My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

What’s been on my mind mostly this past week is the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale, but I think I have a to say about that, so I’m going to do a separate post for that. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading Black Spire by Delilah Dawson, and it’s enjoyable. It takes place after the Battle of Crait, but before The Rise of Skywalker. I like this time period because it shows how the Resistance slowly regained allies after their devastating defeat during The Last Jedi. The story takes its time with the world-building of Batuu, which is understandable since it showcases the main venue of Galaxy’s Edge theme park. It’s fun, though.

A live action Vi Moradi from Black Spire, presumably at Galaxy’s Edge.

I also finished Stories of Jedi and Sith, the middle-grade book of short stories that came out a couple of weeks ago. These were some great stories that starred a multitude of familiar characters, including Qui Gon Jinn, Asajj Ventress, Maul, Luke Skywalker and several others. The one I want to talk about is the Luke one, called Luke On the Brightside, by Sam Maggs.

This story takes place on Hoth, when the Rebels are just beginning to set up their base. Luke and another male character, Sergeant Reye Hollis, are about to work on digging some tunnels, when a cave in nearly buries them. Hollis barely tolerates the sunny Skywalker, but now they have to work together to get out of their mess. The interesting part is that the author implies the two, while bickering, are secretly attracted to each other.

The two are always noticing each other’s bright smiles and nice eyes, and the smell of their hair. Not normally something two men would bother to notice about each other unless they’re attracted to each other. It’s subtle but it’s there.

And let me be clear, I have no problem with this at all. I’m just surprised no one else in a particular part of the fan base has noticed and freaked out about it. Or really anyone in the fandom at least raising their eyebrows. Because this is canon, and let’s be honest, this isn’t some new or minor character. This is Luke freaking Skywalker, lol. To suggest that he’s gay or bisexual is a BIG DEAL. It’s huge. I’m waiting for the outrage, but I haven’t seen it. Maybe because it’s a middle grade book and not many “older” fans–the ones who might take offense–have seen it. Maybe it’s going to take a bit of time, but I have no doubt it will make its way into the land of Star Wars controversy. Me? I kind of like the idea. Bravo for the LF Storygroup going there.

Anyway, if you’re a Legends fan, their are some more new editions to some classics:

I actually have an older cover edition of Revan because I thought I might like to read some Old Republic stuff (I couldn’t get into it), and also an older copy of The Bacta War I found in a used bookstore (haven’t read it yet). These covers are beautiful, though. Yes, it’s a new way to get our money, but I don’t think many serious SW book collectors will complain too much.

That’s it, besides the Obi-Wan finale. I did see that Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is already on Disney+. It just came out a month or so ago, so I’m wondering why I bothered to go to the movie theater, lol. I can’t believe the turnaround time. I may not even bother going to the theater for the next Thor movie. But maybe I will, lol, we’ll see.

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

Inner Jedi Notebook: Week 12

Week 12 of my Inner Jedi Notebook journey.

The prompt:

Rey learns much from the sacred Jedi texts that were once housed on Ach-To. What are some books that are important to you, and why?

My answer:

  1. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre is the first “classic” book that I fell in love with. I first read it in the ninth grade and loved it. I learned that not all the classics are boring; my love of gothic literature began here, and my interest in women’s writers; I loved Jane, the poor, plain orphan girl who nevertheless charts her own course, stays true to herself, and finds love. (Mr. Rochester is another matter, lol).
  2. The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. This book, read when I was in my 20s (geez, 30 years ago now), introduced me to not only Arthurian fantasy (an obsession of mine for awhile) but women’s fiction, specifically stories that were traditionally told through male eyes but were now told by the women in the story. Also, the Goddess (another brief obsession, but necessary for my young womanhood).
  3. The Fionovar Tapestry, by Guy Gavriel Kay. Okay, these are three books, but tell one long story in a trilogy. It’s my favorite fantasy series, ever. I love all of Kay’s books (especially Tigana and A Song for Arbonne), but this trilogy, his first, remains close to my heart. It showed me what fantasy could be, and the characters live forever in my heart. The trilogy consists of The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, and The Darkest Road.
  4. Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg. This is the book that set me upon my writing journey all those years ago. I loved her method, I loved her and her personal stories, and it got me to fill countless notebooks with words. She was my writing guru and still is, even though I haven’t done much writing lately.
  5. You Are A Badass, by Jen Sincero. This book kind of changed my life, in that I learned to perceive myself, the world–the Universe–in a different way. Basically, the mind is a very powerful thing and you can use it to manifest whatever you want. Kind of like Jedi powers and the Force! Unfortunately, I haven’t quite reached a state of badassery yet, because it involves taking risks and getting very uncomfy, and all that hard stuff I don’t like to do, lol. But at least I’m aware of what it takes and what limiting beliefs I’m still stuck in! Baby steps.

So that’s my list. There have been many, many other books in my life that I have loved, but these seem to stick out to me. Have you read any of these (admittedly “old” books, except Badass, lol)?

What books are important to you and why? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about them!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello my friends, and happy weekend!

So I’m almost done with Heir to the Empire. I’m so close, lol, but not quite done at the time of this writing. I’ve made it to the big battle of the Sluis Van Shipyards, and am in the middle of that fight right now, which is right at the end. I’ve been reading this book in fits and starts, so it’s taking me a little bit of time to get through it. But it’s been entertaining and fun; and I love how canon has been borrowing stuff from Legends. For example, in this book Thrawn has some aliens called the Noghri working for him to find Leia, and one in particular, Ruk, serves him; in Rebels, Thrawn has a single Noghri working for him–also Ruk–to find the Ghost crew. Neat.

These two.

I’ve been continuing my rewatch of Rebels and am almost done with Season Two. On my first viewing Ezra kind of annoyed me, but now I just love that kid, lol. I love them all, but Kanan remains my favorite (big surprise). It’s wonderful to see his arc of reluctant teacher who doesn’t want to get involved to devoted Master and selfless Rebel. My rewatch has been why I haven’t done as much reading lately. 🙂 I’m working on a post about the symbols in Rebels that I hope to publish on Sunday, so stay tuned.

I was excited to see an excerpt and cover reveal of the upcoming canon novel Shadow of the Sith from Starwars.com. If you haven’t read the excerpt, do yourself a favor and go here to read it. There’s a surprise in there that will blow your mind! The book releases June 28th of this year.

Here’s the cover:

Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, and Ochi of Bestoon. Great cover.

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

High Republic Wednesday: My Ranking of the HR Books

It’s no secret that I LOVE the High Republic era of Star Wars. My favorite aspect of Star Wars has always been the Jedi, and the High Republic focuses on the Jedi of this time period–who they are and what makes them tick. It’s awesome.

Having said that, I do have favorites out of all the adult and young adult novels of Phase One that have come out this past year, and in this post I’m going to rank them and give my reasons for their position on the list.

I thought it would be fun to show the alternate covers of each book (if there are any), instead of the usual, often dorky, covers of Jedi holding lightsabers. Let’s get started!

  1. The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray (Third adult novel)
The Fallen Star alternate cover. This is such a powerful image.

The Fallen Star is the third and final adult novel of Phase One, and it’s my favorite because 1. Claudia Gray is a fantastic storyteller, and 2. it’s a nail-biting, heartbreaking finale where the Jedi obviously lose in a big way, leaving you wondering where they’ll go from here. There are some painful deaths, a terrifying threat (to the Jedi themselves), some very sticky situations to get out of, and some really wonderful relationships that are explored. It’s truly a satisfying culmination to Phase One, while still leaving you breathless for more.

2. Into the Dark, by Claudia Gray (First YA novel)

I haven’t seen any alternate covers for Into the Dark.

Again, Claudia Gray is at the top of my list, because she just handles the characters and the story so well. It’s hard to impress me with a YA book, but she does so here. Maybe it’s because Reath Silas is my favorite Padawan, and he is heavily involved in the storyline in this book. It’s also the only book that deals directly with the Drengir (a threat that is mostly dealt with in the comics). The Drengir are carnivorous, evil tree-beings, and have the potential to be very silly (and hence work best in the comics), but she handles them well here, at least as well as they can be handled. She also introduces the Vessel crew in this book, and Leox and Geode are some of my favorite minor characters in the whole era.

3. Light of the Jedi, by Charles Soule (First adult novel)

Light of the Jedi alternate cover. I love how Ember is front and center.

The very first adult novel, and first High Republic book to come out, is a great read and does a fantastic job at introducing this new era and its Jedi. It’s clear we’re in a very different time period here, and have Jedi who are very different from the prequel Jedi; Soule does a wonderful job bringing them to life in this story. The book begins with the Great Disaster and the fallout from that event, as well as introduces the new villains, the Nihil.

4. The Rising Storm, by Cavan Scott (Second adult novel)

The Rising Storm alternate cover. Striking, but busy.

For some reason, it was hard for me to get into this book on my first read; but on my second read, I loved it. This book deals with the Nihil attack on the Republic Fair on the planet Valo. It’s executed quite well, and I love Elzar Mann’s story arc. There’s a lot going on here, with multiple points of view, but it all comes together wonderfully.

5. Midnight Horizon, by Daniel Jose Older (Third YA novel)

Midnight Horizon alternate cover. Not bad, but I think the original is way cooler.

I was excited for this book, as it starred Reath Silas again (among others), but I found it to be a slow start. It was well into the third act before it suddenly got very, very good. I suppose you could call it a slow burn leading up to the explosion, lol. It concerns Reath and his master, Cohmac Vitus, along with Jedi Master Kantam Sy and Padawan Ram Jomoram going to Corellia to investigate a possible Nihil threat there. One thing Older did very well is characterization, and the relationships between the characters. As throughout all of the High Republic stories, this one’s central theme is how the Jedi should deal with attachment and love, and their struggle with their emotions. Oh yeah, and the Nihil threat, lol. (Check out my review of the book here).

6. Out of the Shadows, by Justina Ireland (Second YA novel)

Out of the Shadows alternate cover, which shows some Nihil, in particular Lourna Dee, instead of the usual Jedi.

I had a hard time with this one. I’m guessing it’s because it didn’t mainly concern the Jedi; rather, it was about a young woman named Sylvestri Yarrow, a cargo pilot who lost her ship to the Nihil and who goes to Coruscant, first to tell the Republic about the Nihil activity, and second, to try to get her ship back. She gets pulled into a scheme involving a wealthy young man from the Graf family, a Nihil plot to create some kind of gravity weapon, and how her missing and presumed dead mother is involved in it all. The only interesting part was when she and Vernestra Rwoh run into Mari San Tekka, and the old woman gives Vernestra some coordinates that are still a mystery.

I’ve read the middle-grade books of Phase One–A Test of Courage, Race to Crashpoint Tower, and Mission to Disaster. They’re all quite good, but I don’t really have a favorite out of them. I’d rank them equally.

By the way, here’s a few more alternate covers I found:

The Rising Storm additional alternate cover. Again, I love Ember up on the rock! (But it’s still kind of dorky, lol).
Out of the Shadows additional alternate cover. More Nihil.

I can’t wait for Phase Two, which reportedly takes place 150 years before the events of this phase. It kind of threw me at first, but I’m confident the creators know what they’re doing and there’s a very good reason for this. I believe Phase Two starts in October of this year.

Thanks for reading. For light and life!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Happy weekend, my friends!

So I’m about halfway done with Heir to the Empire, and I’m really enjoying it. Some things are kind of funny, like Joruus C’baoth, the crazy clone Jedi, lol. It’s only funny now because this obviously was written before anyone really knew what the “Clone Wars” actually were, and what “clone” referred to. The new canon has also shown that it’s not that easy to clone a Force-user. Looking forward to finishing it and going onto the second in the series, Dark Force Rising.

Luke revisits the Dark Cave on Dagobah in Heir to the Empire.

I’ve also been reading the High Republic comics: the Marvel series and the High Republic Adventures. I’ve finished Volume 1 of both series, and will be working on Volume 2 for both. I’ve mentioned before that reading comics is new to me, and slightly disorienting. It’s a very different experience than reading a book, which is a very orderly process. With comics, I kind of have a headache afterward, lol. I do love the stories though, and the visuals are great. I’m just not used to them being thrown together.

Keeve and her master, Sskeer

Now, onto the super-awesome-I-can-hardly-stand-it exciting news: the Obi-Wan Kenobi teaser trailer that was dropped this past week. Oh muh gawd, this series looks amazing! The trailer gave us some tantalizing scenes without giving too much away. We see a young Luke Skywalker, a scene with Uncle Owen and an Inquisitor (called Reva), we see the Grand Inquisitor (who looks weird, not gonna lie) and Fifth Brother from Rebels, we see their Fortress (from Fallen Order). And Obi-Wan, of course. So so so cool. My heart is bursting. And this is just a teaser!

There were also images from an upcoming Entertainment Weekly issue, which I will be scanning the racks for in the next month. I have a feeling it will be hard to find, though. But since I’m a Star Wars fan, I have hope.

Last week I featured a favorite artist named Jake Bartok who’s done some wonderful Star Wars art. Another favorite artist is Uzuri Art, who’s also done some amazing Star Wars images. I came across this Obi-Wan piece the other day and it seemed fitting to share:

Gorgeous.

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

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Happy weekend, my friends!

Just a few things this week. I’ve finished the YA book Before the Awakening, by Greck Rucka, and it was actually a lot better than I was expecting, to be honest. It consists of three short stories, each one focusing on the three sequel trilogy leads: Finn, Rey, and Poe. The stories take place just before the events of The Force Awakens, and we get a little glimpse of what these characters were doing just before the film.

Nothing revelatory here: Finn is training as a stromtrooper with the First Order and is beginning to have some doubts; Rey is on Jakku and finds a crashed ship she decides to fix up and sell to Unkar Plutt for rations; and Poe goes on an exciting piloting adventure in his first foray in the Resistance. They’re fun little stories that gives us a little more insight into these characters and where they’re at emotionally at the beginning of TFA. I enjoyed it.

Future friends.

As I await the next new Star Wars book (Queen’s Hope, on April 5th), I was casting around for an adult Star Wars novel to read to get me by until then. As I was scrolling through some canon books I haven’t read yet, I realized I just wasn’t interested in them (at least at the moment). I enjoy a good Legends book now and then, and thought it might be time for one of those.

One in particular (or rather, one trilogy) that I’ve been avoiding in Legends is the original Thrawn trilogy, and the first set of books that came out after Return of the Jedi. Not because I don’t like Thrawn; on the contrary, I think he’s a great character. I’ve tried to read the new canon Thrawn books (well, at least the first one, simply called Thrawn) but I couldn’t seem to get into it. I think it’s because in these books, Thrawn is the protagonist. But I like my Thrawn as the antagonist–the bad guy.

So I decided to read Heir to the Empire. I’d been avoiding it because, unlike some of the prequel Legends books I’ve read, this one diverges radically from what is now considered canon. Taking place five years after the Battle of Endor, Han and Leia are married, and are expecting twins, a girl and a boy. Luke is involved in the New Republic trying to establish itself on Coruscant. It’s a whole new set of events, and I wanted to get a handle on the canon first before I dived into this. I consider Legends an “alternate universe” version of Star Wars, kind of like the Marvel What If? idea.

Strangely enough, I did read this book when it first came out in 1991. I was starving for more Star Wars, and wanted to know what happened after Endor. Funny thing is, I couldn’t remember a thing about it (it was over thirty years ago, I guess, lol), except that it had Thrawn in it, and Leia and Han had twins. And Mara Jade, who I remember not liking very much at the time. I might have read the second book in the trilogy, but I really can’t remember. It all just seemed so weird to me, lol. But I figured this time, with the perspective of time and all the Star Wars I’ve ingested over the years, it could be interesting.

Anyway, I’ve read about a quarter of the book so far, and the verdict is…I’m loving it!

Where the EU all began.

It’s quite entertaining, and fun, and well-written by Timothy Zahn. Thrawn is great as the bad guy, although a very interesting one, and it’s much faster-paced than the new canon book Thrawn (I couldn’t finish that one). I love that we get Luke, Han and Leia front and center going on adventures together. I find the idea of the twins fascinating (and the sequel trilogy characters Rey and Kylo/Ben were modeled after them, I believe). There’s just a lot to love here, and I can’t wait to read the rest of it! Then onto Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.

I’ve also been reading the High Republic comics: the Marvel series and the High Republic Adventures. I wanted to get more of the High Republic story that I’d been missing from the novels. And they’re great, but I was surprised by how unprepared I was to read comics.

What I mean is, I’m a book reader, and I’ve never in my fifty years read any comics, or any graphic novels, for that matter. And I found it–disorienting–trying to read comic panels. It was kind of overwhelming, at first. A lot of things are going on visually, and I had a hard time deciding what gets read first, and which way to go, and taking it all in…it definitely has all your brain cells firing at once! I love, love, love the images, though. A very different experience than reading a book, which is a very orderly process. But I’m getting used to it! I’ll probably write about them in next week’s High Republic Wednesday.

Sskeer is a rather terrifying Jedi, lol.

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

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Happy weekend my friends!

So I finally finished the High Republic middle-grade novel Race to Crashpoint Tower, by Daniel Jose Older. I generally enjoy the middle-grade novels, especially the High Republic ones, and this one was no exception (although I think I liked A Test of Courage from Wave One a bit more). This one naturally was a story concerning a few Padawans, namely Ram Jamoram and Lula Talisola, doing their part to help during the Nihil attack on the Republic Fair on Valo.

Star Wars: High Republic - Race to Crashpoint Tower: read the first excerpt - Polygon
Lula and Ram on Ram’s modified flying droid, V-18.

Ram prefers tinkering with machines and droids and engines, rather than dealing with people; and Lula, though she’s tangled with the Nihil a few times (mostly in the comics), must deal with some jealousy over Vernestra Rwoh (about her own age, but has already made Jedi Knight), and her own courage during the conflict. The story centers on the two Padawans, and Lula’s Force-sensitive friend Zeen, getting to the communications tower on Valo, which has been compromised by the Nihil, to send a message for help. They have to confront the Nihil, as well as the Drengir, to accomplish their goal, and they all do a splendid job. The story takes place concurrently with the events of the adult novel The Rising Storm. I don’t think I’ll do a separate review on it, so just consider this my little mini-review.

So now I’m just waiting for the YA novel Midnight Horizon, also by Daniel Jose Older, which takes place concurrently with The Fallen Star. The book was released February 1st, and it should be coming in any day now. I’ve heard very good reviews about it, and I can’t wait, especially since it concerns my favorite Jedi and Padawan pair, Cohmac Vitus and Reath Silas.

I love this SO much.

The Book of Boba Fett Episode 6, “From the Desert Comes a Stranger,” was fantastic and made this Star Wars fan very happy. If you missed my review of the episode, you can read it here.

In Marvel, I don’t have much news except it seems that Loki Season Two will begin filming this summer, for a release date sometime in 2023. I don’t think I have to tell you how much I’m looking forward to this! (Check out my Marvel Rankings for proof). Luckily there’s enough Star Wars and Marvel stuff going on this year to keep me busy until then, because it seems so far away, lol.

I need more TVA Loki in my life.

And that’s really about it this week. I’ve been trying to get back into journalling (inluding my awesome Inner Jedi notebook), get back into my fanfic idea I keep going on about, and maybe some freelancing ideas. Busy, busy.

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

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello and happy weekend, my friends!

I’ve finished reading The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray, and I was not disappointed in this third adult novel in the High Republic series, and the last in Phase One. I’ve enjoyed all of Claudia Gray’s Star Wars novels, and she does a great job telling this story of Starlight Beacon, symbol of the Jedi and the Republic, being destroyed by the Nihil, or more specifically, orchestrated by Marchion Ro, their mysterious leader. The Jedi, led by Stellan Gios and Elzar Mann, don’t even know what they’re up against, as something mysterious is affecting the Jedi’s connection to the Force as the incapacitated station plummets toward destruction. I’m going to post a review of the book on Wednesday (my High Republic post day), so stay tuned for that.

Since finishing that book, I’d like to get back to Race to Crashpoint Tower, the middle grade book from Wave 2 of the High Republic, before Midnight Horizon comes out on February 1st. I shouldn’t have a problem finishing the relatively small book in a week or so, and I’ll write up a review of it.

The wonderfully-named Padawans Lula Talisola and Ram Jamoram

I enjoyed the latest episode of The Book of Boba Fett (Episode 4) called “The Gathering Storm.” Again, some good things, some wince-inducing things, but the most exciting thing about it came at the end when we hear Mando’s theme, suggesting Din Djarin will be making an appearance, hopefully next week! For my full review of the episode, you can go here.

In Marvel, I caught the Moon Knight trailer, and man, does that look trippy and weird, and I’m so ready for it! I haven’t seen Dune yet, and so missed Isaac Oscar’s performance in that film, so I can’t wait to see him in this new Marvel series that premieres March 30th. I’m new to Marvel, having caught up with the Avengers and company in the past 6 or so months, and I have no idea who any of these new superheroes and villains are, but I’m just going along for the ride and I’m loving it!

Oscar Isaac looks to be having a spot of trouble in Moon Knight.

Case in point, I’m on my third viewing of Eternals (and have another post on them coming soon, probably Monday; if you want to read my review of the movie you can do so here); and I’ve also watched Shang Chi about three times so far. Just fabulous movie-making. Marvel is really hitting the mark for me right now!

But I’ve also been thinking about another franchise I haven’t visited for awhile: Star Trek. When I heard about the new series Picard, I knew I wanted to watch it, but I wasn’t keen on paying for another streaming service to do so. But now I can watch it on Youtube for about $2 an episode. I can swing that. I loved The Next Generation back in the day, much more than the original Star Trek (although it’s still cool in a campy way), and Picard, Riker, Worf, and Data are a part of my beloved sci-fi memories. So I’ll probably be watching that show during the Disney vacuum once The Book of Boba Fett ends, and I’ll be talking about it here. Can’t wait to see what Jean-Luc has been up to!

I will boldly go wherever this man goes next.

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

High Republic Wednesday–Padawan Bell Zettifar

(There are some High Republic novel spoilers here, so beware).

Bell Zettifar is one of the many interesting Padawans in the High Republic universe, and one of the most prominent (at least in the novels), so I thought I’d profile him next.

Bell and Ember.

Bell trained with his master, Loden Greatstorm, at the Jedi Temple Outpost on the Outer Rim planet Elphrona, along with Masters Indeera Stokes and Porter Engle. Bell is a likable young man who has a great respect and love for his master, who pushes him to grow and learn about his Force abilities. Bell, like a lot of Jedi in the High Republic, sees the Force in a unique way–he sees it as fire or flames. Fittingly, Bell has become fast friends with a charhound from Elphrona he named Ember, who can breathe flames. The Jedi from Elphrona don’t chastise Bell for taking on a pet (an “attachment”), but others raise an eyebrow now and then (particularly Stellan Gios, who’s a stickler for rules; but everyone loves Ember anyway).

Bell and his master Loden Greatstorm.

In Light of the Jedi, Loden Greatstorm is presumed killed by the Nihil, but Bell has a difficult time letting him go. Many Jedi, including his new master, Indeera Stokes, advise him on his grief; they tell him it’s okay to grieve, but urge him to let go. But it’s hard for Bell to move on. Before he disappeared, Loden told Bell he was ready to become a Jedi Knight. After, however, Bell couldn’t bring himself to ascend to Jedi Knight without his beloved Master. In The Rising Storm, Bell discovers Loden was not killed by the Nihil but had been taken prisoner by Marchion Ro and tormented for his own nefarious purposes. He and Bell were briefly reunited, but Loden was indeed ultimately killed by an awful Nihil weapon, and Bell had to grieve all over again.

In The Fallen Star, which I’m almost done with, Bell plays a prominent part in trying to save Starlight Beacon, and has become good friends with another Padawan, Burryaga the Wookiee.

You can’t talk about Bell without Ember, who is his constant companion, the best girl, so here are a few renditions of the pair:

High Republic Adventures Annual 2021 variant cover by Jon Lam.
The only artist info I could find on this was “bel on Twitter.”

I just love the idea of a Jedi having an animal companion. Ember is more than a pet; she’s a comrade who’s saved Bell’s life on several occasions, she’s part of the Jedi family, and she’s a good friend.

For light and life! Thanks for reading.

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends!

I’m done with my reread of The Rising Storm, by Cavan Scott, and as I mentioned last week, I enjoyed it more the second time around. The crux of the story revolves around the Republic Fair on the planet Valo, which is attacked by the villainous Nihil. Jedi Masters Stellan Gios and Elzar Mann lead the Jedi in defending against the attack, along with Padawan Bell Zettifar and his devoted charhound, Ember.

Star Wars Holocron on Twitter: "Character of the Day: Ember  https://t.co/H1wwIxdCoY" / Twitter
Aw, what a sweet doggie. She blows fire out of her mouth.

I easily finished the book before The Fallen Star arrives at my door. The next High Republic book by Claudia Gray was released January 4th, but delivery being what it is these days, I’m not expecting it for a few more days. Waiting is hard….but while I’m waiting, I’ll start the middle-grade book Race to Crashpoint Tower, by Justine Ireland. It also takes place during the attack at the Republic Fair, but from the point of view of young Jedi Knight Ram Jamoram (that just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?). It was only 99 cents on Kindle, so why not? 🙂

Meanwhile, I’ve finished my rewatch of the sequel trilogy, with The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. One of the most interesting aspects of the sequels for me, personally, is my flip-flopping of how I feel about Kylo Ren. After hating him in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi delves a little more into his history and your feelings soften for him a little bit. You feel a little sorry for him, lol. But then at the beginning of TROS, he’s hardened again, and you think maybe he’s lost for good and there’s no hope for him. Right up until his and Rey’s last duel on the wrecked Death Star, he’s implacable.

Indeed.

And then, suddenly, his mother reaches out to him, and something answers. Rey deals him the death blow, and then heals him. And then the incredibly emotional scene with Han Solo happens, and he throws his wobbly lightsaber into the sea, and you know Ben’s back. It did seem really quick, but then again, throughout the sequels he’d been as wobbly as that lightsaber, feeling the pull of the light, struggling, torn, miserable. I really didn’t know which way he’d go until the very end. He’s one of the most interesting characters in Star Wars, in my opinion, and it helps that Adam Driver is such a great actor.

So, onto the second episode of The Book of Boba Fett, The Tribes of Tatooine. This was a great episode, and a lot happened, with a lot to take in. Hutts! A terrifying Wookiee named Black Krrsantan! Pykes and spice! A dream-inducing lizard up the nose! So many cool things. I like how we’re getting more cultural stuff about the Tuskens–we got a little bit in The Mandalorian, and there’s some interesting stuff in the book Kenobi that I recently read (although it’s Legends). They’re more than just savage brutes. I’m just learning that the warrior that teaches Boba how to fight with the gaffi stick is a female, which is awesome. (She’s played by stuntwoman Joanna Bennett).

Why Boba Fett's evil Wookiee is more important than you realise
This is one scary Wookiee. He and Boba have a history in the comics.

But besides all that, I think it’s important that we see Boba’s spiritual journey in these flashback scenes. Once he climbed out of that Sarlacc, he was reborn, and now he has to face trials, both physical and spiritual, to figure out who he really is and what he wants now. He needs to become more than his father’s clone, more than a bounty hunter. In Legends, Boba also escapes the Sarlacc, but he remains a bounty hunter for the rest of his life, for the most part. As a main character now, he needs to be more than that, and I think this show is doing a great job telling that story. I love the soundtrack, by the way.

So with this new year, I’m going to be doing more blog posts, and I’ll write briefly about that in my Monday post. Stay tuned.

That’s it for now; what’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!