Star Wars: A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel and The Farm Boy

Star Wars: A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel and The Farm Boy

‘STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE, THE PRINCESS, THE SCOUNDREL, AND THE FARM BOY’


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A retelling of ‘A New Hope’ from three certain points of view.


PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY:

Although the Rebel Alliance has won a few battles against the Empire, hope is fading. The Empire is about to finish building the greatest weapon the galaxy has ever seen – the Death Star. The rebels’ only chance to defeat it now lies in the unlikely hands of a princess, a scoundrel, and a farm boy….
Acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken delivers a captivating retelling of Star Wars: A New Hope like you’ve never experienced before. Since the premier of the original film, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker have become iconic, larger-than-life characters. The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy takes a deeper look at these three heroes as they join forces to defeat the evil that threatens their entire galaxy.
©2015 Alexandra Bracken (P)2015 Listening Library


THE PLOT:

This is a retelling of ‘Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope’ that is meant for younger readers. As such, the bulk of the story should be quite familiar to every Star Wars fan, if not memorized down to the second.
Still, Alexandra Bracken takes a new approach on the old tale by climbing into the heads of Princess Leia, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker throughout different parts of the story. In fact, we are with each character at their most critical involvement in the story. We are with Leia at the beginning, with Han in the middle while they’re on the Death Star, and with Luke leading up to and including the battle over Yavin.
What was going through Leia’s mind when she was initially captured? What was she thinking when she was talking to Tarkin? What was Han keeping to himself while observing Luke’s training aboard the Falcon? What was it like for Luke when he first encountered an X-wing? All of these questions and more are addressed in this ‘A New Hope’ retelling.
I have always thought that Princess Leia was the least defined of the three main characters in the original film. This doesn’t mean she is poorly defined; it’s just that she keeps impressive company in that regard. ‘A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel and The Farm Boy’ gave me a whole new appreciation for Leia, and I was glad of it. Her purpose, what drives her forward and even her attitude are fleshed out quite well. Bracken does a good job of adding depth to all three of these characters, but she did her best work with Princess Leia.
There are just a lot of fun moments in this retelling of ‘A New Hope’. In particular, there is a very brief moment between Ben and R2 that was a nice touch. The same can also be said for Luke’s first meeting with Wedge before the assault on the Death Star takes place.


THE AUTHOR:

Alexandra Bracken had a difficult task but pulled it off quite well. She had to bring a new perspective to a story that is already familiar to a significant portion of this planet’s population.
Reading this retelling of ‘A New Hope’, it is hard to walk away from it without a fresh understanding of these three characters. While each of them had their moments, I found the Leia portion to be the best, followed closely by Luke.


THE NARRATION:

This retelling of ‘A New Hope’ is exactly what I’d like to see all Star Wars audiobooks, even though I know it will never happen. You have Marc Thompson on hand to handle the sections of the book that are told from Han and Luke’s point of view, as well as every male voice, and Rebecca Soler on hand to handle the Princess Leia section and every female voice.
This is Soler’s first appearance in a Star Wars audiobook and she handled it well. She tried very hard to match her performance to the actual performance given in ‘A New Hope’. This includes putting on a British accent out of nowhere when Leia is brought before Tarkin on the Death Star.
I’ve complimented Thompson on his work doing female voices in the past, and that still stands, but I really would like to see more productions like this one.


THE PRODUCTION:

This is your standard issue Star Wars audiobook from a production standpoint. Fortunately, the standard for Star Wars audiobooks is incredibly high. You get the full complement of music and sound effects, but they never overwhelm the narration.


CONCLUSION:

‘A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel and The Farm Boy’ is my favorite of these retellings of the classic trilogy. Alexandra Bracken managed to add depth of character to some characters that were pretty well defined already. It would be fun to see her do something similar with one of the prequel trilogy films.
Aside from that, the production is as good as we have come to expect, and the use of both a male and female narrator was quite fitting considering the structure of the book.


QUICK FACTS:

Title Author Narrator Publisher Genre Release Date Running Time Stars
Star Wars: A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy Alexandra Bracken Marc Thompson, Rebecca Soler Listening Library Science Fiction 09/22/2015 5 hours, 5 minutes 4.5/5

DISCLAIMER:

A copy of ‘STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE: THE PRINCESS, THE SCOUNDREL, AND THE FARM BOY’ was purchased from Audible for review.


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