Tag Archives: the weapon of a jedi: a luke skywalker adventure

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? 🙂


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

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 🙂

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 😛
– 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 Resistance Is Coming!

ICYMI, on the very day I finished my post on the last episode of Star Wars Rebels, this image popped up on my feed with a very important announcement…


(Image credit: StarWars.com)

This is the next Star Wars animated series, and it’s coming this Fall.

Needless to say, my head exploded a little. For a number of reasons.

My immediate first thought was “Hey! I was right!
As those of you who’ve read this blog a while know, I rarely make accurate predictions with Star Wars, but this was one of those rare times. I figured the next move would be to the between-VI-and-VII era, because there’s so much story to tell there. I also wondered whether they might do it in 2D animation for something different (not because I don’t love the CG, but because I love both styles). And they’re doing both for this! So excited!

Even though we don’t have too much of an idea as to what Resistance will look like, what we have seen looks gorgeous. I’m all for this anime-like vibe! And I seriously could just stare at that blue cloud-filled sky and that lightning-fast ship all day. BB-8 looks great, too, and promises some epic character design to come! With the past series’ Amy Beth Christenson art-directing, it couldn’t be anything but epic.

And I’m absolutely all for getting to dig further into Leia’s brave Resistance, as well as the galaxy, at this point in time. There’s so much I don’t know! Though I have a good idea of how things work from the films, that’s just about where my understanding of the Resistance ends. Except for the little bits with Jess Pava and C-3PO in Jason Fry’s The Weapon Of A Jedi, and reading the occasional factoid on StarWars.com. Even though I’m even more Star Wars-studied than I was then, this feels just like when I was going into Rebels for the first time. I know the very basics of what’s coming. There will be space battles and x-wings, friendship and teamwork, red-orange flightsuits and stormtrooper armor. Those are part of much of the Star Wars fabric, especially in this era, but it will be so much more. For all we know now, even maybe for those of you who’ve read more of the books and played more of the games than I have at this juncture, there will still be so much we don’t know. And isn’t it great always having more to learn about Star Wars? 😀

The series concept has a lot going for it that I’m really excited about. I like that we’ll get to see the everyday heroes of the Resistance take the stage. I love the Jedi, of course, but I also love the idea of following a protagonist who defends peace and justice in a different way with a different skill set. Now, I am aware I’m just assuming. Our new friend Kazuda could very well have the Force on his side. But either way, a story from a newly-recruited young (I’m gathering to maybe mean inexperienced) Res pilot sounds like a solid story to me!

And really, I’m just so glad it’s coming this year. With Solo coming out so early, I was admittedly a little bummed we wouldn’t get a film released around Christmas like before. The premiere episode will fill in that gap perfectly! Thank you, Mr. Filoni and crew!

I gotta tell ya, it’s so hard not to immediately throw assumptions everywhere over how it’s going to look and what it’ll feel like. I already imagine Kazuda Xiono as someone sort of Ezra-like — with a dark anime-like mop of hair to go with it! I find myself wondering often over different elements, whether something’s going to be a bit more like this in Rebels or that in The Clone Wars, or more like such-and-such in FoD or maybe a bit like Tartakovsky’s microseries. It’s easy to imagine and theorize and try to figure things out ahead of time, but none of us really know, and I have to work hard to remember to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the mystery while it’s still a mystery, because there’s so much magic in the mystery, in the not-yet-knowing, in the anticipation!

Now let’s do just that while we wait for the first bit of new news…

And also listen to what I’m considering the unofficial theme song on repeat.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

P.S. Read the official press release here.

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SW Summer Reads – The Weapon Of A Jedi

It’s Star Wars Summer Reads time again, and I’m thrilled that today I’ll be writing my thoughts on a book that actually came out in the last year! I mean, I like taking my time reading SW books, so I can properly appreciate each one and digest all its awesomeness, especially with the 100% canon books. So generally most of my posts are on older books I’ve read more than once. But there happened to have been a sale earlier this year and Jason Fry’s Journey To The Force Awakens Novel, The Weapon Of A Jedi, was there and it was useless to resist. And I am so so so so glad I bought it. It’s without a doubt one of the greatest SW books I’ve ever read. And I shall tell you the reasons why!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VII and The Weapon Of A Jedi


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

So I’m not going to give you a full play-by-play commentary on this one like I usually do with the young readers books, I feel like honestly the best way to express my feelings for this book is to just talk about them straight-up instead of trying to retell the story and fangirl as I go. That method probably works best for the older books and episodes than this incredible book. So with that in mind it will likely be a less time-consuming post to read today! Yaysies!
Anyway, so this was released in anticipation of Episode VII, with small keys to the future of SW. TBH I probably missed most of those “keys” and I read this after seeing the film… twice. But the coolest of these keys was impossible to miss: a Resistance pilot named Jessika Pava. We open with this sweet little prologue of Threepio telling Jess the story of Luke’s first lightsaber duel. It was absolutely great getting to meet Jess Pava a little here. We haven’t seen a huge lot of her yet but clearly she’s an awesome human being. And she gets a ton of cool points for helping destroy Starkiller Base. Just from the two brief chapters we get to see her in, we feel her frustration with being stuck working on droids instead of piloting, totally understand her slight impatience with Threepio, and 100% get her admiration for the great Luke Skywalker. I do wonder a little what time exactly the prologue/epilogue takes place in, since of course yes Jess is here for the Resistance and Threepio rocks a red arm, but it must’ve been a littler earlier than most of the events in TFA because it sounds like Luke is still around and Artoo is fully functional. You just wonder how long ago it was. How long ago was it before there was a Starkiller Base? Before a young Ben Solo went down the wrong path? Before all that we saw panned out in VII’s opening titles? Even though that’s all still somewhat of a mystery, it’s kinda fun not knowing all the answers in this time and place. But I’m rambling.
So the golden droid’s tale starts out smack-dab in a space battle as Luke and Wedge take on a whole lotta TIEs. It’s truly amazing how Mr. Fry put the dogfight into words. I mean… I’ve tried to write space battles for fanfics. They’re confusing. I write better with characters more than I do with war machines. I have to wonder if any of these great SW authors ever had trouble figuring them out too. I suppose it’s just something that takes time and patience and practice and lots and lots of SW reference books (and probably discussions with the Lucasfilm Story Group would help). But boy oh boy did I learn a lot in just this first chapter alone. Not only is it an exciting opener, but it makes sense for dumb readers like me. Even with all that X-wing jargon I had to learn all the while. I didn’t know they used the terms “port” and “starboard”! Small thing but still cool to know. And wow there are so many ways to describe laserfire and explosions without reusing the same words over and over again! Reading this book was a lesson in Star Warsian vocabulary for sure, as well as a lesson in Star Warsian warfare, Star Warsian technology, and Star Warsian culture. I feel smarter already! I suppose this all sounds dumb to those of you more-seasoned SW fans, but *points to blog site title* I’m still learnin’.
Yeah no doubt Jason Fry knows how to write the wars in the Star Wars, but he equally knows how to write for the stars in Star Wars, too. I am absolutely amazed how well he wrote for Luke. We spend the majority of the book in Luke’s head and it is a mind-blowing feeling. And it’s a great place in time to be there! Just fresh off destroying the Death Star, Luke’s simply trying to be the best Rebel he can be, but this little thing called the Force keeps throwing him off. We learn so much from his perspective it’s astounding. One of my favorite things we get to dig into were those little moments that we didn’t see in the movie. I know I’ve been pretty shortsighted and somehow assumed everything that happens in the films happened somewhere between two hours and two days. Luke recalls a number of times Obi-Wan trained him and gave him nuggets of Jedi wisdom in the days between “Hello there” and “If you strike me down…”. It blew my mind wide open knowing about these parts of the story we didn’t know, and of course, it further reminded me what an amazing person Ben Kenobi is (even though I certainly already knew that). Even knowing just the smallest things, like how very hurt Luke was after Owen and Beru’s death, brings new meaning and understanding to the character and his overall story. From the film, we gather that Owen and Beru care for him, but it also seems that their relationship with Luke was sometimes difficult. Knowing he wrestled with anger and grief over what happened to them says that there was so much more to their relationship that we didn’t know. That clearly, Luke loved them, even when they didn’t get along, and Owen and Beru must’ve loved him too. They were his only family, man… OMG I’m sorry I can’t believe I spent so long on that topic but wow it’s really kinda incredible to think about. *Curls into a ball and cries for Luke* Not to mention seeing how much respect Luke has for his father in this chapter in history. We all know his dad isn’t exactly all that honorable at this point, but seeing him still having this connection with him, even not having ever known him, is all kinds of feelsy :3
Of course, one of the biggest things we really get to dig into in this story is the Force. It’s the kickstater for the whole adventure as Luke finds himself led by the Force to the ruins of a Jedi temple on Devaron. For those of us wondering how it is Luke knew how to use a lightsaber as well as he did in Episode V… this is how. With a few words from Ben and a trio of training remotes and a whole whole lot of patience, Luke gets pretty good at the Jedi-ing by the end of the book 🙂 One of the things I love most about SW books is getting a first-person view of the Force, when an author eloquently paints a mental picture of what it’s like to be surrounded by it, working with it, feeling it… it’s a beautiful thing. And Mr. Fry’s work here is no exception. He just absolutely brings it to life in the most spectacular, poetic manner! Watching Luke gain a better understanding of the Force through every twist and turn is amazing. His training session puts him through a lot both physically and emotionally, with descriptions so amazingly vivid you pretty much feel all those moments of frustration and victory yourself (I know I was pretty exhausted just reading all of his lessons in lightsaber-deflecting). Oh gracious everything about it’s fantastic. I wish I could get my thoughts in better order on all of this, but really you just have to read the book for yourself. Can I just say again that it’s seriously amazing spending time in Luke’s head? All the other SW books I’ve read have bounced back and forth between various characters’ perspectives, but 90% of Weapon Of A Jedi focuses on young Skywalker. It’s different, but a really really cool kind of different. I feel like I know this guy even better than I did before. I don’t think there could possibly been a better book to start with for my first canon novel in the Original Trilogy era. Seriously. Like wow. It all leads up to one awesome duel between Luke and an unexpected foe wielding an electrostaff that is all kinds of edge-of-your-seat. Lol I’m not sure if I’m writing this with spoilers in mind or not anymore. But anyhow this book was truly one of the most epic and wonderful things I’ve ever read. It’s a perfect balance between action and heart, and quite honestly should be read by every Star Wars fan, young and old. Jason Fry’s clearly a master at writing Star Wars stuff and I will definitely have to hunt down some of his other novels. And I certainly can’t wait to dive into the other novels in the Journey To The Force Awakens and see what Han and Leia were doing too 😀
So I’m glad we got to sit down and talk about The Weapon Of A Jedi for a moment. But before I sign off…

FIVE OTHER THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS BOOK, OR JUST FOUND PLAIN INTERESTING OR WORTH MENTIONING!
1. Getting “spacesick” is a thing.
2. Y-Wings are none too fast.
3. Luke’s acting skills are terrible, but in a rather adorable way XD
4. Screwdrivers exist in the SW galaxy.
5. Luke spends a loooooooot of moneyyyy in this book.

OK now we’re done. See you next month for another Star Wars Summer Read!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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