Written By: Rae Carson
Published By: Del Rey
Reviewed By: Melissa Minners
It’s no secret to most G-POP fans that I am not completely impressed with the recent Star Wars trilogy of films. That being said, I am a loyal Star Wars fan and have seen them all. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the final film in the trilogy, and I did make certain that I saw it, but in the end, I felt somewhat disappointed. Sometimes, as they say, the book is better, so I decided to check out the novelization of the film by Rae Carson.
In The Rise of Skywalker, our heroes are trying to rebuild in a new hiding place, a rain forest moon known as Ajan Kloss. Sort of a cross between Endor and Dagobah, it is here that Rey has been training to become a Jedi under Leia’s tutelage. But the going has been frustrating. Rey has just come into her powers and at this late stage of the game, there are quite a few distractions. Her visions have left her perplexed and wondering whether she should continue with her training.
Leia senses her student’s indecision, but she has some issues of her own. The injuries she received when she was ejected from her command ship are starting to catch up with her. Leia senses she doesn’t have much time left, so she pushes herself to train Rey to become a Jedi and Poe to become the leader she knows he can be.
Everything is thrown into disarray when the leaders of the Rebellion learn that the Emperor may not be dead. While seeking the truth as to whether he is alive or dead, they soon discover that there is an armada of Imperial Star Destroyers in the Unknown Regions, centering around the planet Exegol. Kylo Ren is on his way there – to meet up with the Emperor and to take control of the armada that will put an end to the Rebellion once and for all. It will be up to our heroes to stop him and put an end to the Emperor, but with their lack of support, will they be up to the task?
While I wasn’t over-enthused by the movie version of The Rise of Skywalker, I felt that Rae Carson did a great job with the novelization. Her writing offers us insight into the minds of the main characters, giving us a better idea as to why they do the things they do. Thus, we get a better understanding of Leia’s actions, of Finn’s sudden realization regarding Rey, of Poe’s feelings about his leadership abilities, about Rey’s relationship with Kylo and her worries about the dark side. I still don’t like the revelation regarding her parentage. I really think the writers could have gone in a different direction. That being said, I felt that Carson did a great job explaining her parentage and the reasons the Emperor wanted her destroyed.
Quite honestly, after not being very happy with the film, I was surprised to find myself enjoying the book. I enjoyed it so much I was done with it in a couple of days. Now, armed with the new knowledge imparted on me by Rae Carson, I want to watch the film again. Perhaps I needed to read the novelization to realize the full potential of The Rise of Skywalker. Well done, Rae Carson, well done.