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Summary

Winner, 2017 APA Audie Awards - Science Fiction

A New York Times best seller: The official novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the blockbuster film directed by J. J. Abrams.

More than 30 years ago, Star Wars burst onto the big screen and became a cultural phenomenon. Now the next adventures in this blockbuster saga are poised to captivate old and new fans alike - beginning with the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And alongside the cinematic debut comes the thrilling novel adaptation by New York Times best-selling science fiction master Alan Dean Foster.

Set years after Return of the Jedi, this stunning new action-packed adventure rockets us back into the world of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Luke Skywalker, while introducing a host of exciting new characters. Darth Vader may have been redeemed and the Emperor vanquished, but peace can be fleeting, and evil does not easily relent. Yet the simple belief in good can still empower ordinary individuals to rise and meet the greatest challenges.

So return to that galaxy far, far away, and prepare yourself for what happens when the Force awakens.

©2015 Alan Dean Foster (P)2015 Random House Audio

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    619
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    67
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

True Star Wars

Fantastic return to the series, it really felt as if this was a universe I could return to and explore. The new characters are mostly great. Didn't like Fin much. Turned traitor then had no trouble killing his squad mates. Rey is an exciting protagonist with interesting mysteries not yet solved. Kylo Ren was a good villain even though he seemed a bit immature, Hopefully they will give his character more depth in the next two movies.When It was finished I sat backed and laughed. With the top quality narration and fantastic sound effects I can tell I will love the movie.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, terrible accents

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend it to massive Star Wars geeks like me, obviously. Not sure how much others would really get out of it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

I'd love to go into detail, but... spoilers.

How could the performance have been better?

The general narration was fine, and the background noises and special effects, as well as music taken from the first six soundtracks, added authenticity.The accents, though... Lord, the accents. I'm not sure if Marc Thompson has ever heard a British person speaking. Listening to Rey, my favourite character from the film, was actually quite painful. I kept hoping she'd stop talking and not keep sounding like a sulky cockney with weird vowels.And yes, obviously, Rey is not "British", nor are General Hux or Captain Phasma, but the actors who play them are (or in the case of Gleeson, doing an acceptable impersonation), and the narrator is *trying* to sound British. For someone who makes a living through narrating audiobooks, I think it's a little unprofessional to be this awful.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yep. But I won't go into detail here!

Any additional comments?

I'm trying not to think too hard about the plot holes and hoping someone will wave their hand in front of my face and just say "These aren't the plot holes you're looking for."

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

For those who like to dig....

Having seen the film twice and then listening to this I can say I feel I have had loads of extra little treasures of story and character information. Time to start my second listen.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

A great adaption of the film, but with a disappointing voice for Rey, otherwise an enjoyable listen for any fan.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Memory Re-Awakens

I still remember being sat in that 70s cinema as the opening moments of the original Star Wars played out in front of my awe-struck eyes. A moment never to be forgotten as an epic Sci-fi fairy tale adventure began. Of course some time later they came out with the next set of films and while they were beautifully shot and spectacular they somehow failed to capture the essence of the originals.

Fast-forward to 2015 and The Force Awakens, it's like time stood still and there it is the old Star Wars magic is back. Storm Troopers that couldn't hit a barn from the inside and many of the old characters back in the saddle. Hmmm, Ja Ja Binks or Chewie? Let me just think on that . . .

So, the audio book. Well, it tells the story, giving a few minor things away not obvious from the film. Marc Thompson does a suitably dramatic job aided and abetted by excellent effects from the film. Yes, his British accents aren't great but to me Star Wars isn't a place to let such things bother you.

A good few hours spent with old friends.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Dick van dyke eat your heart out!

Great story - but horrendously bad English accent for the female lead makes it unlistenable too. Just waiting for dick van dyke and a loaf of chimney sweeps to appear!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • mr
  • 23-12-15

great

amazing audio book , filled in some gaps from the movie. loved it. top stuff

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So much more story

If seen the film and like it you will love this book, so much more insight as to what going on

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this apart from one small thing....

Why do Americans / Canadians find it so hard to do an English accent without sounding like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins or Mike Myers in Austin Powers, even when doing a female one!

I found this to be so annoying that sometimes it knocked me out of the moment and I found myself getting worked up by it.

If the reader cannot do a proper English accent then just don't do one and leave the listener to cater for it rather than spoiling it and sounding like a joke. For that reason I give the Performance 3 stars, everything else was excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 11-02-16

Amazing movie, good book, dreadful audio book!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A good or acceptable narrator.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

The grimace inducing reading of the narrator. The way he does Rey's voice is beyond hideous. It's a deranged medley of Dick Van Dyke/ cheeky cockney/ spoiled posh girl rolled into one
" 'ello guv'nor! Mi name's Rey doncha know, tally pippip."

If you are British and/ or you know what a real British accent sounds like then it's intolerable. His other major fault is that he read what seems like every third sentence as if it's a desperately exciting life or death situation, as in. "Rey reached for her cup of tea!!! She...streched... (hnnnggghh)... across... hoping to... take... a!!! sip!!!"

I was in despair because I am in love with the movie, yet couldn't put up with the narrator to the extent that I gave up on listening to the audiobook.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Marc Thompson?

Anyone less hyped up.
Anyone who can do accents.
Anyone

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The story is great.
The sounds effects and background sounds are fantastic (i.e BB8's bleeping).

Any additional comments?

Someone from Audible UK or Star Wars UK should have flagged up that this is not a good enough performance from the narrator and we could have got a better version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brad
  • 22-12-15

Adds a bit to the Movie

If you enjoy star wars you will enjoy this .However i would recommend watching the movie first as the emotions have more impact when seeing on the faces of the actors for the first time . The great part of this novelization is that it has all the bits from the movie plus extends quite a few scenes and dialog as well as contain some that were probably cut from the movie. No spoilers i promise one of the additional scenes has one of chewies coolest actions ever.

Narrator.
Marc Thompson is always good and for anyone who has heard his chewie voice don't worry a much better. voice has been dubbed in

33 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mjcar66
  • 21-12-15

Even better than the movie.

Even better than the movie. Gives great insight on all key characters. Well worth the listen

35 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rob
  • 20-12-15

Great listen after watching the movie

Would you listen to Star Wars: The Force Awakens again? Why?

Of course, That's why I bought it and didn't rent lol.
I'm not a big fan of dramatized audiobooks, but this one walked the line perfectly. great sound effects when appropriate.
The movie had to cut some scenes that are included in the book, that's the main reason to read the book...or you can wait for the extended version of the movie on Disc (you know it's gonna happen).

What other book might you compare Star Wars: The Force Awakens to and why?

Most starwars books. It's good like that.

Which scene was your favorite?

...No spoilers

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

2 sittings, but honestly I walked around alot while listening.

Any additional comments?

It's worth the money, it's like watching the movie but without people in costume sitting next to you :)

88 of 98 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jamey Carter
  • 21-12-15

Listen to this AFTER you see the movie

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. A few scenes are extended and (of course) give more detail on the thoughts of the characters. But even better are the scenes that are included which were not included in the movie.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

No Spoilers.

Any additional comments?

Again... go see the movie before listening to this audio book.... but then after that, get this book and listen. Marc Thompson, as always, does an incredible job of really sucking you into the moment.

I have seen a review or two that claim this book adds nothing new if you've seen the movie and nothing could be further from the truth. Obviously there are no new twists that dramatically change things here, but it is in the subtle differences and additions that the book brings that will give you a bit more depth and insight not only to a number of the characters, but also to the overall story line.

The movie was good, but this book probably is even better.

43 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • CourtneyWNY
  • 24-02-16

A fantastic production, the story, just the movie

Marc Thompson did an EXCELLENT job. His voices and acting were so well done, very expressive and easy to follow! Little sound effects that are known to be in Star Wars audiobooks make this a fun read too.
I was disappointed by the lack of additional information that I thought the novelization might provide. I almost got the impression that JJ Abrams said to Alan Dean Foster that he shouldn't go much beyond the screenplay. There are some scenes in this book that I assume were edited out of the final cut, but are here in the book, which is fun too. I have read other novelizations that have more densely filled in thoughts and some background/back story more effectively. This felt like a simplistic book with a few ten dollar words thrown in. An example of a fabulous novelization was Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover. He filled in the many, many gaps left by an overly-edited movie and actually made the story better than the movie had been (not hard to do, I grant you). This novel did not make much of an effort to do that. I'm just glad I listened to this and didn't just read it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lizmary
  • 18-12-15

Excellent

What did you love best about Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

Excellent production, very layered. Marc did a fantastic job. The sounds, from a laser to the atmosphere were absolutely engulfing

30 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sebastien Asselin
  • 31-12-15

A Nice Companion

overall, this was quite enjoyable. Well paced and well written. Extra bits are nice cause they add some depth and fill in a few gaps that didn't make it into the movie. BB-8 effects were a welcome surprise!

Good narration, although it can be a little jarring as some of the lines were delivered by their on screen counterparts in a way that wasn't necessarily reflected in the novel.

One thing though, the soundtrack is taken from the prequels and a few times the Anakin/Padme love theme is used and it just doesn't fit. it would be nice if they'd have been able to get the Force Awakens music.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Zac Huffines
  • 20-12-15

Abrams nailed it

fantastic story, brings back the OT feel. the book is definitely a great addition to the film. you discover things not stated in the film

33 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Harvey
  • 24-04-16

A Fantastic Movie

As I said with the title, this book feels more like you're listening to a movie then a actual book. The author's style falling to a more applied theme that you would expect more from the script of a movie then a novel, which isn't by default a bad thing. It made the story easy to digest, entertaining to listen to and kept the plot constantly progressing at a good pace.

Mark Thompson's performance was theatrical at best, and agitating at worst. A fact that was quiet saddening to me personally because I'm a big fan of Mr Thompson's work in other productions such as the Old Republic series, but his performance in the Force Awakens was way to emotionally driven, especially in regards to Rey and Kylo Ren's internal sufferings. Now, I understand 'why' it was done like this, but the fact remains that the over emotional expression to me personally wasn't enjoyable.

Overall, the book was a good listen and is great if your new to Star Wars or wish to have a better understanding of the context in which the movie takes place.

Though, it is far from the best book in the franchise.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher
  • 26-12-15

Just a great FUN listen! Like the movie? LISTEN!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to be better than the print version?

Of course this is better... it is a performance!

What about Marc Thompson’s performance did you like?

Exaggerated? Yes But it's a Star Wars book... it's supposed to be bigger than life.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Duh.

Any additional comments?

This is an ideal companion piece after seeing the movie. Got to relive it and brought a smile to my face. If you liked the movie and you want to have fun all over again then listen to this. The music and effects just enhanced this listen. If you don't like that kind of stuff you will probably not like it. Being a Star Wars nerd, I liked it all.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful