Tosche Station Radio #133: World Series of Star Wars with Jason Fry

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This week on Tosche Station Radio, we’re joined by author Jason Fry!

Kicking off the show the hosts highlight What’s New on the Blog. Bria reviewed Darth Vader #11Nanci reviewed the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels, Relics of the Old Republic. New staff writer Saf wrote Shattering a Fridged Empire, an insightful commentary on fridging female characters in the Star Wars universe. Nanci wrote about Luke Skywalker and the Secret Ninja Jedi Order, aka her answer to the question “where’s Luke?”

Fixer’s Flash covers the latest geek things Nanci and Brian have been up to, including prepping for NaNoWriMo and reading through Shattered Empire.

From there we discuss the latest news in Deak’s Dirt, which contains exactly zero news this week. In Biggs’ Bull$@!* Nanci and Brian gush about some great fan-made trailer mashups.

This week on Camie’s Concerns, we’re joined by Jason Fry to discuss has latest entries into the Star Wars universe and the latest Jupiter Pirates novel.

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!

Go/No-Go – Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire book series

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: the Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire book series by Jason C. Fry. This four-book tie-in to Star Wars Rebels is made up of Edge of the Galaxy, Rebel in the Ranks, Imperial Justice, and The Secret Academy, each of which Nanci has discussed individually. But now that the last book is out, how do we feel about the series as a whole? To mission control for the verdict! Continue reading

Review – Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire: The Secret Academy

I don’t want it to end. the secret academy

That’s the thought that kept running through my mind while finishing the last few chapters of The Secret Academy, Jason Fry’s awesome conclusion to the Servants of the Empire series. I’ve talked enough about how great the series is, and how Fry is absolutely incredible at portraying serious concepts like rebellion and totalitarianism for young readers without dumbing them down. After his stellar entries to the Journey to the Force Awakens line, I knew Fry wouldn’t disappoint with the finale to the series. But I still wasn’t happy to see Zare and Merei go.

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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!

Review: Moving Target

There’s very little I love more in this world than a well-written Leia Organa story and Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry have definitely delivered with their contribution to the Journey to the Force Awakens: Moving Targets. It’s a middle grade book which means the writing style is a bit more simplistic but that certainly doesn’t take away from the impact of the story nor from how much I enjoyed reading it.

Worrying reports have reached the Rebel Alliance of the construction of a second Death Star… something that absolutely no one wants to see in the hands of the Emperor. The Rebel Alliance must strike back but they’ll need time. Princess Leia volunteers to lead a decoy mission and serve as a distraction… a moving target if you will.

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Review: The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Nanci.

When Nanci was 11 years old, she saw Star Wars for the first time. And promptly fell in love with Luke Skywalker. She loved everything about him: his farm boy earnestness, his hot-shot piloting, his skills with a lightsaber. She loved that he was brash and courageous and kind and loyal and optimistic even in the face of certain death. She loved everything about him — yes, even the “Tosche Station” line.

(Yes, she did choose the name for this podcast and blog.)

People told her that one day, she’d grow up and stop loving Luke so much. That Luke was a character for kids to look up to, while Han is the character adults loved.

That never happened. Nanci stayed firmly on “Team Luke” despite all arguments to the contrary. (His relationship with Mara Jade helped solidify her lifelong devotion.)

But even so, things started going sour.

The Expanded Universe lost its luster. Luke stopped being the character Nanci believed him to be. Even amazing one-offs, like Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, weren’t enough to make Nanci happy.

She still loved Luke, even if he’d lost his way in the Expanded Universe.

Then the reboot happened.

(Spoilers for the book and some rumors about TFA under the cut.)

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Aftermath gets a Synopsis, YA Novels get Covers

AftermathThe Official Site dropped more information on Journey to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The big bombshell? We’ve finally got a synopsis for Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: 

As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance — now a fledgling New Republic — presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but is taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.

Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former Rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world — war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is—or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.

Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit — to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on the Norra and her newfound allies — her technical genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate.

Wedge is the damsel in distress saved by a new female protagonist? Well this sounds incredible! Just when I thought I couldn’t get more excited about this book.

Additionally, covers for the three new YA novels were shown off. We also learned that Jason Fry co-wrote the Leia novel in addition to the Luke book. Check out the link above for more information and to see those fantastic covers.

Go/No-Go – Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire: Imperial Justice

nasa-mission-control-3Servants of the Empire: Imperial Justice, out July 7, is the third installment in the young reader tie-in series to Star Wars Rebels. The first book, Edge the Galaxy, introduced us to Zare Leonis, his sister Dhara, and soon-to-be girlfriend Merei Spanjak in the year before Zare entered the Imperial Academy on Lothal. Rebel in the Ranks picked up the story with Zare as a new Imperial cadet and followed him as he tried to learn the truth about what happened to his sister. In Imperial Justice, Zare has to contend with antagonistic fellow cadet and superior officer Roddance, who want to prove he’s a traitor. Meanwhile, Merei is in trouble of her own, working for a criminal boss on Lothal as payment for him helping her snoop into the Imperial network in Rebel in the Ranks. Not to mention, her security genius mother is the one assigned to investigate the breach.

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Why The Rebellion Leaders Need to be in Rebels

Rebel_Leaders

Season 1 of Star Wars Rebels didn’t pull any punches when it came to raising the stakes. The season finale, “Fire Across the Galaxy,” changed the landscape of the show in several ways. It killed off the Inquisitor, setting the stage for Darth Vader as the new Big Bad of the series. It revealed Ahsoka Tano as Fulcrum, Hera’s contact in the nascent Rebellion, and established her as a recurring character. Most important, however, was the return of Bail Organa (in hologram form), in which he informed the crew of the Ghost that they were, indeed, their very own Rebel cell.  

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Rise of the Empire Short Story Authors Announced

mill__cvr_all_r1.inddAt Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, Del Rey announced a new bind-up of A New Dawn and Tarkin called Rise of the Empire, that will feature three new short stories bridging together the two novels and providing further insight into the power of the Galactic Empire.

Today Del Rey revealed the cover as well as the authors for the three short stories: first time Star Wars author Melissa Scott, John Jackson Miller, and Jason Fry!

Rise of the Empire will go on sale October 6.