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My Star Wars Weekend Update

Happy weekend, my Star Wars friends!

So I FINALLY finished The Rising Storm, and I have to say that, although it seemed to take me forever, it was a really good book. Well, the first half of the book took a little too long to get going, in my opinion, but once it did, it was great. The main Jedi of this book were Stellan Gios, Elzar Mann, and Padawan Bell Zettifar, all great characters; but I especially find Elzar Mann interesting. The leader of the Nihil, Marchion Ro, continues to be intriguing and mysterious, and I want to know more about his history with the Jedi. One of the themes of the High Republic novels seems to be how the Jedi of this period deal with temptation, attachment, grief, anger, and the pull of the dark side, and I find it fascinating.

I’ve just started the YA book of “Wave 2,” Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland, and can’t really tell you much about it yet. Recently there was an announcement about the “Wave 3” books coming out next year, and I’m excited that Claudia Gray will be writing the adult novel, called The Fallen Star. I’ve loved everything Gray has written in Star Wars, and I’m certain this book will be no exception.

On Kindle, I’m about two-thirds of the way through Freefall by Alex Segura, a YA novel about a young Poe Dameron during his spice-runner days. It’s pretty good, fairly entertaining, and delivers what most YA books do: a young person finding out who they are and what they want, a little bit of romance, and a whole lot of adventure. A fun book.

The latest Bad Batch episode “War Mantle” was quite good, after a few weeks of “meh” episodes. I won’t go into details in case you haven’t watched it, but I finally feel like we’re getting somewhere here, lol.

On the Marvel front, I’d say I’m about two-thirds of the way through my Marvel movie/show marathon. I just finished Black Panther last night, and it’s truly exceptional. I’d heard great things about it when it came out and I thought I’d go see it, but I’m glad I waited until I’d seen the other movies for context. Just fantastic. I just started re-watching Avengers: Infinity War, and will probably finish that tonight. Loki’s death in the first ten minutes just deflates me, but it’s still a great movie, even though they fail at the end, lol.

I’m hoping to finish my Marvel journey by the time my daughter goes back to school in September (which I think will happen), and then I’ll start my “Fall Plan.” What I want to do is to get back into writing in some way, and usually my first steps into that is by journalling and doing some writing practice (I’m a bit rusty, lol). I want to write a few hours in the morning after my daughter goes to school, and then go hiking with my husband (when neither of us is working, that is, lol). Hiking is something we used to do all the time before we had our daughter, but since her birth 12 years ago it’s dwindled down to almost nothing on my part. I miss it. I’m hoping the weather in the fall is much drier than it’s been this summer.

Anyway, there’s a book that’s been on my shelf for a long time that I want to use for my writing practice, called A Writer’s Book of Days. I love it. It’s got essays on writing and the writing life, author quotes, and most importantly, writing prompts to use. I’m so ready to get back into it. I LOVE blogging, and will continue to blog about Star Wars, but will scale back on it significantly. I’ll probably do what I’ve been doing lately: a weekly post on what I’ve been reading and watching, and anything else that proves interesting to me. I will certainly continue to read Star Wars books, and look forward to all the Star Wars shows that will be coming out in the future, and I’ll definitely write about those here (and probably Marvel, too).

So a lot to look forward to, and a lot of fun to be had, with Marvel, Star Wars, and writing!

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

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

My Star Wars Weekend Update

Happy weekend my Star Wars friends!

I don’t have much to report on the Star Wars front at the moment. I’m still slogging through The Rising Storm. I’ve gotten to the more exciting part, but for some reason I’m just not feeling it. Maybe it’s me; I’ve been distracted by other things. I still love these characters, especially Elzar Mann and Stellan Gios. Just because I don’t speed through a book doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I’m hoping to get through it by next week, in time for the next YA novel, Out of the Shadows. And I still plan on doing review posts for the books I read.

On Kindle, I’ve been reading Freefall, a YA novel by Alex Segura, about 16-year-old Poe Dameron. It mostly tells the tale of how he spent time with the Spice Runners of Kajimi, and met Zorri Bliss, events alluded to in The Rise of Skywalker. I’m enjoying it so far.

The Bad Batch continues to be fine, but I feel like it’s getting a bit soggy in the middle. It started off so strong, but lately it’s just been ho-hum. The latest episode, Infested, was fine. Cid is starting to grow on me, and she’s certainly not the worst of the dredge out there. And she’s got a soft spot for Omega. For all of them, really. I like her nicknames for them. I just wish, I don’t know, that the writers could tighten it up a little bit. I’d rather have 8 extraordinary episodes than 16 that are just so-so. Maybe we’re just spoiled, lol.

Cid ain’t so bad.

As you may know, it’s the Marvel universe that’s been distracting me from Star Wars lately. I’ve been doing a Marvel movie marathon for the past couple of weeks, and I’m up to Avengers: Age of Ultron. Some of these movies are great, some are just so-so, but I’m enjoying getting to know this universe and its characters. I’ve got a post I’m working on as I go along, jotting down my thoughts on each movie, and I’ll post that when I’m done (probably several weeks from now, lol.)

And by the way, on Disney+ there is a “Making Of Loki” special that just dropped, and it’s great, so if you liked the show, check it out. There’s also a making of Wandavision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which I’ll watch once I’ve seen these shows. They’re under the title “Assembled.

So that’s been my week in entertainment. My family and I have been wanting to enjoy the summer, but it’s been raining so much here in New England that we haven’t even gotten to our favorite lake yet. 😦 I wish we could send some of this water out west to put out those terrible fires. Even here, across the country, our sky was hazy from the smoke blowing our way.

On a more fun note, and just because he’s cute, here’s a pic of our kitten Cosmo:

May be an image of cat, laptop and indoor
Couldn’t drink my coffee for a while, lol. That’s my favorite Barnes and Noble mug, btw; it’s got famous classic authors on it.

What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

My Star Wars Weekend Update

Happy weekend my Star Wars friends!

So this week I’ve done my usual attempt to keep up at my reading, and not quite getting where I’d like to be, lol. I did finish the middle-grade book “A Test of Courage,” by Justina Ireland, and it was quite good and kept my interest despite being for kids. I just can’t seem to make any headway with The Rising Storm, for some reason. Well, I am about halfway done with it, but it feels like I haven’t gotten to the good parts yet. At this rate I don’t think I’ll be finished with it by the time the next High Republic YA novel comes out later this month (Out of the Shadows, by Justina Ireland).

But that’s okay. I’ve decided that for the rest of the summer, I’m going to dial it back on the blogging, and just read, watch Marvel movies, and spend time with my family. Soon enough, my daughter will be back in school, and we have a list of things we’d like to do this summer before that happens. Which includes going to the lake and sitting on the beach reading books!

And now that Loki is done (my brief thoughts on that below), I’ve decided I need to catch up on the rest of the Marvel movies if I’m going to watch going forward. Because it seems like what happened in this series will tie into the movies in the future, including Ant Man and Dr. Strange, and I haven’t watched those yet, just the ones with Loki in them. So last night I began with the first Iron Man movie, and will continue with ALL the Marvel movies (and Wandavision and the Falcon and the Winter Soldier) until I catch up. That’s a lot of hours, lol. And it seems like summer is a great time to do it, since there’s not a lot of Star Wars going on except the Bad Batch, and whatever books I’m reading.

So not too many posts from me for the next month or two, but I will probably do a weekend update sort of thing, just riffing on what I’ve been reading and watching. I haven’t been doing much with the podcast recently, either. I just feel uninspired there, and it bores even me, lol. I’m hoping by fall I’ll have a new plan, new ideas, new inspiration for the blogs. Once my daughter goes back to school, I’ll have more time.

So–Loki! OMFG, what an amazing series. Loki is, by far, the most interesting Marvel character to me, and I just love where he’s gone in this show. And that finale–so not what I expected, but I really had no idea what to expect anyway. It had way more talking and less action than I thought there would be, but it didn’t matter–I was glued to the screen. And my heart is utterly broken for Loki, who now finally understands what it means to be betrayed (tricked? I’m not sure which word to use here), how much it hurts. It’s a lesson he inevitably needed to learn, but my heart aches for him, anyway. And what a hot mess the universe is now (thanks a lot, Sylvie!). And now Mobius doesn’t even know him. He is, as always at the end, alone. But I think he’s ready to do what what’s right, what needs to be done to make it right. I think so, anyway, lol. Can’t wait for season two. What did you think of the series?

Loki' Season 1 Ending Explained - What Happened in 'Loki' Finale?
Loki’s always been a little broken, but not like this. Feels!

What have you been up to lately? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch–Devil’s Deal

I was a little surprised at the latest episode of The Bad Batch, but not in a strictly bad sense. The episode concerned mostly the political doings on Ryloth and what a young Hera Syndulla was up to, which was great, but I really did miss the Batch. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting this series to deviate from the main characters, like Clone Wars occasionally did. I don’t think Rebels strayed too far from the Ghost crew, from what I remember (I could be forgetting an episode or two, I don’t know). So I’m not sure how I feel about it, exactly, lol.

I suppose it was interesting to see Hera as a child, growing up in the aftermath of the Clone Wars, and seeing her relationship with her parents. We know that her mother is killed at some point early on, and this seems to drive a wedge between father and daughter, which isn’t resolved until well into Rebels. We know that her father, Cham Syndulla, was the leader of the Ryloth resistance against the Empire, so it was interesting to see him giving the Empire a chance here at first. He’s so tired of war, and wants what’s best for his young daughter, he’s willing to give peace a chance, so to speak. But clearly that will change, perhaps after his wife’s demise.

I’m just not sure we really needed to see all this. It really adds nothing to what we already know. Hera yearns to be a pilot, she gets involved in the Rebel movement early on, yadda yadda. Don’t get me wrong; I love Hera, and am a huge fan of Rebels. But this isn’t Rebels, this is The Bad Batch, lol, and I wanted more of them. And I’m sure they’ll come roaring back next week to help save Hera from the Imperials.

I do have to say I loved Captain Howzer, a Clone who is different from his comrades. He’s the only one who still wears colors, takes his helmet off, and clearly is fond of the Syndulla family after helping them during the Clone Wars. He’s hesitant to arrest Hera or her parents, and I’m thinking that he’s a Clone who didn’t follow Order 66, but somehow got away with it. I’m guessing he’ll help the Batch save Hera, and possibly find Rex to join the fledgling Rebellion. If he survives, that is.

I did like how Hera was speaking in the French-like accent she grew up with, and only occasionally slipped back into in Rebels (mostly when speaking with her father); and also seeing her mischievous droid “Choppair”, lol. I liked her meeting Omega and talking about being a pilot.

It was a good episode and I enjoyed it, I just don’t know how important it is in the scheme of things. I don’t usually complain about this kind of stuff, because I enjoy all Star Wars for what it is. Guess I’m just missing the boys and Omega, and have probably seen enough cameos for the moment.

What did you think of the latest episode? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

My Star Wars Weekend Update

Happy weekend my Star Wars friends!

This past week I’ve been mostly trying to keep up with my reading. I was so excited to get The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott but it’s been slow going, mostly because I’m (of course) reading other things at the same time. It’s also off to a slow start, though still quite good, and from what I understand it’s the second half of the book that really packs a punch. And I’ve finally gotten to a Loden Greatstorm chapter, so very happy about that, although things are looking quite grim for him just now 😦

On my Kindle I’ve been reading A Test of Courage, by Justina Ireland, the middle grade book that came out in the first wave of the High Republic books. I wasn’t planning on reading it, but I mentioned last week that I accidentally bought it on my Kindle, so figured I might as well read it. And it’s quite good, considering it’s for the 8-12 year old market. A fairly simple story of a group of kids, some Jedi, some not, stranded on a challenging planet with some Nihil. I’m glad to get to know Jedi whiz kid Vernestra Rwoh, the youngest person ever to make Jedi Knight at 15. She hasn’t been in the adult or young adult novels yet, although I think she’ll be in the next YA novel Out of the Shadows, again by Justina Ireland, coming out later this month (which I’ve pre-ordered, of course).

The third book I’ve been paging through is Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman, which I also mentioned last week. I’m about halfway done with it, and it’s quite entertaining to me considering my newfound obsession with the subject, which stems from my love of the new Disney+ series Loki. I have a bit of Swedish blood in me, so I feel that my interest in all things Norse is quite natural and right, lol. I had this crazy thought the other day that maybe I’ll study some kind of northern European language like Swedish, Danish or Finnish, but really my inspiration came from this scene in Loki (which is actually Norwegian):

Loki’s not drunk, he’s “full.” Very full.

Translated to English, the lyrics are:

In storm-blackened mountains I wander alone

Across glaciers I travel forth

In the apple orchard the fair maiden stands

And sings “When will you come home?”

It’s very haunting and beautiful, and I can’t stop thinking about it, lol. And I’ve wanted to do something different, something that’s fun and interesting and that will challenge my mind a little bit. Or a lot, lol. We’ll see.

Anyway, loving Loki and kind of sad that the last episode is coming up, but I’m dying to see what happens. I have this feeling that events will somehow segue into future films, but all I really want is for Loki and Sylvie to live happily ever after, and for Mobius to finally get his jet ski. Is that too much to ask? (Probably).

Hope you guys have a great weekend, and let me know in the comments what you’ve been up to!

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

Star Wars: Kylo Ren Fan Art

I know I just did a post on fan art, but I saw this Kylo image on Pinterest, and absolutely loved it and wanted to share it. I love how the artist filled his scar with gold the way the cracks in Kylo’s broken helmet are filled in with red. It’s inspired by the Japanese process of “Kintsugi” wherein the lacquer that fills the cracks in broken pottery is brushed with gold; the point being that the breakage is part of the piece’s history and should be celebrated, instead of something to hide. Beautiful.

I also love Kylo’s fabulous blue hair!

What do you think of this image? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

Star Wars Soundtrack: What’s your favorite?

If there’s one thing Star Wars fans can agree on, it’s that the music is spectacular.

When I was in the thick of my Star Wars obsession as a teenager, I had cassettes of the soundtracks of all three original films. I’d pop them into my walkman (a primitive ipod, for you kiddies, lol) and listen to them as I took walks, or even as I fell asleep at night. I could relive the movies this way, in a time when it was harder to come by the movies once they were out of the theater. I knew every note, every theme, every scene each piece represented, and they were burned into my brain. I haven’t listened to the soundtracks in this way for decades, and the only other movies I did this with was The Lord of the Rings movies much later, in my thirties.

But I’ve never forgotten the joy that those soundtracks brought me.

John Williams is, of course, a legend in the Star Wars universe (among many other fandoms and films), and is considered a genius when it comes to scoring iconic movies. I’ve never done a post on the music of Star Wars; I’m not sure why. So I figured it was time. It’s hard to choose among all that glorious music, but I made the agonizing choices below as my five favorite themes (these are arranged chronologically by film release):

It’s interesting that as much as I loved the original score and had memorized every note, I only have one song from the OT here. That’s because, I think, the most iconic themes–the main title theme, The Imperial March, The Force, Binary Sunset, etc–are contained in them, and are no brainers as favorites.

Honestly, I love all the music, and this list could be different tomorrow, and again the next day, depending on my mood, lol. But some very close Honorable Mentions would include:

  • Princess Leia Theme (ANH)
  • Han Solo and The Princess (ESB)
  • The Asteroid Field (ESB)
  • Battle of the Heroes (ROTS)
  • Kylo Ren’s Theme (TFA)

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

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

Star Wars Fan Art: Uzuri Art

I haven’t done a fan art post for awhile, and figured it was about time. I’m really digging Uzuri Art right now, what a fantastic artist! Check her out on uzuriart.com.

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka. Luminous.
Obi-Wan (in the red Mandalorian armor, no less) and Satine. I adore this one!
Kanan Jarrus. Fantastic.
Omega. She has portraits of all the members of the Batch, based on the actor Temuera Morrison, as well as Rex.
Image
Master Skywalker.
Image
And since I’m so in love the show Loki, I couldn’t resist this one, lol.

What do you think of this artist’s work? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch–Common Ground

Episode 10 of The Bad Batch, “Common Ground,” probably wasn’t as exciting as most fans would have liked, and didn’t have the same kind of stakes that the last couple of episodes had, but I still enjoyed it and thought it had some interesting themes going on.

The Bad Batch travel with a droid a droid in Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
The Batch with Senator Singh’s droid, GS-8.

The Batch are assigned a mission from Cid to save a former Separatist Senator from Raxus–the capital of the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars–and it doesn’t quite sit right with them. Especially Hunter and Echo, and particularly in the latter case, we can understand why. Echo suffered at the hands of the Separatists and isn’t willing to so easily overlook that. But let’s face it, if anyone is going to writhe under the yoke of the Empire, it’s former Separatist systems. If they didn’t like the policies of the Republic, then they’re certainly not going to accept the Empire. I think the Batch are going to find that their former enemies will likely become potential allies, as I believe they’ll eventually fight the Empire rather than continue with mercenary work.

In fact, they may not have to, since Omega paid off their debt to Cid. The other storyline of the episode was Hunter once again leaving Omega behind, his reason being that Raxus would be crawling with Imperials. True, but I believe his fears are more based on his ability to protect her rather than on Omega’s ability to handle herself. She certainly proved that she can take care of herself in former episodes, but it was Hunter who was with her when Cad Bane took her. He blames himself. So guilt goads him to insist she stay with Cid this time.

Cid speaks with Omega at a dejarik table in Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Omega’s got her game face on.

While there, Cid claims she’s useless, but during a holo chess match between Cid and a patron of the bar, Omega proves she has a talent for strategy. Cid uses it to her advantage, pitting Omega against a string of competitors, with Omega winning every time. When the Batch return, successful in their mission in extracting the Senator, Hunter is upset that Omega put herself in the limelight like that, and scolds her. Cid tells him to back off, since she just paid off their debt to her. Even Wrecker lets Hunter know he’s being unfair, with a deliberate shoulder bump. So Hunter tells Omega that if she wins a game against him, he’ll never leave her behind again.

We don’t see the end of the game, but we don’t have to. We know Omega will win, and thank goodness for it. I’ll always believe Omega will be better off with the Batch rather than left behind. And come on, the girl’s proven herself! But Hunter, as a new space dad, is just going through what every parent does: the instinctual need to protect. I don’t even like to let my 12 year old walk around the block by herself, so I get it, lol. But sometimes you just have to let go so they can grow.

And we learn more about Omega’s specialness: she’s a pure Jango Fett DNA carrier, yes, but she also has a talent for strategy. Kind of comes out of nowhere, but okay. And not much to do with the Force, really; I was hoping for a little Force sensitivity, but I can live without it, too.

Anyway, some may have thought this one was boring, but I thought it was a solid entry. Not great, but not terrible, either. Curious to see where the Batch will go from here!

What did you think of the episode? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

My Star Wars Weekend Update

Happy weekend fellow Star Wars fans!

So, I must apologize for not having a Bad Batch review for the last two episodes, “Reunion” and “The Lost Bounty.” Still watching, still loving it, but never got around to the reviews. I’ve been been posting less here (but posting on my other blog, The Star Wars Reader, which has been much neglected lately), mostly because I’m doing more reading right now. Not that there are riots in the streets or anything, but I’ll get back to reviews on Monday.

So what am I reading? Well, as you may know, I’m a huge fan of the High Republic, and the second adult novel, The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott, was just released, so I’ve gotten right into that. I’ve got that in hardcover, but I always have a book on my Kindle that I read at work on my breaks, and the one I just finished is called Loki: Where Mischief Lies, by Mackenzi Lee. You might also know that I’ve been in a Loki obsession lately, courtesy of the new Disney+ series, and just happened to come across this book on Kindle. I picked it up and just couldn’t put it down.

It’s a story that takes place before the events of the Marvel movies, and Loki and Thor are a bit younger (by, oh, I don’t know, a hundred years or so) and centers around Loki and a character named Amora. She’s the apprentice of a sorceress of Odin, and by a series of unfortunate events she gets banished to Midgard, or Earth. Loki finds himself there years later, on a mission from Odin and encounters her there. It’s the late 19th, early 20th century, and she poses as a spiritualist. She calls herself the Enchantress, and later, uses the pseudonym of Sylvie (hmmm….). He also meets a group of people who call themselves the SHARP Society, who know about Asgard and work for Odin to help with otherworldly visitors to Earth. Loki suggests they change their name to SHIELD (hmmm…..). Anyway, it’s a very entertaining book, and I loved it.

Also, because of said obsession, I bought the book Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman. Besides Loki’s charming personality, I think I’m interested in the character because he comes from actual mythology. Loosely based, of course, but I find it interesting that the writers of the movies and shows throw in little tidbits that come from the myths. For instance, one story from the book is about Loki cutting off Sif’s hair (in the myth, she is golden-haired, and the wife of Thor); in the latest episode of Loki, Mobius puts him in a sort of punishment time-loop, and Sif (from the Thor movies) comes to him furious for cutting off some of her hair, slapping him and kicking him in the groin. Over and over and over, lol. It’s fun to pick out little things like that.

This is a gorgeous cover.

My blogging friend, Julie G, and I may take turns doing some mini-reviews of the chapters in this book, so stay tuned for that if you’re interested.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing this past week. What have you been up to lately? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!

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Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.