Brad Tracy offers a certain point of view on Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View
If you are an avid Star Wars reader, you may recognize the name Alexander Freed. In November 2015, he published Battlefront: Twilight Company, a companion novel to the hit video game Star Wars: Battlefront. This novel took the reader directly to the frontlines — into the trenches — and exposed the horrors of war and illustrated the sacrifices that the men and women on the ground made day in and day out. Additionally Twilight Company highlighted the impact that military bureaucracy and behind-the-scenes scheming had on the actual “boots on the ground.”
Freed has now lent his unique literary style to the recently released Star Wars anthology From a Certain Point of View, which is a collection of 40 brand new stories from today’s top authors that celebrates forty years of the saga. “Contingency Plan,” a short story focusing on Rebel Alliance leader Mon Mothma, poignantly describes the toll that “moonlighting in treason” can take on someone. Too often we see Mon Mothma simply as this steadfast, unshakable stalwart of freedom (mostly due to how she chooses to project herself), but we forget that she is all-too-human just like the rest of us. “Contingency Plan” homes in with a laser sight view on Mon Mothma in the Rebellion’s most critical and vulnerable moment.
Those in the military with any sort of leadership role can tell you about the weight that is carried with such a position whether in times of war or peace. Each day decisions have to be made that might adversely affect the lives or well-being of the service members under their cognizance. Sometimes these decisions are a matter of life or death. All of these decisions must be made however with one goal in mind: the mission. No one wants to be the person that has to contact a spouse and inform them that their husband or wife will not be coming home tonight, but if it was in the line of duty, sometimes this is the price that has to be paid.
Now imagine that you are a leader of a large nation’s military — hundreds of thousands of lives. No, think bigger. You are engaging in a galaxy-wide conflict with millions of lives under your employ, with billions more at stake. The next decision you make may mean victory, or it may mean that millions of innocent lives are lost in a heartbeat, merely collateral damage of the evil machinations “dreamed up by bitter old men.” Now maybe you can see things from Mon Mothma’s point of view.
“Contingency Plan” does just that. Within a few pages, Alexander Freed is able to make us walk a parsec in Mon’s shoes and proves that most of us would quickly and undoubtedly crack under the unimaginable weight with which she is burdened each and every day. The insight this piece provides into Mon’s strength of character is invaluable, and has made it one of my favorites works in the From a Certain Point of View anthology.
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View is published by Century in the UK and is available now. © Lucasfilm Ltd.
JFK historian and assassination researcher. Member of Citizens Against Political Assassinations and Assassination Archives Research Center.