5 Books To Enrich Your Viewings of The Last Jedi
By now you’ve probably had time to watch the home release of The Last Jedi a few or 57 times. The extra features included with the film can give you more of its world via deleted scenes or behind the camera documentaries and shorts. But if you enjoy the movie and you find yourself wanting even more – there are a few Star Wars books you can check out that’ll give further backstory, deeper meaning, and maybe even a new perspective on this installment of the Star Wars movies. Here are the books to enrich your viewings of The Last Jedi:
Bloodline by Claudia Gray
This is the first Star Wars book director Rian Johnson had some input into. Without revealing too much – the “napkin incident” as well as the state of the New Republic including its political factions were requests from director of The Last Jedi. The novel itself is a better look into Leia’s situation with the New Republic than we get in the movies, gives a thread or two about Ben Solo and his Uncle Luke during this time period, and sheds some insights in Han and Leia’s relationship about 6 years before The Force Awakens.
My full Bloodline review is here.
Bonus: There has been a fan theory or two about what other character seen in The Last Jedi might have had something to do with the “napkin incident”, but I’ll let you discover them yourself.
Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson
Are you sad there wasn’t more room for Phasma screen time in two Star Wars movies now? Or are you just curious as to where she came from? Learn more about the woman behind the shiny helmet in this novel by Delilah S. Dawson. It’s an intense and adventurous story that feels cinematic itself. Not only that, you’ll get a peek into some of the inner workings of the First Order and maybe understand General Hux a little bit along the way.
Bonus: It’ll make Finn fighting Phasma in The Last Jedi a lot more scary.
Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray
Beyond giving you even more of Leia’s history and her everlasting battle for peace via her teen years, Claudia Gray’s second entry on this list is the biggest look we have so far into Admiral Amilyn Holdo’s past. According to the director’s commentary on the film, Laura Dern’s initial portrayal of the character was a bit more in line with this book before they decided to take her in a tangential direction.
No major spoilers make an appearance in my review of this Y.A. Leia story.
Bonus: Learn more about what the base the Resistance holes up in on Crait was like before they got there.
Canto Bight by Saladin Ahmed, Mira Grant, Rae Carson, & John Jackson Miller
We only got a brief look at the underbelly of the casino city of Canto Bight within the movie. These four short stories set before Finn and Rose arrive give a lot of credence to Rose’s discomfort with the place. Unfortunately the central character of two of the stories ended up getting cut out of the movie, but you can catch them on DVD/Blu-Ray/digital in the deleted scene featuring the sauna. The rest of the central characters can be spotted either on the ship going over the waterfall or in the initial pan through the main casino itself. And in case you didn’t get enough of how rough it is being a stable kid at the fathier track, you’ll get a look at that too.
Learn more about each story in my review of Canto Bight.
Bonus: Maybe you’ll be as happy as I was to see a character show up near the bar in the film appearing to be in such good spirits after everything they’ve been through.
Cobalt Squadron by Elizabeth E. Wein
Aimed at young readers this book will give you an up-close look at the relationship of Rose Tico and her sister Paige, in the days before and leading right up to the start of The Last Jedi. Get a better idea of how Holdo was operating in connection with Leia’s group. Find out how Rose is responsible for a technical device that should have been part of saving the day for her side in the movie. Heads-up – the writing is a bit repetitive, even for a kid’s book but that clears up later on.
Bonus: You’ll recognize the name yelled out by Paige in the film and possibly be sadder than that scene already makes you because now you’ll know who the rest of the beings aboard the ship with her were.
Honorable Mentions You Might Also Want to Check Out:
The Art of The Last Jedi by Phil Szostak – If you want to know more about the actual making of the movie and see sketches of various locations, characters, and props from the development phase, this is your top resource. It’s actually a great companion to the behind the scenes features on the digital/DVD/Blu-ray release. I take a closer look at this coffee table book in my review here.
The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition by Jason Fry – Integrating the movie itself, deleted scenes, and a little bit from pretty much all the books above – the movie’s novelization is the most direct enhancement while also covering the most familiar territory. Learn a bit more about this adaptation in my review here.
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