New Audio Excerpt of Heir to the Jedi

Heir to the JediYesterday the official Star Wars site posted an exclusive three-and-a-half minute excerpt of the audio version of Kevin Hearne’s upcoming novel Heir to the Jedi. Listen to the excerpt, read by Marc Thompson, here and read Bria’s spoiler-free review of the book here.

Heir to the Jedi will be released in hardback, ebook, and audio formats next Tuesday, March 3.

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Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Dark Force Rising Chapters 1-3

DarkForce_RisingWe start our tale, as we always do, on an Imperial Star Destroyer. Pellaeon, in command of the Chimaera under Grand Admiral Thrawn, is preparing to coordinate an assault on Myrkr. Specifically, coordinating an assault on Talon Karrde’s former base. Thrawn is certain Karrde crossed them by not handing over Luke Skywalker, and he isn’t having any of that.

Because Karrde is smart, he’s already abandoned his base, and Thrawn, of course, knows that. Because he knows everything, apparently. But he still wants to attack Karrde’s base, both to give the ground crews much-needed combat practice, but also to see if any of Karrde’s contacts in Hyllyard City attempt to get ahold of Karrde and, in turn, lead the Empire to his new base of operations.

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Review: Heir to the Jedi (Spoiler Free)

Heir to the JediThe newest Star Wars book, Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne, comes out on March 3rd and lets Luke take the spotlight for the first time in a few years. It’s also in a very unique position of being the only previously announce project to make it through to the new canon. It may no longer be a part of the Empire and Rebellion series but it’s still very definitely the Luke book.

Luke Skywalker’s the pilot who blew up the Death Star but that doesn’t make him a Jedi yet or any less that farmboy from Tatooine. To the Rebellion, he’s mostly valued for his piloting skills which makes him the perfect choice to retrieve an Imperial cryptographer who wants to defect to the Rebellion. The Alliance pairs him and Artoo with Nakari Kelen, the daughter of a biotech mogul, who comes with her beautiful ship the Desert Jewel on this mission that quickly becomes far more than just a simple retrieval.

For the most part, the book is enjoyable enough. It’s the second Star Wars book to ever be written in first person but that’s definitely where the comparisons to I, Jedi should stop as these are two totally different books that approach the point of view style from different angles. Heir to the Jedi feels a bit more like you’re reading Luke’s diary than being inside of his head. That’s not necessarily a problem though as it gives readers more insight to how Luke goes from being the naïve farmboy hero to the squadron commander that we see on Hoth. It’s fun to read about the Luke who can’t quite figure out telekinesis although he thinks it’s something he can probably do. (We could’ve used a little less focus on this particular trick though.) Hearne does a good job of capturing Luke’s sense of humor; something that far too many authors have neglected in the past. Given that this is the Luke book? It’s always a good sign when the author gets the character.

Nakari Kelen is a fun addition to the Star Wars universe and it’d be great to see more of her. It’s always fantastic to see another person of color take center stage and doubly fantastic when that’s a character of color. She’s well rounded and interesting with her own motivations for being a part of the Rebellion and she works great opposite Luke. Her relationship with her father reminded me of Booster and Mirax Terrik and I’d love to see a short story where we get to see the four of them interact.

On the writing front, whether or not someone enjoys the book will definitely depend on how they feel about first person. That’s the one hurdle that probably can’t be avoided. Pacing-wise, the book does start a bit slow (although it’s something I didn’t realize until my second read through when I took a bit more time to read it.) This is yet another story that follows in the recent trend of focusing on a much smaller scale. Luke and Nakari’s work is relatively important but the FATE OF THE GALAXY doesn’t rest upon their success. It was also nice to see the Givin worked into the book and to see their love for math used throughout especially in the chapter titles. (I’m assuming those equations made sense mathematically.) A smaller scale plot paired with a diverse and interesting core cast is generally a win in my book. My biggest complaint about the writing is that things often felt a little too convenient for our heroes. For example, a brief mission Luke’s sent on at the start of the book comes into play later on. If nothing else, you can definitely tell that Kevin Hearne had fun writing this book.

Unfortunately, the biggest problem with this book is also its biggest spoiler. If you’re curious enough, the spoiler is just an easy Google search away. I find it regrettable that Hearne chose this particular route and it’s enough to significantly bring down my overall enjoyment of the book. Hopefully, this will not be the status quo for the new canon and that’s all I will say for fear of spoiler territory.

At the end of the day, I give Heir to the Jedi a 3/5.

Thank you to Del Rey for providing us with an advanced copy of the book for review purposes.

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Go/No-Go: Jupiter Ascending

nasa-mission-control-3

Welcome back to Go/No-Go, Tosche Station’s regular feature where we offer our spoiler-free opinion as to whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on a book, film, or other entertainment. Today on the launch pad: Jupiter Ascending. It’s a film that cost a lot of money to make but has been struggling in the box office.  How does our launch crew feel despite the critics’ thoughts?  To mission control for the verdict!

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Tosche Station Radio #103: Arguing like it’s 1996

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Should the new Jedi be the same as the old? We answer that question on this week’s Tosche Station Radio!

Kicking off the show, the hosts highlight what’s New on the Blog.Bria explained why KOTOR needs three video games and a TV show. She also reviewed Sabine’s Sketchbook, Star Wars #2 and Darth Vader #1, and the Rebels episode “Vision of Hope.” Nanci started Dark Force Rising for the Thrawn Trilogy retrospective and reviewed “Call to Action”

In Fixer’s Flash, the hosts have been catching up on Agent Carter and think you should be watching it too. Nanci read Heir to the Jedi. Both of the hosts spent the weekend at Disney World and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Oh, and something about a Disney Star Wars Cruise.

Deak’s Dirt starts with a bit of Marvel. Spider-Man is coming to the MCU and there’s a new Daredevil teaser. In Celebration news, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker will be in attendance! On the literature side of things, John Jackson Miller, Christie Golden, and James Luceno will be there as well. Finally, Tosche Station will be recording a podcast LIVE at Star Wars Celebration! Our slot is Sunday at 10:30.

Bigg’s Bull$&#* features the usual grab bag of Standalone and Rebels rumors. What characters might be showing up in the animated series? Listen in to find out.

This week on Camie’s Concerns, some online conversation had the hosts wondering just how closely the new Jedi in the sequel trilogy should mirror the old Jedi. Our take? It’s a bad idea to be a carbon copy of the Old Order and we discuss why.

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

Her Universe - Flaunt Your World - www.heruniverseshop.com Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

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Review: Star Wars Rebels: Call to Action

rebels logoFirst there was Bail Organa, then Darth Vader, then Yoda, then Lando Calrissian. Now Grand Moff Tarkin joins the lists of classic characters joining the cast of Star Wars Rebels. While I don’t want the Ghost crew to be overshadowed by an endless list of guest stars, I can’t deny that Rebels has put them all to great use. So when I heard that Tarkin was going to appear in the next episode, I was super excited to see what Filoni and company would do with him. I loved his appearances on The Clone Wars, and as it turned out his appearance on Rebels didn’t disappoint either. Not only that, but he brought the expression “*@$! getting real” to a whole ‘nother level.

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Spider-Man to Appear in Marvel Cinematic Universe While 4 Marvel Release Dates are Pushed Back

spider-man newspaperSony and Marvel Studios have formed a Spidey-based partnership, according to Marvel’s official site:

Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.

Notably, the release refers to the character as “Spider-Man” rather than “Peter Parker,” with one exception:

“Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker’s story into the future,” added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.

While Belgrad doesn’t explicitly state that Peter and Spidey are one-and-the-same in this case, it is implied. If they are indeed the same, it will be the second film reboot of Peter Parker as Spider-Man in less than five years and the third film version of the character in less than fifteen. I’d find a film starring Mile Morales, the current Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ultimate comics universe, to be a breath of fresh air, but if don’t get to have that, perhaps they’ll at least get more creative with Spidey’s casting this time and choose an actor who isn’t white.

In addition to the news that they and Sony will be working together on Spider-Man, Marvel has pushed back the release dates of four previously announced films, possibly to give the new Spider-Man film some space. Thor: Ragnarok, previously scheduled for July 2017, will now be released on what had previously been Black Panther‘s release date of November 3, 2017, Black Panther will now come out on Captain Marvel‘s old release date of July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel is getting Inhumans‘ previous date of November 2, 2018, and Inhumans will now be released on July 12, 2019. You can read Marvel’s full announcement on the moved release dates here.

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