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Star Wars: Before the Awakening

(Star Wars Disney Canon Junior Novel)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  7,167 ratings  ·  968 reviews
A companion piece to the "Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens" character novels, Star Wars: Before the Awakening is an anthology book that focuses on the lives of Rey, Finn, and Poe before the events of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens. ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published December 18th 2015 by Disney Lucasfilm Press
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Michael Anything published after April 25, 2014 is considered official canon by Disney/Lucas films. All other EU material is now considered legend. This means…moreAnything published after April 25, 2014 is considered official canon by Disney/Lucas films. All other EU material is now considered legend. This means parts of them may be true, and characters from the EU may be used in the future, but they should be thought of as stories from an unreliable narrator.

Here is a goodreads list of new canon.

Zach It seems to fit squarely in the Young Adult category, because of the age of the characters and the implied/depicted violence. However, it is pretty ta…moreIt seems to fit squarely in the Young Adult category, because of the age of the characters and the implied/depicted violence. However, it is pretty tame and could be read by 10- to 13-year-old kids. (less)

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Enlightening reading in some topics

This an anthology featuring three short stories, each focused on three most relevant new heroes, introduced on the film “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”. The three stories are set previous to the events where the film begins.

My general rating for the book is an average result of the individual ratings on each short story.


Rating: *** ( 3 stars )

FN-2187 was his designation as a proud stormtrooper cader in a promising career in the rising F
Amy Sturgis
This is a "must read" for those who want more following Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Warning: general film-related spoilers follow.

The book is divided into three stories providing background on the three new main protagonists.

Finn (52 pages) - 2.5 stars - While this look into Finn's (or FN-2187's) stormtrooper training has its moments of poignancy, I really dislike how it takes away from Finn's "Everyman" status. The story explains away his admitted work in sanitation on Starkiller Base by expla
Brigid ✩
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

All right so, I've developed a bit of a Star Wars obsession over the past few months. Normally I don't read book spin-off of movies or whatever, but ... I had a few hours to kill at the library and I found this book and I was like, "Well, why not." I was curious to find out more about the protagonists of The Force Awakens and this looked like a quick and fun read.

This book is comprised of three short stories about each of the three main characters: Finn, Rey, and Poe. I didn't go into t
Jul 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
"I'm not Resistance. I'm not a hero. I'm a stormtrooper. Like all of them, I was taken from a family I'll never know. And raised to do one thing. But my first battle, I made a choice. I wasn't gonna kill for them. So I ran. Right into you. And you looked at me like no one ever had. I was ashamed of what I was. But I'm done with the First Order. I'm never going back."

- Finn

"We've got friends out there. They'll come if they know there's hope. They will. First Order wins by making us think we're a
Gisela Valdera
Dec 26, 2015 rated it liked it
"Before the Awakening" is a baffling read that makes you wonder whether Greg Rucka only read the script for The Force Awakens or watched an early version of the movie when he wrote the novel.

Many things don't match the information we were given in the movie. Finn's character, in particular, is a bit of a paradox. In the movie he used to work in sanitation and while clearly capable and full of qualities, it's hard to match the image of the men who bantered, shouted and ran when saving the univers
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Three short stories, each starring one of the new Big Three, showing some of their lives before the movie. Yes, it's a YA take, but I'm so deeply in love with all three of these characters that I was just happy to see more of them. As far as the quality of the actual stories themselves go, they're all fairly good. I think Poe's was probably the more interesting me, because I love X-Wing pilots so, so much, and because it does shed a bit more light on the relationship between the First Order, the ...more
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-wars
"The Force Awakens" has reinvigorated my interest in Star Wars fiction of all kinds. (I've long since given up trying to rectify the EU and the "New Canon", and am enjoying both on their own merits.)

Is this as good as the "Thrawn Trilogy" of the "Darth Bane" trilogy? Of course not.

But it does fill us in on the lives of the primary new cast before the movie begins. And that's enough for me with this book. (I think I could easily grow to love the new characters as much as the older characters, esp
3.5 stars.
Light and action-filled and fun, this provides a bit of backstory and a bit of info on what Rey, Finn and Poe were up to before they collided together. We find out how Finn, though a good storm trooper, was also not a good storm trooper. We find out how Rey became such a good pilot while stuck on Jakku. And though we already know Poe's charismatic and a good pilot, we get to see more of this. And Leia shows up, being smart and on the job and sending Poe on missions.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016

After seeing the film the inevitable need to buy all things star wars just happens, luckily though this was a really good read and it is well worth picking up. It's three stories focusing on finn, rey and poe, yes you should see the movie first because you'll have a better appreciation of the characters but i don't think it spoils the movie there's no spoilers or clues here as to what goes down in the film or any hints for future spoilers, so take your chances.

Rey's story was my fave it's so g
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nerd-geek-fan
I mean, nothing reallly happened, but I loved this a lot. Also maybe I'm just still overflowing with Star Wars emotions, but I totally cried in all 3 sections. Poe's definitely was the meatiest, which seemed fitting.

Now I just want to see the movie again as soon as possible.
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book had a lot of things going for it when I saw it at the book store:

(1) My deep love of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and all its wondrous flaws
(2) My love of expanded universes and a desire to return to the first expanded universe I've ever loved.
(3) Greg Rucka
(4) Poe Dameron

So, I bought it. Unquestioningly, and read it all while my artist completed my new tattoo. It is a quick read, with large print and young protagonists that drop this book into the young adult category, but it can, of
Jessamyn Leigh
This is the kind of quality content I'm here for.

Big-hearted Finn killing it in stormtrooper training while also trying to help his friend? (And more Phasma than the movie?) CHECK.

70ish heartbreaking and beautiful pages of my favorite thing from TFA: Rey's day-to-day life on Jakku? CHECK.

Poe piloting adventures with a heavy dose of General Leia? (Plus finally a clear explanation of the relationship between the Republic and the Resistance?) CHECK.

Phil Noto illustrations? CHECK.

I didn't think
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: december, 2015
After you see TFA, pick up this handy collection of three short stories. Anyone who has questioned Rey's skills as a pilot or her abilities to repair and rebuild items will very much appreciate the back story. ...more
Maria Dimitrova
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
WARNING! This review contains some minor spoilers from both the book and TFA movie.

It was a lovely short read. I was hoping for more information but I guess I'll have to wait 4 more years until most of my questions are answered. The book itself is separated in three parts, each telling the story of the new main characters of Star Wars. Finn's story was most interesting cause for me he was the most complicated character of the film. Not because of some complexity of his personality but because o
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, star-wars
Both Finn's and Rey's stories were great, but Poe's was kinda boring. ...more
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
Last night I finished Star Wars: Before the Awakening, which is a prequel to The Force Awakens and is officially in the canon of the Star Wars universe. It looks like it's written for a younger audience (compared to many past EU novels seeming to be solely for adult readers), but any age will enjoy this book. The print is a bit larger because of this, making this a fast read that I just devoured.

This book is split into three sections, each one telling the story of the three main characters leadi
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
For a book that's supposed to chronicle the "days, weeks, months" leading up to the events of The Force Awakens, this book does a bit of a disservice to Rey.

The chapter detailing her backstory is overly long and - frankly - flat out boring; it doesn't really tell us anything about her, doesn't give us a true sense of who she is aside from someone who is good at scavenging, building stuff, and waiting (all character traits that were clear in the movie).

Finn and Poe's chapters give us motivations
So all the Star Wars books I ordered from my library back in December are finally coming in. It's gonna be like a mini-onslaught of Star Wars books here for a bit. I probably won't give any of them a full review. This one came out the day the movie was released because they didn't want any character backstory spoilers ruining the movie. I find this hilarious because back in the day, you could buy the novelization for a Star Wars movie and know the plot before you even saw it.

Before the Awakening
Damian Dubois
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Finished this in one sitting. Quite interesting tales on the three main new characters in The Force Awakens. Think of it like a mini *ahem prequel to the blockbuster. Poe's story is really exciting, full of hyperspace jumps, TIEs and obviously, dogfights. ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
An exciting look at the lives of three important characters prior to the events of the recent box office smash! I loved it!

Short and entertaining. Star Wars: Before the Awakening gives us some background on The Force Awakens new stellar trio. The book is split in 3 different stories or novellas and each one focuses on one of the characters: Finn, Rey and Poe. If you liked the movie and loved the characters as much as I did (which was A LOT, seriosuly, I'm obsessed) I'm sure you'll enjoy this.

My favourite story has definitely been Poe's (I might be a little bit in love with him, ahem...) and it's the one with more t
Pam's Shenanigans
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
It is refreshing to read a prequel to The Force Awakens that's almost like just a compilation of short stories focused on FN-2187, Rey, and Poe Dameron. The book features events that took place weeks or even months prior to the beginning of The Force Awakens. It makes you think about alternate routes or endings that ponders on the questions "What if Finn was just your typical Stormtrooper, fearless and ruthless with no sign of compassion at all?" or "What if Rey didn't get fucked over and really ...more
M.R. Bowers
Very enjoyable! The Finn section is about what you'd expect (and, accordingly, the shortest), but the Rey segment is a lovely portrait both of Rey's personality and of the kind of struggles she faced on Jakku. And the Poe segment feels like the pitch for a new X-Wing series, as well as providing the context for the political situation in The Force Awakens -- which, frankly, should have been included in the film itself. All in all, if you enjoyed TFA, this book is well worth your time and money. ...more
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-wars
"First of all, this is a volunteer mission. You want to take a pass, it will most definitely not be held against you. I will probably think even more highly of you if you say no. It verges on crazy. It is entirely unofficial."
"I love it when he talks like this. You always know it's going to be something good when he talks like this."
Stay Fetters
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
A magnificent companion novel to the new film. It does give away some spoilers, so I do suggest that you see the film first before you read this.
Gives great detail and a back story to Finn, Rey and Poe. And why they chose to do what they do in the film.
And may the force be with you!!
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ryan Elizabeth
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I read this last summer or the summer before...
I have yet to read a Star Wars book I truly enjoy. :(
As a whole, even for hardcore Star Wars fans, this is almost not worth reading. It's dull, the writing is about what you might expect from a writer of vacuum cleaner adverts in catalogs turned fiction writer, and you really don't get much depth of characterization beyond that of a kiddie pool. The saving grace is Poe's story, otherwise this would definitely be a one star peasant festival with no reason for reading.


This was so boring. Basically, Finn is an exemplary Stormtrooper, until he sta
A tie-in with The Force Awakens , this book is split into three parts: Finn, Rey and Poe, to give us more background on their circumstances than we received in the film. We're gifted with infrequent illustrations from the talented Phil Noto throughout the book - every single one is lovely, but his Poe is truly exceptional. Or maybe that's just Oscar Isaac's face.

Before The Awakening opens with Finn, or FN-2187. We are immediately told that he is an exceptional soldier, with high scores in everyt
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Greg Rucka, is an American comic book writer and novelist, known for his work on such comics as Action Comics, Batwoman: Detective Comics, and the miniseries Superman: World of New Krypton for DC Comics, and for novels such as his Queen & Country series.

Other books in the series

Star Wars Disney Canon Junior Novel (1 - 10 of 53 books)
  • A Test of Courage (Star Wars: The High Republic)
  • Race to Crashpoint Tower (Star Wars: The High Republic)
  • Mission to Disaster (Star Wars: The High Republic)
  • Daring Adventures: Volume 1 (Star Wars: Forces of Destiny)
  • Daring Adventures: Volume 2 (Star Wars: Forces of Destiny)
  • The Snare (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space, #1)
  • The Nest (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space, #2)
  • The Steal (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space, #3)
  • The Dark (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space, #4)
  • The Cold (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space, #5)

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