
    Ylesia, by Walter Jon Williams
    Force Heretic I: Remnant, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix
    Force Heretic II: Refugee, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix
    Force Heretic III: Reunion, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix
    The Final Prophecy, by Greg Keyes
    The Unifying Force, by James Luceno

    Well, happy reviewing! And Mastadge; I swear I will never do this again. ;)
  2. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7
    We'd offer a severance cheque, old Mas, but . . . you see funds are short with all the creds to debit their self-respect with the hardcovers coming, you know, and the Literature regime just can't handle old stock.
  3. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    I forgive you; I was out of town and I was slacking. However, I must request that everyone please try not to give spoilers in this thread. Spoiler discussion should stay in the Revenge of the Sith novel thread; as much as possible, please try to rate and review the novel here without discussing plot points. Thank you.
  4. lightsaber_wielder Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2002
    star 4
    Ah. Good point; I will have to remember that when posting my review. Thanks Mastadge. :)
  5. crestfallen Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2003
    star 5
    9/10

    Pretty awesome, even though I hate Stover.
    Nothing too retarded from 3po or JarJar.
    Some good laughs, I laughed outloud a few times.
  6. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 1 review: 9/1 = 9
  7. Jango_Fettish Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2002
    star 4
    Having just read the script, there are a few details I wish the novel had included. But to grade the book itself, without comparing it to anything else, I have to say I absolutely loved it. I won't get into details for spoilers sake, but many of the moments in here are so wonderfully handled by Stover. Personally, I think it is by far his best work.

    9/10



  8. dark_jedi666 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    Since I dont want to place any spoilers, I am only going to give a rating, no review.

    9.5 out of 10.

    I was looking forward to the movie before reading the novel. Now I count down the days.
  9. TIEPilot051999 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2002
    star 7
    I waited all last week for Saturday just so I can get my hands on this. I can say without hyperbole that it was well worth it.

    10/10.

    And like I said when I finished LOE...

    MAY 19th, GET HERE NOW!!!!!!!
  10. Kreuzader Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2002
    star 4
    9/10 - my only real criticism is that it's kind of top-heavy: I wish there had been more pages devoted to the concluding duels/aftermath, as the opening scenes feel more fleshed out.
  11. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 5 review: 46.5/5 = 9.3
  12. neeldawg66 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2002
    star 8
    I agree with the review above is a little top heavy, but overall Stover did an excellent job sketching out the events, characters, and feelings in Revenge of the Sith.

    9/10
  13. Cheebo86 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2003
    star 3
    10/10 ROTS on its own is perfect but Stover took it and infused it with EU style and his own style. Also the first person view-points were so fantastic. Perfect...perfect......Best novelisation of one of the films since ANH.
  14. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
    Booyah Mr Stover,

    9.8 out of 10

    No one other than you could have done this novelisation *right*.

    My only complaint is that some scenes in the film are much longer than the page space given in the book. Simply put, I want more!
  15. TIEPilot051999 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2002
    star 7
    My only complaint is that some scenes in the film are much longer than the page space given in the book.

    That was done on purpose. The book contains stuff the movie doesn't, and the movie contains some stuff the book doesn't.

    Like the Kashyyk battle, for example. A major thing in the film is barely there in the book.
  16. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    The graphic novel did nothing for me. I picked it up, I read it, and I knew everything already. Nothing really got me excited. After reading that, I picked up the novelization reluctantly, starting to wonder if the no spoiler people might be right.

    HA!

    Blew me away. Every single scene was like finding out about it for the first time. And the last paragraph in the book, at the very end, was perfect. It may seem hokey, but I honestly can?t remember very many books that closed stronger than this one did.

    10/10

    Would have been a 9.5, but I'm bumping it up because he did a fine job translating someone elses story.
  17. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 9 ratings: 85.3/9 = 9.48
  18. Gladiuus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2003
    star 4
    This was not only an excellent book, but it's probably one of the best Star Wars books period. It ranks up there with Hard Contact and a couple of others (or maybe just Hard Contact) as books that are simply amazing as standalone novels and not just as Star Wars books.

    Stover takes what really is a pretty mediocre plot and makes something fantastic out of it. He takes characters that (in the movies) are very poorly developed and makes them multidimensional people who you actually care about. He takes sometimes wooden dialog and makes it sound like real people talking. To all of this he adds his own twists that make the writing something very unique ("This is how it feels to be Anakin Skywalker, for now."). Like Raven said, the ending of the book is fantastic, and endings are the hardest part to do well. To all of this he adds huge amounts of references to events in the galaxy at large, nearly constant EU references that, unlike in some other books, always come at appropriate times. When Anakin thinks about dark times in his life, he thinks of Jabiim, for example, with no further explanation. If you've read the comics you know what he's referring to; if you haven't you mentally fill in the blanks. Stover doesn't waste time explaining exactly what happened on Jabiim.

    Probably the thing that impressed me most in the book is the characters. Up until now Anakin has been for me consistently annoying, a flat, boring character who does nothing more than be whiny and act like he's on the edge of turning evil. Here however Anakin is an actual person, with a very detailed personality and realistic motives. I actually liked Anakin here, and I haven't anywhere else. The only main character who is still flat and not very detailed is Padme; she comes across as slightly naive and dense and little more than a plot device. We're told many times that she's a brilliant politician, but it's never shown exactly why she's so highly regarded. This really wasn't a problem for me though since I never liked Padme that much and the book isn't really about her.

    There were a few problems. Anakin's turn still seemed a bit rushed, although Stover took care to make it much more believable than it will be in the actual movie. The plot is, when stripped of Stover's impressive prose, not too impressive and at times unbelievable of unnecessarily convoluted. I have issues with a few specific points that I won't mention in detail since the thread specifies minimal spoilers. The dialog is also a little clunky in spots; at times it's difficult to imagine real people speaking to each other the way the characters do. These two problems are of course hardly Stover's fault, and he makes the best of both: the dialog is mostly very good and even the plot comes across as above par.

    The bottom line is that I hated both other prequels (I don't even own them), and I think this book is fantastic. Even if RotS turns out to be yet another disappointment (and it is more and more looking that way), at least I'll have gotten an excellent book out of it.

    9.2/10

    Something also has to be said about the audio version (which is the edition I have). I have never listened to an audiobook before and I was very impressed by this one. The reader does a very good impression of McGregor and McDiarmaid, and a passable imitation of everyone else except Yoda and the women. Anakin's voice as done by the reader actually sounds better than he does in the movies; more natural, warmer, and with much more emotion and charisma. That's how I'll imagine Anakin as sounding when I read him from now on.

    When I get the actual physical book (I'm waiting for the paperback) I might post another review, since the experience might be different.
  19. NJOfan215 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    10/10

    I think stover doesn't get the credit he deserves. I've only read his star wars books, something, i'm going to change, but i feel he is a cut above most of the people who are currently writing books. Perhaps his style just does it for me. He gives the epic feeling of what's going on, but he does it through the eyes of the characters. I also think his actual writing is very smooth.
  20. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 11 ratings: 104.5/11 = 9.5
  21. Opal Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2003
    star 4
    This is by far the best of the prequel novelisations.

    I think that Stover really understands that these are beloved characters and he took great care with each and every one of them. I was downright ecstatic over the care given to the charcters of Obi-Wan and Anakin in the book.


    I even found myself enjoying Count Dooku and Mace Windu, two characters I could normally care less about, as written in the book. (OK, Padme came across more weak and naive than I would have liked, but I think that was due more to the confines of GL's story than anything else.)

    Probably a 9/10 for me, and I usually don't like to rate things that high.
  22. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    I'll echo everyone's sentiments on being the best novelization of the saga.

    Stover went out of his way to humanize the characters and show the strengths and flaws of each, and how they fit into the overall story. And the way he describes the demon that has haunted Anakin his whole life is mystical in quality, but practical and easy to understand. Something I think even George has trouble making people understand.

    The last few pages are about the saddest thing I have ever read. Ever. A great lead-in to the OT.

    9.5/10
  23. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    I'll be getting a formal review up whenever I have time, but man, this book is pretty damn good. I thought that the ending was rushed a bit, but man, if that's just 10% of what's on the screen, I'm excited. 9.8 out of 10.
  24. jedimaster203 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 1999
    star 4
    Stover has a way of writing things that send shivers down my spine. That I physically feel.

    In Traitor, it was Ganner's last stand. In ROTS, it is in the beginning when he talks about Obiwan and Anakin. My favorite line is "And though the age of heroes was coming to an end, it has saved its best for last"

    I loved this book. You could see Anakin's decent into confusion and pain. The fights were marvelous. Wow!

    10/10
  25. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    10/10

    Great flow, great portrayal of characters(I especially liked Grievous for some reason).
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