I am old enough to remember the Dream Team Olympic Basketball squad that represented the United States in 1992. A collection of the best professional players in U.S. at that time represented their country and put on an exhibition of talent that none of us had ever seen. In a way it was a snapshot of sport and culture all wrapped up into one. As a Star Wars fan I also remember the series of short stories penned by every amazing author at that time and was published, later compiled, into collection call, Tales From The Mos Eilsey Cantina. I know this is a stretch but I feel that a dream team of a sort has been put together to write and perform the title, Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. Written in the Tales From style format, this book brings together some our favorite Star Wars authors in recent history thus providing the scripts, or playground rather, for the most amazing narrators the Penguin Random House has to offer, to do their thing. The only spoiler I will give you is this: I will not wait until the end of this post to give you my opinion of this project….. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!
The premise of the novel is as follows. In celebration of forty years of Star Wars, a list of forty different authors contributed a short story. They re-tell us, A New Hope, from a different perspective. Some of the tales come from a main character and some from a peripheral character. There is a huge list of participants. The list of notable authors include, Pablo Hidalgo, Claudia Gray, Christie Golden, Gary Whitta, Ashley Eckstein, Paul Kemp, John Jackson Miller, Wil Wheaton just to name a few. Each author has chosen a character, Admiral Motti, Ben Kenobi, Doctor Aphra, a random Jawa, even R5-D4! I was so entertained through the whole book. Being brought to tears from laughter or moved to tears by getting an intimate peak inside the mind of a character making a sacrificial choice for the greater good. As those of you that listen to Legends Library know, those are the moments that I love. Selfless actions of heroes always allow me to leave reality behind and get lost in this amazing galaxy of imagination. Even the last chapter is a treat as every elephant in the room of the open crawl is addressed in comedic form. Wait until you hear it. It’s good stuff. The rollercoaster of emotion fits the variety stories and quite often I found myself so impressed by some of the more abstract expression and explanation of events we have seen over and over on the silver screen.
The narrative performance is special. Some of the most notable narrators have been cast with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. Marc Thompson, Jonathan Davis, January LaVoy are names all of us have become accustomed to hearing in the Star Wars genre. New comer, Janina Gavankar, has been added to the mix and I hope she is more of a mainstay because I really enjoy her reading. Ashley Eckstein narrates her own story and Neil Patrick Harris provides narration as well. Every time a new story began it was fun to try to figure out who the next reader was going to be. It was a joy to speculate as to why a particular narrator was chosen to voice that specific story.
All in all, just like back in 1992 with the Dream Team, this collection of short stories is the perfect snapshot of everything we love about Star Wars right now, in this time. Fun, tragic, villainous and victorious, From a Certain Point of View has everything! By the way, all the proceeds of this book have been donated to, First Book. They are a nonprofit that provides learning materials to educators serving children in need. TOO MUCH AWESOME! MUST STOP NOW! Give this book a listen you won’t be sorry. Until next time, may the force be with you.
You can purchase your copy of Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View on audiobook from Amazon.com.Powered by Sidelines