Rogue One Novelization – Review

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rogueonenovelRogue One brings to life the crawl from A New Hope, vividly showing us just how difficult that first victory against the evil Empire was and who carried out that harrowing mission. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has also been novelized by Twilight Company author Alexander Freed. He is the perfect choice as author, capturing all the grit of Star Wars‘ first true war film, just as he did in his Battlefront tie-in.

The goal of any movie novelization is to adequately represent the story on screen as well as give you all those little insights as only a book can. It’s here that Freed excels. The way in which he poignantly dives into the psyche of key characters gives the reader a greater understanding of the motivation as portrayed on screen, expanding the resonance of their actions and decisions. It’s wonderful to hear Jyn’s internal wrestling about her father, Cassian’s struggle as he contemplates his orders to shoot Galen or Mon Mothma’s feelings about the Rebellion and the course they are on. Each addition enhances the film and helps make this novelization worth the time and money.

The new canon of Star Wars introduced a new feature that has now been seen in the Aftermath books, Ahsoka and are featured in Freed’s novelization, interludes.  In previous books they have been used to varying degrees of success and the trend is much the same here. Some of the interludes do feel like they add to the story, but for the most part, they don’t feel necessary. Honestly the new canon authors should work harder to integrate this material into the actual flow of the stories or do without it. Here they feel more like interruptions, especially since almost everyone reading the book will be familiar with the flow of the movie.

This brief criticism aside, this is a fantastic novelization of Rogue One. It adds a few scenes that help with character motivations and gives the inner monologues of key characters that truly compliment the movie. The book also syncs perfectly with James Luceno’s Catalyst, the prequel novel to Rogue One so that the story feels seamless from one to the other. Excellent work by the Del Ray team and the story group to ensure consistency between the ancillary materials and the films. The novelization is rated 4 out of 5 Death Star reactor ignitions.

Review is by Matthew Rushing of Trek.fm‘s The 602 Club and TheNerdParty.com‘s AggressiveNegotiations. He can be found on Twitter @mattrushing02.

This review was completed using a copy of Rogue One: Catalyst provided by Del Rey.

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