Review: Mockingjay Part 1

No one should want to live in Panem and no one should wish they were Katniss Everdeen. The Hunger Games has never been a series to shy away from showing the horrors of war and the oppression of a people and Mockingjay wipes away all the glamor of the Capital to give its viewers an unblinking view. It’s unapologetically grim and bleak in a way that young adult geared films haven’t quite been before but that doesn’t stop Mockingjay Part 1 from succeeding as a thoroughly enjoyable film even if you likely won’t leave the theatre with a broad smile on your face.

After the abrupt end to the 75th Hunger Games, Katniss found herself swept off to District 13. Peeta is left behind and District 12 is no more. The leaders of the rebellion aren’t willing to give her time to grieve because they need her to be their symbol and ignite the people of Panem into action. She agrees to play their game but it has to be on her terms.  If they want their Mockingjay, they’ll have to agree to her conditions.

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Review: Star Wars Rebels: Empire Day

rebels logoAnd with that, those who were worried that Rebels wouldn’t have the gravitas of The Clone Wars found themselves with one less thing to worry about.

“Empire Day” begins with Hera, Sabine, and Zeb making their way into an alley of a somewhat remote outpost on Lothal. As they disappear, Sabine stops and gazes out into the distance, where she sees Ezra and Kanan training.

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Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 21-23

In our last installment, Talon Karrde and his crew picked up Luke Skywalker and is holding him on Myrkr against his will. And Han and Lando are on the way. The chapters are getting really long now, and so are the recaps! Here we go! 

Talon Karrde's Myrkr base

Talon Karrde’s Myrkr base

Oh phew, Chapter 21 starts and we’re back to Karrde and Mara! What can I say–I’m predictable. Karrde tells Mara her that Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are on their way to Myrkr, which obviously has negative implications on the current “kidnapping Luke Skywalker” scenario. Mara tells Karrde he has no obligation to speak to them, but Karrde informs her that his associates debts are his own, and she should know that by now. She has a horrible thought, and asks if he’s going to give them Skywalker. Karrde seems disinterested in the matter, but she can sense the truth: he wants more than anything to know why she hates Skywalker. (Because he loves information more than anything!)  She refuses to say why she hates him; they bicker some more about why Han is there and what to do with Skywalker.

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New Darth Vader Jewelry from Her Universe

her universe darth vader necklaceToday Her Universe released a new Darth Vader jewelry collection, designed by Sparkle Factory, the designers of Her Universe’s R2-D2-themed “My Hero Collection” that was released earlier this year.

The Darth Vader collection features earrings, necklaces, a bracelet, and a ring, bearing either the likeness of Vader’s mask or the Imperial emblem. Each piece is made from black hematite and one necklace incorporates Swarovski crystals as well. You can read more about them here.

The pieces run from $40 to $85 USD and are available for purchase on Her Universe’s site.

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Why Bria Tharen Needs To Be In Rebels

The Expanded Universe is an absolute gold mine when it comes to story ideas in Rebels. From characters to planets to mere concepts, there’s plenty for the taking and tweaking. The Clone Wars already proved how successful that tactic could be with their use of Dathomir. In our continuing series here at Tosche Station, we’re pitching you things we’d like to see make it into Rebels. This week? Bria Tharen.

Before you grab your pitchforks, hear me out. A.C. Crispin introduced Bria Tharen into the Star Wars galaxy with the Han Solo Trilogy during the Bantam era. When readers first met her, Bria was a wealthy young Corellian who’d fallen into a religious cult’s trap where they exploited their pilgrims as slaves in their spice mines. Enter Han Solo and a crazy plan that gets both of them (and friends) off Ylesia followed a sudden lack of purpose in her life. The short version of what follows is that Bria ends up leaving Han behind so he can go to the Imperial Academy and she can go off and break her addiction and find a new meaning for her life. She ends up joining Senator Garm Bel Iblis’ resistance group, eventually becomes the commander of Red Hand Squadron in the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and dies in service to the Alliance.

For a show called Rebels, she’s potentially an obvious choice to bring into the new canon. While her story is linked closely to that of Han Solo, it doesn’t need to be in order for her character to be well used in Rebels. The writers can retcon away any mention of the brash pilot and instead condense her backstory down to something easier: she’s a former slave who was freed, joined the Rebel Alliance, and has neither tolerance nor mercy for slavers. Doing so would not only actually help strengthen Bria as a character but also allow the show to tackle several tough topics. Seeing how Rebels is a show that’s already touched on genocide and execution? These probably won’t be too much of a stretch.  Continue reading

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Review: Star Wars Rebels: Out of Darkness

rebels logoIt should come as no surprise that all of us at Tosche Station have been clamoring for more Hera and Sabine centric episodes. We’ve learned a lot about Kanan and Ezra, had an episode that featured Zeb prominently, and even Chopper seems to get more screen time than Sabine. This week it seems that Dave Filoni and company have heard our requests, because we have an episode all about Hera and Sabine! Even more, we learn more about Sabine’s backstory, and it made me like her character even more than I already did. Spoilers under the cut!

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Thrawn Trilogy Retrospective: Heir to the Empire Chapters 18-20

In our last installment, we left Luke drifting in hyperspace. Let’s see if he can find his way out of this mess–or, rather, if a Force-sensitive former assassin and current smuggler can get him out of his mess. Shall we? 

The Wild Karrde and Luke's X-wing

The Wild Karrde and Luke’s X-wing

Artoo wakes up Luke to inform him a ship is approaching–a mid-sized Corellian bulk freighter. The freighter hails him and the lady on the comm identifies the ship as the Wild Karrde, and asks if he needs assistance. Luke says yes, I surely do, can you tow my X-wing too? Karrde is very generous and offers to do so for a small fee. Luke is suspicious about how the ship happened to come upon him, but he decides to take a chance and just be alert. I mean, he doesn’t really have much of a choice. Once he gets on the ship he tries to sense the crew aboard, but finds the aft section dark. He passes it off as lingering effects of the hibernation. Bad move, Luke! Bad move.

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