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Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Star Wars: Novelizations #1)

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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  9,856 ratings  ·  299 reviews
EVERY SAGA HAS A BEGINNING. . . In barren desert lands and seedy spaceports. . . in vast underwater cities and in the blackest depths of space. . . unfolds a tale of good and evil, of myth and magic, of innocence and power. At last the saga that captured the imagination of millions turns back in time to reveal its cloaked origins - the start of a legend - the story of STAR ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published March 2nd 2000 by Arrow (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ron
Nov 30, 2014 Ron rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Star Wars die hards
Recommended to Ron by: Wendell Andrea
This is the first time I've read a book written "based on" a movie. Not a bad effort. In some ways better than the movie because the reader is taken inside the point-of-view characters. Terry Brooks, of course, is an accomplished author and did not hurt his reputation with this novel.

One major shortcoming of both book and movie (and therefore probably Lucus', rather than Brook's, fault) came into clearer focus in the book. No one recognized Padme as Amidala until she reveals herself. Not Anakin,
...more
Crystal Starr Light
"The opinions of others whether you agree with them or not are something you have to learn to tolerate"
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, two Jedi knights (well, one is a Master, the other his Padawan, but who's counting?), are surreptitiously sent to Naboo to negotiate a treaty to put an end to the blockade the Trade Federation has on the planet. But negotiations are short when the Neimoidians try to kill them and now the Jedi try to get Queen Amidala, ruler of Naboo, to Coruscant, to spur the Republic into
...more
Michael
Aug 09, 2012 Michael rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 7 year olds with no life
There's an interesting re-edit of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace out there, called The Phantom Edit. It's one person's edit of the original movie, with as much of the moronic Jar-Jar, annoying Anakin, and redundant storyline removed as possible. It's an improvement, though the movie still falls far short of the original trilogy.

Unfortunately, this book goes in the opposite direction. The author expounds on both the Jar-Jar and the Anakin idiocy, often taking it to extremes (for example,
...more
Kevis Hendrickson
Although it isn't going to set yor pants on fire, the novelization of The Phantom Menace is actually quite a good book. One of the reasons why many people disliked the film version of The Phantom Menace is because the film didn't focus on its main character, Anakin Skywalker, who would one day become the future Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. In the book, however, the story hones in on Anakin, and explores his life as a slave, laying down the narrative foundation for us to understand why Anakin b ...more
Bram
I'm going to play the ultimate nerd contrarian and admit that I love this movie and novelization. It's probably just heavy nostalgia for one of my last pre-puberty summers, but I'm ok with that.
Benjamin Stahl
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ...
I was a shy, meek, slightly confused nine-year-old virgin. It was all a very long time ago ... "but only if you measure it in years".
Pokémon cards were the primary source of one's superiority; sharing a bedroom with a bunch of other boys was not yet an eyebrow-raiser; the prospect of working through the holidays was little more than a sick joke; and 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' was the greatest movie of all time.

description

Now - before you freak out
...more
Jenna
About as good as its source material, which is not saying much. I found myself bored through most of this. The parts in the movie that don't really further the plot (eg pod race, space battle at the end) are at least pretty to look at on screen; that doesn't translate well to words on a page. And the changes from the film dialogue generally make it more awkward and unbelievable (Anakin's repeated announcement about his future with Padme, for example).

The Darth Plagueius book did a good job of fl
...more
Manni P
Tämä oli oikeastaan yllättävän hyvä. Olen aina pitänyt pimeän uhkaa elokuvana ihan hyvänä, mutta kirjana tämä on astetta parempi.

Anakin on tässä miljoona kertaa kiinostavampi kuin samaisessa elokuvassa ja luokattoman näyttelijäsuorituksen ollessa poissa pidin tuosta 11 vuotiasta Anakinista. Anakin on myös paljon enemmän esillä tässä kirjassa. Itseasiassa Anakin on eniten esillä kirjan aikana ja koko kirja alkaa hänestä. Qui-Gon Jinn oli myös tässä kirjassa paaaljon kiinostavampi kuin elokuvassa
...more
Iset
Let us cover the skill and style of writing in question first, before we come to my quibbles over certain plot elements which were, to be fair, mostly Lucas’ fault and nothing to do with the author of this book who has only faithfully followed Lucas’ vision. Obviously any author who is writing the novelisation of a film is under pressure to produce something that is not just an exact replica word for word of the lines in the script. It is very obvious that this has been a major consideration of ...more
Richard
With the Phantom Menace being by far the weakest of the Star Wars movies it took me a while to get around to reading the book, but I was pleasantly surprised how good it was.

Firstly having the thoughts and feelings of the POV characters really helps connect to them.

Seeing Anakin’s POV makes him a much more likeable character than he is in the first movie (plus you don’t have to put up with the bad acting). His love of Padmé comes across more in this book than the movie, making his feelings that
...more
R
Better effort, in many ways, than the holes left by the screenplay; more meat to the story, and a few fewer of those loose ends Lucas is so (in)famous for leaving in his universe.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable read, even if you have seen the movie first ;)

Actually, you will enjoy the movie more, after reading this novel, as you will feel as though you know more about what is 'really' going on and some of the motivation behind some of the characters.
Brooks' attempts to cover up some of the *ah
...more
Karen
**This review is for the abridged audio version of the Terry Brooks novelization**

I should start by saying that as a previously lifelong fan of Star Wars who no longer called herself a fan after the brutal prequel trilogy, I was pretty convinced I wasn't going to like the audio book either. That being said, a 3-star rating for Phantom Menace really says something for Terry Brooks' novelization. I got more from the story than I did the movie, for sure.
The voice acting is decent although a few of
...more
David
Terry Brooks, how could you? I've enjoyed many of his books before, but this book SUCKED! Okay, I know it wasn't his fault. This was just a novelization and there was only so much he could do, but just say no Terry! I know the temptation to have any involvement with the Star Wars series is huge, but this is too much to ask. It sucked and he knew it was going to suck. I'd rather read this than watch the movie, but I'd still vastly prefer slowly crushing every bone in my body with a ball peen hamm ...more
C.
May 28, 2012 C. rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
This book, to me, was mostly a pointless rehash of a mediocre (at best) movie, but without the impressive special effects that made the movie worth seeing...once.

I read this only because my sister claimed it would would make me like Jar-Jar, or at least empathize with him. It did not. I would rather the Jedis had to carry around a bucket of feces than have Jar-Jar tag along with them. It would have been funnier than Jar-Jar's so called catch-phrase spouting comic relief, and it would have been o
...more
Veronique
This is actually not bad at all. It felt a lot like watching the movie, but it made more sense. You got into a couple of the characters' heads, and for me I understood a lot more of the conflict than I ever did watching the films. (All I knew was people were fighting..)

The physical descriptions of some of the characters are a little weak, but of course nobody is likely to read this who hasn't seen the movie, so they can get their own picture. There's a lot of "oh no, aqua monster" and all you l
...more
Jennifer
Finishing off the last few pages today, and I didn't like it much, I have to admit.

First of all, there where all those names and creatures, and they were described so poorly that I really could not imagine them.

The fight really keeps me in the dark. Why are they fighting? For what purpose and intent? Normally sci-fi has a clear outline, and a separation between good and bad. That is completely missing.

Then there is one big deficit: the lack in morale. In everything I read I search for it, and e
...more
Willem van den Oever
Oh, movie novelizations… What to make of ye?
While movies based on books can turn out to be very successful – sometimes even surpassing the success or fame of the source material – transitions from the screen to the page are more often less successful.
Instead of being an exception to that rule, Terry Brooks’ novelization of “Star Wars – The Phantom Menace” confirms the cliché. Especially with a movie as heavily anticipated as this one, the novel of “The Phantom Menace” was clearly just a way to c
...more
Greg Smith
While I understand this was made from the screenplay, I would still have liked to have seen this made into the movie instead of what was. It's more or less the same as the movie was, just without all the things that made it into a kids movie. It also contained a lot of additional content and character back-story that just doesn't play out well with movies. For instance, you really get to understand what Obi-wan is thinking as you get to get more in-depth with his character.
Kaye
As I remembered from years and years ago, having had this audiobook on cassette tape, Terry Brooks did a great job adapting the screen play into a novel with good flow that adds some depth to the story we get in the movie. Alexander Adams is a fantastic narrator, and while he doesn't really try with the accents for characters like Obi-Wan or Qui-Gon, he was able to differentiate between the characters enough that there was no confusion. He did a great job, however, with the few lines from C3-P0 ...more
Carolyn
I saw Episodes 1-3 when they first came out and was underwhelmed by all of them. Reading the Episode 1 book enabled me to figure out why: midichlorians. The emphasis on midichlorians in the story of the Jedi caught my attention, and I've decided that I don't like them at all. Basically to be a Jedi you have to have a high midichlorian count. To be a SKILLED Jedi you also have to train and everything, but without midichlorians it is a non-starter. So there are the Jedi (and the Sith) with high mi ...more
Jordan Hofer
If you ask my opinion on any/most star wars' book/s there are several moral massages that one will commonly recall.
-MEAN PEOPLE SUCK
-IT'S GOOD TO BE BRAVE
-MEAN PEOPLE GET UGLY
-DEFEND YOUR FRIENDS
-WATCH OUT FOR MEAN PEOPLE PLAYING TRICKS AND TELLING LIES
-DONT'T LET NASTY OLD MEAN GUYS GOAD YOU INTO LOSING YOUR TEMPER
This book is not one of the best books in the star wars saga, but it's necessary to read it because it is the 1st episode.
Yiz
Jun 20, 2015 Yiz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Yiz by: s
This is my first time reading a book from Star Wars, this book was given to me a year ago, I picked it up to read it a few times but my long pauses between chapters was too long for me to recall what was happening in the story. I finally managed to get hold of the plot progression upon my third try in reading the book.

One of the challenges of reading this book for someone who have never watched any Star Wars movie (or rather remember watching any, I might have seen some as a kid and forgot abou
...more
Revan97
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace is an absolute must for any Star Wars fan. The story of how Anakin Skywalker won his freedom from slavery and began his quest as a Jedi that would eventually lead to his becoming the galaxy conquering Darth Vader is simply amazing.

Terry Brooks has successfully adapted a gripping masterpiece and made a book that is a fun and easy read. I could read an entire novel just about Anakin Skywalker going about his life as a slave on Tatooine.

Perhaps the very bes
...more
Cindy Pierce
While I tend to think movie adaptations of books are kind of crap, I have always enjoyed the novelizations of movies.

In the case of Star Wars movies overall, I like to pretend the prequels never happened. With that being said, I decided to go ahead and try to read the prequels, fully expecting to hate The Phantom Menace within minutes. However, I was unexpectedly sucked into the story in a way that I never was by the film.

I am starting Attack of the Clones now, and while I have slightly higher
...more
Callista
Somehow the narrative style managed to sap the excitement out of the story and not really add anything.
(Yes, I admit that the things I like about the movie outweigh the things in it that I find annoying.)
Blake
If I were rating the movie it would only be 1 star. That being said he books is two steps ahead of the movie. You get a better feel of the politics going on by reading the book. You also get an overall better understanding of the main characters because we are now privy to their thoughts. The other thing that helped the book out over the movie is the readers ability to insert their own "voice" into a character. So even if the lines being read have been poorly written at least you don't have to m ...more
Matt Hartzell
Mar 06, 2009 Matt Hartzell rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Star Wars Fans
Shelves: star-wars
The adapted novel of the movie. This is probably better than the movie, but that's not saying much.
Stephen
The Phantom Menace was the first movie in the new 'prequel' trilogy of the Star Wars saga, which told the story of a promising young Jedi who was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force, even as the Republic which he served was corrupted by the master of the dark inside into the Galactic Empire. It is easily the least-liked of the Star Wars movies, featuring a young boy who is far too precocious ("Are you an angel?") and the majestic silliness of Jar-Jar Binks. Terry Brooks' challenge in creating ...more
Stephanie
The best bits were the Anakin-characterization bits but this was still terrible.
Brian
Terry Brooks does a great job. This book far outshines the movie.
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Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944, where he spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same park that would eventually become the setting for his bestselling Word & Void trilogy. He went to college and received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and he received ...more
More about Terry Brooks...

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