By Daltin Brock
Peter Pan is one of the most recognizable literary characters in history, his story has been told in numerous ways, including multiple movie adaptations, Disney’s “Peter Pan”, “Hook”, multiple plays, and even a reimagining in show “Once Upon a Time”. However one of the most interesting and unique is the story and series “Peter and the Starcatchers”. While most other uses of Peter focuses on his story, either during or after the events with Wendy, John, and Michael, “Peter and the Starcatchers” focuses on Peters origins and how he came to Neverland and became the “Boy who wouldn’t Grow Up”.
Written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson and published in 2004, “Starcatchers”, introduces the classic characters such as Peter, Captain Hook, and much later Tinkerbell, as well as introduces a variety of new characters and lore that expand upon the story without infringing upon the themes of the original.
Much like other adaptations, the story is told in a multi-part narrative in which every character struggles to achieve their goals under increasingly difficult circumstances. Peter and company struggle to survive aboard the ship “The Neverland” while also trying to solve the mysteries surrounding the unusual cargo it carries. Peter is particularly aided by a girl named Molly Aster who has key insights into the cargo in question. Which you later discover is due to her family and their work as the titular Starcatchers who actively traverse the globe retrieving and safely handling the substance “starstuff”. Meanwhile the dreaded Pirate Black Stache having heard of the amazing treasure contained aboard desperately seeks it out chasing the ship across the sea.
While this story was definitely written for a younger audience it is far removed from an idyllic setting. Characters are proven to be unsafe even early in the story and the tensions created throughout the final half of the story are definitely engaging even to older audiences.
I would highly recommend this book firstly to anyone who is a fan of the Peter Pan mythology and story. However it’s intriguing plot and dynamic characters can make it easily accessible and enjoyable for anyone regardless of age. Furthermore if you read and enjoy this book the authors continued the series with three equally good follow ups that continue to expand upon the time between his arrivals at the Darling Children’s Home and the end of this stories chronology.
There is also a play adaptation of the book called Peter and The Starcatcher being performed by the Southwestern College Theatre. So if you prefer a visual representation of the story I’d recommend seeing the play and getting an idea of what the overall story entails. Its show times are 7:30 p.m. on October 6 and 7 as well 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Richardson Performing Arts Center.
Daltin Brock is a junior majoring in English. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org