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Star Wars - the new canon


Darren
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Due for release next February, the Dr Aphra Omnibus collects: STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA (2016) #1-40 and ANNUAL #1-3; DARTH VADER (2015) #3-4, #8 and #21; STAR WARS (2015) #13, #19 and #31-32; STAR WARS: THE SCREAMING CITADEL; and material from DARTH VADER (2015) #25 and STAR WARS: EMPIRE ASCENDANT. 1240 PGS.

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I’ve read most the main series on Marvel Unlimited but this collection looks pretty fantastic.

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@Boothjan You can’t go wrong with the Darth Vader and Dr Aphra comics.

 

Actually, after finishing Kieron Gillen’s run on Darth Vader I didn’t really want to continue as it was so good and didn’t want to be disappointed. Glad I carried on though as the Charles Soule stuff I’m reading now is if anything even better. Vader has never been such a total bastard!

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You're missing out @Boothjan, like the books there's quite a range of quality but when they're good, they're brilliant.

 

I second the Vader and Aphra recommendations and add Poe Dameron. The main Star Wars series is also good (and runs in parallel with Vader and Aphra, crossing over from time to time) but it's quite inconsistent, although again the peaks are excellent, which just makes the troughs more disappointing.

 

If you start reading any of them then beware of Marvel's numbering policy which means that Vader, Aphra and Star Wars have all started at least twice each from a new issue 1/volume 1 each time.

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Speaking of comics (as we were a week ago), I read this pair in the last week.

 

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This is the tie-in comic to the absolutely excellent Jedi Fallen Order game (which I finished yesterday and recommend to everyone). It serves as a prequel to the story in the game (which is excellent) but doesn't really add anything, possibly because all the really interesting parts of the story are revealed in the game itself, so all that's left is fairly inconsequential. The central relationship between Jedi Master and Padawan is well done but otherwise this is just OK.

 

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Whereas this is really very good. It's no secret that I'm a fan of the Luke-Ben-Rey relationship in the new films and this is (for now at least) as deep a dive as were going to get into Luke & Ben's side of that triangle. What's more we get a proper explanation of who the Knights of Ren are, plus Snoke wearing an even more ridiculous outfit than his gold lamé dressing gown, complete with what can only be described as a flat cap. The story is great, with Ben's feelings of rejection and inadequacy being exploited by malign influences, some of which he's not even aware of. My only problem with it is that it seems to include a glaring continuity error but it's so central to the story that I think I'm just misinterpreting what seems to have happened. But that's not enough to spoil what's otherwise an excellent addition to the "new trilogy" story.

 

If anyone else reads it please let me know what I'm missing in this apparent error! Otherwise don't read this spoiler...

 

Spoiler

In #2, Ren leaves his helmet behind after his confrontation with Luke & Ben, and then years later Ben goes back, picks it up and uses it to communicate with Ren, who tells him where to come and find them. But when Ben arrives in #3, Ren's wearing his helmet again. The only explanation I can think of is that Ren made another one after leaving the first behind but that seems quite clumsy when the helmet being left behind, explicitly for Ben, is a key part of the story.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to The Mandalorian I'm super into Star Wars again and am hoovering up bits of lore by browsing around Wookiepedia, playing Battlefront 2 single player etc, so I though I might dip into the novels over Christmas. I've re-read this whole thread over the weekend and it seems like Claudia Gray's stuff is the obvious place to start for quality. As I'm quite interested in the post-ROTJ era (thanks to Mando) and have always liked the galactic politics I'm thinking Bloodline might be a good one, especially as the political angle is glossed over in the films and far away from the world of The Mandalorian. I know Gray's other two are higher rated by @Darren and @Boothjan but they are both set earlier from what I understand. I'm also more interested in well-written characters and good world-building over action, and Leia seems like a really interesting character to flesh out.

 

How does Bloodline stack up now that all three sequel trilogy films are out?

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Bloodline is a really good bridge between the originals and the sequels TBH - although I would advise you read Leia: Princess of Alderaan before Bloodlines.  Both feature Leia as the main character and you'll find some really good references to the sequel trilogy films in both.  There's also some handy links between the two.

 

If you can find it, I'd also recommend Resistance Reborn as well.  That is a superb book that ties up a few loose ends in several new canon novels.

 

Most importantly, if you do read any of these, please post in this thread and tell us what you thought of them!

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I can't remember what the published order was but I'd go Lost Stars - Princess of Alderaan - Bloodline. They're all great, Lost Stars is still my favourite but really Claudia Gray is the Dave Filoni of Star Wars novels, you're in safe hands with someone who gets it.

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1 minute ago, Darren said:

I can't remember what the published order was but I'd go Lost Stars - Princess of Alderaan - Bloodline. They're all great, Lost Stars is still my favourite but really Claudia Gray is the Dave Filoni of Star Wars novels, you're in safe hands with someone who gets it.

 

I was going to add to this post but I won't bother because I agree with every word.

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On 08/12/2020 at 13:39, Pob said:

Cheers. Maybe I'll start with Lost Stars then given that you guys rate it as the best. The fact that it spans the eras appeals to me.


I’m reading the Claudia Gray books but started with Darth Plagueis and the Revenge of the Sith novels. Both are excellent and give huge amounts of depth to the Prequels and characters of Sidious, Anakin and the surrounding lore. Plagueis isn’t official canon, but it might as well be given how well it explains the gobbledegook of the trade federation, banking clans and manipulation of midichlorines which are integral to the Prequels. I doubt Disney will ever release anything better in that regard.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just finished The Rise of Kylo Ren. Not bad, Charles Soule is usually one of the better Star Wars writers and I loved his Vader. Interesting to see Ben being manipulated and his constant emo “Yeah I’m ruthless! Er, what the fuck am I doing??” was something he always had and never grew out of.
 

Liked Snoke in it, but is there anything that explains how he first contacted Ben, as in this they’ve obviously been in contact for ages already. Thought the Knights of Ren themselves were a bit throwaway, especially Ren himself. Seemed like someone had thought, hey we have to give Kylo some back story with these guys, but it all seemed rushed.

 

Got a spare Audible credit and am debating between Thrawn, Bloodlines and pre-ordering Light of the Jedi.  :sherlock:

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  • 2 weeks later...

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This is the first volume of the main Star Wars comic now it's moved into the post-Empire Strikes Back period, and I'm glad to say it's back to the quality of the best of the previous series. Luke is struggling with the revelation about his relationship to Darth Vader and doubting the path he thought he was on, while Leia is trying to rally the rebels and rescue Han, and Lando wants to prove he can be trusted while pulling off a rescue of his own. As ever with Star Wars spin-offs that revolve around the main characters, the most important thing is to get those characters' right, and Charles Soule definitely does. I was planning to read an issue a day in this collection (of issues 1-6) but I read the whole lot in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!

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And this is the first volume of the new Darth Vader series which again runs in parallel with the main Star Wars comic. And it's completely, utterly brilliant. It might be the best Star Wars thing Marvel have ever done. I can't quite get over how good it is. The two previous Darth Vader series were both excellent but this is even better. I don't want to say anything at all about the story because I want everybody reading this to go and read the comic!

 

But it's not a spoiler to say that, just like the other Vader comics, this does an excellent job of conveying Vader's inner monologue and feelings, and of re-presenting key events from his past (aka the prequels) in a truly moving and impactful way. In fact while reading this I had a moment of realisation of how all the Vader comics manage to turn those particular sows' ears into such wonderful silk purses, and it's that, shorn of their workmanlike direction and wooden delivery, those scenes and even individual lines of their dialogue become iconic snapshots that can be reframed and recontextualised to become the powerful moments George Lucas presumably intended but sadly failed to create. It seems that Marvel have realised that Vader is Star Wars' Batman, and Anakin's memories from the prequels are the equivalents of Bruce Wayne's memories of his parents, forever replaying in his mind's eye, torturing him and driving him on. I would never have imagined the stilted and awkward "fruit eating scene," for example, could be turned into a moment of genuine pathos but somehow, this comic achieves it in two panels.

 

Read it!

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On 11/12/2020 at 15:01, womblingfree said:

Light of the Jedi is out Jan 5th but for anyone interested, the first chapter’s available for free right now.

 

https://www.ign.com/articles/read-the-first-chapter-of-star-wars-the-high-republic-light-of-the-jedi-by-charles-soule

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I'm looking forward to picking this up and getting into an actual canon storyline not set in the film era's. Here's hoping it turns out good.

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Im with you on that, I actually prefer the "older" Star Wars setting and, although this is still closer to the film era than KOTOR was by some considerable margin, it's still far enough in the past that we don't have to worry about Skywalkers or Palpatines.

 

Will be interesting to see where Yoda is in this time period as well. He will be around the 600-700 Yr old mark so still pretty old. He must already be a Jedi Master but is he on the Jedi Council? 

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Been reading an awful lot of Star Wars during this lockdown. There are two kinds of Star Wars comic, those that directly weave the disparate threads of narratives from different sources together and add to the canon, and those that just tell a story of familiar faces going on random adventures. The main Star Wars comics have been a mixed bag of both over the years. The last volume had its moments, Hope Dies was probably the highlight, but like Darren said the new one is knocking it out the park so far. Not only does it fill in the blanks between ESB and RotJ it also gives a nod to Poe’s parents, first introduced in the rather excellent Shattered Empire, and even mentions the new High Republic as though it was an always present feature of the Star Wars universe rather than something introduced five minutes ago.

 

We also get to see Lando, reinvigorated after the magnificent Lando short series which not only expands Lando but does a wonderful job of making Lobot a stand-out character as well, continuing from where he left off.

 

Another great comic I’d missed, from a different timeline, is Star Wars Special: C3P0, which despite the naff title is a very poignant tale of a droids life and also explains how C3P0 got his red arm.

 

The new Darth Vader volume is also excellent, which is surprising considering how great the last two were. Greg Pak is doing a great job where Charles Soule and Kieron Gillen left off.

 

Also went back in time to read Jango Fett: Open seasons, which although supposedly Legends now seems to have been brought into canon via Boba Fett in the Madalorian, so worth a look. Likewise Dawn of the Jedi, which goes way, way back 32,000 years to, er, the dawn of the Jedi, although its representation of Tython (where Grogu was captured) is very different from The Mandalorian . Enjoyed them both.

 

I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be a Sar Wars nerd.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Welrain said:

Read through the thread but bit confused as to what I should be reading.  Recommendations please!


Books - start with Claudia Gray’s “not really but they kind of fit together” trilogy: Leia Princess of Alderaan, Lost Stars and Bloodline.

 

Comics - these latest Star Wars and Darth Vader series are a great place to start, they both follow directly on from ESB and are utterly fantastic. The two earlier Vader series are also excellent, as are Doctor Aphra and Poe Dameron.

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2 hours ago, Welrain said:

Read through the thread but bit confused as to what I should be reading.  Recommendations please!


Comics - All the Vader volumes: Kieron Gillen, Charles Soule and Greg Pak and all the Doctor Aphra volumes are essential. The stuff I recommended a few posts up is all good too.

 

Books - My recommended reading list is Darth Plagueis, Revenge of the Sith (so much better than the movie it’s embarrassing), Leia: Princess of Aldreraan, Lost Stars and Bloodlines. That takes you from pre-prequel all the way up to the Sequels nicely with some great books

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 16/01/2021 at 09:49, Welrain said:

Read through the thread but bit confused as to what I should be reading.  Recommendations please!

The first book is a bit dull but I would suggest the Aftermath books which do provide some context as to what becomes of the Empire post Jedi and also sows the seeds for Rise quite well (which proves that there was a plan of sorts around the Sequel Trilogy, it just got smashed up on the way).

 

Also, look out for the guy who appears in Mando in the Fett armour and a rather sad Jar Jar scene.

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On 17/10/2020 at 18:17, Darren said:

I’ve not posted in here for ages because I’m reading Shadow Fall, the sequel to Alphabet Squadron, and it’s taking ages because it’s just not gripping me at all. I will get there eventually...

 

On 23/10/2020 at 19:01, Darren said:

I think I might be about to break my promise to read every new canon book. I’m finding Shadow Fall completely uninteresting, to the point that reading it is starting to feel like a chore. Life’s too short I think. I might have to abandon it half way.

 

I did indeed abandon this half way through, but then in the new year decided to pick it up again. It got a bit better, but not by much. It suffers from having a large cast of characters who in this middle book of a trilogy are scattered all over the place, and so just when you remember what one bunch are up to the next few chapters are spent going round the houses with the others instead. Having said that, when I read the first half I was reading a few other books in parallel which didn't help, and I've abandoned that approach now, so I could follow the second half a bit better. So I might be being a bit unfair on this book, but only a bit. It just isn't gripping at all, which is a real shame as Alexander Freed is a good author who has proved he can write a great Star Wars story with emphasis on the wars from the point of view of those fighting them. Which is exactly what this is, but it's just not great.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Think I’m running out of really decent Star Wars comics. The new Aphra is ok, but not really rocking my World yet. It’s also being used to hype the High Republic, which is all,of a sudden getting mentions across most new titles. Vader continues to be brilliant though, as does Star Wars.

 

Of the others I’ve been hoovering up the stand-out was Tie-Fighter, a great story of camaraderie between a group of Imperial pilots. Much too short though. Poe Damaron hasn’t got me hooked yet. Finished the first arc and will probably return to it later. Not really getting into Bounty Hunters either, it passes the time and isn’t bad, but nothing special.  
 

Of the Legends comics, Crimson Empire was pretty good but don’t think I’ll return for all the sequel comics. Just started the original Clone Wars comics,which got pushed out of canon by the cartoon, and they’re extremely lavish. Not a penny spared on the artwork, so hopefully the quality of the writing can keep up.

 

Overall though, think I’ve pretty much binged everything now and only have monthly releases to look forward to. Oh well, back to the novels.

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  • 1 month later...

Did anyone read Light of the Jedi in the end? I started it this week and I'm really enjoying it so far. There was a lot to get my head around to start with though, as it jumps straight into the action with a barrage of new characters and ships to get used to.

 

I've got high hopes for the setting, as it will be nice to have a Star Wars book series that doesn't depend on existing characters and events.

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Yeah I  went through it in a few days and really enjoyed it, the 2 biggest problems it has is a huge cast that takes a long while to settle into and it just ends, feels like it has no real ending. 

 

I really like Marchion Ro though. 

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It's on my reading list but not yet on my pile of shame, I'll get there eventually.

 

Is it me or has the rate of publication gone massively down since TROS came out? Kind of understandable with no new/recent film to create general Star Wars buzz but on the other hand Mando seems to have filled that gap. But I'm not really complaining as I'm behind on the books they have actually published.

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Whether or not the novel publication rate has dropped, Marvel are still pumping out comics as fast as always, and incredibly the quality is as high as it's ever been. I was a bit apprehensive about this one, as Aphra is a brilliant character whose comics have been consistently great, but not only does this new series have a new writer and artist, it also gives the not so good Doctor a team to work/play/wisecrack with, which seemed like a risky departure from what's gone before. But I needn't have worried, she and we are in safe hands here, and the new all-female creative team (writer, artist, colourer and cover artist) move seamlessly forward with the ongoing tale of the "rogue archaeologist" and her knack of getting into trouble with rebels, imperials, bounty hunters, librarians etc. This runs in parallel with the new Star Wars and Darth Vader series (hence the unified cover styles) but doesn't cross over with them in any way, so far at least, so I'd say this is an excellent place to start reading Doctor Aphra if you haven't before. And if not, why not?!

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