Star Wars – Thrawn is a Triumph

Millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror when the mouse officially declared that the stories in the Star Wars expanded universe as non-canon. There was a glimmer of hope when Lucasfilm stated that aspects of what is now deemed “Legends” could be brought into the new canon. At that moment, fans in unison, all wanted one character more than anyone… Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Famed author Timothy Zahn brought this character into our consciousness in 1991 with the novel Heir to the Empire, the first installment of what would become known as the “Thrawn Trilogy.”

Thrawn’s reputation as a master military tactician is legendary. Now, the character’s creator Zahn returns to the Star Wars universe and gets reacquainted with an old friend.

Thrawn serves as an origin story of the blue-skinned, red-eyed Chiss warrior, while detailing his rise to power in the Empire. Most of what we know about Thrawn is pretty much intact. Various characters that served under Thrawn in “Legends” become canon, except for Captain Pellaeon. Instead, a new character named Eli Vanto is introduced and carries the essence of Pellaeon in a younger form.

Vanto is an imperial cadet from the outer rim who talks with what could be a southern accent and is considered a “wild space yokel.” He vies for simplicity until fate brings Thrawn into his life and changes it forever. Zahn sets up Vannto as the listener’s window into how he helps Thrawn adjust to a career as an Imperial while marveling at his cunning and reserved disposition.

Click here to read the entire review at Forces of Geek.com
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Third Time’s the Charm with Star Wars: Aftermath – Empire’s End

In the abstract, the Aftermath series is reminiscent of the prequel films. The first installment left a lot to be desired, the second chapter is a curious but rough read, and the finale sticks the landing well enough to earn a place on the podium.

Star Wars: Aftermath – Empire’s End, the third and concluding novel in author Chuck Wendig’s trilogy that takes place following the events of Return of the Jedi and begins building an extended bridge to The Force Awakens.

The attack on Chandrila during the organized peace talks between the New Republic and the Empire looms over the story like a dark cloud. Despite the emotional toll she’s undergone throughout the series, the resolve of Nora Wexley is an enthralling journey to follow.

Tunnel vision towards the apprehension of the galaxy’s most wanted war criminal, Grand Admiral Rae Sloan, proves to be disheartening for those closest to Nora. While she’s not seething mad, her inner turmoil demands finality regarding this perilous situation.

Check out the rest of my review of Empire’s End at Forces of Geek.com

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Official Episode 8 Title Revealed!

Lucasfilm announced the official title to Star Wars: Episode 8 and it is…THE LAST JEDI.

This news is only going to heighten the excitement leading up to the scheduled release date of December 15, 2017. The possibilities regarding what this title could mean are almost endless. I made a video giving my thoughts the title of the next chapter in the Skywalker Saga.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Review

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This review is super, super late. That thing called life kept getting in the way. Plus, I’ve only seen the movie twice…TWICE!!! I could lose my street credit for being so lazy.

Star Wars takes its first steps into a larger world by going backwards in its mythology. Rogue One is the first standalone film to occur outside of the cherished episodic saga and for the most part exchanged fantasy for pragmatism.

The sheen of fantasy that’s exhibited in The Force Awakens is replaced with a tattered, war-torn luster that beautifully coincides with the narrative of how the Rebels stole the plans to the Death Star.  Continue reading

The Journey to Star Wars: Rogue One Begins with Catalyst

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“Where’s Poe Dameron?” “Why did they recast Rey?” “How is Darth Vader alive?” These are the questions that Lucasfilm’s super weapon, the Disney marketing machine, haven’t been able to quell or answer for a fair amount of moviegoers as we’re now under thirty days away from the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

While the title’s subheading takes the place of confusing and detested words such as anthology, companion, or…prequel, acclaimed author James Luceno once again brings elegant cohesion to the political climate of the Star Wars universe by examining the passion and desire of two of the upcoming film’s main characters.

Catalyst tells the story of the connection between Imperial Commander Orson Krenic and energy scientist Galen Erso, played by Ben Mendelsohn and Mads Mikkelsen in the upcoming film, and how came together to create the first Death Star. Krenic’s manipulation of Erso spans from the Clone Wars and stops well into the Empire’s grip on the galaxy.

Krenic marvels himself as a clever over-achiever while those around him feel he’s talented but short-sighted and arrogant. While that may prove to be true in the movie, here, he has no qualms about playing the long game of deception as he desperately vies for a seat at the table…The Emperor’s table. Krenic is in charge of the project to construct a certain technological terror and needs Galen to make the super laser operational.

You read my full review here at Forces of Geek.com 

 

Trailer Reaction: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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I’ve been skeptical of these Star Wars spin-off movies since the moment they were announced by Disney. Going backwards scares me because of how badly prequels turned out. After seeing the teaser trailer for Rogue One, the first word that comes to mind is….WOW!  Continue reading

Star Wars: The Force Awakens In-Depth Review

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Welcome to my belated review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As much as I wanted to write up a review as soon as the end credits rolled, I decided to wait. I wanted to avoid being “Phantom Menaced” and watch the film a few more times while the nostalgia subsided. Six trips to the theater, and a much lighter wallet, gave me some clarity on the matter.

While this is not a perfect movie, the pros heavily outweigh the cons, and its execution in giving audiences that Star Wars magic is flawless. Perhaps the film’s biggest accomplishment is the introduction of the new characters Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and Kylo Ren.

Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker are names that transcend pop culture and therefore need no introduction. Casting and character development was the key ingredient in making this a reality for the newcomers and they were delightful in every sense of the word.  Continue reading

The Awakening Begins

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As I head out to the theater to wait in line to see the new Star Wars movie, I kind of feel like Kylo Ren pictured above. It’s dark, there’s a chill in the air, and I’m optimistically on guard with no idea of what awaits me on the silver screen.

Few films in history have had greater anticipation than The Force Awakens. It’s the sequel that fans have been waiting for despite coming to terms with the idea that Revenge of the Sith would be the final movie in the saga. That all changed when Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and now we’re less than 24 hours away from moving forward in a galaxy far, far, away. Continue reading

Star Wars: The Perfect Weapon Review

Star Wars: The Perfect WeaponAuthor: Delilah S. Dawso | Publisher: Del Rey | Price: $1.99 | The Road to Episode VII @ Forces of Geek.com

If you’ve been keeping up with all of The Force Awakens coverage, you might have noticed a picture of a woman amongst what appears to be a bunch of pirates. She is wearing a black skull cap, black lipstick, and leaning comfortably against a rather large alien.

Her name is Bazine Netal, and she just might be the most deadly mercenary in the galaxy.

The Perfect Weapon is an exclusive eBook and short story that is set shortly before the events of the upcoming film. Bazine is hired by an anonymous client to locate an ex-Stormtrooper and recover a mysterious package he’s safeguarding.
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Star Wars: Vader Down #1 Review

Star Wars: Vader Down #1 Writer: Jason Aaron | Artist: Mike Deodato | Colorist: Frank Martin | Publisher: Marvel Comics | The Road to Episode VII at Forces of Geek.com

Vader Down takes us on a journey where we seek to find the answer to an intriguing question; What happens when Darth Vader is all alone against the entire might of the Rebel Alliance? 

There have been a lot of comics over the years that show an outgunned Dark Lord overcoming insurmountable odds with the swipe of his crimson blade.  Some of his victories in these situations have been extremely creative and worthy of the Vader’s ruthless reputation while other incarnations left a lot to be desired.

When putting Darth Vader in any canonical situation, you have to respect the mythos and pathos of the character while being very selective in when, and if, he loses a battle.

Continue reading