I am known around these parts as the Luke Skywalker fan. He was my favorite Star Wars character when I first started liking Star Wars, and that distinction has never changed. In anticipation of The Last Jedi, I thought it would be fun to rank the ten greatest Luke Skywalker appearances, from both Canon and Legends. My criteria are threefold: characterization and agency, appropriate use of the Force for the time period, and impact on other characters. Note that I am not including live action appearances, because it’s almost impossible to rank Luke in the Original Trilogy and his cameo in The Force Awakens, while wonderful, isn’t enough to judge his character in the Sequel Trilogy. Without further adieu…
Content warnings for depression, suicide, and death
There’s Norra Wexley, a woman so clearly broken by war. Trying her best to do right by her child. Trying her best to love him, to keep him safe, to help him grow. I watch her succeed in moments, and fail spectacularly in others. It isn’t her fault when she fails. Not fully her fault, anyway. The woman is dogged by war. Scars from the atrocities she witnessed. Nightmares from the torture, psychological and physical, she endured for too many years.
My heart aches as the critics throws stones at her for not being the perfect mother. She often is emotionally distant, she often acts out of terror and fear. Post traumatic stress disorder manifests itself in unpredictable ways, but the critics insist her failings are entirely a flaw of character, rather than the never-ending terrors of watching her friends and family die around her. Her failures are not virtuous by any means, but they are not bad. They don’t make her a bad person, a bad parent.
I watch over time as the woman gets help to confront the nightmares of the past. I see her slowly heal. Though the nightmares will always be there, I watch her finally find some semblance of peace and belonging in her world.
When it comes to being a Mandalorian fan, I could probably be considered a late bloomer. I didn’t really find any appreciation for them until I was 16 and discovered the Republic Commando books. At the time, only the first two had been released but those two were all it took for me to fall in love with first this batch of clones and then with the Mandalorian culture that Karen Traviss created. When you’re a sucker for found family stories, it was hard not to. That was not, however, the Mandalore we saw first in The Clone Wars and that is now the official canon. While I’m not the sort to be a bitter Legends fan, I strongly believe the Star Wars universe is lesser for it. Continue reading
If there’s one thing we as Star Wars uberfans have in common, it’s myopia.
To a degree this is pretty understandable. I’ve been guilty of it and odds are I’ll be guilty of it again in the future. Folks that are ultra-invested in Star Wars fandom kept the franchise alive during dormant periods between films. During those dormant periods, content that was released tended to be catered more towards invested fandom. Star Wars during these stretches felt like it was For Us rather than more casual fans or people who simply enjoyed the movies. In essence, we often feel like we’re owed something for Star Wars having a pulse through the mid eighties to late nineties and 2005-2012.
My first thought when it was announced that J.J. Abrams was returning to direct and co-write Episode IX was “Argh, I really wish a woman had gotten this.” And yeah, while I completely understand the production realities that necessitated Lucasfilm asking a familiar face to return to get things back on track, I was bummed.
My second thought was “We’re about to revisit the Well Actuallying of The Force Awakens, aren’t we?” My Twitter timeline bore that out in about two minutes of me waking up on Tuesday.
Claudia Gray’s newest Star Wars offering: Leia: Princess of Alderaan opens on Leia Organa’s sixteenth Name Day. With the Rhindon Sword in her hand, she approaches the throne and declares her intention to assume the throne. This is the ceremony that has been performed by Alderaan’s monarchs for millennia. She pledges to take on challenges of the body, mind, and heart to prove her fitness as a ruler to the sitting sovereign.
But for teenage Leia Organa, fitness to rule is hardly a concern. For Leia, the ceremony and its attendant challenges are a chance to grow closer to her parents—from whom she never meant to become distant. Her humanitarian work, first term in the Apprentice Legislature, and plans for the ascent of Appenza Peak are much more in the service of her personal agenda than any royal one. Continue reading
Continuing our informal “If you liked, you should read…” series, I’m taking a look at the Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig. I’ve made no secret that these are my favorite novels of the canon literature relaunch, largely because these books remind me so much of some of the best Legends novels I’ve enjoyed over the years. So without further ado, if you enjoyed the Aftermath trilogy, you should read these Legends novels. To the jump!
“I know only one truth: It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
The first trailer for The Last Jedi ends with Luke’s shocking declaration about the future of the Jedi Order – that there is no future. After all his explorations of the galaxy, all the knowledge he’s gained about the Force, he’s concluded that the Jedi must die out. This is a result of Kylo Ren’s fall to the dark side and Luke’s subsequent hermitage/depression. He blames himself for what happened, and believes the Jedi Order will keep on destroying itself if it continues. He has become jaded, cynical, and fatalistic.
Or so some people believe. I, on the other hand, have much different thoughts. Luke isn’t calling for an end to the Order because he’s given up. On the contrary, he knows exactly what he needs to do now, and Rey is the only person who can help him.
Only a few items of note this week, so let’s get to them!
OMAR JOINS HAN
Michael Kenneth Williams, perhaps best known as Omar on The Wire, has joined the as-yet-untitled Han Solo spinoff film! That’s literally all we know; no character hints whatsoever. Seems like LFL is at least starting to get the “wow, that’s a lot of white folks” memo, though. Faster than Marvel is, at any rate. (Source)
Lots of news this week! New books! New The Last Jedi details! New hair! Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Though rumored as early as December 2015, it’s now official; following the death of original Star Wars actor Kenny Baker, going forward (beginning with this December’s The Last Jedi) the adorable astromech will be portrayed by Doctor Who veteran Jimmy Vee. I guess this makes him R2-D2-2. (source)