Last night I finished reading Star Wars: Myths & Fables, written by my old pal George Mann and illustrated by Grant Griffin, which turns out to be the Star Wars book I’ve been waiting for my whole life without realizing it, and it was well worth the wait.
As the title implies, this is a collection of short stories that all function as fairy tales, myths, and fables, set in the Star Wars universe. But the clever twist here is that these are stories as they would be told in the world of Star Wars. As in, these are tales that might be read to children on Tatooine at bed time, or shared in the cockpit of a longhaul freighter. And by telling the stories from the perspective of people in that world with a sometimes incomplete understanding of the context and details of what’s happening, it takes Star Wars away from the science fictional trappings that it usually wears and back to its fantasy and fairy tale roots. There are no Jedi knights with lightsabers here, only mysterious wanderers in brown robes with swords that seem to glow with an inner light. Familiar villains make an appearance, but here transformed into mysterious menacing figures in cautionary tales to keep the unruly in line. There are dragons, and witches, and pirates, and youngest siblings off on quests, but it’s all Star Wars, and it all works perfectly.
I found the book shelved in the kids’ section at Powell’s Books, but it really is “All Ages” in the purest sense of the term, as I think this would appeal equally to young readers as to adults. Any Star Wars fan interested in seeing a little more fantasy than space in their space fantasy should consider checking it out.