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Star Wars - the new canon


Darren
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If you're not reading the comics straight away you should just wait for the TPBs - they only come out a couple of months after the last issue in the collection, and it's a lot cheaper. Plus no adverts!

 

After Poe I've just started Aphra's comic. I've only read half the first issue but it's very good so far. Typical sharp Gillen script with great art from Kev "ABC Warriors" Walker, so it's a Brit Star Wars comic. She's already told one of her droids to fetch her an ice pop! I think I'm going to like this one.

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16! How is that even possible?

 

On 26/07/2017 at 19:48, Darren said:

After Poe I've just started Aphra's comic. I've only read half the first issue but it's very good so far. Typical sharp Gillen script with great art from Kev "ABC Warriors" Walker, so it's a Brit Star Wars comic. She's already told one of her droids to fetch her an ice pop! I think I'm going to like this one.

 

Oh my. Doctor Aphra is brilliant. Watch out Poe, your top spot on the comics pile might be under threat.

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Having read this the other night, the more I think about it, the more I like it. I was never entirely sure about Doctor Aphra in the Darth Vader comics - I could see the value of having another more expressive character around Vader, and making her morally flexible was a good idea, but the wisecracking just didn't seem to fit Vader's tone, especially from "psycho Threepio" - and even less so once she was stuck with the rebels after Vader Down, who already have a perfectly serviceable lippy scoundrel of their own. Even the cover above screams out "Look! It's a female Han Solo! She hangs about with a Wookiee and droids and ties her holster to her leg and everything!" But now she's struck out on her own, and magically, wonderfully, suddenly it all works.

 

Untethered from the main cast, Aphra is free to be herself in the Star Wars universe, and this book has immense fun with that idea. She's constantly scheming, double-crossing and planning the next scam while firefighting the consequences of the last, and possibly the one before that too. The killer droids come into their own as the supporting characters in a story that fits them, and are used sparingly but extremely effectively. Triple Zero gets some properly funny lines but so does Aphra herself. The tone of the whole thing is light and playful while still fitting with the rest of Star Wars and even adding to the lore. Speaking of which, the decision to make Aphra an archaeologist, which previously seemed to be all about saying, "She's not just like Han Solo! She's also like the completely different character Indiana Jones!" makes total sense now. She's exploring the past of her galaxy by excavating its ancient artefacts, but that doesn't give her a definitive insight into what that past was actually like. Instead we get an interpretation of possible pasts, possible lore, and in one particularly brilliant passage we get two opposite interpretations of the same evidence from two arguing characters, cleverly echoing the same panels and layout over several pages. It's not just great storytelling, it's great use of "sequential art" in a way I don't think any of the other Marvel Star Wars titles have tried so far.

 

So it's fun, it's clever, it's playful with its own structure (fittingly for a story about an archaeologist, there are lots of flashbacks into both recent and ancient history, and there are a few other tricks played that I'd love to mention but don't want to spoil), and best of all for me, it turns around a character I was never really a fan of and elevates her to among the very best in all of Star Wars.

 

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Marvel are on a roll right now! I didn't think I was going to get three great books on the bounce, but here we are. This follows on from the previous volume, which was very entertaining and ended on quite a cliffhanger, but surprisingly it hardly moves the main plot on at all. Instead it veers off in another direction entirely, with another story left in Ben's journals for Luke, but this time rather than being about Kenobi himself it's a second-hand account of something that happened to Yoda - who he's very careful not to name, obviously not wanting to reveal too much ahead of The Empire Strikes Back!

 

So we get a tale in which the wise old Jedi master learns that he's never too old to learn, and which intertwines down the years with  Ben in hiding and finally with Luke in the "present." It's all done very well, and shows Yoda at his most powerful, but thankfully without any of the silly backflips and showboating. Plus we get to see a fairly cocky post-Death Star Luke vaguely knowing he wants to be a Jedi without really knowing what that actually means. And as an added bonus this collection also includes the excellent one-off story from last year's Star Wars Annual 2, which is simultaneously a bit of knockabout fun and a chance to explore some of Leia's feelings in the wake of what happened to Alderaan. All in all this is probably the best volume of the main Star Wars comic since the first, which as we all know was very good indeed.

 

I used to say that Marvel were consistently inconsistent with Star Wars, but right now everything they're putting out is absolute gold. They can't possibly keep this up. Can they?

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On 24/07/2017 at 21:02, Darren said:

I am looking forward to my next read: Rebel Rising, which is about Jyn's time with Saw Gerrera, and so kind of the next story after this one. I just hope it's a bit more of a page turner.

 

No worries, me of just over a week ago! I've rattled through this in four days, so I feel confident in saying it is indeed much more of a page turner than its predecessor.

 

This is the story of what happened to Jyn while the Rogue One title splash was on screen in the film - a few seconds for us, about 15 years for her. It starts as she is rescued from her hiding place by Saw Gerrera, and ends as she is busted out of Imperial custody by Rebel forces. In between she goes through a lot, that transforms her from an innocent child into a hard and cynical woman. This is masterfully handled: her attitude changes imperceptibly but inexorably, until you reach a moment about 50 pages from the end where you realise she's become the damaged, bluntly sarcastic character you know from the film. The journey is traumatic for her, gripping for us, and makes for probably the bleakest book so far in the new canon. But don't let that put you off! This is a great Star Wars novel, it fits perfectly with Rogue One and really fleshes out Jyn's character and her relationship with the universe in general and Saw in particular.

 

(It also fits perfectly with Catalyst but don't worry if you haven't read that, you absolutely don't need to. This works as a stand-alone novel and is miles better.)

 

With this book, I think Jyn Erso might be the first Star Wars character whose entire life has been "documented": born in Catalyst, grew up in Rebel Rising,

 

died

 

in Rogue One. You can never be too careful with the spoilers! ;) 

 

Next up: Guardians of the Whills, about Chirrut and Baze. I might even finish all the Rogue One tie ins before the next film comes out.

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Apologies for spamming this thread but it seems Kieron Gillen, who must have been a member here or on Edge at some point so we can kind of claim him as one of our own, is taking over writing duties for the main Star Wars comic.

 

KIERON GILLEN AND SALVADOR LAROCCA UNLEASH A NEW STORY IN STAR WARS

 

That's an excellent interview about the themes he's going to be covering in the forthcoming stories. If it's anything near as good as his recent work on Doctor Aphra we're in for a treat.

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Lost Stars

 

Lots of hype over this one, after @Darren's gushing praise earlier in this thread!  Fortunately, it seems that I'm in full agreement with pretty much all his reviews thus far - never more so than with Lost Stars.  Because it's comfortably the best Star Wars book I've read.

 

A very quick spoiler-free plot summary - Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree grew up together on the mountainous planet of Jelucan, even though they came from wildly different families on the social scale of that Outer Rim world.  As they grow up together, they discover a mutual love of flying ships, and work even better as a team.  Both of them enroll in the Imperial Academy with the dream of becoming pilots for the Empire.  Both are accepted, both are gifted students and talented pilots and realise how much they care for each other, but eventually, their destinies lead them onto different sides of the Galactic War. 

 

Why does it work so well?  Claudia Gray is brilliant at weaving her plot around key events in the Star Wars Universe.  Basically, the important moments of episodes IV, V and VI.  She does this SO much better than James Luceno - who is very good, but one of the weaker aspects of Darth Plagueis is the forced way it seems almost shoehorned around The Phantom Menace towards the end.

 

But Gray doesn't just manage to make the plot fit snugly around these key events, but even manages to offer an alternative perspective of them, either from another ship in a battle, or on the receiving end of attacks.  Moral consequences are brilliantly explored from BOTH sides - this is far from a Rebels = Good, Empire = Evil scenario.  The sides don't even matter that much as this is a story about the two protagonists whose lives are intertwined around these key battles from the original trilogy.  It doesn't matter who won the battle of Yavin IV or Hoth - the most important thing in Lost Stars is how these battles shape Thane and Ciena, battling on opposing sides but unable to escape their destinies. 

 

It sounds a bit cheesy - it's a romance novel set in the Star Wars Universe FFS - but it works brilliantly.  There are no lulls in the action, supporting characters are also interesting and add that little bit more to Thane and Ciena's characters and moral choices.

 

Lost Stars tells a great story and uses iconic locations and events to help shape that story.  It's a bit like those bits in Back to the Future 2 - an alternative version of events set at the same time as a story we're already very familiar with, viewing it all from a different angle and perspective.  But even new worlds, characters etc fit seamlessly into the story.

 

It really is an excellent book, and I couldn't recommend it enough.  

 

9.5/10

 

 

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Phew! What a relief - so glad you liked it!

 

Have you read Bloodlines yet? I'm not sure whether it's better than Lost Stars but it's on the same level. Claudia Gray is THE Star Wars author that all the others have to try to match.

 

Actually your BTTF2 comparison has got me thinking - I could actually see them turning Lost Stars into one of the spin-off films. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I want it. It would work perfectly.

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I've got Bloodlines but haven't read it yet.  It's next on my list once I return to Star Wars - I'm going to start my book about the Hacienda by Peter Hook next!  


It'd make a FANTASTIC spin-off.  I read a bit about the main characters on Wiki and apparently, Claudia Gray had Gugu Mbatha-Raw in mind when she was writing Ciena.  She played Tish Jones (Martha's sister) in Doctor Who.  She's absolutely perfect!

 

Spoiler


 

Gugu-Mbatha-Raw:-Beauty-and-the-Beast-Pr

 

 

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At last I've finished all the Rogue One-related stories! (Until the Cassian & K2SO comic comes out, of course.) This is the shortest and in some ways the sweetest of the lot. It's a very easy read aimed at kids really, but not written in an overly simplistic way, and as with similar Star Wars books targeted at a younger audience I've found it to be a very satisfying little tale.

 

Just as Rebel Rising was a kind of sequel to Catalyst, this is a kind of sequel to Rebel Rising, but only in the very loosest sense, in that it includes Saw Gerrera after his last appearance in Rebel Rising but before the events of Rogue One. He's a significant player in the story, but the stars of this particular show are Baze and Chirrut, the titular Guardians. This book helps us to understand who they are, what their role on Jedha was before the Empire showed up, and why they still hang around begging in the streets despite being fully armed and dangerous dudes who could easily bugger off somewhere less hovel-y. Their relationship is the heart of the story, and is beautifully conveyed through their dealings with each other and the people they meet, mostly help and occasionally dispatch with extreme prejudice. But Saw is in the background shaking things up, and this book is worth reading if only for a single chapter part way through, a conversation between him and Baze, which gets right to the heart of who he has become by the time of Rogue One - paranoid, extremist, totally willing to sacrifice innocents if it will help recruit more soldiers to his cause.

 

It's a great sign-off to Rogue One's own "prequel trilogy" which has made me want to watch the film all over again, to see all these characters now I understand them a little better.

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And so I watched Rogue One again tonight, and blimey those books make it so much better! I liked it already but now everything just fits together perfectly. The conversations between Galen and Krennic, between Jyn and Saw have so much more meaning when you know the backstory. Jyn angrily tells Saw that last time she saw him he left her in a bunker with a knife and a blaster, then never came back. I read that exact scene in Rebel Rising the other day, and didn't even remember at the time that it was referenced in the film. (Unlike the original trilogy I can't yet recite the entire Rogue One script from memory.) The Story Group are doing an absolutely brilliant job of weaving all these different threads into one gigantic pattern.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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(Sorry if that picture's huge, I'm on my phone and can't work out how to tell...)

 

Just a quick word on this one that I finished off this afternoon on the beach in Portreath (get me!)

 

I continue to be impressed by the new "young adult" novels, which are all short and uncomplicated but always great little adventures and thankfully not written in childish language. This is no exception, telling the story of what happened to Han and Chewie immediately after the Yavin IV medal ceremony. You won't be surprised to learn they get into a spot of bother with both the Empire and a bunch of bounty hunters chasing them for different reasons. It all clips along at a great pace and even ties in (tangentially) to The Force Awakens.

 

If you ever want a short fun read I recommend any of this series which have all been great so far. (Although I still haven't read Luke's story Weapon of a Jedi which might be the exception.)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

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Bloodline

 

It's taken me a while to get through this for various reasons, but this is pretty good.  The same author who penned the fantastic Lost Stars gets a shot at piecing together the period between ROTJ and TFA.

 

I remember reading Darren's review of this, and although I think he's spot on with a lot of it, I didn't seem to enjoy it as much.  I think it's way behind Lost Stars in terms of consistency and quality.  It just takes too long to get going to ever hit those heights.  That's not to say it's bad because it's certainly not - it's a good read - but I was wondering where the story was heading too frequently in the opening half of the book.

 

The good?  As Darren mentioned, Leia's portrayal seems bang on the money.  Claudia Gray gets her perfectly, and as I was reading, it wasn't a challenge to imagine Leia saying what she does, acting in the right way etc.  She's even managed to accurately portray a believable post-Jedi pre-TFA character.  The supporting characters are mainly very good as well, especially Senator Ransolm Casterfo who features heavily throughout.  When the action kicks in, it's great.

 

The bad? This is probably due to personal taste but I found it a bit too heavy on the political angle too often, with not enough action to compliment it.  It just wore thin after a while and although the ending is satisfactory, I'm not sure it warranted the action-lite first half of the story.

 

I think my main issue with Bloodline is that it isn't Lost Stars which I appreciate isn't 100% fair - this is a good read and I do absolutely recommend it, it's just slightly off balance with regards to the political/action content for me.

 

7/10

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I've nearly finished Empire's End at last, so I won't comment yet, other than to say it's taken me ages because yet again in this series the first half really drags, then about halfway through it suddenly picks up and becomes a proper page-turner. I could forgive that in the first book because it was setting up a lot of new characters, but in the final part of a trilogy it's not great.

 

Still, I'm in the thick of the good bit now and thoroughly enjoying it.

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This is an odd one. After Life Debt fixed most of the problems that plagued the original Aftermath, Empire's End is a bit of a disappointment. Mainly because, as I said yesterday, it takes ages to get going. For the third part of a trilogy, especially following such a good second part, it's a real disappointment to spend the first half of the book plodding along to manoeuvre everyone into their places for the grand finale. But once that's out of the way, the finale is pretty grand. Best of all, for lore nerds like me at least, is that we finally get some proper foundations for the First Order and an understanding of its relationship to the former Empire. It doesn't give everything away, though, despite the last few pages leading towards a further huge revelation but ending before it's reached. I found that frustrating when I reached the final page last night, but having slept on it I can understand why. More on this in the spoiler below.

 

Overall this is better than Aftermath but not as good as Life Debt, but that's irrelevant really because there's absolutely no point reading this as a stand alone novel. You've got to read the whole trilogy or not bother with any of it, and as such I'd struggle to wholeheartedly recommend these three novels. There is a decent story in there, and some good new characters, but it's quite a slog to get to them. Not terrible by any stretch, but not great either, which is a disappointing conclusion to reach about the tentpole books of the new canon. Ho hum.

 

Anyway, now onto the interesting bit. Speculation about the stuff that's hinted at but left dangling by Empire's End.

 

Warning: contains huge Empire's End spoilers!

 

 


So, here's what we know about the Empire and First Order at the end of the book. Palpatine saw the Empire as his and his alone. Its primary function was to protect him, and his contingency plan for what should happen if it ever failed to do so was basically a self destruct button. Palpatine's view was that an Empire that failed to prevent its Emperor's death deserved to die, and Rax's job, as the Contingency, was to gather that Empire's remnants at Jakku and destroy them. His plan to wipe them out by destroying the whole planet was foiled, but the New Republic finished them off anyway. So we finally have an explanation for why the final great battle against the Empire happened at the desolate, out in the middle of nowhere planet Jakku, and why Jakku is littered with ships and walkers in The Force Awakens.

 

However, Palpatine's plan also included sowing the seeds for a successor Empire. The plan was to send a select few, trusted, chosen Imperials out into Unknown Space, far beyond the charted limits of the known galaxy, to restart, rebuild, and eventually return. We know Rax was supposed to go with them on the Imperialis, as presumably was Yupe Tashu, although of course neither of them made it. We know that after the Imperialis set off, with Sloane, Huxes Sr and Jr, and the Feral Kid Gang on board, it sent coordinates to a few of the Star Destroyers above Jakku, which followed it on its journey into the unknown. So that gives us the foundation of the First Order's military. But we also know that another ship, the Super Star Destroyer the Eclipse, had already gone ahead of the Imperialis, and it is this ship that Sloane and co are approaching as the book ends. But the big mystery is: who and/or what is on that ship?

 

The clues: neither Sloane nor Hux know, but Yupe Tashu did. So it was not something Rax was prepared to divulge to his closest "allies", if he even knew himself, but it was known by the Force-fanatic former advisor to the Emperor. So I think this is the key part of Palpatine's contingency plan, outside Rax's remit, concerned not with the rebuilding of the Empire, but with the preservation of the Sith.

 

The possibilities:

 

1. we already know that despite prequel-Yoda's belief that "always two there are," the Sith just don't play by the rules. There might only be one formal Master and one formal Apprentice, but that doesn't stop them training up and using as many Dark Side Force users as they can get their lightning-shooting hands on, as proved by Dooku training Ventress with Palpatine's blessing. So it's possible that Palpatine had another secret Sith squirrelled away, who is now on board the Eclipse, waiting to take command of the new Empire as its Supreme Leader.

 

2. it contains the most powerful and important of Palpatine's Sith relics, sent into the unknown in the knowledge that they would "call out" to any force-sensitive beings out there, the most powerful of whom would find their way to them, and so restart the Sith order. Any being powerful enough to do such a thing would have no trouble imposing themselves on the fractured remnants of the old Empire and become the new Empire's Supreme Leader.

 

3. (I really hope it's not this, but it's not impossible!) it contains the "spirit" of Palpatine, somehow preserved when his body was destroyed, waiting for or already in a new host body, weakened but returning to full strength and preparing to once again reign again over his Empire as its Supreme Leader.

 

Or: it could be something else entirely. But I'm convinced it has something to do with Snoke! And that's why I can understand why this book had to end before that revelation, because Snoke is a mystery that can only be explained in the films, if at all.
 

 

 

But I love the mystery and the speculation, and if only for that I can forgive the Aftermath trilogy all its awkward present-tense prose and ridiculous Star Wars similes. Get me thinking about Star Wars like this and I'm as happy as a hungry Ewok at a human hog-roast.

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I've been thinking about this a bit more (told you it made me happy) and of the three possibilities in my spoiler above, I think the second is likely to be closest to the mark.

 

Snoke being somebody already in Unknown Space (we know it's populated because it's where Thrawn came from, according to Empire's End) who is naturally powerful with the Force and inclined towards the dark side, who stumbles across the nascent First Order (or, possibly, is drawn towards the Sith artefacts they carry) and takes control, is more satisfying than him being an acolyte or - shudder - a clone or host body of the original Emperor. It gets away from small universe syndrome (which the new canon has avoided extremely well so far) and opens everything up. You can imagine a possible Snoke/Luke confrontation in which Snoke taunts Luke, "did you think the Sith were the only wielders of the Dark Side in the galaxy? That your father and his master were the last of their kind?" or something along those lines. It gives us the possibility of Snoke being more powerful than the Emperor, not simply another (or a version of the same) Sith Lord but a being tapping into the same ancient, primal forces as the Sith but without any of their dogma. And this would tie in with what we've been led to believe about Luke in the Last Jedi, wanting the Jedi to end. It would actually make the three film trilogies work as a progression of sorts: the prequels are the Sith defeating the Jedi as an organised religion, the originals are the last Jedi defeating the Sith, the gap after the originals sees Luke's doomed attempt to restart the Jedi, and the new films are a bigger, more primal battle between the Light and the Dark unburdened by the failed belief systems both the Jedi and the Sith built around them.



 

All of that leaves open the possibility for the current trilogy to "rhyme" (thanks George) with the prequels, and end with the dark side victorious - which apart from anything else would surprise a lot of people - and lay the foundations for a fourth trilogy in which the (primal, non-Jedi) light side fights back. And we all know Disney aren't allergic to money, and I can't imagine they aren't already pencilling in dates for a fourth trilogy regardless of how the story gets us there.

 

Having said all that, I still have a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that it won't be any of that, and Snoke will turn out to be another incarnation of Palpatine. It all depends on how much credence is placed on the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise. Was Palpatine lying to manipulate Anakin, or had he really discovered from his former master the secret to immortality? I don't like that possibility as much as the idea that Palpatine was a mere user of the much larger Force, extremely powerful but still mortal, and that there were others beyond the reach of his knowledge that were just as powerful and also servants of the same fundamental universal Force.

 

For a book that I didn't enjoy all that much, the ending has definitely got my nerd-brain activated. :D

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Oooh I like the spoilery speculation bits - I've not been able to share it with anyone else until now because they haven't read Aftermath!!  I totally agree on a lot of your review as well - it's absolutely imperative to read Aftermath as a trilogy rather than pick out any of the installments (Life Debt is definitely the best but again, pointless reading it without finishing the first Aftermath which introduces the characters). 

 

A few spoilery thoughts of my own based on yours - and my own deductions after reading this trilogy as well as Bloodlines:

 

Spoiler

They're clearly got to be VERY careful what they can/can't reveal.  Awesome little touches such as the origins of Snap Wexley from TFA are one thing, but they have never - and will never - tell us where Snoke comes from or who he is.  Also, they won't go into any details describing Ben's training with Luke.  Not until the films tell us first.  That's where the big bucks are, that's where the BIG revelations will come from.  Maybe it'll be explored further in any new canon novels due out between Episodes VIII and IX - assuming TLJ reveals some big plot twists of course.

 

I really hope they don't make Snoke out to be Palpatine 2.0 - I think it'd be lazy, unoriginal writing.  Your theory is far better, and is one I can certainly see pleasing more Star Wars nerds than a 'clone' of the Emperor.

 

FWIW, I think Rax is Snoke, in one form or another.  Being dead isn't the handicap it used to be (TM AJ Rimmer).  I don't believe Palpatine would trust the future of the Dark Side to anyone he hadn't personally 'groomed' to power, as he did with 'Gally'.  Palpatine was far too arrogant to believe in anything - even the Dark Side - above his own powers.  Having Rax be reborn using the force in a Plagueis inspired way would therefore make sense.

 

One person who I can't figure out yet is Rey, and where she fits into all this.  It just seems a bit too convenient for her to grow up on the same planet that saw the end of the Empire as we know it.  There's got to be something there which somehow links Rey to the Empire - if not from her birth, but why she was left there and by whom.

 

The Last Jedi needs to hurry the hell up, doesn't it???

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I agreed with your take on it for most of the way through Empire's End, until I got to the bit that makes it clear that Rax doesn't believe in the Force and thinks it's all a load of rubbish. At that point I thought, he's clearly not going to become the all-powerful Force user Snoke.



 

And we only know about how Palpatine groomed Rax from Rax's POV in the book. Of course Palpatine told him he was special, he was "the" Contingency and so on, but by the end of the book we find out he wasn't even on the first ship sent out into the unknown! So I think Rax had a specific purpose, but it was a military one, to punish and destroy the failed Empire. The missing link to Snoke is on the first ship, and it isn't Rax!

 

I hadn't even thought about the implications for Rey. You're right, there's definitely more to that.

 

Roll on December!

 

In other news, the Darth Maul TPB arrived today, which looks nice at least from a quick flick through. Before that though I'm going to read The Weapon of a Jedi, just so I can finally finish all the "Journey to the Force Awakens" books before the "Journey to the Last Jedi" begins. (Next week! New Claudia Gray! Writing about Young Leia! Can't wait!)

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I found an article that agrees with my theory, and backs it up with more evidence - the writer obviously paid more attention than me to Empire's End. I completely forgot that Palpatine had sensed a powerful dark presence in unknown space, or that Leia felt something observing her unborn baby through the Force. It all fits!

 

https://moviepilot.com/p/star-wars-empires-end-hints-origin-supreme-leader-snoke-book/4213935

 

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It does all fit.  Most intriguing......

 

I like it.

 

Slight Bloodlines spoiler:

 

Spoiler

And with Bloodlines, we learn that whoever or whatever is trying to destroy the New Republic isn't yet ready to reveal itself.  So we've seen where the Resistance ultimately originates from, but only part of where the First Order grew from - the military side of it. The spiritual aspect hasn't really been touched upon yet.

 

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At last I've finally finished all the Force Awakens tie-in novels! This is another short story for slightly younger readers but like all the others in the series it's no worse for that. This one is about Luke immediately after A New Hope, starting to explore the Force and wondering how he's going to manage without Ben teaching him. As such it covers similar ground and in a similar period to the appalling Heir to the Jedi, but as this is approximately a million times better then it becomes the definitive account as far as I'm concerned. And like the other books in the series (Smuggler's Run & Moving Target) it ties in very tangentially to the Force Awakens. Most importantly from a canon perspective is that by the end of this book Luke has already discovered an ancient Jedi temple, and resolved to restart the Jedi order, all before he's even heard the name Yoda. So this might end up being more connected to the Last Jedi - which would hardly be surprising given the lack of Luke in the previous film.

 

So yet again I fully recommend these Young Adult short novels. They're the Milky Ways of the new canon - the treats you can read between films without ruining your appetite.

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