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 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!

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