From A Certain Point of View

The holorecorder thrummed to life as an image of a golden protocol droid is visible on screen. “Oh, hello!” C-3PO jerked to attention. “I was ever so excited to learn I would be the one and only to make introductions. I am versed in the many ways of interacting, with thousand of beings. Today, I See-Threepio am overjoyed to introduce Amy and Franklin’s ten favorite stories from the novel From a Certain Point of View!” Servos whined as he moved closer to the screen. “Now, it goes without saying I may not be, who you expected; however, it was the ever generous Devin Kleffer, who approached me!”

Shuffling back from the holorecorder C-3PO presented a disk shaped object to the screen. “See the ever so humble Mr. Kleffer presented me an Unmistakably Star Wars patch of my very own! He must be my number one fan to give a droid of my caliber such a thoughtful gift!” After setting down the patch, C-3PO picked up a datapad and presented to the screen the front display. “You will find below Amy and Franklin’s overall thoughts on the novel, their 5 favorite stories, and authors they hope to return to write in the fandom. I do hope you enjoy their thoughts!”

From Amy’s Point of View

I generally come at Star Wars literature as a way to enjoy more stories about a universe that I love, rather than as a Wikipedia page that serves to give me a bunch of facts. And that’s what I loved about From a Certain Point of View: the stories and perspectives within enrich the galaxy far, far away; adding meaning and depth to characters and scenes in A New Hope.

My Top Five Favorite Stories in the anthology were  

  1. Eclipse by Madeleine Roux – Tells the story from the point of view of Breha Organa as the Death Star destroys Alderaan. This story dovetailed perfectly with Leia, Princess of Alderaan and is as heartbreaking and poignant as you’d expect it to me. This story made me full-on ugly-face sob, and is a stand out of the book.
  2. Beru Whitesun Lars by Meg Cabot – Abrupt and a little angry, this story is told by Beru after her death. A background character that doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the extreme generosity of taking Luke in as a baby and doing a damn good job raising him, this story really resonated with me as a mom. As a parent, I often feel like 98% of what I do is inconsequential and unseen. This story helped me see Beru in a whole new light.
  3. Stories in the Sand by Griffen McElroy – This story was a pure delight. One of the favorite aspects of this collection of stories was the chance to take very deep dives on very obscure characters. Simply put: I fell in love with Jot the Jawa, and I will never not think of him when I watch A New Hope again. #JotLives
  4. There is Another by Gary D. Schmidt – A Yoda story! Some truly fascinating tidbits about Yoda’s exile on Dagobah, but what I really loved about this story was the twist that Yoda longs to train a Skywalker, but not the one you think.  
  5. Desert Son by Pierce Brown – I loved seeing Luke and the Battle of Yavin through the eyes of Luke’s childhood best friend, Biggs Darklighter. I enjoyed most of the pilot stories in this anthology but this one was the standout for me, bringing me once again to tears.

After reading From a Certain Point of View, there were some stand out authors who I would love to see write more Star Wars.  

  1. Madeleine Roux – Give this woman a Padme novel, and do it now! I’ve never read her work before (and I’ll definitely be checking it out) but her emotional tone in Eclipse demonstrates she could write a Padme or Naberrie or Handmaiden novel, more about the Organas or perhaps more about the Tico sisters?
  2. Pierce Brown and Jason Fry – Jason Fry is no stranger to Star Wars books (his Servants of the Empire series are some of my favorites of the new canon) and his story Duty Roster paired with Desert Son by Pierce Brown made me yearn for a series of X-Wing books. The Legends series has become some of my favorite Star Wars experiences and I would devour more like it.
  3. Another anthology – This book was so special, I really hope that other anthologies like it are in the works for other saga movies, Clone Wars and/or Star Wars Rebels. Fingers crossed for an Empire Strikes Back volume in a couple years!

What were your favorite moments in From a Certain Point of View?

From Franklin’s Point of View

My appreciation for seeing another point of view of a Star Wars story started from the very first Star Wars novel I read: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno. The beauty of the medium of books is how vast a story could be told by getting incredibly personal, or challenge the reader to a new approach to storytelling. Each author not only chose a character’s point of view that may have not been given the spotlight in the film A New Hope, but chose a vast amount of creative twists. It takes a lot of faith and love to present a story in an uncommon fashion, than what someone would expect a Star Wars story to entail. And it worked! I may not have understood every story I read, but I could feel the passion from every author. In a way the novel reminded me of the 2006 movie, Paris, je t’aime, which created a movie out of 18 short films to weave a story around the city of Paris. Interestingly, one does not need to read each story from beginning to end of this novel, but can jump around. I read the novel from beginning to end, which created an interesting dynamic. I found revisiting select stories at random equally enjoyable!

My Top Five* Favorite Stories in the anthology were  

  1. Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray – This story tells the tale of Obi-Wan Kenobi communing with Qui-Gon Jinn before Luke returns from seeing the devastation laid bare on the Lars homestead. The beauty of this story is how the two Jedi admit that they must face their humility from their mistakes. (If only there was a way, for them to apologize to Padmé.) The story does make clear they understand it was Anakin’s decision to go down the path he did, and their fear led them to change the ebb and flow of the vergence in the Force.
  2. End of Watch by Cavan Scott – This story took a transitional approach to the final confrontation between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Intercut in the final duel, we get glimpses of Kenobi’s past that reveal new insights into his struggles of solitude. One thing that struck me hard throughout this story was the Shmi’s grave reference. It not only gave me new insight into Beru, but also permanently reshaped how I watch a scene in A New Hope, with Luke Skywalker.
  3. Duty Roster by Jason Fry – Gut wrenching sadness can come from the happiest of stories. As was the case, with this story. Col Takbright had a problem of mistaken identity stemming from a continuity error in the original film. The way Fry crafted this tale of retroactive continuity was so sweet. It started out so hilarious until the tracker beam of the Death Star of melancholy pulled me in.
  4. The Baptist by Nnedi Okorafor – This was not just a tale of a dianoga and a farm boy. The way Okorafor explored the thoughts, actions, and soul of Omi (the dianoga seen the in the trash compactor scene) was both mystical and genuine. I enjoyed how much this story stuck, with me after reading. Without speaking any dialogue, Okorafor crafted Omi in such a relatable way that we could feel her personality. Emphasis her cause. Trust in her decision.
  5. Fully Operational by Beth Revis – For those that have not read Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s Darth Vader 25 issue comic from Marvel, we learned that Cassio Tagge left the Death Star before it was destroyed. What is beautiful about this story is it bridges the story of Rogue One to the 2015 Darth Vader comic. How wonderful to have a new context from Tagge’s perspective to the scene we originally saw in A New Hope. In addition, Krennic’s absence does not go unnoticed to Tagge…

*I chose to set aside the stories both me and Amy listed as our favorite to allow a total of 10 stories be highlighted. For those interested the three stories both me and Amy listed as our favorite were: Beru Whitesun Lars, Eclipse, and There is Another.

After reading From a Certain Point of View, there were some stand out authors who I would love to see write more Star Wars.

  1. Meg Cabot – What would certainly be glorious to read is her take on the character of Shmi Skywalker. It could be anywhere in Shmi’s life. What I liked about Cabot’s writing was her focus on the kindness of heart in people. Just imagine how she could write the events that led to Shmi coming to Tatooine? How Shmi went from her past life to the current? There are so many directions a story like that could go.
  2. Madeleine Roux – Roux did a beautiful job weaving the novel Leia, Princess of Alderaan into her short story. What story I would like her to work on in the fandom would be a story of Senator Pamlo and her homeworld of Taris. Taris has a huge history in Legends, and the snippets of insight in the mind of Pamlo from the Rogue One novelization set her up to have an inspiring story.
  3. Nnedi Okorafor – What would be amazing is if Okorafor returned to write a story about Padmé Amidala. The strength in Okorafor’s story telling is her blend of world building and the connections between all life. Just imagine the directions Okorafor could go in telling a story of Padmé set during the time between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Of Padmé’s humanitarian work, and where some species died after the Republic tried to save them. Or of the transition from Queen to Senator, and the struggles of having her friends talking about seceding from the Republic.

So there you have one fourth of the amazing anthology of stories centered on A New Hope from From A Certain Point of View. So many surprises await. Mad props goes out to everyone from Del Rey to Lucasfilm to the authors and contributors that worked so hard to put together this gigantic of a project. We enjoyed so many of the stories, and wish we could have highlighted each story, but that would ruin the magic that is this novel. Now, go out and pick up this novel as Lucasfilm also partnered with the company First Book. More information can be found here.

Unmistakably Star Wars bloggers Amy Wishman can be found on Twitter @AmyWishman, and Franklin Taylor can be found on Twitter @SpearXXI.