Book Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story – Expanded Edition By Mur Lafferty

Author: Mur Lafferty
Publisher: Del Rey (US); Century (UK)
Release date: 4th September 2018 (US); 6th September 2018 (UK)
Formats available: Hardback, eBook (304 pages), audiobook (2 CD’s – 570 minutes)
Timeline: 13-10 years BBY

Synopsis;

Don’t miss the exclusive content in this thrilling adaptation of Solo: A Star Wars Story, with scenes from alternate versions of the script including Han Solo’s time in the Imperial Navy, Qi’ra’s past, the beginnings of the rebellion, and more!

Though Han Solo has thrilled Star Wars fans for decades, the notorious wisecracking scoundrel was chasing adventure and dodging trouble long before he walked into the cantina at Mos Eisley spaceport.

Young Han dreams of someday soaring into space at the helm of his own starship and leaving his home, the gritty industrial planet Corellia, far behind. But as long as he’s trapped in a life of poverty and crime—and under the thumb of the sinister Lady Proxima and her brutal street gang—reaching the distant stars seems impossible. When Han tries to escape with his girlfriend and partner-in-crime, Qi’ra, he makes it out—but she doesn’t. Desperate for a way to find his own off world vessel and free her, Han enlists in the Imperial Navy—the last place for a rebellious loner who doesn’t play well with others.

When the Empire clips his wings, Han goes rogue and plunges into the shady world of smugglers, gamblers, and con artists. There he meets the charming and cunning high roller Lando Calrissian, makes an unlikely friend in a cantankerous Wookiee called Chewbacca, and first lays eyes on the Millennium Falcon. To snag his piece of the outlaw pie, Han joins a crew of pirates to pull off a risky heist. The stakes are high, the danger is great, and the odds are slim. But never tell Han Solo the odds.

The review;

The cover has a wild west wanted poster theme, with the weathered look around it’s edges. A greats illustration of the cast which is very accurate and is in keeping with all the early Star Wars movie posters. The Barnes and Noble exclusive includes a double sided poster that features a silhouetted view of Han and the crew, and has Enfys Nest and her gang featured on the other.

Most movies get verbatim adaptations, especially when there is no original book to guide what has happened in the movie, but in recent times it has become more accepted to add extra scenes to expand the story. Many of these scenes will no doubt be included on the home release as part of the bonus package, but I think it is interesting to get a more in depth feel of these scenes.

The novel starts well and explains how Han’s coaxium deal went horribly wrong, but also how he manages to boost the speeder he escapes in. The additional scene of Han’s time and court martial in the Imperial Navy is covered, amongst other little items throughout.

Additional scenes aside, the rest of the adaptation follows the story accurately and holds the pace of the movie created by Ron Howard. I also found this book easy to read. It is not a long book, but it flows well for me. The pace and humour of the movie is well captured.

With the nature of the relationship between Han and Qi’ra, Beckett and Val, and in some ways Lando and Ellthree, I feel the choice of Mur Lafferty as the author was a wonderful choice. I got the feeling that a female touch to this writing added something to the text that I think many male authors may not be able to communicate as well. The subtle nuances and the tensions between some of the characters was so well written and it gave me a genuine feeling of belief about the relationships they have.

The movie was deemed by many as a flop due to the backlash of some fans boycotting the movie in retaliation to their perceptions of The Last Jedi. If those fans are prepared to give it another shot, the adaptation novel and home release will hopefully encourage them to do so, and I think those perceptions will change dramatically.

As Star Wars movie adaptations go, this is a solid book in which the expanded scenes add an extra depth to the on-screen version. Well worth the read for any Star Wars fan, young or old.

Availability;

Solo: A Star Wars Story Expanded Edition by Mur Lafferty was published by DelRey in the US on 4th September 2018 and Century on 6th September 2018 in the UK. The hardback book is available from all good book stores and through online retailers including Amazon with a RRP of £20. It is also available in eBook and audiobook formats.