5 Star Wars Novels We Want To See

We’re going through something of a lull in regards to Star Wars novels being on the horizon, so to fill the void here are 5 novels set in the Star Wars universe that we want to see in the not too distant future

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Number 5: Ahsoka Sequel

We’ve already had one novel focusing on Dave Filoni’s star creation, but it’s safe to say that E.K Johnston didn’t hit the heights with that novel that many people had hoped he would. It was a solid entry into the Star Wars collection, but it was nothing special.

With the character of Ahsoka being so beloved by fans and with Star Wars Rebels now opening up a 4 year time frame in which the character is hiding somewhere in the Galaxy, waiting for her chance to come back into the fold, a novel would be the perfect way to bridge that gap.

Number 4: Luke Skywalker

I imagine that a Luke Skywalker novel set between the events of The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens would be on any Star Wars fans’ list of most wanted novels. The time frame has yet to be explored in any serious detail, and whilst that may be expanded on in whatever the next animated and live actions series cover I doubt the stories of Luke Skywalker will be touched on much, if at all.

Not only would Luke’s adventures for Jedi artifacts make for an enjoyable base story for  a novel, but the involvement of Ben Solo would also allow for their relationship to be given some much needed expansion.

Number 3: Padmé Amidala

A young adult novel about the young Queen of Naboo has been rumoured for a while now, but we’ve never received anything official in regards to a release date.

Exploring the politics, people and creatures of Naboo would certainly be something that would excite many fans, particularly those who grew up around the prequel movies. What’s more is that the novel Lost Stars has already proven that when done right young adult novels in the Star Wars universe can be smash hits. Get Claudia Grey in to write this novel and give it to us asap.

Number 2: Snoke’s Origin

At this stage this story feels like one that is born out of necessity rather than want. This entry is a slight cheat as the story or unveiling of Snoke’s past could quite easily be slotted into either the Luke Skywalker novel or indeed our final entry on this list. But regardless of where it comes, fan anticipation needs to be quenched and Snoke needs to reappear in Star Wars canon.

It’s obvious now that Snoke won’t come back to life in Episode 9 and whilst that will no doubt disappoint many fans, the large majority who poured through the internet looking for clues about who Snoke is and where he might have come from in the lead up to The Last Jedi, will no doubt be satisfied.

Number 1: Rae Sloane

The woman who arguably prevented the Empire from falling apart long before the Battle of Jakku and the only character who we have seen grow from child to adult throughout multiple mediums of Star Wars canon. Yet somehow the woman who could have become Empress, the Imperial Grand Admiral, Rae Sloane, still hasn’t had her own novel.

Much like Ahsoka, Sloane is one of those extended canon characters that the fan base has grown to love and have emotionally invested themselves in. A continuation of her story after the Battle of Jakku would not only give us some much needed insight into the creation of the First Order, but it would also give us the desired conclusion to her story.

 

Review: Ready Player One

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Zak Penn and Ernest Cline
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn

Whilst Ready Player One might not be the Steven Spielberg masterpiece that a lot of us hoped it would be, it’s still a fun and memorable cinematic experience that you don’t want to miss out on.

Based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Ernest Cline the movie follows the adventures of a group of people hunting down the golden Easter egg within a virtual world called the Oasis, with the premise being that should you find this Easter egg you will gain control of the Oasis itself. And in terms of adaptations the film falls somewhere in the Lord of the Rings category of accuracy; the core story is the same and there are a number of scenes and moments which are lifted straight out of the book, but the journey the characters take to get to their end goal has a number of differences both little and large. Some of these differences were done so with the film’s length in mind, others with having to adapt some of the challenges to an on-screen medium that perhaps requires more adrenaline pumping action than a book would otherwise need. But overall if you’re a fan of the book then you’ll definitely be at the very least appeased with the way this adaptation turned out, and that’s unsurprising given Ernest Cline’s involvement with the screenplay.

As for how the film holds up on its own, there are both good and bad points to be made, but fortunately it’s mostly the former. There’s no real attention grabbing performances in the film, and that’s partly down to the limited time that we actually spend with the in-person versions of these characters. Tye Sheridan is fine as the film’s main character, but he offers little more than a standard, by the numbers performance. The same can be said for Ben Mendelsohn who portrays a typical comic-book villain with little backstory or motivation other than money and greed. But the film is fortunate in that the real stars aren’t the real life characters, but their avatar counterparts in the Oasis. Art3mis, Parzival, Daito and Aech all outshine their real life players and that’s where the films strength lies, in the Oasis.

Whilst the film’s portrayal of the Oasis isn’t exactly what I had imagined when reading the book, that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Spielberg (And likely Ernest Cline) did a great job of modernising the original vision of what the Oasis was (Something built around 80’s references that would be lost on many of the younger audience who will go to see this film) so that it fit in today’s culture. There are so many Easter eggs littered throughout the film, both subtle and exceedingly obtuse that it’s going to take someone a scary amount of time in order to list them all. But because of that I almost feel like this film will leave you wanting to go back and start all over again, wanting to find just one more reference, one more character that you didn’t notice the first time around, I know I sure want to right now.

It’s hard to say right now whether this film will have any impact on the future of VR in the real world, but it’s certainly not going to hurt the technology now that a far wider audience has been introduced to the sheer magnitude and beauty of the world that Cline envisioned.

If you have the chance go and see this movie in the cinema, it’s a big screen cinematic experience if ever there was one and the stunning visuals and amazing soundtrack are something that you have to experience for the first time in a theatre. This film is going to have everybody talking and for all the right reasons. Should it be getting 10/10 reviews? No. But that doesn’t make this any less of an impactful film and one that will no doubt still be talked about in many years to come.

Final Score: 7/10 Porgs.

Star Wars In Animation

If you’re a fan of the expanded universe of the Star Wars canon, then you’re likely to be aware that this week we had to wipe away the tears as we big farewell to Star Wars Rebels. It would have been easy to write up a review of Star Wars Rebels, but I want to go deeper, to really appreciate Star Wars in animation and the incredible Universe that Dave Filoni has helped to craft.

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First off, I want to make it clear that when Filoni’s first venture into Star Wars animation, The Clone Wars, came out I didn’t actually watch it. I think it was around the time that Disney bought LucasFilm that my interest in the series was reinvigorated and I went back and watched everything that I could. What I found wasn’t some children’s TV show that focused on toilet humour and weakly constructed storylines (Although, admittedly, Filoni’s work isn’t impervious to this content). Instead I found a complex and bold programme that incorporated the best aspects of the Prequels and Original trilogy and used them to help build character and story.

Rather than being overly bogged down in the politics of the prequels, Filoni knew where the fine line lay for The Clone Wars, incorporating what made the politics in the prequels interesting, but doing so in a way that it never felt overwhelming. Mixing that with the large scale action that, rightly, dominated that era of the Universe and Filoni had achieved what many wanted the Prequel film trilogy to be.

Furthermore, rather than playing it safe and having the series only revolve around pre-established characters, Filoni took chances and had characters such as Anakin’s Padawan Ahsoka Tano (A brand new character of his creation), Jedi Master Plo-Koon and Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore take on important roles in the series.

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It’s been 10 years since The Clone Wars Movie hit theaters, and the gradual growth of Ahsoka Tano as a character is perhaps the greatest success of Filoni’s time spearheading the LucasFilm foray into the animated medium. A character who was initially hated by fans when she was first depicted on the big screen, coming across as a petulant child who was far more suited to the Prequel Trilogy films than the seasons on television that were to come. Ahsoka has grown into one of the most popular Star Wars characters of all time, not just among fans, but in the heart of Dave Filoni himself.

Stating on multiple occasions his close ties to the character, Filoni has seemingly become protective of the former-Jedi and it’s not hard to argue that she acts as the anchor across all of Star Wars animation. After first appearing in The Clone Wars, Ahsoka later debuted in the wildly popular Star Wars Rebels, the first animated show since the Disney takeover of LucasFilm.

Rebels itself has helped to introduce an entirely new generation to the world of Star Wars. The people who grew up too early or too late to fully appreciate The Clone Wars finally had their outlet, a series that documented not a large-scale war that spanned hundreds of planets, but instead a more family orientated story that told the beginnings of the Rebellion.

Relying almost entirely on brand new characters, it would have been far easier for Rebels to fail where The Clone Wars had succeeded, but Filoni proved once again why many consider him to be the heir apparent to the legendary George Lucas. The emotional connection that fans built to the crew of the Ghost was real, and as we now find ourselves saying our goodbyes to the series, it is easy to say that Filoni has crafted a lasting legacy.

Characters such as Sabine WrenKanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger are now treated by many fans as equals alongside the classic characters of Luke SkywalkerHan Solo and Leia Organa.

Forces of Destiny is perhaps too new to critically judge on the long form axis that this article has adopted, but it should be noted that whilst the show faces more criticism than the other two animated series, it has also staked a claim for its importance to the women in Star Wars, both in-canon and the fans. That may be a topic that I as a white man am not best qualified to talk about, so I implore you to go out there and find someone who is and hear their thoughts on the matter.

As such the animated content of Star Wars is perhaps LucasFilm’s best kept secret. It alludes the general public, but for those who watch it isn’t rare to see the compliment that the TV shows often eclipse the quality of the film series. But those voices are only growing louder. What that means for the future of Dave Filoni and the Star Wars animation is as of yet unclear. At the time of this writing we do not yet know what Filoni’s next venture is, whether it be another animated series, a live action TV show or even a Star Wars movie. But what we do know is that should Filoni decide to step away from animation now, he has already done more for the Star Wars universe than arguably anyone other than George Lucas himself, and that’s not something we should be overlooking anymore.

“Star Wars: The Last Shot” synopsis revealed

Last week LucasFilm revealed a whole host of Solo: A Star Wars Story tie-in material, now today we have the synopsis for Star Wars: The Last Shot

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Taking place in a time-frame that begins before the upcoming Solo movie and finishes post-Return of the Jedi “Last Shot” will be written by Daniel Jose Older and the official synopsis reads:

Even the fastest ship in the galaxy can’t outrun the past. . . .
 
 THEN:

It’s one of the galaxy’s most dangerous secrets: a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery that most could only dream of claiming. But those who fly the Millennium Falcon throughout its infamous history aren’t your average scoundrels. Not once, but twice, the crew of the Falcon tries to claim the elusive prize—first, Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career, and later, a young and hungry Han Solo with the help of his copilot, Chewbacca. But the device’s creator, the volatile criminal Fyzen Gor, isn’t interested in sharing. And Gor knows how to hold a grudge. . . .
 NOW:

It’s been ten years since the rebel hero Han Solo last encountered Fyzen Gor. After mounting a successful rebellion against the Empire and starting a family with an Alderaanian princess, Han hasn’t given much thought to the mad inventor. But when Lando turns up at Han’s doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s Fyzen’s assassins that he’s running from. And without Han’s help, Lando—and all life on Cloud City—will be annihilated.

With the assistance of a young hotshot pilot, an Ewok slicer prodigy, the woman who might be the love of Lando’s life, and Han’s best and furriest friend, the two most notorious scoundrels in the New Republic are working together once more. They’ll have to journey across the stars—and into the past—before Gor uses the device’s power to reshape the galaxy.”

The novel is due for release on April 17th.