Review: Bomber Command

It’s hardly surprising that Studio Fun, the same company that published Sabine’s Sketchbook, is also behind last month’s Bomber Command by Jason Fry with illustrations by Cyril Nouvel. This was the Paige Tico Appreciation Book that I’d hoped for since I first saw The Last Jedi as Fry and Nouvel take us through Paige’s journal in the weeks leading up to the Battle of D’Qar. Good news: they absolutely deliver.

In a way, Bomber Command serves as a companion book to Cobalt Squadron but I think it stands nicely on its own. From the very first page, this book had me and it made me love Paige even more than I did before. Immediately, it gets to the heart of who she is as a person: smart, capable as heck, and with her own dreams and fears. Many of these dreams and fears are tied to her younger sister Rose. Paige knows how much her sister looks up to her and how smart she is in her own right even if Rose doesn’t recognize it. It’s almost heartbreaking when you realize that even Paige seems to know that Rose won’t reach her full potential until she steps out of her shadow.

What really makes these Studio Fun journals stand out is the mix of writing styles, illustrations, and supplemental materials. The book offers a really neat view into a bomber with illustrations and pullout inserts of the schematics and instruction manuals that offer a “real” feel to this journal along with an even better sense for how these ships function. Bombers might be slow and lumbering but they’re crucial parts of the fleet that require multiple people to keep them operating smoothly. It’s far from an easy job and definitely not as glamorous as that of a starfighter pilot. Paige includes more than just bomber facts though. She also puts in things like one of Leia’s speeches to the Senate and First Order recruitment material, which help flesh out the galaxy even more. Two years after The Force Awakens, we still don’t really know everything about how the galaxy is and books like this helps us learn more. All of this helps make this journal (and others that Studio Fun has released) under appreciated Star Wars gems.

Above all though, this is a book that does right by Paige Tico. Bomber Command is the perfect book for both younger and older readers who want to know more about her. If you’re going to pick up one book about the Tico sisters, definitely make it this one.

Review: Cobalt Squadron

If you came out of The Last Jedi hoping to learn more about Paige or Rose Tico, Cobalt Squadron by Elizabeth Wein, is likely the book you’ll gravitate towards. While on a mission, Paige and Rose’s ship is boarded by a smaller one crewed by two people with a desperate mission. Their planet is ruled by and treated poorly by the First Order and they fear that their people might die if the New Republic doesn’t find a way to aide them. Knowing there’s little the Senate will do, General Organa tasks Cobalt Squadron with seeing while they can do… all while, elsewhere in the galaxy, Starkiller Base is rapidly approaching completion. Continue reading

Representation and Rose Tico

Representation matters.

I know. It’s something you’ve heard a lot and it’s something you’ve heard me say more than a few times about Star Wars. Yes, the franchise has been getting better about featuring more diversity over the years from the films to the comics to the books and more but it’s hardly reached parity. That’s why I’ve been lowkey losing my mind over Rose Tico since they first announced Kelly Marie Tran would be prominently featured in The Last Jedi. (And by losing my mind, I mean excitedly hugging my friend Lin in a freezing gas station parking lot because we were finally going to see ourselves in Star Wars on the big screen.)

That excitement only steadily grew as the months passed and Kelly Marie Tran herself certainly had plenty to do with that. Her own enthusiasm for the character was practically tangible in every interview she did about The Last Jedi and she definitely seemed to grasp what a big deal she was in terms of Asian representation. Her red carpet appearance for the premiere was the first time I’ve genuinely and unironically wanted to tell someone, “Sweetie, you’re doing amazing!”

Despite all of this, I didn’t expect to cry multiple times when I saw Rose Tico on screen in The Last Jedi. Continue reading