Star Wars: The High Republic–Phase 2 Preview

Phase 2 of the High Republic will be upon us soon, and as a fan who loves the HR, I thought I’d list the upcoming books. I could only find a description for the adult novel, Convergence.

Phase 2, Wave 1:

  • Path of Deceit (YA), by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland, Oct. 4th, 2022.
  • Convergence (Adult), by Zoraida Cordova, Nov. 15th, 2022. Here’s the Amazon description:
  • It is an age of exploration. Jedi travel the galaxy, expanding their understanding of the Force and all the worlds and beings connected by it. Meanwhile, the Republic, led by its two chancellors, works to unite worlds in an ever-growing community among near and distant stars.
     
    On the close orbiting planets of Eiram and E’ronoh, the growing pains of a galaxy with limited resources but unlimited ambition are felt keenly. Their hatred for each other has fueled half a decade of escalating conflict and now threatens to consume surrounding systems. The last hope for peace emerges when heirs from the two planets’ royal families plan to marry.
     
    Before lasting peace can be established, an assassination attempt targeting the couple tilts Eiram and E’ronoh back into all-out war. To save both worlds, Jedi Knight Gella Nattai volunteers to uncover the culprit, while Chancellor Kyong appoints her son, Axel Greylark, to represent the Republic’s interests in the investigation.
     
    But Axel’s deep distrust of the Jedi sparks against Gella’s faith in the Force. She’s never met such a puffed-up, privileged party boy, and he’s never met a more self-serious, relentless do-gooder. The more they work to untangle the shadowy web of the investigation, the more complicated the conspiracy appears to be. With accusations flying and potential enemies in every shadow, the pair will have to work together to have any hope of bringing the truth to light and saving both worlds.
  • Quest for the Hidden City (Middle Grade), by George Mann, Feb. 14th, 2023
  • The Battle of Jedha (Audiobook), by George Mann, Feb. 14th, 2023

Phase 2, Wave 2 (No covers available yet):

  • Cataclysm (Adult), by Lydia Kang, April 4th, 2023
  • Quest for Planet X (Middle Grade), by Tessa Gratton, April 4th, 2023
  • Path of Vengeance (YA), by Cavan Scott, May 2nd 2023

I plan to read all of these books, the adult and YA as they come out, and eventually get to the middle-grade books (I usually get these on deal on my Kindle at a later date). I may even read the script of the audiodrama The Battle of Jedha, although I didn’t for the Phase 1 audiodrama, Tempest Runner. Tempest Runner is about the Nihil Lourna Dee, and I wasn’t that invested in her particular story outside the novels. But Jedha? Yes, please! Ever since Rogue One and the YA book Guardians of the Whills (with Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus), I’ve had a fascination for Jedha and the holy city.

I can’t wait for this next Phase of the High Republic!

Have you read the High Republic books? Looking forward to this Phase? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

Not much to report this week, besides some re-reads and re-watches.

It’s interesting how this rendition of Ahsoka looks more like live-action Ahsoka than animated Ahsoka.

I finished my re-read of the Ahsoka novel on my Kindle. While I liked it when I first read it, I find that I like it so much more on this second read. I’m not sure why. I think maybe because I know Ahsoka so much better now than I did when the book came out–I don’t think I’d watched Rebels at that point yet. I think I had watched Clone Wars, otherwise I wouldn’t have known or been interested in the character. I don’t know, but I love the book! Makes me very excited for the Ahsoka show next year!

How the Obi-Wan Kenobi show made me feel.

Learning about the making-of doc about the Obi-Wan Kenobi show put me in a mood to rewatch the series (I think it’s the third time for me), and it just gets better with each rewatch. I don’t have much else to say about it except how wonderful it is (Leia-under-Ben’s-coat still makes me wince, but whatever, lol). For me, with Star Wars it’s about how it makes me feel. Is everything perfect? Nope. Does everything make sense? Not always. Does it get me in the feels? Hell yeah! Emotional satisfaction is more important to me in the final analysis. That’s how I learned to love the prequels. Are they often silly? Yes. Have I learned to love that silliness? Yup. Star Wars makes me feel happy. That is all.

Omega’s innocence is endearing.

With The Bad Batch Season Two coming up (I think it’s back on for Sept. 28th?) I decided to rewatch the first season again (I think I’m on viewing #3 with this one, too). I’m up to episode 6, so about halfway through. I continue to be surprised at how much I love these guys (and girl). I just love listening to their banter, and I want to know what’s going to happen with Crosshair, and what is it about Omega that’s so special, and what direction will the squad go in? I’m here for it.

These are the books I read when I was a kid.

Once I finished Ahsoka, I had to find new Star Wars for my Kindle, so I chose the Original Trilogy novelizations. These are books that I read countless times back in the day, but it’s been a long while (literally decades). I thought it would be fun to go back and reread them and see what sticks out to me. I just started reading A New Hope, and one thing that sticks out is that mechanicals aren’t called droids, they’re called robots, which is a bit weird. Of course, this book came out months before the movie even released, so yeah, some things changed by the time of the film. Some of the dialogue is slightly different, some deleted scenes are in there, like when Luke talks with Biggs on Tatooine. Lots of little things. This will be fun!

So basically, what I’m saying with all this rereading and rewatching is that I really need some new Star Wars stuff, lol. Andor is just around the corner, and probably The Bad Batch, and October will see the first book of Phase 2 of the High Republic (stay tuned for a post on the upcoming books in the HR). So I’ll be swimming in it again very soon. We’re very spoiled in this golden age of Star Wars, don’t you think?

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

Ranking the Star Wars books released this year (so far)

I thought I’d post my rankings of the Star Wars books that have released this year–so far, since there are some High Republic Phase 2 books coming out this fall. I’ve included mostly adult and YA novels; the only middle grade book I’ve included is the short story collection Stories of Jedi and Sith. Obviously, I’ve only included books that I’ve read, and so the High Republic audio drama Tempest Runner is not included.

So here we go, from least favorite to best:

8. The High Republic: Midnight Horizon, by Daniel Jose Older (YA). This book occurs concurrently with The Fallen Star, but I consider it the last book of Phase 1 of the High Republic. Older is not one of my favorite Star Wars authors. This story is fine, but it’s one of my least favorite of the High Republic novels (Out of the Shadows takes the least favorite spot), and the least favorite of the books that came out this year. It has Reath Silas in it, though, so that makes up for it, and an awesome cameo by Yoda in the last few pages.

7. Stories of Jedi and Sith, by various authors (Middle-grade). These short stories are fun and showcase some great characters like Asajj Ventress, Maul, Luke, Rey and Poe. They don’t add anything significant to the canon, but they’re fun and interesting. I particularly liked the Asajj story, and the Maul story.

6. Queen’s Hope, by E.K. Johnston (YA). I’ve always been a fan of the Padme books, and this one is no exception. It’s the third in a trilogy, and takes place at the start of the Clone Wars and Padme and Anakin’s marriage. As soon as they’re married, they a get a few blissful days on Naboo, but are soon separated on their own missions. I was kind of hoping it was more of a The Princess and the Scoundrel sort of thing, where they get to go on a mission together. They do at the very beginning, but it’s one little chapter, not a whole book. Of course, their marriage is a secret, and Padme must deal with all that entails. It’s still good, and I especially enjoy the Sabe scenes.

5. Padawan, by Kiersten White (YA). This is a young Obi-Wan adventure, and it was quite fun. It shows a very unsure Obi-Wan Kenobi shortly after he is taken on by Qui Gon Jinn as a Padawan. He’s full of doubt and worries, and trying to figure out his relationship with both his Master and the Force. He ends up going alone to a planet where he finds young people with strange Force-like abilities. As he tries to unravel the mysteries of the planet and help these parent-less teens, he comes to understand himself, and the Force, better.

4. Brotherhood, by Mike Chen. This is an Anakin and Obi-Wan adventure, just as the Clone Wars are beginning, and taking place just after Queen’s Hope. Obi-Wan is sent to Cato Neimoidia after the planet suffers a terrible disaster, to investigate the bombing and figure out who is responsible–the Republic or the Separatists. Anakin has just been made a Jedi Knight, and is sent on his own mission, but the two aren’t used to being without the other, and must come to terms with their new relationship–not master and apprentice, but brothers. Anakin shows up, of course, with a youngling in tow, which presages his taking on an apprentice of his own. This is a great book that explores more of Neimoidian culture, separate from the Trade Federation, and how the Republic–as well as Obi-Wan and Anakin–have to overcome certain prejudices against these people. Asajj Ventress is in the book, too, “investigating” on behalf of the Separatists, and you can bet she causes trouble.

3. Shadow of the Sith, by Adam Christopher. This book takes place about fifteen years after Return of the Jedi. Luke and Lando are on a mission to help a young family–six-year old Rey and her parents, Dathan and Miramir–escape the Sith and Ochi of Bestoon. Lando is involved because he feels it will help him deal with his grief over losing his own daughter when she was two; he asks Luke for help, who is currently running his new Jedi Temple on Ossus. We get to see a young Ben Solo a couple of times, and he’s kind of sweet and eager to please his uncle Luke :(. Anyway, Luke gets drawn into a mystery involving an ancient Sith mask possessed by the spirit of a Sith Lord from long ago. It’s a big book, with a lot going on, and it ties together a lot of loose ends from the sequel trilogy. I was a bit disappointed with the portrayal of Luke, who seemed like a robot through the entire book. Otherwise, it’s a great read.

2. The Princess and the Scoundrel, by Beth Revis. I had doubts about this one, and certainly didn’t think it would be so high on my list. But I loved it! If you live for Han and Leia banter and romance (me, it’s me), this one delivers. We see their lovely wedding on Endor, and then Mon Mothma convinces them to take a honeymoon on the Halcyon, a space cruise ship based on Mothma’s homeworld of Chandrila. It’s somewhat for PR purposes, but she truly wants them to have a nice honeymoon, too. But of course they caught up in some intrigue on a troubled moon, all the while figuring each other out and how this marriage thing works. It’s a very satisfying book, at least to me.

1. The High Republic: The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray. This is the adult finale of the first phase of The High Republic, and it’s fantastic. Claudia Gray is my favorite Star Wars author (Bloodline, Leia: Princess of Alderaan, Into the Dark, and Lost Stars are all exceptional), and she doesn’t disappoint here. Told mostly from the points of view of Stellan Gios, Elzar Mann, and Bell Zettifar (among several others), it takes place mostly on Starlight Beacon, a new space station that is the pride and joy of the Republic. Naturally, Marchion Ro, the main villain of the High Republic novels, has it in his sights. Since it takes place mostly on the station, and there’s a Jedi-killing monster on board, it’s got some Alien-like vibes. But the character work with Stellan and Elzar, especially, is great. It’s wonderful and heartbreaking, and I can’t wait to get back to these (surviving) characters in Phase 3.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

If you like romance in Star Wars, this one’s for you.

So I’ve finished The Princess and the Scoundrel this week, and I enjoyed it immensely. Most books I’ve read with Han and Leia in them have the two separated, on different adventures or missions, but this one necessarily has them together during the whole book. It’s the story of their wedding and honeymoon, after all. And because they’re together the whole time, we get all of their arguments, banter, and romance (oh, the kissing that takes place!), all the time. And it’s awesome! They get to know each other better and try to figure out what this whole marriage thing is about. Oh yeah, and they save a crumbling moon from the remnants of the Empire, yadda yadda (I jest; it’s a good story). I think the author, Beth Revis, really nailed the characters of Han and Leia, and their dynamic. It may even be my favorite Star Wars book that was released this year, next to The Fallen Star. I’ve enjoyed all of them, but this one, I think, will have a special place in my heart.

I chose to set aside The Fifth Season in order to finish Princess, but I’ll be getting back to that now, and will have more on that next week

I’ve also downloaded the Ahsoka novel to my Kindle, as there was a $1.99 deal on it, which is something I’ll never pass up. 🙂

When it was announced that Andor was being moved up to Sept. 21, I had wondered if The Bad Batch S2 would also get moved up, as it was set to premiere Sept. 18th. Well, I saw that it has, indeed, been moved, but I haven’t seen a new premiere date yet. We’ll just have to wait and see when they’ll drop it.

On Sept. 8th, Disney+ will drop Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return, a sort of making-of doc about that series. I’m guessing it will be similar to the Gallery series we’ve had about the other shows, and I can’t wait to see it!

Also on Sept. 8th, Thor: Love and Thunder will come to D+. Geez, it’s still playing in my local theater, lol. I probably won’t be rewatching. I love Thor, but this one, while it had me laughing, also left me disappointed. I kind of wish I had laughed less and was invested more in the story.

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

Hello my friends, and happy weekend!

I don’t have a ton of stuff to talk about this week, as I’ve just been reading. And reading, and reading, lol.

I had expected to receive The Princess and the Scoundrel about a week after its release date of August 16th, because that’s been the pattern lately, as it was with Padawan and Shadow of the Sith. So I started reading The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin while I waited. But it only took two days to get Princess, and I just couldn’t wait to get into it. And I was far enough into Fifth Season not to want to put it down. Reader problems, eh? 🙂 So I’m reading two books.

The Fifth Season is a big book, and I’m about one quarter to a third of the way through. It’s mesmerizing, and unlike any other fantasy I’ve ever read. It takes place on a large continent called The Stillness, which is an ironic name since the place is constantly erupting with earthquakes and tremors. It’s so bad that their whole society is formed around this geological fact: they have the “Stonelore” which tells you what do when a “Season” (a particularly catastrophic event) comes around. The continent has been shaped and reshaped many times over the course of millenia, and many cultures and empires developed and ruled over that time. But this particular one has learned how to survive. In this world, there are people who are born with the ability to affect the tremors and shakes; they’re called “orogenes.” People fear them, so much so that when a child shows such powers, they are often killed. When they aren’t, they are sent to the Fulcrum, where orogenes train to control their powers and help keep the shakes at bay.

There are several storylines that overlap, although I’m not sure of the actual timeline. The first one introduced is that of a woman named Essun, and she’s just discovered her three-year old child is dead, beaten to death by his father. Essun is an orogene, living in the “comm” of Tirima for the past ten years and hiding what she is; she fears her son had shown signs of being an orogene like her, leading to her husband, Jija, killing the child. He’s fled with their young daughter. Essun makes it her quest to find her daughter, and, well, deal with Jija.

The world-building in this book is incredible and intricate. There are mysterious, floating obelisks in the sky, leftover from some ancient civilization that didn’t survive a Season. No one knows what they are or what they were for, but I have a feeling we’re going to find out later in the book. I’m so intrigued by the whole story, I haven’t been this swallowed up by a book in a long time. Oh, and it won the Hugo Award a few years ago. There are two other books after this one that makes up The Broken Earth series, The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky, and you can bet I’ll be reading those, too.

I’m about a third of the way through The Princess and the Scoundrel, and it’s just wonderful. There’s nothing earth-shattering in it, nothing that significantly affects the canon (so far), but it’s just a joy to read. We thought we knew the love story of Han and Leia, but there’s always room for more details, in my opinion. We get to see Han’s proposal and their wedding on Endor, and Mon Mothma has convinced them to take their honeymoon on the Halcyon, a space cruise ship. Where I am in the book, they’re just arriving at the Halcyon, but I know that some adventure and intrigue will follow.

But what I really love is getting into Han and Leia’s heads in alternating chapters, their excitement, their fears and doubts, their hope, their love. What we kind of forget is that Han lost a year of his life while he was in carbonite; it’s disorienting to him to know that others continued on with their lives while he was in that carbonite block in Jabba’s palace, and he has to catch up. So things have progressed really fast for him, to say the least. Leia, after having some conversations with Luke, has to deal with the new knowledge that Darth Vader is her father, and she’s having a hard time of it. Unlike Luke, she can’t forgive him. She hates him. And she’s hesitant to learn about the Force, because she fears she’ll become like him. I’m really enjoying the book so far.

Cal Kestis

I’m also excited to learn that there will be a Cal Kestis novel next year! I’ve never been a gamer, and let’s face it, I never will be nor do I want to be, but I’ve always felt like I’ve missed out on the story of Cal Kestis from the game Jedi: Fallen Order. He’s kind of a big part of canon now, especially with the Fortress Inquisitorious making an appearance in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. So while gamers wait for the sequel to Fallen Order, Jedi: Survivor, there will be a book called Jedi: Battle Scars, and it will release on March 7th of 2023. I’ve always hoped for a book or series of books with Cal Kestis, and it looks like my wish will come true!

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

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

Last week, I forgot to mention that I finished Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson. I was a little wary at first, considering it’s a tie-in to an amusement park; but besides an introduction to the Outpost at the beginning that seemed like a tour at Galaxy’s Edge, I have to say it was a really good book. Vi Moradi, a Resistance spy, and Archex (aka Cardinal), both of whom were in Dawson’s excellent book Phasma, are sent by General Organa to Batuu to set up a Resistance base. Of course, everything goes wrong immediately, and Vi must somehow get back her equipment (which was stolen after they crashed), find and set up a Resistance base, recruit the locals to the cause, and stay out of the First Order’s clutches, who have recently landed. Vi has become one of my favorite Star Wars characters, by the way; she’s tough but compassionate, funny but one hundred percent committed. This poor woman was not only tortured in Phasma, but is beaten and tortured several times in this book as well. As a spy, she’s been trained to deal with torture (which seems kind of appalling to me, but makes sense); she tells another character at one point, “Spy school was fun,” with tongue firmly in cheek. She’s even got a poisoned tooth to get her out of unbearable situations, but she’s never used it. Atta girl.

I also finished Padawan by Kiersten White, about a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. I talked a little bit about in last week’s post, before I finished it. It’s a good book, a great coming-of-age story for Obi-Wan, who learns to trust not only himself, but the Force; and I liked its theme of how those with power must learn how to responsibly wield it. A very fun but also thoughtful book.

I debated on whether or not I wanted to get into the whole “Obi-Wan’s sexuality” controversy brought on by this book, and I just want to say: who cares? A few lines in a book (in which he isn’t explicitly attracted to another male, he’s simply wondering about kissing, well, anyone) isn’t a big deal. Yes, he fell in love with Satine, but the point is, he never acted on any sexual attraction he might have had for anyone during his entire life, as he’s committed to the Jedi Order above anything else. So the argument is moot, in my opinion. People love making mountains out of molehills, and it’s annoying, lol.

Lando: I hate you. Han: I know.

Anyway, I’ve been reading the novelization of Solo: A Star Wars Story on my Kindle just for the fun of it, and it made me want to watch the movie again. So I did the other night, and I’m just reminded how much I love this story. Because it is SO much damn fun! And the book delves into a lot of details that the movie leaves out, like what, exactly, happened to Qi’ra after Han escaped Corellia but she didn’t. There’s more about Lando and his delightful idiosyncrasies. And a whole lot more about L3-37, Lando’s revolutionary droid–about how she became who she is, and how she integrated with the Millenium Falcon. Just really cool, neat stuff.

I also watched the Star Wars LEGO Summer Vacation, and as usual, it was fun and delightful. I still think the Holiday Special reigns supreme, but these specials never disappoint. I still think the Emperor steals the show, though, as always, lol. Got a little misty-eyed at the end of the third one when Han tells Ben “I love you,” and Ben says, “I know.” Some high points are Obi-Wan singing “Gamorrean Girls” in Jabba’s palace, and Anakin’s Force ghost showing up in scuba gear, of all things. I’m hoping we someday get to see the sequel crew doing their things–Finn looking for Force-sensitives, Rey searching for Jedi Temples, Poe training X-Wing pilots, and Rose going on relief missions. I want to see ALL of this, okay LF/Disney? Please?

Just some Sith catching some rays.

In Marvel news, I heard that there may be a second season of Moon Knight! I hope this is true, because I loved that series. I’m disappointed that in a long list of Emmy nominations, Oscar Isaac did not get an acting nomination. This is criminal, in my opinion. So it’s fantasy, who cares? His performance was phenomenal, I don’t care what anyone says. These kinds of shows always do great in the technical categories (as they should), but for some reason the actors get passed over. And that’s too bad, because they often pour their heart and souls into these roles, and should be taken as seriously as anyone else. Anyway, that’s my rant for the day, lol. Ooh, and I hear he’s not against coming back as Poe Dameron. Whaa??? Don’t get my hopes up, Oscar!

I’m now patiently awaiting The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis, which comes out on August 16th, but I probably won’t receive it until the next week. That leaves me some time to read another book. I was browsing around my local bookstore when The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin caught my eye. This one’s been on my someday list for a long while, so I finally bought it. I just started it, but I can tell it’s going to be a really different, interesting read. It’s the first non-Star Wars book I’ve picked up in probably over a year, lol, so it will be a nice change of pace.

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

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

I finally received Padawan, by Kiersten White, and I’m about halfway through. It’s a YA book told through a young Obi-Wan’s point of view, while he’s a 16-year-old Padawan to Qui Gon Jinn. Their pairing is fairly new, and Obi-Wan is full of doubts, anxieties, and questions, about himself, his Master, his future, his connection to the Force…pretty much everything, lol. I get he’s an adolescent with self-esteem and identity issues, but sometimes I get tired of all his self-doubts. Similar to him saying, “Anakin, calm down,” I want to say, “Obi-Wan, calm down.” Was Obi-Wan really this anxiety-ridden as a teen, spiraling into holes of despair? I know he didn’t really understand Qui Gon at first, and felt their pairing was a mistake. But good grief! I suppose even the unflappable Obi-Wan Kenobi was young once. It’s a YA book, so I’ll cut it some slack.

Anyway, Obi-Wan finds some information about an unknown planet that Orla Jareni (a familiar character from the High Republic; I’m loving how the new canon books are incorporating High Republic events and characters into them) cryptically left behind. He’s dying to go on a mission with his Master like his friends, instead of meditating all the time, and Qui Gon actually agrees to go. But Qui Gon never shows up when it’s time to leave, and Obi-Wan actually does something reckless and takes off without him, intent on investigating the planet on his own.

Once he gets there, he meets a group of young people without adults around, who have peculiar Force-like abilities. They don’t know anything about the Force or Jedi, but they call it their Power. And Obi-Wan senses that something is off about the planet. It’s beautiful, but dangerous, attacking the kids whenever they go outside of the crashed ship they live in. Obi-Wan tries to piece together what’s going on here, while also trying to figure out his own identity as well. Despite my eye-rolling at his constant adolescent angst, I am enjoying the book.

I also finished the middle-grade book Spark of the Resistance, by Justina Ireland on my Kindle. It’s a Rey, Poe and Rose adventure set on the planet Minfar. They have to stop a typical First Order officer from gaining a mysterious weapon called the Echo Horn. It was a fun book, and I love sequel stories.

Next on the Kindle is a reread of the novelization of Solo: A Star Wars story, simply because I love it. 🙂

I’ve watched the latest Andor trailer, and it just looks awesome! I am so ready to dive into this longer series about the beginnings of the Rebellion. The bad news is that it has been pushed back to September 21 instead of August 31; the good news is that they’re dropping three episodes at once! Presumably it’s been pushed back because of the glut of fantasy shows coming out at that time (Rings of Power, She-Hulk, and the Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon). Fair enough, I guess.

The second season of The Bad Batch is set to premiere in September as well, so I’m wondering if that will get pushed back, too, because of the Andor premiere. We’ll see.

That’s it just now. I’ve been spending some time on the Star Wars fan fiction I’ve been mentioning on and off for a while now. I’m having fun with it, and maybe someday I’ll actually finish the darn thing, lol.

What’s been entertaining you lately? 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 Black Spire–about 50 pages to go, and I’m hoping to finish it before Padawan arrives. Because once the Obi-Wan book is in my hands, Vi Moradi will have to wait…again, lol. It’s actually a really good book, and I’ll get more detailed about it after I finish it, but the new ones coming out right now just demand my attention.

Rey’s ready to take on the First Order.

For my Kindle, I’ve downloaded Spark of the Resistance, by Justina Ireland. It’s a middle-grade book about Rey, Rose and Poe on an impromptu mission to the planet Minfar to help the locals there fight off the First Order. I’m several chapters in, and it’s pretty good. I’ve read a few books by Justina Ireland, mostly from the High Republic, and she’s very good with the middle-grade and YA books. And I’m hungry for more sequel stories. This one takes place between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.

I’ve watched the first episode of Light and Magic on Disney+, the docuseries about Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects company that George Lucas created. It’s fairly entertaining and interesting, but I don’t know if I’m interested enough in the details of special effects to keep watching. I do appreciate the brilliance of these people in bringing to life our beloved stories, and they absolutely deserve to have their praises sung. But I don’t know if I’ll take the time to watch all six hour-long episodes.

I’m ready for some more Wolverine.

What I may want to do with my time instead is watch Logan and Deadpool, which are now available on Disney+. They’ve been on the top of my list to complete my Marvel movie marathon I did last summer, but I never got around to buying them to watch. Now I can watch them with my D+ subscription. Yay!

Speaking of Marvel, I’ve seen the wonderful Wakanda Forever trailer, and will probably be going to the theater to see it when it releases in November. But all the other Marvel Phase 6 stuff that was unveiled at the recent San Diego Comic-Con? Eh, I don’t know. I WILL be watching Loki Season Two (!!!), and probably Guardians of the Galaxy 3, as well as Wakanda, but all the new stuff, like Ironheart, Echo, Blade, etc? Probably not. I can never get enough Star Wars, but it seems I CAN get enough Marvel. At least, going forward, I’ll cherry pick my Marvel viewings. I haven’t even watched Ms. Marvel, and I heard it was quite good.

Mon and Cassian, the two faces of the early Rebellion.

Anyway, Logan and Deadpool are definitely on the horizon for me, but what I’m really waiting for is Andor. Getting really excited to fall deep into the 12 episodes for Season 1. I like Cassian’s character, but what I’m really looking forward to is Mon Mothma’s part of the story. We saw her a little bit in the Clone Wars as a Senator of the Republic, a little bit in Rebels when she leaves the Imperial Senate to lead the Rebellion, a little bit in Rogue One, her small part in ROTJ, and in the Aftermath books as Chancellor of the New Republic. We get little glimpses of her here and there, but she’s become such an important part of the Rebellion, it will be nice to see more of her story and how she operates in the Imperial Senate before the Rebellion coalesces into the Alliance. One more month!

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!