Review: Star Wars #19

You know what book I would read? I would read a book about Leia, Sana, and Aphra running around the galaxy as a rad girl gang who kick butt and take names and take no crap from anyone. This story arc has been so much fun because of the interactions between the ladies and I have loved every minute of it. Yes, even those minutes when Han and Luke were literally herding nerfs.

If you thought like I did that the Star Wars Annual #1 was a throw away story… we were wrong. I’m sorry for doubting you, Marvel. We won’t go into specifics here but everything about it is very well handled. Speaking of which, Jason Aaron’s handle on Luke has been a highlight of the book especially in this issue. He actually feels and sounds like a 19 year old kid. He doesn’t feel quite as seasoned and worldly (galaxyly?) as the rest of the trio because, well, he shouldn’t.

This has really been Leia’s chance to shine. She got some fantastic moments in Vader Down but this arc has been 100% about her ability to take charge and kick butt in a crisis. More importantly, it does so without making her feel out of character. This just feels like another aspect of her in addition to her political side instead of being a completely different character as some writers have been prone to do.

Oh and hey. Let’s chat a little about how this issue essentially confirms that Sana is probably bisexual and Aphra is either bisexual or lesbian. I am 100% here for non-straight ladies of color so thank you very much for this, Jason Aaron and Marvel. I would also be 100% here for that backstory that Sana tells Leia not to ask about… wink wink. It’s really nice to see that the commitment to diversity is something that’s consistent across all Star Wars mediums and I’m glad we live in a world where we can no longer count all of the LGBT characters on our fingers.

We get another Kenobi issue next month and then it’s on to some very dangerous looking stormtroopers. As always, I can’t wait to see where the creative team goes with this! Truly we live in a golden age of Star Wars comics.

Review: Obi-Wan and Anakin #5

Perhaps more so than with any other book, it is a damn shame that Obi-Wan and Anakin comes to an end today and isn’t an ongoing because Charles Soule and Marco Checchetto have knocked it out of the park with every issue. Obi-Wan and Anakin #5 concludes a fantastic story that’s a must read for all Star Wars fans.

This review contains spoilers. Continue reading

Tosche Station Radio #147: Bloodline and Weave

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Tosche Station Radio is back from Hiatus! This week, Nanci’s busy reading and writing books, Brian’s playing tons of PC games, Celebration’s coming back to Orlando, and we dive in to Bloodline by Claudia Gray and how it weaves into the fabric of the Star Wars universe.

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 your support on Patreon!

Just a Legacy to Protect

general leia organaWarning: This column involves spoilers for Star Wars: Bloodline

While aptly named, Star Wars: Bloodline could have just as easily been titled Star Wars: Legacy because when it comes to both of those, Leia Organa has more than enough on her shoulders. One she embraces and one she tries to ignore. After all, if your father was Darth Vader, wouldn’t you try and forget that too? Unfortunately, nothing stays buried. As Leia and Ransolm team up to get to the bottom of the ever-deepening mystery of Rinnrivin’s cartel, Leia is forced to confront the legacies of her fathers whether she wants to or not. Continue reading

Review: Darth Vader #20

The Emperor will see you now… if you’re Darth Vader.  Everyone else must leave. Darth Vader #20 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca brings plot threads from the last 20 issues all together in a satisfying conclusion without putting a pretty little bow on everything. After all, Dr. Aphra’s still missing in action and Vader wants her found… one way or the other. I continue to be very concerned about her.

The highlight of this issue isn’t actually part of the main story but rather a short back up story by Kieron Gillen with art by Mike Norton titled “The Misadventures of Triple-Zero and BeeTee.” It is ridiculously fun and twisted in a way that only a story about the murderbots could be. Is there anything more gleeful than watching Triple Zero and BeeTee get to do what they do best? Dare I say it… I think I may have enjoyed it more than the main story and I never turn down a chance to listen to Palpatine monologue about how his manipulative plan has worked exactly as he intended.

Speaking of which, Palpatine’s ability to manipulate this apprentice is disturbing to say the least. At some points, he’s not even manipulating so much as blatantly using him. Palpatine wants to revel in ruling the galaxy and having absolute power and he can only be honest about the particulars with a select few. Playing these sorts of games with Vader are reminders to himself that he is in control. Or at least that’s what he thinks.

I’m curious to see where the book goes from here. At the very least, I suspect that Tagge’s going to be in some trouble. After all, that decidedly not trashy Super Star Destroyer ends up being Vader’s flagship and not his. Is anyone but Vader safe in this book? (No. The answer is no.)

Western Reaches #5

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Megan and Saf are joined by Nanci this week to discuss the latest Star Wars and gaming news, the books they’ve been reading, and roundtable discuss Bloodline by Claudia Gray! If you want to be completely unspoiled, come back to this episode after you read the book.

You can find Megan on Twitter with the handle @blogfullofwords and you can find Saf with @Wanderlustin. Be sure to subscribe to Western Reaches on iTunes and subscribe to the Tosche Station Radio Mega Feed for more great shows, discussion, and commentary.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and your support on Patreon!

Review: Poe Dameron #2

poe dameron cover 2Poe Dameron #2 is, without a doubt, more delightful than it has any right to be. If you thought that Charles Soule and Phil Noto did a good job with the first issue than oh baby, strap yourself in because this next one is going to be F U N.

In an interview, Soule mentioned that this first story is “straight-up weird, ‘70s sci-fi” and that vibe definitely comes through nice and strong in Issue #2. The stand out is Agent Terex who is so delightfully evil that he could be a Bond villain and I mean that in the most positive way possible. I couldn’t stop grinning the entire time I was reading the issue. Terex is one of those larger than life characters who just makes you want to punch him in the face and that’s if Phasma doesn’t do it first. I honestly think that I’ll be very disappointed if Terex dies in this arc because I could happily read stories about him for dozens of issues to come.

This is a comic about Poe Dameron though and he’s not forgotten. After all, the First Order is trying to find him. This is definitely Terex’s issue in the spotlight but Soule and Noto don’t neglect Black Squadron. They get their chance to contribute to the mission and even have to work with very unclear parameters. Bless L’ulo and his A-Wing and his glee for life. That’s another thing that makes this series so great: it’s fun because our pilots are having fun. Even in dire situations, their love for flying just leaps right off the page.

One of the best things about the state of Star Wars right now is how the comics and books are really starting to fill in the galactic gaps in the years before The Force Awakens. Between Bloodline yesterday and this issue today, we’re starting to get a much better picture of the canon galaxy.

Also. Those flametroopers with their jetpacks. THOSE JETPACKS. They are as delightful as Terrax.

Delightful is my word for this issue. Had you gotten the memo yet?

Review: Star Wars: Bloodline

SW_Bloodline_coverIt’s difficult and I mean reeeeeally difficult to impartially review a book that feels like it was written specifically for you. It’s hardly a secret that I’m the token politics nerd and Alderaan die hard around here. There are only two things that this book could have possibly done to make me love it even more. The first would have been bringing Winter back into canon and the other gets us into spoiler territory. (The third would be bringing Padmé Amidala back from the dead but that seems highly unlikely in any scenario. This is Star Wars, not comics.) All this is to say that Bloodline by Claudia Gray felt tailor made for me and the two and a half hours I spent reading it were one hell of an emotional roller coaster.

Set in the years before The Force Awakens, Bloodline tells the story of Leia before the galaxy comes crashing down around her a second time. The New Republic is well established at this point and two distinct political parties have formed in the Senate. Senator Leia Organa, however, is kind of over all of it. The time is starting to feel right for her to retire and go spend more time with her family but first… one last mission shouldn’t cause too much trouble, right?  Continue reading

Go/No-Go: Bloodline

nasa-mission-control-3Welcome 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: Bloodline by Claudia Gray. It’s not only our first look at the years before The Force Awakens but also the political Leia book we’ve been clamoring for for years. But how did it go over with us? To mission control for the verdict!

Bria: Bloodline is the book that I’ve wanted desperately for years. As the resident political nerd and lover of all things Alderaan/Organa/Leia, this book sounded like it was going to be right in my wheel house. Spoiler Alert: It was. This is a book that literally begins with the New Republic having a dedication ceremony for a statue of Bail Organa and it only keeps getting better. Bloodline is the emotional love child of Razor’s Edge, The Force Awakens, and Kenobi and if you don’t think that’s a good thing, I don’t know what to tell you. Claudia Gray writes a pitch perfect Leia who feels like the logical progression of a character we last “saw” 20+ years ago. This Leia has decades of politics and rebelling under her belt but neither is she quite yet the Resistance General Organa that we saw in Episode VII. Everything is just perfect. Gray does an incredible job with fleshing out the galaxy in the years before The Force Awakens and answers some of our questions without making it feel like a checklist. The supporting cast is also fantastically written and I promise that you’ll never look at Korr Sella in those few moments on Hosnian Prime the same way again. However, the two standouts are most definitely Greer Sonnel and Ransolm Casterfo. Greer’s a former racing pilot turned Leia’s Chief of Staff and Ransolm is a Senator from the opposite party who also likes to collect Imperial artifacts. Both could have easily been archetypes but Gray does oh so much more with them that I can’t really go into without spoilers. And then there’s the Organa stuff. THE ORGANA STUFF. Bloodline gets one of the strongest GO recommendations from me in a very long time and I will definitely #VoteLeia for First Senator.

Nanci: Two days after finishing this book and I can’t stop thinking about it, which you know is the mark of a good book. There’s a few things I disliked — mainly the glossing over of certain scenes I really wanted to read — but mostly Bloodline left me wanting more in a really good way. For those of you worried that a political book would be boring, you have nothing to fear. Yes, it’s political, but it’s also fast-paced, easy to understand, and does a great job setting the stage for The Force Awakens. And then there’s the characters. Oh, the characters. There’s been so much good Leia stuff lately (Moving Target, Princess Leia), and Bloodline is definitely the pinnacle of that. Leia is the star of this book and unlike a lot of Legends content we’re not focusing on her marriage or her family. We’re focusing on her job as senator and how her family history plays into that. However, the character who surprised me the most in this book is without a doubt Ransolm Casterfo. I was shocked at how much I liked him. At times, his story moved me to tears. In general, this novel both had me turning pages but also dreading what would happen next. While I loved Aftermath (Sinjir is still my favorite character of the new canon), Bloodline gets the crown of best novel in the new canon so far. Definitely GO buy it.

Flight Director’s Ruling: Bloodline is a GO for launch!

Tosche Station Radio: The Force Awakens Live Commentary

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Our seventh installment in Tosche Station Radio’s live commentary track series brings us to The Force Awakens. We’re fortunate to be joined by Heather from Marvel and Tom from Del Rey.

Instructions!

  • We will be using the Blu Ray discs for these recordings. The DVD and digital release will also work
  • Each recording will start at the 00:00:00 mark (the black screen before the Lucasfilm logo appears)
  • We will give a “3, 2, 1, play” count. When we say play, that’s your cue to start the film

Sit back and enjoy!

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 your support on Patreon!

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