by @holocronGeorge and @holocronJosh for @sw_holocron
Young kids are told all sorts of fascinating fairy tales or legends, perhaps most noticeably with the Grimm’s fairy tales. These stories have been passed on for generations and convey enduring life lessons in interesting and frightening children’s stories. Author George Mann and illustrator Grant Griffin approach what types of fairy tales people in the Star Wars universe would be exposed to with their short-story collection Star Wars: Myths & Fables. Despite initially being released over a year ago, Myths & Fables has been re-released by Lucasfilm Press with six new legends as part of the Galaxy’s Edge media project. The beautifully designed, hard-bound book collectively contains 15 short stories, each of which are coupled with a stunning illustration by artist Grant Griffin.
Myths & Fables is a really intriguing, novel project in the Star Wars universe that is a refreshing shift away from the structure of other media. This is an almost a meta take on the Star Wars universe, presenting what sort of legends or bedtime stories kids would be exposed to if one lived in a galaxy far, far away. In this sense, the stories and the project overall will largely appeal to children and may serve as a gateway into other, more mature Star Wars content down the line.
But this isn’t to say the collection does not have plenty to offer for adolescent or adult Star Wars fans. Given its title, Myths & Fables (intelligently) does not commit to a stance on whether the tales are canon or not, but one could interpret them as such. The stories really excel if they are viewed as exaggerated fairy tales, potentially grounded in some semblance of reality, as many of our fairy tales are in real life. For readers primarily interested in canon details and stories, Myths & Fables does feature several iconic Star Wars characters, including General Grievous and (perhaps) Obi-Wan Kenobi, in addition to a frightening new Sith lord named Darth Caldoth, amongst others.
Speaking of Darth Caldoth and other things related to the dark side, Myths & Fables excels when its stories lean into darker territory, as some of the best fairy tales do. In fact, this is one of George Mann’s greatest accomplishments in this collection in delivering stories that are completely suitable for children, but still have plenty of chills and thrills. Particular highlights in the collection are “Gaze of Stone,” “The Witch & the Wookie,” and “The Dark Wraith.” Some stories are more intriguing than others and seem as if they would appeal to audiences of different ages differently. In this sense, one’s enjoyment of the collection will likely vary across stories.
Given that this is a re-release of Myths & Fables with new stories, the question becomes: is this new edition worth purchasing? Well, for those who never read the original release of Myths & Fables, this edition is a clear improvement given its inclusion of more stories. For Star Wars completionists, Myths & Fables – Galaxy’s Edition is definitely worth the purchase. Not only does the book feature beautiful new binding and cover art, but it includes six new stories, three of which were initially included in the Target exclusive edition earlier this year and the other three being brand new stories altogether. These new stories vary in quality, but succeed in a similar fashion to the collection’s core stories. “An Unwilling Apprentice” is the highlight of the collection’s new stories and one of the best tales in the entire book. This legend features a gorgeous illustration by Grant Griffin and follows a young boy who fears a mysterious, hooded visitor of his mother. The visitor senses the boy’s talents and wishes to groom him as his apprentice. Although not explicitly stated, the story is clearly about a young Maul and how he was recruited by Sheev Palpatine, a.k.a. Darth Sidious, to be his Sith apprentice. From The Clone Wars to Solo, Star Wars fans really do love Maul and to see the character re-appear, although not named, in Myths & Fables is great to see.
Myths & Fables was a really unique short story collection when it was initially released last year and became even better with the addition of several new stories in the Galaxy’s Edge collection. The stories are primarily geared toward younger audiences and, therefore, may not appeal as much to people outside of this target audience. However, the book offers an interesting, meta perspective on Star Wars, looking at fairy tales that exist within the universe, and excels in delivering frightening, engaging tales featuring both established and new characters.
Images courtesy of Lucasfilm Press