BBY/ABY is used to position items along the Star Wars Timeline. BBY refers to Before the Battle of Yavin. ABY refers to After the Battle of Yavin. The Battle of Yavin in Episode IV: A New Hope occured in 0 BBY/ABY.
The Youtini Expanded Universe Ranking system is a 1-5 scale that ranks EU book quality, difficulty, and importance. Books closer to Level 1 are easier to read and understand, more important, and of higher quality.
The Sith are a thing of ancient history. Some even question their existence to begin with since not a single one had been seen for centuries. But as a long-awaited prophecy starts to come to fruition, the Jedi will soon learn that their greatest fear is emerging from the shadows.
Soon, they will reveal themselves to the Jedi.
Soon, they will have their revenge.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, an evil legacy long believed dead is stirring. Now the dark side of the Force threatens to overwhelm the light, and only an ancient Jedi prophecy stands between hope and doom for the entire galaxy.
On the green, unspoiled world of Naboo, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, arrive to protect the realm’s young queen as she seeks a diplomatic solution to end the siege of her planet by Trade Federation warships. At the same time, on desert-swept Tatooine, a slave boy named Anakin Skywalker, who possesses a strange ability for understanding the “rightness” of things, toils by day and dreams by night—of becoming a Jedi Knight and finding a way to win freedom for himself and his beloved mother. It will be the unexpected meeting of Jedi, Queen, and a gifted boy that will mark the start of a drama that will become legend.
As someone who has a deep love and appreciation for The Phantom Menace, it pains me to say that this novelization...is better than the movie. Though it doesn't have the subtitle "expanded edition," it certainly is that. Not only are deleted scenes from the movie included, but entirely new scenes from author Terry Brooks that deeply develop the characters—particularly Anakin. If you want to see TPM with fresh eyes, give this novelization a try!
This novelization does a fantastic job at showcasing what an awesome story is truly contained within The Phantom Menace. While the film undeniably had shortcomings with acting and writing, the novelization takes us inside the minds of Anakin, Padmé, Jar-Jar, and more and fleshes them out beautifully. The tension is palpable, the adventure is exciting, and by the time you're done, you'll want to turn on Episode I immediately. I know I did.
Some Star Wars film novelizations completely miss the mark, and others change the way you watch the movie they're adapting. The Phantom Menace falls somewhere in the middle for me. It expands on some parts of Anakin's life on Tatooine before Qui-Gon and friends show up, and this really adds to the idea that Anakin's fall to the dark side is absolutely tragic and Palpatine is the worst. This kid had dreams! Big dreams! And he had such a kind heart and loved so deeply. This isn't my favorite Star Wars novel adaption but it has definitely made re-watching the movie an even better experience.
While Episode I is far from a great film, Terry Brooks does a terrific job putting this story into words. In comparison with the novelizations of Episodes II and III, it is not quite as strong, but that does not diminish what a joyful experience reading this book can be. It adds depth to the characters, helps put reason onto the socio-political conflict that is central to the story. Qui-Gon and Anakin benefit in particular. You can even play Duel of the Fates and the march of the Trade Federation while you read to spice things up if you like.