From a Sure Level of View: The Empire Strikes Again gives 40 enjoyable Star Wars tales

From a Sure Level of View: The Empire Strikes Again collects 40 tales concerning the film’s much less distinguished characters.

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The Empire Strikes Back, the best movie ever made, turned 40 earlier this 12 months. That is 4 a long time of Star Wars followers dissecting each body and obsessing over background characters. From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back is the logical conclusion of that keenness — 40 quick tales telling the film’s story from the views of secondary and background characters, from 40 completely different authors.

It isn’t the primary such story assortment — we bought a similar one for the first Star Wars (aka A New Hope) in 2017. However The Empire Strikes Again strikes at a a lot quicker clip than the unique film; this accompanying quick story assortment, out Tuesday in hardback, digital and audiobook type, mirrors that tempo by leaping between to a greater variety of places.

Most are self-contained tales about some insurgent prepare dinner or Imperial technician, providing a take a look at the toil of atypical folks in a galaxy far, far-off. They’re typically participating whilst you’re studying, however unlikely to resonate in any main manner.

Nevertheless, the gathering is punctuated with extra formidable tales — Jason Fry’s story about pilot Wedge Antilles reveals what the Insurgent Alliance bought as much as after escaping the Empire at Hoth, whereas Michael Kogge’s yarn about bounty hunter Bossk goes in a stunning, intelligent course. I used to be left wanting extra; these tales felt like setups for spinoff novels that I would learn in a heartbeat.

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Along with Bossk, the other bounty hunters Darth Vader sends after the Millennium Falcon are expanded upon here. Longtime Star Wars readers will be reminded of the noncanon 1996 anthology Tales of the Bounty Hunters — the colorful mercenaries’ stories are among the most fun in this collection too. We don’t get too much insight into Boba Fett (the coolest guy in the galaxy), but it’s always a treat to get into his head.


Bossk’s story is among the collection’s most engaging.


If you’re invested in the spiritual side of Star Wars, we get a few stories about Force users, too. None of these radically alter our understanding of the battle between the light and dark sides, but Jim Zub’s Yoda tale reveals what was going through his head during that first encounter with Luke Skywalker on Dagobah, while Mike Chen’s Emperor Palpatine story offers a fascinating “what if?” scenario. Mackenzi Lee writes a quirky Obi-Wan Kenobi that I’d love to see more of.

There are also some touching moments from unexpected characters, like the final thoughts of Imperial Admiral Ozzel (whom you might remember succumbing to Vader’s fatal management style) and the bedside manner of a Rebel Alliance medical droid.

This collection also regularly veers into quirky territory, with one story about the Millennium Falcon’s computer tying neatly back to Solo’s novelization and another offering a slightly creepy insight into the dark side cave on Dagobah. An adventure with a Cloud City background character has fun echoes of Pulp Fiction, but one featuring old school comic character Jaxxon veers too much into slapstick territory.

From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back is a fun companion and showcases 40 authors’ talents through a varied set of tales. They won’t all stick with you and a few stray too far from the movie’s tone, but the collection pays clever tribute to the greatest film ever made and sets up some cool possibilities for future storytelling. 

Buying the book from University Bookstore gets you access to three virtual events featuring some of the book’s authors on Nov. 10, 11 and 12.

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