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The Empire Strikes Back: Star Wars    adapted by Larry Weinberg order for
Empire Strikes Back
by Larry Weinberg
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2004 (2004)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Darth Vader and the Imperial Fleet plan to defeat the Rebel Alliance. While the Rebel forces have found safety on a new planet of ice and snow (Dagobah), an enemy droid is dropped from the sky, spying for the bad guys. The Imperials strike using tall, metal 'walkers' and heavy artillery. Though the Rebel forces fight back, they're forced to flee Dagobah.

Han, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and Threepio escape in the Millennium Falcon, landing on a planet (a city in a cloud) owned by Han's friend Lando Calrissian. Commander Luke Skywalker, with R2D2, seeks the home of Master Jedi Yoda. Unfortunately, the Imperials had taken over Lando's planet, which puts Han and his friends in danger. Han is carbonized and given to bounty hunter Bobba Fett for delivery to Jabba the Hutt. Luke finds Yoda, and is rigorously trained in the Jedi ways and the 'power of the force'. Vader meets with the Emperor, and awaits Luke's arrival to lure him to the 'dark side'.

An apparition of Obi-Wan Kenobi appears to Yoda, as Luke senses his friends' danger on Lando's planet. Kenobi and Yoda warn, 'Wait! You must listen. Blind anger ... hatred! That is the door to the dark side!' But Luke must save his friends, and tells Yoda that he will be back another day. Darth Vader meets young Skywalker and tells him that the 'dark side' is his destiny. Luke resists and is injured fighting Vader in a lightsaber battle. While Lando pilots the Falcon, Leia senses that Luke is in danger, and they come to his rescue.

The fight and flight between Rebels and Imperials is adapted well for a young audience by Larry Weinberg. The portrayal of The Empire Strikes Back movie (second in the original Star Wars trilogy) is luminous. Illustrations are actual movie photos, dramatically presented, with a great image of Luke Skywalker opposite page one. As this episode ends, Han Solo remains to be rescued from the Hutt - 'But that was another story.'

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