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Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View Book Review

POV

“Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View” is a refreshing return to book length “Star Wars” anthology stories.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of “Star Wars,” Del Rey has released a new anthology book titled “Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View.” The book is comprised of 40 stories from 40 authors such as Gary Whitta, Wil Wheaton, Claudia Gray, Christie Golden, John Jackson Miller, Chuck Wendig, Pablo Hidalgo, and more. The stories (which harken back to the beloved Tales books from “Legends”) each provide a POV from characters during the events of the original 1977 “Star Wars.” The plots involve the Tonnika Sisters, Aphra on Dantooine, a jawa (Jot) who dreams of life among the stars, Tusken Raiders, Breha and Bail Organa, Lando, Yoda, Wuher, Tarkin, Dex, Col AKA Fake Wedge, Biggs, Mon Mothma, the Journal of the Whills, Garindan, the stormtrooper present during Leia’s interrogation, Modal Node member Ickabel G’ont, Captain Antilles, R5-D4, the stormtroopers on Tantive 4, a rebel and his daughter, a star destroyer fleet logistics liasion and a gunnery captain, Qui-Gon communing with Obi-Wan as a force ghost, Aunt Beru, Boba Fett, Greedo pre-death, General Tagge, Admiral Motti, Dantooine, Alderaanian rebels, stormtrooper TD-110 who hits his head, Palpatine learning of Obi-Wan’s death, Muftak and Kabe, a stormtrooper Tatooine incident report, mouse droid, Commander Poul, the Dianoga, Obi-Wan post death (if you want to call it that), and a grounded starship mechanic.

As a huge fan of the no longer canon Tales books (especially “Tales of the Bounty Hunters”), it is exciting to see that form of anthological storytelling back in the Star Wars book world. It’s especially rewarding to see it being promoted as a major anniversary event book. For the most part, “From A Certain Point Of View” does not disappoint. The book succeeds in offering up a plethora of fascinating character view points as well as showcasing the writing style of a whopping 40 authors. While there are a few stinkers (I’ll get to that in a bit), a majority of the stories are good reads. Among the most noteworthy: Claudia Gray (who might just be THE best Star Wars author) shines once again here with a compelling story (“Master and Apprentice”) about Obi-Wan Kenobi speaking to a force ghost Qui-Gon, Madeleine Roux creates an emotional story titled “Eclipse” about the Organa’s on Alderaan, Chuck Wendig redeems himself from the dreadful Aftermath trilogy with an entertaining tale (“We Don’t Serve Their Kind Here”) about Wuher the bartender, Pablo Hidalgo steps out from behind the scenes and crafts a well written story (“Verge of Greatness”) about Tarkin and Krennic’s fates being intertwined with the Death Star, Gary Whitta writes up a direct bridge from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” to “Star Wars” with “Raymus,” Gary D. Schmidt’s “There Is Another” is an insightful look into the mind of Yoda during this time period, and Beth Revis’ “Fully Operational” is a great story from the POV of General Tagge. Also, perhaps one of the most delightful things about this book is that a certain “Star Wars Holiday Special” character is name dropped in two stories. It’s the little things like that that make this such a delight.

As I mentioned above there are a few stories that should have never been printed. The closer “Whills” by Tom Angleberger tries to be clever, but comes off like some corny Internet comedy piece, Meg Cabot’s “Beru Whitesun Lars” feels like a dopey parody of the character, and Daniel Jose Older’s “Born In The Storm” doesn’t feel remotely Star Wars in language or in how the story unfolds (no stormtrooper would be this unprofessional and undisciplined). The most egregious story, however, goes to Paul Dini’s “Added Muscle.” As a fan of Boba Fett and Paul Dini (especially his work on “Batman: The Animated Series”), I was appalled at how atrocious this story turned out. Not only does Boba Fett sound like his “Robot Chicken” incarnation here, but the POV wording displayed is, frankly, embarrassing. I leave you with an excerpt from this story without comment: “Twerp? You’re really gonna call me that, Solo? Back it up with your blaster, Wook-hugger.”

Last, but not least, the book ends with an about the authors section that contains mini-biographies of each author.

Overall Thoughts: Aside from a few duds, the force is strong with “Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View.” I would love to see future novels like this revolving around the other films in the saga.

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October 3, 2017 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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