The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace

by Terry Brooks

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, an evil legacy long believed dead is stirring.

At the same time, on desert-swept Tatooine, a slave boy named Anakin Skywalker, who possesses a strange ability for understanding the rightness of things, toils by day and dreams by nightof becoming a Jedi Knight and finding a way to win freedom for himself and his beloved mother.

What People Think about "The Phantom Menace"

Of course, those little details, matter not much, since after all, good ol Georgie wrote what he wanted in the prequels, not matter if they were contradictory with the previous released information in the original trilogy. Sooo, from here on, I will do some specific comments and explain differences between the movie and book, so if you havent watch the film, be warned of keeping reading on Qui Gon-Jin rules! However, I think that the whole trouble of being stranded in Tatooine could be managed better (but of course, we wouldnt have Star Wars, so maybe it wasnt shortsight, but things that should happen in benefit of the story), since they need a spare part to fix their Nubian cruiser and the Republic money wasnt good in Tatooine but hey! Maybe there was some other business alien with that kind of spare parts and even accepting Republic money, but of course, why distrust someone so trustworthy like good ol Watto?! There is a detailed account about what happened with the Sith Order and how Darth Bane changed all with his Rule of Two. Yoda was against of teaching Anakin (and most likely Mace Windu was against too) but the rest of the Jedi Council voted in favor.

One major shortcoming of both book and movie (and therefore probably Lucas', rather than Brook's, fault) came into clearer focus in the book. And to add insult to injury, Brooks tells us R2-D2 was the first to recognize Padme as Amidala. Not to mention that Jedi Masters can stand right next to Palpatine and not recognize who/what he is. Anyway, not Brooks' fault.

"The opinions of others whether you agree with them or not are something you have to learn to tolerate" Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, two Jedi knights (well, one is a Master, the other his Padawan, but who's counting?), are surreptitiously sent to Naboo to negotiate a treaty to put an end to the blockade the Trade Federation has on the planet. I Liked: Terry Brooks was given an huge task: put the first Star Wars movie for over 15 years into novel form. I also liked the insight into characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi (who was irritated by his master's constantly bringing along people for no reason), Qui-Gon (who rebelled because he felt the Force), Jar Jar (who really wasn't as stupid as the movie portrayed him), and Anakin (we get to see some of his dreams, which eerily reminds us of Clones). Firstly, I still didn't like how Anakin comes off as being a young adult and no where near the 9 that he is in the movie and in the book. I know part of this problem is in fact the movie, but Brooks doesn't help by having Anakin have way too many romantic thoughts about Padme--way more than a typical 9 year old should have. I know this might have blown the secret, but still, Padme/Amidala is a HUGE part of the movie, the main reason for it, from one point of view, and we can't have a single scene written from her? This might not sound like a problem until Brooks has to force Anakin and Jar Jar into the Senate Hall (?!) so that they can hear the big speech she gives the Senate. I know that sounds odd, but although we learn more about characters, I still felt an emotional distance from everyone, as if the novel had merely been transcribed from the script (and in more than one place, it was very nearly). When you read a novelization of a movie, you want to learn more information from it, to grow close to the characters, understand what is going on in their heads, feel their feelings. If you haven't seen the movie, read this book.

It will be the unexpected meeting of Jedi, Queen, and a gifted boy that will mark the start of a drama that will become legend.

One of the reasons why many people disliked the film version of The Phantom Menace is because the film didn't focus on its main character, Anakin Skywalker, who would one day become the future Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. I would recommend The Phantom Menace to all Star Wars fans simply becuase it fills in the gaps of narrative information that we don't get in the film, much of which I might add is actually information that George Lucas couldn't squeeze into the film due to its truncated running time and haphazard storytelling.

For excellent examples of how to treat Star Wars in book form, see virtually anything by Timothy Zahn.

With this being said by an old pilot, we witness Anakin's change of life right before our eyes. We get to know different planets and witness battles between the dark- and the light side. We see the changes Anakin Skywalker goes through, without his mom, leaving his home planet and his old life behind and being prepared for a new one, without knowing the consequences, but doing it anyway, because this is the only thing he ever wanted, he ever dreamed of. This book has so many point of views, which is great in this situation, because we follow all the important characters and get to know every corner of the story.

A writer since high school, he wrote many stories within the genres of science fiction, western, fiction, and non-fiction, until one semester early in his college years he was given The Lord of the Rings to read.