Full of Sith Episode CIV: Nimoy, Rebels, and Shelly Shapiro


Full of Sith Episode CIV: Nimoy, Rebels, and Shelly Shapiro

Join Tha Mike

Pilot, Bryan Young and Bobby Roberts for the latest episode of Full of Sith.

Bobby leads a discussion with Bryan and Amy about the loss of Leonard Nimoy, a titan of science fiction. Then, they delve deep into predictions about the season finale of Rebels and how we’ve felt the back half of the season has been shaping up. After that, Bryan gets an interview with Shelly Shapiro about the new book “Heir to the Jedi.”

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Jedi News Review: Star Wars Rebels: Fire Across The Galaxy


Jedi News Review: Star Wars Rebels: Fire Across The Galaxy

Star Wars Rebels kept getting better with every episode. The season

finale continued that trend. Somehow they packed everything we could have wanted from a

finale into just 22 minutes. Season 2 can’t come fast enough!

Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched “Fire Across the Galaxy” yet.

Story/Plot

Aaron: After last episode we were left still wondering how the

crew was going to rescue Kanan. After a trailer and a posed question “Who will fall?” some of

us wondered if he would be rescued at all. Well the crew had a plan and it started with

Sabine blowing some stuff up. I swear I had seen this scene before. I’m not sure if it was

shown as a preview clip at some point or if it was just very similar to a scene from another

episode. Also Sabine’s gymnast-like abilities were something we hadn’t seen before.

With a stolen ship in their possession, the crew heads to Mustafar to go find their Jedi

friend. I liked how they tied in the stolen TIE fighter from Fighter Flight into the story.

And now we know what Ezra was presumably doing with Sabine at the beginning of Path of the Jedi I’m guessing helping her paint the fighter. Nice call-backs to previous episodes.

I was a little disappointed that we went all the way to Mustafar to end up only staying in

orbit. It would have been nice to have some of the action happen down on the planet. But my

disappointment quickly faded as we were given an amazing lightsaber battle, an unexpected

character death, and some really big and hopefully meaningful character appearances.

Teresa: What can I say, this was a jam packed episode with so

much to talk about. I could break this episode down piece by piece and still not get it all

covered. So I am simply going to say here that every Star Wars fan will love this

season finale. It has space battles, lightsaber battles, major character reveals, emotion

that makes you scared for your heroes, ups, downs, laughs and well…everything.

I don’t have many criticisms other than why was it not longer and can I please get more

Ahsoka? I am also regretting not getting the Her Universe Ahsoka Lives T-Shirt when I had the

chance. Ebay anyone?

Just watch the episode you will love it!

Characters

Aaron: This was a great episode for all the characters with

maybe Zeb getting the least time in the spotlight. It was interesting to see Hera show even

more concern for Kanan than usual. When he showed back up on the ship you could see it all

over her face how much she cares for him. I totally thought they were going to kiss there at

the end.

Kanan reminded me why he is my favorite character. I loved the lightsaber battle of

course, but more than that I loved his dialogue with the Inquisitor and his reaction when he

thought Ezra had died. Kanan finally faced the Inquisitor without fear and showed his true

power. He also showed restraint when he had the chance to kill the Inquisitor which makes

sense for his character, but I admit I was kind of hoping he would have a dark moment and

just kill the guy.

The reveal of Fulcrum. I think we all kind of guessed it would be Ahsoka but I still got

ridiculously excited when she came down that ladder. I love her outfit and according to Dave

Filoni she now has new white lightsabers which is awesome. There was a lack of familiarity

with how she looked and talked which threw me off a bit. Ashley Eckstein is still voicing the

character but she changed the tone so much I had a hard time telling it was her. And Ahsoka’s

face just didn’t look right to me. I know she’s much older. I’m sure I’ll get used to the new

look.

I really hope Ahsoka plays a big role in the future of the show and doesn’t just show up

in a couple episodes next season.

Teresa: Ahsoka Ahsoka Ahsoka! Did you hear me? Yes I said

AHSOKA! The return of one of my favorite Star Wars characters of all time has

happened and I am over the moon excited about it. She is also voiced by someone that I admire

and respect on so many levels, the lovely Ashley Eckstein. Now there are a few things that I

will say here. Her voice sounds different and she looks very different. After watching Rebels

Recon I know why they changed her look, her lightsabers and her armor, however I would love

more information on what the deal is with her voice. She definitely sounds older which is

what I am sure they were going for, but she does not quite sound like the Ahsoka that I know.

I am sure I will adjust to it over time just like I will adjust to her change in head tail

design, facial markings and outfit (which I am in love with). I agree with what Aaron states

above in that I hope Ahsoka is a big part of next season.

As for the rest of our crew, well they blew me away. They all had an equal role in the

episode and Kanan for the first time showed me that he is who I believe he is, a strong jedi

with the ability to be the master and not the padawan anymore. I have been waiting for this

moment all season and it finally happened.

There were so many moments for our characters and I think they all shined brightly. I

really cannot wait to see what becomes of everyone in season 2 and who we will meet next.

Outstanding Moments

Aaron: Too many amazing moments to list here.. but I’ll

try.

When Chopper first saw Fulcrum’s face in the hologram I swear he said “Ah-so-ka.”

The lightsaber battle was amazing. I know it was similar to the famous battle from The Phantom Menace but I was ok with that. This was by far the best saber

battle of the series. Kanan igniting two lightsabers to face the Inquisitor gave me

chills.

The Inquisitor’s death. I didn’t think they would do it but they did. What was he

referring to when he said there were worse things than death? Vader?

I loved the moment when Chopper shows up with the Rebel fleet. One of the rebel ships

literally rams and destroys a TIE fighter like it was nothing. So cool.

Teresa: There were so many moments for me that just made go

oooo and ahhhh, so where to start. First of all we got to see some amazing acrobatics and a

fabulous explosion that took the shape of the firebird. Well done Sabine! Sabine has another

awesome moment when we get to see her painted TIE fighter that Ezra and Zeb had hidden.

As we moved forward in the episode there were many brilliant moments but I will only list

a few here. Obviously the reveal of Fulcrum has been on many people’s minds and we finally

got that reveal with Ahsoka coming down the ladder. I have to admit I had a #FangirlFlail

moment when this happened. It is like all I have ever wanted from Star Wars came

true in this episode. In addition to this we saw an unexpected end to the Inquisitor. This

was an outstanding moment to me because I think it will define some things for Kanan as we

move forward.

Another oh my gosh moment was when we saw all the Rebel ships come out of hyperspace and

save the crew. It was a perfect moment that gave me all the right warm and fuzzies.

Favorite Quotes

Aaron:

  • “There are some things far more frightening than death.” – The Inquisitor
  • “That’s not regulation.” – Stormtrooper #1
    “I kind of like it.” – Stormtrooper #2

Teresa:

  • “Wait…we are a cell?…Did you know that?”-Ezra
    “um…no”-Zeb
  • “One chapter has closed for you Ezra Bridger. This is a new day, a new beginning”-Ahsoka

    Tano (Fulcrum)

  • “Bye-Bye Bucketheads”- Sabine

We are both very excited to see where the story goes in the second season and

what will happen to the crew. We have also noticed that in this one episode Anakin Skywalker

and his Padawan were both introduced to the show only now they are on opposite sides. How

will that play out and does Ahsoka know who is inside the suit? Will they meet again? There

are so many questions and lots of places to travel to. Oh yeah, we forgot to mention The

Ghost gets to leave Lothal now! Oh the places they could go.

For more Jedi News Film and TV reviews, click here.

Radio Free Tatooine – Episode 19


Radio Free Tatooine – Episode 19

It’s time to join Sean & John for Radio Free Tatooine, the Star Wars podcast that’s better than some, worse than others.

Amy is back! And she brought an ewok with her. In this episode, we welcome Amy back to the show with her little Bruno. We are also joined by John’s brother Joe, of Days of Future Podcast to talk about the season finale of Star Wars Rebels, and season one in general. Sean drools over FFG’s Most Wanted and Heir to the Jedi, and we look at this crazy new Lego series, Droid Tales.

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Rebels Recon #14: Inside “Fire Across The Galaxy”


Rebels Recon #14: Inside “Fire Across The Galaxy”

In Rebels Recon #14, StarWars.com takes a deep dive into the thrilling season finale of Star Wars Rebels, “Fire Across the Galaxy.”
In “Fire Across the Galaxy,” the Lothal rebels make a desperate attempt to rescue Kanan from the Empire. They succeed, and Kanan faces the Inquisitor one last time. Ultimately, new allies — including Ahsoka Tano — emerge. But so do new enemies….

Follow Justin on Twitter @justinlasalata

Jedi News Book Review: Star Wars: Heir To The Jedi


Jedi News Book Review: Star Wars: Heir To The Jedi

Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the

Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the

ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the

Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders

Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a

daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.

A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced

communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her

exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with

the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her

family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to

pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-

resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by

brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to

settle with the Empire.

Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless

bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes

espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the

limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s

now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship

with the Force to survive.

Today (March 3rd) sees the release of Kevin Hearne’s debut Star Wars

prose, Heir to the Jedi , delving readers into the mind of Luke

Skywalker almost immediately following his destruction of the Death Star at Yavin.

When I say into the mind of Luke Skywalker, that is literally where Hearne takes us as Heir to the Jedi is written in the first person, and everything is

played out from Luke’s point of view. Taking the narrative into the first person eschews the

typical perspective told in Star Wars novels, and not since Michael Stackpole’s

Corran Horn centric ‘I, Jedi’ have we been taken on this narrative style.

Beware, mild spoilers ahead.

This is also the first novel under the new continuity that follows a central major

character from the movies. A New Dawn followed Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels

Kanan, whist Tarkin , well obviously followed the then Governor Tarkin – and as such

great hope and expectation had been placed upon this novel.

We meet Luke with an almost childlike excitement and naivety, as The Force

Awakens in him – if you excuse the Episode VII terminology. He has received little

training, has only just discovered his power, but has little understanding and knowledge in

how to develop let alone use the Force.

Ben Kenobi was ripped from his life whilst barely having even explained to Luke what the

Force is, let alone explains the dangers of it. We have a lonely, isolated, and puzzled Luke

in a galaxy that is as foreign to him as me. A moisture farmer from Tatooine in the middle

of an intergalactic war between the Empire and the emerging Rebellion.

Hearne spends a great deal of time in exploring and explaining Luke’s feelings throughout

the novel as he explores the Force, it’s beauty and fragility, and how it is effectively an

awakening of a new sense within him. He is truly discovering a new world. But all is not

positive in Luke’s mind, as we are brought into his personal struggles of loneliness, and the

heavy bearing of responsibility he now carries, as well as at times hinting at his feelings

for Leia. I was pleasantly surprised that they did not hide away from this storyline and I

thought it was brave of the author to tackle this.

Hearne’s use of the first person also gives us a first glimpse into the mind of Luke as he

emerges into a new world beyond the confines of Tatooine. He highlights quite skillfully the

search inside Luke for meaning and family, and I particularly enjoyed Luke’s use of Han

Solo-isms – almost indicating Han to be an idol figure to him, possibly even a father figure,

or at the very least a male role model. We often forget that Luke was an orphan of the Clone

Wars, and grew up with Owen and Beru Lars – with whom he had a love but yet frustrating

relationship.

The central plot of the novel is Luke working for Rebel Alliance and in particular

Princess Leia and Admiral Ackbar in the rescue of a rebelling Imperial cryptographer. On the

way he learns a little bit more about the Jedi and their legacy. Aiding Luke on his way is

Nakari Kelen, whom provides the flirtatious counter to Luke’s naivety. Together with R2-D2

and the Givin code breaker Drusil, they form a Rebel team to infiltrate the Empire.

Luke’s interactions with Drusil provide some light relief in the novel, as Luke appears

somewhat shell-shocked as the close interaction with the alien look of the Givin. A

combination of curiosity of the alien look, but also at the mathematical skill of Drusil

amuses Luke. This part did seem a little off considering that Luke would have encountered

many an alien on Tatooine, but did not effect the novel to any great deal.

Hearne seems to enjoy writing Drusil, and uses the mathematical skills of the

character as a crypo of sorts in the use of equations in the chapter titles. It’s a nice

touch and shows the authors passion for the work. It was fun to see maths used throughout

the novel, but perhaps that is just my accountancy head talking.

It is around Drusil that Hearne creates the best parts of the novel. The narrative is

slick, funny, action packed and tense. The perfect mix of math sequences coupled with Luke’s

reactions to the sewer environment are at times brilliant. I particularly enjoyed the

language used in the novel, and the character interactions – although it did start off rough

and blocky at the beginning with an overuse of Star Wars catchphrases. As the novel

progressed Hearne seemed to grow in confidence in his writing, and in the later part of the

novel the use of now traditional Star Wars quotes seemed better placed and delivered

the emotional impact the writer appeared to be trying to achieve. I felt that the editing of

the novel let Hearne down here, as the change in confidence was too apparent and effective

editing could have addressed this.

Hearne uses the novel to set Luke up for the challenges we know will be encountered in the

later movies, and I like the way he setout to portray Luke as the polar opposite of his

father. Luke’s decency versus Anakin’s arrogance was a regular theme, and you could see the

plot parallels that Hearne was building in to the plot, and the opposing decisions made.

Hearne’s novel had a lot to live up to. We sit on the dawn of a new Star Wars

film with the world waiting to see the iconic hero Luke Skywalker make his much dreamt of big

screen return. It would be easy for the novel to fall into obscurity. Some would argue that

the lack of real story progression in the overall Star Wars timeline detracts from

the novel. For me that was not the goal or purpose of the novel. The novel was conceived to

reintroduce us to the character of Luke Skywalker, and provide us with an intimate look into

our hero’s mind. Following this novel, Luke is our hero again, and Hearne brings us closer

than ever in delving into the inner working of young Skywalker – ensuring the Force reawakens

this iconic childhood legend.

The largest downside to the novel was its pacing and flow. First person novels are

difficult to manage as they remove so many of the usual techniques to progress a plot at

pace. At times this novel struggled, and perhaps needed more polishing and editing. If you

are not a regular reader of POV stories, this may damage your enjoyment of what was at its

core, a strong character exploration. It is perhaps a format more familiar to comic readers,

and I think that comic book fans may in particular find great fun in this novel.

I particularly enjoyed Hearne’s use of non-humans and droids in the novel. Often

sidelined, they took and often stole the central plot of the storyline. John Jackson Miller

has been one of the few Star Wars writers of late to give focus to the diverse life

in the Star Wars galaxy, and it was fantastic to see that continue in this

novel.

The controversial part of the novel will undoubtedly be the ending. Without spoiling it

too much, at face value many will see it as falling into the fridging tope of female

characters. I can’t help but feel that those in that camp see prejudice where it does not

exist. Character decisions must be taken purely for the purpose of story, and I saw the

ending as a beautiful, intense and powerfully written prose. It adds so much depth to Luke’s

character that resonates when you re-watch the movies. Its ripples will be felt for some

time to come, and I would rather have characters make an impact in the narrative than hang

around the fringes of our central tale. If we don’t take these brave and impactful decisions

then we will have one too many vanilla characters, and we can’t live in a universe where we

judge every death through prejudiced tinted glasses. It was a decision made by the author

that was the right decision for the central character whom the whole novel focused on in the

first person. What the author delivers in this novel is two central phenomenal female

characters that we crave to see and hear more from. Denying us that in one instance,

actually adds value to the character departed. It is so refreshing to see female characters

take front and central focus in Star Wars novels.

Hearne takes brave decisions in his writing in Heir to the Jedi . It won’t please everyone, but I would rather have

Star Wars novels that make you want to talk and discuss Star Wars. He

entwined great characters with wonderful insights into Luke’s mind. It’s one downside being

that it failed to give enough plot progression in the timeline to make a meaningful timeline

impact. However, I feel that the ramifications of Luke’s emotions from this novel will

resonate in future Star Wars creative.

Thanks to Del Rey Books for the advanced review copy.

For more Jedi News book reviews click here.

Episode 189: Human Comics and Darren Hayes/Tim Stanton of the He Said He Said Show!


Episode 189: Human Comics and Darren Hayes/Tim Stanton of the He Said He Said Show!

It’s time to join James and Jeremiah on the latest edition of Bombad Radio.

Episode 189 has many guests but we start by discussing the death of Sci-Fi legend Leonard Nimoy who passed away Friday morning. Then we have our first guests with Gabe of Human Comics returning to the show for the 3rd time and this time the artist of issues 1 & 2 of the series Ryan Merrill joins us and discusses the art creation side and what to expect in the future from them. Then we pause and give a shout out to my friends at the Media Meltdown Mousecast, a podcast which has been giving me strange dreams and gotten me sleep talking Disneyland trips (its THAT good). Then we move into Darren Hayes (lead singer of Savage Garden) and comedian/podcaster (Tim Stanton) the hosts of the brand new comedy podcast the “He said He said Podcast” and we get to hear their stories, how they met, why podcast, and quite a bit about their Star Wars fandom as we talk about the new films, Darren ‘auditioning’ for Revenge of the Sith and more!

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Fantasy Flight Games: Wave VI Is Now Available for X-Wing


Fantasy Flight Games: Wave VI Is Now Available for X-Wing

Be fearless and inventive with the long-awaited Wave VI of starship expansions for the X-Wing Miniature game. Get them, fly them, or put them on your collecting shelf to show off their coolness – these ships are going to be a game-changer.

From the website:

Now available at retailers everywhere, X-Wing Wave VI marks the introduction of the game’s third faction, the galaxy’s Scum and Villainy, a collection of individuals loosely bound by their shady business endeavors.

Ultimately, the whole wave reflects the fact that this new faction’s pilots are less interested in teamwork and collective victories than personal gain. Their unique pilot abilities encourage different types of squadrons than those commonly employed by Rebel and Imperial players, as do their new starships, illicit upgrades, and Salvaged Astromechs.

Official Site: Dave Filoni Star Wars Rebels Interview With Dan Brooks – Part 2


Official Site: Dave Filoni Star Wars Rebels Interview With Dan Brooks – Part 2

Ahead of tonight’s thrilling Season 1 finale “Fire Across the Galaxy” airing on Disney XD at 9:00pm ET, Lucasfilm’s Dan Brooks continues his in-depth Star Wars Rebels interview with executive producer Dave Filoni via Part 2.

In part two of StarWars.com’s interview with Dave Filoni (in case you missed it, be sure to check out part one), the executive producer and co-creator of Star Wars Rebels addresses some of Season One’s biggest story elements (pre-tonight’s season finale), including giant fyrnocks, what makes Hera truly strong, and understanding truths from “a certain point of view.”

Follow Justin on Twitter @justinlasalata

Star Wars Rebels Season 1 Marathon On Disney XD Today


Star Wars Rebels Season 1 Marathon On Disney XD Today

Have you missed the broadcast airings of any episodes from Season 1 of Star Wars Rebels and need to play catch-up before the finale arrives with “Fire Across the Galaxy” tonight at 9:00pm ET? No worries my friend, as Disney XD has got you covered with a full Rebels marathon that kicks off at 2:00pm ET, which is about 30 minutes from the time of this posting.

Today! Star Wars Rebels Marathon starting at 2pm leading up to finale at 9pm on @DisneyXD. 7 1/2 hours of awesome. #fireacrossthegalaxy

— Leland Chee (@HolocronKeeper) March 2, 2015

Follow Justin on Twitter @justinlasalata

Coffee With Kenobi: Planting the Seed of Possibility: Representation and Diversity in Media


Coffee With Kenobi: Planting the Seed of Possibility: Representation and Diversity in Media

Our great pal Johnamarie Macias tackles a tough topic over at the excellent Coffee With Kenobi.

Without a doubt, diversity is a hot topic everywhere you go and turn, often leading to insightful conversations or full­blown arguments, especially on social media. Some people are tired of hearing about it (because it’s either not relevant to them or they just don’t see the issue at large), while many more continue to bring the issue about the lack of diversity and representation to the forefront of public attention.

Believe it or not, I used to be the person who didn’t care. I lived in my own bubble, where I didn’t see the importance of representation in television shows or movies because it DisneyPrincess1wasn’t my priority. I just wanted to see the story unfold, no matter who played the part or who was involved in bringing me that story. I didn’t need a Disney princess to look like me to feel included. If I wanted to be a Disney princess, I’d transform myself into one with whatever was lying around the apartment and let my imagination do the rest.

Chris Weitz On Writing For First Star Wars Spinoff, Says Fans Should “Expect Everything”


Chris Weitz On Writing For First Star Wars Spinoff, Says Fans Should “Expect Everything”

Chris Weitz, who was initially rumored earlier this year to have been tabbed by Lucasfilm to continue the writing for the first planned Star Wars standalone film after the departure of Gary Whitta, reveals in an interview with Slashfilm that he is in fact penning the script for the movie and advises fans to “expect everything because it’s Star Wars.”

How did you go about getting the Star Wars movie? Because originally Gary Whitta was writing and we thought that was the core but then you came on. Can you talk about how that happened?

Well I think it still is the core. But in terms of…in a weird way, it was like meeting for any assignment. Go in, talk about how you work and talk about the idea, but of course there was A) A huge security component to it. I wasn’t able to see the script until kind of after I was brought on board. And B) I saw Star Wars when I was 7 and it was a formative experience in my life, let alone in the notion of filmmaking. I’m probably only working on this stuff because I did have that experience then. But it completely possessed me when I was a child and it was a huge part of my kind of emotional make up. So I tried to be as cool as possible in these meetings while still being aware if I got the assignment I was going to be able to work on something I’ve been dreaming of doing.

Follow Justin on Twitter @justinlasalata

Jedi News Book Review: Star Wars: Heir To The Jedi


Jedi News Book Review: Star Wars: Heir To The Jedi

Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.

A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.

Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive.

This week marks the release of the newest Star Wars novel by Del Rey, Heir to the Jedi. This novel was originally planned to be a part of the Empire and Rebellion series from the old Expanded Universe. When the announcement was made that they would be rebooting the Star Wars Universe, this book was pushed back until now and became a part of the official cannon. New to Star Wars novels, author Kevin Hearne is given the challenge of writing this first person view story. Hearne is known for his fantasy book series titled The Iron Druid Chronicles, also released by Del Rey. While I have never read these books, I understand that they are all told in the first person perspective. I, Jedi, a novel released in 1998, up until now was the only Star Wars novel to be told in the first person. While I was not sure if I was ready for another first person perspective, I was excited about a novel in this time frame.

Beware, mild spoilers ahead.

Heir to the Jedi takes place between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. For those of you who are reading the brand new comics series by Marvel, this story takes place before the events of that arc. Hearne has said that as a kid he always wondered how Luke knew to use the Force while being attacked by the Wampa in the ice cave on Hoth. When A New Hope ends, Luke has become a hero to the Rebellion by blowing up the Death Star, but to be honest, not long before that Luke was just a simple teenager growing up on a small farm. Obi-Wan did inform Luke about the force, but he really had no chance to teach him all that much before he meets his end by Darth Vader. Luke is really on his own when it comes to learning anything about the Jedi or how to control his new found power. Heir to the Jedi helps fill in the blanks of how Luke is dealing with everything that has happened to him since he bought those two droids on Tatooine.

When Disney purchased Star Wars in late 2012, fans were concerned that the franchise would soon become “Disneyfied”. As the comics have already shown us that the Star Wars brand is not shying away from the use of violence, this book introduces a new horrifying creature. While on the Moon of Fex, Luke comes in contact with this species first hand. Though there is no official name yet, these Fexian Skullborers are nasty little creatures. The time spent on Fex felt like the beginning of a horror movie to me and was a welcomed addition to this universe. Just like making this book a first person novel, I do like that Lucasfilm is taking chances when it comes to trying out new ideas.

While I did enjoy this book, it was hard for me to get into the first person perspective. With over two hundred previous stories in the Star Wars franchise, I thought it was difficult to get used to this new style. Now I have no problem with first person novels, but when it comes to Star Wars, I love jumping from character to character to see their side of the story. It makes the story feel so much larger when you are visiting characters from all over the galaxy. From other reviews I have read on Heir to the Jedi , I’m seeing lots of mixed reactions. But let me say, even though this might not be my favorite book, I do recommend reading it. Since Hearne has been thinking about these ideas since he was a kid, I do find that he delved big time into capturing Luke’s mindset after all his life changing events.

Big thanks to Del Rey Books for the advanced review copy.

For more Jedi News book reviews click here.

Fantasy Flight Games: Fly Casual, a Sourcebook for Smugglers, Is Now Available


Fantasy Flight Games: Fly Casual, a Sourcebook for Smugglers, Is Now Available

We know ’em. We love ’em. Scoundrels, smugglers and fledgling nerf herders take note – this sourcebook for the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire roleplaying game, is now available!

From the website:

As a Smuggler, you thrive on risk and adventure. You’re happy never knowing what your next job might be or where it might take you. You might transport spice for a Hutt kajidic on one trip and ferry stolen medical supplies to a Rebel cell on the next. You don’t mind taking on illegal jobs from nefarious crime lords, as long as the pay is good. You just want to avoid Imperial attention, remain independent, and stay alive.

For players who want to experience the thrills, dangers, and freedom of a Smuggler’s life, Fly Casual introduces new specializations, species, and signature abilities, along with new vehicles, and gear. For Game Masters, it provides copious information about smuggling in the Star Wars galaxy, from ideas for smuggling jobs to guidelines for quick-draw showdowns.

Coffee With Kenobi: Mickey’s Jedi Blend: My Star Wars Weekends Top 5 Celebrity Encounters


Coffee With Kenobi: Mickey’s Jedi Blend: My Star Wars Weekends Top 5 Celebrity Encounters

Aaron Harris brings us this great blog entry, listing some of the amazing people he’s met so far on his Star Wars adventures over at Coffee With Kenobi.

So everyone right now is on a countdown to Celebration Anaheim and the excitement as the dates draw closer is electric. You can’t touch social media without Celebration being mention or discussed in some way shape or form. I can only imagine what it will be like with The Force Awakens right around the corner. Unfortunately, attending Celebration isn’t in the cards for me this year.

It’s all good though, it gives me the chance to focus on the upcoming Star Wars Weekends 2015. That’s right, not long after the close of Celebration Anaheim, fan focus turns to Orlando, Florida for the annual event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now we do have a couple of months to prepare, and trust me I am. I’ll fill you in when I can and when plans are finalized, but for now, let’s reminisce of some of the best Celebrity encounters I have had at Star Wars Weekends. These are the most memorable ones for me.

UPDATED: Interview With Pilot Who Filmed The Force Awakens Scenes During Abu Dhabi Shoot


UPDATED: Interview With Pilot Who Filmed The Force Awakens Scenes During Abu Dhabi Shoot

UPDATE: The National updated their initial article to also include the interview they conducted with the other pilot Andrew Masterson. Thanks to Jedi News reader Dalton K. for sending over the link.

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Point your browser towards the following article posted on The National by Jessica Hill in which Andy Nettleton, a Helidubai pilot who was hired by director J.J. Abrams to perform aerial photography during Episode VII shooting in Abu Dhabi, talks about what it was like being part of the production team for The Force Awakens.

At one point during the interview, Nettleton mentions how he saw actor Simon Pegg on set. Does this add more weight to the earlier rumor that Pegg has an official part in the film? Check out the intro to the exclusive interview below and be sure to take the source link for the full read.

When did you find out you would be working on Star Wars?

I work for Dubai’s premier helicopter service, Helidubai. Myself and my colleague, Andrew Masterson, are the only two motion picture-approved filming pilots with Universal and Hollywood studios in the Middle East. I was contacted by email in September 2013 and thought, ‘This won’t come off, it’s too good to be true’. We did the shoot last May.

Follow Justin on Twitter @justinlasalata

Jedi News Review: Star Wars Rebels: Sabine My Rebel Sketchbook


Jedi News Review: Star Wars Rebels: Sabine My Rebel Sketchbook

She’s funny, creative and impulsive; an artist with

spray paint and advanced weapons. She’s also a 16-year-old girl who happens to be flying

around the universe, wreaking havoc on the Imperial army. Now you can read the private diary

of Sabine Wren, the awesome new heroine of the Star Wars Rebels television series!

Wren is one of the most compelling and interesting female character in Star Wars since

Princess Leia! She’s an explosives expert supreme, and a master of advanced weapons. She’s

also a crazy artist, gifted at graffiti and sketching. She’s strong, bold, confident, cool –

and only 16! Get to know Sabine through her own words and artistic expression in this replica

journal filled with sketches, photos of her best work, stories, doodles and her observations

of her fellow rebels. In Sabine’s own writing, relive events that occur during the first 10

episodes of Star Wars Rebels, plus discover details about Sabine’s life and the rebel

team.

Written by the always reliable Dan Wallace and illustrated by Annie Stoll, this

colourful release is aimed at kids aged between 6 and 10 years old – just like Star

Wars itself – but don’t be fooled into thinking this is just for kids, as

Star Wars Rebels: Sabine My Rebel Sketchbook is a bright and breezy 96 pages of fun

with plenty of info and insight for readers of any age.

Sure, it’s a journal which means a handful of ‘blank’ pages at the back, but those pages

are littered with Sabine’s sketches and doodles, notes and thoughts. This is a great insight

into how she thinks, what motivates her and how she views her fellow rebels. And while it’s

not inside her head to the same degree that, say, Heir to the Jedi is inside Luke’s head, kids will get an even better

grip on what makes her tick. And when I say kids, I don’t just mean girls. This will be just

as much fun for Sabine’s male fans (including me).

Tucked inside pages are a swathe of fold out pages including ones of the Ghost,

how to make a detonator that explodes into colour (which she refers to as ‘art tools’) and

her Mando armour. There are wanted posters from the HoloNet, small passages as she watches

Ezra and Zeb argue, even her idea on how to paint Ezra’s helmet collection. And who she

thinks Fulcrum really is.

And, most impressively, as she ponders on who she thinks Fulcrum might be she

vents her frustration about the lack of trust that Hera is showing her. It’s a neat dip into

one of the increasingly key character arcs of the show, as Hera keeps her own council and the

clearly capable Sabine grows frustrated at her lack of trust. As I said, it’s a kids book,

but there’s a deeper undercurrent running through it.

I was more than pleasantly surprised by this book. While I’m still getting used to the

very contemporary graffiti in the series and the book it totally works for this release, and

is a big part of what makes Sabine Sabine. I’m enjoying the series as it develops, but the

accompanying books (A New Dawn apart) have been pitched – understandably

– at a younger audience, much like the show. Given that, it’s good to feel that older readers

are being served to a certain degree while knowing that the kids are getting 100% out of the

releases. For parent, aunts and uncles this is definitely a book that needs to be shared with

the younglings of your family.

For more Jedi News non-fiction book reviews click here.

Official Site: Galactic Backpacking, Pt 7: Visiting Real World Endor And Naboo’s Great Grass Plains


Official Site: Galactic Backpacking, Pt 7: Visiting Real World Endor And Naboo’s Great Grass Plains

Join Sander de Lange as he takes us backpacking through the galaxy for the 7th time into the forests of Endor and the plains of Naboo over at StarWars.com.

Ewoks and Gungans, love them or hate them, are hugely important to the Star Wars saga — after all, both races were instrumental in overthrowing an evil regime. In this first part dealing with the shooting locations in the USA we will visit the places used to create their homeworlds of Endor and Naboo.

Monster Artistry: A Quick Chat with Animation Legend Phil Tippett


Monster Artistry: A Quick Chat with Animation Legend Phil Tippett

Join James Clarke as he holds a brief chat with VFX maestro Phil Tippett where they discuss his illustrious career including the classic Jurassic Park.

If you know your modern visual effects maestros, and if you know your stop- motion tauntaun from your stop-motion ED209, then you’ll know that Phil Tippett has been at the forefront of the visual effects and animation industries for the past forty years. His visual effects outfit, Tippett Studio, can count the recent movies Twilight, Ted and the forthcoming Jurassic World amongst its feature film credits. Outside of the feature film world, Phil has also recently completed work on a stop-motion, independently funded short entitled Mad God.

Official Site: Heir To The Jedi -Exclusive Excerpt!


Official Site: Heir To The Jedi -Exclusive Excerpt!

Head on over to StarWars.com for another excerpt from 3rd March Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne.

Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi — the first-ever novel written from Luke Skywalker’s point of view — hits stores March 3. Written by Kevin Hearne and set between Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, it finds the not-yet-a-Jedi hero sent on a daring rescue mission by Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar. Showcasing Luke at a key point in his life, Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi is essential reading.

StarWars.com has a special preview — as well as a look at early designs for the cover by Larry Rostant (with Scott Biel). Check it out!

Gimme LEGO: Jango Unchained


Gimme LEGO: Jango Unchained

Join Dr Dave Watford and Gimme LEGO as he travels back to 2002 to investigate set 7153, Jango’s Slave 1.

As some of you may have seen, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pre-release copy of Set 75060 Slave 1 at the tail end of last year which I built and reviewed over at Brickset. This Ultimate Collectors Series version of the ship is the latest and greatest in a long line of Slave 1 iterations released by LEGO over the years. The vast majority are versions of Boba Fett’s Slave 1; these are most readily identified by their green and dark red or brown colour scheme, and by my reckoning LEGO have released at least seven versions of Boba Fett’s Slave 1 not including advent calendar builds since they kicked off the Star Wars theme in 1999 (make that eight if you include the bag charm released back in 2008). In marked contrast, Jango Fett’s Slave 1, which sports a predominantly white and dark blue colour scheme, has received far less attention from LEGO. Not including advent calendar builds, I’m aware of only two LEGO versions of Jango Fett’s Slave 1 – the System scale Set 7153 Jango Fett’s Slave 1 from 2002, and Set 4487 Jedi Starfighter & Slave I which is a 53-piece mini building set from 2003. I therefore thought I’d shine a light on the larger of these two sets and dig out my copy of Set 7153 Jango Fett’s Slave 1.