Star Wars: The Force Unleased by Sean Williams
Despite this book and the game on which it is based being available for a while now, I'm going to avoid any major spoilers if I can on the off chance that you the reader are coming fresh to the story.
The Force Unleashed was the Lucas empires latest cross media event - a major story told in different forms (game, comic, novelisation) that bridges the gap between films. In this case bridging the gap between the prequel and original trilogies.
This is not the first time that this has been attempted in the Star Wars Universe. Shadows of The Empire was a much more successful attempt, largely because the story was adapted to fit the medium it was being delivered in whilst maintaining the core spine of the shared narrative. The Force Unleashed however sticks doggedly to the game upon which it is based and this is a mistake. I'm sure the idea was to create a more cohesive and continuity friendly narrative, but it ultimately ties Williams down to an episodic narrative structure and many long scenes of blowing stuff up with the force which just isn't as fun on the page.
Without Sam Witwer's nuanced and engaging performance the Secret Apprentice comes across as distant and a little dull. Williams' has far more affinity for the female lead Juno Eclipse whom he enjoys expanding upon and investigating as a character.
Sean Williams has chosen to leave Starkiller as a relatively blank canvas - whereas in the game this is fine, allowing the players actions to give depth to the character, we read novelisations to find new insights that the game could not convey. Although we do get to see more of Starkiller's thoughts and feelings as the book goes on it would have been nice to know a bit earlier why it is we should care about the apprentice's journey.
The first act of the novel rushes from action sequence to action sequence and, although we later see the effects of these early actions, the story doesn't really get interesting until around the 100 page mark and the story takes his first big turn. The novel still keeps quite an episodic pace, but suddenly Williams starts to take an interest in Starkillers new conflicts and inner turmoil and, in turn, so do we.
Apart from one major incident and the order of a couple of events the book doesn't massively deviate from what we see in game. However, I must say that the one major change from events as depicted in the game is actually an improvement on that aspect of the story. Williams also manages to incorporate elements from the games downloadable content into the events that unfold on the Wookiee homeworld.
I would have preferred to see more insight into the other characters who come across as fairly two dimensional. This would also have given a nice change of pace to the long battle sequences. The fight on Cloud City as told by a blinded General Kota or the fight between Maris Brood and Starkiller as told by her captive would have been interesting. It would also help to explain how Kota manages to get separated from Starkiller and still arrive at the right place at the end of the chapter. There are one or two details like that which get lost in the fray sometimes.
That’s not to say its all negative. There are fun character moments especially the interactions between Starkiller and PROXY or Starkiller and Kota and some of Williams descriptions of the apprentice's interactions with the force are very well written.
Ultimately what should have been an essential part of the Star Wars Saga makes an average novel. If you've played the game you'll not find much new here but if you've not then there are some interesting plot points that you may enjoy.
This Star Wars: The Force Unleased book review was written by Sean Mason
Have you read Star Wars: The Force Unleased?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Star Wars: The Force Unleased reader reviews
5.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Star Wars: Hand of Thrawn
Once the unquestioned master of countless solar systems, the Empire is tottering on the brink of total collapse. Once commanding an invincible armada of Star Destroyers, it...
Star Wars - Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide
Set in-world, Star Wars: The Imperial Handbook shares the knowledge of a newly promoted Commander in the Imperial Military, providing a comprehensive overview of the Imperi...
In the time immediately following the destruction of the Death Star and the years between the Battle of Yavin and the foundation of the Rebel Base on Hoth, the Empire's...
Star Wars: New Jedi Order
Twenty-one years have passed since the heroes of the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star, breaking the power of the Emperor. Since then, the New Republic has valiantly ...
Star Wars: X-Wing
Michael A Stackpole
Join the most elite fighting force in space on a do-or-die mission only the X-wings would dare to embark upon! They are sleek, swift, and deadly. They are the X-wing fighte...
Star Wars: The Old Republic
3,500 years in the past of the far-away galaxy, when the Jedi and Galactic Republic clashed with the Sith Empire, smuggler Jet Nebula has stumbled across a treasure richer ...
Star Wars - Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
The Sith have existed in the galaxy for centuries, lurking, waiting for their chance to seize control. In his quest for domination, Darth Sidious tracked down five pivotal ...
Star Wars: Republic Commando
As the Clone Wars rage, victory or defeat lies in the hands of elite squads who take on the toughest assignments in the galaxy ...On a mission to sabotage a chemical weapon...
Star Wars - The Old Republic: Annihilation
The Sith Empire is in flux. The Emperor is missing, presumed dead, and an ambitious Sith lord's attempt to seize the throne has ended fatally. Still, Darth Karrid, comm...
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The raging Clone Wars illuminate dark motives and darker destinies until one question must be answered: Does the end ever justify the means? It’s time the Jedi found ...
The Lost Tribe of the Sith: Precipice
John Jackson Miller
For the ruthless Sith Order, failure is not an option. It is an offense punishable by death-and a fate to which Commander Yaru Korsin will not succumb. But on a crucial run...
Path of Destruction
Thousands of years before the rise of Darth Sidious and Darth Vader, the Old Republic was rife with the evil Sith, who were a constant thorn in the side of the Jedi. But gr...
The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
This ancient training manual, crafted by early Jedi Masters, has educated and enlightened generations of Jedi. It explains the history and hierarchy of the Jedi Order, and ...
After fifty years, the remains of Outbound Flight—a pioneering Jedi expedition viciously destroyed by the alien warlord Grand Admiral Thrawn—have been found on ...
The New Rebellion
Somewhere in the galaxy, millions suddenly perish--a disruption of the Force so shocking it is felt by Luke at his Jedi academy and by Leia on Coruscant. While Leia m...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...