Star Wars: The Adventures Of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight by Tony Diterlizzi and Ralph McQuarrie (book review).

June 14, 2015 | By | Reply More

‘Star Wars: The Adventures Of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight’ is a children’s picture book aimed at relating the events of the original trilogy to a younger readership. Aimed at seven year-old readers and this could be an easy way to get the youngsters in your life up to speed with the saga before ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ opens in December.

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However, what could beat watching the original movies? How about reading the story with some gorgeously illustrated concept artwork created by the late great Ralph McQuarrie. Episodes four to six are told with fantastic artwork from the Academy Award winning artist. From the both Death Star battles to Dagobah, McQuarrie’s artwork shines throughout. The other great joy in this being concept art is that some of the characters don’t look exactly as you remember them. Yoda resembles Nobby the House Elf and C3PO appears more like Maria from ‘Metropolis’. Strangely, this doesn’t jar reading the book as you might think.

The story is simply but engagingly told in a way that young readers would understand (no incestual connotations here). It has been written by Tony DiTerlizzi, best known for his ‘Spiderwick Chronicles’ books. He accompanies the text with call-outs of sound effects like ‘WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!’ for blaster fire. This is great, as it recalls the audio/visual assault on the senses that ‘Star Wars’ represents in the cinema.

As an introduction to the ‘Star Wars’ original trilogy, this works very well, the visuals and storytelling really whetting the appetite for the films. It might prove tricky to do try this with the prequel trilogy, with its much darker and more adult storylines. I suppose we will need to wait until September when ‘The Force Awakens’ merchandising begins to emerge to see what kids versions we get of that movie.

For now, though, this is an excellent way to get a child into the world of ‘Star Wars’ and a great way to own some of McQuarrie’s gorgeous artwork at a very reasonable price indeed. In fact, this could easily sit on the adult fan’s coffee table alongside other making-of books. Highly recommended.

John Rivers

June 2015

(pub: Egmont. 64 page illustrated oblong hardback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-4052-7853-5)

check out website: www.egmont.co.uk

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Category: Books, Star Wars

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