In the new children’s book, Rey’s Story, by Elizabeth Schaefer, the story of The Force Awakens is told strictly from Rey’s point of view, and does so succinctly, with new details into who she is. As one might expect, it is told from the first person point of view, and is aimed primarily at grade levels first through third. However, the book is written in such a fashion that any Star Wars fan can feel engaged, which makes for an even better read. Rey’s Story is an engaging experience which adds some nuance to the The Force Awakens, and can be enjoyed whether you are a precocious Star Wars fan, or an avid adult reader.
The book starts with an explanation of Rey’s piloting prowess (which was also explored in Before The Awakening), as she engages in continual practice via a flight simulator on Jakku. As most fans know, anything published, unless it is under the Legends banner, is considered canon, so this answers one of the criticisms of the film. From Rey scavenging the downed Star Destroyer, to meeting BB-8, Finn, and Han Solo, the book continues to portray things exclusively from Rey’s point of view, which can be jarring at times, but not in a bad way.
In fact, it can be rather pleasant; for instance, when Rey discovers that the Resistance base is in the Ileenium system, the back and forth between Finn and BB-8 is not mentioned, or even acknowledged. This was truly engaging, as it does create a different atmosphere for the story. We also see this when Rey is captured by Kylo Ren, only to awaken later on the Finalizer. Rey has no idea about General Organa and Han Solo’s reunion, the plan to destroy Starkiller base, etc., and this makes her personal struggle all the more palpable. While she is alone, she does not feel alone, as she grows in the Force, and the narration explores this nicely. Without spoiling anything, Rey’s vision is a must read, and provides a number of revealing details, as far as how much she is aware of.
Whether Rey is turning the tables on Kylo Ren, witnessing the fate of Han Solo, or the climactic battle, it’s a page turner. We know full well what will happen, but Rey does not, and the pathos is sincere. When the book is near the end, the meeting of Leia and Rey is also given more attention that in the film; again, there are some windows into Rey and The Force Awakens in Rey’s Story that really are captivating. If you want to know more about Rey and her internal conflict, this is the book for you. It’s not the story we know from sitting in a movie theater; it’s the story of The Force Awakens from Rey’s point of view, and at 128 pages, it’s a true joy to read.
3 1/2 out of 5
Note: A big thank you to Disney Lucasfilm Press for providing a copy to review.
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