- "Soon to be a spectacular motion picture! From Twentieth-Century Fox!"
- ―First Edition, back cover tagline
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, formerly titled Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, is a Legends novel written by Alan Dean Foster. It adapts the film of the same name, and it was based on the screenplay by George Lucas. The novelization was first published on November 12, 1976 by Ballantine Books, prior to the film's 1977 release.
Farm chores sure could be dull, and Luke Skywalker was bored beyond belief. He yearned for adventures out among the stars—adventures that would take him beyond the furthest galaxies to distant and alien worlds.
But Luke got more than he bargained for when he intercepted a cryptic message from a beautiful princess held captive by a dark and powerful warlord. Luke didn't know who she was, but he knew he had to save her—and soon, because time was running out.
Armed only with courage and with the light saber that had been his father's, Luke was catapulted into the middle of the most savage space war ever…and he was headed straight for a desperate encounter on the enemy battle station known as the Death Star!
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster, based on writings from George Lucas. It was first published by Ballantine Books under the title Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, and it was released on November 12, 1976. The novel's first edition features cover art by Ralph McQuarrie, and many later printings feature cover art by John Berkey.
Differences from the film
The novelization was based on the screenplay of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, and it has several minor differences from the final film. Some differences include:
- The novel begins with the words "Another galaxy, another time," rather than "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
- During the battle aboard the Tantive IV, the stormtroopers drop through the ceiling, rather than charging through a door.
- Before Leia Organa is captured, she kills two stormtroopers, instead of only one.
- Before Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader enter the conference room scene, there are eight Imperial Senators and officers around the table. In the film, there are only seven officers. During the scene, Vader uses the Force to summon a cup from the table to his hand.
- Conan Antonio Motti is absent from the conference, instead the argument is between Cassio Tagge and Hurst Romodi. Also, it is Tagge who mocks Vader's use of the force and is force-choked by him.
- Skywalker's X-34 landspeeder has an enclosed cockpit unlike the open cockpit seen in the film.
- Skywalker's lightsaber is described as having a jeweled hilt.
- In the novel, Tarkin is present during Organa's torture. In the film, Organa does not encounter Tarkin until she is taken to the Death Star's Overbridge.
- Chewbacca is described as having bright, yellow eyes.
- In the cantina, Skywalker is haggled by a trio of individuals. Kenobi cuts a smaller alien in half and cuts off the arm of another. Ponda Baba is described as having multiple eyes.
- Jabba is described as a fat biped with an ugly, shaggy skull and jowls. His scars are said to be a sign of his ferocious reputation in combat.
- After the destruction of Alderaan, Vader reports that Alderaan had possessed defensive systems "as strong as that of the Empire." In the novel, Obi-Wan does not feel Alderaan's destruction through the Force.
- Stormtrooper TK-421 is identified as THX-1138.
- The officer commanding the detention block is killed activating an alarm rather than drawing a blaster. When the gang dives into the garbage chute, Han Solo dives in before Skywalker. The garbage chamber's number is 366-17891 instead of 3263827.
- During the Battle of Yavin, Skywalker, Biggs Darklighter, and Wedge Antilles are all in Blue Squadron but in the film, they are all in Red Squadron instead. Skywalker also makes two attack runs through the Death Star trench. When Skywalker learns that Darklighter had been killed, his eyes begin to water and he reflects, "'We're a couple of shooting stars, Biggs' he whispered huskily, 'and we'll never be stopped.'"
- At the novel's end, Organa gives Chewbacca a medal.
Differences from later works
The novel also has instances that were retconned by later works. The book's prologue quotes from the Journal of the Whills, and it says that Emperor Palpatine was merely a figurehead controlled by the Imperial bureaucracy. Additionally, some words are spelled differently; "Wookiee" is spelled as "Wookie", and "Hutt" is spelled as "Hut".
The novel appeared in the New York Times Paperback Best Sellers list from July 3, 1977 to October 23, 1977. The description given was "STAR WARS, by George Lucas (Ballantine/Del Rey, $1.95) The Space fantasy film hit in novel form, written by its director."
|July 3, 1977||7|
|July 10, 1977||4|
|July 17, 1977||4|
|July 24, 1977||3|
|July 31, 1977||3|
|August 7, 1977||1|
|August 14, 1977||1|
|August 21, 1977||2|
|August 28, 1977||1|
|September 4, 1977||2|
|September 11, 1977||3|
|September 18, 1977||5|
|September 25, 1977||4|
|October 2, 1977||3|
|October 16, 1977||4|
|October 23, 1977||5|
- ISBN 9780345260611; November 12, 1976; Ballantine Books; US paperback, First Edition
- ISBN 9780345260796; June 1977; Del Rey; US paperback, 2nd–19th printings
- ISBN 9780345274762; October 1977; Ballantine Books; US hardcover, Hardbound Ballantine Books Edition
- (No ISBN); December 12, 1977; Ballantine Books; US hardcover, Science Fiction Book Club edition
- ISBN 9780345273833; June 1978; Del Rey; US paperback, 20th printing
- ISBN 9780345293688; June 1980; Del Rey; US paperback, 22nd–25th printings
- ISBN 9780345307354; June 1982; Del Rey; US paperback, 26th–30th printings
- ISBN 9780345341464; September 12, 1986; Del Rey; US paperback, 35th–64th printings
- ISBN 9780345400772; August 29, 1995; Del Rey; US hardcover, First Ballantine Books Edition
- ISBN 9780307795472; June 28, 2011; Del Rey; US eBook
- ISBN 0722156693; 1977; Sphere Books; UK paperback
- ISBN 344203633X; 1978; Goldmann; German-language paperback
- (No ISBN); 1978; Prosveta Publishing House; Serbo-Croatian–language hardcover
- ISBN 0316882038; 1996, Little, Brown and Company; UK hardcover
- ISBN 8820023857; 1997; Sperling & Kupfer
- ISBN 3442247659; 1997; Goldmann; German-language paperback
- ISBN 1857239458; 1999, Orbit Books UK hardcover
- ISBN 9789545288128; 2008; Trud; Bulgarian-language paperback
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
- The Jedi Master's Quizbook
- "Star Wars Publications Timeline" – Star Wars Insider 23
- The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
- "Bookshelf" – Star Wars Insider 75
- Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- "Launchpad" – Star Wars Insider 181
- "Adventures in the Audiosphere" – Star Wars Insider 201
Notes and references
- Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Hardbound Ballantine Books Edition
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- TimesMachine July 3, 1977 on The New York Times (content obsolete and backup link not available)
- Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Second Printing
- Hammond, Trevor: Find: Looking Back on the Original Star Wars (December 18, 2015) on Newspapers.com (archived from the original on December 2, 2021)
- Newspaper serializes Star Wars novel on Newspapers.com (archived from the original)
- 09 Sep 1977, 7 - Star-Phoenix on Newspapers.com (archived from the original)