Book Review: Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View by Various Authors

April 11, 2021

Details from Audible:

Publisher's Summary

Experience Star Wars: A New Hope from a whole new point of view.

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 40th anniversary, more than 40 contributors lend their vision to this retelling of Star Wars. Each of the 40 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 best-selling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from the literary history of Star Wars:

 

  • Gary Whitta bridges the gap from Rogue One to A New Hope through the eyes of Captain Antilles.
  • Aunt Beru finds her voice in an intimate character study by Meg Cabot.
  • Nnedi Okorofor brings dignity and depth to a most unlikely character: the monster in the trash compactor.
  • Pablo Hidalgo provides a chilling glimpse inside the mind of Grand Moff Tarkin.
  • Pierce Brown chronicles Biggs Darklighter's final flight during the Rebellion's harrowing attack on the Death Star.
  • Wil Wheaton spins a poignant tale of the rebels left behind on Yavin.

 

Plus 34 more hilarious, heartbreaking, and astonishing tales from Ben Acker, Renée Ahdieh, Tom Angleberger, Ben Blacker, Jeffrey Brown, Rae Carson, Adam Christopher, Zoraida Córdova, Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Paul Dini, Ian Doescher, Ashley Eckstein, Matt Fraction, Alexander Freed, Jason Fry, Kieron Gillen, Christie Golden, Claudia Gray, E. K. Johnston, Paul S. Kemp, Mur Lafferty, Ken Liu, Griffin McElroy, John Jackson Miller, Daniel José Older, Mallory Ortberg, Beth Revis, Madeleine Roux, Greg Rucka, Gary D. Schmidt, Cavan Scott, Charles Soule, Sabaa Tahir, Elizabeth Wein, Glen Weldon, Chuck Wendig

Narrated by a full cast, including:

 

  • Jonathan Davis
  • Ashley Eckstein
  • Janina Gavankar
  • Jon Hamm
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • January LaVoy
  • Saskia Maarleveld
  • Carol Monda
  • Daniel José Older
  • Marc Thompson

 

All participating authors have generously forgone any compensation for their stories. Instead, their proceeds will be donated to First Book - a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need. To further celebrate the launch of this book and both companies' longstanding relationships with First Book, Penguin Random House has donated $100,000 to First Book, and Disney/Lucasfilm has donated 100,000 children's books - valued at $1 million - to support First Book and their mission of providing equal access to quality education. Over the past 16 years, Disney and Penguin Random House combined have donated more than 88 million books to First Book.

©2017 Renée Ahdieh (P)2017 Random House Audio

Initial Thoughts:

Anyone who reads this blog knows I love "Star Wars" I would say more so the past 2-3 years than I have since I was a young boy. So I heard this was a good book, used one of my Audible credits (quite a while ago) and finally listened to all of it over the past 5+ months (yes I can be that slow). I enjoy short stories and I find it works well with my job as I am often driving for 20 minutes or more and have time to listen to at least 1 story 2-3 a week or more.

Main Points:

This was an Audiobook so perhaps I got a different experience than people who read it or even those who listened to it during a shorter period of time. I find I enjoy Audiobooks more than paper ones and this one does a great job with voice work and even sound effects to really give you the "Star Wars" experience.

I found that while I enjoyed most of these stories (I'd say 30+) there were some that just plain sucked, others that were crappy and some that just were mediocre and forgettable. I am all for putting some humour in "Star Wars" as I feel it works best when it appeals to the kid in all the fans, but some of these worked so hard to be funny that they just annoyed the hell out of me.

It is, however, a great idea for a book and I may certainly listen to the other "Point of View" stories for "Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" (which I think are both out). Some of the stories do a great job showing what other characters were doing during "A New Hope" and others give you more information/thoughts/feelings from characters that were in a movie.

Final Thoughts:

Due to the uneven quality, I would give this a 7 out of 10. Just to point it out once more time there were at least 2 stories I seriously considered skipping, these shouldn't have made it to the collection and detract from the whole work. That said, however, I would still recommend this to any "Star Wars" fan and I would say just skip past the stories you don't like. Some stories deal with the mature subject matter, so I would say ages 13+, please don't let young children listen to this. As I am back to riding my bike outside hopefully my next book I listen to will be finished a lot quicker.