A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.