It’s a common question among Star Wars fans – did the book or the movie come first? The answer may surprise you.
The Original Star Wars
In 1977, George Lucas released the first Star Wars film, now known as Episode IV: A New Hope. This movie was a massive success, grossing over $775 million worldwide and becoming a cultural phenomenon. However, many people don’t know that Lucas actually wrote a novelization of the film that was released six months prior to its theatrical debut.
The Book Adaptation
The Star Wars novelization was written by science fiction author Alan Dean Foster and published by Ballantine Books in November of 1976. The book follows the same basic plot as the film, but also includes additional scenes and character development that didn’t make it into the final cut of the movie.
Differences Between Book and Movie
One major difference between the book and movie is in their opening scenes. The book begins with an introduction to Darth Vader’s backstory on his home planet of Tatooine, while the movie starts with Princess Leia’s ship being attacked by Vader’s forces. Additionally, in the book version of events, Luke Skywalker is portrayed as being much more mature and competent than he appears in the film.
Which Came First?
So which came first – the Star Wars book or movie? While technically the novelization was released before the film hit theaters, it’s important to note that George Lucas had already written his screenplay and filmed most of A New Hope by that point. In fact, Foster wrote his adaptation based on an early draft of Lucas’ script that included several scenes and characters that were later cut from the final version.
Why Write a Novelization?
So why did Lucas commission a novelization of his film if it wasn’t even finished yet? The answer likely lies in the fact that Lucasfilm was a relatively small production company at the time, and they were looking for any way to generate buzz and build hype for their upcoming release. By releasing the book several months ahead of the movie, they were able to get fans excited about the Star Wars universe and build anticipation for what was to come.
The Legacy Continues
Regardless of which came first – the book or movie – there’s no denying that Star Wars has become one of the most beloved and enduring franchises in pop culture history. From books and comics to TV shows and video games, there’s no shortage of ways to experience the Star Wars universe. And with new movies and TV shows in production, it seems that this galaxy far, far away will continue to captivate audiences for generations to come.
- So, did you know about the Star Wars novelization?
- Did you read it before watching A New Hope?
- What are your thoughts on novelizations in general?