High Republic Wednesday: Chancellor Lina Soh

The High Republic era is led by Chancellor Lina Soh, who is often flanked by her two targons, Matari and Voru. Named after ancient Coruscanti gods, the targons are pets, comrades, and protectors who can sense Lina’s emotions. It’s probably the coolest thing I’ve seen in the High Republic, among a lot of cool things.

Here kitty, kitty.

Lina is a great visionary for the Republic at this time, and is responsible for the idea of Starlight Beacon, which was meant to be the first in a network of such stations across the galaxy. It is one of her Great Works, meant to bring the galaxy closer together, particularly to bring the Outer Rim into the fold. Lina Soh coined the term “We are all the Republic,” and came up with the theme of The Spirit of Unity for the Republic Fair. She believes the galaxy is stronger if everyone works together. A simple, if idealistic, belief that doesn’t prepare her for the scourge that is the Nihil: mauraders who take what they want in violent, cruel ways, and has no respect for the Republic or the Jedi, or the sanctity of life, for that matter.

Lina has a 17-year old son, Kitrep (“Kip”) who doesn’t always like the limelight of being the Chancellor’s son. But they are close, and he was one of the first at her bedside when she was injured during the Nihil attack on the Republic Fair (she lost part of a leg in that attack).

Here’s a little blurb about her from Starwars.com:

Here is a part of her speech at the dedication of Starlight Beacon:

You know I envision a galaxy of Great Works — connected and inspiring and filled with peace for all citizens. I believe this is possible, but not because of me, or any special ability of mine. I believe it is possible because of us. Because we can and will work together to achieve it. We are, every one of us, a great work. I see a galaxy where we use our strengths to shore up each other’s weaknesses, where we understand and celebrate our differences and hold them up as valuable. We are a Republic where every voice matters, whether in the Core or on the farthest planet at the edge of the Rim.

She’s a true foil to the selfish anarchy of the Nihil.

Here’s a lovely rendition of Lina by Ironickdesigns:

We are all the Republic.

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!

High Republic Wednesday: The Fallen Star Review

(There may be some spoilers for The Fallen Star in this post).

by Claudia Gray, PRINT ISBN: 9780593355398 E-TEXT ISBN: 9780593355404

The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray, is the third adult book in Phase One of The High Republic series, and it does a great job of wrapping up the “beginning of the end” of the the Jedi and The Republic at their very best.

This trilogy has shown the rise of the Nihil, a group of anarchist mauraders who take what they want, when they want, without regard to the lives of others. In Light of the Jedi, the Nihil cause the Great Disaster; in The Rising Storm, they attack the Republic Fair on Valo; and in this book, they insidiously attack the star of Chancellor Lina Soh’s Great Works, Starlight Beacon. Meant to be a light in the darkness of space across the Outer Rim, the state-of-the-art space station is home to a Jedi contingent, an advanced medical bay, and a place of refuge for people who need help.

Once again, the Republic and the Jedi believe the Nihil threat is nearly over, but they are wrong. They have no idea the Eye of the Nihil, their leader, is Marchion Ro, who has worked in the shadows, and who has sent a secret group of followers to the station to incapacitate it. They’ve also smuggled a creature onboard that somehow affects a Jedi’s connection to the Force. So when things start to go wrong, the Jedi are weakened.

Padawan Burryaga helps during the crisis.

Jedi Master Stellan Gios has stepped in as Marshall while Avar Kriss is on a mission to find Lourna Dee, who the Jedi believe is the Nihil leader. Elzar Mann, his good friend and fellow Jedi Master, has joined following a sabbatical after struggling with the dark side in the previous book. Elzar is accompanied by Orla Jareni, a Jedi who has become a Wayseeker, or one who explores the Force on their own, outside of the Order. Also on the station are Jedi Master Nib Assek and her Padawan, the Wookiee Burryaga, Jedi Master Indeera Stokes and her Padawan Bell Zettifar (along with his charhound, Ember, of course), and a Jedi we haven’t seen yet, Regald Coll (who happens to think he’s hilarious).

Also on board are pilots Affie Hollow, Leox Gyasi, and Geode from the Vessel (all were in Gray’s YA book Into the Dark); Nihil collaborators Chancey Yarrow and Nan, who were brought on board as prisoners; as well as several other pilots who happened to be on the station when things start to go wrong.

The Nihil saboteurs manage to sneak on board, cut communications, disable the escape pods and just about everything else; then blow up part of the station which causes them to move into the pull of the planet Eiram’s gravity (the station had been on a mission to help the planet after a devastating storm). So basically Starlight will eventually fall into the planet’s atmosphere and plummet to the surface, presumably killing all on board and a good portion of a coastal city on Eiram.

Orla Jareni and her white double lightsaber.

The Jedi begin a problem-solving mission, but their efforts are sabotaged by the mysterious creature that is roaming the station–one that instills crippling fear and paralysis in any Jedi who comes near, blocks their access to the Force, and that will literally suck the life out of them, reducing them to dry husks if they don’t get away. Several Jedi fall prey to this creature, whose description is deliberately vague, from the disoriented and terrified Jedi’s point of view.

The entire story takes place on the station (except for the few brief scenes with Marchion Ro on his ship), which leads to a kind of claustrophobic feeling, a feeling of urgency and anxiety.

The most interesting character arc in the book for me is Stellan’s–Stellan is a picture-perfect Jedi, the poster boy for the Jedi Order and the face of the Jedi for the Republic. Now, he’s cut off not only from the Order but from the Force itself, and Stellan is having an identity crisis. He doesn’t know who he is outside of the Order or without his connection to the Force, and it seriously affects his confidence. The very name of the book, in my opinion, not only refers to Starlight Beacon, but to Stellan himself. His friends, Elzar and Avar, had always referred to him as their “polestar,” a moral compass for them both. But now Stellan barely knows which way is up, lol.

Leox Gyasi of the Vessel.

Elzar, too, struggles in this story. When he is on retreat with Orla, he comes to realize his descent into dark-side emotions is a result of his denial of his feelings for Avar. Interestingly, I think Elzar is a foil to Anakin. Anakin struggles with similar emotions, and I think he would have done much better during the High Republic. First of all, when Elzar recognizes the dark side in his emotions and actions, he goes straight to his friends, confident that they will help him. And they do. He gets support, love, tears and hugs, special retreats. He’s taught to deal with these emotions, not bury them, not deny them. It’s a different situation, but I can’t help but think of Anakin’s mishandling when I read about Elzar.

Anyway, Elzar has decided to back off from the Force for awhile until he feels confident he’s dealt with these things properly, and as a result, doesn’t initially feel the disorientation the other Jedi feel on the station. This forces him to step up and become a leader when Stellan is out of commission, something he’s never felt comfortable with, and does a fine job. But Elzar isn’t completely out of the dark side woods yet.

Elzar Mann, reluctant leader.

I wish Avar were more a part of this story, but she’s been featured mostly in the comics, so even though she arrives on the station at some point, her part in this story is told in a comic. This frustrates me a bit–I want more of her, and of other characters that have been exclusively in the comics, like Keeve Trennis and Skkeer, but I can barely keep up with the books, never mind the comics (financially anyway, lol). I’m hoping for an omnibus of the High Republic comics soon, so I can get it all in one place, at once.

But that’s a minor complaint. It’s an excellent book, and ends this phase in a dramatic and foreboding way. I’m sad that we won’t see these characters again for awhile, as Phase Two is going even further back in time, to 150 years before this story. I’m disappointed about that, but have faith that the writers know what they’re doing. At least the next book in this wave is a YA book called Midnight Horizon by Daniel Jose Older, and focuses on Jedi I got to know in Gray’s Into the Dark, Master Cohmac Vitus and Padawan Reath Silas.

I would give The Fallen Star 4.5 out of 5 lightsabers.

Have you read The Fallen Star? What did you think? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello and happy weekend, my friends!

I’ve finished reading The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray, and I was not disappointed in this third adult novel in the High Republic series, and the last in Phase One. I’ve enjoyed all of Claudia Gray’s Star Wars novels, and she does a great job telling this story of Starlight Beacon, symbol of the Jedi and the Republic, being destroyed by the Nihil, or more specifically, orchestrated by Marchion Ro, their mysterious leader. The Jedi, led by Stellan Gios and Elzar Mann, don’t even know what they’re up against, as something mysterious is affecting the Jedi’s connection to the Force as the incapacitated station plummets toward destruction. I’m going to post a review of the book on Wednesday (my High Republic post day), so stay tuned for that.

Since finishing that book, I’d like to get back to Race to Crashpoint Tower, the middle grade book from Wave 2 of the High Republic, before Midnight Horizon comes out on February 1st. I shouldn’t have a problem finishing the relatively small book in a week or so, and I’ll write up a review of it.

The wonderfully-named Padawans Lula Talisola and Ram Jamoram

I enjoyed the latest episode of The Book of Boba Fett (Episode 4) called “The Gathering Storm.” Again, some good things, some wince-inducing things, but the most exciting thing about it came at the end when we hear Mando’s theme, suggesting Din Djarin will be making an appearance, hopefully next week! For my full review of the episode, you can go here.

In Marvel, I caught the Moon Knight trailer, and man, does that look trippy and weird, and I’m so ready for it! I haven’t seen Dune yet, and so missed Isaac Oscar’s performance in that film, so I can’t wait to see him in this new Marvel series that premieres March 30th. I’m new to Marvel, having caught up with the Avengers and company in the past 6 or so months, and I have no idea who any of these new superheroes and villains are, but I’m just going along for the ride and I’m loving it!

Oscar Isaac looks to be having a spot of trouble in Moon Knight.

Case in point, I’m on my third viewing of Eternals (and have another post on them coming soon, probably Monday; if you want to read my review of the movie you can do so here); and I’ve also watched Shang Chi about three times so far. Just fabulous movie-making. Marvel is really hitting the mark for me right now!

But I’ve also been thinking about another franchise I haven’t visited for awhile: Star Trek. When I heard about the new series Picard, I knew I wanted to watch it, but I wasn’t keen on paying for another streaming service to do so. But now I can watch it on Youtube for about $2 an episode. I can swing that. I loved The Next Generation back in the day, much more than the original Star Trek (although it’s still cool in a campy way), and Picard, Riker, Worf, and Data are a part of my beloved sci-fi memories. So I’ll probably be watching that show during the Disney vacuum once The Book of Boba Fett ends, and I’ll be talking about it here. Can’t wait to see what Jean-Luc has been up to!

I will boldly go wherever this man goes next.

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

High Republic Wednesday–Padawan Bell Zettifar

(There are some High Republic novel spoilers here, so beware).

Bell Zettifar is one of the many interesting Padawans in the High Republic universe, and one of the most prominent (at least in the novels), so I thought I’d profile him next.

Bell and Ember.

Bell trained with his master, Loden Greatstorm, at the Jedi Temple Outpost on the Outer Rim planet Elphrona, along with Masters Indeera Stokes and Porter Engle. Bell is a likable young man who has a great respect and love for his master, who pushes him to grow and learn about his Force abilities. Bell, like a lot of Jedi in the High Republic, sees the Force in a unique way–he sees it as fire or flames. Fittingly, Bell has become fast friends with a charhound from Elphrona he named Ember, who can breathe flames. The Jedi from Elphrona don’t chastise Bell for taking on a pet (an “attachment”), but others raise an eyebrow now and then (particularly Stellan Gios, who’s a stickler for rules; but everyone loves Ember anyway).

Bell and his master Loden Greatstorm.

In Light of the Jedi, Loden Greatstorm is presumed killed by the Nihil, but Bell has a difficult time letting him go. Many Jedi, including his new master, Indeera Stokes, advise him on his grief; they tell him it’s okay to grieve, but urge him to let go. But it’s hard for Bell to move on. Before he disappeared, Loden told Bell he was ready to become a Jedi Knight. After, however, Bell couldn’t bring himself to ascend to Jedi Knight without his beloved Master. In The Rising Storm, Bell discovers Loden was not killed by the Nihil but had been taken prisoner by Marchion Ro and tormented for his own nefarious purposes. He and Bell were briefly reunited, but Loden was indeed ultimately killed by an awful Nihil weapon, and Bell had to grieve all over again.

In The Fallen Star, which I’m almost done with, Bell plays a prominent part in trying to save Starlight Beacon, and has become good friends with another Padawan, Burryaga the Wookiee.

You can’t talk about Bell without Ember, who is his constant companion, the best girl, so here are a few renditions of the pair:

High Republic Adventures Annual 2021 variant cover by Jon Lam.
The only artist info I could find on this was “bel on Twitter.”

I just love the idea of a Jedi having an animal companion. Ember is more than a pet; she’s a comrade who’s saved Bell’s life on several occasions, she’s part of the Jedi family, and she’s a good friend.

For light and life! Thanks for reading.

High Republic Wednesday–Jedi Master Stellan Gios

I’m really enjoying The High Republic stories I’ve been reading in the new novels, and wanted to do a weekly post on some aspect of them every Wednesday if I can. I don’t read the comics at the moment, in which a lot of the stories take place, but I will focus on the adult and young adult novels, and perhaps middle-grade books if I get to them. (And maybe someday I’ll check out the comics).

For my first post, I’d like to focus on Jedi Master Stellan Gios.

Stellan in his Temple robes. The HR Jedi are a little fancier than the prequel Jedi, and have formal attire for official functions, ceremonies, etc.

Stellan features prominently in the High Republic adult novel The Rising Storm, in which he leads the Jedi in defending the Republic Fair against an attack from the Nihil. His strength is put to the test as he attempts to protect Republic Chancellor Lina Soh and fends off Nihil attackers like the brutal Lourna Dee.

Stellan in his mission robes. Even these are a little fancier than the bathrobes we see the prequel Jedi in.

Stellan is a described as easy on the eyes, a little in love with the sound of his own voice, and one who enjoys being in the limelight. The truth is, he simply loves to teach about the Jedi and the Force, and is always ready to enlighten people. He’s recently become a member of the Jedi High Council, and often feels he isn’t ready to take on the responsibility such a position entails. Like many of the High Republic Jedi, he perceives the Force in a unique way; Stellan sees the force as the firmament, all the stars in the sky (his name is a clue, lol).

Stellan’s unique lightsaber, with its laser crossguard and retracting quillons.

Stellan is friends with fellow Jedi Masters Avar Kriss and Elzar Mann. The three grew up together as Padawans, and have a deep bond. He wasn’t present too much in the first book, The Light of the Jedi (Avar and Elzar starred in that one) but in The Rising Storm, it’s Stellan and Elzar’s relationship that is explored. Elzar is a bit of a loose canon, and Stellan often feels he needs to keep an eye on him, in the best possible way. Their friendship is deep, and they rely on each other for support and advice.

A variant cover of The High Republic comic by Mike Mayhew.

Early on in The Rising Storm, a news reporter named Rhil Dairo has just met Stellan. Here are her thoughts on him:

Rhil liked Stellan. He was a bit stiff, sure…a bit earnest and, on days when she wasn’t feeling generous, a little too keen on the sound of his own voice, but she could tell that his heart was definitely in the right place. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he was a handsome son-of-a-blaster. Oh no, not at all. That chiseled jaw beneath the dashing beard, those blue eyes. And the smile. That smile! That was the real killer, right there. No wonder the Council had decided to make him their poster boy. (p. 55)

Later in the book, after the battle and Stellan is carrying the injured Lina Soh in his arms, these are his thoughts:

Somewhere in the back of his mind, Stellan knew the galaxy was watching. He could hear the whine of the cam droids, almost feel their lenses closing in, picking up every scrap of dirt on his robes, the injuries on his face, the tears in his eyes.

Jedi weren’t supposed to cry. They were supposed to keep their emotions in check. But weren’t they also supposed to feel compassion for those in pain?

For light and life.

For light and…

Stellan heard a whimper, but didn’t realize it was his own.

There was no avoiding the suffering of those whose lives had been torn apart, no avoiding their pain. If he could, if the anguish and the misery didn’t cut him to the quick, then what kind of Jedi would he be? (p. 339)

These two passages really show the two faces of Stellan, the public and the private. I wasn’t sure how I felt about him at the beginning of the book, but by the end, I loved him. Right now I’m finding Elzar Mann a little more interesting (more on him in a future post), but there’s no denying Stellan is a stellar Jedi.

For light and life. Thanks for reading!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends!

I’m done with my reread of The Rising Storm, by Cavan Scott, and as I mentioned last week, I enjoyed it more the second time around. The crux of the story revolves around the Republic Fair on the planet Valo, which is attacked by the villainous Nihil. Jedi Masters Stellan Gios and Elzar Mann lead the Jedi in defending against the attack, along with Padawan Bell Zettifar and his devoted charhound, Ember.

Star Wars Holocron on Twitter: "Character of the Day: Ember  https://t.co/H1wwIxdCoY" / Twitter
Aw, what a sweet doggie. She blows fire out of her mouth.

I easily finished the book before The Fallen Star arrives at my door. The next High Republic book by Claudia Gray was released January 4th, but delivery being what it is these days, I’m not expecting it for a few more days. Waiting is hard….but while I’m waiting, I’ll start the middle-grade book Race to Crashpoint Tower, by Justine Ireland. It also takes place during the attack at the Republic Fair, but from the point of view of young Jedi Knight Ram Jamoram (that just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?). It was only 99 cents on Kindle, so why not? 🙂

Meanwhile, I’ve finished my rewatch of the sequel trilogy, with The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. One of the most interesting aspects of the sequels for me, personally, is my flip-flopping of how I feel about Kylo Ren. After hating him in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi delves a little more into his history and your feelings soften for him a little bit. You feel a little sorry for him, lol. But then at the beginning of TROS, he’s hardened again, and you think maybe he’s lost for good and there’s no hope for him. Right up until his and Rey’s last duel on the wrecked Death Star, he’s implacable.

Indeed.

And then, suddenly, his mother reaches out to him, and something answers. Rey deals him the death blow, and then heals him. And then the incredibly emotional scene with Han Solo happens, and he throws his wobbly lightsaber into the sea, and you know Ben’s back. It did seem really quick, but then again, throughout the sequels he’d been as wobbly as that lightsaber, feeling the pull of the light, struggling, torn, miserable. I really didn’t know which way he’d go until the very end. He’s one of the most interesting characters in Star Wars, in my opinion, and it helps that Adam Driver is such a great actor.

So, onto the second episode of The Book of Boba Fett, The Tribes of Tatooine. This was a great episode, and a lot happened, with a lot to take in. Hutts! A terrifying Wookiee named Black Krrsantan! Pykes and spice! A dream-inducing lizard up the nose! So many cool things. I like how we’re getting more cultural stuff about the Tuskens–we got a little bit in The Mandalorian, and there’s some interesting stuff in the book Kenobi that I recently read (although it’s Legends). They’re more than just savage brutes. I’m just learning that the warrior that teaches Boba how to fight with the gaffi stick is a female, which is awesome. (She’s played by stuntwoman Joanna Bennett).

Why Boba Fett's evil Wookiee is more important than you realise
This is one scary Wookiee. He and Boba have a history in the comics.

But besides all that, I think it’s important that we see Boba’s spiritual journey in these flashback scenes. Once he climbed out of that Sarlacc, he was reborn, and now he has to face trials, both physical and spiritual, to figure out who he really is and what he wants now. He needs to become more than his father’s clone, more than a bounty hunter. In Legends, Boba also escapes the Sarlacc, but he remains a bounty hunter for the rest of his life, for the most part. As a main character now, he needs to be more than that, and I think this show is doing a great job telling that story. I love the soundtrack, by the way.

So with this new year, I’m going to be doing more blog posts, and I’ll write briefly about that in my Monday post. Stay tuned.

That’s it for now; what’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Happy New Year, my friends!

I’m continuing my reread of The Rising Storm, by Cavan Scott, and I find I’m enjoying it much more this second time around. I’m not sure why, but it happens to me a lot–I’ll reread something, or rewatch a film, and like it a lot more than the first time. I guess I just need time to absorb and think about the story and see it from a new perspective. Or maybe the timing just needs to be right. I’m so ready to continue the story of The High Republic, and can’t wait for The Fallen Star next week!

The Book Of Boba Fett Episode 1 Breakdown & Easter Eggs Explained
This Tusken knows what’s what.

So of course the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett premiered this past week, and like many others, I’m cautiously optimistic about the series. As I’ve mentioned before, I was never a huge fan of the guy, but his appearance in The Mandalorian piqued my interest. The first show answered some of our questions, like how he got out of the Sarlaac, and what happened just after. I thought it a clever device to show the flashbacks while he was in the bacta tank. As for ruling in Jabba’s (and Bib Fortuna’s) wake, I don’t think he entirely knows what he’s doing, lol, but he’s figuring it out as he goes along, with Fennec’s help. We have to shift our view of him from being a villain to being the protagonist of his own show, which means he can’t be a villain, not entirely. As the main character, we need to root for him, so he needs some redeeming qualities. I think his experiences with his near-death in the Sarlaac and the trials with the Tuskens changed him, at least a little. And I’m okay with that; it makes him more interesting, at least to me. I’m looking forward to the upcoming episodes and to see where this leads.

It’s not the inhibitor chip; he’s just naturally a jerk.

After my rewatch of The Clone Wars, I wasn’t intending on continuing with the animated series, but it just naturally segued into The Bad Batch, transitioning from the Republic to the Empire after Order 66. The first episode, Aftermath, is fantastic, but I found, again, that I enjoyed watching the series more this second time around than the first. Maybe it’s because I can binge-watch it rather than wait a week between episodes. I don’t know, but I just love it. I didn’t love Clone Force 99 right off the bat when they first showed up in The Clone Wars, but I love them now, every single one. Even Crosshair, that bastard, lol. There are a lot of things I’d love to see in Season 2, and I’ll probably do a little post about it as its premier gets closer (I don’t think we have a specific date yet).

This still hurts. A lot.

Seems I’m doing a lot of rewatching/rereading of familiar territory, as I rewatched The Force Awakens on New Year’s Eve. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s such a great movie. I’ll never forget how I felt when I watched it for the first time in the theater in 2016: I was so incredibly excited to be watching a new Star Wars movie. To see Han, Chewie, Leia, Threepio and Artoo, as well as a batch of interesting new characters, was amazing, and it reignited my love for the franchise. I never thought I’d see these characters on film again, and here they were, so many years later, dealing with new bad guys, and incredibly painful personal stuff. No Star Wars movie is perfect (except perhaps Empire), but they’re all enjoyable, this one included. I’ll probably watch the rest of the sequel trilogy this weekend.

So with the new year comes new goals and resolutions, and one of mine (besides cutting down on the dark chocolate consumption, lol) is getting back to writing, specifically the Star Wars fan fiction I began a couple of months ago, and predictably, set aside. I really like the story idea and the characters I’ve created, so I’m not sure why I put it down (I suspect it’s simply laziness, lol), but I intend to get back to it and stay in it. If I accomplish one thing in the coming year, I’d like it to be a finished story that I can be proud of and that I enjoyed writing.

So that’s it for this week (and this year!) What’s been entertaining you lately? Any New Year’s resolutions? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

A Whole Lotta Star Wars Books Next Year

As a booklover and a Star Wars fan, there’s a lot to be excited about for 2022. There’s a ton of Star Wars books coming out, and I’ve pre-ordered nearly all of them. Looks like I’ll be a very busy reading bee next year! Here’s a run-down of what’s coming up:

The High Republic:

The Fallen Star The High Republic by Claudia Gray - Lucasfilm, Star Wars Books

The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray. January 4th. Adult. The second wave of the High Republic stories is kicked off by this adult novel which continues the Jedi’s struggles against the Nihil. I love Claudia Gray’s novels, so I have very high expectations for this one.

Midnight Horizon, by Daniel Jose Older. Feb. 1st. YA. The young adult entries in the High Republic have been hit or miss with me, but this one concerns Reath Silas, a Jedi Padawan that I’m particularly fond of. So I have high hopes.

There’s also:

Queen’s Hope, by E.K. Johnston. April 5th. YA. I’ve enjoyed the previous two entries of the Padme series (a character who’s often gotten short shrift, in my opinion), and this third in the trilogy promises to be the best of the bunch. It concerns Padme’s marriage to Anakin during the Clone Wars, and I’m eager to see her side of the story.

And then there’s also a new batch of canon Star Wars:

Star Wars: Brotherhood by [Mike Chen]

Brotherhood, by Mike Chen. May 10th. (Adult? I think so.) This book centers on Obi-Wan and Anakin on a mission to Cato Neimoidia during the Clone Wars, and maybe we’ll get an answer to Obi-Wan’s cryptic reference to “that business” of Anakin saving him that “doesn’t count.” At any rate, it’s an Obi-Wan and Anakin adventure, and I’m so here for it. Maybe it will coincide with the Obi-Wan series on Disney+?

Stories of Jedi and Sith. June 7th. Middle-grade short stories. This one isn’t as high on my list, but I’m sure I’ll check it out at some point. I recognize a few of the authors and they’re quite good, so I’m betting these stories have a lot to offer.

Shadow of the Sith, by Adam Christopher. June 28th. Adult. No cover yet. This is the one people are frothing at the mouth for–it’s a post ROTJ Luke story (finally!) And it refers to events that will take place in the sequel trilogy: Luke and Lando are pursuing Ochi of Bestoon, a Sith assassin tasked with kidnapping a young girl–Rey. This one comes out on my birthday, and it will make a splendid birthday present to myself, lol.

Padawan, by Kiersten White. July 26th. YA. No cover yet. This one is about Obi-Wan when he is newly apprenticed to Qui Gon Jinn, on a mission to a planet with Force-wielding kids and teens. This one sounds fun, and really, there can never be too much Obi-Wan Kenobi, right?

I’m looking forward to ALL of these books, and I’ll be in Star Wars book heaven for at least half the year.

Are you looking forward to any of these books? 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!

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!