The Empire Strikes Back by Christopher Golden
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! A Star Wars-based Choose Your Own Adventure?!?(ferrrp!*)?! Sign me up! No wait, don't bother, I've been drafted!...
Yeah, that's how it started. Then I began reading and suddenly I wasn't so excited anymore. "This piece of (expletive!...probably "shit" or something) only has 13 endings and only 14 choices? 14?!" What can a CYOA book do with only 14 choices? Call me choosey, but that's not much choice. Page after page ends with a "Turn to page ##". They tried to "spice it up" by saying stuff like "Find Out on page ##" or "Hurry to page ##", but the fact remains that for most of the time there is NO choice given in this so called Choose Your Own Adventure book.
Another irritant is that most of the plot lines follow exactly along with how the movie goes. You can tag along with Leia and Han and leave Hoth for Cloud City or you can shadow Luke's Empire Strikes Back story line. All you do is just follow them around and do what they did in the movie. On the rare occasion you have a choice to make, if you veer from the movie script you're fucked.
Ah, but what's this?! One of the plot lines actually allows you to completely leave the others and join the Dark Side! Wow-e-wow! This was what I was hoping for! The chance to go full Dark Side and join Vader as his apprentice, backstabbing your Rebel friends, wooohoooo! Awesome! Hell, they even give you a chance to repent midway through if you desire redemption. Boy howdy, that really saved this book for me.
This was released in 1998, I assume in preparation for the upcoming craptastic Star Wars prequels. With its big font and few words per page, at first I thought it was meant to be a kid's book. But on second thought, I think they just wanted to get something out there in book form prior to the new movies, and this somewhat unfortunate stinker is the result.
*Excuse my exuberant excitement.