Star Wars has a new book out today and it's quite unlike anything that's been put out before. From a Certain Point of View tells forty tales that weave throughout the events of A New Hope from forty different viewpoints from just over forty different authors. Everyone is represented, from TK-421 and Biggs Darklighter to Garindan and the Dianoga herself.
It's a fascinating mix of stories that chronologically piece together the narrative of the original Star Wars film from a completely different perspective. Sometimes it adds scenes we didn't realize existed, like Dr. Aphra's story on Dantooine, and other times it will add scenes back into the fold from previous iterations of the story, especially from the Star Wars NPR audio dramas. Things like threading the stone needle or Admiral Motti's offer to Tarkin.
Other stories move so far off the beaten path that they're just delicious in their fun (like the Mouse Droid or the Dianoga).
Many of my favorite stories in the tome tied the prequels more heavily into the narrative of the classic trilogy. Reading about Qui-Gon's influence on the story, or helping bridge the Obi-Wan from the prequels to the one we know now, or more moments with Bail Organa, things like that. I also quite liked to see how the events of Rogue One were folded into the narrative. There were more comics cameos than I was expecting as well. We mentioned Aphra, but if I'm not mistaken, I picked out Black Krrsantan in Zoraida Cordova's wonderful story about the Tonnika sisters.
This book is a lot of fun and, thusly, that's how it should be taken. So far, the book has been out for less than a day and a lot of hand-wringing has been done about where this book fits into canon or doesn't. Asked about it at Salt Lake Comic Con, members of the Story Group talked about how these are the sorts of stories are the ones you'd hear over a campfire in a galaxy far, far away, tainted by recollection and hazy memory. That's good enough for me.
It's also a great way to catch up with characters from other material we've seen that weren't necessarily in A New Hope originally. Mon Mothma has a touching story. Miara, from Ahsoka, has a wonderful moment. We talked about Aphra above. There are others.
Some stories were funny (Daniel Jose Older's) and some were utterly heartbreaking. In fact, I was surprised by how emotional some of the stories left me. In particular were the Bail and Breha Organa story and the one titled Laina by Wil Wheaton. They packed a wallop and it's a difficult thing to do in such a short space.
More than anything, these stories go by so quickly that if you come to a story that you don't like (or might be a little too long), you're already into the next story. And I don't recall feeling like it was a slog at any point and there wasn't a story I didn't like. Del Rey has gone above and beyond and created that rare anthology where every story is inherently readable.
I'm excited to jump into the audiobook, as well, which collected quite a cast of different voices. Though I'm still curious as to why they chose John Hamm for Boba Fett, as he doesn't have a Maori accent, nor does he affect one for the story. It's a frustrating choice for a project that otherwise receives high marks.
So, go. Get it.
All proceeds go to charity as well, so you have even less of an excuse.
You can get it at your local bookshop or order it on Amazon.
Tags: star wars