Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker
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|Author||Alan Dean Foster (Credited to George Lucas)|
|Cover artist||Ralph McQuarrie|
12 November 1976
|Media type||Hardcover & Paperback|
|Preceded by||Death Star|
Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker is the original title of the novelization of the film Star Wars. Credited to George Lucas, but actually ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster, it was first published on November 12, 1976 by Ballantine Books.
The book, which was based upon Lucas's original screenplay for the first Star Wars film, has been published under several titles, first as Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, later as simply Star Wars, and most recently as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, reflecting the retitling of the film that occurred following the announcement that Lucas would film the first three episodes of the Star Wars Saga.
This book was published about six months before the original Star Wars movie was released; at that point, the source material for this story in particular, and the whole Star Wars universe in general, was still somewhat fluid. As a result, the story in the book differs slightly from the story that ended up in the movie in several ways. By February 1977, still three months before the film was released, the novelization sold out its initial print run of 125,000 copies.
Differences from the film
There are several portions of the novel that deviate from the film, such as scenes that were filmed but not included in the final cut of the movie. Most notable are scenes with Luke Skywalker and his friends at Tosche Station on Tatooine. Various small details, such as the callsigns used by the Rebels in the Death Star assault, are different (e.g. Luke is "Blue Five" instead of "Red Five").
At one point, Han Solo mentions a Corellian friend named Toccnepil (Lippincot backwards). This is a reference to Charles Lippincott, the mastermind of the Star Wars marketing campaign. "Droid" is spelled with an apostrophe in the front, as the term was used as a contraction of the word "android". The references to Rebels are listed as rebels. The Imperial Stormtroopers board the Tantive IV through the ceiling rather than blasting apart a door. The callsign of the stormtroopers guarding the Millennium Falcon is THX-1138 as opposed to TK-421 in the film. The destruction of Alderaan is not described in the book, nor does Obi-Wan sense the planet's destruction.
The prologue says that after Emperor Palpatine rose to power, he was "controlled" by the "boot-lickers he had appointed to high office", implying that he is merely a victim of manipulation by Imperial bureaucrats rather than the true string puller. Of course, this is presented as a quote from a galactic historian and reflects the care with which Palpatine put forward a benevolent image and made it look like he was just a humble civil servant, rather than the evil mastermind he was all the time.
The death of Obi-Wan Kenobi is different in the book in that Darth Vader succeeds in defeating him during their lightsaber duel, while in the film Obi-Wan allows Vader to strike him down, in order to provide Luke and the others a diversion to escape the Death Star. The novel refers to Darth Vader as a Sith Lord. Although he was referred to as this in various merchandising tie-ins at the time of the original film, he is not referred to as such in the movie. In fact, the term Sith Lord is not actually mentioned in the films until 1999's Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
In the film the order of events in the final dogfight over the Death Star is also somewhat different. In the novel, Blue Leader makes two bombing runs down the trench toward the exhaust port. In the film, he only manages to make one before being shot down. In the film, Wedge's X-Wing is damaged by Darth Vader and his wingmen, thus forcing him to leave the battle since he can't stay with Luke, and then Biggs is killed outright by the pursuing Darth Vader and his fighters. In the novelization, Biggs is killed first by his ship being destroyed, and then Wedge must retreat due to a malfunction caused in the battle with the enemy fighters.
- Burns, Kevin (director) (2004). Empire of Dreams (DVD). USA: Lucasfilm.