When R2-D2 saved the secret plans
When Luke Skywalker met Yoda
Chirpy Bird, 2015
32pp., hbk., RRP $A17.95
No one can have escaped the commotion that has accompanied the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with theatres being packed with parents who fell in love with the original of 30 years ago taking their children to share in the phenomenon. But a saga that now spans seven full-length movies is a complex story so these books which outline the basis of the original concept will be very well-received by young readers.
In When R2-D2 saved the secret plans we meet R2-D2 and C-3PO who are on the little rebel ship that is trying to escape the big Imperial ship. When the little rebel ship is rammed the Stormtroopers invade looking for Princess Leia who has some secret battle plans. They are accompanied by Darth Vader, the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Army who orders the ship to be torn apart in his quest to find them. Knowing time is running out, Princess Leia gives R2-D2 the plans to keep safe and knowing how important the plans are, he escapes unnoticed in a pod with C-P30 eventually landing on a sandy planet called Tatoonie.
The second in the series When Luke Skywalker met Yoda takes a similar simplistic approach retelling the story of how Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 take the X-wing fighter to Dagobah to find Yoda who will guide him in his quest to become a Jedi Knight. After a lot of physical training, Luke is required to venture into a cave “strong with the dark side of the Force” armed only with his fitness and his lightsabre. Inside the cave he comes face to face with Darth Vader himself and after a battle, Darth Vader just vanishes. Luke then discovers that this had been a test set by Yoda and he had failed so there was still much for him to do. Yoda then sets another test which Luke also fails because he gives up. Luke still has valuable lessons to learn but as he continues his training and is beginning to master the Force, he has visions of his friends being in trouble and he knows he must go to help them.
There is no doubt that when the new school term starts interest in all things Star Wars will be higher than ever so having these two titles on offer for the youngest readers with the promise of two more – When Princess Leia Met the Ewoks and When the rebels saved Hans Solo (both published this month) – to come will be a major drawcard to both the library and reading. It doesn’t get any better than that.