Pirate’s Price is a rarity among Star Wars stories.
It’s rare that a tale of Han Solo and Chewie would be told by another character — in this case, the cheerfully amoral space scoundrel Hondo Ohnaka.
It’s also unusual that a middle-grade novel would have an audiobook, debuting Tuesday, but part of the fun of author Lou Anders book is actually hearing it in the exotic accent of Ohnaka.
In addition, it’s all performed by Winnie the Pooh — uh, sort of. Jim Cummings, who voiced Ohnaka on The Clone Wars and Rebels animated TV shows, is the audiobook narrator, and the cuddly little honeybear is one of the most famous of his menagerie of characters.
In this exclusive audio clip, you’ll hear Cummings as Ohnaka, discovering plans for a brazen jewel heist while trying to stow away. That’s when he encounters a young human named Han Solo and his large Wookiee friend Chewbacca.
Ohnaka is not exactly a successful pirate, but you have heard of him. He was a fan favorite from Rebels, and Cummings’ accent was fun to imitate. He has described the dialect as “a bad Yul Brynner,” sort of Russian by way of the 1800s Caribbean.
In Anders’ book, Ohnaka is a “Call me Ishmael” narrator. Like the first-person storyteller in Moby Dick, Ohnaka is a colorful supporting character observing the tale of the central players (in this case Captain Solo instead of Captain Ahab — with a happier ending).
There’s another ironic connection to Herman Melville’s classic story of obsession. Ohnaka is part of the alien species known as Weequay, which is a take-off on the stoic islander Queequeg from the 1851 novel.
During the making of Return of the Jedi, a Weequay guard on Jabba’s skiff was nicknamed “Queequeg” and the name was later altered to become part of the Star Wars canon.
Another interesting fact about the story: Ohnaka is narrating his tale to the bounty hunter Bazine Netal while they are in the crossroads world of Batuu — specifically the Black Spire outpost — which is the setting of the Galaxy’s Edge theme park attractions opening at Disneyland and Walt Disney World later this year.