SW Reads: Heir To The Jedi

All right, time to dig into another great Star Wars novel! I’m excited about this one, can you tell? ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, in case you didn’t know, Jason Fry’s The Weapon Of A Jedi might be my favorite SW novel of all time. So coming into another Luke Skywalker story with Kevin Hearne’s Heir To The Jedi, I had very very high expectations. And since I’ve never read anything else by Mr. Hearne, I really didn’t know what to expect.
But good news: my expectations were beyond met!

Heir pretty much encapsulates everything I love about Star Wars. It has all manner of thrills and chills, it’s character-driven in the most masterful way, and there is no shortage of laughter and heart. What surprised me most, perhaps, was how easy it was to read. I expected a more dramatic tone somehow, perhaps since the last canon novel I read was Tarkin. But this book is definitely the most easygoing and fun full-length SW novel I’ve read so far! Not to say it doesn’t have its share of drama, because it absolutely does. But reading it was such a pleasurable experience! I like to think Heir is to modern SW novels as Solo is to the films. Because both stories put full focus on these amazing characters, and find just the right balance of feels and fun! And Heir‘s also an easy read because it doesn’t overwhelm us with too much new information or technical terms. Don’t get me wrong, digging into the fine details is one of my favorite things about SW books. But there’s a welcome, comfortable feel from Mr. Hearne’s descriptions that makes everything tangible and completely understandable. One of my favorite examples was with the food, which for the most part, was often just a slightly-spacey version of what we eat on earth. The relatability of the SW galaxy shines brightly in this book, and makes me feel right at home, even as we follow Luke through all manner of unique, unusual, and sometimes-terrifying worlds.

Honestly, I can’t recommend this book enough. If you’re new to SW books and don’t want to go the read-them-all-by-release-date route I’m going, this would make a great first novel! Weapon isn’t my only fave Luke story now ๐Ÿ™‚

And now, here’s my fangirly musings commentary!
Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, and Heir To The Jedi

– A few pages in and I’m already loving reading directly from Luke’s perspective. Like with Weapon Of A Jedi, (my favorite Luke story ATM) I love getting to know Luke at this early time after the battle of Yavin, when he was young, idealistic, and trying to figure out the Force.
– Someone get me a model of the Desert Jewel stat! Or at least a Lego kit!
– So Luke doesn’t speak astromech? Huh. I would not have guessed. Maybe he picks up some by Empire? Crud I need to watch the OT again…
– Cool seeing a new side of Rodia. But glad I can’t smell it. Points for Mr. Hearne’s descriptions, though!
– I don’t know what a needle gun does, but it sounds pretty cool, in a scary way.
– There’s nothing quite as stirring as a Clone Wars tale of Jedi heroics! I love that Luke got another glimpse into the life of his father.
OOOOOOH A PURPLE LIGHTSABER!!
– Datapads take holo stills like smartphones take photos. A longtime SW question of mine has been answered!
– The more I read this novel, the more I fall in love with its author’s cleverness and choice of words. Not to mention how wonderfully he takes on Luke’s voice.
– My fave line so far: “I hadn’t read the histories of those ‘seduced’ by the dark side, but I doubted any of them had been corrupted by a vegetable of questionable nutritional value.” XD
– The Promise and the Redemption are utterly gorgeous ship names.
YIKES the skullborers might be the scariest SW creatures in a while. I think I’d rather hug a rathtar before stepping foot on a world with possibly-sentient brain-eaters!
– Pffft Luke and Nakari’s mutual cooking fails cracked me up ๐Ÿ˜›
– I am so so glad to know ice cream exists in SW. Knowing our differing worlds share something so sweet makes me smile :3
– I never considered until now that a galaxy with so many many diverse peoples would call for a lot of different medical supplies, techniques, and knowledge. Wonder how long it’d take the average med student to graduate?
– I just realized the chapter openings all have some scientific-looking math formulas around the wording. It must have connections later in the story… wish I was more adept at math so I could see if there’s some kind of special code to crack.
– Is rancor sauce really made of rancors, or is it just something super super spicy? Also knowing what Corellia looks like, I get the feeling I wouldn’t want to eat noodles grown there… THIS BOOK IS SO FUN THO.
– Communicating with higher math? That’s a totally neat concept, but I’m with Luke… I doubt I could speak it fluently. As you might’ve noticed, I’m a writer, not a mathematician.
– They say the average galactic citizen doesn’t know of Vader. Wonder how anyone would know to even write a parody song? Hmm. An interesting exception to the rule.
– I like Nakari a lot; she’s a fun, interesting character and a great match for Luke. But I can’t help but be slightly suspicious about her for some reason…
– Something tells me TIE pilots probably don’t get very long lunch breaks. If they get lunch breaks at all. Who wants a tasty ration stick??
– Epic!! A seismic charge! Y’know, that’s one of my favorite sounds in all of Star Wars.
– Once again, Artoo saves the day, and proves once more that the SW saga would never have happened without him!
– A droid with a fake mustache is always a good thing XD
– AHHHH LUKE AND NAKARI ARE SO CUTE!! I WISH I STILL DIDN’T HAVE DOUBTS.
Oh no… I’m so sorry I spent so much of this book suspicious about her. Looking back, I realize there was little to incriminate her. Previous SW stories and Leia’s suspicions were the only things I was really going on, besides the fact the relationship was never referred to or evidenced in later stories. I figured the reason why Luke and Nakari didn’t end up with fifteen grandkids by Episode VIII was because she had ill intent. Never once did I consider that she could simply have died. I guess I loved her character enough that I didn’t want to go that route. It was safer to assume she was a scoundrel, because scoundrels could still be redeemed. But through this tragic turn, we see Luke facing the very thing that turned his father down a dark path, and coming out stronger. We know, of course, that Luke will still be prone to react rashly when his friends are in trouble, but it speaks volumes that he was able to resist the darkness and find peace in this moment. And he comes through this loss in a way decidedly the Jedi Order would not have done, but what was undoubtedly the right way to do it: through tears and through joyful memories. So much wow. What a book!

Thanks for reading along with me today. ‘Til next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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The One Where Twilight Fangirls Over Solo, Part 1

If you didn’t see the brief post I made on tumblr a few weeks back, I absolutely adored Solo: A Star Wars Story. It’s so thrilling, so fun, so spirited! And though one of the most lighthearted SW films to date, it’s certainly not without some serious drama and feels. It’s everything I love about Star Wars and brings me oh-so-much joy! Unsurprisingly, I have a lot I want to write about. But I want to pace myself this time and not try to get everything out in a single post. So I’ll be talking about Solo in four small parts over the next month or so (maybe with other posts in between). If this works out well, I may continue to try and write shorter-length posts like this in the future. Now, we shall begin the Corellian conversation with this week’s topic: the surprisingly sweet story of Han and Qi’ra!

Contains spoilers from Solo and Episode IV. Also, please remember I have only seen the film once at this point, so there is a chance I may have misremembered some elements.

Going into Solo, I knew Qi’ra would surely be an awesome character. Her taste in jackets alone made that clear. But truth be told… I wasn’t expecting her relationship with Han to be much more than “cute for the moment”. You just can’t top Han and Leia! I assumed Han and Qi’ra would be a rather fleeting, here-one-minute-and-gone-the-next sort of relationship. Honestly, I would’ve expected that kind of thing with Han prior to the meeting at Mos Eisley. I also kinda figured that Qi’ra might be far from reputable, and someone who was very obviously Leia’s opposite, and obviously not the best match for Han. Kind of like comparing Willie to Marion in the Indiana Jones films (not that Qi’ra and Willie are anything alike, of course). Either way, I was convinced going into it that their relationship was just meant to be a lesson learned; a part of Han’s story, but not by any means a major chapter.
Boy was I wrong. So so wrong. But like I say often on this blog, I’m so so glad to be wrong!

Han and Qi’ra were childhood friends, surviving the mean streets of Corellia together, and from the first few minutes with them in the film, you can see their bond is as rock-solid as it gets. And downright precious! I’d always thought that Han was a bit of a player, but that is absolutely not the case here. Even at this early point in the film, it’s pretty clear he’s convinced she’s the one, period. Watching his reaction when they’re separated in their escape utterly breaks my heart, and speaks volumes upon volumes about how much he cares for her. And every moment with them in the film beyond that is filled with a really special kind of sweetness that I really did not expect to see in a before-Leia love story. It put that amazingly dedicated, loving side of Han back in the spotlight, and simultaneously blew my mind and warmed my heart. I certainly was a bit teary-eyed when they said their goodbyes at the end…

Does this mean I’ve come to love HanXQi’ra more than HanXLeia? No. Both love stories are great, almost equally so. But clearly, there is something stronger and more lasting in what Han and Leia have. I wish I could give more evidence for my argument, but I might need to rewatch Solo, the Originals, and VII again. And read more of the new novels and comics. And honestly, even if I did all that, there are still many stories inside of both relationships we don’t know. Maybe at some point I’ll write some comparisons and contrasts on the two pairs, but the goal of this particular post is simply to celebrate how unexpectedly great Han and Qi’ra’s story ended up being, and how very much it delighted me, a somewhat-skeptical, highly-dedicated HanXLeia fangirl. It’s just another stellar example of the storytelling mastery inside of the Star Wars universe! โค

We'll talk more Solo soon!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Dume

All right, so where do I begin with this post? I guess with the spoiler warnings. But yes here’s hoping I’m able to write something really interesting and meaningful for you today.

Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Rogue One, Episode VII, TCW episode The Lawless, and much of Star Wars Rebels, including Jedi Night and Dume. Events from episodes beyond these will not be covered.

This episode is very special. Not that there ever was a Rebels episode that wasn’t, but Dume does something that, from my experience, really hasn’t been done a lot in Star Wars: allowing us to closely follow the characters as they try to process their loss.
Tragedies in Star Wars often happen in the midst of intense moments and dangerous battles. Like when you’re trying to escape the Death Star, or you’re fighting through a war-torn Mandalore, or the Resistance is trying to destroy Starkiller Base. Our heroes are often forced to move on or step up and fight even when they’ve barely had time to mourn. It’s just the tough reality of war, as well as the best way to move the story forward. Star Wars, of course, always finds time to make sure we at least see a glimpse of what they’re dealing with in the quiet moments afterward (for example: Luke’s “I wish Ben were here”, Obi-Wan’s apology to Bo-Katan, and Leia and Rey’s hug). But I’ve always wondered still how they’ve handled those losses, or how they’re still handling them. What they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, how they talk about this loss with family and friends, and what they don’t dare to speak out loud to anyone, let alone to themselves.
However, the amazing people behind Rebels found a way to give us plenty of time with each of the Ghost family as they wrestle with Kanan’s death in different ways, while at the same time delivering an exciting, compelling story that moves the plot along. It’s not that I ever thought they wouldn’t give us some time with the characters working through this loss, but I got so much more than I ever expected. Though the Empire’s still a problem, the war is still on, and Ruhk still can put up a serious fight, this episode remains first and foremost very intimate and personal in tone, putting our heroes and their feelings in the forefront. And that’s what makes this episode so very special.

Ever since we discovered she’d be bestowed the title of “General” by Rogue One, I’d always imagined the moment she earned it a triumphant one. Instead, it comes to Hera at what may be her absolute darkest moment, all while still in prison garb and clutching onto her kalikori as though it was Kanan himself. It’s far from triumphant, but it does say again clearly how much the rest of the Rebels respect her… and right now, how much they need her in this fight. But General Syndulla has a galaxy of hurt to fight through first.
The first few moments in her part of the story are nothing short of heartbreaking. It’s one of the rawest performances, both in acting and animating, I’ve ever seen, and not just in Star Wars, but in anything. She is so broken, so devastated, we’ve never seen her in a place like this, not in this way. But as she fashions a piece on her kalikori for Kanan, it’s able to help bring her back to the light once more, to the hope and peace she needs, and to the best memories of the man she loved. And it was Chopper who made the suggestion to add him in the first place. The utter kindness and quiet understanding he shows here is so infinitely precious. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this side of Chopper, but there’s something so noteworthy about the way he’s simply there for her right now, taking her hand, accepting a hug… excuse me I need a few tissues now.

Like I said on the last post, I’ve wondered for years now what would happen if we lost Kanan, and especially perhaps what that would mean for Ezra. I’ve imagined a lot of different outcomes, so it was almost surreal to actually be in that moment, that moment that I honestly had hoped maybe wouldn’t come. To see Ezra in this place of absolute despair that we haven’t seen in some time. And then the lothwolves arrive and the mood quickly shifts from deep sadness to near terror. But ultimately a sense of intrigue remains the predominant emotion, because you know that the Force is at work somehow here. The entrance of the one called Dume left a trail of further intrigue, and honestly even having seen the episodes following this, there are still things I don’t know if I’ve fully grasped yet. I’ll save further discussion on the topic for another post, but I will say the main thoughts going through my head in these scenes upon my first viewing were a) Which came first, Caleb Dume or lothwolf Dume? and b) Am I crazy or does Dume sound just a little bit like Freddie Prinze Jr….?

I just seriously love we got to spend time with Zeb and Sabine. They have such a fun, genuine big-brother-little-sister bond and I didn’t realize how much I needed to see more of that bond until now. And not only do they have some of the best kind of camaraderie, but together they bring some kinda fight! Their tussle with Ruhk was just the right bit of action for the episode; exciting, intense, and not only drives the story forward, but comes back to the heart of the story as Zeb and Sabine go from wanting to return the hurt they were given, to remembering the right way to fight. The way Kanan would fight. And then the laughs are the cherry on top. Between the “baby rancor” comment and the homing beacon misunderstanding, they made sure I had some good stuff to snicker about this episode ๐Ÿ™‚

And in the midst of all these personal battles, we discover something that puts everything in a new light.
It was enough just to know that Kanan’s last act was saving those he loved, but it was even more than that all along.
He put himself in the path of fire for not only his family, but for the Alliance, for Lothal, and for all the galaxy.
Wow.
Truly wow.

So OK, that post was a little harder to write than I expected, but I’m so glad I wrote it all the same.
Thank you, Lucasfilm, for giving me such beautiful stories to write about, though โค

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

A Few Words On The Fourth’s Fortieth

Image

Just some thoughts I wrote on tumblr, thought you guys might like to see them ๐Ÿ™‚ Also forgive me for all the tumblr spam I inadvertently posted.

starwars:

And many more.

Forty years ago today, a movie came out that didnโ€™t know it was going to change the world.ย Ten years ago this week, I saw a movie that I didnโ€™t know would change my world.

Few movies leave a legacy like this movie. Few movies have so many generations of fans and so many stories. The more Iโ€™ve thought about this, the more incredibly mind-blowing itโ€™s become to me.

This, friends, is what great storytelling can do. A great story can be told throughout the ages, never go stale, remains relatable, and has something everyone can love. The film, at one point long, long ago just called Star Wars, is a great story. And itโ€™s not just a great story, but it was the beginning of many great stories.

George Lucas just wanted to tell a story he loved, and in the process, made a story millions love, even four decades from its release. Thank you, Mr. Lucas, for telling this story, and paving the path for the many stories weโ€™ve had since, and will continue to have.

Happy Birthday, A New Hopeย ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

If Not For IV…: A Special Star Wars Day Story

So first of all, let me start by saying Happy Star Wars Day! I hope all my fellow fans are finding a way to make today extra-special and Star Wars-y! Because of a busier schedule than that of past years, today will be a more casual Star Wars day for me, but that doesn’t make it any less special. I’m looking forward to watching Attack Of The Clones (since I haven’t watched it yet this year and I prefer to watch ’em all in chronological order), a classic Rebels episode, and those exciting new Freemakers shorts! And all while wearing a shirt the color of Naboo starfighters and drinking my first real glass of blue milk! (I finally had some food coloring on hand ๐Ÿ˜€ ) Considering I’m doing all those things on top of writing my 149th post on a blog entirely dedicated to Star Wars, sometimes it’s hard to remember what my life was like before I got into Star Wars. But I can never forget the story of how my love for it began, especially considering it happened almost exactly ten years ago.
NOTE: This post contains some minor spoilers from the Original Trilogy films

There are so many wonderful stories of people’s first time seeing A New Hope, stories of wonderment and joy and being so amazed they couldn’t speak. I wish I could say that was my story, too, but… mine’s a bit different. Star Wars has always been a part of my life as I’m surrounded by many family members in the fandom, so in 2007 I decided I wanted to finally see Episode IV in all its entirety. My brother and I watched it together on his ’95 VHS tape (from the classic trilogy set). I liked it, but I really didn’t know what to think of it otherwise. At the time I was foremost an animation buff and wasn’t as drawn to live-action. And I was a bit confused by the space politics. I do remember R2-D2 and C-3PO made me laugh, and I really liked Luke and Leia (as individuals and um… *cough* together… I may have gotten them confused with their parents. I’m not proud looking back). But that’s about all I can recall on my thought process. So yeah, it’s not a particularly heartwarming tale. But it was my first step in a larger world. ‘Cause if I hadn’t seen A New Hope that late May day…

I wouldn’t have gone on to watch Empire a few months later, which started to reel me in further. And I liked it a bit more because I finally understood all those quotes and references I was seeing elsewhere in pop culture.

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have been intrigued by The Clone Wars when it came out the following year. I didn’t know much about the Prequels, but animation was a language I understood. I can’t remember for sure what my first episode was, but I do remember that Destroy Malevolence was one I couldn’t get enough of. (The excitement! The romance! The battle droid shenanigans!)

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have continued to grow interested in the Star Wars galaxy as I watched more Clone Wars adventures. Blue Shadow Virus and Hostage Crisis are also super super memorable. I didn’t understand a lot, but I understood that I could really relate to Ahsoka, and that Cad Bane was a boss ๐Ÿ™‚

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have decided, on a May day in 2010, to check out the Clone Wars microseries. Then that growing hype would convince me to finally watch Jedi a short time after. And the hype would continue to grow when I sat down and rewatched Empire later on. By the end of the year, I could call myself a Star Wars fan.

If not for IV, the fandom that exploded in 2011 wouldn’tve happened. My first Star Wars Day celebration watching Phantom for the first time, catching up on The Clone Wars with a brand-new appreciation, reading my first Star Wars novels and novelization, seeing the rest of the Prequels… it was a whirlwind of excitement and happiness as I began to finally understand it all.

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have continued to explore and love the Star Wars universe in 2012, and get super super excited for the new films they announced later that year.

If not for IV, well… Padawanline wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have had so many thoughts on Star Wars that I needed to write them down here! And as you may remember, 2013 was also the year I finally rewatched A New Hope. It probably seems silly there was such a gap between reviewings for me, but I got a little caught up catching up with the Prequels and Clone Wars in the years prior. But that viewing that Star Wars Day… it was like seeing it for the first time. And it was as wondrous and joyous as the many fans’ stories I’d heard โค The circle was at last complete.

And now, the Star Wars galaxy is less of a circle and more of an infinity symbol. The years since have been full of so many new amazing stories and characters, and there's still so much more to come. None of that could've happened without IV coming out forty years ago. And the reason I'm writing this here today, is because of the seemingly average day I saw IV ten years ago.

So, wow. I could've never predicted how much I would ultimately love this beautiful series, and how much sheer enjoyment it's brought me. Though I have to wonder if this comic in the Sunday paper way back then was a sign of things to come…

This appeared the Sunday following my first viewing of IV. I remember getting a chuckle out of it and thinking it was cool that this would appear not long after seeing the movie for myself. But now it has more meaning, because it made sure I remembered the seemingly average day. I didn’t realize it then how meaningful and special these films would become to me, but it sure is amazing what can happen in a decade ๐Ÿ™‚

With that said, I think it’s time I let you get back to your celebrating. Again I say, Happy Star Wars Day! May The Fourth Be With You, and like I always say before the post’s end…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight