Ranking the Star Wars books released this year (so far)

I thought I’d post my rankings of the Star Wars books that have released this year–so far, since there are some High Republic Phase 2 books coming out this fall. I’ve included mostly adult and YA novels; the only middle grade book I’ve included is the short story collection Stories of Jedi and Sith. Obviously, I’ve only included books that I’ve read, and so the High Republic audio drama Tempest Runner is not included.

So here we go, from least favorite to best:

8. The High Republic: Midnight Horizon, by Daniel Jose Older (YA). This book occurs concurrently with The Fallen Star, but I consider it the last book of Phase 1 of the High Republic. Older is not one of my favorite Star Wars authors. This story is fine, but it’s one of my least favorite of the High Republic novels (Out of the Shadows takes the least favorite spot), and the least favorite of the books that came out this year. It has Reath Silas in it, though, so that makes up for it, and an awesome cameo by Yoda in the last few pages.

7. Stories of Jedi and Sith, by various authors (Middle-grade). These short stories are fun and showcase some great characters like Asajj Ventress, Maul, Luke, Rey and Poe. They don’t add anything significant to the canon, but they’re fun and interesting. I particularly liked the Asajj story, and the Maul story.

6. Queen’s Hope, by E.K. Johnston (YA). I’ve always been a fan of the Padme books, and this one is no exception. It’s the third in a trilogy, and takes place at the start of the Clone Wars and Padme and Anakin’s marriage. As soon as they’re married, they a get a few blissful days on Naboo, but are soon separated on their own missions. I was kind of hoping it was more of a The Princess and the Scoundrel sort of thing, where they get to go on a mission together. They do at the very beginning, but it’s one little chapter, not a whole book. Of course, their marriage is a secret, and Padme must deal with all that entails. It’s still good, and I especially enjoy the Sabe scenes.

5. Padawan, by Kiersten White (YA). This is a young Obi-Wan adventure, and it was quite fun. It shows a very unsure Obi-Wan Kenobi shortly after he is taken on by Qui Gon Jinn as a Padawan. He’s full of doubt and worries, and trying to figure out his relationship with both his Master and the Force. He ends up going alone to a planet where he finds young people with strange Force-like abilities. As he tries to unravel the mysteries of the planet and help these parent-less teens, he comes to understand himself, and the Force, better.

4. Brotherhood, by Mike Chen. This is an Anakin and Obi-Wan adventure, just as the Clone Wars are beginning, and taking place just after Queen’s Hope. Obi-Wan is sent to Cato Neimoidia after the planet suffers a terrible disaster, to investigate the bombing and figure out who is responsible–the Republic or the Separatists. Anakin has just been made a Jedi Knight, and is sent on his own mission, but the two aren’t used to being without the other, and must come to terms with their new relationship–not master and apprentice, but brothers. Anakin shows up, of course, with a youngling in tow, which presages his taking on an apprentice of his own. This is a great book that explores more of Neimoidian culture, separate from the Trade Federation, and how the Republic–as well as Obi-Wan and Anakin–have to overcome certain prejudices against these people. Asajj Ventress is in the book, too, “investigating” on behalf of the Separatists, and you can bet she causes trouble.

3. Shadow of the Sith, by Adam Christopher. This book takes place about fifteen years after Return of the Jedi. Luke and Lando are on a mission to help a young family–six-year old Rey and her parents, Dathan and Miramir–escape the Sith and Ochi of Bestoon. Lando is involved because he feels it will help him deal with his grief over losing his own daughter when she was two; he asks Luke for help, who is currently running his new Jedi Temple on Ossus. We get to see a young Ben Solo a couple of times, and he’s kind of sweet and eager to please his uncle Luke :(. Anyway, Luke gets drawn into a mystery involving an ancient Sith mask possessed by the spirit of a Sith Lord from long ago. It’s a big book, with a lot going on, and it ties together a lot of loose ends from the sequel trilogy. I was a bit disappointed with the portrayal of Luke, who seemed like a robot through the entire book. Otherwise, it’s a great read.

2. The Princess and the Scoundrel, by Beth Revis. I had doubts about this one, and certainly didn’t think it would be so high on my list. But I loved it! If you live for Han and Leia banter and romance (me, it’s me), this one delivers. We see their lovely wedding on Endor, and then Mon Mothma convinces them to take a honeymoon on the Halcyon, a space cruise ship based on Mothma’s homeworld of Chandrila. It’s somewhat for PR purposes, but she truly wants them to have a nice honeymoon, too. But of course they caught up in some intrigue on a troubled moon, all the while figuring each other out and how this marriage thing works. It’s a very satisfying book, at least to me.

1. The High Republic: The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray. This is the adult finale of the first phase of The High Republic, and it’s fantastic. Claudia Gray is my favorite Star Wars author (Bloodline, Leia: Princess of Alderaan, Into the Dark, and Lost Stars are all exceptional), and she doesn’t disappoint here. Told mostly from the points of view of Stellan Gios, Elzar Mann, and Bell Zettifar (among several others), it takes place mostly on Starlight Beacon, a new space station that is the pride and joy of the Republic. Naturally, Marchion Ro, the main villain of the High Republic novels, has it in his sights. Since it takes place mostly on the station, and there’s a Jedi-killing monster on board, it’s got some Alien-like vibes. But the character work with Stellan and Elzar, especially, is great. It’s wonderful and heartbreaking, and I can’t wait to get back to these (surviving) characters in Phase 3.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

If you like romance in Star Wars, this one’s for you.

So I’ve finished The Princess and the Scoundrel this week, and I enjoyed it immensely. Most books I’ve read with Han and Leia in them have the two separated, on different adventures or missions, but this one necessarily has them together during the whole book. It’s the story of their wedding and honeymoon, after all. And because they’re together the whole time, we get all of their arguments, banter, and romance (oh, the kissing that takes place!), all the time. And it’s awesome! They get to know each other better and try to figure out what this whole marriage thing is about. Oh yeah, and they save a crumbling moon from the remnants of the Empire, yadda yadda (I jest; it’s a good story). I think the author, Beth Revis, really nailed the characters of Han and Leia, and their dynamic. It may even be my favorite Star Wars book that was released this year, next to The Fallen Star. I’ve enjoyed all of them, but this one, I think, will have a special place in my heart.

I chose to set aside The Fifth Season in order to finish Princess, but I’ll be getting back to that now, and will have more on that next week

I’ve also downloaded the Ahsoka novel to my Kindle, as there was a $1.99 deal on it, which is something I’ll never pass up. 🙂

When it was announced that Andor was being moved up to Sept. 21, I had wondered if The Bad Batch S2 would also get moved up, as it was set to premiere Sept. 18th. Well, I saw that it has, indeed, been moved, but I haven’t seen a new premiere date yet. We’ll just have to wait and see when they’ll drop it.

On Sept. 8th, Disney+ will drop Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return, a sort of making-of doc about that series. I’m guessing it will be similar to the Gallery series we’ve had about the other shows, and I can’t wait to see it!

Also on Sept. 8th, Thor: Love and Thunder will come to D+. Geez, it’s still playing in my local theater, lol. I probably won’t be rewatching. I love Thor, but this one, while it had me laughing, also left me disappointed. I kind of wish I had laughed less and was invested more in the story.

That’s about it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello my friends, and happy weekend!

I don’t have a ton of stuff to talk about this week, as I’ve just been reading. And reading, and reading, lol.

I had expected to receive The Princess and the Scoundrel about a week after its release date of August 16th, because that’s been the pattern lately, as it was with Padawan and Shadow of the Sith. So I started reading The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin while I waited. But it only took two days to get Princess, and I just couldn’t wait to get into it. And I was far enough into Fifth Season not to want to put it down. Reader problems, eh? 🙂 So I’m reading two books.

The Fifth Season is a big book, and I’m about one quarter to a third of the way through. It’s mesmerizing, and unlike any other fantasy I’ve ever read. It takes place on a large continent called The Stillness, which is an ironic name since the place is constantly erupting with earthquakes and tremors. It’s so bad that their whole society is formed around this geological fact: they have the “Stonelore” which tells you what do when a “Season” (a particularly catastrophic event) comes around. The continent has been shaped and reshaped many times over the course of millenia, and many cultures and empires developed and ruled over that time. But this particular one has learned how to survive. In this world, there are people who are born with the ability to affect the tremors and shakes; they’re called “orogenes.” People fear them, so much so that when a child shows such powers, they are often killed. When they aren’t, they are sent to the Fulcrum, where orogenes train to control their powers and help keep the shakes at bay.

There are several storylines that overlap, although I’m not sure of the actual timeline. The first one introduced is that of a woman named Essun, and she’s just discovered her three-year old child is dead, beaten to death by his father. Essun is an orogene, living in the “comm” of Tirima for the past ten years and hiding what she is; she fears her son had shown signs of being an orogene like her, leading to her husband, Jija, killing the child. He’s fled with their young daughter. Essun makes it her quest to find her daughter, and, well, deal with Jija.

The world-building in this book is incredible and intricate. There are mysterious, floating obelisks in the sky, leftover from some ancient civilization that didn’t survive a Season. No one knows what they are or what they were for, but I have a feeling we’re going to find out later in the book. I’m so intrigued by the whole story, I haven’t been this swallowed up by a book in a long time. Oh, and it won the Hugo Award a few years ago. There are two other books after this one that makes up The Broken Earth series, The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky, and you can bet I’ll be reading those, too.

I’m about a third of the way through The Princess and the Scoundrel, and it’s just wonderful. There’s nothing earth-shattering in it, nothing that significantly affects the canon (so far), but it’s just a joy to read. We thought we knew the love story of Han and Leia, but there’s always room for more details, in my opinion. We get to see Han’s proposal and their wedding on Endor, and Mon Mothma has convinced them to take their honeymoon on the Halcyon, a space cruise ship. Where I am in the book, they’re just arriving at the Halcyon, but I know that some adventure and intrigue will follow.

But what I really love is getting into Han and Leia’s heads in alternating chapters, their excitement, their fears and doubts, their hope, their love. What we kind of forget is that Han lost a year of his life while he was in carbonite; it’s disorienting to him to know that others continued on with their lives while he was in that carbonite block in Jabba’s palace, and he has to catch up. So things have progressed really fast for him, to say the least. Leia, after having some conversations with Luke, has to deal with the new knowledge that Darth Vader is her father, and she’s having a hard time of it. Unlike Luke, she can’t forgive him. She hates him. And she’s hesitant to learn about the Force, because she fears she’ll become like him. I’m really enjoying the book so far.

Cal Kestis

I’m also excited to learn that there will be a Cal Kestis novel next year! I’ve never been a gamer, and let’s face it, I never will be nor do I want to be, but I’ve always felt like I’ve missed out on the story of Cal Kestis from the game Jedi: Fallen Order. He’s kind of a big part of canon now, especially with the Fortress Inquisitorious making an appearance in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. So while gamers wait for the sequel to Fallen Order, Jedi: Survivor, there will be a book called Jedi: Battle Scars, and it will release on March 7th of 2023. I’ve always hoped for a book or series of books with Cal Kestis, and it looks like my wish will come true!

What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about!

My five favorite ships in Star Wars

No, I’m not talking about Reylo…I mean real spaceships, lol.

I’ve never been much of a “ship nerd,” memorizing designations and specs, etc. In fact, all I know is the Empire has Star Destroyers, and the Rebellion has X-Wings, pretty much. Okay, I know a little bit more, but not much.

I do have some favorite ships, though, and I thought I’d share them here.

  • Jedi Vectors. These are cool little ships. What I love about them is that they are connected to the Jedi who fly them: the Jedi pilot uses the Force to fly it. Also, the weapons on them can only be accessed by a Jedi’s lightsaber–they must insert the lightsaber into the vehicle like a key. This serves a couple of purposes: the ship can never be used as a weapon by a non-Jedi; and the Jedi must make a conscious choice to use weapons instead of a non-lethal way to solve problems. So cool. And they look like mosquitos buzzing around.
  • Padme’s Naboo Royal Starship. This is one sleek, shiny ride. I just love how this ship looks: luxurious but sharp as a needle. This one’s totally based on looks alone.
  • Poe’s Black One X-Wing. X-Wings are cool, but Poe’s modified black X-Wing is even cooler. I don’t know much about its “specs,” but I do know from The Force Awakens novelization that BB-8 has a hard time dealing with it because it’s so fussy. I like when ships have (literal) personalities. And it’s one-of-a-kind. I was sad to see it blow up in The Last Jedi.
  • The Ghost. This one’s more of an emotional attachment than anything else, although it’s a nifty little ship. It represents my love for its crew more than anything else, but it can do some amazing things with Hera at the helm. And I love that its shuttle is called the Phantom (and that each crew member is called Spectre One, Two, etc. See what they did there?)
  • And of course, the Millenium Falcon. But particularly when it belonged to Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story because it’s so shiny and new, with all kinds of bells and whistles. I love its long nose which is the shuttle (that Han ejects for some crazy escape, to Lando’s despair. Oh Lando, it’s just beginning!) But it’s also lovely inside, with a wet bar, a “love nest” that is Lando’s bedroom, and a huge closet for his capes! And I love learning that L3-37, after her death, is incorporated into the ship. It gives the Falcon’s rather funky personality some context.

So those are my five favorites. I don’t have any Imperial ships on the list; they just don’t interest me as much. I thought about including Mando’s Razor Crest but honestly, it’s pretty ugly, lol.

What are your favorite Star Wars ships? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

Last week, I forgot to mention that I finished Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson. I was a little wary at first, considering it’s a tie-in to an amusement park; but besides an introduction to the Outpost at the beginning that seemed like a tour at Galaxy’s Edge, I have to say it was a really good book. Vi Moradi, a Resistance spy, and Archex (aka Cardinal), both of whom were in Dawson’s excellent book Phasma, are sent by General Organa to Batuu to set up a Resistance base. Of course, everything goes wrong immediately, and Vi must somehow get back her equipment (which was stolen after they crashed), find and set up a Resistance base, recruit the locals to the cause, and stay out of the First Order’s clutches, who have recently landed. Vi has become one of my favorite Star Wars characters, by the way; she’s tough but compassionate, funny but one hundred percent committed. This poor woman was not only tortured in Phasma, but is beaten and tortured several times in this book as well. As a spy, she’s been trained to deal with torture (which seems kind of appalling to me, but makes sense); she tells another character at one point, “Spy school was fun,” with tongue firmly in cheek. She’s even got a poisoned tooth to get her out of unbearable situations, but she’s never used it. Atta girl.

I also finished Padawan by Kiersten White, about a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. I talked a little bit about in last week’s post, before I finished it. It’s a good book, a great coming-of-age story for Obi-Wan, who learns to trust not only himself, but the Force; and I liked its theme of how those with power must learn how to responsibly wield it. A very fun but also thoughtful book.

I debated on whether or not I wanted to get into the whole “Obi-Wan’s sexuality” controversy brought on by this book, and I just want to say: who cares? A few lines in a book (in which he isn’t explicitly attracted to another male, he’s simply wondering about kissing, well, anyone) isn’t a big deal. Yes, he fell in love with Satine, but the point is, he never acted on any sexual attraction he might have had for anyone during his entire life, as he’s committed to the Jedi Order above anything else. So the argument is moot, in my opinion. People love making mountains out of molehills, and it’s annoying, lol.

Lando: I hate you. Han: I know.

Anyway, I’ve been reading the novelization of Solo: A Star Wars Story on my Kindle just for the fun of it, and it made me want to watch the movie again. So I did the other night, and I’m just reminded how much I love this story. Because it is SO much damn fun! And the book delves into a lot of details that the movie leaves out, like what, exactly, happened to Qi’ra after Han escaped Corellia but she didn’t. There’s more about Lando and his delightful idiosyncrasies. And a whole lot more about L3-37, Lando’s revolutionary droid–about how she became who she is, and how she integrated with the Millenium Falcon. Just really cool, neat stuff.

I also watched the Star Wars LEGO Summer Vacation, and as usual, it was fun and delightful. I still think the Holiday Special reigns supreme, but these specials never disappoint. I still think the Emperor steals the show, though, as always, lol. Got a little misty-eyed at the end of the third one when Han tells Ben “I love you,” and Ben says, “I know.” Some high points are Obi-Wan singing “Gamorrean Girls” in Jabba’s palace, and Anakin’s Force ghost showing up in scuba gear, of all things. I’m hoping we someday get to see the sequel crew doing their things–Finn looking for Force-sensitives, Rey searching for Jedi Temples, Poe training X-Wing pilots, and Rose going on relief missions. I want to see ALL of this, okay LF/Disney? Please?

Just some Sith catching some rays.

In Marvel news, I heard that there may be a second season of Moon Knight! I hope this is true, because I loved that series. I’m disappointed that in a long list of Emmy nominations, Oscar Isaac did not get an acting nomination. This is criminal, in my opinion. So it’s fantasy, who cares? His performance was phenomenal, I don’t care what anyone says. These kinds of shows always do great in the technical categories (as they should), but for some reason the actors get passed over. And that’s too bad, because they often pour their heart and souls into these roles, and should be taken as seriously as anyone else. Anyway, that’s my rant for the day, lol. Ooh, and I hear he’s not against coming back as Poe Dameron. Whaa??? Don’t get my hopes up, Oscar!

I’m now patiently awaiting The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis, which comes out on August 16th, but I probably won’t receive it until the next week. That leaves me some time to read another book. I was browsing around my local bookstore when The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin caught my eye. This one’s been on my someday list for a long while, so I finally bought it. I just started it, but I can tell it’s going to be a really different, interesting read. It’s the first non-Star Wars book I’ve picked up in probably over a year, lol, so it will be a nice change of pace.

That’s about it. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

I finally received Padawan, by Kiersten White, and I’m about halfway through. It’s a YA book told through a young Obi-Wan’s point of view, while he’s a 16-year-old Padawan to Qui Gon Jinn. Their pairing is fairly new, and Obi-Wan is full of doubts, anxieties, and questions, about himself, his Master, his future, his connection to the Force…pretty much everything, lol. I get he’s an adolescent with self-esteem and identity issues, but sometimes I get tired of all his self-doubts. Similar to him saying, “Anakin, calm down,” I want to say, “Obi-Wan, calm down.” Was Obi-Wan really this anxiety-ridden as a teen, spiraling into holes of despair? I know he didn’t really understand Qui Gon at first, and felt their pairing was a mistake. But good grief! I suppose even the unflappable Obi-Wan Kenobi was young once. It’s a YA book, so I’ll cut it some slack.

Anyway, Obi-Wan finds some information about an unknown planet that Orla Jareni (a familiar character from the High Republic; I’m loving how the new canon books are incorporating High Republic events and characters into them) cryptically left behind. He’s dying to go on a mission with his Master like his friends, instead of meditating all the time, and Qui Gon actually agrees to go. But Qui Gon never shows up when it’s time to leave, and Obi-Wan actually does something reckless and takes off without him, intent on investigating the planet on his own.

Once he gets there, he meets a group of young people without adults around, who have peculiar Force-like abilities. They don’t know anything about the Force or Jedi, but they call it their Power. And Obi-Wan senses that something is off about the planet. It’s beautiful, but dangerous, attacking the kids whenever they go outside of the crashed ship they live in. Obi-Wan tries to piece together what’s going on here, while also trying to figure out his own identity as well. Despite my eye-rolling at his constant adolescent angst, I am enjoying the book.

I also finished the middle-grade book Spark of the Resistance, by Justina Ireland on my Kindle. It’s a Rey, Poe and Rose adventure set on the planet Minfar. They have to stop a typical First Order officer from gaining a mysterious weapon called the Echo Horn. It was a fun book, and I love sequel stories.

Next on the Kindle is a reread of the novelization of Solo: A Star Wars story, simply because I love it. 🙂

I’ve watched the latest Andor trailer, and it just looks awesome! I am so ready to dive into this longer series about the beginnings of the Rebellion. The bad news is that it has been pushed back to September 21 instead of August 31; the good news is that they’re dropping three episodes at once! Presumably it’s been pushed back because of the glut of fantasy shows coming out at that time (Rings of Power, She-Hulk, and the Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon). Fair enough, I guess.

The second season of The Bad Batch is set to premiere in September as well, so I’m wondering if that will get pushed back, too, because of the Andor premiere. We’ll see.

That’s it just now. I’ve been spending some time on the Star Wars fan fiction I’ve been mentioning on and off for a while now. I’m having fun with it, and maybe someday I’ll actually finish the darn thing, lol.

What’s been entertaining you lately? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello my friends, and happy weekend!

So I’m almost done with Black Spire–about 50 pages to go, and I’m hoping to finish it before Padawan arrives. Because once the Obi-Wan book is in my hands, Vi Moradi will have to wait…again, lol. It’s actually a really good book, and I’ll get more detailed about it after I finish it, but the new ones coming out right now just demand my attention.

Rey’s ready to take on the First Order.

For my Kindle, I’ve downloaded Spark of the Resistance, by Justina Ireland. It’s a middle-grade book about Rey, Rose and Poe on an impromptu mission to the planet Minfar to help the locals there fight off the First Order. I’m several chapters in, and it’s pretty good. I’ve read a few books by Justina Ireland, mostly from the High Republic, and she’s very good with the middle-grade and YA books. And I’m hungry for more sequel stories. This one takes place between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.

I’ve watched the first episode of Light and Magic on Disney+, the docuseries about Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects company that George Lucas created. It’s fairly entertaining and interesting, but I don’t know if I’m interested enough in the details of special effects to keep watching. I do appreciate the brilliance of these people in bringing to life our beloved stories, and they absolutely deserve to have their praises sung. But I don’t know if I’ll take the time to watch all six hour-long episodes.

I’m ready for some more Wolverine.

What I may want to do with my time instead is watch Logan and Deadpool, which are now available on Disney+. They’ve been on the top of my list to complete my Marvel movie marathon I did last summer, but I never got around to buying them to watch. Now I can watch them with my D+ subscription. Yay!

Speaking of Marvel, I’ve seen the wonderful Wakanda Forever trailer, and will probably be going to the theater to see it when it releases in November. But all the other Marvel Phase 6 stuff that was unveiled at the recent San Diego Comic-Con? Eh, I don’t know. I WILL be watching Loki Season Two (!!!), and probably Guardians of the Galaxy 3, as well as Wakanda, but all the new stuff, like Ironheart, Echo, Blade, etc? Probably not. I can never get enough Star Wars, but it seems I CAN get enough Marvel. At least, going forward, I’ll cherry pick my Marvel viewings. I haven’t even watched Ms. Marvel, and I heard it was quite good.

Mon and Cassian, the two faces of the early Rebellion.

Anyway, Logan and Deadpool are definitely on the horizon for me, but what I’m really waiting for is Andor. Getting really excited to fall deep into the 12 episodes for Season 1. I like Cassian’s character, but what I’m really looking forward to is Mon Mothma’s part of the story. We saw her a little bit in the Clone Wars as a Senator of the Republic, a little bit in Rebels when she leaves the Imperial Senate to lead the Rebellion, a little bit in Rogue One, her small part in ROTJ, and in the Aftermath books as Chancellor of the New Republic. We get little glimpses of her here and there, but she’s become such an important part of the Rebellion, it will be nice to see more of her story and how she operates in the Imperial Senate before the Rebellion coalesces into the Alliance. One more month!

That’s it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Obi-Wan Kenobi Fan Art

I’m getting excited for the book Padawan by Kiersten White; it was released yesterday, but it’ll be a few days until I receive it. Until then, thought I’d share some Obi-Wan fan art to get by. Your welcome.

This is the only one of Obi-Wan as a Padawan I found that I liked. It looks like the Tatooine suns are shining off of him (and that he doesn’t look too pleased to be there, lol).

I couldn’t find any artist info on this, but found it on fanpop

Obi-Wan presumably talking to Dex at Dex’s Diner in AOTC. He also went to Dex for advice and help in the recent book Brotherhood by Mike Chen, which I loved.

R-Valle on DevientArt

I thought this one was kind of sweet. Some feel it portrays Obi-Wan and Ahsoka as a romantic couple (which is just wrong, btw), but the artist is actually showing an alternative universe where Obi-Wan is Ahsoka’s Master, reading her a story, or maybe a lesson from a Jedi text. Perhaps a bit too intimate for such a thing, but I love how Ahsoka trusts him completely, and Obi-Wan looks happy with his Padawan (as opposed to being eternally frustrated with a certain someone, lol).

I can’t read the name of the artist on this piece–Autumn something…

I can’t have a fan art post without including Uzuri Art. I think she made this piece just before the series Obi-Wan Kenobi came out, and is her rendition of him in his exile on Tatooine.

I adore this one of Obi-Wan with Leia and Lola on Mapuzzo.

Art by Rola Rafal

Jake Bartok is always another favorite of mine, and his medieval series is awesome. Here’s older Obi-Wan as the vaunted Knight.

What do you think of these fan art pieces? Are you planning on reading Padawan? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Mothers in Star Wars

Star Wars rather obviously deals with relationships between fathers and sons (Vader and Luke; Han and Ben) or father figures (Mando and Grogu; Hunter and Omega; Kanan and Ezra; etc.). It’s a subject George Lucas himself wanted to explore as a result of his challenging relationship with his own father.

But what about mothers? Who are the mothers of Star Wars, and what, if anything, do they say about motherhood itself in the galaxy far, far away?

Here’s a list of the most obvious mothers in Star Wars and my take on their relationships with their children:

  • Shmi Skywalker. Shmi is the Skywalker matriarch, and raised Anakin by herself on Tatooine. Though they were slaves, Shmi raised her son with love and wisdom. Shmi knew her son was special, as he apparently had no father and displayed uncanny abilities in podracing. Because she knew he was destined for greater things, she found the strength to let him go with Qui Gon and live a better life. Unfortunately, Anakin’s love for his mother was something that got in the way of his Jedi training, and proved to be the first step on his path to the dark side–namely, that he felt he failed her when he couldn’t save her from the Tusken Raiders who kidnapped her. But with her last dying breath, Shmi only praised her son and told him she loved him. The pain of losing her only made Anakin determined not to lose Padme, at any cost, and…well, we know what happened there.
  • Padme Amidala. Birth mother to Luke and Leia, she dies just after giving birth to them. In Revenge of the Sith, Padme seems nervous at first about telling Anakin she’s pregnant, knowing the consequences, but ultimately seems happy about it. When Anakin tells her about his dreams of her dying in childbirth, she asks worriedly, “And the baby?” So it’s always been a little irritating to me that Padme dies of “sadness” or a broken heart because of Anakin’s turn to the dark side. Yes, it’s devastating, but she’s got babies, plural, to love and look after. You’d think that would be enough to give her something to live for. Padme, in Eps 1 & 2, is a strong, capable woman, as well as a loving, compassionate one; I’ve always found it hard to believe that she would simply give up. I know the story needed her to die; why couldn’t they have had her die of complications in birth, like Anakin dreaded? I get that Anakin’s dreams were a self-fulfilling prophecy–that he caused the death he so desperately wanted to prevent–but still. It irks, lol. It goes against her character, in my opinion.
  • Breha Organa. Queen of Alderaan, Leia’s adopted mother and Bail Organa’s wife, we see little of her in the films. She’s been mostly fleshed out in the book Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray, and in the recent series Obi-Wan Kenobi. Breha is regal, strong, intelligent, and loves her adopted daughter deeply. She raises Leia firmly but lovingly; and instills in her the sense of duty that Leia takes very seriously as she grows up. She expects much from Leia, and more importantly, lets her know that she believes in her. She and Bail tell Leia from the very beginning that she is adopted (while omitting the more distressing details) and instill in her the sense that she is an Organa in every way. She is royalty, and raised as royalty. While Leia has many qualities from her birth parents, the Organas are an extremely important part of who she is.
  • Beru Whitesun Lars. While Leia was raised as royalty, Luke was raised as a farmboy by his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen on Tatooine. Though technically not related by blood, Owen and Beru love and raise Luke as their own. In A New Hope, Owen is portrayed as a grumpy barrier to Luke’s destiny; Beru is the content homemaker, serving blue milk and making whatever it is in that kitchen appliance. But in the series Obi-Wan Kenobi, we get more insight into both of them. Owen truly does love Luke (which I never doubted, really), and Beru, well, Beru is a bona-fide badass, lol. Owen wants to flee when Reva is on her way to kill Luke, but it’s Beru who gets out the guns and insists they make a stand. More is learned about Beru in the Padme trilogy books; Sabe goes to Tatooine to try to help free slaves. She meets Beru Whitesun, who is a prominent figure in the movement to fight slavery on Tatooine (the group is called the Whitesuns, so there you go). This is what I love about the books and series that are coming out–we learn a whole lot more about these women than in the films; they become more three-dimensional characters. In sum, Beru was a great mother/aunt to Luke.
There’s no actual footage of Leia with Ben, so here’s some sweet fanart by bee__stings on Anarchiveofourown.
  • Leia Organa Solo. Mother to Ben Solo, who eventually turns to the dark side to become Kylo Ren. Some say that Han and Leia were bad parents, ignoring their son while they pursued their careers, and that’s why he went bad, among other things (like Luke attacking him, and oh, Palpatine whispering in his ear since the womb). I don’t think they were bad parents. I think they were busy parents who underestimated the enemy, and their son’s discontent. But it’s clear they loved him dearly. They both sacrificed their lives for him. Leia, in particular, never lost hope for her son. Sensing her decline, she made that long-distance Force call to Ben, using the last of her life force to reach him. It was the first step in getting him to wake up. Whenever Ben heard Snoke or Vader in his head, it had been Palpatine deceiving him. But Leia’s voice, the voice of his mother, was real. It was a mother’s love, and it helped bring him back to the Light. Leia also, as well as being a mentor to Rey, was a kind of mother-figure for her.
  • Miramir. We know from The Rise of Skywalker that Rey’s then-nameless mother and father were killed by Ochi of Bestoon after hiding her on Jakku and refusing to divulge her whereabouts. That’s all we really knew about them (except that Dathan was a failed and discarded clone of Palpatine). In the book Shadow of the Sith, we learn more about them. They deeply loved Rey and were willing to do anything to protect her. They were both brave, but Miramir, in particular, was clever. She had a knack for technology, ship mechanics, slicing, that sort of thing, and used her talent to always keep them one step ahead of the enemy that relentlessly pursued them. And it was Miramir’s idea to hide Rey on Jakku–to bring her back there, in fact, since that’s where they lived for awhile in the first place. It broke both their hearts to leave her there with Unkar Plutt, but they were desperate to keep her safe. And it was only supposed to be temporary; we know it turned out otherwise. She also thought to use some beads from Pasaana to throw Ochi off and make him think that’s where Rey was, and that’s why Luke and Lando pursue him there; that’s why he died there in the sinking sands. So Rey was absolutely right when she told Palpatine, “My parents were strong. They saved me from you.”
  • Lyra Erso. Wife to Galen Erso, and Jyn’s mother, we only see her a little bit at the beginning of Rogue One; we learn a lot more about her in the book Catalyst by James Luceno, as well as the book Rebel Rising by Beth Revis. Lyra gave Jyn the kyber crystal necklace she wears in the film. Before she was born, Galen and Lyra were studying kyber crystals; Lyra was completely devoted to Galen and looked after him, as he often got lost in his work. She was also suspicious of Krennic long before Galen figured it out. She’s smart, but I thought she was foolish to leave Jyn as they fled Krennic; I’m not sure what she hoped to accomplish, but she got herself killed, Galen was taken by Krennic, and Jyn was left alone, only to be taken in by Saw Gerrera. As with Padme, I was puzzled over a mother’s decision to choose her husband over her child(ren). And yes, Jyn losing her mother and being alone is part of her character arc, but Lyra could have died defending her child. That I could have understood. I make it sound like husbands are chopped liver, lol, but that’s not what I’m saying. It just seems counter-intuitive to me, but everyone’s different, I suppose. I don’t doubt Lyra’s love for Jyn, though.

Those are all the main ones I can think of. Though fatherhood seems to take center stage in Star Wars, motherhood is just as important, obviously. Both mothers and fathers sacrifice themselves for their children, as most would. Star Wars is about, among other things, the importance of family, and how those relationships shape us and determine our actions.

Did I miss anyone? Who’s your favorite mother in Star Wars? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello my friends, and happy weekend!

I’ve finished Shadow of the Sith, and it’s a great book for the most part, and gives quite a bit of insight into the Sequel trilogy. For instance, many people (sequel haters, to be precise) criticize Rey for knowing so much about starship mechanics when she’s never flown one before. Okay, I get that, but in this book we learn why. Miramir, Rey’s mother, has a natural ability when it comes to mechanics, computers, slicing, etc. She’s brilliant at it, actually. And so Rey apparently inherits this trait from her mother. It’s an inborn knack. So the book seems to be going back and explaining how Rey was so good at it from the get-go. Does it bother me that the book is trying to fill in some holes in the films? Not really. I figured because Rey had the Force, maybe a lot of things came naturally to her. That it came from her mother only makes it more special.

Miramir, Rey and Dathan

There’s also a situation that I never really thought about until I read this book. When Rey is left behind on Jakku by her parents, they take off in Ochi of Bestoon’s ship. That’s how she recognizes it later on Pasaana. But…why were they on the ship that belonged to the guy who was chasing them? Well, this book explains that, too. So it’s answering questions I never knew I had!

We get a lot more insight into Lando Calrissian and his grief over his missing daughter, Kadara. I feel like this is mostly Lando’s story, and that I know him much better now than before. I can’t say the same for Luke, though. He seems strangely flat to me. I think the author is trying to show him as the calm, collected Jedi Master, but it only makes him seem, I don’t know, empty–like he doesn’t have a personality anymore. It’s disappointing. There’s no character arc for him, except to find this Sith villain, face it and defeat it; but there’s no personal challenges or changes. He’s exactly the same throughout the entire book, while Lando struggles with his grief, his purpose, his impatience, his not knowing. In other words, Lando is portrayed as a flesh and blood human being with flaws, while Luke is…kind of boring. I feel like the author was maybe afraid to do anything with Luke for fear of being criticized like Rian Johnson was for what he did with him in The Last Jedi. And that’s unfortunate, because I was really hoping for a great Luke story, and I didn’t get one.

Lando

Otherwise, the rest of the story was quite good and I did enjoy it.

So Padawan by Kiersten White will release on Tuesday the 26th, and I’m looking forward to this one. It’s a YA novel about Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, and anything Obi-Wan is exciting to me! Can’t wait to dig into that one.

I noticed on Disney+ that the Assembled episode for Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness was released, and I gladly watched it even though MOM wasn’t my favorite Dr. Strange story. I always feel a huge appreciation for all the incredible amount of work and the armies of people that are involved in making these stories come to life, just so we can enjoy ourselves for a couple of hours, lol. Bravo.

So after finishing up Stranger Things Season 4, I was poking around Netflix to maybe find something else to watch, and there are a few movies I’d like to watch in the near future, even though I’ve seen quite few of them. But I came across the TV show Merlin, which came out in 2008 and ran until 2012. I watched every episode when it came out and loved it, and decided to revisit it.

Dragons and swords and magic, oh my!

It’s a more family-friendly version of the Arthurian legend, so it’s been defanged quite a bit, but it makes up for it in charm. I’ve rewatched the first episode so far, and it’s going to be great fun revisiting this show. Anybody ever watched it?

That’s it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!