Personal Update

Hello my friends, I just wanted to let you all know that I won’t be blogging much in the immediate future. I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks, as I’ve been devoting time to my elderly mother, who broke her hip a few weeks ago. She’s been in the hospital, to a nursing home, to another hospital, and now back to the nursing home. She’s been struggling with dementia, and it’s been difficult for me and my siblings.

On top of that, I’ve had Covid this past week, which has prevented me from even seeing my mom, who I’m very close to. And now my kid’s sick. It’s been very distressing, to say the least. 😦

As always, my love for Star Wars has helped me get through this tough time. I’ve been watching Andor, and it takes me away from my problems for a little while, as well as The Rings of Power. I’ve decided to delay my reading of Phase 2 of the High Republic, at least for a time. Passively watching new shows as they come out is about all I can muster right now, lol.

But I’m sure I’ll be back at some point; I just can’t say when. Until then, I’ll be lurking around on your sites to see what you have to say about our favorite shows and books and commenting once in a while.

Stay safe, stay well, and May the Force Be With You!

Ranking my favorite sci-fi/fantasy franchises

This blog is mostly about Star Wars, but like most fans, there are many other franchises out there that I love. I thought I’d list them here and rank them, based on my level of obsession and commitment. I love them all to varying degrees, but here they are from least favorite to most:

Blade Runner. I’m not sure if this counts as a franchise, since there are only two movies, but I also thought I heard that there’s a series in the works. At any rate, Blade Runner came to my attention in the early 80’s when the first one came out (it was released in 1982) since Harrison Ford was in it. At 12 years old, I was deep into my Star Wars obsession, and had my first celebrity crush on Ford. But I was a bit disappointed in the trailer, since it looked nothing like Star Wars, and Harrison Ford didn’t look like Han Solo, lol. I didn’t actually watch the film until much later, in my twenties, and I absolutely loved it. It just looked cool, and was cerebral in a way Star Wars wasn’t, and realized this was science fiction while Star Wars was fantasy. When Blade Runner 2049 came out in 2017, I was excited about it. Some people either didn’t like it, didn’t understand it, or thought it was way too long and convoluted. I loved it, though. Ryan Gosling was incredible in the role of K/Joe, and it explored all the philosophical themes I loved in the original (what does it mean to be human? What is love? What is real? etc). And Ford was great.

Indiana Jones. Another Ford franchise I’ve loved since childhood. Raiders of the Lost Ark remains one of my favorite nostalgic films. The franchise is low down on my list because the films have been kind of hit or miss. Raiders–awesome. Temple of Doom–gruesome and silly. Last Crusade–awesome. Crystal Skull–disappointing. I’m hoping number five continues the pattern and is awesome, and a fitting farewell to the character.

Mad Max. I first saw Beyond Thunderdome when it came out in 1985. At the time, I thought it was pretty cool, although now I consider it the weakest out of the movies. I backtracked and saw the first two Mad Max films, and while the first one was decent, it was The Road Warrior that cemented my love for the franchise (and young Mel Gibson was extremely easy on the eyes, too). The Road Warrior was quite simply an action masterpiece on wheels, and I’m not someone who’s into action films, really. It has to be action blended with something else, like an existential dystopian journey. When it was announced that there would be a reboot with Tom Hardy as Max, I had my doubts. No one but Mel could play Max. But I was wrong. Tom did a great job, but I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t really Max that did it for me this time; it was Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron. I absolutely love her, and the film has the same high-octane car chases as the originals. I think there’s a Furiosa sequel on the way, and I’m on board.

The Terminator. I missed this one when it first came out in 1984 because I was too young to go see it in the theater. I caught up with it later, and instantly loved it. The idea of it just blew my young mind–a robot coming back through time to kill a woman so she wouldn’t bear a son who would inspire a human rebellion against the machines?? What?? That’s so cool!!!–and Arnold Schwarzenegger was awesome as the Terminator. I also related to Sarah Connor, because she was just some normal waitress who happened to be the mother of John Connor. And oh, the father was the guy who came back in time to protect her from the killer machine. OMG, What???? The son sent his own father back in time so he could be conceived??? It was all so mind-bending to me, lol. And of course, the sequel was fantastic, and Sarah Connor had grown into this badass fighter who would do anything to protect her son. She was one of the first badass women action characters (next to Ellen Ripley, see below) who was inspiring to me at the time. The subsequent sequels were fine, but couldn’t quite recapture the magic, and I think I even skipped the last one or two, I don’t know. But the first two will always be rather high on my list of faves.

Alien(s). This was another instance where I saw the second movie before the first one, and then backtracked. The second Alien movie, simply called Aliens, is by far the best of the bunch. I saw it in the theater and just sat on the edge of my seat teeming with adrenaline the whole time, lol. The aliens are terrifying and gross and Ellen Ripley is one of my female heroes, next to Sarah Connor, naturally. Just a normal woman who got caught up in something that required her to do insanely brave things, not only to survive, but to help those she cared about to survive, too. When I backtracked and saw the first Alien movie, I was surprised at how different it was; it was more of a slow burn that eventually boiled into terror. The subsequent movies weren’t that great, to be honest. The third one was just grim and depressing, and the fourth was kind of weird and unsettling. I like to just pretend the third and fourth never happened, and Ripley and Newt lived happily ever after with Hicks.

Marvel. Marvel is a relatively recent obsession, starting just last summer with the Loki series. I loved it so much, and worked through all the films for several months to catch up. Where had I been all these years? Lol. I will confess, I thought the “comic book movies” silly and for the nerd boys (nevermind that I was, and had been for years, a nerd girl). But Loki opened the door for me, and I’m so glad he did. It was so fun discovering all these movies, and some I absolutely loved, and others, meh, not so much (here’s my ranking of the films). And the D+ shows have been mostly great; I especially loved, besides Loki, Wandavision and Moon Knight. I haven’t been keeping up with the shows–I haven’t watched Ms. Marvel or She-Hulk, which is surprising for me, since they’re female-centric, but I think I just got a case of Marvel fatigue, lol. They’ll always be there and I’ll catch up some day.

Star Trek. Ah, Star Trek. For me, it all started with The Next Generation in the late 80’s. I think I’d seen a few shows of the original series before that, but it didn’t capture my attention like Next Gen. It was silly at times (especially looking back, lol), but it found its rhythm in later seasons and put out excellent episodes. I think it’s the only series of which I’ve seen every single episode (besides Enterprise). I loved Deep Space Nine and Voyager, but didn’t watch all the episodes for one reason or another. Enterprise is another favorite; I have a soft spot for Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap, and just found the show fun and entertaining. The newer shows, like Discovery and Strange New Worlds, I haven’t seen at all, and I’ve only seen the first season of Picard. I hope to remedy that some day. And the films are a whole other thing. I enjoyed some of the films with the original crew (2,4, and 6 specifically), and the Next Gen films were mostly good, particularly First Contact. And the new JJ. Abrams Trek films about the original crew with new actors are quite good, too. I’ll always love Trek and what it represents–mostly, faith in humanity and an examination of science and ethics–and Jean Luc will always be my favorite captain.

Lord of the Rings. This is another relatively new obsession, although this one started over twenty years ago (!) with the release of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. I had never read the books before this (but have since read them twice through) nor did I ever feel the need to. But damn, when that first trailer came out, I was gobsmacked! I had to see this movie. And when I did, I just stared up at the screen in awe. This was just something I had never experienced before, besides what I felt with Star Wars. It was gorgeous, stunning, epic, and so full of heart I could barely breathe. It was quite simply one of the best movies I had ever seen, period; at least until The Return of the King came out. That was an experience I’ll never forget. It deserved its gazillion Oscars (okay, eleven, but it really swept that year, and it’s a fantasy film, which had never happened before). I immediately read the books as soon as Fellowship came out, and I enjoyed those. Then I tried The Silmarillion. I knew immediately I wasn’t going to be a LOTR expert or any such thing. There’s just too much. I didn’t get too far before I set it down, defeated. But that’s okay. It’s actually a good reference book as I watch the new Rings of Power show, which has been quite good, though probably doesn’t follow it to the letter. I’ve also been re-watching The Hobbit trilogy, and while it doesn’t reach the heights of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s great fun and has some lore in there, too.

Star Wars. As you might have guessed, this franchise takes the top spot in my heart. I made a blog about it, after all. There’s just something so special about this galaxy far, far away. Maybe because it’s about hope amid relentless tyranny. Maybe it’s the characters and their journeys. Maybe it’s the futuristic space setting, but as the song says, it’s not the future. It’s a fairy tale, a once upon a time in space. Maybe it’s the nostalgia: I fell in love with it when I was ten years old, over forty years ago, and it’s been with me ever since. Whatever the reason, Star Wars will always be a part of me, a meaningful part of me, as weird as that sounds. I mean, I even got a Jedi Order tattoo on my arm last year, to solidify my commitment, lol. And it’s not static; it’s alive and well after all these decades, evolving and adapting and always recreating itself, while still remaining the same at its core: the story of good versus evil, of darkness ever rising, and the light always to meet it.

What are your favorite franchises? Sci-fi/fantasy or not, let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update (Monday Edition)

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

I normally post this on Saturday or Sunday (hence, “weekend”) but I needed some time to watch the first three episodes of The Rings of Power, so here we are. But more on that later.

First, I’ve been getting back into my reading of N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. It’s such an enthralling story, but I’ve been so busy watching stuff this past week that I haven’t opened the book as much as I would have liked. I did get a big chunk of the book behind me, though, and it doesn’t disappoint. I’ll write more on it when I finish it.

On Kindle, I’ve been slowly reading through A New Hope, which was ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster. It’s so weird, because the story is the same as the movie, obviously, and some lines taken from it are word for word. But there’s also more dialogue in there than in the movie, which makes sense. Movies pare things down. Or a scene is slightly different. For example, I just read today about the cantina scene in Mos Eisley where Ben Kenobi cuts off the arm of that alien that had been bugging Luke (I forget his name; he didn’t have a name, or a name for the species, for that matter, in the book). But he also cut a couple of characters in half as well. Pretty gruesome, Obi-Wan, lol. The author also makes some references to Earth-related creatures, like dogs or pandas or dinosaurs. It kind of takes me out of the story for a second when the author does that. Oh well.

Skywalker and Kenobi, together again.

I watched Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return on Disney+ on Wednesday when it dropped, and enjoyed it. I always enjoy these behind-the-scenes shows, but this one was special because I loved the show so much, lol. Just seeing Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen gush about how glad they are to be back in Star Wars just makes my heart happy.

I also finished my rewatch of The Bad Batch, in preparation for Season Two (which was initially on Sept. 28 but now, I hear, has been moved to Jan. 4 of next year). I’m looking forward to seeing them maybe branch out a bit and join the fight against the Empire. I also hope we learn more about Omega; in other words, what is it that makes her so special? What is her enhancement? Yes, she’s good at strategy, but I don’t think that’s it. I’m still holding on to my theory that she’s Force-sensitive, but we’ll see.

Live-action Ezra.

Some casting news has me excited, which is that Eman Esfandi has been cast as Ezra Bridger for the Ahsoka show. I’m not familiar with this actor, but based on his looks alone, I think they nailed it! All he needs is blue eyes, and we have our Ezra. I am chomping at the bit for the Ahsoka show!

I’ve watched the trailers that dropped on D23 day for The Mandalorian S3, Tales of the Jedi, and a new one for Andor. They’re all very exciting. Looks like Mando S3 will be focusing on more Mandalorians, with Din perhaps trying to atone for his “sins.” Personally, I think Din needs to break away from his cult-family and pave his own way. It will be interesting to see how he and Bo-Katan interact and what will become of the Dark Saber.

Dooku and Mace Windu in Tales of the Jedi.

Tales of the Jedi is an animated show that will drop all six episodes at once, I believe. They look to be about Ahsoka, and Count Dooku. This one looks really cool and I’m looking forward to it.

The Andor trailer just shows us more fantastic footage from the upcoming show, and just makes me even more excited to watch. Ten days!

So over the weekend, I watched the first three episodes of The Rings of Power. Yes, I bit the bullet and signed up for Prime. I just really wanted to watch this show, and the free shipping on all the Star Wars books I buy won’t hurt, either. So what do I think of it so far?

The short answer is: I love it. It’s gorgeous, mesmerizing, intriguing, and I love that the creators have made Galadriel the center of the show, among a fascinating ensemble cast.

I’m totally on board for badass Galadriel.

I understand that there are some Tolkien purists who are furious (big surprise) that they’ve “mangled” Tolkien’s mythology. Well, here’s some news: not everyone is familiar with The Silmarillion, Tolkien’s book that contains the stories that the creators have drawn from. I actually have the book on my shelf, it’s been there for decades; I think I managed to read 50 pages of it years ago. Does it bother me that the creators of the show have adapted these stories into something else, something that may appeal to a wider audience? Nope. It’s a great show. And don’t get me started on the racists who complain about the dark-skinned characters in the story; they don’t even deserve a rebuttal.

Anyway, I’m totally invested in this story now. I haven’t thought about Middle-Earth for a long while, but it’s so worth going back. To see Galadriel and Elrond in their relative “youth,” to see characters only touched on in the films, like Durin, Elendil, and Isildur. And the new ones are great; I especially like Arondir, the elf who’s in love with the human woman Bronwynn. I’m really worried about him right about now, lol. Halberd seems to be a kind of Aragorn figure, the man who would be king, but who refuses the call at first. And the Harfoots, a kind of pre-hobbit people, are just charming. Norri is delightful. And who is the tall stranger from the meteorite she helps? I keep thinking he must be a wizard, he just doesn’t know it yet. Or maybe it’s obvious, I don’t know.

There’s a lot of exposition coming from characters, but that’s understandable. There’s so much history in this world, you need to know the context of what’s going on. And the elves tend to speak a bit theatrically, poetically, a bit dramatically, but let’s be honest, they’ve been around for thousands of years; they’re gonna be a little weird, lol.

So yes, I love it, and I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.

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

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 five favorite ships in Star Wars

No, I’m not talking about Reylo…I mean real spaceships, lol.

I’ve never been much of a “ship nerd,” memorizing designations and specs, etc. In fact, all I know is the Empire has Star Destroyers, and the Rebellion has X-Wings, pretty much. Okay, I know a little bit more, but not much.

I do have some favorite ships, though, and I thought I’d share them here.

  • Jedi Vectors. These are cool little ships. What I love about them is that they are connected to the Jedi who fly them: the Jedi pilot uses the Force to fly it. Also, the weapons on them can only be accessed by a Jedi’s lightsaber–they must insert the lightsaber into the vehicle like a key. This serves a couple of purposes: the ship can never be used as a weapon by a non-Jedi; and the Jedi must make a conscious choice to use weapons instead of a non-lethal way to solve problems. So cool. And they look like mosquitos buzzing around.
  • Padme’s Naboo Royal Starship. This is one sleek, shiny ride. I just love how this ship looks: luxurious but sharp as a needle. This one’s totally based on looks alone.
  • Poe’s Black One X-Wing. X-Wings are cool, but Poe’s modified black X-Wing is even cooler. I don’t know much about its “specs,” but I do know from The Force Awakens novelization that BB-8 has a hard time dealing with it because it’s so fussy. I like when ships have (literal) personalities. And it’s one-of-a-kind. I was sad to see it blow up in The Last Jedi.
  • The Ghost. This one’s more of an emotional attachment than anything else, although it’s a nifty little ship. It represents my love for its crew more than anything else, but it can do some amazing things with Hera at the helm. And I love that its shuttle is called the Phantom (and that each crew member is called Spectre One, Two, etc. See what they did there?)
  • And of course, the Millenium Falcon. But particularly when it belonged to Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story because it’s so shiny and new, with all kinds of bells and whistles. I love its long nose which is the shuttle (that Han ejects for some crazy escape, to Lando’s despair. Oh Lando, it’s just beginning!) But it’s also lovely inside, with a wet bar, a “love nest” that is Lando’s bedroom, and a huge closet for his capes! And I love learning that L3-37, after her death, is incorporated into the ship. It gives the Falcon’s rather funky personality some context.

So those are my five favorites. I don’t have any Imperial ships on the list; they just don’t interest me as much. I thought about including Mando’s Razor Crest but honestly, it’s pretty ugly, lol.

What are your favorite Star Wars ships? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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!