Star Wars Episodes I-VI: Why Lucasfilm Should Commission New Novelizations

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*Spoiler Warning for Star Wars Episodes 1-6

Now that Disney has replaced the stories of the old Star Wars EU with new stories guided by the Lucasfilm Story Group , it would be fitting for Del Rey and Lucasfilm publishing to commission a series of movie novelizations that connect the greater Star Wars universe with the primary films. Novelizations provide the opportunity to expand a story, further exploring character feelings, thoughts, and motives.

The narrative style of a worthwhile novelization should be eloquently descriptive, like Matthew Stover’s original Episode III novelization.  For this reason, I feel that Matthew Stover should collaborate with the Story Group in the development of these novelizations. Alan Dean Foster, who ghost-wrote the original Star Wars novelization, is another magnificent writer, whose contributions could greatly improve such a release.

The Phantom Menace

Additional deleted scenes that may be incorporated:

Scenes showcasing Anakin Skywalker’s pre-cognitive powers.

Extended scenes from Watto’s Junkyard.

Padmé waking Anakin the morning of the podrace. (DVD scene)

After saying farewell to Jira and giving her some credits, Qui-Gon and Anakin break into a run after Qui-Gon destroys one of Darth Maul’s probe droids following them, thus explaining why they are running to the ship in the movie. (DVD scene)

Exclusive content from Terry Brooks’ original Legends novelization:

The first chapter was an all new sequence depicting the podrace Anakin and Kitster describe in the movie. This establishes Anakin to readers at the beginning, so they understand that he’ll be the crux of the story.

A later chapter contains a confrontation between Anakin and a Tusken Raider, mirroring Luke Skywalker’s encounter in A New Hope, while simultaneously foreshadowing Episode II.

This novel was the first to describe the history of the Sith, the rule of two, and the legendary Sith Lord, Darth Bane, as outlined by George Lucas.

Other potential additions:

Implication that Anakin’s slave-freeing dreams depicted one possible future.

Descriptions of Qui-Gon’s thoughts about the Senate, the Council, and the Jedi Order.

Glimpses into Qui-Gon’s deeper knowledge of the Living Force, and the Cosmic Force.

Attack of the Clones

Additional deleted scenes:

After the assassination attempt, Padmé forcefully objects to the Senate’s plans to create an army to fight against the Separatist movement, suggesting a more hidden political motive for the attack.

Obi-Wan has the Kamino saberdart analyzed in the Analysis Rooms in the Jedi Temple. (DVD scene)

Obi-Wan and Jocasta Nu discuss Count Dooku and the Lost Twenty.

Extended arrival of Anakin and Padmé on Naboo.(DVD scene)- Shows some of Padme’s motivations for later decisions.

On Naboo, Padmé introduces Anakin to her family at her Naboo villa. (DVD scene)

Anakin and Padmé are brought before Count Dooku, Jango Fett, and Poggle the Lesser requesting Obi-Wan’s release. Dooku says he cannot do so unless Naboo joins the Separatist movement, giving reasons for why he is forming the new government. (DVD scene)

Padmé and Anakin are put on trial by Poggle the Lesser, who finds them guilty. (After the scene where they go before Count Dooku was dropped, this scene didn’t make much sense and was dropped as well.) (DVD scene)

The Jedi attack the Droid Control Ship: Ki-Adi-Mundi, Plo Koon and several other Jedi find one of the landed Droid Control Ships and deactivate the battle droids, only to find that since Episode I, the droids have had an independent backup system.

Exclusive content from R. A. Salvatore’s original Legends novelization.

Before Anakin goes to Tatooine, Salvatore actually depicts the Tusken’s attack of the farm, where readers get to see some badassery, and tragedy, in the Lars family.

Other potential additions:

Without contradicting what happens on-screen, the droid factory scene might describe Anakin’s fear for Padme, and his determination to reach her, with her noticing and admiring this.

The Clone Wars

Karen Traviss’s official novelization of The Clone Wars theatrical film depicted a number of scenes from the perspectives of different characters than the film, exploring the histories of the characters, while establishing the new Padawan character, Ahsoka. It would be nice to see the original adaptation of The Clone Wars established as a part of the official Star Wars story canvas, re-released as a part of this Book collection, with correction of continuity errors.

Revenge of the Sith

Perhaps the film which could most benefit from a new novelization is Revenge of the Sith, a film which takes place following the animated Clone Wars series. However, no writer could hope to adapt the film in a more compelling manner than Matthew Stover, writer of the original novelization. For this reason, I would much rather Stover update this particular adaptation.

Matthew Stover Interview 〉〉

Additional deleted scenes:

Rebel Alliance subplot – Three scenes featuring Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, Padmé Amidala, and other senators as they discuss the situation in the Senate and Palpatine’s rise to power, and eventually establish the core cell of the Rebel Alliance.

(“A Stirring in the Senate” is included as a deleted scene on the Special Features DVD)

(“Seeds of Rebellion” is included as a deleted scene on the Special Features DVD)

(“Confronting the Chancellor” is included as a deleted scene on the Special Features DVD)

After being shot down by his troops, Obi-Wan evades a Nos monster in the depths of Utapau. The Nos Monster attacks several Republic seeker droids, while Obi-Wan sneaks past some baby Nos Monsters. (“The Nos Monster”) This scene appears in the novelization only.

Yoda arrives on Dagobah in the final montage.(“Yoda Exiled to Dagobah” was included as a deleted scene on the DVD Special Features & in the UK theatrical release)

Other potential additions:

In print form, the description of the story could make explicit that the self-assured Clone Wars Anakin is the same guy, but placed in some very taxing situations.

Ahsoka Tano could be mentioned multiple times, including when Anakin calls to tell her Obi-Wan has killed Grievous.

The duel with Dooku and the Jedi should explain their previous encounter, perhaps confirming that it was the Oba Diah duel.

A depiction of Obi-Wan’s cavalier attitude and Clone Wars rivalry with Grievous.

As Yoda continues his communion with the spirit of Qui-Gon Jinn, some of the dialogue originally cut from Revenge of the Sith could be adapted to work in canon.

Obi-Wan’s extended interaction with his Clone Commander, Cody, who eventually utters the words “good soldiers follow orders,” a famous line from The Clone Wars.

Darth Vader’s actions in the Jedi Temple, including the killing of Cin Drallig and Shaak Ti.

Dr. Cylo may be mentioned in Darth Vader’s surgery scene.

Descriptions of the Death Star project could reference the Separatist designs, Grievous’s Kyber Crystal, and Rogue One

When Obi-Wan brings Luke Skywalker to his new home, some brief dialogue could be given between Kenobi and the Lars’s.

The reasons for leaving the children, keeping their power hidden while they’re defenseless, and giving them families outside the methods of the Jedi Order, could be described in Kenobi’s thoughts at the end of the novel.

This novelization could include a short story about Ahsoka Tano, or a preview of E.K. Johnston’s novel, Ahsoka. This would establish for readers what had happened to Ahsoka during the events of the film.

A New Hope

Additional deleted scenes:

Luke Skywalker is in the Tatooine desert repairing a moisture vaporator, assisted by a WED Treadwell repair droid, when he notices shining objects in the sky. With his macrobinoculars Luke sees two ships engaged in combat beyond the atmosphere. He jumps into his landspeeder. The malfunctioning Treadwell blows a fuse and is unable to follow. Luke speeds off into the desert to find his friends.

Luke’s landspeeder races into the town of Anchorhead, nearly running over an old woman. Luke rushes into Tosche Station excitedly telling his friends about the battle above their planet. He is overjoyed to be reunited with his friend Biggs Darklighter who is on planet leave from the Academy. Deak, Windy, Camie, Fixer and Biggs all follow Luke outside to see the battle with Luke’s macrobinoculars. The battle appears to have ended and Luke’s friends ridicule him for lying.

A conversation between Luke and his oldest friend, Biggs Darklighter. Biggs has left Tatooine and is on planet leave from the Imperial Academy where he is training to be a space pilot. Luke’s envy of Biggs’s success conflicts with his duty to his uncle and his reasons for remaining on Tatooine. Biggs quietly tells Luke that he has decided to join the Rebellion against the Empire. In a tense and emotional conversation, the two young men say their final farewells.

Exclusive content from Alexandra Bracken’s Young Reader novelization:

Han sees Ben telling R2-D2 “It’s good to fly with you again my old friend.”

Other potential additions:

Han is apprehensive in his encounter with Fett and the casually threatening Jabba.

The Empire Strikes Back

Additional deleted scenes:

While fleeing Imperial troops, Han suggests they take a shortcut through a room that has a sign on it. Leia tells him “that’s where they keep those creatures” (the wampas). They run off and C-3PO tears off the warning sign, hoping the troops will mistake it for another room. Sure enough, they do, and one of the snowtroopers is pulled in by a wampa. The other troopers stare in disbelief, and Darth Vader walks up, seemingly just as confused as them, or silently reprimanding them for stopping. The part in which Threepio tears off the warning sign appears in the trailer.

Other potential additions:

Reference to Boba Fett’s experience in the asteroid belt in Episode II

References to the Han Solo anthology film

Foreshadowing for the second Death Star project

Return of the Jedi

Additional deleted scenes:

Right after Jabba’s Sail Barge blows up, Luke, Han, Leia, Lando, and the droids go back to the Millennium Falcon and Luke’s X-wing (both of which are in the middle of a sand storm). Han thanks Luke for saving him and Luke explains to his friends that he has to go back to Dagobah.

Jerjerrod Subplot – Several scenes focusing on Moff Jerjerrod during the Battle of Endor were filmed but ended up cut due to time constraints: In these scenes, Palpatine orders for Jerjerrod to fire the Death Star’s superlaser at Endor in the event that the Rebels managed to capture or otherwise deactivate the shield generator. Afterwards, upon learning of the shield’s deactivation, Jerjerrod reluctantly carries out his command and orders to scramble fighters to prevent Red and Gold Squadrons from accessing the reactor core. (These scenes were eventually restored in the blu-ray edition).

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