Karen: I didn't realize it had been just over a year -last November -since we last ran a Buried Treasure post. But categories never stay dead forever here, and with the new Star Wars film coming out in a few weeks, this seemed more than appropriate. I had rediscovered my copy of the Star Wars novelization last year but had just put it on the shelf until now. A little detective work tells me this is the second printing, which came out in May 1977 -and I do recall getting it not long before I saw the film, but as I have mentioned in the past around these parts, our town didn't actually get Star Wars until July 1977! So here I had this absolutely amazing book, chock full of photos and the entire story of the film, and it tortured me. Oh, how it tortured me. I did look at all of the pictures and read the captions -heck, I had been reading articles about "The Star Wars" in Starlog for a year or so, so I knew some of the details already. But somehow, I pulled together every ounce of willpower I had and did not read the novel until after I saw the film. And then I had questions. Like -how come we didn't see Luke go to Mos Eisley and meet Biggs in the film? We never saw Jabba in the movie. And so on. Of course, all those scenes that were cut have now been shown in out takes or, sadly in some cases (Jabba), reworked and put back in the films. But you get the idea. I have read that the novel was ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster from George Lucas' script and notes. Re-reading some scenes, it's interesting how they differ from the film - certainly, the dialog seems even worse in the book than the film, and that's saying something. Look, I love Star Wars, but dialog was never Lucas' strong suit.
Karen: If you have never seen this early movie tie-in, it's a beauty. I wish I could show you all of the color photo mid-section (16 pages of photos, as the cover says), but my poor copy is falling apart. I could barely hold it open to take a few pics. But it still looks great. It has photos of all the major characters along with brief bios. I like how Darth Vader is described as using his "extrasensory powers" to keep the Emperor in power -it's the Force, not ESP! Also, R2 and C3PO are called robots, not droids. I can just imagine some low-level copywriter going through all the notes from the studio and trying to make it sound less weird. No one back then knew what the heck the Force or a Jedi was. Also interesting is that in the pages describing the production of the film, American Graffiti is referenced no less than four times. I know it was popular, but still! Then again, what else did Lucas have going for him at that point? Well, certainly he has a few other things on his resume now.