"FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW: RETURN OF THE JEDI" PREDICTIONS
Having watched Star Wars: Return of the Jedi over a hundred times since its 1983 release, I can't help but imagine all the untold stories we still haven't heard nearly 40 years later. Was Max Rebo getting paid for his gig at Jabba's Palace? What is Chief Chirpa's leadership style in Bright Tree Village? Did any of the Royal Guards witness Vader yeet Palpatine down a shaft?
Soon enough, we may have the answers.
To celebrate the latest installment in the From a Certain Point of View anthology series from Del Rey Publishing, in which 40 authors tell 40 stories surrounding the background characters or creatures we know next-to-nothing about, I'm already getting amped for the next sequel that will likely drop in 2023.
Starting in chronological order, here are the 40 stories I hope to see in From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi.
1. Tiaan Jerjerrod
If you're wondering what fear looks like, look no further than Tiaan Jerjerrod. He's all of us who've ever procrastinated a deadline only to find out our boss, and our boss's boss, would be checking in on our progress and moving up the due date. Considering failure is not an option in the Empire, I can only imagine the chills running up Tiaan's spine when he proclaims, "We shall double our efforts!"
TT-8L, also known as the "gatekeeper droid," is the Star Wars galaxy's version of a night-club bouncer. What are TT-8L's standards for entry? Is he somehow communicating with Jabba the Hutt? What kinds of strange beings has he admitted into the palace over the years? Does he like his job, or is this something he was unwillingly subjugated to?
3. Bib Fortuna
Bib Fortuna is certainly not the sharpest tool in the shed, evident by the fact that he fell for the oldest trick in the book: a Jedi mind trick by Luke Skywalker. Bib best reminds me of a Vampire's familiar from What We Do In the Shadows. A familiar is an assistant that carries out all the Vampire's dirty work, such as cleaning up bodies and wiping blood off the carpet in the hopes of being promoted to a Vampire one day. For Bib, someone who's been assisting Jabba since The Phantom Menace, I can't help but think he continually tries to impress Jabba only to fail at every opportunity and never earn the recognition he craves. Nonetheless, he never questions his foolish loyalty.
I want to know everything about this torture droid—everything. Is he sad? Does he love his job? Is he paid well? Is he just trying to put bread on the table? Most recently in Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian, a worn-down droid that showed a striking resemblance to 8D8 could be seen walking through the streets of Calodan on the forest planet of Corvus, meaning he may have escaped Jabba's palace. I'm also wondering if this droid was originally liberated during L3-37's revolt on Kessel during Solo: A Star Wars Story only to fall back into the clutches of a different crime syndicate (out of the frying pan and into the fire).
5. The Max Rebo Band (aka The Max Rebo Twelve)
This could be one of the weirder stories we get in this anthology, and I'm here for it. According to Wookieepedia, the Max Rebo Band was once known by Evar Orbus and His Galactic Jizz-Wailers up until Evar was killed during in a firefight with Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes. I feel like Max Rebo has seen some stuff, but I'm eager to understand what it's like performing alongside legends such as Droopy McCool and Sy Snootles.
6. Sy Snootles
Speaking of Sy Snootles, this is one of my most highy-anticipated stories! There's a deep-rooted history between Sy and the Hutts dating back to The Clone Wars, when she fell in love with Ziro Desilijic Tiure (uncle to Jabba the Hutt) in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This story would be a great opportunity to revisit the old narrative and maybe introduce some new twists. Does Sy, a former part-time bounty hunter, hold resentment for Jabba the Hutt? Is she part of a secret assassination attempt that we have never been privy to? What's the story behind Lapti Nek? Only time will tell.
7. Salacious Crumb
I think we can collectively agree that Kowakian monkey-lizards are the biggest nuisance ever. Nevertheless, I wanna know what's running through that little chaotic mind of evil.
8. The Rancor
Is the Rancor just misunderstood? Methinks the answer is yes. #Rancordemption
9. The Sarlacc Pit
I'll echo what I said about the Rancor: creatures in Star Wars are just misunderstood beings. This was the core of Mark Oshiro's Wampa tale in From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back, and I believe this will be the case for the Sarlacc. I truly don't think the Sarlacc wants to eat anyone, but it's left with no other choice in order to survive. Maybe we'll finally know what Boba Fett tastes like.
10. Boba Fett
(Speaking of which) First and foremost, this will not explain how Boba Fett escapes the Sarlacc Pit, a story which will likely be reserved forJon Favreau's team on The Mandalorian. Given that Boba has made an appearance in both anthologies so far, this is a given.
11. Jabba the Hutt
Give me the scene where Leia kills Jabba the Hutt from Jabba's point of view. What is it like for the galaxy's most notorious gangster to realize he's been finally outsmarted?
My hope is this chapter will be titled "When 900 Years-Old You Reach" and explore Yoda's transformation into the Force. Does he experience all points in time at once? Does he feel at peace knowing he carried out his duty to protect Luke and Leia? I will probably cry during this.
Now, his watch has ended.
13. Obi-Wan Kenobi
Ok, hear me out. How funny would it be if this chapter is titled "From a Certain Point of View" IN From a Certain Point of View!? It'd be a FACPOV-palooza! I'd love to get into the mind of Obi-Wan and understand why he thought now was a good time to tell Luke about Leia. C'mon, Ben, he's got a lot on his plate already!
14. Mon Mothma
Mon Mothma has been such a prominent figure in the Star Wars timeline, but I don't feel like we've truly gone inside her mind. The core of this story could be how does a leader still lead when the losses are high and the odds are too great? " Considering Mothma has already witnessed the Rogue One crew perish on Scarif while extracting the Death Star plans, how does she come to terms with losing another crew in an effort to, once again, extract Death Star plans? The look on her face when she says, "Many Bothans died to bring us this information" is worth at least a thousand words.
15. Shara Bey
We were first introduced to Shara Bey in the comic series Star Wars: Shattered Empire by Greg Rucka, which takes place shortly after Return of the Jedi, and it only feels right to explore the moments leading up to that initial introduction. What's going through Shara's mind before the greatest battle of her lifetime? Is she worried the Rebellion will perish? Is she ready to get in her A-Wing and blow stuff up? Does she feel like she's saying goodbye to her husband Kes Dameron for the last time? No, I'm definitely not crying. Those are just my seasonal allergies...
PRUNE FACE!! This character has quite a history in the Star Wars community. Originally dubbed "Prune Face" by his 1984 action figure, Orrimaarko wasn't given a name until 1995 in Pablo Hidalgo's sourcebook for West End Games. Most recently, he appeared in Rebecca Roanhorse's Resistance Reborn, which takes place after Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Considering it took Orrimaarko 11 years to be named, it's only fair that he gets a long overdue point of view.
17. Crix Madine
Crix used to be a part of the Galactic Empire's military before defecting to the Rebel Alliance, and it makes me question if he's fully earned the trust and respect of his Rebel peers. This story could provide a valuable lesson in how we treat those trying to carve out a new path despite their past misgivings.
18. Sim Aloo and Janus Greejatus
Who the heck are these guys and why are they so stylish!? Seriously, though, they are so randomly placed in this scene with Vader and Palpatine, so they must serve some importance if they were invited to the cool kids meeting.
19. Comms Officer
There's nothing worse than your boss hovering over your shoulder while you're trying to do your job. Oh wait, I lied: it's TWO bosses hovering over your shoulder while you're trying to do your job! Taking orders from both Vader and Piett while checking the code clearance of the Shuttle Tydirium, flown by Han Solo, must simultaneously nerve wracking and annoying. He must've been sweating bullets.
20. Scout Troopers
What is the life of a Scout Trooper like? I want to know what they were doing before Han Solo broke that twig and caused a ruckus. Were they collecting rock samples? Having a heart to heart? Kissing? Who knows!
Ok, so the next few points of view are Ewok-focused because I LOVE Ewoks. Wicket is the most obvious, and likely, choice to be included in this anthology. I would love to see what's running through his mind when he meets Leia and where he disappears to before coming back and saving her from the Scout Trooper!
Every time I hear Han Solo say, "Hey, point that thing someplace else," I always wonder if Teebo is a bit offended by Han's terrible manners.
Logray would be a great opportunity to explore the conversation with Threepio right before he starts flying through the air. Logray's perspective could also teach us more about the prophecy of "The Golden One," who has been worshipped in the Ewok religion for ages.
24. Chief Chirpa
You can't have an anthology without Chief Chirpa, who served on the Council of Elders in Bright Tree Village. Chuck Wendig almost explored Chirpa's story when writing the 2015 novel Aftermath, but he eventually opted for a different Ewok in his sequel Life Debt. I have so many questions about how a Council of Edlers functions in Ewok society.
25. Imperial Officer
"This is the Rebel that surrendered to us." How did Luke surrender, exactly? Did he play a prank? Did he ignite his lightsaber in the dark to scare the pants off some Imperials?
26. Nora Wexley
First introduced in Wendig's Aftermath, this is the perfect opportunity to explore Nora's time fighting during the Battle of Endor. She turned out to be one of the most compelling characters among any publishing project in the Disney era, and she's more than deserving of her own point of view in the Return of the Jedi timeline.
27. Captain Rex
Some may call this an unnecessary retcon, but I thought it was a brilliant way to connect Captain Rex to the "present day," relative to The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Rex is easily one of the best characters to come out of Star Wars animation, and he's seen A LOT in his life: the birth of the Republic Army, the entirety of the Clone Wars, the Jedi Purge, and the rise of the Empire. My question is how does Rex experience the most important battle of his lifetime? What defines a "good soldier" in this moment? I expect this to be a story about a man who is tired of wartime, having seen too many of his brothers lost, but still has enough of a fire in him to put up one last fight.
28. Colonel Dyer (Ben Burtt)
Infamous sound designer Ben Burtt, who created the wide range of iconic sounds in the Star Wars galaxy, made his first on-screen appearance in Return of the Jedi, shouting "Freeze!" at the Rebels before getting tossed off a catwalk with Han Solo's toolbox. I'd love to know what Dyer thought he could achieve in this scenario. Is he a bit opportunistic? Did he actually think he, alone, could take on an entire band of Rebels? Is this just another crappy Monday for him? There's nothing better than Star Wars creatives being featured as side characters, and this would be the perfect way to pay respect to Burtt's contributions to the franchise.
29. Iden Versio (Inferno Squad)
[Spoilers for Battlefront II]
First introduced in Christie Golden's Battlefront II: Inferno Squadron novel, in the lead-up to her on-screen appearance in the 2017 video game Battlefront II, Iden Versio has became a fan favorite among many fans! Iden is a member of Inferno Squadron, one of the Empire's most lethal and tactile groups that can reliably finish any job with ease. During the Battle of Endor, Inferno Squad is stationed on Endor when the Death Star explodes. Knowing Iden later defects to the Rebel Alliance, there's a lot of psychological turmoil to explore in order to better understand any seeds of doubt she may have about the Empire's rule. Plus, it would be a great opportunity to have actress Janina Gavankar narrate the character in audiobook format for a second time!
30. Admiral Ackbar
"IT'S A TRAP!" Need I say more?
31. Wedge Antilles
Having seen Wedge take on the reigns of leadership in the aftermath of the Battle of Hoth, I want to see how he keeps his cool during the final space battle while the Death Star, being fully operational, takes out Rebellion corvettes one-by-one.
32. Sila Kott
After being featured in Jason Fry's "Rendezvous Point" in From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back, it only feels right to give Sila a dedicated chapter in Return of the Jedi. After the Battle of Hoth, Sila was coming to terms with having to take a life in wartime in order to save the larger galaxy—she had only ever flown civilian transports before. Ultimately, she pulls the trigger and saves Wedge's life during a firefight, but there's still a bit of an internal struggle she's facing by the end. Unfortunately, Sila doesn't survive the Battle of Endor, so this could be a highly emotional story that rounds out her arc in a heroic manner.
33. Hera Syndulla
Ok, hear me out: Hera Syndulla flying the Ghost during the Battle of Endor (or even joining ground reinforcements). Hera's been popping up in a lot of stories as of late, including the Alphabet Squadron trilogy and the Star Wars Squadrons video game, so I wouldn't be surprised if she's featured in this anthology (fingers crossed we get actress Vanessa Marshall for the audiobook).
34. Admiral Piett
"Intensify forward fire power!" These are Piett's final words before an A-Wing plummets into the bridge of his Star Destroyer, marking a significant turning point for the Rebels in this battle. I've always wondered what must be going through his mind in those final moments when he realizes this efforts were for naught.
35. Emperor Palpatine
*Freeze frame, close-up of Palpatine being held up by Darth Vader*
"Well... you're probably wondering how I got here."
36. Royal Guard
I think it would be absolutely hilarious if a Royal Guard comes back to the Throne Room to check on Palpatine and sees him getting thrown down a shaft by Darth Vader. This came to mind after reading Adam Christopher's "The Witness" in From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back, which follows a defected stormtrooper who accidentally stumbles upon the iconic "I am your father" moment between Luke and Vader.
37. Nien Nunb
THE SULLUSTAN OF THE HOUR: NIEN NUNB! This character brings me so much joy with his unparalleled enthusiasm. Give me his point of view as Lando traverses the Millennium Falcon through the Death Star's innards before blowing it to shreds and escaping its explosive grip.
38. Tear down that statue!
In the 1997 Special Editions, Lucas added several scenes depicting citizens across the galaxy celebrating the Empire's fall. Most notable is the firework display on Coruscant, the Empire's heart, where you can see a statue of Palpatine being toppled (the right side of the screen). This has always fascinated me, as it echoes some of the events in our own world, and I'd love to know more about the group who led that effort and why it was so monumental (pun intended) in marking the end of the Emperor's rule.
39. Anakin Skywalker
While we would imagine Vader is a "core" character that shouldn't be included in this sort of anthology, Anakin Skywalker is technically a different character entirely. What did it feel like for the Chosen One to transform into the Force? Did his life flash before his eyes? Why does he look so much younger!? TELL ME.
40. Return of the Whills
There's no doubt the Whills will return in this next anthology, and I'm so excited to see what sort of hilarity comes across the page as they dissect the opening crawl:
Luke Skywalker has returned to his home planet of Tatooine in an attempt to rescue his friend Han Solo from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. Little does Luke know that the GALACTIC EMPIRE has secretly begun construction on a new armored space station even more powerful than the first dreaded Death Star. When completed, this ultimate weapon will spell certain doom for the small band of rebels struggling to restore freedom to the galaxy...
"Wait, we're going BACK to Tatooine? Again?"
"Wait, another Death Star!? Pshh that worked so well the last time."
"Certain 'doom' ... oooooh that sounds so scary."
"Next thing you're going to say is a bunch of small murder bears take down an entire Empire—WAIT WHAT!?"
Are there any points of view that were not mentioned above but you would like to see in From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi? Sound off in the comments below, and let us know what you think of our list!
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