This week, Star Wars announced the full cast for the upcoming Doctor Aphra audiobook, Doctor Aphra: An Original Audiobook, written by Sarah Kuhn.
The audiobook will release on July 21 with a full cast, headlined by Emily Woo Zeller as Aphra. But the cast also includes Jonathan Davis as Boba Fett, Sean Patrick Hopkins as Luke Skywalker, Sean Kenin as Triple-Zero, Nicole Lewis as Sana Starros, Carol Monda as Maz Kanata, Euan Morton as The Emperor, Catherin Taber as Leia Organa, and Marc Thompson as Darth Vader.
Thompson has narrated a ton of Star Wars audiobooks, so he’s no stranger to Star Wars fans. But also of note is that Catherine Taber is voicing Leia Organa, which isn’t technically her first time doing so, but she is most well-known for voicing Padmé Amidala in The Clone Wars, so it’s super cool to see Taber voicing Padmé’s daughter here.
This audiobook is an adaptation of the Darth Vader comic series that first introduced Aphra to readers. but it will also include brand new scenes and moments. The author, Sarah Kun, mentioned to StarWars.com that several of these new scenes will include Sana Starros, and that also the opening scene is a space battle between Aphra and Maz Kanata! But one of the most significant reasons for these new scenes and changes is because Kuhn is adapting a comic series that focused on Vader to an audiobook that focuses on Aphra, so she needs to fill in some of the details. Here’s a pertinent part of her interview, giving us a bit of insight into what to expect:
“I re-read the Vader comics we were basing the story on, as did my incredible editor, Elizabeth Schaefer. We went through and pulled out all of Aphra’s pieces — fit them together and shaped them into a more Aphra-centric arc (which I think she would appreciate, because obviously she would want to be the star, not Vader!). Then I tried to imagine what Aphra was doing when she wasn’t on the page, and to find areas where we could expand and get into her backstory, her non-Vader adventures, and her hidden vulnerabilities. And probably the most important decision we made was to tell this in her voice, from her POV — which helped me do things like fill in places where maybe you can see something on a comic book page, but you aren’t hearing it in dialogue. More importantly, I wanted Aphra to be able to tell her own story — because you know the way she tells it is going to be super entertaining.”
That makes perfect sense to me, and I’m sure that will help tell a more engaging story, since to focus on Aphra this time means there will need to be some details filled in. And though we know the basic plot details (since it’s an adaptation), it’s a great story and I can’t wait to see how it’s translated to this audio book, so I’m still excited for it!