Brad Wheeler's Reviews > The Force Unleashed

The Force Unleashed by Sean Williams
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Sep 25, 11

bookshelves: star-wars, ebook, tie-ins
Read in September, 2011

In the late nineties, Lucasfilm produced their first multimedia extravaganza with Shadows of the Empire. Steve Perry wrote the novel, and there was also a video game, a soundtrack, graphic novels, the whole works. It went pretty well. Now, twelve years later, Lucasfilm did it again with the Force Unleashed. This time, eh....

It's obvious that the video game was the leader of this whole project, because it's a video game story. The characters are broadly drawn, and a lot of the plot consists of the main character, Starkiller, running from place to place cutting people and things in half. That's fun on the screen, not so much on the page. Worse, secondary characters who could fade into the background in the game are instead given page after page of viewpoint, but they don't get to do anything. After all, they didn't do anything in the game, right?

Worst of all for a Star Wars fan like me, this book covers a few events that are really important to the saga--the construction of the Death Star, the foundation of the Rebel Alliance--but does so in ways that are far less interesting than the hints and tidbits we've gotten before. It's just all so perfunctory. Part of that is Sean Williams' spare prose, but mostly, I think he just didn't have much to work with.

Basically, don't read this novel. It's not good Star Wars, it's not good anything.
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