My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello my friends, and happy weekend!

I’ve finished Shadow of the Sith, and it’s a great book for the most part, and gives quite a bit of insight into the Sequel trilogy. For instance, many people (sequel haters, to be precise) criticize Rey for knowing so much about starship mechanics when she’s never flown one before. Okay, I get that, but in this book we learn why. Miramir, Rey’s mother, has a natural ability when it comes to mechanics, computers, slicing, etc. She’s brilliant at it, actually. And so Rey apparently inherits this trait from her mother. It’s an inborn knack. So the book seems to be going back and explaining how Rey was so good at it from the get-go. Does it bother me that the book is trying to fill in some holes in the films? Not really. I figured because Rey had the Force, maybe a lot of things came naturally to her. That it came from her mother only makes it more special.

Miramir, Rey and Dathan

There’s also a situation that I never really thought about until I read this book. When Rey is left behind on Jakku by her parents, they take off in Ochi of Bestoon’s ship. That’s how she recognizes it later on Pasaana. But…why were they on the ship that belonged to the guy who was chasing them? Well, this book explains that, too. So it’s answering questions I never knew I had!

We get a lot more insight into Lando Calrissian and his grief over his missing daughter, Kadara. I feel like this is mostly Lando’s story, and that I know him much better now than before. I can’t say the same for Luke, though. He seems strangely flat to me. I think the author is trying to show him as the calm, collected Jedi Master, but it only makes him seem, I don’t know, empty–like he doesn’t have a personality anymore. It’s disappointing. There’s no character arc for him, except to find this Sith villain, face it and defeat it; but there’s no personal challenges or changes. He’s exactly the same throughout the entire book, while Lando struggles with his grief, his purpose, his impatience, his not knowing. In other words, Lando is portrayed as a flesh and blood human being with flaws, while Luke is…kind of boring. I feel like the author was maybe afraid to do anything with Luke for fear of being criticized like Rian Johnson was for what he did with him in The Last Jedi. And that’s unfortunate, because I was really hoping for a great Luke story, and I didn’t get one.

Lando

Otherwise, the rest of the story was quite good and I did enjoy it.

So Padawan by Kiersten White will release on Tuesday the 26th, and I’m looking forward to this one. It’s a YA novel about Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, and anything Obi-Wan is exciting to me! Can’t wait to dig into that one.

I noticed on Disney+ that the Assembled episode for Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness was released, and I gladly watched it even though MOM wasn’t my favorite Dr. Strange story. I always feel a huge appreciation for all the incredible amount of work and the armies of people that are involved in making these stories come to life, just so we can enjoy ourselves for a couple of hours, lol. Bravo.

So after finishing up Stranger Things Season 4, I was poking around Netflix to maybe find something else to watch, and there are a few movies I’d like to watch in the near future, even though I’ve seen quite few of them. But I came across the TV show Merlin, which came out in 2008 and ran until 2012. I watched every episode when it came out and loved it, and decided to revisit it.

Dragons and swords and magic, oh my!

It’s a more family-friendly version of the Arthurian legend, so it’s been defanged quite a bit, but it makes up for it in charm. I’ve rewatched the first episode so far, and it’s going to be great fun revisiting this show. Anybody ever watched it?

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

Hello my friends, and happy weekend!

So I’m continuing my read of Shadow of the Sith, and it’s quite enjoyable. Now that I’m in the middle of the book, it’s basically been “Rey and her parents are being chased by Ochi and the Sith, Ochi is being chased by Luke and Lando, and Rey’s parents are managing to stay one step ahead of everybody. For now.” Even though I know how it ends for Rey and her parents, I’m eager to see what happens before all that, as well as how Ochi comes to his end on Pasaana.

Thor: Love and Thunder was fun but flat.

I went to the theater to see Thor: Love and Thunder, and while it was a fun and enjoyable movie, it just didn’t have the same weight as any of the other Thor films. While I love MCU humor, and Taika Waititi’s particular brand of humor, I feel it went way over the top in this one. Taika’s other outing with Thor, Ragnorok, had the same wonderful humor in it, but there was still some depth to Thor and his arc in that movie. Here, Thor seems almost like a clown, and I think that’s a disservice to the character. Jane Foster’s arc was much more interesting, but everything else just seemed like a big joke. Again, I love MCU humor, but it needs to be used sparingly as comedic relief, not carry the entire movie (I loved the screaming goats, though, lol). It was fun, and my 7-year old grandson loved it, but ultimately it’s fairly forgettable. With the slight disappointment I had in Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, I feel like Marvel may be slipping in the feature film department, while excelling in the TV series format (can’t wait for Loki Season 2, and ooh, maybe a Moon Knight Season 2?)

My other, and more engrossing, entertainment this week has been binging Season 4 of Stranger Things. Whoa, what a wild ride! After several years of waiting, I had almost forgotten how much I loved the show and didn’t really care if I watched it or not. But I’m so glad I did. It didn’t bother me that there were like, five different storylines to follow, because they were all so great. Stranger Things has always had a crazy storyline, and yeah, the nostalgia is fun (I was these kids’ age in the 80s), but what I love the most are the fantastic characters. The usual crew is wonderful, but the new or supporting characters are always super-fun, whether it’s over-the-top Murray, the mysterious Enzo, the stoner pizza guy Argyle, or my personal favorite (and a lot of other people’s, too), the D&D-playing, metal music-playing Eddie, who looks tough but has a heart of gold. His Metallica-inspired distraction in the Upside Down is pure gold, and his arc is simply heartbreaking.

The other kids do a good job navigating their personal problems while trying to save the world, lol. While I rooted for Jonathan to be with Nancy in previous seasons, now I’m going the other way and rooting for Steve again. I just want that kid to be happy. 😦 And I’ve always rooted for Hopper and Joyce, I mean, come on. It’s funny, now that I’ve watched Visions, in particular “The Eder,” in which David Harbour voices the Qui Gon Jinn-like Jedi Master, whenever Hopper speaks all I can think of is him dispensing Jedi wisdom to his Padawan.

I thought Will was brilliantly acted by Noah Schnapp. His character didn’t have much to do in this season except look sad and give Mike pep talks about Eleven, but there’s clearly something eating at him, and I think we all know what it is. And it’s Noah’s acting and the excellent writing that proves you don’t have to come right out and say something in order for the audience to understand it. The scene where Jonathan talks to Will in the pizza place, telling him that no matter what, he’s his brother and he loves him and will always be there for him, well, that just broke me. Brilliant. Hopefully Will have more to do in the next season, considering he was so pivotal in the first few.

Aside from everyone’s personal problems and love lives, I thought Vecna was an interesting villain. It adds to the concept of the Upside Down, kind of re-writes it without contradicting what came before. Good stuff.

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

My Entertainment Weekend Update: Shadow of the Sith Edition

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

I received my copy of Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher, and eagerly began reading it. It’s a big book (almost 500 pages!) and I’m about 150 pages in and really enjoying it. Basically, it’s the story of Luke and Lando searching for Ochi of Bestoon, which was mentioned by Lando in The Rise of Skywalker. It takes place about 20 years after Return of the Jedi, and about 13 years before The Force Awakens.

There’s some SPOILERY stuff ahead for Shadows of the Sith, so if you haven’t read it yet and think you might want to, proceed cautiously. I haven’t read the whole thing, but I’d like to mention what I’ve read so far.

So this book brings a lot of threads from various Star Wars periods and media together. Ochi of Bestoon, as mentioned in TROS, was seeking Rey and her parents by order of the Sith and Sidious. We see Rey’s parents–Dathan and Miramir–fleeing with Rey across the galaxy, trying to get away from the Sith, and Ochi pursuing them. I think we’re going to get Dathan and Miramir’s story in flashbacks here, which is something I’ve wanted since seeing the sequel trilogy.

We see Luke on the planet Ossus with his new Jedi Order he’s been training, including Ben Solo. But he’s been having visions of a dark, evil place, which turns out to be Exegol. He’s visited by Lor San Tekka (seen at the beginning of The Force Awakens), who is a member of The Church of the Force. Luke and San Tekka have traveled the galaxy together in search of Jedi artifacts and lore, in Luke’s attempt to rebuild the Order. Luke tells him about his visions, and though San Tekka can’t help him, he brings him to the planet Yortuba, on which an archeological dig is taking place.

The dig is being helmed by Beaumont Kin (Dominic Monahan’s character from TROS), and while there, they discover an old Sith holocron and some shards of red kyber crystal. Luke takes both artifacts to the old Jedi temple on Tython and sits on the seeing stone. While meditating on the crystals, he once again finds himself at Exegol, only this time, he’s really there. He’s attacked by nine strange beings, who seem to be Sith acolytes with lightsabers. He’s saved by the intervention of a force ghost–his father, Anakin Skywalker (awesome!). Anakin warns him that a dark threat is looming, and is rather cryptic about it before disappearing. Luke finds himself back on Tython, and that’s when Lando shows up.

So in the meantime, Lando had been gambling on a space station called Sennifer’s Balance and Beam, and overheard Ochi of Bestoon talking with some cohorts about kidnapping a girl, and being “reactivated” by the Sith (he’d been on Exegol with Vader at one point in the Darth Vader comic series, which I haven’t read–but you don’t have to to understand the story).

What caught Lando’s attention is Ochi’s mention of kidnapping a girl–and here we learn that Lando’s own daughter, Kadara Calrissian, had been kidnapped six years ago when she was two. He’d spent the time since scouring the galaxy looking for her, for any clue that might lead to her, and hadn’t really found anything. He decided to get involved, if only to do some kind of good and take his mind off his own daughter, and had gone to Luke because of the mention of the Sith.

In the meantime, we see a Pantoran woman with an ancient Sith mask, a mask that has mostly taken over her mind and she does its will. This woman is Kiza, a character we see in some of the interludes in the Aftermath books. I’m not sure yet what role she’ll play in the story, except that she’s involved in the dark evil that is looming in Luke’s mind.

So yeah, a lot going on here, with lots of different threads that will ultimately come together. I feel like it’s a pretty important book as far as canon goes. You don’t necessarily have to be familiar with all the source material that it borrows from, but it’s neat to make the connections.

In the meantime, I’ve set Black Spire aside (it’s awfully slow sometimes) until I finish this book, but I’m still reading Bloodline on the Kindle.

That’s really it this week, which is why I decided to get a bit detailed about Shadow of the Sith.

And, oh yeah, Thor: Love and Thunder opened yesterday, and I’m hoping to go see it while I’m on vacation this coming week. It looks super-fun, and I can’t wait to see it!

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

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!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Happy weekend, my friends!

In books this week, I’m about halfway through The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, which I’m really enjoying. I’m also only about halfway through The Outsiders, the book my daughter is reading in school. It’s a short book and I would have finished it in a couple of days, but I’m trying to go at my daughter’s class’ pace, which is EXTREMELY slow, lol (it doesn’t help that her teacher has been out sick). So that’s on hold until they catch up.

So I needed another Kindle book to keep me busy until then, so I downloaded The Weapon of a Jedi, by Jason Fry. It’s a middle-grade Luke-centric story that takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. I’ve just started it, so I can’t really say much about it right now, except that I’m happy to be reading a Luke story. More on this book next week.

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He’s in the yellow coat/black shirt combo I like so much.

Speaking of Luke-centric stories, I just learned that there are several new Star Wars canon books coming out next year, and one of them is called Shadow of the Sith, by Adam Christopher. This one has Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian post-Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens. Finally, a Luke story post ROTJ! It comes out June 28th of next year (my birthday! Sounds like a great birthday present to myself, lol). I’m going to have a whole post on these new books, which also includes an Obi-Wan and Anakin novel called Brotherhood, a YA novel about Obi-Wan (so much Obi-Wan next year, my heart can’t take it!) called Padawan, and a book of short stories about the Jedi and the Sith called, well, Stories of Jedi and Sith, by various authors. Very exciting for this Star Wars bibliophile, and along with the new High Republic books coming out next year, I’ll be very busy indeed!

So, in Marvel: the latest What If? episode (What if…the Watcher Broke his Oath) was the season finale, and it was…good. I enjoyed it, as it brought together this rather ragtag team of heroes from across the multiverse to fight Ultron, including Party Thor, T’Challa Starlord, Captain Carter, Gomorra, Killmonger, Black Widow and Dark Dr. Strange. It had a lot of cool battles, and the solution was unique and unexpected, but…I have questions, lol.

What If...? Every MCU Easter Egg In Episode 9 | Screen Rant
Guardians of the Multiverse, assemble!

First off, I wanted to know more about this Gamorra. We hadn’t seen her at all in the series, and suddenly she’s there (taken from a universe where she was working with Tony Stark, of all people). What’s her story? Also, I just kind of assumed that if the Watcher broke his oath (and who, exactly, did he make the oath to?) that there would be consequences. A price to pay, so to speak. But nothing happened. He broke his oath and interfered, Ultron was defeated, and…that’s it. Multiverse saved. Doesn’t seem to make cosmic sense. Anyway, my last question is: how does the Watcher fit in with the multiverse unleashed in the Loki series? Does Kang (or He Who Remains, or whatever his name is) know the Watcher? Is he the one The Watcher gave the oath to? Maybe these are questions that will be answered in a Season Two, which I really hope happens.

Oh hey, if you want to ball your eyes out, check out the movie War Horse. It’s a great film about a horse and his boy, but has the kind of scenes (like a horse getting caught in barbed wire) that make me wonder why the hell I put myself through this, lol. Seriously, it’s a wonderful Spielberg film that ranks up there with my personal horse movie favorites–Hildalgo and Seabiscuit. Heavenly Hiddles is in it but only for about 20 minutes in a 2.5 hour movie. No matter; still well worth it.

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Get the tissues out.

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