The Odyssey of Star Wars by Jack Mitchell (5/5)
Jack Mitchell’s The Odyssey of Star Wars is brilliant on a level that I cannot explain. I read it on the recommendation of a friend of mine, and I could not be happier that I did. I rated it five stars, and that is an honest as heck rating that I don’t see changing. One of my favourite things about these ‘retellings’ of Star Wars in the style of the classics is that there is so many themes that come from the classics that we see in Star Wars that prove how strong and important these classics are when examining modern media.
I’m going to be honest, if someone tells me that The Odyssey of Star Wars isn’t canon, I will not care. Anything in this book, I will take it as canon because it all makes sense to me in how it flows. The parts where it adds new information, it all makes sense, and it doesn’t really require too much detail. I love that it adds the new information that we’ve gotten since the release of the original trilogy. There are things that allude to the prequels, Rebels, and other elements of the story that were gaps in the time of the original trilogy. The fact that Mitchell draws from the prequel and original trilogy eras creates an incredible storytelling experience with this work. I personally think that it’s a shame I was so busy while reading this, and that stopped me from reading it all in a day because I think I would have loved it even more than I did. The slower pace that I read it at certainly impacted my enjoyment, but it did allow for me to make a great many notes that are all stuck within the pages.
I was curious, before getting into reading it, how it would all work out, covering Rogue One and the prequel trilogy. Even though these works fit well together (especially Rogue One and A New Hope), there are time gaps and perspective changes that occur within the films. However, the poem followed the flow of the films without following just one character or two. It’s been a very long time since I’ve ready The Odyssey, and poetry in general isn’t really a form that I find myself seeking out. I have a great respect for it, and I do enjoy it, but because I don’t tend to write poetry, I read less of it. However, I did forget at times that I was reading an epic poem.
One of my favourite parts was how Luke told Yoda the story of how they rescued Han Solo in Return of the Jedi. It was an interesting change, and I found that I really did enjoy the way that he told the story, recounting his story to his Master. It was a change to the storytelling of the saga that I really did approve of. Furthermore, I like the way that Luke and the other characters expressed emotion within the poetic form of the work. Even the parts that I don’t particularly like in the films due to pacing issues, I found myself really enjoying in this work.
I would honestly recommend this book to any Star Wars fan, even if they’re not a fan of the classics because of the level of storytelling in this work. There isn’t really anything that I didn’t like about this work as a Star Wars fan, as a writer, and as a reader. More Star Wars classics, please!