We all know the Star Wars galaxy are a mysterious lot, a weirdly wonderful menagerie of creatures who are misunderstood, marginalized, and regarded as monsters. From story of Omi, Nnedi creates a powerful fantastical world featuring the first Yoruba character through her infamous garbage dweller. Okorafor has earned international acclaim as an award-winning novelist melding African culture with elements of science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism. Now as part of the all-star list of authors in the new From a Certain Point of View anthology, Okorafor takes us into the garbage chute in “The Baptist,” lending her stunning imagination and elegant storytelling to bring a sense of dignity and depth to an unlikely hero — the creature from the trash compactor.
When she was asked by starwars.com about her tale of Omi and the dianoga which is quite haunting. Nnedi replies thus,
I used a lot of source material just to gain a sense of place. Aside from the films, I started with rereading my copy of the vintage Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker and my copy of The Wildlife of Star Wars, both of which I’ve owned for many years. Then I branched out to my copy of the Ultimate Star Wars and some of the official online sources.
Nnedi creates the tale of Omi to originate cultural affinity for her science fiction and to break the limits of star wars which have particularly focused on human and humanoid. For her, “There are all these other people we meet or see along the way and I’m always wondering about their stories. So I knew I wanted to tell this creature’s story in a way that showed her life as being just as spectacular as the human and humanoid characters of Star Wars.”
You can read the rest of the conversation here.