With the 40th anniversary of Star Wars comes a horde of fun merchandise, panels, and more, but the product I’ve been anticipating the most is a book. Specifically, it’s From a Certain Point of View: 40 Stories Celebrating 40 Years of Star Wars, and it retells the plot of Episode IV: A New Hope from different perspectives. Each story is by a different author, and the contributors are wonderful: Claudia Gray, Chuck Wendig, Delilah Dawson, Renee Ahdieh, Daniel Jose Older, and Ken Liu are just a few of the names you might recognize from the list.
I devoured the book pretty much the second it arrived on my doorstep - as I do with every Star Wars book that comes my way - but this one has lingered in my mind over the last couple of weeks. The way it retells a story we all are so familiar with, introducing new characters but also delivering the perspective of old ones that we thought we knew (such as Captain Antilles and the Bith band) is really revolutionary, and it left me wanting more. While I hope they do a volume like this for every movie, I’d also love to see some of the characters and stories we get to know in this anthology on screen, whether through a movie, TV series or animated short. Here are the stories I’d love to see adapted.
Reirin by Sabaa Tahir
This story is about a Tusken Raider named Reirin who wants something more than the life of a woman in a patriarchal clan. She’s talented at battle, but social mores prevent her from taking part in any. Instead, Reirin is expected to care for banthas and raise children. But an assignment from a trader to steal an item of value from the Jawas leads Reirin to a fate greater than she could have imagined. This is a quiet story, but beautiful one that has so much potential for Reirin’s future. I’d love to see what becomes of Reirin, perhaps in a TV show. She seems to have a grand destiny, and I’d love to know if it’s ever fulfilled.
The Sith of Datawork by Ken Liu
While the Empire might be pretty evil, it manages to hide many of its sinister intentions behind sheer bureaucracy. That’s what Ken Liu tackles in his exceptional story. What kind of paperwork would it take to keep a space station as large as the Death Star working? Quite a bit, which means the person who handles and knows the ins and out of said paperwork would have a position of power. I’d love to see an adaptation about how the people the Empire sticks in these unenviable roles (and, let’s face it, probably looks down upon) actually wield quite a bit of power on their own, so much so that they could change the face of the war against the Rebellion. (Couldn't you imagine an informant passing information to the Alliance?)
You Owe Me a Ride by Zoraida Córdova
This story takes place on Tatooine and features a pair of bounty hunters who also happen to be sisters — Brea and Senni Tonnika. When Jabba the Hutt hires bounty hunters to go after Han Solo, Brea and Senni are on the case, despite their personal history with Solo. In just a few pages, Córdova writes two fascinating women who I’m eager to meet again; they take charge of their own destinies and the end of the story finds them off a new adventure. I’d love to see more about them, whether it’s how they ended up on Tatooine or where the Tonnika sisters go from here.
Change of Heart by Elizabeth Wein
What would you do if you sympathized with a prisoner, against all your Stormtrooper training? That’s the premise of Elizabeth Wein’s story “Change of Heart,” in which a trooper aboard the Death Star finds himself unexpectedly moved by Princess Leia’s strength and resolve. Where is the line between sympathizing with a prisoner and embracing her cause? It’s a difficult question that this Stormtrooper grapples with. I’d like to see the story continue on from this point, to tell us what happened to this person. Did he end up joining the Rebellion? Or did he swallow his misgivings and stay aboard the Death Star, sealing his fate?
An Incident Report by Mallory Ortberg
I don’t laugh out loud often at what I read, but this story had me in stitches. It takes the form of an incident report filed by Admiral Motti about Darth Vader force choking him during that meeting aboard the Death Star. I’d love to see this take the form of a humorous animated short, as we see Motti in his quarters fuming about Vader’s lack of respect and inappropriate proselytizing about the Force at a professional meeting (yes, seriously. This story is so great.) I can see him now, stamping around his quarters, muttering, “He found my lack of faith disturbing? I find his lack of faith in the Death Star disturbing!”
The Trigger by Kieron Gillen
I know I’m not the only one who thinks we need to see Doctor Aphra, first introduced in Gillen and Salvador Larocca’s Darth Vader comics run, on screen. Can you imagine how great a TV show or movie featuring this fan favorite character would be? This story features Aphra before we come to meet her in the comics; I’d love to see some sort of prequel that more fully fleshes out her past.