NITC Book Club: Star Wars Edition

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This week I’m reading the first book in The Jedi Academy Trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson, Jedi Search.

Don’t forget (as if you could) none of these are official canon anymore. So the events in these books are mere Legends. Simply good stories that may or may not have happened. I like to think of them as an alternate universe.

In Jedi Search we see the New Republic desperately trying to create alliances across the galaxy and bring new planets into their governmental system. Han and Chewie are sent on a diplomatic mission to Kessel (yes that is the very same Kessel that Han references in A New Hope) where they run into an old smuggling associate, one who has a grudge against Solo. Their mission goes awry and they are forced to work down in the dark spice mines of Kessel.

 Luke is on a mission to seek out new Jedi to teach about the ways of the Force while also trying to advance Leia’s force training. Jaina and Jacen Solo have returned from their seclusion as sassy 2 year old children who barely know their parents and are finding out their own force sensitivity.

Meanwhile, a new threat emerges. One that could turn the tide in the fight against the remnants of the Empire. A threat set into motion 10 years before by the deceased Grand Moff Tarkin himself.

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May the Force be with you…always!

9 Months Till Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

 

The Best Disney Princess of All

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Art by David Gilson

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Art found on Pinterest

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Art by James Silvani

Only 9 months to go till we lay our impatient eyes upon the newest installment in the Star Wars canon! Who’s ready?

Star Wars Episode VII: 1 Year To Go

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Today marks one year until Star Wars Episode VII hits the theaters. And if you’re a Star Wars nerd like me, then you have been waiting with baited breath for each and every scrap of news that’s come out. But we have to beware, everyone. There’s a lot of false prophecy out there that you must ignore. So to clear things up, here’s what we know to be true.

THE DIRECTOR

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A little over 2 years ago when the news first broke that Disney had purchased the Star Wars Empire and that three new movies were slated to join the epic saga, the first thing on everyone’s mind was who’s going to direct it? With George Lucas stepping away, we knew that The Maker wasn’t going to be in charge. And to all of us who lovingly endured the more painful moments of the prequels (there are plenty of redeeming qualities) we all knew this could be a really good thing.

Once that was established, the hunt was officially on. And the amazing thing to think about is how most of today’s directors have been directly influenced by Star Wars. For a while, everyone from Joss Whedon (Avengers) to Jon Favreau (Iron Man) to JJ Abrams (Star Trek) was being considered to take the helm. As we all now know, in the end it would be JJ, who got hired to direct. JJ’s a big fan of the Star Wars movies.  So we know that the Universe we know and love is in the hands of someone who knows and loves it as well.

THE CAST

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After the director was hired, the next thought on people’s minds was “Who’s gonna be in it?” We all hoped and dreamed that the original trio would jump back into costume, but the years had passed and who knows if that was where the “powers that be” saw the story going. There’s was so much expanded universe (before the de-canonization) to work with. What direction would they go? But then came the news that they were back in the cockpit along with other classic favorites. And a list of new players that were seemingly perfect for this movie!! The cast list stands as follows according to IMDB:

-Mark Hamill

-Carrie Fisher

-Harrison Ford

-Domhnall Gleeson

-Andy Serkis

-Gwendoline Christie

-Adam Driver

-Oscar Isaac

-Lupita Nyong’o

-Warwick Davis

-Peter Mayhew

-Max von Sidow

-Kenny Baker

-Anthony Daniels

-John Boyega

-Maisie Richardson-Sellers

-Daisy Ridley

-Pip Andersen

-Dixie Arnold

-Crystal Clarke

This list looks especially good with so many female names upon it. There are officially 6 women cast in Episode VII which is a vast improvement on the 3 that were cast in the entire original trilogy!! And that’s including useless Aunt Beru… come on!! When the casting announcement first came out there were less women on the list and this sparked a national conversation about women in film as well as the online community known as the Legion of Leia helmed by Jenna Busch. Perhaps they were always going to cast more women, or perhaps they sensed that their offering just wouldn’t appease the countless female fans of the Star Wars universe. As it stands, there could always be more women in the Star Wars Universe, but this isn’t a discouraging list by any means. And who knows who may join in future additions to the saga. Methinks Disney knows the power of the female. And if they don’t they need only to head over to Legion of Leia to see how much we ladies truly love anything and everything SW!!!

THE TITLE

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Next up.. what will it be called? There were mixed reactions to the names when it was released. But personally I think it’s a great title and can’t wait for The Force Awakens. And when you see it lined up with the existing film titles then it makes it sound even better!!! Take a look:

The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

Revenge of the Sith

A New Hope

The Empire Strikes Back

Return of the Jedi

The Force Awakens

I think it sounds pretty cool when mixed in with the other titles. What do you think?

THE PLOT

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We actually don’t have much information beyond what we’ve seen in the trailer and mere speculation about what the plot of the film is. Right now the description on IMDB reads:

“A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi(1983).”

But false spoilers have been released almost weekly at this point with tid-bits of potential plot information. And while any hard core Star Wars fan knows the stories of Jaina, Jacen, Anakin and Ben, descendants of Han and Leia and Luke and Mara Jade, the council of Star Wars big wigs at Lucasfilm and Disney decided that the best course of action regarding the expanded universe would be to start fresh, thus giving themselves complete control over the stories released. And so everything that already existed in the EU would be relegated to Star Wars Legends and Disney would be able to keep the reins tight.

This was obviously disappointing news to avid Star Wars EU readers who greatly enjoyed the tales told by authors like Alan Dean Forester (who wrote the very first EU novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye), Timothy Zahn (Thrawn trilogy), L. Neil Smith (The Lando Calrissian Adventures), Michael A. Stackpole (X-Wing series) and many more. But at the end of the day, Disney has shown that it knows it’s properties well and if their handling of Marvel is any indication, they know exactly what to do with them. So this reader remains hopeful that whatever comes out of the Disney juggernaut will not only be faithful to the Star Wars we know and love, but it will also be exciting and action packed.

THE MUSIC

John Williams is doing the music!! And this isn’t so much news as it is confirmation of awesomeness. When a Star Wars movie gets made, it better have Williams on board or else it just wouldn’t be right. So when it was announced that he would be returning to create the score for the new film, Star Wars fans, the world over, drew a sign of anticipated relief.

THE TRAILER

If you still haven’t seen the trailer for the new movie then I can only assume that you have just crawled out from an underground bomb shelter built in the 50’s and have emerged into our culture with no knowledge of what’s going on in our world. That’s simply the only explanation I can think of that makes any sense. But if it’s true and you haven’t make sure to catch it now…

With an entire year to go until this movie comes out, it’s going to be a long, hard wait. But Nerd in the City will continue to bring you monthly updates with only confirmed news until we get a little closer to the big day.

If I had to choose one thing to be nerdy for in the entire world, it’d be Star Wars. It was the first thing I ever geeked out about. So you can rest assured, gentle reader, that if you love Star Wars as much as I do that you are in exactly the right place!!!

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Make sure to check back on the 18th of every month for monthly Star Wars news!! And to make sure you don’t miss a minute… don’t forget to subscribe to Nerd in the City.