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!

So I’m about halfway done with Heir to the Empire, and I’m really enjoying it. Some things are kind of funny, like Joruus C’baoth, the crazy clone Jedi, lol. It’s only funny now because this obviously was written before anyone really knew what the “Clone Wars” actually were, and what “clone” referred to. The new canon has also shown that it’s not that easy to clone a Force-user. Looking forward to finishing it and going onto the second in the series, Dark Force Rising.

Luke revisits the Dark Cave on Dagobah in Heir to the Empire.

I’ve also been reading the High Republic comics: the Marvel series and the High Republic Adventures. I’ve finished Volume 1 of both series, and will be working on Volume 2 for both. I’ve mentioned before that reading comics is new to me, and slightly disorienting. It’s a very different experience than reading a book, which is a very orderly process. With comics, I kind of have a headache afterward, lol. I do love the stories though, and the visuals are great. I’m just not used to them being thrown together.

Keeve and her master, Sskeer

Now, onto the super-awesome-I-can-hardly-stand-it exciting news: the Obi-Wan Kenobi teaser trailer that was dropped this past week. Oh muh gawd, this series looks amazing! The trailer gave us some tantalizing scenes without giving too much away. We see a young Luke Skywalker, a scene with Uncle Owen and an Inquisitor (called Reva), we see the Grand Inquisitor (who looks weird, not gonna lie) and Fifth Brother from Rebels, we see their Fortress (from Fallen Order). And Obi-Wan, of course. So so so cool. My heart is bursting. And this is just a teaser!

There were also images from an upcoming Entertainment Weekly issue, which I will be scanning the racks for in the next month. I have a feeling it will be hard to find, though. But since I’m a Star Wars fan, I have hope.

Last week I featured a favorite artist named Jake Bartok who’s done some wonderful Star Wars art. Another favorite artist is Uzuri Art, who’s also done some amazing Star Wars images. I came across this Obi-Wan piece the other day and it seemed fitting to share:

Gorgeous.

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!

Just a few things this week. I’ve finished the YA book Before the Awakening, by Greck Rucka, and it was actually a lot better than I was expecting, to be honest. It consists of three short stories, each one focusing on the three sequel trilogy leads: Finn, Rey, and Poe. The stories take place just before the events of The Force Awakens, and we get a little glimpse of what these characters were doing just before the film.

Nothing revelatory here: Finn is training as a stromtrooper with the First Order and is beginning to have some doubts; Rey is on Jakku and finds a crashed ship she decides to fix up and sell to Unkar Plutt for rations; and Poe goes on an exciting piloting adventure in his first foray in the Resistance. They’re fun little stories that gives us a little more insight into these characters and where they’re at emotionally at the beginning of TFA. I enjoyed it.

Future friends.

As I await the next new Star Wars book (Queen’s Hope, on April 5th), I was casting around for an adult Star Wars novel to read to get me by until then. As I was scrolling through some canon books I haven’t read yet, I realized I just wasn’t interested in them (at least at the moment). I enjoy a good Legends book now and then, and thought it might be time for one of those.

One in particular (or rather, one trilogy) that I’ve been avoiding in Legends is the original Thrawn trilogy, and the first set of books that came out after Return of the Jedi. Not because I don’t like Thrawn; on the contrary, I think he’s a great character. I’ve tried to read the new canon Thrawn books (well, at least the first one, simply called Thrawn) but I couldn’t seem to get into it. I think it’s because in these books, Thrawn is the protagonist. But I like my Thrawn as the antagonist–the bad guy.

So I decided to read Heir to the Empire. I’d been avoiding it because, unlike some of the prequel Legends books I’ve read, this one diverges radically from what is now considered canon. Taking place five years after the Battle of Endor, Han and Leia are married, and are expecting twins, a girl and a boy. Luke is involved in the New Republic trying to establish itself on Coruscant. It’s a whole new set of events, and I wanted to get a handle on the canon first before I dived into this. I consider Legends an “alternate universe” version of Star Wars, kind of like the Marvel What If? idea.

Strangely enough, I did read this book when it first came out in 1991. I was starving for more Star Wars, and wanted to know what happened after Endor. Funny thing is, I couldn’t remember a thing about it (it was over thirty years ago, I guess, lol), except that it had Thrawn in it, and Leia and Han had twins. And Mara Jade, who I remember not liking very much at the time. I might have read the second book in the trilogy, but I really can’t remember. It all just seemed so weird to me, lol. But I figured this time, with the perspective of time and all the Star Wars I’ve ingested over the years, it could be interesting.

Anyway, I’ve read about a quarter of the book so far, and the verdict is…I’m loving it!

Where the EU all began.

It’s quite entertaining, and fun, and well-written by Timothy Zahn. Thrawn is great as the bad guy, although a very interesting one, and it’s much faster-paced than the new canon book Thrawn (I couldn’t finish that one). I love that we get Luke, Han and Leia front and center going on adventures together. I find the idea of the twins fascinating (and the sequel trilogy characters Rey and Kylo/Ben were modeled after them, I believe). There’s just a lot to love here, and I can’t wait to read the rest of it! Then onto Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.

I’ve also been reading the High Republic comics: the Marvel series and the High Republic Adventures. I wanted to get more of the High Republic story that I’d been missing from the novels. And they’re great, but I was surprised by how unprepared I was to read comics.

What I mean is, I’m a book reader, and I’ve never in my fifty years read any comics, or any graphic novels, for that matter. And I found it–disorienting–trying to read comic panels. It was kind of overwhelming, at first. A lot of things are going on visually, and I had a hard time deciding what gets read first, and which way to go, and taking it all in…it definitely has all your brain cells firing at once! I love, love, love the images, though. A very different experience than reading a book, which is a very orderly process. But I’m getting used to it! I’ll probably write about them in next week’s High Republic Wednesday.

Sskeer is a rather terrifying Jedi, lol.

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

Bail Organa Fan Art, Appreciation Post, and a little bit of Legends

I can’t believe I’m just finding out that Bail’s full name is Bail Prestor Organa. Proving the fact that I learn something new about Star Wars every single day, which is pretty awesome.

Anyway, at first I thought I’d do a Bail appreciation post, since it seems to me that fans have a soft spot for this most excellent space dad (myself included); then I thought, nah, I’ll do another fan art post. I ended up just mixing it together, and voila! Fan art and a lot of appreciation for this character who pops up in many places–movies, comics, and a lot of books.

As I scrolled around looking for great images of Bail, I came across a couple that illustrated a few scenes from Legends, and so I included those too. Enjoy!

Senator Organa in his finery.

simon950 on deviantart.com

I love this one of Bail and Leia in his office on Alderaan. I’m not sure if it’s illustrating a particular scene from anywhere, but I love that he’s comforting her in his wonderful Dad way.

Magali Villeneuve Star Wars | Leia and Bail Organa in the latter's study
starwars.wikia.com

Again, I’m not sure if this one is illustrating a particular event, but it looks like Bail with Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar, and some other unnamed gentleman (arms dealer?). They seem to be looking over an X-Wing, possibly for sale for use in their nascent Rebellion.

Star Wars - Rebel Leaders by Paul Youll (nf/ I think it's Akbar, Madime, Mon Mothma, and Bail Organa)

This one of Bail and Breha’s last moments on Alderaan just guts me. They worked so hard and tirelessly to oppose the Empire, and they paid for it with their lives (and the lives of all those on Alderaan). Right in the feels.

starwars.wikia.com

This one of Bail carrying Obi-Wan Kenobi just begged the question: what the heck is going on here? Captioned “Mission to Zigoola,” I looked it up and it’s a scene from the Legends book Clone Wars: Wild Space, by Karen Miller. Bail and Obi-Wan on a mission together? I must have this book. And so I immediately ordered it on Amazon, lol. I will read it after my current book and let you know exactly what is going on here.

Bail Organa and Obi-Wan Kenobi: Mission to Zigoola #bail #organa #kenobi #star #wars
Mission to Zigoola, Chris Trevas on twitter.com

This isn’t a scene from a particular book (I don’t think), but it does illustrate Leia saying goodbye to Bail as she heads to Toprawa. In Legends, Toprawa is the planet (or system) from which Leia receives the Death Star plans (obviously before Rogue One came out). It’s the last time she sees him alive.

Princess Leia Organa bidding her father farewell before leaving on her mission to Toprawa>>I love this
Mission to Toprawa (i.pinimg.com)

There’s something about Bail that is just so endearing–he’s kind, reliable, a great father to Leia, a loving husband, a Senator and a Viceroy to Alderaan, he helped the Jedi when they desperately needed it, and he was a key player in forming the Rebellion early on. I can’t find a single flaw in the man. That’s nice to see once in a while, especially in Star Wars when a lot of the characters have character flaws that lead to trouble, lol. Bail’s a rock in the violent sea, a polestar in the heavens.

What’s your opinion of Bail Preston Organa? What do you think of these images? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

5 Star Wars Areas I’d Like to Learn More About

I’ve been a Star Wars fan for most of my life, about four decades so far. But I’ve had to play catch up this past year, as I’d only been a fan of the movies for most of them. Since starting to blog about Star Wars, I’d realized the galaxy far, far away was even bigger than I had ever imagined, with all kinds of other content I’d missed out on over the years. I’ve since watched the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, read quite a few (mostly canon) books, and have steadfastly kept up on The Mandalorian.

Reading other people’s Star Wars blogs, watching their YouTube channels, and participating in fan groups has alerted to me to so many other areas of Star Wars I haven’t even gotten to yet. But I hope to correct that in the near-future and learn about these sub-areas of Star Wars:

Revan . I think.
  • The Old Republic. There is a section of the fandom that is extremely passionate about the Old Republic era, and I believe it is mostly from gaming and a few Old Republic Legends novels. I’m NOT a gamer, but I am a reader, and so I am planning on reading the novels. Revan and Darth Bane are two names I constantly hear about when it comes to this era, as well as many other Sith Lords. My problem is, I’m not a huge fan of reading books about villains. I’m a Jedi girl, and though I’m pretty sure there are probably Jedi in these books, they seem to be focused on Sith Lords, so I worry I won’t be able to get into them. Also, they kind of freak me out! So Old Republic fans, please change mind here and give me a reason to love them!
The Yuuzhan Vong and Jedi (Luke?) by sugarsart on deviantart.com
  • Legends alternative universe. I’m talking about the Legends books that tell the story of Han and Leia’s three children: twins Jacen and Jaina Solo, and Anakin Solo, as well as Luke and Mara Jade’s son, Ben Skywalker. There’s also the big crisis of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, and many, many other storylines. It’s a rich history of Star Wars, and I don’t want to ignore it. But it’s vast, with well over 100 books in its inventory. I’ve read a few Legends books (and reviewed them over on my sister blog The Star Wars Reader), ones that don’t directly contradict canon. I’m especially interested in the prequel and clone wars era right now. But I will get to these Legends some day.
Bo-Katan, Sabine Wren, and…some other Mandalorian.
  • Mandalorian History. Especially now with The Mandalorian craze, a lot of people, myself included, are getting more interested in Mandalorian history. The Mandalorian arcs were some of my favorites from the Clone Wars series, and there were a few episodes with Sabine Wren and her family in Rebels. I know there was a Mandalorian Civil War, and the Empire’s Purge; as well as some ancient war between the Jedi and the Mandalorians. Death Watch. The Dark Saber. And of course whatever we’re getting through The Mandalorian series. But I’m wondering if there are any cohesive histories out there, or information on the clans and how they operate. I’ll have to do some research, and if you know of any information, please let me know!
Grand Admiral Thrawn
  • Thrawn and the Chiss. I find the character of Thrawn fascinating, and despite what I said above about not being interested in stories about villains, I would like to read all of the Thrawn books. The difference is, Thrawn is a different kind of villain–he’s not malevolent in the traditional bad guy kind of way. He’s not cruel for cruelty’s sake, he doesn’t desire the destruction of innocents for any selfish reasons. He simply has his loyalties to the Empire and has a job to do, and he does it brilliantly. He’s a bit cold and calculating, kind of like Tarkin, but I like Thrawn better than Tarkin. He has an appreciation for art and culture, and is a genius problem-solver. He’s like a Chiss Sherlock Holmes. And speaking of the Chiss, I’d like to learn more about his people, where they come from, what makes them tick. All this is in the Thrawn books now coming out by Timothy Zahn, who first brought Thrawn to life in the Legends books way back when (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command). I did read the first book in that series a hundred years ago, but it didn’t thrill me, and I don’t remember much. I’ve recently tried reading the first canon book simply called Thrawn, and I got halfway through it. As I’ve said, I love the character of Thrawn, but the book was so damn slow I got sidetracked by other books. But I am determined to read them. Someday.
The Rise of Kylo Ren
  • Comics. I’ve never been a comic reader, but I’m coming to the realization that the comics contain a ton of Star Wars content that I’d love to know. There’s a billion Legends comics, but I’d be more interested in the recent canon comics at this point. I’d never seen myself ever buying comics and reading them (a 49 year old woman reading comics? It’s just so odd) but then again, I never thought I’d watch Star Wars “cartoons.” And I’m so glad I did, because I’d be missing out on so much. There’s a series on how Ben Solo came to be Kylo Ren that interests me, as well as a Vader comic that explores him trying to find out how Padme died, coming into contact with Sabe, as well as being harshly punished by the Emperor for doing so. This all sounds like great stuff! I’d be a bit picky with the comics, but I wouldn’t mind having some on my shelf.

Exploring all this Star Wars content will happily fill the rest of my life. It’s a work in progress, a “scholarly” pursuit, if you will, a never-ending passion. And with new content always coming out, it will very probably never end until I pass into the Force myself, lol. This gives me great joy.

What about you? Are there areas of Star Wars you haven’t explored yet but want to? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!

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

Legends Lore: Jedi Guardians, Consulars, and Sentinels

I’m just starting to learn a bit about Legends material in the Star Wars universe. I’ve read a few Legends books (reviewed on my sister blog The Star Wars Reader), but whatever I’ve learned there, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is literally decades’ worth of material, in hundreds of novels, comics, games, and other media. This may seem daunting, and it is to a certain degree, but it’s also exciting to me. I’ve got tons of material to keep me busy for years; years of learning something new about Star Wars. Can it get any better than that? I think not.

Anyway, even though Rebels is considered canon, it’s introduced me to the concept of the Jedi Temple Guards, which already existed in Legends as a particular kind of Sentinel. When Kanan confronted the Guard in the Jedi Temple on Lothal, I was instantly fascinated. I do believe there were some Temple Guards in Clone Wars as well, escorting Bariss Offee away after she was arrested.

The Temple Guard referring to Kanan's apprentice. GUARD: "The Dark Side, it pulls at him, it calls to him. Eventually he will be consumed by it."

Also, when I did a bit of research on Jedi lightsabers, I learned that certain kinds of Jedi tended to wield certain lightsaber colors. The three major Jedi specialties are Guardian, Consular, and Sentinel, with various subtypes within each. Here’s some basics that I’ve learned:

Guardians

Guardians focused on combat training and were known for their skills with a lightsaber. They are called upon to defend the weak and uphold the laws of the Republic. Their lightsabers were often blue; examples of Jedi Guardians are Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.

Subtypes of Guardians include:

  • Exotic Weapons Specialist. These rare Jedi specialized in weapons other than lightsabers, such as lightsaber pikes, flails, whips, and blasters.
  • Lightsaber Instructors. These were appointed by the Jedi Battlemaster to instruct Jedi Initiates.
  • Jedi Ace. These were highly skilled Jedi pilots and dogfighters organized under the Jedi Starfighter Corps.
  • Jedi Peacekeeper. These were Jedi who specialized in policing the galaxy and ensuring laws were enforced in the Outer Rim. They usually worked alongside local militias and police forces.

Consulars

Jedi Consulars used words or nonviolent use of the Force to settle disputes. They sought mental refinement through study and meditation, and pursued the art of diplomacy and mediation. They hoped to calm tense situations through civil discourse, reasoning, and parley, and only drew their lightsabers (usually green to denote their commitment to peace) as a last resort. Examples of Consulars include Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and Qui Gon Jinn.

Subtypes of Consulars include:

  • Ambassador. These Jedi were the face of the Republic, acting as liaisons between newly discovered worlds and the Republic.
  • Diplomat. These Jedi were negotiators who often wrote treaties and resolved political disputes.
  • Healer. These Jedi drew upon the Living Force to heal wounds and cleanse impurities. (Bariss Offee was studying to be a healer, at least in Legends).
  • Lorekeeper. The Lorekeepers were divided into historians, archivists, and librarians, and maintained the Jedi archives. (Jocasta Nu, we see you!)
  • Researcher. Researchers updated the Jedi archives, and were made up of many specialists, including mathematicians, biologists, geologists, archaeologists, etc.
  • Seers. Jedi highly attuned to the Unifying Force were gifted with pre- and post-cognition. In rare cases, a seer became a prophet, divining things such as the prophecy of The Chosen One.
  • Sage. A Sage is a Jedi of advanced learning and wisdom, and who specialized in telekinesis and Force healing. They were also expert trackers, who could find people across the galaxy through deep meditation (I see you Luke in VIII and Leia in IX!)
  • Shadows. Masters of lightsaber combat, Shadows worked silently and alone, wielded double-bladed lightsabers, and could mask their presence with the Force.

Sentinels

The Jedi Sentinels sought a balance between the Guardian and Consular schools of thought. Blending the teachings of both, they also included some non-Force skills such as security, computers, stealth, or medicine. They sought out cities and civilians, rather than staying in the solitude of the Jedi Temple. Their lightsabers were often yellow, gold, or orange. Examples of the Sentinel class are Plo Kloon and Yaddle.

Subtypes of Sentinels include:

  • Artisan. These Jedi often built lightsabers and holocrons, in their attempt to understand creativity as a central aspect of the will of the Force. They have intrinsic skills with tools and machines. (I better understand now why Rey’s lightsaber is yellow–she’s a kind of Sentinel, an Artisan in particular).
  • Investigator. Often working as trackers or spies, Investigators worked closely with law enforcement to solve crimes, and often went undercover. Not to be confused with Shadows, who worked to discover Dark Side Adepts.
  • Recruiter. These Jedi tracked down and identified Force-sensitives, and determined whether or not they belonged in the Jedi Order.
  • Shadow. The secretive Shadows worked to seek and destroy all traces of the Dark Side of the Force.
  • Temple Guard. These Jedi were anonymous Sentinels who served as a security force in the Jedi Temple. They wore formal robes and identity-concealing masks, as the ultimate expression of emotional detachment. They carried double-bladed lightsabers. (The Grand Inquisitor in Rebels had been a Temple Guard before Order 66, and that’s who Kanan is facing in the scene above).
  • Watchmen. These Jedi worked alone and for years on a single planet or system, protecting their rights, overseeing the pursuit of peace, and acting as a liaison between the planetary government and the Jedi High Council.

Who knew the Jedi were so diverse? Not me. Most of these divisions were originally referenced in gaming or comics, and that’s why I’m not too conversant in them. But I do think they’re fascinating and make the Star Wars universe richer for it.

What do you think of all these Jedi specializations? Do you have a favorite? As I’ve mentioned, I love the Temple Guard. Drop me a line and we’ll talk about it!

Thanks goes to Wookiepedia for all this cool information!

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