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!

My thoughts on Star Wars: Visions

When I heard about Star Wars Visions way back when all the new shows coming up were announced, it was pretty much last on my list concerning my interest level. I’m not an anime fan and don’t know much about it. But even with it at the bottom of my list, I knew I’d at least check it out when it released, out of curiosity if anything.

I’m pleasantly surprised to report that I enjoyed it, for the most part. It’s visually beautiful and looks at Star Wars from a different perspective, one that I found intriguing, for the most part. As I suspected, there were shorts that I really liked, even loved, while others were a little too “out there” for me, lol. Here’s a list of my personal ranking from best to worst, with some brief thoughts on each:

  1. The Elder. I have to admit, I think this is my favorite because of the familiar Star Wars elements, mainly the Jedi Master/Padawan relationship. It looks like it could be right out of the Republic era. Master Taijin reminds me of Qui Gon Jinn (and I think maybe that was intentional), and so of course I loved him. I love that Taijin was voiced by David Harbour, from Stranger Things and Black Widow.
  2. The Duel. I loved the look of this one, and the story was pretty intriguing, too (that’s why I ordered the novel based on it, called Ronin). I want to know this man’s story, and to learn about the alternate Jedi and Sith history.
  3. The Ninth Jedi. I think everyone universally loved this one, and I thought it was great, too. I love the idea of lightsabers changing colors based on who wields it. And it’s ripe for continuation in either more shorts or books or whatever they want to do with it.
  4. The Village Bride. I thought this one was lovely. I recognized the groom’s voice as Christopher Sean, who voiced Kazuda in Star Wars Resistance, which immediately endeared me.
  5. Lop and Ocho. Despite the bunny (not a fan of the cutesy stuff), this one was pretty good. I liked the strained family dynamics, the very cool lightsaber, the adopted kid becoming the father’s heir.
  6. Akakiri. This one committed the ultimate sin of being kind of boring, lol. The main character reminded me of Diego Luna, who plays Cassian Andor, which I thought was interesting even though there’s absolutely no connection, lol.
  7. T0-B1. An obvious Pinocchio allusion, this one was a bit too cutesy for me. I’m intrigued by a droid training as a Jedi, though.
  8. The Twins. Although this one looked cool and the story sounded promising, it was just too much for me. Fighting in the vacuum of space? Riding on top of a ship during hyperspace? The female sibling screaming dramatically and incoherently? No thanks.
  9. Tatooine Rhapsody. Maybe I’m being too harsh on this one, I know some people loved it, but it just didn’t work for me. The singing didn’t interest me, but I could have tolerated it if the Padawan singer actually did some Jedi stuff with his lightsaber microphone. But he didn’t. He just sang. That’s fine, but not enough for me, lol.

All in all, I enjoyed watching these shorts and I’m glad Star Wars was explored through this perspective. Despite looking a little different, they focused on what Star Wars, to me, is all about: Jedi and Sith, The Force, lightsabers (I especially loved the variations on lightsabers–even the microphone one, lol), family, good against evil, dreams and longing, wonder and hope. I’m even up for a Season Two, if it happens.

Let me know what you thought about Star Wars Visions, and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Happy weekend my friends!

In books this past week, I finished The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey, about a childless couple in 1920 Alaska, who create a snow child that seemingly comes to life. It’s a lovely, moving book about grief and loss, but also joy and love; and about the forces of nature and how we try to tame it. I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy magical realism, which this novel flirts with.

I’ve started reading The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, because my 12 year old daughter is reading it in school and I wanted to read it along with her so we can talk about it. Now that she’s older she’s reading more interesting books in school, and I relish the idea of discussing them with her. I read The Outsiders way back when I was a teen (35 years ago!) and remember liking it, though not exactly what it was about. I have to admit, it reads differently now that I’m a mom–such violence! smoking! chasing “broads”!–is this what I want my daughter to be reading?? Then again, I read it at her age or thereabouts, and it didn’t scar me or anything, lol. Kids can handle more than we give them credit for. And it’s about so much more than rowdy boys in the 60’s. The only problem is that now that I’m reading it, I want to keep going and finish it, but I also want to read it along with her at her class’s pace–which is pretty slow, lol.

A blast from my 80’s past: Two-Bit, Soda Pop, Ponyboy, Dallas, Johnny, Darry, and Steve.

Luckily I’ve got another book I’m reading called The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V.E. Schwab, and I’m loving it. It’s about a young woman in the 1700’s who prays to the gods for a different life, one where she is free and belongs to no one–but oops, she prays to “the gods who answer after dark” and gets her wish, but at a price. The price is that no one remembers her–not her parents, her best friend, not even the old witch who told her about the old gods. No one over the next 300 years ever remembers her. She is free to wander the world for as long as she likes, but it’s an unbearably lonely journey. I’m only several chapters in and I love it.

Never pray to the gods who answer after dark.

After watching Star Wars Visions, I decided I wanted to know more about the Ronin in The Duel, and so ordered Ronin, by Emma Mieko Candon. It comes out on October 12th, and I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be a unique Star Wars read–containing familiar Star Wars elements like lightsabers, the Force, droids, etc. but also things we’ve never seen before. I’d been trying to decide what Star Wars book I wanted to read next, but nothing called to me in particular; but once I heard about Ronin, I thought “Yes!” Can’t wait.

And speaking of Visions, I saw this custom poster for The Elder (my favorite Visions short) by TRIGGER on social media. It’s awesome!

May be a cartoon of text

Speaking of Star Wars, I discovered a new special on Disney+ called A Galaxy of Sounds. It’s a tribute to the sound and visual technicians of Star Wars, and it’s really cool to listen to parts of the movies without the John Williams soundtrack (which is fantastic, of course, but sometimes masks the other sounds we might not notice). It’s got 5 to 10 minute shorts with titles like “Wonder,” “Excitement,” “The Light Side,” “The Dark Side,” “Beeps,” etc. It’s put together quite well, and I enjoyed it. Made me want to watch all the movies again!

I also watched Lego’s Terrifying Tales, since I enjoyed last year’s Holiday Special so much. This wasn’t as funny or entertaining to me, but it had its moments. I especially liked the story “The Wookie’s Paw” where Luke joins the Empire instead of the Rebellion and is trained in the Force by Vader. When they swing across the chasm on the rope and Vader kisses him and says “For luck,” I lost it, lol.

In Marvel, the penultimate episode of What If? (Ultron Won) was just fantastic. When this whole thing started, I wondered about the Watcher, but never imagined he’d become an active character in his own right. Now he’s fighting for the fate of the multiverse, and actually asks for help from dark Dr. Strange. It just boggled my expectations, and I love it! Can’t wait to see how it ends next week.

What If… “Ultron Won”? Gives Us Peace in Our Time | Tor.com
How we gettin outta this one?

So that’s about it for 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’ve finished Loki: Where Mischief Lies on my Kindle. I’ve since ordered the sequel called Loki: Where Mischief Ends, and since it’s only available in paperback, I ordered the first book in paperback, too, for a matching set, lol. Can’t wait to start the second book.

I’m about two-thirds done with The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. I love this book; it’s lovely and strange and keeps you wondering “What is the truth?” I’ll probably finish it by Monday, when we have our first book club meeting about it.

Well, unfortunately I’ve set Revan aside for now. I’m just not into it right now. It’s the first time in over a year and a half I’m not reading a Star Wars book. I’d been looking forward to Queen’s Hope, by E.K. Johnston, the third in a Padme Amidala trilogy. It was originally set to come out this November, but it’s been pushed up to April 2022. 😦 So now I’m not sure what’s next for Star Wars reading. Stay tuned.

Why Tajin From Star Wars: Visions Sounds So Familiar
The Elder was one my favorite shorts from Visions. I love this Jedi Master (whose name I can’t remember, lol). He reminds me of Qui Gon Jinn, who is one of my favorite Jedi.

So I’ve just finished watching Visions, and it was…interesting. As I’ve said before, I’m not an anime fan, so it was mostly out of curiosity that I watched. And as I suspected, it was hit or miss with me. There were a few that were quite good and that I enjoyed: The Duel, The Ninth Jedi, and The Elder were my particular favorites. Only one was painful to watch, and that was Tatooine Rhapsody. Unbearable, lol. The rest were fine, but didn’t wow me overmuch. I know there’s a novel called Ronin that will continue the story began in The Duel, and it may end up on my Star Wars reading list. We’ll see. I’m probably going to do a brief post of my thoughts on each short sometime soon.

So, Marvel: I absolutely loved the latest What If? episode, about party boy Thor. It was light and funny, and Frost Giant Loki is probably the best thing ever, lol. But it really punctuates how relationships have a huge impact on who we become. Without Loki as a mischievous brother competing with him for their father’s attention, it was Thor who became the mischievous, irresponsible one. And his relationship with Frost Giant Loki, his “brother from another mother” is swell. And Loki actually seems happy for once (thank you, Marvel!). I got a hoot out of Captain Marvel’s “Hey Whitesnake!” which you probably won’t get unless you’re familiar with 80’s hair bands. It was just a fun romp, the total opposite of the tragic Dr. Strange episode (which I also loved). This show can really do anything, and it’s gold, lol. Oh, and I have no idea what those robots at the end were. Even the Watcher was surprised.

How Did Thor Grow Up Without Loki on Marvel's What If..? Episode 7
This made my heart happy.

So my X-Men marathon isn’t quite complete, but I’ve watched all the major X-Men-centric movies, up through Dark Phoenix. I haven’t watched The Wolverine, Logan, or the Deadpool movies yet. Since they’re not on Disney+ I have to pay for them individually on Youtube, which is fine, but I’ll space those out more. Really enjoying these movies, no matter how corny some may be. I’ll watch anything with Fassbender in it, lol.

Finally, I just want to do a shout-out to our lovely Ewan McGregor for winning the Emmy for Halston. The series isn’t for everyone, but I loved it, and there’s no denying he fully deserved the award for his amazing performance.

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

The Next Wave of High Republic Books

I was thrilled to see recently some revealed covers for the next wave of High Republic books that will be coming out starting in January 2022, and thought I’d share them here. To recap, here are the first two waves of Phase One (Called the Light of the Jedi):

Phase One, Wave One:

  • Light of the Jedi (Adult), by Charles Soule
  • Into the Dark (YA), by Claudia Gray
  • A Test of Courage (Middle Grade), by Justina Ireland

Phase One, Wave Two:

  • The Rising Storm (Adult), by Cavan Scott
  • Out of the Shadows (YA), by Justina Ireland
  • Race to Crashpoint Tower (Middle Grade), by Daniel Jose Older

I’ve read all of the Adult and YA books, but only one of the Middle Grade books, A Test of Courage, and only because I accidentally ordered it on Kindle, lol. It was actually pretty good! Here’s the next upcoming wave:

Phase One, Wave Three

This is the Adult novel. Looks like Stellan Gios, Orla Jareni, Bell Zettifar, Burryaga and Indeera Stokes.
May be an image of 2 people and text that says 'STAR WARS THE HIGH REPUBLIC MIDNIGHT HORIZON NEW YORK TIMES BEST SE SELL ING AL THOR DANIEL JOSÉ OLDER'
Young Adult novel. I believe that’s Padawan Reath Silas and his master, Cohmac Vitus.
May be a cartoon of text that says 'STAR WARS THE HIGH REPUBLIC MISSION TO DISASTER NE NEW YORK TIMESBEST SE ING AU THOR JUSTINA IRELAND'
Middle Grade novel. Vernestra Rwoh and her Padawan Imri.

There’s a ton of High Republic comics out there, too, but I don’t read those. I try to keep up with the events in them, but I can’t always do that. One I’d love to read, however, is this upcoming comic with Marchion Ro in it. He’s a fascinating character, and I’d love to know more about him.

May be an anime-style image of text that says 'MARVEL 1 STARWARS THE HIGH REPUBLIC EYE OF THE STORM RATED $3.99US STIVG RYAN'
That’s Loden Greatstorm’s lightsaber, by the way. Thief!

The three Phases of the High Republic are:

  • Phase One: Light of the Jedi
  • Phase Two: Quest of the Jedi
  • Phase Three: Trial of the Jedi

Each Phase has three waves, I’m assuming, so that means a lot more High Republic books, and a lot more great stories! What I really love about the High Republic is that it focuses on the Jedi, for the most part, which is my favorite part of Star Wars. Anything Jedi, and I’m on board, lol.

What do you think of these covers? Do you like the High Republic books? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Weekend Update: Star Wars, Marvel and Vampires

Happy weekend Star Wars friends!

So I finally caught up with all of my reading and finished four, count ’em, four books this week!

  • Out of the Shadows, by Justina Ireland. I finally finished this YA High Republic Star Wars book, mainly featuring young Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh and a young hauler named Sylvestri Yarrow. I’m really enjoying the High Republic stories, and this one’s not bad, but I also felt it was kind of all over the place. There seemed to be a lot going on, and yet nothing really seemed to happen, if that makes sense. There was a lot of characterization, which I like, but the plot was a bit dull, concerning a possible Nihil weapon being built in an out of the way sector of space. But it’s about Jedi, which is what I love about the High Republic, so I’ll keep reading!
  • Freefall, by Alex Segura. This is the other YA Star Wars novel I’ve been working through, this one about a young Poe Dameron and his time with the Spice Runners of Kijimi. This one was fine, as well, a solid story about 16-year-old Poe wanting to get away from the boredom of Yavin 4 and kind of accidentally getting involved in the Spice Runner organization. The only reason he really stays is because of Zorii Bliss, but she is clearly more invested in the group than he is. It’s a decent coming of age story for Poe, when he finally decides what path he wants to pursue in his life.
  • Truth and Other Lies, by Lyra Wolf. This is the latest Loki novel I’ve read, and it concerns mythical Loki and his relationships with the other gods of Asgard. This one is borderline paranormal romance, and it seems Loki’s slept with quite a few of them, including Sif, Thor’s wife, and Odin himself. But it’s when he meets the human woman Sygin that he falls head over heels. It’s also a sign that Ragnorok is coming, with Loki at its center, as The Destroyer of Worlds. Quite entertaining, actually. It’s the first of a trilogy, and I’ll be starting the second book, The Order of Chaos, soon. Here Loki is ginger-haired and green-eyed, incredibly vain but witty and passionate.
  • I Was Anastasia, by Ariel Lawhon. This is a novel my book club is reading, and it’s split between the events leading up to the murder of the Romanov family in 1918, and the story of Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be Anastasia. Since Anderson was proven a fraud in 2007 through DNA results, the book was less about “is she or isn’t she?” and more about “how in the world did this woman pretend to be Anastasia for 60 years? And why?” Although I was more interested in the real Anastasia and the lead-up to the murders, this was an interesting and ultimately heartbreaking read, for both Anastasias.

With all these books finished, what’s next? Well, the next Loki book, as I mentioned, as well as the next book club book, which we’ll choose in a few days. But I was also thinking about exploring the Old Republic in the Star Wars universe. I haven’t done that yet, and since there will be no more High Republic books out until January (except the comics) I thought it was high time. So I’ve ordered the first Revan book by Drew Karpyshyn. I think I’m ready to dive into that era of Star Wars.

On the Marvel front, I watched All Hail the King, a short (15 min) film with the Mandarin aka Trevor Slattery, the “villain”/actor from Ironman 3, and his time in prison. At first it seemed kind of pointless, if diverting, but then it got to the point in linking to the new Marvel movie Shang Chi and the Ten Rings. Oh, okay. So there’s that. (I haven’t seen Shang Chi yet, and probably won’t until it comes out on Disney+. But don’t quote me on that).

Marvel's What If...? is more important to the MCU than you think
Dr. Strange prepares to face….Dr. Strange.

I much more enjoyed the new What If? episode with Dr. Strange. These shows have been fun and entertaining, with characters switching roles or what have you, but this one was really quite moving and heartbreaking. Besides Loki, Dr. Strange is my favorite Marvel character, and this is my favorite What If? by far. This one wasn’t so much about a hero turning evil (although that’s what happens), but about grief and the impact it has on an individual, and the entire universe. Really good stuff. I’m just wondering who the heck The Watcher is, to be honest. What’s his purpose? He can’t interfere, he can’t change things. He’s not a god, as he tells Dr. Strange, the first time he’s actually spoken to anyone he watches. I guess he’s just a celestial observer of some sort, lol.

Finally, in my quest to acquaint myself with more Tom Hiddleston work, I discovered a gem called Only Lovers Left Alive. TH and his Marvel co-star Tilda Swinton (The Sorceress Supreme–who happened to show up in the What If episode above) are modern-day vampires that have been alive for several centuries. Now, I haven’t been into vampires since Anne Rice in the 90s, but this film was really quite fabulous. It meanders along like a dream, with Adam and Eve (yeah, those are their names, lol) doing their vampire thing–Adam is a musician, creating music (anonymously) and tinkering with technology in an abandoned part of Detroit, while his wife Eve lives in Tangier with her multitudes of books, hanging out with her vampire friend Christopher Marlowe (yeah, that one) who apparently wrote all of Shakespeare’s works. They don’t kill people for blood (not anymore, anyway) and have to find it some other way, especially since most people these days have contaminated blood (alcohol, drugs, chemicals, etc.) Mostly they just hang around and listen to music and talk about Life and stuff. But then Eve’s wild sister Ava shows up and causes trouble. I absolutely loved it! Hipster vampires, lol. Oh, and I love how Adam calls humans “zombies.”

Adam and Eve chillin’.

That’s it for 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 Star Wars friends!

So I’m still working on two books, Out of the Shadows and I Was Anastasia. It’s taking me a while because I’ve started another Loki book called Truth and Other Lies, by Lyra Wolf (what can I say, I’m obsessed, lol). It’s another mythical version of Loki, with all the usual players, just mixed up a little bit differently. It also borders on the paranormal romance with quite a few racy sex scenes. I don’t mind it, but it’s not exactly what I was expecting when I picked up the book, lol. The storyline is keeping me interested, though. It’s the first in a trilogy, and I have the first two on my Kindle, and pre-ordered the third, so I guess I have high hopes, lol. I may do a separate post on all the Loki books I’ve been reading, so stay tuned.

Speaking of Loki, I just finished watching the Loki series for the fourth time. I did say I was obsessed, lol. And so did I notice anything I missed during the first three viewings? Not really (although I’m sure there are plenty of easter eggs I don’t know about), except to realize that Loki is clearly more mischievous in this show than he was in the movies. In the films, he’s a trickster–which is similar but not quite the same–but mostly he’s a villain, an anguished family member, or a wise-ass. He’s angry a lot. But as the God of Mischief, you’d think there would be more tomfoolery. And in the show, we do get glimpses of this: when he plays around with the time device with Hunter B-15, clearly taking joy in tormenting her with it; when he and Mobius are in Pompei, and he just throws caution to the wind, exclaiming on top of the goat cart; and on the train on Lamentis, when he gets drunk and sings. These are just delightful moments, worthy of Loki’s elemental nature, which is just plain fun, and the show gave the creators time to explore that.

Come on, the end of the world is fun!

I also watched the latest What If? episode, which saw an assassin take out the Avengers one by one. At first I thought maybe it was Loki, but it didn’t quite make sense. It surprised me who it turned out to be; and Loki did make his appearance, at first to avenge Thor’s death, and then to help Nick Fury nab the killer. And then, of course, to take over Midgard, lol. It was a neat episode, as they all are. Fun little nuggets of Marvel.

In more Marvel news, I did catch the Spiderman: No Way Home trailer, after the whole leak debacle. I was more excited about seeing Dr. Strange in it than anything else, but he looked a bit…off, lol. Sweatpants? Snow in the Sanctum? And actually helping Peter with his request to change the fact that people knew who he was? It’s just all wrong. Is he an imposter? A variant? Possessed? What the hell’s going on? Very excited to see him, though, no matter how weird he is.

Finally, in the Star Wars universe, I watched the Mandalorian Gallery on Disney+ on the final episode of Season Two. You know, the one with Luke freaking Skywalker. Very cool, very fun to watch how they put it all together. I had no idea how they brought back a young Luke, except, you know, “technology.” The details are fascinating, and a bit bewildering. It’s so much work! And we are so glad and very lucky we have these dedicated people bringing our favorite characters to life, with so much care and respect. That’s why I love these behind-the-scenes specials, because it’s easy for us to take for granted the amazing shows we watch. But there’s literally an army’s worth of people, tons of talent, and painstaking work behind these shows and films, and I’m awed and thankful at all these souls who bring us such joy. So yeah, check it out if you can, lol.

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

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Happy weekend, my Star Wars friends!

Still trying to settle on the title of these weekly postings, which includes Star Wars, and lots of other things, too. It’s probably going to be a work in progress, lol.

And by the way, I’m going to be expanding the blog to cover the other stuff that I obsess about, in books, movies, and TV, as these posts have illustrated. So I’ll probably be changing the name of the blog, and just adding more categories. Nothing too drastic. I love Star Wars, but I just can’t keep quiet about all the other great stuff I love, too. I’m thinking of calling it Star Wars and Other Obsessions: All the Stuff I Love. What do you think?

Not much in book news today; I’m still reading the High Republic YA novel Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland, and my book club novel I Was Anastasia, by Ariel Lawhon. Both excellent.

I’ve just watched the new trailer for Star Wars: Visions, and it looks really interesting. I’m totally not a Manga person, but I’ve got nothing against it, either, so I can guarantee you I’ll be checking these out. It will be nice to have some new Star Wars content to look forward to every week again, now that The Bad Batch is done.

Oh, and by the way, next week Disney+ is releasing a special about the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, specifically how Mark Hamill participated in bringing Luke Skywalker in for that awesome appearance to rescue Grogu. I can’t wait to see it, and I’ll report my thoughts on next week’s post.

In Marvel news, I’ve watched the second What If? episode, when T’Challa is Starlord instead of Peter Quill. I just have to say these shows are super cool and fun. To have T’Challa convince the Ravagers to do good in the universe is just awesome (seeing a “good” Thanos, and a super-sexy, benevolent Nebula is amazing!). It was a wonderful homage to Chadwick Boseman, and I got a little choked up at the end with their tribute. I think Loki is the next What If? character, and then Dr. Strange, and I can’t tell you how excited I am about that!

Also in Marvel, when I heard of the new Marvel superheroes The Eternals, I thought, meh. I’m really attached to the old crew, and who are these guys anywa–wait, is that Bucky?!? Oh nope, my mistake, I thought it was Sebastian Stan, lol, but it’s Richard Madden from Game of Thrones (another of my favorites) along with his costar, Kit Harington. Alrighty then, I’m sold! Actually, it looks really cool, so I’ll be there to watch.

Finally, I was in the mood for a movie the other night, but I also felt the urge to watch Loki again (because I can’t get enough of it, lol), but compromised with a movie with Tom Hiddleston in it. Hard to believe, but the man does act in other films. So out of what was available to me, I chose Crimson Peak, because I love period piece horror flicks.

This movie was directed by Guillermo del Toro, so it was guaranteed to be weird and creepy, and it was. But not so “out there” as Pan’s Labyrinth was. Oh, it had ghosts and a creepy, dilapidated English mansion, and blood and lots of stabbings, and incest, and all. Tom H’s character, Thomas Sharpe, was bad, but also kind of sweet and tragic. Sort of like Loki, but without the sass. I absolutely loved it.

So that’s it on my entertainment radar this week. What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Star Wars Weekend Update

Happy weekend, Star Wars friends!

This week I found myself in the middle of four different books (!): Out of the Shadows, a Star Wars High Republic YA novel; I Was Anastasia, the book I’m reading for my sister’s book Club; Freefall, a Poe Dameron YA novel I’ve been working on for a few weeks; and Mischief Maker, a book about mythological Loki. Whenever I find myself in this situation, I have to discipline myself and just pick one to focus on, then move to the next, and then the next, or I just find myself all over the place, lol.

So I focused on the Loki book, since that appealed to me the most (I’m ahead of the game with the book club novel), and I have to say it’s not bad. It’s by Bruce Nesmith, who’s worked on several video games, so I didn’t go into it thinking it would win any writing awards (no offense, Mr. Nesmith). But despite several annoying typos (in the Kindle version, at least), it’s pretty entertaining.

After Ragnorok, Loki was exiled to Midgard, and he’s been living here for over 900 years. He’s working as a magician in Chicago at the beginning of the book, but his past won’t leave him alone, and he must travel Yggdrasil to several of the Nine Realms to figure out who’s trying to kill him and why. He ends up preparing for a second Ragnorok against Thor, who’s a brutish bully in this story. I haven’t quite finished it yet but it’s a fun romp through a re-imagined Nine Realms, and a Loki who is blonde, likes playing harmless pranks, and rides around on a motorcycle wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt. I can totally see it (except the blonde part; that’s hard to imagine after having Tom Hiddleston’s black-haired Loki burned into my brain, lol). Oh, and he’s got Munnin, one of Odin’s ravens (Memory), along for the ride. Oh, and the author knows his Norse mythology, many stories of which I recognized through my reading of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (another book I’m only halfway through, lol).

On the Marvel front, I’ve decided to wait on the Agent Carter series for now, but I have watched the first What If? episode. I think this is going to be a fun and interesting series, with explorations into the multiverse that perhaps Loki’s show has created. I have to admit, it was weird seeing Agent Carter turn into the super soldier instead of Steve Rogers–weird, but also very cool. And at least Steve gets a primitive Iron Man suit so he’s not left behind. Can’t wait to see what they have coming next.

So, on to some some actual Star Wars: the season finale of The Bad Batch. Spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Recap & Spoilers: Season 1 Finale, 'Kamino Lost'

The Batch, along with Crosshair and the droid AZ, have been trapped on Kamino while the Empire blows up the facility. The whole show is how they escape and get back to the Marauder, which was actually pretty nail-biting most of the time. The really interesting part was Crosshair–it turns out, his chip was removed, apparently, a long time ago, and he claims that his allegiance to the Empire is his own decision. Not sure how much of that I believe, as I remember the chip’s functions being enhanced exponentially by the Empire, so why then take it out? Unless he clawed it out himself (and the ugly scar on his head makes it look like that), but still, maybe the damage has been done to his brain? I don’t know. But he claims he’s made his decision, and he decides to stay on Kamino and wait for rescue rather than go with the Batch. So they’ll be crossing swords with him again in Season Two, but I’m curious how it will play out. I thought the first season was quite good, despite some flagging in the middle, but I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to Star Wars, lol.

Seems all of these characters this week–Loki, Peggy Carter, and Crosshair–have been flipped on their heads and are not what they seem, or what we’re familiar with. I like that change-up!

So that’s been my entertainment week. What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Star Wars Weekend Update

Happy weekend, my Star Wars friends!

So I FINALLY finished The Rising Storm, and I have to say that, although it seemed to take me forever, it was a really good book. Well, the first half of the book took a little too long to get going, in my opinion, but once it did, it was great. The main Jedi of this book were Stellan Gios, Elzar Mann, and Padawan Bell Zettifar, all great characters; but I especially find Elzar Mann interesting. The leader of the Nihil, Marchion Ro, continues to be intriguing and mysterious, and I want to know more about his history with the Jedi. One of the themes of the High Republic novels seems to be how the Jedi of this period deal with temptation, attachment, grief, anger, and the pull of the dark side, and I find it fascinating.

I’ve just started the YA book of “Wave 2,” Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland, and can’t really tell you much about it yet. Recently there was an announcement about the “Wave 3” books coming out next year, and I’m excited that Claudia Gray will be writing the adult novel, called The Fallen Star. I’ve loved everything Gray has written in Star Wars, and I’m certain this book will be no exception.

On Kindle, I’m about two-thirds of the way through Freefall by Alex Segura, a YA novel about a young Poe Dameron during his spice-runner days. It’s pretty good, fairly entertaining, and delivers what most YA books do: a young person finding out who they are and what they want, a little bit of romance, and a whole lot of adventure. A fun book.

The latest Bad Batch episode “War Mantle” was quite good, after a few weeks of “meh” episodes. I won’t go into details in case you haven’t watched it, but I finally feel like we’re getting somewhere here, lol.

On the Marvel front, I’d say I’m about two-thirds of the way through my Marvel movie/show marathon. I just finished Black Panther last night, and it’s truly exceptional. I’d heard great things about it when it came out and I thought I’d go see it, but I’m glad I waited until I’d seen the other movies for context. Just fantastic. I just started re-watching Avengers: Infinity War, and will probably finish that tonight. Loki’s death in the first ten minutes just deflates me, but it’s still a great movie, even though they fail at the end, lol.

I’m hoping to finish my Marvel journey by the time my daughter goes back to school in September (which I think will happen), and then I’ll start my “Fall Plan.” What I want to do is to get back into writing in some way, and usually my first steps into that is by journalling and doing some writing practice (I’m a bit rusty, lol). I want to write a few hours in the morning after my daughter goes to school, and then go hiking with my husband (when neither of us is working, that is, lol). Hiking is something we used to do all the time before we had our daughter, but since her birth 12 years ago it’s dwindled down to almost nothing on my part. I miss it. I’m hoping the weather in the fall is much drier than it’s been this summer.

Anyway, there’s a book that’s been on my shelf for a long time that I want to use for my writing practice, called A Writer’s Book of Days. I love it. It’s got essays on writing and the writing life, author quotes, and most importantly, writing prompts to use. I’m so ready to get back into it. I LOVE blogging, and will continue to blog about Star Wars, but will scale back on it significantly. I’ll probably do what I’ve been doing lately: a weekly post on what I’ve been reading and watching, and anything else that proves interesting to me. I will certainly continue to read Star Wars books, and look forward to all the Star Wars shows that will be coming out in the future, and I’ll definitely write about those here (and probably Marvel, too).

So a lot to look forward to, and a lot of fun to be had, with Marvel, Star Wars, and writing!

What have you been up to lately? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!