Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to be a Jedi?

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to be a Jedi?




After reading this book you will either take a step closer to becoming a Jedi or take a step closer to mastering the Greek alphabet.


Acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Adam Gidwitz delivers a captivating retelling of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back like you’ve never experienced before, infusing the iconic, classic tale of good versus evil with a unique perspective and narrative style that will speak directly to today’s young listeners while enhancing the Star Wars experience for core fans of the saga.
©2015 Adam Gidwitz (P)2015 Listening Library


This is a retelling of ‘Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ for young readers. ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is the answer that is most commonly given when people are asked to name their favorite Star Wars film.
Adam Gidwitz took a different approach to ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ than was taken for the other two books in the series. The writing style is different and is designed to put the listener in Luke Skywalker’s place throughout the movie. When it gets to scenes not involving Luke, the writing shifts to the more traditional third person style.
Each chapter of the book tells a bit from the movie and then includes a Jedi training lesson. These lessons are labeled using the letters of the Greek alphabet, which I found pretty cool. This is the rare Star Wars book in which the listener is supposed to try this at home.
The book does play with the story of Empire just a bit. It treats all of the romantic elements of the film as afterthoughts, which I suspect will appeal to a faction of this book’s target audience at least.
As this book is designed to improve the listener’s Jedi skills, the primary focus is on Luke’s training with Master Yoda. There is a lot of fun to be had here including one scene in which Luke thought Yoda was trying to trick him that got me to genuinely laugh out loud.


Adam Gidwitz used a second person narrative writing style for this book. It essentially turns ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ into a self help manual for becoming a Jedi. How many children will beg their parents to toss balled up socks at them for thirty seconds as they stand on one foot with their eyes closed? I can’t say for sure, but I can tell you that if this book came out in 1990 I would have been one of them.


Marc Thompson does something slightly different with his narration on this book, and I’m not sure how many people will even notice. His narrator voice isn’t quite as deep, sounding a lot like the voice he effects for a young Luke or Wedge. This fits quite well considering that there are suggestions that the actual narrator is very youthful himself.


One of these days, just to see if people actually pay attention to this section of my review, I should comment on how strange it is to get a Star Wars audiobook with no music or sound. I should say that the dialog was hard to understand, I could hear breathing on the track that wasn’t done for the sake of performance and all of the chapter stops are in the wrong spots. All of that would be inaccurate, but at least I wouldn’t be repeating myself.


This retelling of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is a lot more lighthearted than the actual film. For that reason, I can see it being off-putting for people of my age or those who like their Star Wars to be dark. But I am not this book’s intended audience and I try to keep that in mind. If I could go back in time and give a copy of this book to my 6th grade self, I think he would find it quite entertaining and probably even very funny.


Title Author Narrator Publisher Genre Release Date Running Time Stars
Star wars: The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to be a Jedi? Adam Gidwitz Marc Thompson Listening Library Science Fiction 09/22/2015 4 hours, 48 minutes 4/5


A copy of ‘STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEDI?’ was purchased from Audible for review.


2 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to be a Jedi?

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