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Star Wars - the new canon

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7 hours ago, Stoppy2000 said:

Is this book actually in shops or is everyone reading digitally? My Amazon order is delayed and I really can't wait! 

 

Mine’s digital but others in the thread have mentioned buying it from real shops - Boothjan got his from Forbidden Planet.

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32 minutes ago, Darren said:

 

Mine’s digital but others in the thread have mentioned buying it from real shops - Boothjan got his from Forbidden Planet.

 

Yep - cheapest I've seen it too. Only a tenner which is good for a brand new hardback release.

 

I'm about halfway through, I clearly can't read as quickly as you! 

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Do I need to read the Aftermath trilogy before Resistance Reborn? I'd like to read it before the new film comes out but I read the first Aftermath book a while ago and thought it was really poor (it's the only new canon book I've read).

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No, absolutely not. You don’t need to have read anything else, everything you need to know about characters or events from other books is covered. It’s just a nice geeky bonus if you have and you can be all

 

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17 hours ago, Darren said:

 

Mine’s digital but others in the thread have mentioned buying it from real shops - Boothjan got his from Forbidden Planet.

My copy is now arriving today! Woo. I've got Bloodline to finish first though. 

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16 hours ago, Darren said:

No, absolutely not. You don’t need to have read anything else, everything you need to know about characters or events from other books is covered. It’s just a nice geeky bonus if you have and you can be all

 

 

 

Cheers, got it ordered now. Need to get started on some of the new canon stuff but it's difficult to know where to start. Might just suffer through the rest of the Aftermath books anyway just to get the full picture!

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Aftermath's a bit of a slog but kind of worth it in the end. It's hard to recommend outright. It does contain the most clues into how the Empire became the First Order, although they're very vague, presumably deliberately to allow the filmmakers plenty of leeway. I'd honestly recommend reading the discussion of the Aftermath books in this thread to find that stuff out, rather than forcing yourself to put up with the books themselves.

 

Lost Stars is the one that always gets the most love, with anything else by Claudia Gray also highly recommended. If you just read Lost Stars, Leia: Princess of Alderaan and Bloodline (in that order, I'd say) then you're laughing. Resistance Reborn is the perfect build up to the new film, and if you have time it would be better to read Bloodline first, only because RR includes some pretty big Bloodline spoilers as it's set some time later and includes some of the same characters.

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11 hours ago, Darren said:

Aftermath's a bit of a slog but kind of worth it in the end. It's hard to recommend outright. It does contain the most clues into how the Empire became the First Order, although they're very vague, presumably deliberately to allow the filmmakers plenty of leeway. I'd honestly recommend reading the discussion of the Aftermath books in this thread to find that stuff out, rather than forcing yourself to put up with the books themselves.

 

Lost Stars is the one that always gets the most love, with anything else by Claudia Gray also highly recommended. If you just read Lost Stars, Leia: Princess of Alderaan and Bloodline (in that order, I'd say) then you're laughing. Resistance Reborn is the perfect build up to the new film, and if you have time it would be better to read Bloodline first, only because RR includes some pretty big Bloodline spoilers as it's set some time later and includes some of the same characters.

I better finish Bloodline then. Cheers for your posts - you've been very good at convincing me to get back into star wars books. I used to read the old stuff (now 'legends') but it slowly devolved into fan fic style trash. Are there any hidden classics from the old canon? 

 

Just remembered I have Thrawn to read as well!! 

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Finished Resistance Reborn. I'll do a full review tomorrow but this is absolutely worthy of a place amongst the very best of the new canon catalogue.

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18 hours ago, Stoppy2000 said:

Are there any hidden classics from the old canon? 

 

Probably but others will be able to guide you better there. I gave up on the old books in the late 90s, even before TPM, after one too many terrible books of the “quality” of the Crystal Star or the Courtship of Princess Leia. Having said that I used to absolutely love Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, the Pulp Fiction of Star Wars books.

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On 13/11/2019 at 10:31, Darren said:

Aftermath's a bit of a slog but kind of worth it in the end. It's hard to recommend outright. It does contain the most clues into how the Empire became the First Order, although they're very vague, presumably deliberately to allow the filmmakers plenty of leeway. I'd honestly recommend reading the discussion of the Aftermath books in this thread to find that stuff out, rather than forcing yourself to put up with the books themselves.

 

Lost Stars is the one that always gets the most love, with anything else by Claudia Gray also highly recommended. If you just read Lost Stars, Leia: Princess of Alderaan and Bloodline (in that order, I'd say) then you're laughing. Resistance Reborn is the perfect build up to the new film, and if you have time it would be better to read Bloodline first, only because RR includes some pretty big Bloodline spoilers as it's set some time later and includes some of the same characters.

 

Cheers, have gone for Bloodline and RR to read before the film :)

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Right - my turn, but I completely agree with @Darren's review!  I absolutely loved this book and it's firmly nestled within my top 5 Star Wars novels.  Why?  Because this delivers far more than expected and really does feel like a closing chapter for the new canon novels set around the Skywalker Saga.  The nods to previous instalments throughout shows a level of detail that will be missed by many but HUGELY appreciated by a select few, and I'm really pleased that I'm amongst that latter group.

 

It's a proper reward for the last few years of being entertained by the likes of Bloodline, Lost Stars, Lords of the Sith - ALL of which are referenced in this excellent book.  Not just referenced, but properly intertwined and sewn up too.

 

Just to step aside from the tie-ins, because that won't be relevant to most people, as a stand alone story, I think this also delivers.  Particularly the setting between episodes VIII and IX.  The theme of hope has always been a key aspect of both books and films, and it's just as relevant here.  The story arcs are all strong here, they merge perfectly by the end and I never felt I was bored by any particular thread or subplot and there are a few so kudos to Rebecca Roanhorse for that.

 

I thought Poe was the highlight - the guilt hanging over him after his mutiny in TLJ helps to sculpt his character and his actions well.  It's good character development for a decent character - I've not read any of the graphic novels but this makes me want to at least look into the Poe Dameron series.  Rey is very much on the periphery of this, but I suppose that might have something to do with a certain pending cinematic release?

 

So - what do you need to read before starting on this?  Hmm.. whilst you don't need to read any of the previous novels, I think it MASSIVELY helps to have at least read Bloodline and the Aftermath trilogy.  Some of the reveals are fantastic and without previous knowledge of who they are, the effect would be far less.

 

I read these books to expand on the characters and settings of the films whilst simultaneously telling a good story - some of the films are improved as a result when you have read more about the characters featured in them (hello, Phasma...) and that is precisely what I got from Resistance Reborn.

 

This is an essential read in the series - how it ties in with Episode IX obviously remains to be seen but it ticks all the boxes for me - I loved it.

 

9/10

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This is a collection of five loosely connected stories, each about a different smuggler/pirate/bounty hunter/rogue archaeologist obtaining a different item for the Ithorian collector/dealer based at Galaxy's Edge, and tied together with a "present day" (i.e. First Order era) framing narrative in which another group attempt to steal something from the same Ithorian dude. Or alternatively, it's both a cash-in and promotion of Galaxy's Edge, the new Star Wars theme park at Disney World. I have to say, whichever description you prefer, it doesn't do the job very well. It's a completely throwaway story - not bad, but far from great, and with nothing particularly interesting to recommend it. At the same time, as the only Star Wars comic to be based on a location that actually physically exists in the world and you can go and visit it, I expected it to be full of vivid and memorable depictions of places within it, but it just isn't. Based on this comic I expect the real-world Galaxy's Edge to have a junk shop, and a cantina with a large open-plan area and a DJ booth "manned" by the pilot droid from Disney's old Star Wars attraction, Star Tours, and, er, that's it. Oh well, I can't afford to go anyway...

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Journey-To-Star-Wars-The-Rise-Of-Skywalk

 

This is it - the last step in the "Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" as the blurb has it. And to be honest it's nothing special. The gang split up into two teams, with Finn and Poe off to find and raid an old hidden weapons cache, while Leia takes the rest of the kids (plus Chewie and Threepio) to Mon Calamari to beg them to lend their aid, and spaceships, to the cause once again. The lads get ambushed by the group of bounty hunters from the Galaxy's Edge story, and the ladies (plus Chewie and Threepio) cause all kinds of problems for their not particularly receptive fishy hosts. But it's another of those comics where the story is completely inconsequential and without any of the emotional depth that the better comics and books have. Instead it focuses on action and humour, neither of which it does particularly well. It's certainly not a patch on Resistance Reborn. What a shame.

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Not long finished Resistance Reborn, a nice little story, well written, that unfortunately adds very little to the overarching plot between the films (and nothing to episode 9 at all that I could see). No major spoilers to be had here, just a story about the Resistance looking to rebuild following Last Jedi.

 

Saying that I enjoyed Roanhorse's writing style and the movie characters were pretty spot on, especially Poe and Leia. Rey was unfortunately massively underused in this, I can only imagine Disney/Story Group told the author to keep her role to an absolute minimum, instead she becomes a backseat character that pops up a handful of times in the book.

 

Overall worth a read as it is a decent story and well paced (with some nice use of characters from across the other canon books and Battlefront 2), just dont expect anything groundbreaking.

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I think the main thing it explains is how the resistance goes from a small enough group of people to fit in the Millennium Falcon to the larger group with a bunch of other ships. I was going to say it explains how Ackbar Jr comes into the story but that's in the Allegiance comic. But you're right, despite doing an excellent job of tying up loads of threads from various books and comics, it does very little in terms of setting things up for TROS. Knowing what we know now, it could easily have included a bit of Leia training Rey (or even just mentioning it in passing) and ended with the Emperor's "broadcast" but for whatever reason they didn't bother, which seems odd in hindsight.

 

Anyway...

 

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I'm pleased to say that the Age Of... series has continued to improve with each iteration, to the point where this final pair of books are actually rather good. As usual none of these stories adds much in the way of essential events, but they all add to the characterisation of their subjects in interesting ways. I'd be tempted to assume this is because these new characters have much less lore surrounding them already, making it easier to flesh them out, but the best comics and books about the earlier SW eras prove that it's possible to do the same with even the most familiar characters. So instead I think the quality of these stories is simply down to good writing. It's hard to pick a highlight but Snoke's story (amazingly) does a brilliant job of fleshing out his relationship with Kylo Ren, in much the same way that the Dark Lord of the Sith comics did between the Emperor and Vader in his early days. But really, there's not a bad story among them. So I'm surprised to find myself adding Age of Resistance to the recommended pile, which I definitely didn't expect after reading the Age of Republic books.

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The main Star Wars comic line is now up to volume 12, its third writer (this is the start of Greg Pak's run) and is fast approaching the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back. In fact this month the comics move into the post-TESB period, but as ever the collected editions lag behind a bit, so we haven't quite reached Hoth yet, but the Empire has started sending out its probe droids to hunt down the rebels. This story is about the rebels attempting to deal with that threat and of course getting into more scrapes along the way. The main gang split into three teams on parallel missions, including an excellent odd-couple pairing of Chewie and Threepio which turns out to be surprisingly touching at times. It's up there with the best of any previous volumes, and with one more volume to go before we finally run out of road and catch up with Empire the series is in rude health and safe hands.

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Doctor Aphra continues to be one of the best things in the entire new canon. This latest volume is one of the best yet, with all the usual double-crossing, wise-cracking and frying-pan-to-fire-jumping, but this time with extra emotional depth as echoes from Aphra's childhood resonate in her present. The series repeats the old Lost Stars trick of featuring protagonists who aren't in the films, and so we get a look at the Star Wars universe from other points of view, which is always a good thing in my book. This is volume 6 of the series, which itself followed on from the first Darth Vader comic run, so it's not a great place to start if you've never read it before, as so much of it builds on what's gone before, but as ever I can't recommend this series as a whole enough.

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@Darren I read the first volume or two of Vader, then Vader Down followed by the First lot of Dr Aphra. Loved them for the most part but felt Aphra was getting to be a bit meh after issue 6 or 7. Gonna give both Vader and Aphra another go now thanks to your infectious enthusiasm.

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I'm going to be unfairly harsh on this, because it's really good, and if anyone else had written it I'd be gushing about how brilliant it is. About how it adds so much to the Star Wars universe, including Jedi prophecies, slave-owning interstellar corporations, and the interactions between individual self-governing planets and the overarching Galactic Republic. About how it tells a good story about political unrest, terrorism and ambition on one of these planets that definitely does not go, to coin a phrase, the way you think. And most of all about how it develops the two central characters, especially Qui-Gon Jinn, who is transformed from the inscrutable dullard of The Phantom Menace into a conflicted, tormented and properly realised character at last, while somehow managing to stay completely consistent with his on-screen portrayal. Like I said, it's really good.

 

But. But but but. This is Claudia Gray we're talking about. The queen of Star Wars fiction. From her very first attempt, the superlative Lost Stars, she set the bar against which all other Star Wars books are judged. Her two Leia books were both brilliant as was her short story in From a Certain Point of View (also called Master and Apprentice) about these same two characters, which might be my all-time favourite piece of Star Wars writing. So this had a lot to live up to. And although it's really good, it just isn't quite as good as those earlier stories. So reading this I found myself in the ridiculous situation of feeling disappointed by what is still one of the top-tier Star Wars books. Like I said, unfairly harsh.

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Ha, you are being very harsh but I do understand why you've said what you have.

 

Good but definitely not her best!

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@Darren @Boothjan What are the two good Leila books? I need in on this! Never read a Star Wars novel in my life. So, Lost Stars, Princess of Alderaan and From a Certain Point View are on the cards. Is Bloodline the other Leila one?

 

I know I should read the Aftermath trilogy too but the average reviews put me right off. Life’s too short and Wikipedia’s there for a reason.

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@womblingfree Yes, Bloodline’s the other one. I’d hesitate to recommend From a Certain Point of View as it’s such a mixed bag - some of the stories are great but many aren’t.

 

And don’t bother with Aftermath - at one point it looked like it might turn out to be important as the link between the Emperor’s plans in the Empire days and his reappearance in TROS, but as things have turned out it doesn’t really add much at all.

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It doesn't matter too much but probably read Bloodline last as it takes place later.

 

Princess of Alderaan takes place when shes a teenager so you could start with that.

 

But I often weave between time periods with these books - though I suppose if you're focusing on Leia, chronological order is the best way.

 

Lost Stars spans the whole original trilogy so could fit in anywhere.

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On 23/01/2020 at 20:18, womblingfree said:

@Darren @Boothjan What are the two good Leila books? I need in on this! Never read a Star Wars novel in my life. So, Lost Stars, Princess of Alderaan and From a Certain Point View are on the cards. Is Bloodline the other Leila one?

 

I know I should read the Aftermath trilogy too but the average reviews put me right off. Life’s too short and Wikipedia’s there for a reason.

If you've never read a single Star Wars book it might be an idea to read some of the Timothy Zahn books. They are non-canon now but I really enjoyed them back in the day. The Thrawn trilogy starting with Heir To The Empire is really good. 

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So I had three audible tokens to use I didn't know I had. 


I have spent two so far on both:-

 

Lords Of The Sith.

Master and Apprentice.

 

Any recommendations on what to spend my final credit on please?

 

 

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