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12 things we learned from the Star Wars: The Last Jedi novelization

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Dec 17, 2018, 7:00 PM EST (Updated)

The book version of The Last Jedi came out on March 6, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that this might be the best novelization of a Star Wars movie. While all novelizations include tidbits of information that aren’t included in the movie, The Last Jedi takes it a step further and adds in scenes that were removed from the movie (but may be included on the home release).

Author Jason Fry worked closely with Rian Johnson to bring these unseen moments to life, and they really pay off. While they aren’t necessary to understand the plot of the movie (I’m adamant that the Star Wars movies need to be able to stand on their own), these scenes provide closure and telling character moments. The overall novel fills in fascinating narrative backstory that provides further insight to the story of the movie. Even if you’ve never picked up a Star Wars book before, this is one that’s worth your time. And just to further entice you, here are 12 things we learned from The Last Jedi novelization.

Leia didn’t want to have a funeral for Han, but she knew she had to for her people.

Again, our General puts the needs of others before her own.

That beginning scene where Poe is distracting General Hux? He didn’t call him “General Hux.”

No, in fact, our favorite pilot was calling up the First Order ship asking for . . .

Wait for it . . .

General Hugs.


Chewbacca’s blow to Ren in The Force Awakens was even more serious than we realized.

Remember when, after the death of Han Solo, Chewie took aim at Kylo Ren with his bowcaster? Well, it turns out that shot hit its mark. The Last Jedi novelization revealed that the shot was actually fatal. Or, it would have been, if Ben Solo hadn’t been so powerful with the Force. He was able to contain the wound and prevent it from killing him.

Luke trained Leia to use the Force.

Many complained that the scene in The Last Jedi where Leia uses the Force to return to the ship after the First Order blasts the bridge (thereby wiping out the Resistance leadership) was unrealistic. We’d seen Leia use the Force — in Cloud City and again on Endor, when she’s sure Luke is alive after the destruction of the Death Star because she can sense his presence. And in The Force Awakens, Leia knows Han Solo is dead because of the Force. We know she can use the Force, but we’ve only ever seen her do it passively.

The Last Jedi might have been Leia’s first active use of the Force on screen, but it turns out Luke did train her to use it after the events of Return of the Jedi. He knew she was Force sensitive and wanted her to know how to use it with intent.

Poe busted out a needle and thread to fix his jacket for Finn.

You may remember that, at the end of The Force Awakens, Finn was gravely wounded when Kylo Ren took a lightsaber to Finn’s back. Of course, the famed Poe/Finn jacket was damaged during that battle (but that took a backseat to Finn being damaged.)

It turns out that during the evacuation of the Resistance base on D’Qar, Poe found time to dig up a needle and thread and sew his old jacket back together for when Finn woke up.


Credit: Lucasfilm 

Luke rejected the Jedi’s ban on emotional attachments.

This is a thing we already knew, given Luke’s actions in the original trilogy. Rather than accept his father as lost, Luke actually depended on Anakin’s emotional attachment to his son for redemption. Still, it’s nice to see it made explicit — some of the Jedi teachings were really terrible.

Rose thinks Finn has a pretty huge crush on Rey.

And she’s not afraid to needle him about it. Though it doesn’t stop her from developing some feelings of her own for Finn.

Luke tells the Ach-To fish nuns that Rey is his niece.

And they hate her just as much as we thought they did.

Snap Wexley and Jess Pava are still alive, on a secret mission for the Resistance (or what’s left of it).

In case you were wondering whether Jess Pava and Snap Wexley made it out of the hangar bay before the First Order attack on the Resistance flagship, fear not. The two X-Wing pilots were on a secret mission for the Resistance while D’Qar was being evacuated. Considering J.J. Abrams is back at the helm of Episode IX, it’s a safe bet we’ll be seeing Snap again in the next movie.

We know a little bit more about Snoke’s origins.

But just a little.

After the Battle of Jakku, the remnants of the Empire fled into the Unknown Regions, per the Emperor’s instructions (if you want to read more about how this happened, check out Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy.) Once there, they almost destroyed themselves all over again through bickering, infighting, and a complete lack of knowledge of what was out there.

It was at this point that Snoke swooped in, with his intimate knowledge of the Unknown Regions. He was able to piece the remnants of the Empire back together and take control because he saved them.

Rose designed devices that kept the First Order from detecting Resistance ships.

All that hustle and bustle that was happening in the landing bay aboard the Resistance flagship? That was the installation of this tech onto the transports.

Leia knew Luke was a Force projection the whole time.

It’s just confirmation of what we all suspected.

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