|The front cover of The Star Wars Storybook|
Every Star Wars fan remembers the novelization of the original film, credited to George Lucas but in fact written by Alan Dean Foster. But it was not the only version of the story on the bookshelves back then.
There was a junior version of the novel, which here in the UK had a red cover instead of the original's white cover. And then, in April 1978, there was The Star Wars Storybook.
The Star Wars Storybook, published by Scholastic, was also clearly aimed at a younger readership, as we can infer from its bright cover bearing a picture of the droids. The text is pretty much a short version of the novelization, including all the bits that were changed in the finished film.
But the thing that distinguishes the Star Wars Storybook is the pictures. I didn't own a copy at the time, but I remember walking home from school one day with another Star Wars fan while a third boy let us examine the book. Even though we had the novel, the comics, the bubble gum cards, the poster magazines and the Story of Star Wars LP, there were shots in this book that neither of us had seen before. We examined the book with the reverence of an expert jeweler appraising a fine diamond, declaring at least once per page: “Now, that's rare.”
This year, I finally acquired the book just for the purpose of sharing it here. I managed to pick up a copy on eBay for next to nothing because the binding was coming apart. Here are a few of the pictures that so impressed us at the time:
|The Star Wars Storybook gave us our first good look |
at Biggs. Cape, leather trousers,Burt Reynolds
moustache - could a man be any cooler?
|The Star Wars Storybook contained several familiar scenes |
from unfamiliar angles. We never see the wounded
See Threepio full-length in the film
|Another example of a familiar scene seen from a surprising angle in The Star Wars Storybook|
|It's difficult to explain how gorgeous shots |
like this seemed to us in 1978
|This page from the story's climax contains |
at least one shot that isn't in the film