The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The original Star Wars books were novelizations of the three Star Wars films: Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983). The first novel was attributed to George Lucas, director of the first film. It may have been written by Alan Dean Foster, a prolific science-fiction and fantasy author. The series relies extensively on Lucas’ story ideas. The novels’ plots are similar to, but not identical to, those of the films; they incorporate some new situations and characters. As in the films, several subplots were developed around Luke’s friends and family.

The Star Wars trilogy tells how Luke Skywalker and his friends save the universe from the evil Galactic Empire. In the first book, Luke, a young farmer from the desert planet Tatooine, joins the Rebel Alliance after his aunt and uncle are murdered by Imperial Stormtroopers searching for two droids (R2D2 and C-3P0). Attempting to return the droids to Princess Leia of Alderaan, Luke and a former Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi, escape on the space freighter Millennium Falcon, piloted by smuggler Han Solo and his Wookie companion, Chewbacca. Ben teaches Luke about the Force, “an energy field which surrounds each and every one of us.”

Upon arrival, the ship is captured by the Empire’s new weapon, the Death Star, which has destroyed Alderaan. Hiding from Stormtroopers, Luke, Han, and Chewbacca rescue Leia while Ben fights a lightsaber duel with his former pupil, Lord Darth Vader. When Ben is killed, Luke and the others flee to the rebel base on Yavin, followed by the Death Star. At the base, rebel leaders plan an attack on the Death Star while Luke unsuccessfully tries to convince Han to join the rebels. The rebels engage in an extended space battle over the Death Star, with many losses. As the Death Star aims at Yavin, Han saves Luke from a pursuing Darth Vader. Using the Force, Luke destroys the Death Star. Luke...

(The entire section is 804 words.)