Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, Beware the Power of the Dark Side!

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, Beware the Power of the Dark Side! Book Poster Image
Highly detailed, scene-by-scene retelling of the film.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Beware the Power of the Dark Side! retells the story of the movie in a way that is especially accessible for younger readers. The narrative includes references to world mythology and the history of science fiction.

Positive Messages

Anger and hate are destructive forces that must be avoided. Even the most brutal villain can be redeemed. Outward appearances can be deceiving, and unlikely allies can prove to be invaluable.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are all kinds of heroes and heroines, from Jedi knight Luke Skywalker to battle-hardened Princess Leia to the Ewoks of Endor. Luke battles the temptation to turn to the dark side of the Force. Han Solo and Leia fight to liberate Endor, and Lando Calrissian pilots the Millennium Falcon to destroy the new Death Star. Each individual puts himself or herself in danger to protect others.


Lots of sci-fi action involving lightsabers, blasters, lasers, explosions, and hand-to-hand combat. The graphic details are generally not given. Jabba the Hutt causes the death of a young girl. The gentle-looking Ewoks prove to be more bloodthirsty than expected.


The romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia deepens in this volume, but neither of the characters is particularly demonstrative. Princess Leia is forced by Jabba the Hutt to wear skimpy "slave-girl" attire, and the narrator points out how wrong and sexist that is.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Beware the Power of the Dark Side! is a meticulous (almost frame-by-frame) retelling of Episode 6 of the film series. Tom Angleberger, author of the Origami Yoda series, provides color and black-and-white illustrations and a sly narrative voice that fosters a stronger connection to the narrative. (This is the third in a series of novelizations of the Star Wars films written by various children's-book authors.) The story is full of sci-fi action, including lightsaber fights, space attacks, and the strangling of a major villain, but there is little actual bloodshed described. Sexual content is limited to the deepening romantic relationship between Han Solo and Princess Leia.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byNacoya77 March 9, 2019

Very inappropriate for young kids

I bought this for my 9 year old son that loves Star Wars and he came up to me and said mom the book talks about girls having to please Jana??? I said what and w... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTHE WALKING DEAD 490 February 3, 2017

Star wars VI: The return of the Jedi.

1.Luke Sky walker is back in the VI book of the series of Star wars with Han Solo, Chewie, Princess Leia, c3po, r2d2,Lando Calriassian, and the rest of the r... Continue reading

What's the story?

As this installment in the Star Wars saga opens, the Rebel Alliance is in disarray while the Empire builds a new, more powerful Death Star. Robots R2-D2 and C-3PO make their way to the hideout of the disgustingly villainous Jabba the Hutt to negotiate for the release of Han Solo and Princess Leia. But it takes the intervention of Luke Skywalker to rescue them, and soon our heroes face even graver dangers. As Han and Leia complete a secret mission on the planet Endor, Luke must prepare himself to face his greatest foe: his father, Darth Vader.

Is it any good?

For readers eager for every last detail about the sixth installment of the movie saga, this extended retelling provides plenty of nuance and fresh information. In STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI, BEWARE THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE!, author Tom Angleberger uses a sly, knowing tone that establishes a stronger connection with his young readers, and his illustrations set the scenes wonderfully. But if readers have watched Return of the Jedi many times already, they won't find any major surprises here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why science fiction is so popular across so many different media. What about the genre most appeals to audiences?

  • Why are fear and hatred so destructive? How can one learn to turn away from them?

  • Can people -- even the worst villain -- change for the better?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Star Wars

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate