Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’

Reading Star Wars novels has long been a guilty pleasure of mine; they are fun, and they feed the Geek. And Lost Stars was delicious!  Sure it’s marketed as a YA novel, but there is a lot of great Star Wars goodness throughout.

For fans that know Episodes 4, 5 and 6 well, you will enjoy the weaving this story does between established events in the movies. The characters are placed in pivotal roles on the Death Star, Hoth, and Darth Vader’s lead Star Destroyer, the Executor.

Two young folks, Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree, from an Outer Rim world meet Moff Tarkin when he visits their planet. Coming from different social classes, their friendship is frowned upon. As the years pass, their bond deepens and they develop a mutual love of flying. Knowing nothing but loyalty to the Empire they both strive to enter the Imperial Academy, and are accepted.

Over the years, Thane and Ciena realize the Empire had become twisted and corrupt. Where Thane expresses his willingness to leave the Empire, Ciena holds tightly to her oath.

“…this isn’t about whether we’ve kept faith with the Empire. It’s about whether the Empire has kept faith with us.” – Thane to Ciena

After witnessing the destruction of an entire planet from an open hanger bay on the Death Star, and the enslavement of entire species, Thane’s disillusionment with the Empire evolves into disdain. Some may call it the Force, others pure chance, but Thane and Captain Wedge Antilles cross paths. And just like that Thane finds himself flying for the Rebellion.

Even on opposing sides, Thane and Ciena can’t seem to sever their bond. What will happen when they find themselves in direct combat?

A great read for a Star Wars fan!

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Released in late April, Paul S Kemp’s Lords of the Sith is one of the newest installments in the Star Wars canon. Find it hard to keep track of what is now canon? I do too, but I have found this Star Wars wiki to be a great resource. This novel takes place about 5 years after Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the Dark Side.

Emperor Palpatine, the secret Sith Lord, and his apprentice, Darth Vader, are heading to Ryloth, the Twi’lek homeworld, where a group of freedom fighters has become more than a pesky annoyance to the Empire. When Cham, the Twi’lek leader of the dissidents, learns of their imminent arrival, he formulates a plan that would cripple the oppressive Empire. Meanwhile, the emperor senses the impending confrontation as a disturbance in the Force and uses it to test his apprentice’s abilities, and his loyalties.

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A female Twi'lek

Kemp has truly captured the inner struggles that Darth Vader is going through; his memories of childhood and of Padmé trouble him. We are given our first look into the tension that grows between Master and Apprentice. And we see how truly terrifying and powerful these Sith Lords are to the galaxy. As readers, we have born witness to their strengths through the movies, but now we see how word will begin to spread of Darth Vader, and how far the Emperor will go to keep his power a secret.

Pain fed his hate, and hate fed his strength. Once, as a Jedi, he had meditated to find peace. Now he meditated to sharpen the edges of his anger.

Plus there’s lots of great Force fighting!

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I picked this book with absolutely no regard for my 2015 Reading Challenge; sometimes I just need a Star Wars adventure. But as it turns out, I actually did achieve one of the challenges: A book by an author you’ve never read before.

The expanded Star Wars universe is chronicled by either BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) and ABY (After the Battle of Yavin). The Battle of Yavin was depicted in the movie Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope; Yavin being the planet where the Rebel’s hidden base. This is deemed Year Zero. The Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived takes place in the year 3653 BBY.

In the world of the Old Republic, the Empire trains Sith warriors in an academy on the planet Korriban much like the Jedi Academy located on Corusant. While many of the Jedi Masters are off world, attending peace negotiations with a Sith delegation, the Empire attacks Corusant. Lead by the Sith lord Darth Malgus, the Jedi Temple is destroyed, killing all of the remaining Masters, Knights and Padawans.

When Jedi Knight Aryn Leneer feels the death of Jedi Master Even Zallow, she know the peace negotiations had been a farce and leaves the delegation. Driven by hatred and a thirst for revenge, she risks everything her Master had taught her when she returns to Corusant in search of the Sith that killed him.

Aryn is hot headed and impulsive, and as such she is battling herself as much as the Sith that murdered Master Zallow. She walks a fine line between the Light side and the Dark side of the force, and must make an ultimate decision what she will do. Her character is strong willed and flawed, which makes her relatable.

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Star Wars Night

Posted: February 10, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Last night was Star Wars night at the Dallas Mavericks basketball game (they played the LA Clippers, and lost…but we had a lot of fun anyway).The 501st Legion was well represented throughout the arena. We spotted lots of Storm Troopers and Princess Leias, several rebel fighter pilots and Boba Fetts, and a couple Darth Vaders. But there was only one really great R2D2.

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Sacrifice is book 5 in the Star Wars Legacy of the Force series. It’s official.  Jacen has picked his sacrifice and assumes his Sith name: Darth Caedus. His decent from Jedi Knight to Sith Lord has been eerily reminiscent of his grandfather’s.  Both of them were incredibly strong in the Force, but weak in will.  They were both open to Sith instruction because the Light Side was not enough to accomplish their goals.  And they both felt justified in their actions were for the good. There is also quite a bit of a feeling of Emperor Palpetine (aka Darth Sidious) about his actions.  One side of him, the political side, knows the right things to say to the right people; the right babies to kiss to make the news holos.  But then there’s the side of him that makes decisions behind closed doors: sending Ben to assassinate Dur Gejjen. When Ben overhears a conversation Jacen is having with Lumia, he realizes that Jacen has really lost his way and confesses everything to his mom, Mara Jade. With this knowledge Mara Jade decides that Jacen must be stopped.

This book is pivotal to the Star Wars universe: huge changes take place, Jacen passes the point of no return, and a beloved character’s life is lost. Karen Traviss has handled this heavy episode tremendously.  The moment it ended I was left gasping, crashing back into reality and mourning the loss.

Exile is book 4 in the Star Wars Legacy of the Force series.  Lumia informs Jacen that before he can complete his training he must chose a loved one to sacrifice. He takes some time to look within himself and discovers that his feelings for his parents are mixed.  He realizes that if he does still love them, he will have to sacrifice one of them, killing the other to prevent retaliation. If he in fact hates them, then he will kill them both to protect himself and the galaxy from their interference. Similarly, he is wondering if his sacrifice will be Ben.  He has sent Ben on a dangerous mission alone; convincing him to run away from his family in a search that leads him to Zoist, the Sith home world.  On this world, Ben meets, and learns how to fly “Ship”, the Sith training vessel that pops back up in the Star Wars Fate of the Jedi series; yet another tie in with that series.

“Jacen smiled. Causing people to think and feel what he wanted them to, even without resorting to the Force, was becoming easier and easier.” This line completely represents that Jacen has completely lost himself to the Dark Side.  When he first began, the manipulations made him uncomfortable but he was able to justify them as a means to an end.  At this point, he has actually begun to relish his superior control of the Force over others.  At this point, he actually feels evil to me.  His motives are less for the greater good, and more for his own advancement in the Galactic Alliance.

Tempest is the third book 3 the Legacy of the Force series. Jacen Solo, son of Han and Leah, twin brother to Jaina, has completely embraced Lumiya’s teachings in the Sith ways.  He is spiraling deeper into the Dark side of the force, believing that he’s doing what’s necessary to bring balance back to the universe. But on his journey, he is losing himself, losing his sense of humor and loyalty to his family and what is right.  He begins making military decisions based on his emotions before learning facts, even firing on the Millennium Falcon KNOWING that his parents were on board, believing that they were traitors.  While Han and Leah had gone against the Galactic Alliance’s wish and entered talks with the Corellian insurgents, they were set up but those same people when they were sent to speak with Tenel Ka and to discuss and alliance with the Hapan Consortium.  Instead of talking, they were actually sent as bait to bring Tenel Ka into the open for an assassination attempt.  Caught in the middle of these factions the Solos try to use it to their advantage and gather information about the plot.  Sending notes and clues every chance they have, the Solos come under fire from Jacen Solo before they can get clear of the situation completely.

What I love about the Star Wars universe books is that they tie in with other books; characters, events.  But it has never been clearer than when I read the Fate of the Jedi series before the Legacy of the Force series.  Everything that Luke is trying to discover in Fate of the Jedi, everything that is being tried by the Galactic Alliance, is happening in this series. With so many books in the Star Wars universe it can be difficult to keep chronologies straight.  But I highly recommend this series before the Fate of the Jedi series.

It’s so difficult seeing what Jacen is doing.  How he has conned himself into believing that what he is doing is for the good.  The characters that we have come to love are being torn apart by what he is doing, by his manipulations. It’s a difficult story to read, but it’s an important one to the Star Wars universe. And Troy Denning has done a fantastic job of telling this episode.