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’ve been reading Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher, and it’s about Luke and Lando trying to help Rey and her parents escape Ochi of Bestoon. It’s put me in a sequel sort of mood, and I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to see in a sequel to the Sequels. It could be a movie, a TV show, a book, I don’t care; I just want to know what happens with Rey, Finn, Poe, etc. after The Rise of Skywalker! Here are some of the things I’d like to see or questions to be answered:
Rey training Finn/A new Jedi Order. In The Rise of Skywalker we learned that Finn is Force-sensitive. It only makes sense that Rey trains him, even though she didn’t have too much training herself. They’re going to have to figure it out themselves. I’m curious to see how strong Finn is in the Force–Jedi-level, or just Force-sensitive? At any rate, I’d love to see Rey seek out Force-sensitives and continue the Jedi tradition.
How will the galaxy be governed? What happens after the defeat of the First/Final Order? Who will lead? Or will the galaxy’s planets and peoples rule themselves? It’s clear both Republic and Empire models have failed, so something new may be required.
I want a Poe romance. The question is, with who? Zorii has made it clear she’s not interested anymore. There are fans who ship him with Finn, and I’m not against it, but honestly I’d like to see him with Rey. In the original Colin Treverow script for the third movie in the sequel trilogy, Poe and Rey begin a romance, and I kind of like the idea. But I don’t know, Rey seems like a loner in that regard. I think it’s best if maybe the three just remain good friends. Maybe it could be someone completely new. Just give that man a love interest!
Please, for the love of God, give me some more Ben Solo! Clearly, he would have to be a Force ghost, and I’d love it if Ben appeared to Rey, either to help her with her Jedi Order training, to give advice, to keep her company, I don’t care. The dyad is a rare, powerful bond, and I can’t imagine even death would break it. Right?? I have doubts Adam Driver would be interested in reprising the role, so it would need to be in a book (please, no comics–I need a novel, lol).
Naturally, there needs to be a new antagonist. I’m not sure what form that antagonist should take. The Sith are done, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any dark Force users out there. Or it could just be a new bully trying to run things. I’m just curious as to what the writers would come up with.
So yes, yes, I know the powers-that-be said the Skywalker saga is done. And Rey has named herself a Skywalker, but I don’t care. I want more. I love all the new stuff Star Wars is putting out, but I still need something familiar, too. And I don’t care, to hell with the haters, I love these characters, and I need to know what happens to them. I would be very happy with a book or a series of books. A trilogy of books! Maybe someday. A girl can dream.
I don’t have a lot to report this week. I’ve been reading Mission to Disaster, by Justina Ireland, the middle-grade High Republic book recently out, and I’m almost done with it. I don’t usually do reviews for the middle grade books, but I might do so this time. It’s quite good.
Other than that, March is looking wide open as far as books and shows go. Moon Knight premieres on the 31st, but other than that, there’s no Star Wars or Marvel show that I can think of that will fill up the month. There’s also no big book releases. The months of April through August (at least) will keep me busy with a new book release per month, but March? Zip. What’s a Star Wars fan to do?
Well, catch up on other things, for one. I remembered I’d ordered Before the Awakening, by Greg Rucka, on my Kindle a while ago but never read for one reason or another. It’s a YA book (I think) that has some stories about Rey, Finn and Poe before the events of The Force Awakens. I’ll probably dig into that.
I’ve also ordered the combined comics of the Marvel High Republic series, as well as the High Republic Adventures. I’m pretty excited about this, as I’ve long wanted to read these comics. I’m not a huge comic fan, but I know that the story being told in the High Republic era encompasses both books and comics. There are characters that feature mainly in the comics (like Avar Kriss, Keeve Trennis, Skeer, and many others), as well as storylines that I feel are important to understand the totality of the High Republic era.
I also think that, with a storyline that has no live-action medium (or even an animation), the comics really fill in the look of the High Republic. What do these characters look like? What about the ships, and the droids, and other aspects of the High Republic that we’ve never seen before? The comics answer those questions and gives us a visual to latch onto. So yeah, I can’t wait to read these!
Oh, and by the way, we’ve got a cover for the YA book by Kiersten White about a young Obi-Wan Kenobi coming out on July 26th:
Obi-Wan looks pretty intense here, lol. Definitely on my pre-order list.
That’s really about it right now. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
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.
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 ofSkywalker. 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.
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).
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!
I’m continuing my reread of The Rising Storm, by Cavan Scott, and I find I’m enjoying it much more this second time around. I’m not sure why, but it happens to me a lot–I’ll reread something, or rewatch a film, and like it a lot more than the first time. I guess I just need time to absorb and think about the story and see it from a new perspective. Or maybe the timing just needs to be right. I’m so ready to continue the story of The High Republic, and can’t wait for The Fallen Star next week!
So of course the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett premiered this past week, and like many others, I’m cautiously optimistic about the series. As I’ve mentioned before, I was never a huge fan of the guy, but his appearance in The Mandalorian piqued my interest. The first show answered some of our questions, like how he got out of the Sarlaac, and what happened just after. I thought it a clever device to show the flashbacks while he was in the bacta tank. As for ruling in Jabba’s (and Bib Fortuna’s) wake, I don’t think he entirely knows what he’s doing, lol, but he’s figuring it out as he goes along, with Fennec’s help. We have to shift our view of him from being a villain to being the protagonist of his own show, which means he can’t be a villain, not entirely. As the main character, we need to root for him, so he needs some redeeming qualities. I think his experiences with his near-death in the Sarlaac and the trials with the Tuskens changed him, at least a little. And I’m okay with that; it makes him more interesting, at least to me. I’m looking forward to the upcoming episodes and to see where this leads.
After my rewatch of The Clone Wars, I wasn’t intending on continuing with the animated series, but it just naturally segued into The Bad Batch, transitioning from the Republic to the Empire after Order 66. The first episode, Aftermath, is fantastic, but I found, again, that I enjoyed watching the series more this second time around than the first. Maybe it’s because I can binge-watch it rather than wait a week between episodes. I don’t know, but I just love it. I didn’t love Clone Force 99 right off the bat when they first showed up in The Clone Wars, but I love them now, every single one. Even Crosshair, that bastard, lol. There are a lot of things I’d love to see in Season 2, and I’ll probably do a little post about it as its premier gets closer (I don’t think we have a specific date yet).
Seems I’m doing a lot of rewatching/rereading of familiar territory, as I rewatched The Force Awakens on New Year’s Eve. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s such a great movie. I’ll never forget how I felt when I watched it for the first time in the theater in 2016: I was so incredibly excited to be watching a new Star Wars movie. To see Han, Chewie, Leia, Threepio and Artoo, as well as a batch of interesting new characters, was amazing, and it reignited my love for the franchise. I never thought I’d see these characters on film again, and here they were, so many years later, dealing with new bad guys, and incredibly painful personal stuff. No Star Wars movie is perfect (except perhaps Empire), but they’re all enjoyable, this one included. I’ll probably watch the rest of the sequel trilogy this weekend.
So with the new year comes new goals and resolutions, and one of mine (besides cutting down on the dark chocolate consumption, lol) is getting back to writing, specifically the Star Wars fanfiction I began a couple of months ago, and predictably, set aside. I really like the story idea and the characters I’ve created, so I’m not sure why I put it down (I suspect it’s simply laziness, lol), but I intend to get back to it and stay in it. If I accomplish one thing in the coming year, I’d like it to be a finished story that I can be proud of and that I enjoyed writing.
So that’s it for this week (and this year!) What’s been entertaining you lately? Any New Year’s resolutions? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
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!
So I finally finished both seasons of Resistance the other day, and I have to say it was worth the time. Really.
I know Resistance doesn’t get that much respect, or attention for that matter. And I understand why–it doesn’t have the same gravitas or stakes as The Clone Wars or Rebels. It was made for a younger audience, after all, and isn’t quite as dark or tragic. But does that mean it’s bad? Heck no!
Resistance is Disney/Lucasfilm’s animated answer to the sequel trilogy, just as Clone Wars was to the prequels, and Rebels was to the OT. So here’s the basic rundown:
Kazuda Xiono is a young New Republic pilot recruited by Poe Dameron to be a Resistance spy on the refueling depot called the Colossus. The Colossus is a huge station in the middle of the waterworld Castellon. Poe introduces Kaz to Jarek Yeager, a former Rebellion soldier who fought at Jakku. Yeager is now a mechanic on the Colossus, but is privy to Poe’s activities and helps him when he can. He reluctantly agrees to take on Kaz as a mechanic on his payroll, as a cover. Apparently there has been some First Order activity on the Colossus, and Poe (as well as Leia Organa) would like to know what might be going on there.
Kaz is enthusiastic in his new duty as Resistance spy, perhaps a bit too eager. He’s young and naïve, prone to boasting (he happens to be a very good pilot), but also friendly and sweet, and just a tad clumsy. Okay, a lot clumsy. Turns out he’s the son of a wealthy New Republic Senator on Hosnian Prime, and apparently his father has micromanaged his life thus far; Kaz is eager to do something to prove to his father that he can do his own thing. He also believes in the purpose of the Resistance. But nobody is supposed to know any of that, so he’s just a mechanic for Yeager. Kaz, though an exceptional pilot, is a terrible mechanic, which leads to some problems, as you can imagine.
Also under Yeager’s employ is Tamara Ryvora, a young woman who left home to be an ace pilot in racing, but lost everything and is now trying to save enough to get another ship. Another member of Yeager’s team is Neeku Vozo, a Nikto who is a very skilled mechanic and my absolute favorite character in Resistance. He’s just so sweet and kind-hearted, and takes everything quite literally, which leads to some very funny moments. He takes to Kaz immediately, but Tam, not so much. She comes around after a while, but mostly just criticizes Kaz constantly.
No Star Wars show is complete without droids, and Poe left BB-8 behind on the Colossus to help Kaz (until he comes back to reclaim him for a “mission to Jakku”, at which point he leaves behind another roll-y, CB-23, who is just as adorable). Yeager’s team has their own droid in Bucket, who literally looks like a bucket of bolts with a helmet on.
The Colossus is a refueling depot, but it also has racing–and it’s own team of “Flying Aces” that put on a race every week to entertain the crew and people who live there. They’re also supposed to protect the station, from pirates and other undesirables. They’re made up of a group that includes a Rodian named Hype (who’s pretty annoying, most of the time), an former Imperial, a woman with (strangely) a Russian accent, a guy in a yellow suit whose face we never see, and a young woman named Torra Doza, who happens to be the daughter of the mysterious Captain of the Colossus. Torra eventually becomes friends with Kaz, and over the course of the show, Captain Doza becomes less mysterious. Turns out he used to be an Imperial, but defected when he met Torra’s mother, a Rebel back in the day. We don’t meet Torra’s mother until the second season, however, as she’s a Resistance fighter now.
Anyway, Kaz tries to fit in and do his “spying” thing, and it turns out he does give Poe and Leia important information about the First Order, who’s been nosing around a lot. We see Phasma early on in Season One, but the main antagonist becomes a golden-armored stormtrooper named Pyre. The First Order wants the Colossus for its own fueling needs, and comes up with a plan to take it over: they hire some pirates to attack the station and make the Captain feel he needs to let the First Order onto the station to help defend it. Captain Doza increasingly feels uneasy with the agreements he makes with the First Order, until he decides enough is enough. The First Order aren’t willing to give it up so easily, and when they find out a Resistance spy is on board, they make it their business to occupy the station.
That’s the basics of it, and most of Season One; I won’t go into detail about everything, or much of Season Two (which is actually even better than S1) except to say that the Colossus is actually a space ship and takes off from Castellon, and the First Order pursues them relentlessly.
There are a few cameos besides Poe (who’s always fun) and Phasma; later we get General Hux, and even Kylo Ren. Once Poe comes back for BB-8 for that mission to Jakku, we know that the events of The Force Awakens is beginning; we even see Hux’s mad speech on Starkiller Base through a hologram. Things get pretty personal for Kaz just then–his parents live on Hosnian Prime, and when the planet is destroyed, he’s distraught, naturally.
The big crisis of the end of Season One and all of Season Two is that Kaz’s friend, Tam, joins the First Order. Naively, she feels the First Order are simply bringing order and safety to the station; when she finds out that Kaz and Yeager have been lying to her about being with the Resistance, she’s extremely angry (unreasonably so, in my opinion). She feels betrayed by the people she had come to see as family, and lets herself be recruited by a new character, Agent Tierney. (Another character named Rucklan, who’s kind of a jerk on the station, also joins. I had no idea that Elijah Wood voiced him until I saw it pointed out elsewhere, and then I couldn’t unhear Elijah Wood, lol). Season Two was about getting rid of the First Order pursuing their station, and getting Tam back into the fold.
I just found it a joy to watch Resistance, simply because it was entertaining and quite funny sometimes, and I knew my heart wouldn’t get ripped to shreds over tragic events. I even wish there was a Season Three that coincides with The Rise of Skywalker. I’d love to see the crew of the Colossus join the Battle of Exegol (maybe they do–there were a lot of ships that Lando brought with him, and maybe the Colossus is there; I haven’t taken the time to study all those ships–I’m convinced someone else did take the time and made a list of all the recognizable ships, so maybe it’s research time!)
If you’ve got some time on your hands and never watched Resistance, you might want to give it a go. Like all the other animated series, it takes a while to get going, and is geared toward the younger audience, but grows as it goes along.
One of the minor characters in The Rise of Skywalker that I noticed right away was Beaumont Kin, the Sith expert who commented on Palpatine’s return with the dread words, “Dark science. Cloning. Secrets only the Sith knew.”
This was, of course, Dominic Monaghan, who played the Hobbit Merry in The Lord of the Rings, and Charlie Pace in Lost, characters that I love. He’s instantly recognizable; and that usually means I can’t get into any new character an actor plays because I’m seeing their iconic roles instead.
But Beaumont Kin was a small enough role that I could get on board, and I wanted to know more about him. Most of what we know about him is from the comic Ghosts of Kashyyyk Parts 1-3. Kin takes part in a mission to free Kashyyyk from a First Order blockade (why does everyone pick on poor Kashyyyk? The Wookiee homeworld got stepped on during the Clone Wars, by the Empire, and by the First Order).
Anyway, we find out that Kin joined the Resistance after his parents told him he was “useless.” Before that, he was an historian, and was particularly interested in the early Republic era after the vanquishing of the Sith. He visited many ancient Jedi and Sith sites in his quest to learn more about them. This is how he was able to help Rey translate the ancient Jedi texts she’d taken from Ach-To.
He was fluent in nine languages, and was on track to become the youngest professor at Lerct Historical Institute. When Hosnian Prime was destroyed by the First Order he abandoned education and became a captain in the Intelligence Division of the Resistance.
Kin, as seen in The Rise of Skywalker, took part in the battle of Exegol in the ground assault on the Star Destroyer Steadfast.
Monaghan got the role of Beaumont Kin in a rather unorthodox way: he won a bet against J.J. Abrams on the FIFA World Cup. So Abrams wrote the part of Kin with Monaghan in mind.
I just love that Monaghan was in three of my favorite stories: LOTR, Star Wars, and Lost (I don’t care how it ended, I love it, lol).
Star Wars obviously has some great main characters, but it’s also filled with intriguing minor characters as well. So I thought it would be fun to do a series on these small but significant characters in the various Star Wars films.
The first one that came to mind, and seemed the most interesting to me, was Lor San Tekka (played by Max von Sydow). If you’ll remember, he was the person Poe Dameron met on Jakku at the beginning of The ForceAwakens and received some important information from him. It turned out to be a partial map that led to Ach-To, location of the first Jedi Temple, and of the missing Luke Skywalker as well.
When I first saw TFA, I had so many questions about this character: who was he, actually, and how did he acquire this information? How did he know Leia? How did Poe find him? And what the heck was his name (it was never mentioned in the film)?
We learn his name in the The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, along with some other vital information about him. I don’t have that book, but learned some things about San Tekka during the course of my own research.
It turns out that San Tekka is a member of The Church of the Force, which is a group of beings who are not Force sensitive but believe in the power of the Force, and that there can be no balance in the Force until the Jedi return. The Church was forced to go underground during the Imperial era, but had more freedom during the New Republic. The village he was in on Jakku, Tanual, was made up of members of the Church of the Force (who unfortunately were all killed by Kylo Ren’s forces, as well as San Tekka himself).
Speaking of Kylo Ren, Lor San Tekka makes an appearance in the comic The Rise of Kylo Ren. San Tekka is an explorer, and one of his missions as a member of the Church of the Force is to locate ancient Jedi artifacts. Luke Skywalker, after the Battle of Endor, explores the galaxy also looking for Jedi artifacts before he begins to rebuild the Jedi Order. San Tekka accompanied Luke on several missions, including in The Rise of Kylo Ren. This is presumably how Leia knew him, and Kylo Ren, of course.
Kylo Ren: “Look how old you have become.”
Lor San Tekka: “Something far worse has happened to you.”
From The Force Awakens
So how did Poe find him? This is recounted in the comic Star Wars: Poe Dameron. In it, Poe and his team, Black Squadron, follow in San Tekka’s exploratory footsteps. They meet with a spiritual people called the Creche, whom San Tekka lived with for a time to learn about their culture.
Light of the Jedi Spoiler Alert!
Lor San Tekka is an explorer, and he comes from a long line of galactic explorers. One thing I found very interesting in the High Republic novel Light of the Jedi is that we meet some San Tekka ancestors. Marlowe San Tekka and his husband Vellis are visited by Jedi Knights Avar Kriss and Elzar Mann, during their investigation into the Great Disaster. Since the Disaster occurred in hyperspace, they went to the San Tekkas, who are the head of the San Tekka empire: the family had made their fortune in hyperspace prospecting, finding routes through the wild spaces of the galaxy. It was dangerous work, but the San Tekkas seemed to have a knack for it and sold the navigational data for a fee.
There’s another San Tekka in the book, one that Marlowe and Vellis know about but don’t share with the Jedi: Mari San Tekka. She was a relation who had been kidnapped by the Nihil when she was young, and is now over 100 years old. Mari has a special talent: she can find routes through hyperspace with her mind alone, and can navigate a ship through these paths with her mind. The Nihil–specifically, Marchion Ro and his father before him–have used that ability to give the Nihil the gift of the Paths and made them strong. It also caused the Great Disaster, orchestrated by Marchion Ro.
So Lor San Tekka comes from an important, and formerly wealthy, family (they might still be wealthy, I don’t know) connected to hyperspace lanes. He comes from a long line of explorers, people who may have had a special (Force connected?) talent in finding these routes.
I find this information about a minor character from a Star Wars movie all very fascinating. It took me a few years to figure out who the guy actually was and get my questions answered, lol, but that’s okay. I’m very eager to find out more about the San Tekkas in later installments of the High Republic novels.
What do you think of Lor San Tekka? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!