When I read a film novelisation, I look for things that may not have featured in the film, or scenes that have been expanded on to further enhance the story; Alan Dean Fosters provides readers with some extra scenes, more character insight as well as answers several questions asked after watching the The Force Awakens.
As a whole, the book sticks to the plot of the film, with a few additional scenes as well as extra dialogue between characters. The most interesting scene added to the book surrounds Unkar Plutt, the junk trader from Jakku.
In an effort to get revenge on Rey for stealing the Millennium Falcon from him, Plutt tracks her down to Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodano and attempts to capture Rey. Unbeknown to Unkar Plutt, Chewbacca is there to defend Rey, in which he does by ripping one of Unkar Plutt’s arms off. I guess Han Solo was right when he said it’s unwise to upset a Wookiee!
Readers get more of an insight into Rey throughout the book; according to some viewers after watching The Force Awakens movie, Rey could be considered a Mary Sue due to her being massively overpowered, despite having no experience whatsoever with the force; this isn’t the case with regards to the novel.
Rey comes across as a simple hero, who’s on a quest to find out who she is, and where she fits in the galaxy. There are moments in which she becomes overwhelmed at the prospect of having friends which reflects upon her being abandoned as a child. There is even a moment during her battle with Kylo Ren when Rey is tempted by the dark side, in which a voice in her head tells her to kill him.
Finn is developed more also; his relationship with Rey seems far more developed than it may seem throughout the film and it also provides readers with more of an insight into why he wanted to desert his mission and head towards the Outer Rim. The relationship between Han and Leia is heartbreaking during their intimate moments, and readers also see Captain Phasma try and talk her way out of things when she encounters Finn and Han on Starkiller base.
The book also answers a lot of questions viewers may have after seeing The Force Awakens, like why is Han hauling Rathtars? What do the First Order want? How did Poe get back after the Tie Fighter crashed? These are just a few of many questions I personally had after watching The Force Awakens.
Foster has managed to capture and enhance the intensity of what viewers will remember from the movie, and extra bits of supporting detail are also added to further complement the story. The Force Awakens is a fun read and is definitely one to add to your lists!