From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2) By Elizabeth Schaefer

Elizabeth Schaefer ☆ 4 characters

I'll hide my thoughts on specifics stories under a spoiler tag, in general terms I don't think I enjoyed this anthology quite as a much as the first one, it felt like there was a higher proportion of mediocre stories although, as before, there were a few truly excellent standouts.

From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2) Spent waaaaaaaay too long on Hoth. May do a full review later.

[3.5 stars] From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2) This is a collection of forty short stories to celebrate that Empire Strikes Back is forty years old. Each story takes place during the time frame of that movie and incorporates a scene from that movie. Also, each story tells the perspective of a character who is not widely known and might not be a part of the greater scheme.

Disney did the same thing for the forty anniversary of A New Hope and I wasn't a big fan of that collection. Unfortunately, I had the same result from this collection. I like the concept of the book but it just doesn't land with me. I believe it is the short story format and I just don't connect with the characters. Not enough time spent with the characters. I also believe that some of the stories just isn't me. I can honestly say that not once in my life time did I wonder what Darth Vader eats. That is one story in this book and a good example of why I am not the biggest fan of these concept books. That being said there are a couple of stories that I really enjoyed especially the one with Wedge. I think that is why most readers do enjoy these books. With such a great number of stories readers are likely to find some stories that they really like. I just wish that I enjoyed a greater number of the stories. Instead, I find most of the stories lackluster.

As you can tell these are not my favorite Star Wars novels. That will not stop me from reading them if they continue these concept books. All the authors have agreed to give their earnings to the First Book charity and a bunch of books are being donated to that charity. For that reason I do appreciate this book and I applaud everyone behind it. From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2) To think I almost missed this book, I kept seeing a Certain Point of View and thinking it was the Star Wars (The New Hope) version, days before it came out I realised I realised it was the Empire Strikes Back reciving the FACPOF treatment.

Like the first book it is difficult to give an overall rating as there are some stories I enjoyed more then others. I found I really like probobly 35 out of 40 stories so 5 stars it is. Unlike the first book, the stories are not in completely sequential. Some do overlap so it give a different person's story or perspective on the same event. I must say prefer this to the first book, and I did like in the first few stories a couple of crossover characters.

The book will does follow the format of the group of stories based on the battle of Host will be together. Then the search in the asteroid field and so on. I like that they hive both Rebel and Imperial perspective stories. Also fills in the blanks of what the rest of the Rebels were doing while Luke was Jedi Training giving a major side character a well deserved life. Potentially leading into one of the upcoming Star Wars spinoffs series to be released. Though Disney has let me down with bridging book to TV in the past. Though I still have hope.

A very enjoyable book and great stories. The book is 549, 561 if you include the acknowledgments pages. 9once again adds depth and great character to build on in the future I hope. Now I am already looking forward to Return of the Jedi FACPOV. From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2) Yasss!!! *claps energetically*

Disturbance by Mike Chen is my absolute fave!!!
I just adored the Whills Strike Back!!! They are so cute and their witty banter is everything!!!
I CAN'T WAIT FOR 40 YEARS OF RETURN OF THE JEDI!!! From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2)


From a Certain Point of View strikes back! Celebrate the legacy of the groundbreaking Star Wars sequel with this exciting reimagining of the timeless film.

On May 21, 1980, Star Wars became a true saga with the release of The Empire Strikes Back. In honor of the fortieth anniversary, forty storytellers recreate an iconic scene from The Empire Strikes Back, through the eyes of a supporting character, from heroes and villains to droids and creatures. From a Certain Point of View features contributions by bestselling authors and trendsetting artists. From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2)

This is the second collection of Star Wars stories that take the reader through a whole movie, start to finish, through the eyes of minor characters. I enjoyed the first one and found it a fun way to relive A New Hope. This volume, however, for The Empire Strikes Back, didn’t work nearly so well. Some reasons? The second film in the trilogy is a more tightly focused narrative, so there’s much less room for interesting (or even amusing) side plots happening just outside the frame. Also, ESB is more serious than ANH, so the flippant tone of some of these stories feels wrong.

The main problem is that the editors are attached to the idea of forty stories, in honor of the film’s fortieth anniversary. What this book shows is that there aren’t forty minor characters in the film who can be given interesting stories. Ten good stories would be a stretch; but forty? As a major character says near the end of the film: “That’s impossible!”

Fifteen of the first stories in the collection are centered on Hoth, and most of them are tedious. Several stories give the histories of various Rebels in the Hoth base, but the stories are entirely interchangeable. The backstory of a Rebel soldier could as easily be switched with one given to a snowspeeder pilot. It just doesn’t matter, and it adds nothing significant to the movie. It feels like authors drew plot outlines from a jar and then picked a character in the background to assign it to.

The book ends with twelve stories about Cloud City, and though they’re not quite so bad as the Hoth section, they’re mostly mediocre. All the usual Star Wars boxes are checked: appearance by an unexpected random character (Jaxxon); stormtrooper developing a conscience and defecting; pondering a humorous detail about Vader (What/How does he eat?); double-crosses and double-double-crosses; observations about Lando’s capes. This highlights the main problem with Star Wars right now: It needs to get away from itself. Stop the endless self-referencing, parodying, using lines from other movies in new stories for comedic effect, using the word “hope,” connections to Skywalkers...just stop. Find some era or corner of the galaxy that hasn’t been thoroughly mined, and create something new that doesn’t depend on fans who have every detail of every movie memorized.

So if you were going to pick up this book and not read all forty stories (547 pages!), which ones are worth trying? Here are a few that I liked, though it’s entirely subjective:

“Eyes of the Empire,” by Kiersten White. I liked the opening story, about an Imperial worker who built and controls the probe droids scouring the galaxy for the Rebel base. It’s an interesting idea, that there’s this person watching the data and dreaming of visiting different worlds. Including Dagobah at the end was overreaching, but until that point, it was a decent story. (In general, stories about Imperials have much more potential to be good than stories about Rebels. Good guys are boring.)

“The Final Order,” by Seth Dickinson. This is a story about the Imperial captain commanding a Star Destroyer in the search for the Millennium Falcon in the asteroid belt. Most of the story is inside his thoughts as he extrapolates what the Empire will become if it is victorious. Star Wars authors often do this trope of “What if an Imperial decided the Empire was bad,” but this story gets into the psychology much better than other stories have done. Very clever and thoughtful.

“Tooth and Claw,” by Michael Kogge. Bounty hunter stories have a lot of potential, but this is the only one in this collection that I thought did something worthwhile. The story is about Bossk just as he receives the summons to come to Vader’s ship for a new job. By drawing on existing lore about the enmity between Trandoshans and Wookiees, the story subverts the expectations and becomes about choices characters make, and what it takes to move from hate to compassion. Most stories in this book didn’t surprise me at all, but this one did.

“There Is Always Another,” by Mackenzi Lee. My favorite story in the previous book was the one that focused on Obi-Wan on Tatooine. This book includes a story from the point of view of Obi-Wan’s ghost as he visits Luke and Yoda on Dagobah. Lee’s writing begins with the wrong tone—too forced-comedic. But it grows into an unexpectedly touching meditation by the end, as we listen in on Obi-Wan’s thoughts about Skywalkers, and his own failures, and his need to keep growing and learning even after death. And okay, it is kind of funny to read Obi-Wan thinking, “I don’t know why I am defending Anakin—even in my own head—especially after he killed me. Old habits” (349).
Forty stories, and there are four that I remember with any fondness. That’s about par for Star Wars these days. From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2) 3.5 ⭐Rounded up.

While I did enjoy the first book more, that in no way means this was disappointing.
My favourite stories were:
A Good Kiss by: C.B. Lee
The Truest Duty by: Christine Golden
Wait For It by: Zoraida Córdova
Standard Imperial Procedure by: Sarwat Chadda
Faith In An Old Friend by: Brittany N. Williams
The Witness by: Adam Christopher
The Whills Strike Back by: Tom Angleberger
From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2) ❐ Overall Rating 3¾| Narration 5
❐ Star Wars
❐ Anthology
❐ Side Stories from a certain point of view

Some were good, a few were really good and some I tuned out completely. I'm glad I rewatched The Empire Strikes Back before starting this...I didn't realize how long it had been since I last watched it. I had forgotten a lot of it.

My favorites were:

Disturbance by Mike Chen, which was superbly narrated by Sam Whitwer. Darth Sidious/The Emporer/Palpatine...he senses a disturbance in the force.

She Will Keep Them Warm by Delilah S, Dawson, and narrated by January LaVoy...from the head of a Tauntaun.

Wait For It by Zoraida Cordova, narrated by John Hamm...Boba Fett!

The First Lesson by Jim Zub narrated by Marc Thompson...Yoda!

But What Does He Eat by S.A. Chakraborty narrated by Soneela Nankani...seriously what or how does Vader eat???

and of course...loved hearing from L3-37 in...

Faith in an Old Friend by Brittany N. Williams, narrated by Soneela Nankani, January LaVoy, and Emily Woo Zeller.

❐ Libby Listen through my Library
❐ Length ➯ 17H 59M From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2) Excellent, a perfect follow up to the previous book. From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2) This is a mostly chronological collection of short stories shedding a new light on Empire from a variety of characters whose travels bisect a piece of the story: the Millenium Falcon's computer, Boba Fett, a wampa, an admiral on the bridge of a doomed star destroyer, and many more. I love how the books and the TV shows fill in the richness of this universe and this collection does a great job of that.

Be prepared to humbly visit Wookieepedia young Padawans, as some of the character's names may not ring a bell (and some weren't even in the movie.) No stories are from the perspective of Luke, Han, Leia, or Chewie (although they appear in the narratives of others frequently) but a few other big names share their POV.

Some stories are better than others, some have too fleeting a connection to the source material or were too uneven, but there are no stories I outright disliked. This is 550 pages without a real goose egg in the bunch.

The stories:

* Eyes of the Empire by Kiersten White: An Imperial tech who is tasked with monitoring probe droid footage is forced to re-evaluate when she sees the fruits of her labor. 4 stars

*Hunger by Mark Oshiro: One of many stories that deals with the war's ecological effects, this melancholy tale is narrated by a famous wampa. Actually, the only famous wampa. 4 stars

*Ion Control by Emily Skrutskie: The Battle of Hoth told from the perspective of Toryn Farr, the young woman who operates the ion cannon. 4 stars

*A Good Kiss by C. B. Lee: This one is narrated by one of the nameless rebels who dart by Han and Leia while they are arguing about him leaving Hoth. Interesting premise, but too romancey for me (also You cold, Yavin baby? is a creepy pickup line in any universe.) 2 stars

*She Will Keep Them Warm by Delilah S. Dawson, who is a goddess: The tale of one pivotal tauntaun's life on Hoth just wrecked me. 5 stars

*Heroes of the Rebellion by Amy Ratcliffe: Corwi, a PR agent for the Rebellion, attempts to make the most of the Hoth evacuation. 4 stars

*Rogue Two by Gary Whitta: Zev Senesca will die in the Battle of Hoth but we won't talk about that. Instead, here is the story of a rescue mission and life in Rogue Squadron. 5 stars

*Kendal by Charles Yu: This unique take is entirely from the perspective of Admiral Ozzel, who dropped out of light speed too soon on the way to Hoth, as he's being force choked by Vader. 4 stars

*Against All Odds by R.F. Kuang: The story of the life and last few minutes of Dak Ralter, Luke's pilot in the Battle of Hoth. This one also hit me in the feels, but it's also sweet and hopeful. 5 stars

*Beyond Hope by Michael Moreci: The Battle of Hoth as seen from the Rebel trenches. 3 stars

*The Truest Duty by Christie Golden: And here's an AT-AT's view of the Battle of Hoth, courtesy of the ill-fated General Veers. 4 stars

*A Naturalist on Hoth by Hank Green: I loved this unique take on some non-military members of the Rebellion and their contributions, chiefly a young naturalist who advance scouts Hoth. 5 stars

*The Dragonsnake Saves R2 by Katie Cook: This goofy one page comic is adorable 4 stars

*For the Last Time by Beth Revis: Newly promoted Imperial Admiral Piett comes to have a different, unwanted perspective on Vader. Don't worry, Admiral. Not a lot of tenure in a job like yours. 3 stars

*Rendezvous Point by Jason Fry: Lots of interesting detail about flying an X-wing and life as a fighter pilot, courtesy of a post-Hoth Wedge Antilles. 5 stars

*The Final Order by Seth Dickinson: Captain Canonhaus ponders life in Imperial service on the soon to be doomed bridge of his star destroyer. 4 stars

*Amara Kel's Rules for Tie Fighter Pilot Survival (Probably) by Django Wexler: Mixed feelings about this one. I loved the details about flying a TIE Fighter and how they mostly suck compared to an X-Wing, save in a few crucial details. Could have done without the shower grab ass between the two female pilots--they're TIE pilots who take joy in shooting the heads off of astromechs, I'm not shipping these two! 3 stars, with 5 for the TIE stuff, 1 star for the grab ass.

*The First Lesson by Jim Zub: Yoda awaits a visitor on Dagobah.3 stars

*Disturbance by Mike Chen: Palpatine meditates and finds new ways to ruin Vader's life 4 stars

*This is no Cave by Catherynne M. Valente: Leave it to Valente to tell a weird but lovely tale from the perspective of an Exogorth who is definitely not a cave. 5 stars

*Lord Vader Will See You Now by John Jackson Miller: Miller wrote one of my favorite Star Wars novels, A New Dawn. Rae Sloane, an ambitious officer in the Imperial fleet, accidentally makes an important discovery in the Hoth asteroid field. 3 stars

*Vergence by Tracy Deonn: The dark presence on Dagobah tells a story about its shifting relationship with the Jedi. 4 stars

*Tooth and Claw by Michael Kogge: Bossk (the reptilian--ok, Tradoshan technically--bounty hunter in the group Vader summons to find the Falcon) encounters a surprise while looking for a wookie pirate. This was a decent concept but the character decisions don't make any sense and ultimately has no consequences for Bossk or anyone else down the line. 2 stars

*STET! by Daniel Jose Older: Another tale about bounty hunters that doesn't really pan out, despite the cute premise. 2 stars

*Wait for It by Zoraida Cordova: Ok, here's a bounty hunter tale that works and no surprise, it's about Boba Fett's trip to the star destroyer. 4 stars

*Standard Imperial Procedure by Sarwat Chadda: Life is not great for Ashon, an Imperial engineer who has been demoted to garbage duty. But there's something afoot on his star destroyer involving these bounty hunters and maybe his luck is about to change. 5 stars

*There is Always Another by Mackenzi Lee: I really don't know how to rate this one. This tale told by Obi-Wan's force ghost sounds like him in one paragraph, and then sounds nothing like him in the next. (Would Obi-Wan say that Yoda made a meal of his martyrdom?) 2 stars

*Fake It Till You Make It by Cavan Scott: I had never heard of Lando's ex-smuggling acquaintance, Jaxxon Tumperakki, but I loved this fun, goofy redemption tale of his role in the evacuation of Cloud City 5 stars

*But What Does He Eat? by S. A. Chakraborty: Another tale seldom told about how the Empire makes life miserable for the average working person, in this a star chef in Cloud City who doesn't want to cater a dinner for Vader 4 stars

*Beyond the Clouds by Lilliam Rivera: This tale of a would-be bounty hunter and a fight for worker's rights in Cloud City never really took off for me 2 stars

*No Time for Poetry by Austin Walker: The adventures of two more bounty hunters, Dengar and IG-88, after they leave the star destroyer to find Solo. 3 stars

*Bespin Escape by Martha Wells: The evacuation of Cloud City from the perspective of an Ugnaught clan (if you watched The Mandalorian, Kuill was an Ugnaught) 4 stars

*Faith in an Old Friend by Brittany N. Williams: The three droid memory cells who make up the Millenium Falcon's computer narrate this funny and sad story of their time on Bespin. Will someone ask Brittany N. Williams to write more, faster? 5 stars

*Due on Batuu by Rob Hart: A gloriously goofy fan service tale of Willrow Hood's attempt to become a smuggler in the final days before the Empire's invasion of Cloud City. Willrow, who was originally a nameless extra during the Cloud City evacuation scene, has become a superfan legend over time. 4 stars

*Into the Clouds by Karen Strong: This story about an aristocratic resident of Cloud City and the pilot she has a crush on is fine, but I didn't really see the point of it. 2 stars

*The Witness by Adam Christopher: This was a nailbiter about a storm trooper who hits Cloud City on Vader's detail and decides she's finally had enough. I found it kind of improbable she was able to witness the pivotal moment she describes and I don't really buy some of the final parts of the story but this was still good. 3 stars

*The Man Who Built Cloud City by Alexander Freed: A story that tells another side of Lando Calrissian and the nameless security guards of Cloud City. 3 stars

*The Backup Backup Plan by Anne Toole: A plot against the Imperial takeover of Cloud City goes sideways. Or does it? Good story but too thin characters left me not caring that much. 2 stars

*Right-Hand Man by Lydia Kang: YA author Kang is a physician in her spare time so she's the perfect choice to tell this tale about the philosophical medical droid who attaches Luke's new hand. 5 stars

*The Whills Strike Back by Tom Angleberger: So for those who don't know, the Whills make the force somehow with the Midi-Chlorians. Don't worry about it though. I love the absolute cheek of this fan service closing story, narrated by some bickering Whills. The Life Day reference alone is worth it. 5 stars From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (From a Certain Point of View, #2)