Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi is full of exceptional endings and new beginnings

Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View - Return of the Jedi. Image courtesy
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View - Return of the Jedi. Image courtesy /

Green Leader. The Sarlacc. A Rebell historian. The rancor keeper. Sy Snootles. All of these characters and more get their own brand-new stories in Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi.

The anthology of stories from 40 different authors arrives on Aug. 29 from Random House Worlds — formerly Del Rey. Through 40 different short stories, the collection tells the story of Return of the Jedi from secondary and even unnamed characters’ perspectives.

Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and Han Solo are the stars of Return of the Jedi movie. But in FACPOV, the epic escape from Jabba’s Palace, the destruction of the second Death Star, and the fall of the Sith-ruled Empire are told from different points of view.

Overall, the anthology is an exceptional ending to the trilogy of From a Certain Point of View stories. It’s also full of new beginnings for beloved characters and the galaxy as a whole.

FACPOV: Return of the Jedi is full of love and celebration for the final film in the original trilogy. It also connects the 40-year-old movie to nearly every other project in the franchise. It adds new threads, pulls in loose ones, and generally makes the fabric of the larger Star Wars story that much more bright, bold, and dynamic.

Each story has something fresh but familiar to offer, and there really is a story for every kind of Star Wars fan.

Going into the book, I was most excited about Mike Chen’s “Brotherhood,” Adam Lance Garcia’s “The Veteran,” and the Sarlacc’s story. Those stories were among my favorites, but I was also surprised by how much I loved Thea Guanzon’s tale about the women prisoners in Jabba’s palace and “The Ballad of Nanta” by Sarah Kuhn.

All of the stories featuring Rebel pilots like Wedge Antilles, Norra Wexley, and Green Leader were incredible, as was the absolutely chilling perspective of Emperor Palpatine in the moments before his death.

The Max Rebo-starring “Fancy Man” story by Phil Szostak is downright hilarious, and Saladin Ahmed’s tale about the rancor’s caretaker is surprisingly sad. Tara Sim’s Boba Fett story sees the infamous bounty hunter reflect on all the things that happened to him during the War of the Bounty Hunters comic series.

The best stories in this anthology are full of reflection and hope — two of the most important themes in Star Wars. In this book, each character — new or established — looks back on their triumphs and tragedies, their mistakes and missteps, and any other action that led them to their respective pivotal moments.

In the two most powerful stories of the book, Anakin Skywalker and Dexter Jettster reflect on how their lives shaped the entire galaxy.

In “Brotherhood,” Chen draws out the beautifully bittersweet moment when Anakin rejoins the light and becomes one with the Force. While still full of grief and guilt for what he’s done over the decades, he’s at peace knowing that his son and daughter are his legacy.

In “The Veteran,”’ Garcia shows the heavy burden of guilt that wracks Dex. The besalisk diner owner and friend of Obi-Wan Kenobi is nearly consumed by wondering if he could’ve prevented all this tragedy when he guided the Jedi to Kamino and the Republic’s secret army of clone troopers.

Both stories, as well as a few others, are full-circle moments for these characters whom so many have loved over the decades.

FACPOV: Return of the Jedi feels like the most poignant and focused of the trilogy of From a Certain Point of View books. The book’s pacing is steady as it deftly moves the story and readers through more than three dozen different stories, several planets, a Death Star, and the forest moon of Endor.

Like the collections that came before it, FACPOV: Return of the Jedi adds depth and nuance to the stories told in the third Star Wars movie. And it just might make many aspects of the beloved film even better.

From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi is available now from wherever you buy books.

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