from a certain point of view

There’s a lot of Star Wars content making the rounds these days, and if rumors of a live-action television series are true, we certainly won’t be thirsting for stories set in that galaxy far, far away anytime soon. But one of the recent additions to the Star Wars universe has earned a special place in my heart: Del Rey’s From a Certain Point of View, an anthology of 40 stories from 40 different authors, featuring an amalgam of secondary (and tertiary, and quaternary…) characters in A New Hope.

The anthology spotlights everyone from Grand Moff Tarkin to the patrons of the Mos Eisley cantina to the mouse droid scurrying the hallways of the Death Star, offering vastly different perspectives on key events in the original Star Wars film. Though a 459-page book that covers an already intimately familiar subject matter may seem like a recursive snoozefest, From a Certain Point of View manages to delight in the details that make the Star Wars universe so beloved, delivering fresh insight into iconic characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda while also highlighting the diversity that has for so long remained at the fringes of official Star Wars lore – and even humanizing stormtroopers in the process.

In addition, this enchanting collection of tales revels in a post-ironic, playful brand of humor that is so critical in these casually absurd times. Even as those who breathe life into Star Wars treat the universe with the utmost respect, the franchise has also learned to laugh at itself, which leads to, say, a chapter about the monster in the trash compactor now becoming a part of the official Star Wars canon. (Her name is Omi, by the way, and lest you doubt her inner fire, she has a warrior spirit.) It’s these small but important nuggets that remind me why I fell in love with Star Wars in the first place.

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