After watching The Last Jedi, I became more involved with the Star Wars universe as a whole. While there were many canon books released, there was no sure path to start. This year it started with the safest bet, which is From A Certain Point Of View.
Most of the Star Wars books talk about spaces of time in between movies or other timelines occurring during major events of the saga. In the case of From A Certain Point Of View, it tells the story of what happened in A New Hope from the eyes of different characters, many of them in the background. From the very beginning, this seems the kind of thought experiment I enjoy in fiction, so it made it all the more compelling.
The story of A New Hope is told with shorter stories from different people across the galaxy, from the Empire or the Rebel Alliance. There is a nice balance between the two groups, which makes it all the more interesting.
Gary Whitta kicks off the book with ‘Raymus’, where we understand the fear that Darth Vader could inflict on the Rebels. From there it all start mixing different stories, some even off screen, like is the case for ‘The Sith Of Datawork’, which gives sense to why the escape pod from C3PO and R2D2 was never bombed on their way to Tatooine.
From Aunt Beru to Qui Gon Jinn, each character starts shaping up the story of Episode 4 in a whole new way. Most of my favorite stories were the ones that happened off-screen of the movie, where we understand a moment that was mentioned in other parts of the saga (like the case of Claudia Gray’s Master and Apprentice) or whole moment that are just fun to think about ( like Tom Albgleberger’s Whills). Each perspective shapes up the story in such a way that you’ll never be able to watch the movie in the same way. You’ll have much more context and involvement with several characters present in the film.
For the fans of the Mos Eisley Cantina, there’s plenty of points of view up to the Greedo-Han Solo encounter. There are many witnesses to that event, so each character reflects on the situation. One of the most interesting stories is being written from the musician’s point of view, where it also gives more background to why their music is so delightful.
As the stories started to surround the attack of the Death Star, there’s a couple of stories that explain how many pilots saw Luke’s feat. Maybe one of the best stories of the book comes at the very end, where Lando Calrissian gets a surprise when he is informed that his beloved Millenium Falcon was a big piece of the puzzle to defeat the power of the Death Star.
For a person who has no involvement with the Canon books or the Expanded Universe of Star Wars, this book gave me enough surprises and great feelings that made me feel comfortable reading these books. The fact that each story is written by a different author gives you some rest, as maybe a writer’s style isn’t your taste and you will be able to hop on to the next story.
This book is great for anyone who loves Star Wars. It is also a great beginning to dip your toes into the Star Wars book. From A Certain Point Of View, as I mentioned earlier, gives you new context for A New Hope. With all these points of view in your head, watching the classic movie will be a whole different experience. And for a Star Wars fan, it is the right kind of experience you want from the beloved universe.