A Whole Lotta Star Wars Books Next Year

As a booklover and a Star Wars fan, there’s a lot to be excited about for 2022. There’s a ton of Star Wars books coming out, and I’ve pre-ordered nearly all of them. Looks like I’ll be a very busy reading bee next year! Here’s a run-down of what’s coming up:

The High Republic:

The Fallen Star The High Republic by Claudia Gray - Lucasfilm, Star Wars Books

The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray. January 4th. Adult. The second wave of the High Republic stories is kicked off by this adult novel which continues the Jedi’s struggles against the Nihil. I love Claudia Gray’s novels, so I have very high expectations for this one.

Midnight Horizon, by Daniel Jose Older. Feb. 1st. YA. The young adult entries in the High Republic have been hit or miss with me, but this one concerns Reath Silas, a Jedi Padawan that I’m particularly fond of. So I have high hopes.

There’s also:

Queen’s Hope, by E.K. Johnston. April 5th. YA. I’ve enjoyed the previous two entries of the Padme series (a character who’s often gotten short shrift, in my opinion), and this third in the trilogy promises to be the best of the bunch. It concerns Padme’s marriage to Anakin during the Clone Wars, and I’m eager to see her side of the story.

And then there’s also a new batch of canon Star Wars:

Star Wars: Brotherhood by [Mike Chen]

Brotherhood, by Mike Chen. May 10th. (Adult? I think so.) This book centers on Obi-Wan and Anakin on a mission to Cato Neimoidia during the Clone Wars, and maybe we’ll get an answer to Obi-Wan’s cryptic reference to “that business” of Anakin saving him that “doesn’t count.” At any rate, it’s an Obi-Wan and Anakin adventure, and I’m so here for it. Maybe it will coincide with the Obi-Wan series on Disney+?

Stories of Jedi and Sith. June 7th. Middle-grade short stories. This one isn’t as high on my list, but I’m sure I’ll check it out at some point. I recognize a few of the authors and they’re quite good, so I’m betting these stories have a lot to offer.

Shadow of the Sith, by Adam Christopher. June 28th. Adult. No cover yet. This is the one people are frothing at the mouth for–it’s a post ROTJ Luke story (finally!) And it refers to events that will take place in the sequel trilogy: Luke and Lando are pursuing Ochi of Bestoon, a Sith assassin tasked with kidnapping a young girl–Rey. This one comes out on my birthday, and it will make a splendid birthday present to myself, lol.

Padawan, by Kiersten White. July 26th. YA. No cover yet. This one is about Obi-Wan when he is newly apprenticed to Qui Gon Jinn, on a mission to a planet with Force-wielding kids and teens. This one sounds fun, and really, there can never be too much Obi-Wan Kenobi, right?

I’m looking forward to ALL of these books, and I’ll be in Star Wars book heaven for at least half the year.

Are you looking forward to any of these books? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

This past week I finished my reread of Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray, a novel about Qui Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s a great read, and I love the exploration of Qui Gon and Obi-Wan’s relationship at this time. Qui Gon continues to be a fascinating character, a Jedi more akin to the Jedi of the High Republic, I think. A little bit more mystical, more attuned to the Living Force. He’s a great foil to young Obi-Wan, who is much more straight-laced and logical. It’s interesting to see how Obi-Wan changes over the course of the saga, and especially his relationship to the Force. I just love these two Jedi!

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to reread The Rising Storm before the next High Republic book comes out in January, The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray yet again (I can’t wait for this one, it’s the first adult novel in the High Republic series Gray has authored); or, if I wanted to reread Kenobi by John Jackson Miller, as I’m getting excited for the Obi-Wan series (when D+, when???).

There’s also been a cover reveal for one of the new canon books coming out next year. It’s called Brotherhood, and it’s an Obi-Wan and Anakin story during the Clone Wars, and it comes out May 10th, 2022. Here’s the cover:

Star Wars: Brotherhood cover featuring Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Taking place between AOTC and ROTS, Brotherhood deals with “that business on Cato Neimoidia.”

I meant to do a separate post on all the new canon books coming out next year, but alas, never got to it. I’m planning on reading all of them, and I’ll probably do a blurb about each one here as I read them. Three new High Republic novels, four new canon novels, and a Padme Amidala novel are all coming out next year. Needless to say, I’ll be doing a lot of Star Wars reading, and I couldn’t be happier about it!

I’ve also been reading our book club novel Abigale Hall, a gothic tale of two orphan girls sent to a creepy Welsh manor just after World War II. I’m about halfway done, and it’s a strange ride, I’ll say that. I’m eager to see how it all comes together at the end, and will report on it in the next post.

In movies and Marvel, I watched Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on D+, and I adored it! I previously haven’t been too excited about any new Marvel heroes, as I’ve just discovered the Avengers recently (even though they’ve been around for years, lol) and I don’t feel like I’m ready to move away from them. But since it was on D+, I figured I’d give it a whirl–and absolutely loved it. I was enthralled by Shang Chi’s family drama, the amazing martial arts, the incredible visuals, and pretty much just everything about it. And oh, that dragon! Katy was a hoot, too. This was another example of Marvel at its best.

I love her.

Speaking of Marvel, Hawkeye is out next week, and I can’t wait! You can bet I’ll be posting my thoughts on the first two episodes that will drop next week.

On the SW fan fiction front, I’ve finished a tentative outline, wrote the prologue, and the first two sections of the first chapter. There’s still a lot of plot issues to iron out, but I’ll deal with those as I go along. As long as I know where I’m headed, I’ll be fine. I find that if I try to figure every little detail out at the beginning, I’ll a) never get started, and b) miss out on the amazing insights that come to me while I’m writing. It never fails–when I’m in the writing “zone” the Muse will send me exactly what I need. Anyway, I’m pretty excited about it, and will plod on spinning my tale.

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

My Top Ten Star Wars Heroes

I was inspired to write this post from a Star Wars fan group I was scrolling through the other night. I often see the question “What are your top ten favorite Jedi?” or villains or pilots or whatever. But heroes in general? Nope. I had to think about it, because there are a lot of heroes in Star Wars, but how would I rank them and why? So after some thought, I came up with this list, in descending order:

  • Ahsoka Tano

I have to go with Ahsoka at the top of the list. Not only is she an incredible Jedi, but after Order 66 she worked as Fulcrum, the secret contact for the Rebellion during their fight against the Empire. Even after the defeat of the Empire it seems, from events in The Mandalorian, that she’s still working to help those in need, as well as possibly be looking for Ezra (through her search for Thrawn). Her battle against Maul at Mandalore is incredible, her compassion for Rex and the Clones during Order 66 (even though they were trying to kill her) is heartfelt and heartbreaking, and her confrontation with Vader in Rebels is unforgettable. I really can’t think of any flaw in her, lol. Nobody’s perfect, but she’s pretty close. Whether as a Jedi, a spy, or a friend, she’s a great hero.

  • Leia Organa
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Phone Wallpaper | Moviemania

Leia Organa is a true hero of the galaxy, whether as Princess of Alderaan, a Senator (both Imperial and New Republic), a soldier of the Rebellion, or a General of the Resistance. Leia was truly dedicated to helping the galaxy be a better place, whether she was on mercy missions as a young Senator, fighting the Empire in the Rebellion, passing important legislation in the New Republic, or gathering together those who would resist the First Order. Her bravery, her strength in the face of tragedy, and her commitment to the cause is unparalleled. Perhaps her most important act was sacrificing herself for her son Ben Solo, to bring him back to the light. So even as a Mom, Leia was truly heroic!

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi

In every incarnation, whether in the Clone Wars, the prequels, Rebels, or A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a hero. He was a holonet hero (along with Anakin) during the Clone Wars, he discovered the Clones on Kamino and defeated General Grievous in the prequels, defeated Maul in Rebels (and showed compassion to his old Nemesis as well), watched over Luke for what must have been a lonely twenty years on Tatooine, and sacrificed himself to Vader to save Luke in A New Hope. Even after death, his Force ghost was often there to advise Luke. Obi-Wan wasn’t perfect–he made some questionable decisions concerning Anakin when it mattered most–but he always loved him and did what he thought was best. Obi-Wan’s commitment to the Light never wavered, and his impact on the galaxy can’t be overstated.

  • Luke Skywalker

There will be some who think Luke should be higher up in the list, and I get that. Luke is the original hero of Star Wars, after all. He blew up the first Death Star, was a hero of the Rebellion, saved his friend Han from Jabba the Hutt, confronted the Emperor, and brought his father, Darth Vader, back to the light. And don’t get me started on that hallway scene in the Mandalorian! Totally awesome. But, like all humans, Luke had flaws. Or rather, he made some mistakes–most glaringly, after his gaffe with Ben Solo, he retreated from the fight, and from the galaxy, cutting himself off from the Force. Not from cowardice, just regret, and shame, and a firm belief that the Jedi must end. Luckily, he got over that and helped the Resistance at Crait–sacrificing himself so they could get away, in the most Jedi-like way possible. Bravo, Luke.

  • Din Djarin

Din Djarin was just your average bounty hunter (well, possibly an exceptional bounty hunter) until he met a little guy name Grogu, and then he became the Dadalorian. He formed a strong, yet tender, bond with this special child, and would do anything to protect him. Even if it meant giving him up, he would do what was best for Grogu. As most parents do–in the end, we have to let them go. Which isn’t heroic, just necessary, but Din was definitely heroic in his quest to protect Grogu from those who would harm/take him, and to get him where he ultimately belonged–with a Jedi. Not that we sobbed or anything when the time came for Grogo to go with Luke, lol. I’m eager to see what kind of hero he’ll be to the Mandalorians in future seasons of the show.

  • Rey

Rey is the hero of the sequel trilogy, becoming the last hope for the Jedi as the First Order grows in power. She joins the Resistance and becomes fast friends with Finn and Poe, as well as forming a strong bond with Leia, who takes her on as an apprentice. Rey is the only person, besides Leia herself, who believes Ben Solo can be turned back to the light. When she fatally injures him on Kef Bir, she instantly turns around and Force heals him, showing a compassion that defines her. On Exegol, she defeats Palpatine with the help of the Jedi who came before, nearly giving her life to do it. With Palpatine gone, the Sith Eternal and the First Order fall, freeing the galaxy from evil once again.

  • Han Solo

Despite his smuggler/scoundrel status, Han Solo early on becomes one of the bigger heroes of the galaxy. No matter how he might prefer to think of himself, he’s got a big heart and always ends up doing the right thing. He comes back at the last minute to help Luke blow up the first Death Star, becomes a General in the Rebellion and leads the attack on Endor, ultimately being successful in that mission, allowing the second Death Star to be destroyed. He helps free the Wookiees from the waning Empire on Kashyyyk. When the First Order threatens the galaxy, he plays his part to help, but loses his life in trying to bring his son back from the Dark. He begins the saga as a pilot for hire who’s in it for the money; he ends it with sacrificing himself for love.

  • Chewbacca

Wherever Han Solo is, there is Chewbacca. Whenever we talk about loyalty in Star Wars, we must talk about Chewie. A copilot, a good shot with a bowcaster, a steadfast friend. When Han helped save him from the Imperials in Solo, he owed Han a life debt, and stood by his side for many years. Chewie helped his friends during the Rebellion, and then went back home for awhile to be with his newly freed family on Kashyyyk. He eventually found his way back to Han Solo, and once again stood against tyranny and fought the First Order.

  • R2D2

Okay, so maybe R2 should be at the top of the list. Because without this little droid, our heroes wouldn’t have gotten very far. His very first act on screen is to get the Death Star plans from Princess Leia and get them off the Tantive IV, away from the Imperials and into the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine. In every movie and in the Clone Wars, he’s always plugging into some data portal or other and gathering information, making doors open or close, distracting the enemy, and whatnot. In the sequel trilogy he’s largely absent, powered down since Luke disappeared, but he carries the last piece of the map to Luke’s location inside him. He’s a feisty, brave little astromech, with plenty of grit and attitude. He also has the patience (most of the time) to put up with Threepio’s insufferable complaining. Now that’s heroic.

  • Kanan Jarrus (and the entire Ghost crew).

Kanan Jarrus is one of my favorite Jedi, and he, along with the rest of the Ghost crew–Hera, Sabine, Zeb, Chopper, and of course, Ezra–belongs on this list of heroes. Kanan used to be Caleb Dume, a Jedi Padawan who survived Order 66. The experience haunted him, and at first, he tried to forget who and what he was in order to survive. But once he met up with Hera, he decided to help those in need, and then later, become an important part of the Rebellion against the Empire. He stumbled around at first in training Ezra, but eventually found his groove, and his own Padawan became a hero of Lothal–freeing that world from the Empire’s grip. Kanan sacrificed himself to save those he loved, and it’s one of the most painful deaths for me in Star Wars.

Honorable mentions:

  • the entire Rogue One crew
  • Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker
  • Captain Rex
  • Bail Organa
  • Lando Calrissian
  • Poe Dameron and Finn

I could go on and on. There’s so many great heroes in Star Wars, people doing what is necessary to make the galaxy a better place.

What about Yoda? He’s a great Jedi Master, and I do love him. But let’s face it, he was the head of the Jedi Order when it fell. He made mistakes. Instead of following the Force, he followed the “rules” of the Jedi. He got the Jedi involved in politics and in a pointless war. Yes, they were all duped and drawn in by Sidious, but come on. He was their leader, hundreds of years old and ostensibly “wise.” So I can’t call him a hero, at least not until he trains Luke, and at that point, any Jedi could have done it. His wisdom comes after the fact. But I still love the guy, lol.

Who are your favorite Star Wars heroes? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

A Star Wars Book Review Podcast: Kenobi

Here’s my latest book review podcast:

Most Wanted, by Rae Carson The Star Wars Reader

I share my thoughts on the young adult novel Most Wanted, by Rae Carson. 
  1. Most Wanted, by Rae Carson
  2. Queen's Shadow, by E.K. Johnston
  3. Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel, by James Luceno
  4. Heir to the Jedi, by Kevin Hearne
  5. Kenobi, by John Jackson Miller

Star Wars Fan Art: Obi-Wan On Tatooine

I’ve been thinking about the Obi-Wan series coming out next year (as I often do) and thought I’d post some fan art pertaining to Obi-Wan on Tatooine throughout the years of his vigil over Luke.

So this is your basic Obi-Wan-meditating-in-the-desert theme. I love the details in this one, like the strands of hair in the face, the folded hands, and the shredded cloak.

agarthanguide.deviantart.com

I love this one of Obi-Wan sharing tea with Qui Gon’s Force ghost. Not sure how the ghost is going to drink the tea, but it’s a nice gesture anyway. Just about convinced we’re going to see Qui Gon in the show (it just seems inevitable, lol).

picoji.com

This one of Obi-Wan still grieving and obsessing over what happened with Anakin is one of my favorites. I’m guessing the show will address how he’s coping with his, what we would call, PTSD. He still hasn’t changed his tunic, which still has burn-holes from embers on Mustafar.

keblava.tumblr.com

I love this one of Old Ben in his light-filled house.

Hello there: Obi-Wan Kenobi fan art dump - star wars post - Imgur
MrJwinkeyface (really) on imgur.com

Here’s Old Ben meditating in the desert, levitating Anakin’s lightsaber, and sitting atop a pile of burning lava. Clearly those memories are burned into his consciousness.

reddit.com

I love Swanland’s style of movement and vitality in his works. Here it seems Old Ben’s avoiding detection, with a dead Tusken Raider at his feet. Just another day on Tatooine.

Raymond Swanland on imgur.com

What do you think of these images? Do you have any Obi-Wan favorites? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!

My Ranking of the New Upcoming Star Wars Shows

With the release of the cast of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, and a new trailer for The Bad Batch, it’s ratcheting up my excitement for the new shows. First, I want to briefly address these recent announcements, and then I’ll rank all the new upcoming shows based on my preferences and why.

Image

First, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Starwars.com released the cast list and stated production will begin in April. From what we understand, it will release sometime in 2022. I’m going to go ahead and admit I don’t know half the actors in the cast list. Ewan and Hayden are obvious, and Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse are returning as Owen and Beru from Revenge of the Sith. The only other person I know is Indira Varma from Game of Thrones. But that’s all right–I prefer unknowns (to me) in Star Wars, as they don’t bring along any of their other roles. They’re blank slates and can truly become the character for me.

As far as the trailer for The Bad Batch, it’s getting me a bit more excited for the show. The characters themselves aren’t as interesting to me as the setting of the show itself–post Order 66 as the Empire takes power. I love the Clones and want to see what happens to them after that fateful order, and whether or not the Bad Batch have a chip in their brains as well (I’m guessing no? Maybe?) Fennic Shand is an interesting addition, and was that Saw Gerrera I saw? As far as that kid goes–hmm. Not sure what that’s all about, but we’ll see. Looking forward to this show’s premier on May 4th.

So, without further ado, here’s my personal rankings based on my excitement and interest of the new shows coming up:

10. Droids. I don’t necessarily hate the kid’s shows, but no thanks.

9. Visions. I’m not sure what this is all about, but it might be interesting.

8. Lando. Look, I love Lando, but for a whole freaking show? I’m not sure that will work. But of course I’ll watch.

7. Boba Fett. So I loved Boba in The Mandalorian. Does that mean I want a whole show of him? Not really. But I’ll tune in to see what it’s all about.

6. Rogue Squadron movie. Not a show, of course, but the next movie coming out in 2023. I’m not a huge fan of pilot stories, but it’s a Star Wars movie. I’m going to go see it.

5. Rangers of the New Republic. Again, pilots. But will probably cross-over with Mando, so I’m on board.

4. The Bad Batch. As explained above, I want more Clones. This is what we get, so I’ll take it. I’ll probably love it, lol.

3. The Acolyte. Super curious about this one. I think it takes place about 50 years prior to The Phantom Menace, at the end of the High Republic. I’m thinking darksiders, Sith stuff, maybe Plagueis or Palpatine. Finally, some Force-users! Dark side, in all likelihood, but I’ll take it.

2. Ahsoka. Duh. I can’t wait to see Ahsoka in live action again, looking for Thrawn, maybe find Ezra, maybe with the help of Sabine. This one’s gonna be good!

#1. Obi-Wan Kenobi. This is, of course, my number one, because: Obi-Wan. As you might have figured out if you read this blog, Obi-Wan is my favorite character. For a long time, fans have wondered–just what did Obi-Wan do to fill his time on Tatooine while watching over Luke? And since most of us would happily watch Obi-Wan drink tea in the desert for 6 hours (am I the only one?) this will be a real treat. With Hayden coming back as Darth Vader, the excitement level is off the charts, at least for me. I can’t wait to see how it’s all gonna play out.

I didn’t include The Mandalorian Season 3 simply because it’s not a “new” show, but obviously looking forward to it returning, sometime in 2022. I’m really gonna miss Baby, though.

What are your thoughts on these shows? Which ones are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Five of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Best Moments

It seems like an impossible task to pick out only five, since I feel that every single moment Obi-Wan takes breath deserves to be on the list, lol. But I forced myself to pick out five of his best moments in the Star Wars universe, in my opinion:

  • Defeating Maul Part I (TPM).
Kill my master? That tears it!

When Qui Gon and Obi-Wan face Darth Maul on Naboo in The Phantom Menace, it’s a really cool lightsaber duel (and John Williams’ soundtrack for it is fantastic). But when Maul cuts down Qui Gon, it gets real personal real fast. When Obi-Wan slices Maul in half, it was the first time a Jedi had defeated a Sith in a thousand years. And a Padawan, at that. Because of this, Obi-Wan earned his Jedi Knighthood and did not have to go through the Jedi Trials (whatever that is, lol). At any rate, this moment illustrates Obi-Wan’s excellent lightsaber skills and the kind of Jedi Knight he will become.

  • Satine’s Death (Clone Wars).
“Remember my dear Obi-Wan, I have loved you always. And I always will.”

This scene from Clone Wars (The Lawless, Season 5 , Episode 16 ), simply gutted me. Maul gets his revenge on Obi-Wan by killing the only woman he’s ever loved. In the episode, you can see the despair, and then the anger, that rises in Obi-Wan, but only for a moment. It’s in this moment that he fights one of the hardest battles of his life: resisting the urge to kill everyone in the room in his rage; to give in to the dark side. We get a glimpse into his emotions and thoughts in this moment in Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark, in the short story Kenobi’s Shadow by Greg Van Eekhout:

“…if Obi-Wan gave in to his desires, he’d be giving Maul exactly what he wanted.

He’d become the thing he’d dedicated his life to oppose.

He’d no longer be himself.

None of that was what Satine would have wanted. Not on her world. Not anywhere…

As Obi-Wan allowed the commandos to drag him away, only he knew of the painful victory he’d just won–and how he could not have done it without drawing strength from Satine Kryze, duchess of Mandalore.”

Maul had struck a blow to Obi-Wan–but he didn’t win. Obi-Wan’s “weakness”, according to Maul (his love and respect for Satine) is what saved him.

  • Defeating Anakin/Vader (ROTS).
“You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you.”

This is another tragic moment for Obi-Wan: his Padawan, his brother, his friend, Anakin, turns to the dark side and threatens everything Obi-Wan holds dear. It hurts him, but he will do what he must. Anakin’s arrogance causes him to make a mistake, and Obi-Wan maims him, leaving him to burn in the ashes of Mustafar. Some might wonder why Obi-Wan didn’t finish him off and put him out of his misery. He could have prevented a LOT of pain and suffering in the future if he’d killed Anakin. But he didn’t–he just walked away, leaving Anakin’s fate–and the fate of the galaxy–to the Force. Obi-Wan is a Jedi, and he will not kill an unarmed (pardon the pun) man. And perhaps he can’t bring himself to destroy Anakin at this moment–perhaps, somewhere in his heart, he still feels there’s hope. And of course, Obi-Wan is right. It takes a few decades, but the Force, in its way, brings Anakin face to face with his son, Luke, who brings about his redemption. By the time of A New Hope, though, Obi-Wan feels there’s nothing left of Anakin and there’s no hope of his ever coming back; maybe we’ll learn more about why in the upcoming Kenobi series.

  • Defeating Maul Part 2 (Rebels).
“Look what I have risen above.”

Like a bad penny, Maul just keeps turning up. He uses Ezra Bridger to find Obi-Wan, intent on finishing his revenge against his long-time nemesis. For years, Maul chewed on his hatred of Obi-Wan; meanwhile, Obi-Wan has let all of that go to focus on the most important mission of his life: to watch over and protect Anakin’s son, Luke. In this scene, you can see how Maul has stagnated in his hate; while the desert of Tatooine and his focus on his mission has burned everything else away for Obi-Wan. He is a sea of calm, focus, and wisdom. Maul doesn’t understand this Obi-Wan, and ferrets out that he’s protecting someone here. Obi-Wan narrows his concentration, not willing to let Maul endanger Luke, going into a readiness stance with his lightsaber. This, the prelude to violence, Maul understands. But he underestimates Obi-Wan, and the Jedi cuts him down ridiculously fast. Obi-Wan catches him as he falls and holds him as he dies, showing a compassion for Maul that is astounding considering the pain Maul brought him in the past. But as Obi-Wan told him, he’s risen above all that. He kind of reminds me of Gandalf the White here–he’s passed through fire and ruin, and is no longer the man he was. He’s burned down to his essence: a Jedi in the truest sense. Ironically, he reached this pinnacle in the act of letting go of being a Jedi Knight and becoming simply Ben Kenobi.

  • Sacrifice to Vader on the first Death Star (ANH).
“I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

I didn’t recognize the significance of this scene when I first saw it in my youth. I probably didn’t even really understand it. But I didn’t know Obi-Wan all that well back then (none of us did before the prequels) and just figured he sacrificed himself so Luke and his friends could get away. And he did, but there’s more to it than that. At this point in his life, Obi-Wan believes he’s fulfilled his destiny: he protected Luke and brought him into the fray at a critical point. Now he must do what all Jedi must master–to let go. Of everything. That look he gives Luke before he allows Vader to cut him down–that knowing smile–he trusts in Luke, and in the Force, and that everything will work out the way it should. Or not. He simply trusts, and like the time he walked away from a burning Anakin, he leaves it all to the Force. And as he tells his former apprentice, Vader, he’ll be more powerful in death than in life. He’ll be one with the Force. And we find out later that as a Force ghost he can more easily guide and advise Luke. He’ll always be there (though not at Luke’s beck and call, lol). I love that Obi-Wan chose his moment of death, that he was in complete control, and was at peace with it. It’s a fitting death for one of the greatest Jedi who ever lived.

So these moments are all probably obvious, but nonetheless, they really do define the kind of Jedi Obi-Wan was.

Obi-Wan doing the Thing

What do you think are Obi-Wan’s best moments? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Five Favorite Things About A New Hope

I’ve covered my five favorite things of each of the films of the prequel trilogy. Now it’s time to delve into the Original Trilogy, with A New Hope. Enjoy!

Favorite Scene

Luke with Obi-Wan. There are so many great scenes in this movie, but I really like this scene with Luke and Obi-Wan. It’s probably the moment Obi-Wan has been waiting 20 years for–the moment he can give Luke Anakin’s lightsaber and finally bring him into the larger story of the galaxy. They watch R2’s holo of Princess Leia (and I’m sure he recognizes her as Luke’s twin; possibly he feels that the old, ripped threads are starting to come together), tells him about Anakin’s “death”, and tries to recruit him to go to Alderaan with him. All of Obi-Wan’s patient exile hinges on this moment. But Luke still resists, worrying about his Uncle Owen yelling at him, his chores, the late hour…it’s only when Luke finds out his aunt and uncle are dead that he decides to go with Obi-Wan. In this particular scene, when Obi-Wan is telling Luke about Anakin, Sir Alec Guinness’ performance is uncanny, as if he knows the true story of Anakin Skywalker and how disturbing it is; of course, he doesn’t at this point, but it’s a testament to his superb and subtle acting skills that we imagine he does know. It’s such a great scene.

Favorite Duel

Obi-Wan vs. Darth Vader. Unless you want to count Luke’s exercise with the remote, this is the only lightsaber battle in this movie. And though it’s considered a bit clunky by our standards, it’s the first time audiences actually saw a lightsaber battle, and it was pretty darn cool. What’s really compelling about this duel is how Obi-Wan uses it to distract the Imperials to allow Luke and his friends to escape from the Death Star; and the fact that he chooses to sacrifice himself in order to become more powerful than Vader can possibly imagine. We don’t really understand what he means by that; and we can also see that Vader himself is a bit uneasy about the whole thing, toeing Obi-Wan’s robes that had fluttered to the floor when he struck him. And where the heck did he go? The whole sequence is confounding and impressive and full of a strange pathos. Something amazing just happened, and we’re left reeling, confused and sad but also triumphant. Vader didn’t win the duel, even though he’s the one still alive. So much going on in that one moment. Fantastic.

Favorite Line

There’s so many great zingers in this movie, but I love this one:

Funniest Moment

Classic Han Solo:

Most Impactful Character

Luke Skywalker. This is Luke’s movie, from beginning to end, and rightly so. He’s the young hero, starting out on his adventure, the hero’s journey in which he will be challenged, meet friends and foes alike, and find out what he’s truly made of. He’s the wide-eyed farmboy who yearns and burns for something more, and we, the audience, can identify with that and instantly like and root for him. We see him realize he has a bigger destiny. He bonds with his mentor, learns about the Force (taking his “first steps into a larger world”), meets a smuggler and a Princess, and saves the day when he blows up the Death Star. It’s a classic coming of age story, one that resonates with all of us. The story of Luke Skywalker catapulted us into the amazing galaxy of Star Wars, and thank the Maker for it.

What are your favorite moments from A New Hope? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

Like this post? Hit the Like button, comment below, or Follow Star Wars: My Point of View.

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

My Five Favorite Things About Attack of the Clones

I’m continuing with my “Five favorite things” theme on all the films with Episode 2, Attack of the Clones. You can check out my five favorites of The Phantom Menace here.

Favorite Scene

The Battle of Geonosis. This is the climax of the movie, when all the s**t hits the fan. For me, it really starts with Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme battling the beasties, and then the Jedi arrive led by Mace Windu. AND THEN Yoda arrives with the clones to mop things up. It’s really a great sequence of events, a lot of action, battles, and things blowing up. AND THEN, it all leads to…

Favorite Duel

Yoda vs. Dooku. Obi-Wan and Anakin get to duel Dooku first, but they fail spectacularly and quite quickly, with Anakin losing an arm and Obi-Wan getting a boo-boo on his leg. (I have this sneaky feeling that Dooku has a soft spot for Obi-Wan, as he’s his Padawan’s Padawn. Kind of like a grandson). But then Yoda arrives to fight HIS Padawan, and the battle really begins. This is the first time we’ve seen Yoda fight with a lightsaber, and it’s fantastic. He limps in with his walking stick, and then proceeds to jump and whirl and fight circles around Dooku. I think I laughed and clapped with delight the first time I saw this duel, it made me so happy. Dooku knew he was in trouble and had to distract Yoda by threatening Obi-Wan and Anakin, and then he made his escape. So cool.

Favorite Line

“The day we stop believing democracy works is the day we lose it.” –Queen Jamilla of Naboo

Funniest Moment

Most Impactful Character

Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan simply rocks in this movie. He does some Jedi-CSI investigating to find Kamino and discovers the clone army, finds Jango, fights him, and follows him to Geonosis. Without all this, the Jedi never would have rooted out Dooku and his Separatist cronies. And the only way any of this occurred is because Obi-Wan “we’re not getting into an investigation” Kenobi dived out Padme’s window to follow the assassin droid.

In a lot of ways, I think Attack of the Clones, out of all the movies, is the most fun.

What are your favorite AOTC moments? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

Like this post? Hit the Like button, comment below, or Follow Star Wars: My Point of View.

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

My Five Favorite Things About The Phantom Menace

I thought I’d go through all the Star Wars films and list a few of my favorite things about them, because why not? One a week, starting with Episode 1 all the way through 9, as well as Rogue One and Solo. Let’s start, shall we?

Favorite Scene

This isn’t a specific scene, but I loved how Padme Amidala disguised herself as one of her own handmaidens, and Sabe often was dressed as the Queen. It was smart, clever, and fooled almost everyone–I’m still up in the air as to whether the Jedi were fooled or not. They looked fairly surprised when Padme came forward and admitted to being the Queen when she spoke with Boss Nass, but I’ve seen others claim that they knew. What do you think?

Favorite Duel

This one’s pretty easy, because there’s only one duel of note in this film: Duel of the Fates, between Qui Gon, Obi-Wan, and Maul. It’s the first major lightsaber duel of the prequels, and it’s graceful, frenetic, and deadly in a way that the duels from the OT weren’t, like a dance. Maul’s double-bladed red lightsaber is awesome, and his moves are equally impressive. Qui Gon’s death at his hand is heartbreaking, as is the tender way Obi-Wan cradles him and promises to train Anakin right before he dies. Obi-Wan, by the way, proves he’s a master lightsaber duelist when he kills Maul, the first Sith the Jedi have encountered in a thousand years. Well, we thought he killed him, and so did Obi-Wan.

It’s also interesting to note that Dave Filoni himself pointed out that it’s called the Duel of the Fates because it’s Anakin’s fate that hangs in the balance with this duel. If Qui Gon had not been killed, would Anakin have eventually turned the Dark side? Perhaps not, as Qui Gon might have been the strong father figure that Anakin needed, whereas Obi-Wan was more of a brother or friend and inevitably failed in that role. And I’m not saying it’s all Obi-Wan’s fault Anakin turned; I think it’s obvious several factors were at work.

So it’s an important duel for that reason; not to mention the fact that Maul actually survives, and his injuries at the hand of Obi-Wan fuels his rage and his vendetta against him throughout much of Clone Wars and Rebels.

Favorite Line

Some people should heed Qui Gon's words more often.

Funniest Moment

Jar Jar Binks is definitely the comedy relief in this movie, and I have to say that although I thought he was pretty silly when I first saw this back in the day, I’ve come to love the goofy guy. There’s an innocence to him that’s touching, and he does help the cause in many ways. I’d have to say the funniest moments are the ones during the Battle of Naboo, where he clumsily swings weapons around and actually does some damage. It’s not laugh-out-loud, certainly, but gets a little chuckle out of me.

Most Impactful Character

Qui Gon Jinn wins this category. He’s pretty much the dramatic center of the story, and he’s always been one of my favorite Jedi. But I’ve decided to make this category the most impactful character, and not necessarily my favorite. Qui Gon is impactful here because it’s he who discovers Anakin (for better or for worse), frees him from slavery, and brings him back to Coruscant. It’s Qui Gon who pleads for Obi-Wan to train Anakin as a Jedi. It’s Qui Gon who steadfastly believes that Anakin is the Chosen One. Basically, if it wasn’t for Qui Gon, there would be no Skywalker saga; there would be no Star Wars. That’s quite impactful.

So, if I was forced to rank the Star Wars movies (and I see a lot of people ranking them on fan sites), this one would probably be last, as it often is with a lot of fans. Poor Phantom Menace. But I hate ranking the films, as I do love all of them in their own way. It’s like ranking your children, or picking a favorite child. I find something to love in all the Star Wars movies, and TPM has a lot to love.

What are some of your favorites in The Phantom Menace? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

Like this post? Hit the Like button, comment below, or Follow Star Wars: My Point of View.

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