The HoloFiles

REVIEW: From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi

By George Bate & Josh Bate

On May 25, 1983, Return of the Jedi hit theaters and confirmed to audiences what many already knew – Star Wars is the greatest movie franchise of all time. Forty years later and Return of the Jedi is still looked upon as an epic conclusion to the original trilogy. In honor of this 40th anniversary, Random House Worlds have prepared the release of Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi. The new anthology book features 40 stories from 40 authors, who each re-create iconic scenes or moments from Return of the Jedi through the perspective of a supporting character.

Overall, the From a Certain Point of View series has been one of the most interesting additions to Star Wars canon in recent years. The stories collectively add such depth to the original trilogy and make rewatching the films an entirely novel experience after reading the books. From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi is probably the strongest of the three anthology books, presenting a range of short stories diverse in tone and writing style. Some will have you shed a tear, some will have you laughing along, and others will have you ponder existential questions far beyond the realms of Star Wars.

In this review, we’re going to highlight our favorite stories from From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi.

“Brotherhood” by Mike Chen

It’s a tall order to stand out among 40 impressive Star Wars stories, but Mike Chen’s “Brotherhood” is undoubtedly the most powerful story in From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi. Chen previously wrote the novel Brotherhood, featuring Anakin and Obi-Wan in an early Clone Wars mission, and aptly writes this short story sharing the same title as he explores the Anakin-Obi-Wan relationship many years later.

“Brotherhood” follows Anakin Skywalker as he dies in the arms of his son Luke Skywalker and becomes one with the Force. It’s a deeply introspective take on Anakin’s last moments and the bravery it took to banish the dark side and turn back to the light side. References to Anakin’s relationships with Shmi, Padme, Obi-Wan, and others are included with careful consideration by Chen in a story that is a triumphant as it is heartbreaking. The story also provides a peak behind the curtain of what Jedi experience as Force Ghosts and will surely affect subsequent viewings of the dramatic final moments of the original trilogy.

“The Veteran” by Adam Lance Garcia

Dexter Jettster, the knowledgeable diner owner introduced in Attack of the Clones, takes the spotlight in this short by Adam Lance Garcia. This story provides a grounded take on the immediate aftermath of Palpatine’s death and the destruction of Death Star II. The hardened Dex has seen regimes rise and fall, and approaches the latest coup with trepidation.

Dex was an unexpected inclusion for this edition of From a Certain Point of View, but, to quote Sheev Palpatine, it was “a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.” Garcia paints a tragic portrait of Dex’s life as he is burdened with the regret of helping his friend Obi-Wan investigate the Kaminoan poisoned dart. It’s a story that adds extraordinary nuance to a character fleetingly included in the prequel trilogy and one that conveys the lasting effects of vicarious trauma in a profound way.

“The Steadfast Solider” by Adam Christopher

Coincidentally, the three stories that stuck with us the most are back-to-back-to-back in this collection. Shadow of the Sith author Adam Christopher tells a story from the perspective of Enric Pryde, the character played by Richard E. Grant in The Rise of Skywalker. Christopher previously depicted Pryde with far more depth than Episode IX did with his role in Shadow of the Sith, and now Christopher follows this up by further exploring Pryde’s remark that he has served Palpatine for years.

Christopher writes in such an approachable and immersive manner that it’s like watching a Star Wars movie on the page of a book (if that makes sense). The story itself provides interesting context to the ending of Return of the Jedi as it reveals Pryde’s proximity to the Ewoks and the Battle of Endor. Fingers crossed Christopher continues to write Star Wars stories because Shadow of the Sith and “The Steadfast Soldier” have been excellent.

The HoloFiles

The HoloFiles is a website and series of social media accounts, including Star Wars Holocron, Marvel Tesseract, DC Motherbox, Film Codex, and Horror Necronomicon. We love cinema and television, and aim to spread positivity across different fandoms. Come to us for news, reviews, interviews, trivia facts, quotes, behind the scenes photos, analytic features, and more!