Go/No-Go: Rise of the Empire

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: Star Wars: Rise of the Empire.  It’s a unique book we’re looking at today as its a compilation of A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller, Tarkin by James Luceno, and three brand new short stories by Miller, Melissa Scott, and Jason Fry to link them all together.  We’ve reviewed both books in the past but is this compilation worth your money? To mission control for the verdict!

Bria: First things first, this book is huge.  It’s about the size of Game of Thrones for reference but it’s absolutely worth every page.  One of the complaints I’ve seen about the new canon is that nothing really links together.  The three short stories in this book should remove that complaint as one could easily sit down and read Lords of the Sith, the entirety of Rise of the Empire, and then Aftermath and it would flow awesomely.  Can we discuss how rad it is that Rae Sloane has become the cohesive glue that ties together to many of these stories in addition to being a kickass character?  Reading about her at the Battle of Endor was just spectacular.  Melissa Scott does a great job of writing a younger Hera who’s not quite the confident rebel we know from A New Dawn and Rebels but definitely shows her leadership potential and doesn’t forget about her amazing pilot skills.  I even found John Jackson Miller’s story about Tarkin and Vidian to be delightful in its own way.  It’s like watching a chess match between two very confident chess masters from different schools of strategy.  The book is absolutely a must buy if you haven’t picked up one of the two novels yet but is it worth it if you already have? I say yes. Not only its it a nicely put together compilation but the three short stories are just so fun. It’s a strong GO from me.

Nanci: Disclaimer: I have not read Tarkin, nor do I have any plans of doing so soon. (There are way too many other books I haven’t read yet before I play catch up.) A New Dawn is excellent, though, enough to warrant picking up this bind-up if you don’t already have a copy. The short stories, though, are what make this book worth the price of admission. “Mercy Mission” by Melissa Scott ties more into Lords of the Sith (another book I haven’t read, oops), than either of the novels in this bind-up, but it features a young Hera learning the importance of working for the good of the galaxy. You can definitely see how she becomes the young revolutionary we see in A New Dawn and the awesome pilot we see in Rebels. “Bottleneck,” by John Jackson Miller, features characters from both novels forced to work together against their will. Miller does a great job with both Tarkin and Vidian; I found I liked the latter character a lot more in this story than I did in A New Dawn. (Also, the cameo from another A New Dawn character made me very happy.) Last but not least, “The Levers of Power” by Jason Fry makes this book an insta-buy. Rae Sloane at the Battle of Endor is everything you ever expected: bad-ass, in charge, and taking no shit from anybody. Definitely GO and get it, now.

Brian: Right from the start, let me say that if you don’t have either A New Dawn or Tarkin in your library, you should pick up this compilation. That said, I imagine most folks who are reading this review are far more interested in the all-new short stories that are appearing in the book. Mercy Mission is a solid look into a much younger Hera. While there were points where it felt like an incomplete short story that was taken from a larger work, it was still an engaging read. Bottleneck, however, was classic John Jackson Miller. It’s really the Tarkin and Vidian buddy cop story you never knew you needed in your life. The real winner though, and the reason this book is worth every penny, is Levers of Power. I’ve made no secret that I think that Jason Fry is one of the best talents creating Star Wars literature these days. Now, combine that with one of the greatest characters to appear in the new literature canon in Rae Sloane. This is an incredible short story, and it’s one you’re definitely going to want to read. The book would get a go from me just for that, but when everything else is factored in it’s a huge GO.

Flight Director’s Verdict: Rise of the Empire is GO for launch!

Tosche Station Radio #95: A New Dawn with John Jackson Miller

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On this all-new Tosche Station Radio, author John Jackson Miller joins us to discuss A New Dawn!

Kicking off the show, the hosts highlight what’s New on the Blog. Welcome Ryorin, our new staff writer. She’ll be handling news and occasional columns. She wrote about some possible directions for diversity in the Sequel Trilogy. We hope to have her on the podcast sometime soon! Bria wrote about what Sabine Wren means for Star Wars. There’s loose ends in the old Expanded Universe, so we’re Lighting the Legends Fanfiction Signal. Nanci started her Thrawn Trilogy retrospective. Bria pleaded for everyone to stop being mean to Del Rey. We roundtable reviewed of Spark of Rebellion. Bria also reviewed Droids in Distress. Nanci wrote about why Wedge Antilles needs to be in Rebels.

In Fixer’s Flash, Nanci’s been keeping busy re-reading Heir to the Empire and is about to crack open Tarkin.

Deak’s Dirt starts with Random House releasing a 50 page excerpt of Tarkin. They also revealed the full blurb for Heir to the Jedi. The Ventress/Vos novel gets a title, Dark Disciple. It’ll be released in July 2015. Clone Wars story reels- Crystal Crisis on Utapau, online now. The Lost Missions DVD/Blu Ray will be released on November 11. Rebels gets an order for a second season. Also lots of new clips, including one featuring Hera and Sabine. ABC will air Spark of Rebellion on October 26, featuring a new Vader scene. The Star Wars: Battle Pod arcade game was unveiled at NYCC. Not a lot of other news out of NYCC, but a big comic announcement: Kanan by Greg Weisman

This week on Camie’s Concerns, author John Jackson Miller comes on to discuss A New Dawn. There are major spoilers in this discussion, so if you have not read the book yet, come back to this episode later! You can find John Jackson Miller at Faraway Press and on Twitter at @jjmfaraway.

Wrapping up the show, the hosts discuss news that Warwick Davis will be appearing in Episode VII.

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!

JJM Answers Fan Questions on Suvudu

new dawnDel Rey hosted another author Q&A over the past week with John Jackson Miller, author of A New Dawn.  Thankfully, they changed up the format from a free-for-all in the comment section to a ‘submit your questions and we’ll have JJM answer them all at once’ deal.  One of the responses in particular caught my attention:

Is Hera Force-sensitive or just really good at what she does?

John Jackson Miller: That’s really more of a question for the TV producers. From my point of view, I think Hera certainly is very good at what she does, and while there’s a tendency to ascribe all exceptional talent to the Force, I’m not sure links are always necessary. As readers of my earlier works may know, I enjoy like writing non-Jedi characters that excel on their own.

And we all love reading those characters, John, we all love reading them.

You can read all of the questions and answers here on Suvudu.

Tosche Station Radio #93: Good Guy Kanan

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The hosts and Bria review A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller in this all new Tosche Station Radio

Fixer’s Flash starts with Nanci reading a whole bunch of books, both the hosts going to a Disney-themed Halloween party, and finishes with Bria working on more cosplay.

In Deak’s Dirt, Artoo and Threepio are set to appear in Rebels. Speaking of Rebels, don’t forget the first episode premieres on Disney Channel on October 3, BUT you can watch it on September 29 with a cable subscription. Disney CFO says Disney will follow the Marvel lead Clone Wars news is being teased this week. What could it be?

Bigg’s Bull#*$& kicks off with the MILLENNIUM FALCON. Meanwhile at Greenham Common: set pictures. EW has a nice interview with Anthony Daniels

This week on Camie’s Concerns, Bria joins us to review and get into a spoiler-filled discussion of A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller. If you haven’t read the book yet and are looking to avoid spoilers, you may want to skip this.

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!

Review: A New Dawn

new dawnIt’s a new day for Star Wars as A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller is released today.  Fans won’t have to wait a month to meet Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla.  But just how good is Miller’s latest foray into the Star Wars universe?  We’re off on an adventure to a remote planet to find out!

Gorse.  Not the best planet in the galaxy to visit but it’s home or at least a place where Kanan Jarrus has a job.  He’s just happy to avoid the Empire’s attention, fly his cargo, and have a couple of drinks at the end of the day.  But there are two newcomers to Gorse will change this: Count Vidian of the Empire and Hera Syndulla, a revolutionary with her own agenda.  Vidian’s plans have the potential to bring more terror and death to the far reaches of the galaxy.  How long can a former Jedi sit back before he must act?

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Go/No-Go: A New Dawn

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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: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller. How does the first book of the new overarching canon and the tie-in to the forthcoming Rebels series hold up?  To mission control for the verdict!

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Tosche Station Radio #90: A Significant Presence

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It’s news from San Diego Comic Con and around the web on this episode of Tosche Station Radio!

Kicking off the show, the hosts highlights What’s New on the Blog. Bria reviewed Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir #3, Star Wars Legacy #17, Rebel Heist #4. She also penned a column discussing her hopes for the new Leia comic. Stay tuned, we have an ongoing column discussing geeky travel tips and trivia in the Orlando area.

In Fixer’s Flash, the Friends marathon continues. There was also a whole bunch of movie action as the hosts saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the LEGO Movie, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Strap in, Deak’s Dirt is going to be a long one this week. Jason Isaacs IS the Inquisitor.No release date, but we did get twonew Rebels trailers.Hera and Sabine action figures on display at SDCC. Finally, the first seven minutes aired on Disney XD Monday night and is now available for your consumption online. In Expanded Universe news, At SDCC an Untitled Ventress/Vos novel by Christie Golden was announced.Previous announced books were also discussed. Del Rey has released a preview of the first 7 chapters of A New Dawn. Marvel announced three new Star Wars titles. John Jackson Miller wins the Scribe Award for Kenobi. Much deserved. Congrats! The Clone Wars soundtrack is coming says Kevin Kiner. Disney is planning a “significant presence” for Star Wars in the parks.

In Biggs’ Bull$#!&, JJ Abrams posts another video and there’s an X-WING!!! Badass Digest gave us the horrible “falling hand” rumor.Episode VII is currently filming in Skellig Michael and Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley are on set! Harrison Ford is walking without his cane. Hallelujah!

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!

Del Rey releases first seven chapters of A New Dawn

new dawnThere’s no winning if you’re Del Rey’s Star Wars team right now. The inevitable changing of the Expanded Universe to its current Legends status was bound to upset folks, and their Facebook page has been flooded with angry comments ever since. It’s worth pointing out and reiterating that this change was outside of their control. More importantly, it was something that needed to happen with new films on the horizon.

Keep that in mind when you see Del Rey’s peace offering: the first seven chapters of A New Dawn. They’re proud of the new direction Star Wars literature is going and the least you can do is give it a chance.