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Nnedi Okorafor is known for building fictional worlds from elements drawn from African culture and narratives. Her recent contribution to the Star Wars: From a Point of View anthology is no different.

To celebrate the 4oth anniversary of the Star Wars series, a group of writers were commissioned to write stories from the point of view of supporting, lesser known characters.  Okorafor’s story is titled “Baptist” and tells the story of a trash compactor from a race of creatures called Dianoga. The Dianoga are a pre-historic species in the Star Wars series known to feed on organic waste.

In a recent interview, Okorafor revealed that the name of her character is Omi, which in Yoruba means water. This is yet another instance of Okoforar channeling an aspect of African culture into her sci-fi stories.

Asked what inspired Omi’s characterization: Okorafor says:

“I was thinking about octopuses. I was thinking about their intelligence and how it evolved from a different line than the intelligence of human beings and how that makes them so alien to us (pun not intended, but I’ll happily own it).”

Congrats to Okorafor for taking part in such a wonderful project.

By the way, the anthology is out. Want to read Okorafor’s story? You can download the anthology HERE.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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