Solo: Expanded Edition – Best Ever Novelization! (book review)

The best Star Wars novelization ever.

Mur Lafferty takes the art of novelization to a new level.  In bringing Solo: A Star Wars Story into book form, she added layers to the story that were hinted at but not revealed in the film.  She also added elements to the story that are completely new but add depth to the narrative. And while that alone would make it intriguing, she wove together a seamless tale that made the book even more rich than the movie.  Most of the time novelizations are pretty much descriptions of what happened on the big screen, but reading Solo: Expanded Edition you’d think the book was written first.

Title: Solo: A Star Wars Story – Expanded Edition
Author: Mur Lafferty
Cost: $28.99 ($20.28 on Amazon)
Age: 13 and up
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Genre: Star Wars; Science Fiction

Solo: A Star Wars Story – Expanded Edition is the story of Han Solo from young scrum rat on Corellia to the beginnings of a legend.  It captures how Han and Chewie met, how Lando appeared, how Han not only got his name but his blaster, and how he made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.  But all of that is in the movie Solo.  What isn’t in the movie are the finer details that really bring the characters to life – Han’s love for Qi’ra, Qi’ra’s equally strong love for Han, the evilness of Dryden Vos, the loyalty of Chewbacca, the complexity of L3-37, and the coolness of Lando Calrissian.  Finding out how souped up and fine the Millennium Falcon was and how it got into the shape we see it in A New Hope was fun and interesting.  And I love the little touches Mur added like the addition of the quirky characters of Tag and Bink.  There are more Easter eggs in the story (including a big one!) but that would spoil the fun.

Emilia Clarke is Qi’ra and Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Mur doesn’t utilize any narrative tricks to tell this tale.  Instead she simply uses tight, smart writing to bring these characters to life.  The movie played more like a roller coaster ride, but the novelization was a carefully crafted story that added so much more depth to both the good guys and the bad.  Mur strips away some of the mystery behind why Qi’ra left Han behind as she left to meet Darth Maul, giving the reader a better understanding of what transpired inside her head.  More about Han’s background, his parents, and his life as a scrum rat were revealed in the book that wasn’t revealed in the film.  Not all of it and certainly still leaving questions, but hints about what life was like for little Han were given.  Han’s time serving in the Empire was enlightening and consistent with his character.  Mur simply offers such nice depth of storytelling as she adds to Han and company’s legacy.

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo, Donal Glover is Lando Calrissian and Phoebe Waller-Bridge is L3-37 in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

If you’re a fan of scruffy nerf-herders, love Han and Chewie, want to know more about Lando, interested to find out about Qi’ra’s background, or just love a good Star Wars story, make sure to pick up Solo: A Star Wars Story – Expanded Edition!

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