Now, now, put down your space-pitchforks and stop having flashbacks back to the special editions; it’s not that bad. Three writers are returning to the original Star Wars trilogy to retell those well-worn stories through the eyes of the characters that experienced them — and it sounds like it could be a cool idea.
Disney and Lucasfilm have announced a new set of books aimed at young readers in the 8-12 age group, that will take the stories of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, and retell them not as we’ve seen them retold countless times through the films or other adaptations, but instead refocusing them to tell the stories from the inner perspectives of the cast of characters. Alexandra Bracken (writing A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel, and The Farm Boy), Adam Gidwitz (writing The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi), and Tom Angleberger (writing Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!) will helm the project, which promises to both give a fresh look at scenes we’re already more than familiar with, as well as offer to tell what happened “between the scenes” of each movie.
Honestly, it’s not surprising that, with The Force Awakens coming up and with Disney now in charge of this fully armed and operational megafranchise, we’re seeing fresh retellings of stories we’ve experienced over and over. But at least trying to frame them through a new lens for young audiences is a bit easier to swallow than just putting out largely pointless adaptations of stories they can experience elsewhere.
Will it be enough to make these “re-imaginings” stand out? You can read an excerpt from Alexandra Bracken’s The Princess, The Scoundrel, and The Farm Boy here, and find out yourself ahead of their release in September.