For many The Empire Strikes Back is in the top 3 of their all-time Star Wars films list, and in this 40th anniversary year of The Empire Strikes Back, the new short story collection The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View is a book of adventures, deep thoughts, and hope from a galaxy in turmoil. This book offers an all-star collection of writers including John Jackson Miller, Alexander Freed, Jason Fry, Jim Zub, Amy Ratcliffe, Tom Angleberger and many more. This book brings us the stories that we never knew we wanted or needed, but these stories deliver! I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear the inner thoughts of a tauntaun written from the pen of Delilah S. Dawson? Speaking of inner thoughts, this book is filled with them as the title implies the stories are from a certain point of view. Jim Zub brings us the thoughts of Jedi Master Yoda in the moments before he first meets Luke Skywalker in the swamp on Dagobah.
The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View brings us stories from characters who we may not have given much thought to beyond seeing them on screen, such as in the story by Charles Yu. This story is of the final moments and thoughts of Admiral Ozzel as his life is being drained by Vader. Ozzel, in these fleeting moments, has thoughts of his role in the Empire and his peers who must be looking at him in relief that it isn’t them getting strangled to death. His thoughts lead to his home world, his mother, her stew, but what he can’t remember is his name. This story, read by Dion Graham in the audiobook format, is touching and read with a soft sense of urgency for Ozzel to remember the important parts of his life before he dies. Other stories tell of the events that we, the reader, are familiar with, but they are told from the view of unknown characters like in Ratcliffe’s story where a reporter on Hoth describes her passion to report the good of the Rebellion to the galaxy, but she finds herself in the desperate evacuation of Hoth. We also meet new characters who encounter the events of our heroes and villains as workers plan a work stoppage on Cloud City as stormtroopers begin the takeover. This is an amazing collection that also includes some levity as in the one page “comic book” depiction by Katie Cook of R2-D2 getting “rescued” by the swamp snake. The audio version of this very short story is charmingly read by Sean Kenin Elias-Reyes.
There is no question that I love the story of Star Wars. I especially enjoy the small stories that fill in the cracks and take up the spaces between the scenes of the film, and that is what this book does. It tells the stories we didn’t know were there to tell. This is an audiobook that you can listen to in the car on the way to work, or lay on the couch after work, as I did, and take in a story or two. This is a book to enjoy one story at a time or sit down and read story after story on a Saturday afternoon. You will smile and laugh, you will find yourself on the edge of the couch, you might even need a Kleenex or two, but one thing we can count on is that this will be a fun book to read for any fan of The Empire Strikes Back.
–Review by Tom Gross
You can purchase a copy of The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View from Amazon.com.
This post contains affiliate links for Amazon.com.