This was a fun entry, and echoes a post I did about my five favorite Jedi. The journal only gave five lines for each of the Jedi, so I had to be especially succinct. If you’re interested in my more exhaustive blog post, you can check it out here.
Who are your favorite Jedi Knights? What are the qualities that you admire most about them, and how do they embody the spirit of a Jedi?
These were my choices:
Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan is the ideal Jedi–he’s kind, empathetic, dedicated, and loyal. He’s calm in a crisis, and is a superb warrior. He loves deeply (Anakin and Satine, for example), but not possessively. His commitment to protecting Luke borders on martyrdom. He is selfless–yet not perfect. His loyalty to a flawed Jedi Order cost him Anakin. He always trusts in the Force.
Qui Gon Jin. Qui Gon is an authentic Jedi in the truest sense of the word–he is true to the Force (mostly the Living Force) and himself. He is a wise, patient master to Obi-Wan. And he questions and defies the Jedi Council numerous times. He questions authority when warranted. He’s a bit of a mystic, with an interest in the Prophecies.
Ahsoka Tano. Ahsoka is a Jedi with the biggest heart. Her first instinct is to help people, always. But she’s also got some sass, and some cool moves. She’s brave for leaving the Order and striking out on her own when she felt they’d betrayed her. And I love her double lightsabers!
Luke Skywalker. Luke personifies compassion. He loves his friends, but it was his unconditional love for his father that saved Anakin from Darth Vader and the Emperor. He’s been tempted by the Dark several times, coming to the brink, but never lets it consume him.
Kanan Jarrus. Through Ezra, Kanan relearns to be a Jedi, and what it means to be one. He learns to care again after the devastation of Order 66. He made the ultimate sacrifice for those he loved most, and for a cause he cared about.
I’m proud to say I’ve made it up to fifteen minutes of meditation everyday. Still fighting the thoughts, earworms, and images that come into my mind, as well as the itchy face, aching back (even though I’m sitting in a chair, lol), and occasional cat disturbances. Maybe someday I can be as serene as Kanan here (I’m not holding my breath about lifting the rocks):
Who are your favorite Jedi and why? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
I don’t have a lot to report this week. I’ve been reading Mission to Disaster, by Justina Ireland, the middle-grade High Republic book recently out, and I’m almost done with it. I don’t usually do reviews for the middle grade books, but I might do so this time. It’s quite good.
Other than that, March is looking wide open as far as books and shows go. Moon Knight premieres on the 31st, but other than that, there’s no Star Wars or Marvel show that I can think of that will fill up the month. There’s also no big book releases. The months of April through August (at least) will keep me busy with a new book release per month, but March? Zip. What’s a Star Wars fan to do?
Well, catch up on other things, for one. I remembered I’d ordered Before the Awakening, by Greg Rucka, on my Kindle a while ago but never read for one reason or another. It’s a YA book (I think) that has some stories about Rey, Finn and Poe before the events of The Force Awakens. I’ll probably dig into that.
I’ve also ordered the combined comics of the Marvel High Republic series, as well as the High Republic Adventures. I’m pretty excited about this, as I’ve long wanted to read these comics. I’m not a huge comic fan, but I know that the story being told in the High Republic era encompasses both books and comics. There are characters that feature mainly in the comics (like Avar Kriss, Keeve Trennis, Skeer, and many others), as well as storylines that I feel are important to understand the totality of the High Republic era.
I also think that, with a storyline that has no live-action medium (or even an animation), the comics really fill in the look of the High Republic. What do these characters look like? What about the ships, and the droids, and other aspects of the High Republic that we’ve never seen before? The comics answer those questions and gives us a visual to latch onto. So yeah, I can’t wait to read these!
Oh, and by the way, we’ve got a cover for the YA book by Kiersten White about a young Obi-Wan Kenobi coming out on July 26th:
Obi-Wan looks pretty intense here, lol. Definitely on my pre-order list.
That’s really about it right now. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
Daniel Jose Older’s YA novel Midnight Horizon is the third, and last YA offering in the first phase of the High Republic books, and it was an enjoyable read. It takes place just before and during the events of The Fallen Star, the adult novel by Claudia Gray that tells of the Nihil attack and destruction of Starlight Beacon.
The Nihil are also causing problems on Corellia (Han Solo’s home planet); while the marauders have long plagued the Outer Rim, most of the Inner Rim is complacent that they wouldn’t dare attack a Core world. They also believe that the Jedi and Republic forces have hunted down and destroyed most of the Nihil and that they’re not that big a problem anymore. Oh, how wrong they are.
Corellia is famous for its shipyards, and it makes sense that the Nihil would want to attempt to steal some ships for their own nefarious purposes. Their plan is surprisingly sophisticated, but it’s interrupted by a group of young people that include Jedi Padawans Reath Silas and Ram Jamoram (and their masters, Cohmac Vitus and Kantam Sy), and a young native with pink hair named Crash who runs a protection agency.
Most of the book is a slow burn of character development and setting up of events that lead to a huge, rather exciting climax in the last part of the book. I will admit that I wasn’t particularly wowed by the first part of the book, and Crash was not a character I found interesting in any way. I’m a little tired of brilliant adolescents who vacillate between teen angst and impossible feats of valor and wisdom. But that’s YA for you–I’m not the ideal reader.
The Jedi, of course, are exceptions to this very biased opinion of mine, lol. Reath Silas is my favorite High Republic Padawan, precisely because he originally was the bookish, studious type who, while quite skilled with the lightsaber, hoped that he never had to use it. He didn’t want adventures. He wanted to live in the Jedi Archives. And I could totally relate. But, over the course of several YA novels, he’s been forced into living a life of war with the Nihil, and it’s rather poignant to see him struggling with that transition. And I love seeing him mentor the younger Padawan Ram, who is also struggling with the transition. He just wants to tinker with machines.
Mostly I preferred the scenes with the older Jedi, Cohmac and Kantam. Until the very end of the book, they took a backseat to the younger characters, but they, too, had their own emotional struggles to deal with. Since Into the Dark, Cohmac has struggled with his emotions and the Jedi Order’s stance on how to deal with them (though the High Republic Jedi are still much more open with attachment and emotions than the prequel Jedi). Kantam Sy (a non-binary character) had even left the Order for a time when they were young, to explore their burgeoning need to explore life outside of the Jedi. They tell this story to Cohmac during some of their down times.
All the Jedi, Masters and Padawans alike, struggle with their emotions and their attachments to each other and others, as the story unfolds. Especially as they find out what’s happening to Starlight Beacon; they worry for their friends and struggle with rage against the Nihil.
Even Crash, who lost a good friend at the beginning of the book, struggles with attachment–she decides to distance herself from her other friends in order to prevent being hurt again in that way.
The end of the book was inarguably the best part, as it climaxes into a battle between the Jedi and their allies and the Nihil in the shipyards. And we get a surprise appearance from a familiar green friend, who has also figured into some of Kantam’s memories in the book.
In the end, this was a pretty good book, but I do prefer Claudia Gray’s Into the Dark, as far as YA High Republic novels go. I do like how we get to know Corellia a bit more during the High Republic, its politics and inner workings (and we get to see the Grindalids, the White Worm gangs that rule the sewers and underground passageways that we see in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the book Most Wanted). And I finally got to see some of the characters from the comics, like Lula Talisola, Zeen Mrala, Krix, and others that Older created for his High Republic Adventures comics.
I would give Midnight Horizon 3.5 out of 5 lightsabers.
Have you read Midnight Horizon? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
I’ve been working on my Inner Jedi Notebook for three weeks now, and I’m really enjoying the experience.
Here’s the question for Week Three:
Yoda assigns Anakin Skywalker a Padawan in Ahsoka Tano, in the hopes that mentoring a young Jedi would help Anakin discover his own best traits.
Decades later, Yoda would implore Luke Skywalker to pass on what he has learned to a new generation of Jedi. How can you be a mentor to people in your own life?
I answered with this:
“The obvious example that comes to mind is my daughter. We care for our children, protect them, play with them, but I think we also hope that we can guide them, teach them, impart some wisdom. My daughter is thirteen, so is probably at an age where she doesn’t quite want to listen to my lessons, lol. But I’m hoping, throughout the years, that a few things sink in that she can later retrieve: Be kind, always (she’s already pretty good at this; in fact, she’s got the biggest heart in anyone I know). Love yourself. Stand up for yourself. Listen to your intuition. Respect yourself. Believe in yourself. These are actually things I’m still working on. I’m hoping by imparting these lessons to her, I will also learn them. Be the example. Like a Master and a Padawan, the hope is that you can learn from each other. I know that eventually I will need to learn to let go, to teach her to be independent and send her out into the world. This terrifies me, lol, but is probably the most important lesson of all.
Yoda says over and over, especially in the High Republic books, that Padawans teach Masters the hardest lesson: to let go. Yoda ought to know–he’s probably had dozens of Padawans over his long life. And he had to let each one go. People with multiple children must guide and protect them, and then let each one go, one by one. I only have one child, and that seems hard enough!”
I got up to fifteen minutes of meditating this week, at least until Wednesday, but then I didn’t feel well, and didn’t do it for a couple of days. But I’m better and back on track, so I’m planning on fifteen minutes every day next week. It’s a habit I want to get into, like brushing my teeth; and also work my way up to thirty minutes, if I can. It seems impossible now, but so did meditating in the first place, so we’ll see.
Are you a mentor to anyone? If you’d like, let me know about it in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
I’ve finished Midnight Horizon, the latest High Republic YA novel by Daniel Jose Older, and although it didn’t wow me at first, it did get better and ended up being quite good. I’ll probably do a review of the book for next week’s High Republic Wednesday’s post, so stay tuned.
I’m now reading Mission to Disaster, the middle-grade novel by Justina Ireland in this third High Republic wave, and the end of Phase One. I’ve generally liked the middle-grade novels, and Ireland is particularly good at them; it also centers around Vernestra Rwoh, one of my favorite High Republic Padawans. I literally just started it, but I’m looking forward to getting into it.
In other Star Wars book news, it seems I have another to add to my pre-order list, lol. On August 16th of this year a book called The Princess and the Scoundrel will be released. It’s a book about Han and Leia’s wedding, if you can believe it. It’s by Beth Revis, who wrote the excellent YA novel Rebel Rising, about Jyn Erso, so I’m hoping good things come of it. At first, I thought, Um, really? but it actually sounds like it could be kind of neat. It will tell of their wedding on Endor, and then of their honeymoon on the Halcyon cruise ship. But while on board, they get involved in some kind of adventure, as it’s clear the Imperials are still around. Could be fun.
In other extremely exciting Star Wars news, there are reports that Jimmy Smits will be making an appearance in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. This comes with other rumored plot leaks that I won’t mention (so be careful online if you want to go into the show without spoilers), but I will say I’m so happy to know that my original favorite space dad, Bail Organa, will be showing up!
In Marvel, I watched Assembled: Eternals. I really like these Assembled episodes, which show the making of these wonderful shows and movies. And since I absolutely loved Eternals, this one was pretty special. I don’t think Eternals went over well with a lot of long-time Marvel fans, and I think it’s because it’s so different than what they’re used to seeing. But as a new Marvel fan (just in the past year), I’m not so entrenched in “what Marvel should look like.” So I think I’m more open to new things. That’s my theory anyway, lol.
In more Marvel news, the Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer dropped recently, and it was insane. I have no idea what the hell is going on here, lol, but it looks awesome! I can’t wait!
Speaking of trailers, there’s more: Moon Knight had a teaser trailer during the Super Bowl, and it looks just as crazy and incomprehensible. But cool, too.
This has been a week for trailers, as there was also one for The Rings of Power series that will premiere on Amazon Prime in September. I don’t know much about this series, but it’s something I’d love to watch. I probably won’t get Amazon Prime, though, so I’ll have to wait until it’s available in some other form.
That’s about it–mostly upcoming shows and books that I can’t wait for!
What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
Now that Phase One of the High Republic has concluded (for the most part), it’s time to look forward to Phase Two (called Quest of the Jedi), which I believe will start releasing this fall. Starwars.com just released the titles of the first wave of books in Phase Two along with the authors:
Unfortunately, there are no covers yet available, but as soon as they are final I’ll post them here. Justina Ireland and Claudia Gray are the only two original authors writing for this first wave, but I imagine we’ll see more of Cavan Scott, Charles Soule, and Daniel Jose Older. I’m looking forward to reading these new authors and what they can bring to Star Wars!
“As a Padawan learner, Jedi apprentices study under the tutelage of a Jedi Master. Who are the mentors in your life who have imparted great wisdom to you? What lessons have you learned from them?“
Here’s my entry:
“When I think of mentors, I think mostly in terms of writing. There are a few teachers who encouraged me in writing–my fifth grade teacher Mr. Lapean, who liked my fantasy stories; my English teacher at the community college, Phyllis Nahman, who liked my papers and essays and told me that I’m a good writer. They were good encouragers.
But as far as “wisdom” goes, I have to go to writers and their books on writing. My major writing guru for many years was Natalie Goldberg. I discovered her book “Writing Down the Bones” in the early 90s when I was in my early 20s, and it was probably the greatest influence on how I went about writing–and living. I read all of her writing books and all of her memoirs, and filled stacks and stacks of notebooks with writing based on her methods and exercises, notebooks I still have in a cardboard box somewhere. Her writing rules were: 1. Don’t think; 2. Keep your pen moving; and 3. Go for the jugular. Timed writing is big–start with “I remember” and go for 10 minutes, don’t stop until the 10 minutes are up. The point was to evade the censor and get to “wild mind.” I still do this kind of writing sometimes, but not always. What stuck with me was her absolute commitment to writing, her personal stories, and her belief that writing and living are intertwined. One enriches the other.
I’ve had other writing gurus over the years–Julia Cameron and her “Artist’s Way” books; Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic” is a wonderful book on creativity and living. And lately I’ve been reading Jen Sincero’s Badass books, which are about reaching your greatest potential. I guess gurus are a bit different than mentors. I’ll just call them teachers.”
I’m still meditating, too, which impresses me, lol. I’m up to ten minutes a day. It’s definitely an interesting experience, wrangling with your own mind. These two make it look easy:
Do you have any mentors? If you feel so inclined, tell me about them in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!
I’m about halfway done with Midnight Horizon, the High Republic YA novel by Daniel Jose Older. It’s fine so far. I’m hoping it gets a bit more interesting. Older is not my favorite Star Wars writer–I couldn’t even get through Last Shot, a Han and Lando novel that I had been looking forward to. Race to Crashpoint Tower was fine, and this one is just fine, too. The YA novels can be tricky for me–I know they’re about young people, but young people can be, well, annoying, lol. If it’s done well, I really do enjoy them. This one takes place mostly on Corellia, and features Padawans Reath Silas and Ram Jamoram (and their Masters). The young Jedi are usually fine, but it’s the other young people that are thrown in that get on my nerves, lol. Anyway, I’ll probably do a review post when I finish it.
The Book of Boba Fett finished its first (and maybe only?) season this past week with Episode 7: In the Name of Honor. I enjoyed it, and posted my thoughts about it here, if you’re curious.
We finally got a premiere date for Obi-Wan Kenobi (May 25th) and a poster:
May is going to be a huge Obi-Wan Kenobi month with the new show, a novel called Brotherhood (about Obi-Wan and Anakin), and a new Obi-Wan comic. My Obi-Wan dreams have come true! Can’t wait.
In Marvel, I watched Assembled: Hawkeye. I liked the show, but felt it was a little uneven. But watching the making-of documentary makes me want to watch it again, and I probably will. As with most things, I think I’ll enjoy it more the second time around.
With BoBF done, I’m show-less for a while. Moon Knight premieres on March 30, but until then I don’t think there’s anything new in Star Wars or Marvel. It might be time to catch up on some Marvel movies that have been waiting in the wings: the Andrew Garfield Spiderman films, a couple of Wolverine movies, Deadpool, that sort of thing.
That’s about it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
The season finale of The Book of Boba Fett aired Wednesday, and I, for one, really enjoyed it. The series has been a little uneven, to put it mildly, and our expectations were constantly challenged. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Star Wars has a certain feel, and there are certain things we expect, but I hope it never gets predictable (I imagine that’s why I loved The Last Jedi so much).
Anyway, despite how one may feel about the series as a whole, this last episode wrapped things up fairly well, with only a few little bumps. I don’t think I’ll do a full recap, because I want to comment on a few things, but basically all the players came together in Mos Espa to duke it out for Tatooine.
First, I want to mention that I love how Din isn’t abandoning his beliefs simply because he got kicked out of the Children of the Watch. Probably not surprising, but I figured maybe he’d take his helmet off more often, because that’s the reason he got kicked out in the first place. I thought maybe he’d think, you know what? The heck with it, now I can do what I want. But of course he doesn’t–he’s Mando. These are beliefs he grew up with, and though he’s bent the rules a few times–with the ultimate result of being cast out–he still believes in that “bantha poo-doo,” as Boba calls it. He promised Boba he’d help him; he’s not going to run when things start to look bad. His word is as strong as beskar; he’s willing to go down with Boba here.
Secondly, I’ve heard some comments about Luke sending Grogu back to Mando by himself, with only Artoo to pilot the ship. When I saw the X-wing heading towards Tatooine, I thought, oh, okay, that was quick, Luke is bringing Grogu back already. But once he lands at Peli’s bay–no Luke. Just little Grogu peeking out, with Artoo in the back. Some people have called Luke “vindictive” for not accompanying Grogu, that he’s pissed that he chose Mando and so basically sent him off to fend for himself.
Even though we’re still trying to figure Luke out during this time period, I think we can assume Luke is above petty vindictiveness. Why would he give Grogu a choice in the first place if he’s going to judge him by his answer? If he’s going to go that far, just hide Mando’s gift, keep the kid and keep training him, if that’s what he wants. Grogu would be none the wiser. But Luke recognizes that there’s a conflict in Grogu, and that’s why he wanted to give him the choice (and there’s a big debate about this too; claims that Luke is making the same mistake as the prequel Jedi in not letting Grogu train and still have his attachments–that’s a conversation for another post, I think, lol).
But that doesn’t answer the question: why send him back alone? Well, I think the answer is that we just don’t know. We didn’t see them parting ways. Maybe something important came up and Luke couldn’t leave. Who knows? But I don’t think we should assume anything.
Besides, Luke showed up in the Mandalorian S2 finale to save the day. I don’t think the writers wanted him to show up again and repeat that motif. So Grogu came alone. Maybe Luke gave him a big hug and some cookies and sent him on his way. I’m not going to worry about it.
Some feel that Grogu coming back in this series at all was a mistake, that the writers should have waited for Mando S3 to tell that story. That the whole build up of the first two seasons of The Mandalorian, of Din trying to get Grogu back to the Jedi, and their heartbreaking goodbye, was all for nothing to have him come back so soon, and not even in the right show. And maybe they’re right.
Was I disappointed to see Grogu? Nope! Not gonna lie, I loved seeing him come back to his Mando dad. I’m impatient. I didn’t want to wait until later this year to see their reunion, and I’m glad it happened now. So once Mando S3 starts, they’re back in the saddle and ready for the next adventure, whatever it may be.
So, what about Boba? This is his show, after all, lol. That’s a bit harder to answer. I was on board with him wanting to change, after the Sarlaac and his time with the Tuskens. He wanted a family, people he could trust, and to put his bounty-hunting days behind him. He wanted to protect the people of Mos Espa, and of Tatooine. Okay. And he did that, defeating the Pykes with the help of all his allies, after some initial problems. He killed Cad Bane (we think–red winking light? Idk), and I think it’s important that he killed him with the gaffi stick and not his blasters. The gaffi stick is a symbol of who he is now, and everything he’s learned from the Tuskens.
Bane called him a “cold-blooded killer” (as if he could talk), and then Boba proved him right by killing him. Was it out of character? I don’t think so. Boba has changed, yes, he wants to do the right thing (I guess), but he’s no Jedi. You mess with him, he’s gonna get those crazy eyes and mess you up.
But then at the end of the episode, he’s walking with Fennec and generally feeling uncomfortable with the people he saved honoring him. And he says, “I don’t think we’re cut out for this.” I’m not sure what to make of that statement. Some think it means he’s going to move on and leave it to someone else (Fennec replies to him, “If not us, who?” which leads me to another point soon).
It seems strange to me that Boba would go through all that and risk his life to drive the Pykes out and become the leader (daimyo) of Tatooine, and then immediately leave because he’s uncomfortable with it. Huh? I thought that’s what he wanted. I guess you should be careful what you wish for, lol. But maybe he’s just commenting on it, without really any intention of leaving. I really don’t know.
But then we get a post-credit scene of Cobb Vanth in Boba’s bacta tank. We were led to believe he was dead, shot down by Bane, but now we see he’s not quite dead yet, lol. And the Mod who saved Fennec is getting ready to “modify” him, if you know what I mean. So, I’m glad that he’s alive. But are they setting us up for Cobb Vanth to take over for Boba? It could work, I suppose. But again, I just think it’s weird that Boba would suddenly take off after gaining what he supposedly wanted.
Those are the main points I wanted to talk about. The rest of the show was entertaining. The action was great, the massive droids were cool, and of course, Boba showing up on the rancor was fabulous! It was inevitable, and it was great. And then Grogu calming the beast down afterward was priceless–size, indeed, matters not. The little guy curled up asleep next to the rancor was pretty darn cute. And the ending scene with Mando giving in to Grogu and hitting his turbo or whatever it was and streaking super-fast through space was fun, too. Grogu sitting in that little bubble in Mando’s ship was clearly meant to be, lol.
So, no word on if there’s going to be a Season 2 of Boba Fett, but I’m guessing no. I think the show served its purpose–telling Boba’s story and also being a bridge to The Mandalorian S3. I think Boba and Fennec will surely show up in future shows (especially if Boba does leave Tatooine). Was it perfect? Nah. But it had some perfect moments.
What did you think of Episode 7? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!