With this new fortieth anniversary hardback edition of the original novelisation, Star Wars fans can rediscover the classic adventure that started it all, without that annoying CGI from the Nineties special edition of the original film (It was cool at the time, but this writer was too young to know any better).
Despite his claims to have had all six episodes of his Star Wars saga planned out in detail when he penned the original script for Star Wars, later renamed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, reading his novelisation of the film this becomes tenuous at best. By the time that Lucas was doing publicity for 2003's Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, the Star Wars creator was making it clear that the Galactic Emperor and Sith Lord Palpatine was the real villain of the saga, not Darth Vader. In this novelisation, however, far from being the master manipulator that we see in the prequels, the Emperor in the prologue is referred to as being "controlled" by men he appointed to high office, presumably men such as the Peter Cushing character from the film, the Grand Moff Tarken Tarkin.
There are also clues in the novel that Lucas was already planing his special edition cut of the film way back in 1977. Unlike the original film, in the novel, like the the special edition version, Han Solo meets Jabba the Hut and not the lackey in the fur coat that we see in the original un-special edition. Like film archaeologists Star Wars fans will enjoy spotting such trivia as they attempt to uncover how their favourite film franchise was originally conceived. The original film poster artwork decorating the front cover also perfectly captures the epic portrayal of the struggle between good and evil that keeps bringing fans back to a galaxy far, far away, and looks awesome on display.
STAR WARS: EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE: OFFICIAL 40TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION / AUTHOR: GEORGE LUCAS / PUBLISHER: CENTURY / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW