Book Review: “Why We Love Star Wars: The Great Moments That Built a Galaxy Far, Far Away” by Ken Napzok

Why We Love Star Wars book coverWhy We Love Star Wars: The Great Moments That Built a Galaxy Far, Far Away is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Ken Napzok, Star Wars podcaster and superfan, takes fans through 100 of the greatest moments in the Star Wars canon. In his prologue, Napzok admits that he has been a fan of the series almost his entire life (he saw the first film in theaters as a baby) and since he is used to standup comedy, he’ll be including some first-person narrative in his book.

He hardly needs to warn us, since it’s Napzok’s passion and creativity that make this book so great. Not including the foreword, prologue, and a few brief interludes, the book is just a retelling of amazing events in the Star Wars canon. That might be okay by itself, but Napzok includes amazing stories of his own personal fandom as well as the stories of other fans. Maybe you weren’t there when Attack of the Clones came out? Don’t worry, Napzok will make you feel like you were.

In addition to the personal stories, Napzok’s writing is just hilarious. One of my favorite moments (I’ll spoil this one for you and then no more) is number 46: “Yoda Reveals Himself to Luke.” Napzok writes this moment as if it were a pamphlet Yoda would need entitled “So, You’ve Decided to Train a Jedi!” and it’s hilarious, though I won’t be trying the swamp broth recipe.

I’ve been a fan of Star Wars for a much shorter time than Napzok. I really got into the fandom only when The Force Awakens was announced, even though I’d seen the original trilogy long before then (I didn’t watch the prequel trilogy until after seeing Episode VII).

My mom, on the other hand, saw the original movie in theaters in 1977 and vividly remembers getting into an argument with her mother, who wouldn’t let her go see it a second time. I definitely get my love of science fiction from my mom.

My boyfriend recalls being obsessed with pod racing when The Phantom Menace came out (he was eight – the perfect age), and more recently, he and I waited in line to see Episodes VII and VIII when they were released. In about two months, we’ll wait in line again to see Episode IX in those fancy chairs Napzok mentions in the book.

My younger sister will tell you that she’s seen every movie but hates them. My older sister will tell you that she’s seen every movie and loves them. Talk to anyone around you about Star Wars and you’ll get some kind of opinion. This book is for those of us who love the series and can’t get enough of the Jedi, the Sith, and the droids.

I will say that this book delves deep into the canon. Napzok includes moments from Star Wars novels, animated series, and even video games. I was very unfamiliar with these moments, and I had a great time reading about them, but if you’re planning to immerse yourself in the canon and don’t want to be spoiled, save this book until you’ve seen and read it all.

Ultimately, Why We Love Star Wars is a fun, funny, and sometimes emotional celebration of everything that makes this saga amazing. This includes not just the stories but also the iconic sound effects (pew pew!), the actors, and anything else you could possibly think of (and if you haven’t thought of it, Napzok has). Whether you’re a hardcore or casual Star Wars fan, you will love these delightful moments that built a galaxy far, far away.

(I also feel obligated to warn you that the book does have some grammatical and spelling errors. Just know that when you see the word “sheik,” Napzok actually means “chic.” Don’t worry – it’s worth it to ignore the errors.)

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Mango, for review.