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​Nnedi Okorafor Just Introduced a Yoruba Character to the World of 'Star Wars' for Its 40th Anniversary

Nnedi Okorafor has penned a new short story as part of the 40th anniversary Star Wars anthology.

Nnedi Okorafor is responsible for creating some of our favorite fictional heroes, and it looks like we'll soon be able to add another to the list.


The Nigerian sci-fi author was commissioned to write an installment in the newly released Star Wars: From a Point of View to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the saga.

Okorafor, whose known to weave elements of West African cultures into her narratives, wrote the story "Baptist," which tells the stories of a trash compactor name Omithe Yoruba word for "water."

A synopsis from StarWars.com read:

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 asked about the inspiration behind Omi's unique traits the writer responds:

I love cephalopods, in general. But when I wrote Omi, 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).

Okorafor is on a roll. It was recently announced that she'd be penning the new digital-first Black Panther comics. In September the author released another Marvel comic inspired by the Chibok girls. For more on Okorafor, revisit our recent conversation with her about some of her upcoming projects.

Star Wars: From a Point of View is available now.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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