Back in April, Star Wars fans were thrilled to learn that Lucasfilm and Del Rey were celebrating the 40th anniversary of Star Wars in style. Set to be released in October, From A Certain Point of View is a unique Star Wars anthology featuring 40 short stories written by 40 different authors. Each short story is designed to provide us with a fresh perspective on A New Hope where fans can explore the Mos Eisley Cantina, the Rebel base on Yavin 4, and even the most important meetings on the Death Star!
Over on Twitter, the authors have just started revealing exclusive promotional artwork that teases their stories. The great thing about this is that the art will actually be included in the book, which promises to be a thing of beauty. So let's take a look at some of the most intriguing stories hinted at so far...
The Story Of Obi-Wan Kenobi
What's it like to be a Force Ghost? It looks as though Cavan Scott's 'Time of Death' will explore that question, telling the story of Obi-Wan's death... from Obi-Wan's own point of view! It's sure to be a fascinatingly surreal tale, and certainly a mystical one, giving us a sense of what it truly means to be one with the Force. The Clone Wars shed some light on what it means for a Jedi to prepare themselves for this experience, so no doubt we'll see some of that while bridging the anthology and the Prequel Trilogy.
It's also going to be interesting to learn what Obi-Wan was expecting when he first set foot on the Death Star. Did he suspect, even then, that this would be his last mission? Obi-Wan must have surely sensed the dark side presence of Darth Vader, but did he know that the duel was inevitable and that he would be forced to sacrifice himself if he wanted Luke to escape?
One of the most iconic characters of A New Hope, Tarkin has been a major focus in the Star Wars novels. Now, it seems as though #Lucasfilm's own Pablo Hidalgo — a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group — is telling the final Tarkin story. This is the day Tarkin believed he had finally triumphed. Of course, he was completely wrong.
One of Palpatine's closest allies, Tarkin was a believer in the use of supreme force, so much so that the Empire referred to this approach as the 'Tarkin Doctrine.' He was brutal and ruthless, and I doubt we'll see even a hint of regret for Alderaan. Intriguingly, there have been many fan theories that suggest Tarkin saw Palpatine's corruption, and ultimately planned to use the Death Star against the Emperor himself. These have even been discussed by actual Star Wars authors, but have never been confirmed. Perhaps that's about to change...
The Journal Of The Whills
Now this one will get every Star Wars fan to sit up and take note! When George Lucas originally created Star Wars, he envisioned the tales told through the eyes of an all-knowing race. As he explained in the annotated screenplay of A New Hope:
"Originally, I was trying to have the story be told by somebody else; there was somebody watching this whole story and recording it, somebody wiser than the mortal players in actual events. I eventually dropped this idea, and the concepts behind the Whills turned into the Force. But the Whills became part of this massive amount of notes, quotes, background information that I used for the scripts; the stories were actually taken from the 'Journal of the Whills.'"
The Whills have returned to prominence in the Star Wars canon as of late; the Guardians of the Whills played a major role in Rogue One, and there are also hints that we'll see the Journal itself in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This particular short story promises to be an important one, potentially binding the whole timeline together!
Wedge Antilles Returns
As one of Luke's fellow pilots in the Death Star run, Wedge Antilles became a major character in the classic Expanded Universe. There, he was promoted to leader of Rogue Squadron, and the star of fan-favorite novels by Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston. Old-school Star Wars fans will be delighted to see the character set to star appear in the new canon! In this case, it's being written by Jason Fry, the popular author who's also writing the novelization of The Last Jedi.
Who Else Would Kieron Gillen Be Writing About?
Finally, let's focus on the most amusing of the announcements. Who else would Kieron Gillen be writing about? He's one of Marvel's pre-eminent Star Wars writers, and his Darth Vader run is one of the most-loved comics in the range. That series introduced fans to an original character, Doctor Aphra, a rogue archaeologist who wound up working for Vader. Aphra was so popular that she now stars in her own ongoing comic. But how will Doctor Aphra fit into A New Hope? Only time will tell...
The old Star Wars Expanded Universe had a proud tradition of anthologies that explored the wider Star Wars Galaxy. These short stories look set to flesh out the story of A New Hope in a thrilling way, and with any luck, this will be the start of a new range of anthologies. Will we eventually see future collections released that explore the Original Trilogy, and perhaps even step back to the Prequels? We can only hope.