Book Review: Star Wars – From a Certain Point of View

by @edent | # #

Book cover.

On May 25, 1977, the world was introduced to Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and a galaxy full of possibilities. In honor of the fortieth anniversary, more than forty contributors lend their vision to this retelling of Star Wars. Each of the forty short stories reimagines a moment from the original film, but through the eyes of a supporting character. From a Certain Point of View features contributions by bestselling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from the literary history of Star Wars.

This is a fun – and sometimes irreverent – romp through Episode Ⅳ A New Hope. It is told through all the minor background characters. Giving us a brief glimpse of what led that alien into the Cantina, and why that Stormtrooper bumped his head.

Published shortly after the Rogue One film, it neatly incorporates the new cannon into classic stories.

The story quality varies a little. Do you really care about the Third Spear Carrier From The Left’s inner monologue on why they joined the Empire? There are a couple of stand-out stories. Ken Liu gives us a great tale of why an Imperial officer didn’t fire on the Droids’ escape pod. It is a marvellous look at the bureaucracy of Empire life while giving a satisfying explanation to a seemingly inexplicable decision.

Similarly, Mallory Ortberg presents a health-and-saftey incident report from the Admiral force-choked by Lord Vader! And Nnedi Okorafor explains exactly why that tentacle grabs Luke in the trash compactor – from the point-of-view of the tentacle!

Some of the stories are contradictory – which is a little discombobulating – but cannon is overrated.

Way back in 1995, Star Wars: Tales From The Cantina was published – a book of short stories about the denizens of the Cantina. This book cheerfully ignores all of those stories. Again, these stories are all told from a certain point of view.

If you’re happy to skip over a few duff short-stories, this is an entertaining diversion.

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