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‘The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View’ Fills the Space Between [REVIEW]

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was ill-received for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which was the silly notion of space aliens flying off to the “space between.” George Lucas’ other legacy franchise, however, has found a way to make use of that space between in a much more fulfilling manner. Look no further than the latest offering from Del Rey BooksThe Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View.

Empire Strikes Back

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of what is universally held to be the best film of the entire Star Wars franchise. To honor the film, Del Rey compiled an anthology of forty stories related to Empire that, you guessed it, fill in the space between the action we saw on film. Generally, ESB: From a Certain Point of View presents a fascinating look into the Empire Strikes Back time period. Many of the stories instantly capture the reader. Notwithstanding, the collection does feel a bit odd, and sometimes forced, at times, too.

The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View

Empire Strikes Back
Image: Del Rey Books

The tome includes tales from well-known as well as new-coming authors to the Star Wars fold. Recognizable names include Alexander Freed (author of the Battlefront and Alphabet Squadron novels), Delilah S. Dawson (Phasma; Black Spire), and Jason Fry. Fry’s entry, Rendezvous Point, is in fact one of the best entries of the entire Empire Strikes Back collection. In it he tells of Wedge Antilles’ efforts to rebuild Red Squadron. The short story highlights the Alliance’s difficulties in finding resources and manpower to continue the fight against oppression.

There are stories like Fry’s that enthrall, and others that truly make the reader ponder. As the title suggests, many of the tales certainly do come from a certain (i.e. different) point of view. Have you ever wondered what went through the wompa’s mind as it prepared to feast on the farm boy from Tatooine? Well, now you know. One of the most intriguing entries of the Empire anthology tells the tale of “the cave” on Dagobah. Depicted as a sentient, well, Force, the cave has an agenda of its own and plays a dangerous game with its prey. That of course includes Luke Skywalker.

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From Bounty hunters, to rebel plight, to Imperial insight, there’s something for everyone…. Including a questionably odd focus on tauntauns.  All in all though, the work essentially represents an entertaining collection of sanctioned Empire Strikes Back fan fiction to fill in the film’s gaps. For fans of the franchise, and Episode V especially, the book is a welcome addition to any reader’s Star Wars collection.

The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View is on sale now at retailers everywhere.

By JJ Goodman

Lawyer by trade, writer by passion. Author of 'The Deep Space Chronicles' series available at Amazon.com, a rambling blog at jjgoodman.blogspot.com, and musings on all things 'Star Wars' here at That Hashtag Show.

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