There are lots of stories about Luke Skywalker. Some of them might even be true. – Ulina
The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu is one of the few books of the new canon to be about Luke Skywalker, much less feature him as a character. As such, it was pretty much guaranteed that I would enjoy this book on some level. However, I was surprised by how much I loved it. It’s one of my favorite canon novels, right alongside The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry, another middle grade novel about Luke. Weapon and Legends share another similarity, in that they both feature framing stories in which Luke is portrayed as a mythical hero. The difference is that Legends never outright uses Luke’s POV; instead, six crew members of the ship Wayward Current exchange stories about Luke while on the way to Canto Bight. It’s a novel that portrays Luke as a folk hero, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever read another book that does as good a job depicting Luke’s relationship with the Force and the galaxy at large. Which is quite the feat, considering we never get inside Luke’s head.
The framing story follows a set of deckhands who help a stowaway escape detection and get off the Wayward Current into Canto Bight. They exchange stories as a way to distract themselves from the horribleness of jumping into the bilge to hide. (Sound familiar?) What better way to pass the time than discuss one of the most famous and mysterious figures in the galaxy, Luke Skywalker?
Season 4 of the ThrawnCast continues! This week Amanda, Matthew, and Sho continue their discussion of Kathy Tyers’s The Truce at Bakura. Why is Leia so out-of-character in these chapters? Who has a bigger Force Crush, Luke or Dev? And when, oh when, will authors stop comparing people’s features to food? We’re covering chapters 5-8 this episode, so strap in and hit play!
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While I’m a big fan of the new canon, I also love (some of) the books and characters that are part of the Legends timeline. When the Legends reboot was announced, I was sad not because those stories were coming to an end, but because I’d miss the characters I’d grown to know and love. That was why I was so excited when it was announced at Celebration London that Grand Admiral Thrawn would be the new villain in Season Three of Star Wars Rebels. Not only that, but Timothy Zahn would be writing a book about Thrawn’s rise to power in the Empire.
Thrawn‘s release date has come and gone, as well as the ThrawnCast podcast, in which we revisited the Thrawn Trilogy. Although Thrawn dies at the end of that trilogy (spoilers!), his influence and appearances in Legends do not end with The Last Command. If you’re interested in reading more about Thrawn, but aren’t sure where to start, I present a roadmap to Thrawn’s appearances in Legends. (This also serves as a roadmap to other Zahn books and stories, because pretty much everything he wrote had Thrawn’s fingerprints on it!)
Greg Rucka has certainly been making his mark on the Star Wars canon. First was Smuggler’s Run, the Han Solo middle grade novel, then there was Shattered Empire, the first post Return of the Jedi comic, then Before the Awakening, which told background stories about The Force Awakens protagonists Rey, Finn, and Poe. Now comes another middle grade novel about Baze and Chirrut, my two favorite characters from Rogue One. I’ve enjoyed all of Rucka’s Star Wars stories, so I was super excited to see what he did with Guardians of the Whills. Did he live up to expectations?
When you and your husband receive one copy of a book you’ve both been dying to read, and you’re both super wary about spoilers, there’s only one logical solution: read the book aloud to each other!
We received our review copy of Empire’s End on a Friday evening, when we got home from work. I immediately proposed the idea that we spend the weekend (thankfully with no pre-existing plans!) reading to each other. Brian agreed. All in all, it took about sixteen hours to get through the entire book: two hours Friday night, eight hours Saturday afternoon and evening, and six hours Sunday morning and afternoon. We took turns reading so we could eat and rest our voices. It was a great time, and we’d like to share it with you.
Catalyst was a good book. It was a worthwhile read. And, as it was very thoughtfully and craftily designed to do, it has whet my appetite for next month’s release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Catalyst is the story of Galen Erso: his passion for science, his devotion to both his family and his work, and the relationships that come to bear on his personal and professional life; all wrapped up in a volume that feels unmistakably Star Wars. From the opening paragraph, the GFFA seems familiar in a way that’s been missing (although I would be hard pressed to use the term ‘lacking’) from recent Star Wars books. Perhaps it’s just that Luceno contributed so much to the Legends universe that is to account for this feeling of familiarity. Whatever is behind it: Catalyst felt a little bit like coming home, and that made me smile.
Bria: Ever since Ahsoka Tano showed up as Fulcrum on Star Wars Rebels, fans have wanted to know what she’s been up to since she left the Jedi Order. Thanks to a brand new young adult novel by E.K. Johnston, we finally get our answer. Well, some of it. Ahsoka picks up a year after Order 66 with the former Jedi in hiding on a backwater planet but always on alert for the Empire.
A few weeks ago, Cooper from Eleven-ThirtyEight got most of Star Wars Twitter to rank their favorite new canon novels. Then people started creating their own lists, because why not? I love lists, so I couldn’t help but be drawn into the fun. Then I asked some of the other staff writers from Tosche Station to rank their SWEU favorites.
So here you are, without further ado or explanation: a ranking of our Top 5 Favorite Legends Novels, Legends Characters, Canon Novels, Canon Literature Characters, Canon Film/TV Characters, and Bit Film Characters Who Get Fleshed Out in Legends.
Before the Awakening is a successor to the young reader Journey to the Force Awakens trilogy of books. Illustrated by Phil Noto (who also illustrated The Weapon of a Jedi, Moving Target, and Smuggler’s Run) and written by Greg Rucka (who also wrote Smuggler’s Run and Shattered Empire), the novel explains what Finn, Rey, and Poe were up to prior to the events of The Force Awakens. It’s divided into three sections, one for each character, and elaborates on their backstories and provides some insight into where each of them are at the start of the film.
It seems like just last month that the Star Wars folks announced Delilah S. Dawson would be writing an e-short titled The Perfect Weapon. Oh wait, that was last month! Del Rey doesn’t make us wait very long with today’s release of The Perfect Weapon, one of five stories that feature the pictured beings from Maz Kanata’s castle. Bazine Netal is an efficient and lethal mercenary and spy who knows how to get a job done. When an anonymous client hires her to track down a former stormtrooper, she’s forced to trade teaching a newbie in exchange for use of a ship. And while Bazine is good, even she can still be taken by surprise on a dangerous mission…