Last month, a new Star Wars book came out focussing on characters from the most recent Star Wars theatrical release, “The Force Awakens”. “Tales From a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens, Volume I” contains six stories about characters found on either Takodana in Maz Kanata’s castle or on Jakku. Written by Landry Q. Walker, the reading level of this book is meant for younger audiences, for readers as young as 8-12. Some of the stories are about characters we see on-screen in “The Force Awakens”, some help give a better sense of characters who may be around.
While the chronological placement of these stories is unclear whether they take place before, during, or after the events in “The Force Awakens”, it is clear that the stories take place roughly in chronological proximity to the movie. This is in direct contrast to the stories in “Before the Awakening”, which take place in the days, weeks, and months leading up to “The Force Awakens”.
Three of the stories center on characters we see on Jakku – Bobbajo, Unkar Plutt, and Constable Zuvio (okay, so he’s not shown on-screen in the theatrical release, but maybe he’ll show up one day in deleted scenes (or a director’s cut)). “High Noon on Jakku” is a story with a Western feel to it, almost as if Constable Zuvio, upon whom the story centers, is like a sheriff in the Wild West trying to maintain peace. A financial heist is committed and, yes, shots are fired out in the desert, just like in a Western. The story about Bobbajo, “All Creatures Great and Small”, is not so much about Jakku as it is about events that took place on the Death Star during “A New Hope”. Nevertheless, it gives a better sense of the character of Bobbajo, as well as that there is a distant town on Jakku called Reestkii, which was over four hundred kilometers away from Niima Outpost. And the story centered on Unkar Plutt, “True Love”, provides us with a greater sense of Plutt’s financial wealth and power in Niima Outpost. The story is about two underlings of Plutt’s who seek to steal some of his wealth, which also involves some “online dating” for Plutt (yes, online dating).
“Whip, stir, whip”: Gormaanda is now canon
The stories about the denizens of Maz Kanata’s castle are less about the characters we see on-screen and more about who works and lives there. One familiar on-screen character, Sidon Ithano, also known as the Crimson Corsair, has a story in this collection, while two other stories are about characters who inhabit the castle, but are not found on-screen. “The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku” is a story much like “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” in which several groups of treasure-hunters are all on a quest to reach a fallen ship of Count Dooku’s, lost amidst the Clone Wars, while fighting each other to reach it. “The Face of Evil” is a creepy story, perhaps best read around Halloween, which centers on two Frigosian mad scientists who dwell in the castle. “A Recipe for Death” is a whodunnit murder mystery which is located in the kitchen of the castle. At the center of the story is Strono Tuggs, the head chef for Maz Kanata who was – get this – inspired at a young age to be involved with culinary endeavors by watching some old holovids of Gormaanda. So, yes, you can thank Landry Q. Walker for making Gormaanda from “The Star Wars Holiday Special” canon!
“Tales From a Galaxy Far, Far Away, Volume 1: Aliens” is an easy and fun read with a half-dozen stories to help fans develop a better sense of the characters in and around “The Force Awakens”. With six easy-to-digest stories comprising a mix of genres, one can easily read a story one day and pick it up and read a totally separate story on another occasion. In direct contrast to “Before The Awakening”, the stories in this book do not impact, in any way, upon “The Force Awakens”, but it’s still a fun read.
Interested in a deeper dive into this book and fascinatingly salient information? Check out this expanded post.