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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!

What I’d like to see in a Star Wars sequel to the Sequels

I’ve been reading Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher, and it’s about Luke and Lando trying to help Rey and her parents escape Ochi of Bestoon. It’s put me in a sequel sort of mood, and I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to see in a sequel to the Sequels. It could be a movie, a TV show, a book, I don’t care; I just want to know what happens with Rey, Finn, Poe, etc. after The Rise of Skywalker! Here are some of the things I’d like to see or questions to be answered:

Finn, Jedi Knight?
  • Rey training Finn/A new Jedi Order. In The Rise of Skywalker we learned that Finn is Force-sensitive. It only makes sense that Rey trains him, even though she didn’t have too much training herself. They’re going to have to figure it out themselves. I’m curious to see how strong Finn is in the Force–Jedi-level, or just Force-sensitive? At any rate, I’d love to see Rey seek out Force-sensitives and continue the Jedi tradition.
Who will rule?
  • How will the galaxy be governed? What happens after the defeat of the First/Final Order? Who will lead? Or will the galaxy’s planets and peoples rule themselves? It’s clear both Republic and Empire models have failed, so something new may be required.
Come on, who wouldn’t love this guy?
  • I want a Poe romance. The question is, with who? Zorii has made it clear she’s not interested anymore. There are fans who ship him with Finn, and I’m not against it, but honestly I’d like to see him with Rey. In the original Colin Treverow script for the third movie in the sequel trilogy, Poe and Rey begin a romance, and I kind of like the idea. But I don’t know, Rey seems like a loner in that regard. I think it’s best if maybe the three just remain good friends. Maybe it could be someone completely new. Just give that man a love interest!
Ah Ben, we hardly knew ye.
  • Please, for the love of God, give me some more Ben Solo! Clearly, he would have to be a Force ghost, and I’d love it if Ben appeared to Rey, either to help her with her Jedi Order training, to give advice, to keep her company, I don’t care. The dyad is a rare, powerful bond, and I can’t imagine even death would break it. Right?? I have doubts Adam Driver would be interested in reprising the role, so it would need to be in a book (please, no comics–I need a novel, lol).
Who’s next in the villain line-up?
  • Naturally, there needs to be a new antagonist. I’m not sure what form that antagonist should take. The Sith are done, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any dark Force users out there. Or it could just be a new bully trying to run things. I’m just curious as to what the writers would come up with.

So yes, yes, I know the powers-that-be said the Skywalker saga is done. And Rey has named herself a Skywalker, but I don’t care. I want more. I love all the new stuff Star Wars is putting out, but I still need something familiar, too. And I don’t care, to hell with the haters, I love these characters, and I need to know what happens to them. I would be very happy with a book or a series of books. A trilogy of books! Maybe someday. A girl can dream.

A Jedi’s connection with animals

I thought I’d return to my list-like format for a bit with a few post ideas I’ve been thinking about. This one’s been in my draft pile for awhile now, and it seemed as good a time as any to actually write it out and share with you.

I’m a big animal lover, and I’ve always loved how some Jedi are particularly connected to animals, either through the Force or just because they’re compassionate people. Here’s five examples that came to my mind:

  • Obi-Wan and Boga. We all remember how Obi-Wan made use of a veractyl, a lizard-like creature on Utupau, while he pursued General Grievous. We don’t learn too much about it in the movie, but in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith (by Mathew Stover, it’s fantastic, please please please read it!), we learn that Obi-Wan connected with the animal through the Force, and that her name was Boga. We learn of Obi-Wan’s preference for riding animals rather than starships in the book Master and Apprentice, by Claudia Gray. In the book, he rides another veractyl and enjoys the experience, while having a rather harrowing experience on a ship that causes him to hate flying. We also see in the series Obi-Wan Kenobi that he is simply kind to animals when he takes some meat from his butcher job to bring to his eopie.
  • Ezra and lothcats, lothwolves, purgil, and most other animals. While Obi-Wan (and probably most Jedi) can connect with animals through the Force, Ezra Bridger seems to have a natural talent for connecting with them. In Rebels he connects with lothcats, lothwolves, and the purgil, and probably some other ones I’m not remembering. While his companions, and even Kanan sometimes, dismiss the importance of animals in a given situation, Ezra seems to zero in on them and connect with them on a whole other level. Kanan is forced by Bendu to connect with the spider creatures on the Rebel base, and the lothwolf Dume is connected to him by relaying his special purpose on Lothal, but it’s Ezra that seems to understand them best. It’s one of the reasons I love that kid so much, lol.
Art by bel on Twitter.
  • Bell and Ember. In the High Republic books, a Padawan named Bell Zettifar has a pet charhound named Ember. The fact that a Jedi is allowed to have a pet shows how different this era of Jedi is. It’s not encouraged, but neither is it frowned upon, at least in Bell and Ember’s case. The two share a bond that is special, and while I’m not sure if it’s a Force connection, the two are very important to each other. Ember has also been a great help in several sticky situations that Bell found himself in, and without her he might have failed or died. They’re devoted to each other and it’s really very sweet. It makes sense, too, as Bell sees the Force as fire, and Ember can breathe flames. They’re meant for each other!
  • Rey and the vexis. In The Rise of Skywalker, Rey and her friends encounter a (very large and angry) serpent in some underground tunnels. Poe wants to blast it, but Rey intuits that there’s something wrong, and indeed, the beast has been wounded and is hissing aggressively. She bravely steps toward it and Force heals it. Once healed, it uncoils and slithers away. I don’t think Rey has a particular connection to animals like Ezra, but I like how, like a true Jedi, she doesn’t immediately want to destroy something that scares her (except maybe Palpatine, but that’s a different story, lol).
  • Ahsoka and Morai. Ahsoka is often seen trailed by a convor called Morai. We see the owl-like bird in Rebels, and also in The Mandalorian (and possibly The Clone Wars, I can’t remember). The bird is a guardian and protector of Ahsoka, and is linked with The Daughter from the Mortis arc in the Clone Wars. In that arc, Ahsoka dies and the Daughter resurrects her. The Daughter also dies in the arc, and Morai seems to be the spirit of the Daughter guiding and protecting Ahsoka. It’s a Force connection, but also a spiritual one that makes it a little more mysterious. Morai isn’t a pet or even a constant companion; she comes and goes depending on what’s happening.
  • Grogu and the rancor. In The Book of Boba Fett, Boba’s rancor is running rampant in Mos Espa, wreaking havoc and destroying everything in its path. He’s angry and lost without his master, but Boba is otherwise occupied at the moment with Cad Bane. Din Djarin tries to control him, but is thrown from his back. Grogu sees the beast’s distress, and toddles away from Peli to confront him. Not to hurt him, but to calm him. He reaches out his little hand and connects with the rancor, putting him to sleep. Drained, he then walks up to the creature and falls in a heap next to him to sleep as well. It’s the cutest thing, but then again, Grogu is cute all the time. But it shows how much he’s learned from his time with Luke; instead of lashing out fearfully at what scares him, he’s learned to connect with others and control his power.

That’s all I could think of. Did I miss anything? What’s your favorite Jedi/animal connection? 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 continuing my read of Shadow of the Sith, and it’s quite enjoyable. Now that I’m in the middle of the book, it’s basically been “Rey and her parents are being chased by Ochi and the Sith, Ochi is being chased by Luke and Lando, and Rey’s parents are managing to stay one step ahead of everybody. For now.” Even though I know how it ends for Rey and her parents, I’m eager to see what happens before all that, as well as how Ochi comes to his end on Pasaana.

Thor: Love and Thunder was fun but flat.

I went to the theater to see Thor: Love and Thunder, and while it was a fun and enjoyable movie, it just didn’t have the same weight as any of the other Thor films. While I love MCU humor, and Taika Waititi’s particular brand of humor, I feel it went way over the top in this one. Taika’s other outing with Thor, Ragnorok, had the same wonderful humor in it, but there was still some depth to Thor and his arc in that movie. Here, Thor seems almost like a clown, and I think that’s a disservice to the character. Jane Foster’s arc was much more interesting, but everything else just seemed like a big joke. Again, I love MCU humor, but it needs to be used sparingly as comedic relief, not carry the entire movie (I loved the screaming goats, though, lol). It was fun, and my 7-year old grandson loved it, but ultimately it’s fairly forgettable. With the slight disappointment I had in Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, I feel like Marvel may be slipping in the feature film department, while excelling in the TV series format (can’t wait for Loki Season 2, and ooh, maybe a Moon Knight Season 2?)

My other, and more engrossing, entertainment this week has been binging Season 4 of Stranger Things. Whoa, what a wild ride! After several years of waiting, I had almost forgotten how much I loved the show and didn’t really care if I watched it or not. But I’m so glad I did. It didn’t bother me that there were like, five different storylines to follow, because they were all so great. Stranger Things has always had a crazy storyline, and yeah, the nostalgia is fun (I was these kids’ age in the 80s), but what I love the most are the fantastic characters. The usual crew is wonderful, but the new or supporting characters are always super-fun, whether it’s over-the-top Murray, the mysterious Enzo, the stoner pizza guy Argyle, or my personal favorite (and a lot of other people’s, too), the D&D-playing, metal music-playing Eddie, who looks tough but has a heart of gold. His Metallica-inspired distraction in the Upside Down is pure gold, and his arc is simply heartbreaking.

The other kids do a good job navigating their personal problems while trying to save the world, lol. While I rooted for Jonathan to be with Nancy in previous seasons, now I’m going the other way and rooting for Steve again. I just want that kid to be happy. 😦 And I’ve always rooted for Hopper and Joyce, I mean, come on. It’s funny, now that I’ve watched Visions, in particular “The Eder,” in which David Harbour voices the Qui Gon Jinn-like Jedi Master, whenever Hopper speaks all I can think of is him dispensing Jedi wisdom to his Padawan.

I thought Will was brilliantly acted by Noah Schnapp. His character didn’t have much to do in this season except look sad and give Mike pep talks about Eleven, but there’s clearly something eating at him, and I think we all know what it is. And it’s Noah’s acting and the excellent writing that proves you don’t have to come right out and say something in order for the audience to understand it. The scene where Jonathan talks to Will in the pizza place, telling him that no matter what, he’s his brother and he loves him and will always be there for him, well, that just broke me. Brilliant. Hopefully Will have more to do in the next season, considering he was so pivotal in the first few.

Aside from everyone’s personal problems and love lives, I thought Vecna was an interesting villain. It adds to the concept of the Upside Down, kind of re-writes it without contradicting what came before. Good stuff.

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: Shadow of the Sith Edition

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

I received my copy of Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher, and eagerly began reading it. It’s a big book (almost 500 pages!) and I’m about 150 pages in and really enjoying it. Basically, it’s the story of Luke and Lando searching for Ochi of Bestoon, which was mentioned by Lando in The Rise of Skywalker. It takes place about 20 years after Return of the Jedi, and about 13 years before The Force Awakens.

There’s some SPOILERY stuff ahead for Shadows of the Sith, so if you haven’t read it yet and think you might want to, proceed cautiously. I haven’t read the whole thing, but I’d like to mention what I’ve read so far.

So this book brings a lot of threads from various Star Wars periods and media together. Ochi of Bestoon, as mentioned in TROS, was seeking Rey and her parents by order of the Sith and Sidious. We see Rey’s parents–Dathan and Miramir–fleeing with Rey across the galaxy, trying to get away from the Sith, and Ochi pursuing them. I think we’re going to get Dathan and Miramir’s story in flashbacks here, which is something I’ve wanted since seeing the sequel trilogy.

We see Luke on the planet Ossus with his new Jedi Order he’s been training, including Ben Solo. But he’s been having visions of a dark, evil place, which turns out to be Exegol. He’s visited by Lor San Tekka (seen at the beginning of The Force Awakens), who is a member of The Church of the Force. Luke and San Tekka have traveled the galaxy together in search of Jedi artifacts and lore, in Luke’s attempt to rebuild the Order. Luke tells him about his visions, and though San Tekka can’t help him, he brings him to the planet Yortuba, on which an archeological dig is taking place.

The dig is being helmed by Beaumont Kin (Dominic Monahan’s character from TROS), and while there, they discover an old Sith holocron and some shards of red kyber crystal. Luke takes both artifacts to the old Jedi temple on Tython and sits on the seeing stone. While meditating on the crystals, he once again finds himself at Exegol, only this time, he’s really there. He’s attacked by nine strange beings, who seem to be Sith acolytes with lightsabers. He’s saved by the intervention of a force ghost–his father, Anakin Skywalker (awesome!). Anakin warns him that a dark threat is looming, and is rather cryptic about it before disappearing. Luke finds himself back on Tython, and that’s when Lando shows up.

So in the meantime, Lando had been gambling on a space station called Sennifer’s Balance and Beam, and overheard Ochi of Bestoon talking with some cohorts about kidnapping a girl, and being “reactivated” by the Sith (he’d been on Exegol with Vader at one point in the Darth Vader comic series, which I haven’t read–but you don’t have to to understand the story).

What caught Lando’s attention is Ochi’s mention of kidnapping a girl–and here we learn that Lando’s own daughter, Kadara Calrissian, had been kidnapped six years ago when she was two. He’d spent the time since scouring the galaxy looking for her, for any clue that might lead to her, and hadn’t really found anything. He decided to get involved, if only to do some kind of good and take his mind off his own daughter, and had gone to Luke because of the mention of the Sith.

In the meantime, we see a Pantoran woman with an ancient Sith mask, a mask that has mostly taken over her mind and she does its will. This woman is Kiza, a character we see in some of the interludes in the Aftermath books. I’m not sure yet what role she’ll play in the story, except that she’s involved in the dark evil that is looming in Luke’s mind.

So yeah, a lot going on here, with lots of different threads that will ultimately come together. I feel like it’s a pretty important book as far as canon goes. You don’t necessarily have to be familiar with all the source material that it borrows from, but it’s neat to make the connections.

In the meantime, I’ve set Black Spire aside (it’s awfully slow sometimes) until I finish this book, but I’m still reading Bloodline on the Kindle.

That’s really it this week, which is why I decided to get a bit detailed about Shadow of the Sith.

And, oh yeah, Thor: Love and Thunder opened yesterday, and I’m hoping to go see it while I’m on vacation this coming week. It looks super-fun, and I can’t wait to see it!

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

Anakin/Vader Fan Art

I didn’t have a subject planned for my Wednesday post, so I had to throw together something quick but fun, which usually turns out to be fan art. I was going to focus on Obi-Wan considering the latest series, but found some really neat Anakin/Vader stuff instead, which still applies. Enjoy!

I like this portrait of Anakin because it’s fuzzy and vague, kind of muddled, like Anakin’s mindset just before he turns to the dark side. He’s a hot mess, lol.

InkdDesigns on DevientArt

I like to include fan art that’s different, something I’ve never seen before, but something that speaks to me in some way, too. This one of Anakin looking at a hologram of Padme is kind of strange, but unique. She’s looking at him with compassion and love, despite the wreck he seems to be here.

starsofnorway on tumblr.com

This one shows another link to Padme, as a helmetless Vader looks at the necklace he made for her when he was a boy. I’m not sure how he got hold of it, since it was buried with Padme on Naboo, but it’s still an emotional scene.

Artstation

I just thought this one looked really cool. There’s also the fact that Vader is a shattered man, and this image projects that.

iartbilly on Devientart

And you can’t have a Vader fan art collection without Vader having tea in a meadow. I love this artist’s images of Star Wars characters in whimsical situations. And how does he sip through that thing, anyway?

Kylesgallery on etsy.com

I hope you enjoyed this group of Anakin/Vader fan art. What do you think of them? What’s your favorite? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!