Forty years ago, Star Wars released in theaters, changing cinema and pop culture forever. In celebration of forty years of Star Wars, forty contributors wrote forty short stories that reimagine the original film from the eyes of supporting characters, which make up Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View.
I’ll admit when I heard about this book coming out, which included many authors I recognized and loved (Beth Revis, Sabaa Tahir, Claudia Gray, Matt Fraction, Ian Doescher, and more), I was ecstatic. But I’ve learned that when it comes to Star Wars books, the audiobook version is so much better. For one, if the writing isn’t that great, you don’t notice it as much when you’re listening to it as opposed to dragging your eyes across the page and trying not to fall asleep or slam the book into your forehead. But more importantly, Star Wars audiobooks include Star Wars music and sound effects. Sound. Effects. It’s stellar.
And the audiobook of From a Certain Point of View is definitely stellar.
The audiobook aspects, from the narrators to the sound effects to the music, were great. Neil Patrick Harris narrates a story, and Marc Thompson and Jonathan Davis, two narrators that have done several Star Wars audiobooks, also lent their voice talent for this book. I think all the voice actors did a great job bringing these stories to life. There is a lot of talent present in this audiobook.
The stories themselves were a bit mixed. For the most part, I enjoyed the entire thing. There were sad stories, happy stories, ridiculous stories, hilarious stories, and more. Boba Fett’s point of view is so full of sass I couldn’t stop laughing. Aunt Beru’s story made my heartache. Palpatine’s soliloquy, written in iambic pentameter no less, was perfection. The writing of the Whills at the end was A+. I think my favorite story, however, was Obi-Wan’s, but that’s just because it hit me so hard. (Obi-Wan and I share a personality type, so it’s no wonder he’s my favorite.) This collection includes stories about jawas and droids, stormtroopers and rebel soldiers, cantina customers and trash compactor monsters. There are names that might be familiar and others that only appear in the background. Overall, it is awesome how this collection goes through the Star Wars story by using the supporting characters.
Of course, there were a few stories I wasn’t so keen on. Either they felt boring or were a bit confusing or the narration of the characters made me want to punch my car’s stereo system to make the screeching voice stop. (Honestly, though, that was great voice acting on their part.) Unfortunately, there was one story where I couldn’t hear one of the character’s dialogue because his narration was so soft due to him being a Force Ghost and the speakers in my car are the worst.
Overall, if you’re a Star Wars fan, you should read this book. Better yet, you should listen to this book. It’s incredible how many authors/writers, including Wil Wheaton (!!!) contributed to this collection (and they all did it for free as proceeds from the sales of this book are being donated). It’s a fun collection to celebrate 40 years of Star Wars, and I think the audiobook went above and beyond to make it more enjoyable. I can’t wait for them to do Episode V and VI. (Please!) Anyone who is a fan of Star Wars should indulge in these stories if only to feel nostalgic for a galaxy far, far away.