Screen-to-novel adaptations exist on a wide-ranging spectrum. Sometimes you will pick up an adaptation that is filled with new scenes and infused with the author’s own interpretations of how certain moments occurred. On the other side of the scale, there are adaptations that read like a direct copy of what was seen on the screen. Joe Schreiber’s adaptation of the second season of The Mandalorian is the latter and it works well enough for a junior novel.
If you are looking for something like Jason Fry’s novelization of The Last Jedi (which is a masterpiece) Schreiber’s adaptation is certainly not the book you’re looking for. It is a very surface-level retelling of exactly what we all saw on the screen. There is no further depth applied to any of the characters, in fact, this novel is completely devoid of any self-reflection or inner thoughts. To an extent, I get this. The Mandalorian is still in development and they likely didn’t want to set to stone anything that might shift when the series returns, but… for the benefit of developing a book, a little depth and characterization is necessary.
Junior novels are aimed at grades 3 to 6, so it makes sense that this novel isn’t an embellished retelling of The Mandalorian, but more of a straightforward companion to the series. If you have a young reader who is keen to get into reading Star Wars novels, but they’re not ready to commit to something they haven’t already watched, this is probably the best bet for them. It brings nothing new to the table, but it serves its purpose.
Joe Schreiber’s The Mandalorian Season 2 junior novelization closes out at 224 pages with an epilogue of the mid-credit scene that revealed the now-released Book of Boba Fett series. The novelization also features eight pages of full-color pictures from the series, though they’re all readily available online—so they’re nothing new. I seem to remember back in the day, that junior novelizations with pictures would often feature something you hadn’t seen before, or perhaps that was before the advent of highly populated social media platforms.
The novelization is a great addition to your bookshelf if you want a quick guide to the episodes, without logging into Disney+. It’s a faithful adaptation of exactly what was presented in the episodes without conjecture or introspection.
Maggie Lovitt is the Managing Editor of Entertainment at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery. She is also a freelance writer and News Editor at Collider. She has had bylines at Inverse, Polygon, and Dorkside of the Force. She is also a member of the Hollywood Critics Association.
When she is not covering entertainment news, she can be found on one of her numerous podcasts or on her YouTube channel. In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.