I was casting around for an idea for my next post, and decided to slack off and go to Facebook instead. The first thing I saw was a post on one of my favorite Star Wars Facebook groups (Star Wars Fans Who Actually Like Star Wars). The poster posited this question: who is your favorite character from each Star Wars project? Ah, perfect!
So without further ado, here’s my list:
Prequel trilogy – Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Clone wars – Ashoka Tano.
Tales of the Jedi – Yaddle.
TheBad Batch – Tech.
Jedi Fallen Order – N/A, although I’m reading Battle Scars and so far I have to say Merrin.
Rebels – Kanan Jarrus.
Solo – Young Han.
Obi-Wan Kenobi – Young Leia.
Andor – Mon Mothma.
Rogue One – Cassian Andor.
Original trilogy – Han Solo.
Battlefront 2 – N/A
The Mandolorian – Grogu.
The Book of Boba Fett – Fennic Shand.
Resistance – Neeku.
Star Wars Squadrons -N/A
Sequel trilogy – Kylo Ren/Ben Solo.
Star Wars Visions – Master Tajin from The Elder.
The High Republic-Elzar Mann.
The categories are from the original poster, but I added The High Republic on at the end since it’s such a big project and I love it.
There are so many wonderful characters from Star Wars and it’s so hard to choose! There are other characters I love that didn’t make it onto the list, like Luke Skywalker, Poe Dameron, Rey, Chewie, and a slew of awesome droids. But breaking it into categories helps narrow it down.
So who are your favorite characters from these projects? List them all, or just pick a few of your favorite projects, and we’ll talk about it!
In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I’d get all romantic and revisit the best Star Wars kisses from the films and rank them. Why not? From least favorite to favorite, here we go! (I’m not including cheek, forehead, or hand kisses, just full on lip-locks, lol):
Lesbian kiss at the end of TROS. I don’t have a problem with two women kissing, in Star Wars or anywhere else, but this split second scene seemed weird and arbitrary. These two are secondary characters, which is fine, but at least give us a bit of history for them. One or two quick scenes establishing their relationship, so by the end of the movie their reunion is more satisfying. But I’m glad Star Wars is at least trying to get a bit more representative, especially in live action.
Rose and Finn in TLJ. This kiss wasn’t particularly surprising, considering all the time these two spent together on their mission. But then, boom, next movie, nah, they’re just friends. I kind of liked the idea of these two together, but Rose’s character (and Finn’s, as well) was brushed aside in TROS.
Anakin and Padme on Naboo in AOTC. “I don’t like sand.” Awkward first kiss, lol. Kind of sweet, though.
Padme and Anakin at their wedding on Naboo in AOTC. Okay, it’s official. Nothing will stop our love!
Leia and Luke on Hoth in front of Han in ESB. Most cringe kiss, at least after learning they’re siblings. But she was making a point, dammit! And the faces of both the men afterward are priceless.
Padme and Anakin on Geonosis in AOTC. Truly, deeply. Their first admission of love–before being brought out to slaughter, lol. A bit over the top, but if you think you’re going to die, why not?
Leia and Han in the Ewok Village in ROTJ. A brief embrace and smooch after Luke and Han escape being dinner for the Ewoks. First time seeing Leia with her long hair down, so who can blame him?
Han and Q’ira in Solo. Admit, these two are adorable. Not meant to be, but I like his taste in strong women.
Padme and Anakin on Coruscant in ROTS. These two haven’t seen each other in months, and their reunion is truly touching. And when she tells him she’s pregnant, after a moment of worried surprise, Anakin seems genuinely happy. You really want them to hold on to this forever. 😦
Rey and Ben at end of TROS. So this kiss was kind of weird, but I did like it. The Reylos went nuts, and though I could go either way with Reylo, I thought this was sweet. I was just really happy to see Ben Solo genuinely smile for the first time in probably years. Rey gave him that gift, and I won’t begrudge him that.
Leia and Han in Jabba’s Palace in ROTJ. “Someone who loves you.” After years of waiting for this reunion when I was a kid, this was so satisfying.
Leia and Han on Endor in ROTS. Han’s face when Leia tells him Luke is her brother is priceless, and now he’s free to get the girl. I love happy endings.
Leia and Han on the Falcon in ESB. “You need more scoundrels in your life.” This one’s a contender for #1, because it’s their first kiss, and is the culmination of all their sexual tension bickering. The top spot has more emotional weight, but this one is an iconic Star Wars kiss.
Leia and Han on Cloud City in ESB. “I love you.” “I know.” Their admission of love, and who knows if they’ll ever see each other again???? Best kiss in Star Wars, hands down.
Deleted scene of Han and Leia on Cloud City. When I was a kid, I read a picture book of The Empire Strikes Back, and this scene was in it. I could have sworn it was in the original theatrical release as well when I saw it in the theater in 1980, but on subsequent viewings, it wasn’t there. As an adult, I thought maybe I’d imagined it. But here it is, and it never should have been dropped. You can’t have too many scenes of Han and Leia kissing, lol.
Most of them are Leia and Han or Padme and Anakin, the two power couples, and clearly I’m more a fan of the former. Did I miss any? What’s your favorite Star Wars kiss scene? Let me know in the comments and we’ll gossip about it!
For more galactic romance, check out my post on the best Star Wars love storieshere.
I don’t normally do this sort of thing. I’ll rank various scenes, moments, characters, etc, in all of Star Wars, but not individual productions. I haven’t done a personal ranking of the films, for instance. I love them all for different reasons, and so I pick things out of all of them. I haven’t ruled it out yet, though, lol.
I thought I’d rank the Disney+ live action shows, since they’re all so different. There’s only four so far, so it shouldn’t be hard, right? (I’ll do an animated show ranking at some point, too. Apples with apples, and oranges with oranges). Once Ahsoka, Skeleton Crew, and The Acolyte come out, it will obviously change. But so far, here’s what I’ve got, from least favorite to most favorite:
Book of Boba Fett. This show had some definite strengths, such as the expansion of the Tusken Raider culture, and Boba’s journey from almost-dead bounty hunter to respected member of that tribe. But it has many, many weaknesses: no clear reason why Boba wants to become a “respectable” Daimyo of Mos Espa (but still an overlord, when you get right down to it), and when he does achieve this, he almost immediately decides, well, maybe he doesn’t want it. Fennec Shand is a cool character, but she has almost no characterization in the show. The Vespas (or Mods, or whatever you want to call them) are kind of cool, but are so jarring to the tone of the show it seems they just don’t belong there. There are so many potentially interesting characters introduced–Garsa Fwipp, Krrsantan, the Mayor, the Pykes, even Cad Bane–but they get so little characterization they fall flat. The whole show just seems like a random jumble of characters and ideas with no real cohesion. Oh, and putting Mando in there for a few episodes was a mistake. While I loved seeing them on the one hand, he and Grogu stole the show on the other, weakening this show that’s supposed to be about Boba Fett. The rancor was a great metaphor for Boba, though.
Andor. I’m going to start by saying that Andor is a fantastic show. It’s well-written, well-acted, brilliant in so many ways. I love the very different tone and feel to it, a “serious,” more grown-up Star Wars. I loved seeing Mon Mothma explored (and wish we’d had more of her), and Luthen Rael is a wonderfully complex character who demonstrates the “darker” side of the Rebellion. I liked getting to know more about Cassian’s past and what motivates him. But it’s a definite slow burn, and I can see how it might put some viewers off. I think it’s worth the build up, but it’s only third on my list because it just didn’t have the same emotional impact as the top two. And that’s a must for me. I have to be moved in some way, my heart strings need to be pulled, it has to “get me in the feels,” as they say, to propel it to the top of my list (this is true for all shows I watch, but especially in Star Wars). It’s a brilliant exercise, and a great addition to the lore, and I’m looking forward to Season Two. But not my favorite.
Obi-Wan Kenobi. So I had to seriously think about which of the two remaining shows would come out on top, and it was so close. And it was the Kenobi show out of all of them that produced the most emotional impact, to be honest. Seeing Ewan McGregor play Obi-Wan again, and Hayden coming back as Darth Vader, and exploring the baggage between those two, just zooms me to the moon. Little Leia is delightful, and I’m so glad she got to know Obi-Wan on this adventure. Learning about The Path was great, and I hope maybe the creators will do more with that in the future. The Inquisitors were so cool to see in live-action, even if the execution was a bit clumsy. And that’s why this show is number two instead of one for me–the execution wasn’t always perfect. Just thinking about the scene where Obi-Wan is hiding Leia under his coat on the Fortress Inquisitorious is painful to me in its incredible dumbness, lol. But for the most part, it hit all the beats: Obi-Wan on his character arc, going from despair to hope; seeing Owen and Beru’s characters expanded; Vader is absolutely incredible here, hot with hate, impatient, vicious, far from the Dark Side Zen we see in the films, and so had his own character arc to go through (they each had to let the other one go); Obi-Wan finally seeing Qui Gon’s Force ghost. And the duel between Obi-Wan and Vader is without doubt the best part of the whole series, and for me, probably the best scene in ALL of Star Wars (and there are some great ones, as we know). Just *chef’s kiss*.
The Mandalorian. Of course it’s The Mandalorian at the top spot. Everything about it is almost perfect. There are some weaker episodes than others, but all in all, it’s probably the best Star Wars show produced. The Volume is ground-breaking and used to great effect here, while it was kind of a liability in the Kenobi show. It feels like Star Wars while telling a story we’ve never seen before, in a time period that we’ve all been curious about. And Din and Grogu’s story, their relationship, their journey, is so appealing. The thing I love about this show is that it’s so accessible: you don’t necessarily have to be a Star Wars fan to love it. All the trimmings are there, the things a fan would appreciate, but you don’t have to be familiar with them to understand the story. It’s the only Star Wars show my husband, a very casual Star Wars fan, will watch with me. He loves it. He doesn’t always understand the little details, and certainly doesn’t recognize any “easter eggs,” but it doesn’t matter. He gets it. This may change as the show goes on, but for now, anyone can love this Star Wars western. And I mean, Grogu, hello??? Plenty of feels, culminating when Din says goodbye to Grogu in the S2 finale. Oh, and some guy named Skywalker shows up. Woo-hoo! And the music. It’s so different from John Williams, which defines Star Wars, but Ludwig Goransson’s score measures up to the spirit of the show. Fabulous. I can’t wait for Season 3!
How would you rank the shows? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
Hello friends, and happy weekend! Happy holidays as well. 🙂
Not much to report this week, as I’ve been busy getting ready for the holiday and haven’t gotten as much reading in as I would have liked. I’m continuing on with Stephen King’s Fairy Tale, as well as The Guardians of the Whills, by Greg Rucka. I thought I’d have the latter done by now, since it’s a small book, but not quite yet. Next week for sure!
This past week marked the fifth anniversary of the release of The Last Jedi, and so I naturally indulged in a rewatch. Yup, I still love it. It still divides the fandom, of course, and maybe always will, along with the entire sequel trilogy. But this one in particular draws very strong reactions on both sides. It’s either absolutely brilliant or it ruined their childhood. I believe the truth is somewhere in between those extremes (although maybe it ruined your childhood, I don’t know, lol).
Anyway, I follow a Youtuber called The Goldman, and he discusses mostly Star Wars, as well as some other fandoms, and despite being only 23 years old, he’s smart, insightful, and knows the elements of a great story. He recently posted a video on TLJ five years later, and I thought he really nailed it. He’s a sequel trilogy fan, so he’s making an argument for the movie, but he doesn’t shy away from what doesn’t work, either. It’s an hour long, but well worth the watch if you’ve got time for it:
Obviously I don’t think it’s going to change the haters’ minds, but I like how he pokes holes in some of the naysayers’ criticisms.
I saw that there’s a new book coming out soon on the characters of the High Republic:
I’ve noticed some people complain that there are so many characters in the High Republic and it’s hard to keep track of who’s who. Well, there are quite a few characters if you count all the books and comics (which is a lot), so here’s a book for you to keep track of them all. I wouldn’t mind adding it to my collection myself.
That’s it this week. I hope everyone has a great holiday!
What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
I finished The High Republic novel Convergence, by Zoraida Cordova. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to its counterpart and sequel, Cataclysm, coming out in April of next year. It concerns the two planets Eiram and E’ronoh, which have been at war with each other for years. Jedi Knight Gella Natai is part of a Jedi delegation to help broker a peace treaty between the two worlds. She is helped in this mission by the two heirs, Xiri A’lbaran of E’ronoh and Phantu-Zenn of Eiram. Added to the mix is Axel Greylark, son of one of the Chancellors of the Republic, who has a troubled past and is sent there by his mother to report back to her. These four young people form a friendship as they embark on a mission to spread word of the treaty and the marriage that will take place between Xiri and Phantu-Zenn; they hope their union will bring peace to their war-weary worlds. However, not everyone wants peace and the mission is threatened from without as well as within.
Xiri and Phantu-Zenn are pretty straight-forward: they are both determined to forge peace between their worlds, and are willing to work together to do it. Gella, for her part, was assigned to this mission on the heels of a failed Pathfinder mission, where members of her team were killed or injured. She is unsure of her place in the Order, has doubts about herself as a team player, but is dedicated to the Force and the success of this mission.
Axel Greylark is the most interesting character in the book, and also the most inscrutable. He comes off as a scoundrel: an insouciant, selfish, jaded charmer, with gambling debts and a price on his head. But we also know there’s a wounded little boy inside, hiding his pain from his father’s death years ago, an accident which involved some Jedi. Ever since, he’s been hostile and mistrusting of Jedi. Of course, over the course of the book, he falls for Gella, but he’s far too complicated to change for the better because of this. He wants to; but feels it’s far too late for him, as he’s involved in some fairly murderous doings, among other things.
The saga of Eiram and E’ronoh continue in the audiobook releasing soon called The Battle of Jedha. I don’t care for audiobooks, but I have pre-ordered the print format of the book that will release in February, as I feel fairly invested in this story. And it’s Jedha, which, ever since Rogue One, has intrigued me immensely. I want to know more about it, and about the various Force religions. It’s why I’ve picked up Guardians of the Whills again, a short novel about Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus on Jedha. I’ll write more about that one next week.
Anyway, I also received and read the Obi-Wan Kenobi comic the other night. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m not much into comics, but every once in a while one comes out that I feel moved to read. This is one of them, as Obi-Wan is probably my favorite character in Star Wars right now. The comic concerns Obi-Wan in exile on Tatooine in his later years, probably quite close to the time of A New Hope. A sandstorm is coming, and he writes a few stories about his past in his journal to pass the time. The five stories span his lifetime, from a youngling, to Padawan to Qui-Gon Jinn, to Clone Wars General, to his mentoring of Anakin, and finally as Old Ben on Tatooine. The subtitle of the comic is “The Purpose of a Jedi”, and these stories examine that very question, as well as prepare him for his lonely exile on Tatooine. As a youngling, he must learn to rely on himself; as a Padawan, he learns to find the light in the darkness; in the Clone Wars, he truly ponders the purpose of a Jedi in war-time, which is always to help others and to choose life, even among death; in a mission with Anakin, he learns to hold on to that purpose even when it’s clear that constant war can consume others; and in the last story, he shows the incredible compassion he’s attained over the years, helping a Stormtrooper attacked by Tuskens.
The comic doesn’t add anything of great import to the canon; it’s more of a character-driven story, exploring Obi-Wan’s state of mind and what he’s learned over the years of being a Jedi. As an Obi-Wan fan, I found it very satisfying.
Also in books, I’ve been continuing my reading of Fairy Tale, by Stephen King. It’s a fun and entertaining book, about a teenage boy and his dog visiting a parallel world that is overcome by evil. I’ll probably finish it this week and write more about it next week.
Reading Stephen King got me in the mood to watch a King movie, and so I watched Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. I read The Shining years ago, and of course watched the Stanley Kubrick film with Jack Nicholson. This story concerns the adult Dan Torrance, and his life after the horrific events at the Overlook Hotel (and stars our very own Ewan McGregor as the adult Dan). So as a kid, little Danny swore he’d never touch alcohol, after seeing it destroy his father. Well, that didn’t go as planned, and he spends most of his young adult life as an alcoholic. He hits rock bottom, and ends up in a New Hampshire town where he finds help from a man named Billy, who leads him to Alcoholics Anonymous. He gets clean and spends eight years working as an orderly in a nursing home. Through his special abilities (the shining), he helps people pass on to the other side. Because of this, the residents call him “Doctor Sleep.” He turns his life around and has found a rewarding way to use his “shine.”
Of course, there’s trouble. A group called the True Knot is stalking people, children in particular, who have the shining, even if they don’t know it. They kidnap and slowly kill these people, in order to “eat” their “steam”–fear and pain causes them to emit a sort of mist that is a manifestation of their power, and when the group inhales it, it “feeds” them. It causes them to live long lives.
Dan comes to know a 12-year-old girl named Abra who is very powerful in the shining. The group finds out about her existence and wants her. Dan becomes involved in helping her, but in doing so, he needs to confront his past and the (literal) ghosts that haunt him.
I don’t think this movie did very well at the box office, but I was certainly entertained for 2+ hours. I may read the book, once I finish Fairy Tale.
Lastly, I came across a trailer for a movie coming out next March:
I never knew I needed an Adam Driver time-travel sci-fi Jurassic Park kind of movie, but here we are. I’ll definitely be watching that one!
That’s about it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
P.S.–I saw that the Phase One High Republic YA novels will be coming out in a boxed set soon with new covers:
If I had a bottomless budget, I’d get this, because I love the new covers. I’ll wishlist it, lol.
I’ve been continuing to read Convergence, by Zoraida Cordova, the adult novel in the first wave of Phase 2 High Republic books. I’m enjoying it, but as an adult novel, it doesn’t seem to have the same scope as other adult HR books. Instead of the usual galaxy-hopping, it takes place mostly on one, or at most, two planets. Add to this its focus on a group of young people, and it seems like another YA novel. That’s fine, it’s a good book, just not what I expected. I have a feeling this first wave of books is setting up the scene for the second wave, where things will possibly come to a head. I’ll write more about it when I finish it.
On Kindle, I downloaded Stephen King’s latest, Fairy Tale. I don’t read all of King’s books, but once in a while he comes out with one that particularly appeals to me. The last one was Sleeping Beauties, and before that, The Dark Tower series (and I heard a Dark Tower series may be in the works for Prime, for which I am very excited). Fairy Tale is about a teenager named Charlie Reade who gets involved in helping out an old man named Howard Bowditch and his faithful dog, Radar. Bowditch has been hiding a secret for many years on his property: a hole in the ground in his backyard with spiraling steps that lead to another world. King really takes his time setting this all up and I’m just getting to the other world, about 80 pages in. I have no idea what this might be leading to and I can’t wait to find out!
I haven’t gotten back to Poldark yet, but in the meantime I’m rewatching the Obi-Wan Kenobi series (for the fourth? fifth? time, lol). This came about because, during one of my husband’s scrolling sessions through Youtube on our TV, he came across the second lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Vader in that show. He hasn’t seen the show (he’s a very casual Star Wars fan, doesn’t know much about the prequels, and was unimpressed with the first episode that I made him watch). But he does enjoy battle/lightsaber duel scenes, so we watched. And this, of course, got me in the mood to watch the show again. Because I LOVE this show. While perhaps not as technically brilliant as Andor, it’s the one that gets me in the feels the most. And since I’ll be getting the Obi-Wan comic next week, it seems fitting.
There are a couple of Star Wars trailers that came out this past week that I’d like to note. I’m very excited about The BadBatch Season Two trailer, the second one we’ve gotten, and it gives us more to chew on and anticipate. In particular, I love that Cody will be in the show. Fans have long wondered what happened to him after Order 66, and now we get to find out. He’s shown talking to Crosshair, and mentioning that a lot of clone troopers are questioning their orders. I’m hoping this means that Cody is, too, and will eventually join with Rex in fighting the Empire. We see Gungi, the Wookiee Jedi Padawan from Clone Wars, and it’s exciting to see a surviving Jedi in the show (and maybe more?). Rex, and Bail Organa, and some new characters. Maybe Ahsoka? Ahsoka doesn’t need to be in everything, mind you, but it wouldn’t bother me, lol. I’m excited to see Echo exhorting Hunter for them to do more, to help fight the Empire. I’m hoping Echo has a bit more to do this season. It all looks fantastic, and I can’t wait until January 4th, when we get the first two episodes.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a gamer at all, but I did watch the Jedi: Survivor trailer, the Star Wars game that is a sequel to Jedi: Fallen Order. I’ve always been very interested in Cal Kestis’ story, and while I read a version of his story somewhere, and maybe even watched a Youtube version, I still felt like I was missing out. I’m glad gamers are getting more gaming fun from Cal and his crew, but it’s the book that drops the same week called Jedi: Battle Scars that I’m most looking forward to. I’m hoping you don’t need to know a lot about the game to enjoy the book, but just in case, I’ll watch some more Youtube summaries to get reacquainted with the characters. Both the game and the book drop in March of next year.
That’s it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
So, no Andor episodes to comment on anymore. 😦 But, now that the series is over, I decided to revisit Rogue One again, and yeah, it’s just as good as I remember. And perhaps, if possible, a bit sadder, since I know so much more about Cassian now. And I think it’s official: the Battle of Scarif is my favorite Star Wars battle, hands down. I enjoy the battles in Star Wars for the most part, but almost always my eyes start to glaze over after awhile. Not this one. The battle on the beach, as well as the battle above the planetary shield, is tense and exhilarating. Hmm, maybe I’ll do a list post with favorite Star Wars battles.
I finished Season Three of Poldark a few days ago, and decided to take a break from it for a week or so and watch other things. I love it, but I need a break from the constant drama, lol. There’s a few things on my Amazon Prime watchlist, but I’m not sure what I’ll watch yet. I’ll report back next week.
In books, I got my copy of Convergence and have been reading it. I’m about halfway done and I’m really enjoying it. It mostly concerns the “Forever War” between the two planets Eiram and E’ronoh, and a Jedi delagation trying to help with the peace process. Jedi Knight Gella Nattai is trying to find her place in the Order; Axel Greylark, the troubled son of one of the Chancellors, has been sent there by his mother to watch and report back to her. Both Gella and Axel must protect the princess of E’ronoh and the prince of Eiram, who have vowed to end their planets destructive war through a marriage between them. But there are those who don’t want peace, on both sides, and it doesn’t help that the Path of the Hand has gotten involved as well. I’m eager to see how it turns out, since there’s still trouble between these two planets a hundred years later as evidences in one of the Phase One books, which I believe was Into the Dark.
I’m not much of a comic book reader, but when I saw an omnibus edition of the recent Obi-Wan Kenobi comic, I had to pre-order it. It comes out on December 13th. I don’t think the comic brought anything super important or earth-shattering to the canon, but look, it’s Obi-Wan. So it will be read and take its place on my shelf.
We got a cover reveal for the Cal Kestis novel coming out next March:
I’m eager to get to know these characters, as I’m not a gamer, either. But I’ve always been intrigued by Cal’s story, and had always hoped for a book. Wishes sometimes do come true!
In Marvel, I watched the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 trailer that just dropped, and I’m ready for this. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here:
By the way, I haven’t seen Wakanda Forever yet, but I will watch it when it inevitably drops on Disney Plus soon.
That’s it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
Well, the Andor finale aired this past week, and I enjoyed it for the most part. All the principals were gathering on Farrix, all of them to find Cassian and either kill or capture him. No one did. In fact, none of them even saw him, and while I expected at least one of them to have a confrontation with him, that didn’t happen, either. Cassian ended up working behind the scenes to free Bix from the Imperials.
Otherwise, it was all about Maarva’s funeral and its aftermath. I appreciated the denizens of Farrix defying the Empire’s restrictions on the event, showing up in numbers and at the time they wanted. This is an appropriate defiance; but I hesitate to champion Maarva’s hologram speech during it. The speech itself was fantastic. But I feel like Maarva didn’t think this through. Surely she must have known that the funeral would be supervised by the Imperials. To instigate an uprising from the people of Farrix right then and there seems a bit…irresponsible? She must have known people would be killed. And yes, of course, sacrifices must be made for the Rebellion, etc etc, but these things need to be thought out and planned. I don’t know, I just thought her speech could have been better timed.
Anyway, Luthen shows up to…I’m not sure, check up on Vel and Cinta? Help with Cassian’s murder? At any rate, once chaos breaks out in the town square, he distances himself and heads back to his ship. True to form, he sees such uprisings and outrage necessary for the Rebellion, but doesn’t want to risk his own life. As he’s said, he’s a coward. In the meantime, Cinta kills the ISB guy that has been watching her for days, Syril saves Dedra’s life (the shippers will be going nuts, lol) and Cassian gets Bix out of the hotel. He gets her to a ship along with B2, Brasso, and Pak’s son, who brought a homemade bomb to the funeral. But Cassian doesn’t go with them.
He waits for Luthen in his ship and tells him to either kill him or bring him in (into his inner circle of Rebels). Because Cassian, over the course of the show, has gone from someone who doesn’t care and just tries to survive, to a true believer who wants to fight back. Many of the people he’s met during the show has influenced Cassian’s transformation: Nemik (whose manifesto Cassian has read and is voiced over during the episode), Kino, and Maarva (who sends a message to him through Brasso); and all the inequities and punishments he’s suffered under the Empire, including his father’s unjust execution, bring Cassian around to the man we meet in Rogue One.
We don’t see much of Mon Mothma in this episode, except to see her cleverly trying to throw off the Empire from the missing money in her accounts by blaming Perrin for gambling, knowing her driver is listening in on the conversation. Also, her daughter meets the the thug’s son, and perhaps a marriage will occur. Or not. We’ll have to wait until Season Two to find out.
I thought the episode was fine, but something made it a bit anti-climactic for me. I’m not sure what it was; maybe it was Cassian lurking around and not confronting any of these people who were out to get him. I expected some kind of confrontation. Oh well. I did enjoy the entirety of Season One and am looking forward to Season Two.
I haven’t been watching much Marvel lately (I chose to pass on both Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk), but I did watch the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. When I saw the teaser trailer for it some time ago, I thought, oh yeah, I’m SO there for that! Lol. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of my favorite aspects of the Marvel Universe, besides Loki and Dr. Strange, and I knew that I’d enjoy it immensely. It was only about 45 minutes, which was plenty, but it was so fun and amusing and makes me excited for the next Guardians movie (2023?)
The premise of the special is that Mantis and Drax want to do something nice for Peter for Christmas, believing Yondu spoiled it for him some years ago. Since Peter has talked quite a bit about Kevin Bacon to them over the years (mostly about his character from the movie Footloose, which was a favorite of his when he was a kid), they decide to….give Peter Kevin Bacon for Christmas!
Goofy fun ensues as they head to Hollywood in search of Kevin Bacon. If you don’t expect too much from it, it’s really fun. And it’s rather heartwarming in the end, which is what all Christmas specials should be.
Anyway, other than that, I’ve been continuing my fevered watching of Poldark. I’m about halfway through Season Three (out of five seasons) and the drama only gets more complicated and juicy. It’s like Jane Austen’s naughty sister, lol. I’m nervous at the start of every episode, wondering what could go wrong next, who will get hurt, what evil George Warleggon will conjure up next. The setting of the show, by the way, is spectacular, with the dramatic cliffs of Cornwall and the boiling ocean waves of the sea a reflection of the character’s churning emotions. I love it!
In books, I’ve finally finished The Obelisk Gate, by N.K. Jemisin, the second book in a trilogy called The Broken Earth series. I’ll probably do a post on all three books when I’m done.
And I finally received Convergence, by Zoraida Cordova, just today, the latest High Republic book in Phase 2. I would have gotten it sooner but I failed to update my payment method when my bank changed some time ago. Oops! Looking forward to starting that one.
That’s about it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
This week saw the eleventh and penultimate episode of Andor, “Daughter of Farrix.” The title presumably refers to Maarva, Cassian’s adoptive mother, who has died offscreen. I was a bit surprised by that; I thought she would die during the episode, maybe even when Cassian was there. But no, he finds out by space telephone when he calls home. This is after his escape from Narkina 5, along with Melshi. They have to climb some cliffs barefoot, avoid the Imperials looking for escapees, and then they come across some natives. They capture the two fugitives in some kind of goopy net, and at first it seems they will turn them in for a reward. But then they decide to let them go and help them get off planet, as the Empire has ruined their water, and by extension, their fishing livelihood. Cassian returns to Niamos to retrieve his money from the Aldani heist, and that’s where he makes his call home. He and Melshi decide to split up, and Melshi tells Cassian that he will spread the word about the Empire and what’s happening on Narkina 5.
Meanwhile, Luthen visits Saw and has a cool battle with an Imperial ship, Mon Mothma worries about her daughter, and Syril finds out that Cassian may be going back to Farrix. Basically, this episode is setting everyone up to go to Farrix for a climactic finale, and I can’t wait.
In other viewing news, I’ve become totally obsessed with a show on Prime called Poldark. It’s a period piece from Masterpiece Theater, starring Aiden Turner (who happened to be a dwarf called Fili in The Hobbit movies–you know, one of the “hot” dwarves, lol). It takes place in 1780’s Cornwall. Ross Poldark has just returned from serving as a soldier for the Crown in the American War for Independence. The British having been defeated, he returns home to his estate at Nampara and finds that his father has died and left the estate in near-ruin, and that Elizabeth, the young woman he loved before leaving for the war, is engaged to be married to his cousin Francis, as everyone thought him dead.
This is how the show of five seasons kicks off, and although I’m only halfway through the second season, so much has happened that my head is spinning, lol. Basically it’s a costume drama soap opera, and I’m loving every minute of it. Oh, and guess who else is in the show? Our very own Syril Karn from Andor! Kyle Soller plays Francis, Ross’s cousin. He’s got blonde curls in this one.
I’d write more about it, but I gotta go and watch the next episode…
What’s been entertaining you lately? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
Andor’s tenth episode, “One Way Out” was probably the best of the series so far. This, of course, was the prison escape episode, and it delivered in so many ways. Now that Kino Loy (played by Andy Serkis) is done with the Empire’s games and is on board, they make a plan. Now that the old man Ulaf died, a new prisoner will be coming in to fill his spot. And that’s when the Imperials will be at their most vulnerable. Cassian finishes sabotaging the water pipe from the refresher, and that leaking water will help disable the electrified floor. Once the new guy is brought in, they attack (poor new guy, he has no idea what’s going on…and ends up dying from a blaster bolt). Once they’re all out and kill the guards, they make their way to the command center and take over. They cut off the power to all the floors, and then Kino makes his speech over the intercom, telling the prisoners they had taken control and were escaping. But more than that, his speech is inspiring to the prisoners, as he tells them to help one another. It’s not “every man for himself”, it’s “if we work together we can get out of here.” So it was heartbreaking when they finally get out and have to jump into the ocean to get away and Kino says he can’t swim. He helped everyone else get out while likely knowing he wouldn’t make it out himself, as it’s obvious he knew they were surrounded by water. I really liked Kino’s story arc, going from a man counting down his days until he gets out and everyone better not ruin that for him, to a man leading everyone out while he himself can’t get out. I hope we find out what happens to him–sent to another prison? Killed? Suicide? Maybe I don’t want to know.
Anyway, there was another big speech in the episode, given by Luthen Rael. He meets with one of the ISB agents, Jung, who is actually a mole and working for the Rebellion. He’s meeting with Luthen to warn him about the ISB laying a trap for Kreeger’s rebel cell, but really he wants to tell Luthen he’s done with this double agent thing. He’s got a baby coming and wants a different life. But Luthen won’t let him, telling him that they have to make sacrifices. Jung asks what Luthen’s sacrificed, and what we get is some sorely-needed insight into this man. Basically, he tells Jung that he’s sacrificed his soul. He’s not a kind man, and he uses the Empire’s own tactics against them. In other words, he’s become what he’s sworn to destroy, all for a victory he suspects he’ll never see.
Someone who’s not ready to sacrifice her soul is Mon Mothma. She meets with this Davos, a “thug” in her estimation, only because she’s desperate for money to cover up what her “charity” is actually doing. She’s willing to pay the man off, but he’s already rich and doesn’t want money. He wants his son to meet her daughter–probably in the hopes of a traditional Chandrilan arranged marriage, likely so he can get closer to the influential and more respectable Coruscant society. Mon balks and is curt at dismissing him. But as he points out her, she’s thinking about it. What is she willing to sacrifice? I’m curious to see how this plays out. Only two more episodes of this season!
Now that The Rings of Power is done, I need to make that Amazon Prime subscription worth paying, so I’ve added a few things to my watchlist. One of those things is Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to 1984’s Blade Runner that came out a few years ago. I saw it in the theater at the time, and absolutely adored it. I’m a big fan of the original, and wasn’t sure about a sequel. But my doubts were immediately dispelled as I heard that otherworldly music and watched Ryan Gosling totally nail it as a replicant Blade Runner called “K” whose job it is to “retire” older, less compliant Replicants from the past.
During one of his cases, he comes upon a mystery and a miracle: a Replicant woman who gave birth 30 years ago. Sensing the enormity of the event and what such a child represents, K’s boss, Madame, played wonderfully by Robin Wright, orders him to find and kill the (30 year-old) child. But during his investigation, he comes to believe that he, himself, is the child of that long ago miracle.
In the meantime, the creepy corporate billionaire Wallace (played by Jared Leto), who had taken up the reins left by Tyrell Corporation and created new models of Replicants like K who obeyed, also wants to find the child in order to figure out how to make his Replicants with the power to give birth. So he can have more slaves, you see, to dominate the stars. He sends his pet Replicant, the ironically named Love, to follow K during his investigation, a woman who certainly doesn’t know anything about love.
Director Denis Villeneuve’s Los Angeles of 2049 is a bleak and wondrous place, where illusion is the order of the day. Replicants are implanted with false memories, to make them emotionally stable. They know that they’re implanted, they know exactly what they are (and aren’t), but the memories make them feel more human. K has a relationship with a beautiful hologram named Joi, and though her programming is meant to fill every one of K’s desires (except, of course, physical contact, which is solved in a clever way), it certainly seems like Joi is a real person who loves him. And he does love her. Or maybe he’s in love the idea of her. Can you be in love with someone who’s not “real”? She’s an illusion, but K’s feelings about her are not. Does that make her real?
Are Replicants “real”? They’re alive–they breath and bleed and can die–and they’re sentient beings. They have emotions. They’re supposed to obey and not be able to lie, but K breaks both of those rules. It seems moot to me that if one is “born” instead of “made” they’re more real and therefore have more rights. But apparently this child represents something dangerous–the fact that Replicants can reproduce give them more “self-agency.” To Madame, this would be disastrous, leading to a Replicant rebellion; to Wallace, it is the holy grail that would serve his purpose to simply enslave more Replicants.
Some people thought this movie was too long and convoluted, but not me. I loved every single minute of its almost 3 hour runtime. It’s mesmerizing to behold, and offers a lot to chew on. The performances were amazing, especially Ryan Gosling, who was a revelation to me at the time. I wasn’t really familiar with him except for “The Notebook,” lol. But he perfectly captures the nuances of a person who initially accepts the status quo, and then gradually learns who he is (or could be), and what it means to be “human.” Bravo.
In books, this week I started and finished a rereading of Mission to Disaster, a middle-grade book by Justina Ireland. It’s a Phase 1 High Republic book, and I wanted to revisit it because most of it takes place on Dalna, a planet we see 150 years earlier in Path of Deceit. Basically the Nihil has taken some children prisoner to “recruit’ them, and young Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwho and her Padawan Imri Cantos are on it. Their friend, Avon Starros, a technological genius, has been taken and made to help the Nihil with a weapon that can destroy the planet.
I wanted to see if I could get any insight into Dalna considering the events of Path of Deceit, which also took place on Dalna. What we learn is that something happened on on that planet involving the Jedi, something that went very bad and the Jedi are blamed. Ever since, the Jedi are not trusted, although by the time of Vernestra’s time, there is a Jedi Outpost there. There seems to be some evidence that the Jedi covered up the incident. We don’t get anything like that in Path of Deceit, but I think we will see it later in Phase 2.
That’s about it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!