Categories
Star Wars Holocron

10 Questions We Have About The Mandalorian Season 3

by @holocronJosh for @sw_holocron

With The Mandalorian’s second season ending on such a resounding, unexpected note, we’re left with more than a few questions heading into the Disney+ series’ third season. Here are 10 questions we have about The Mandalorian Season 3:

1. What happens to Grogu now?

I guess this is the big question fans will be left scratching their heads over until new episodes of The Mandalorian debut. It seemed as if the show was heading in a direction where Grogu’s true destiny was to stick with Din and not go off with a Jedi, but this was evidently not the case. Despite Grogu being a massive pop culture icon at this point, it seems as if The Mandalorian Season 3 will, at least in part, shift gears away from the baby Yoda creature to other plots and characters. That being said, although Grogu’s reappearance in the show is inevitable, what that will entail, when that will happen, and if we’ll see Luke again all remain a mystery.

2. Will we see Bo Katan and Mando fight over the Darksaber?

It seems that the obvious answer to this question is yes. Chapter 16: The Rescue doesn’t leave fans with much to go off of in regards to predicting next’s season plot. One of the few unresolved plot points was the fact that Gideon’s defeat at the hands of Din has now pitted a motivated Bo Katan and a reluctant Din against one another. Will the two come to some agreement about the transference of the darksaber? Or will they indeed fight over the storied weapon? And what will be the answer to the question of why Sabine could pass the darksaber onto Bo Katan, but Din cannot?

3. Will we visit Mandalore?

Speaking of Mandalorian lore, it seems inevitable that The Mandalorian will eventually journey to Mandalore (yes, a lot of Mandalorians in the same sentence). Mandalore was a gorgeous planet brought to life in canon in The Clone Wars and Rebels and, given that Bo Katan is attempting to reclaim the planet, it seems that The Mandalorian could logically be taken here in season 3.

4. What happens to Gideon now?

Gideon has been the elusive antagonist of The Mandalorian so far, but now he is captured. This opens the door for other villains to step into the main antagonist role of the series. Or, maybe Gideon finds a way to break out of the New Republic’s custody. Either way, Gideon has featured less than people expected so far and it’ll be interesting to see where the character goes from here.

5. What happens to characters who now have their own spin off shows?

Both Cara Dune and Boba Fett, two prominent characters in The Mandalorian’s second season, now have their own Disney+ series coming our way. What does this entail for their inclusion in future episodes of The Mandalorian? Cross-overs between shows are surely inevitable, but we would expect that both Boba and Cara will have reduced roles in season 3.

6. Will Cobb Vanth reappear?

Timothy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth was a fan favorite in season 2 and his line “I hope our paths cross again” surely sets him up to appear again. Given the Marshal’s location on Tatooine, one would think he is most likely to next appear in The Book of Boba Fett, but we hope we see more of the adventures of The Mandalorian and the Marshal soon.

7. Will we see more of Din without his helmet?

We’ve only seen the titular character’s face three times across 16 episodes, but it feels like the show is getting more and more accustomed to exposing Mando’s face. Especially with Pedro Pascal’s rising fame and the fact that Din has gradually began to take his helmet off when necessary, we’re curious about the extent to which we’ll see the unmasked Mandalorian in season 3.

8. When will people call him Din Djarin?

Speaking of our titular character, no one refers to him by his real name. The character’s real name was dropped by Moff Gideon in Chapter 8, but has not been spoken since. This was a surprising omission from season 2 and, perhaps, with Din removing his helmet more often we’ll see him shed other parts of his secretive identity, including his name.

9. Which new characters will be added to Season 3 and can they be kept a secret?

Season 2 took a massive leap forward in integrating The Mandalorian into broader canon, primarily through the appearances of Bo Katan, Boba Fett, Ahsoka Tano, and, of course, Luke Skywalker. Unfortunately, all but one of these appearances leaked prematurely, something we and surely Jon Favreau and co. dearly hope does not happen again.

10. When will season 3 debut?

This is a tough one. At Disney Investor Day, Kathleen Kennedy stated season 3 would start streaming in Christmas 2021, but that is seeming less and less likely. We know that The Book of Boba Fett is set to start streaming in December 2021 and it seems unlikely there would be two Star Wars series on Disney+ simultaneously. Also, The Mandalorian season 3 is yet to go into production. Meanwhile, Andor is in the middle of production and Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to start filming in January, making it seem more likely these series drop before the next season of The Mandalorian. We hope season 3 comes sooner rather than later, but, if it is indeed later, we know there’s plenty of exciting Star Wars content to consume in the meantime.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Disney+

Categories
Star Wars Holocron

REVIEW: Star Wars The High Republic: A Test of Courage

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

We are on the verge of exploring an entire new era in the Star Wars mythology with The High Republic, something that we have been looking forward to since the publishing initiative’s reveal last year. One of the first major entries in this new era is Star Wars The High Republic: A Test of Courage, a new middle-grade novel written by Justina Ireland. Ireland’s previous Star Wars works include the middle-grade novels Lando’s Luck and Spark of the Resistance. And, similar to those works, Ireland delivers an exciting, fast paced novel geared toward younger readers with plenty for older readers to feast on too.

A Test of Courage dives into this brand new era of Star Wars canon, set approximately 200 years before The Phantom Menace. Featuring a new ensemble array of characters, A Test of Courage primarily follows Vernestra Rwoh, a Jedi Knight journeying on a luxury starship heading for a space station in the Outer Rim regions. Vernestra is accompanied by Jedi apprentice Imri Cantaros, a senator’s daughter named Avon Starros who Vernestra is tasked with supervising, Avon’s protocol droid, and an ambassador’s son named Honesty Weft (yes, Ireland creates some truly great Star Wars character names in her novel). Their plans go awry, however, as their ship becomes under attack by insidious pirates known as the Nihil and the team flees on an escape shuttle to a forest moon.

Amidst recent projects like The Rise of Skywalker, The Clone Wars, and The Mandalorian, it can be overwhelming to suddenly shift gears to an entirely different time period before the Skywalker saga, but A Test of Courage navigates this task well for the most part. The novel doesn’t become bogged down in exposition about this new era, instead primarily focusing on the narrative at hand with sprinkles of important canon information throughout, in true Star Wars fashion. This may be a little disappointing to Star Wars fans seeking a deeper exploration into this new era with A Test of Courage. Most of the world building is rather surface level, although what we get is interesting. In particular, the Great Disaster is mentioned several times and also appears in several of the other debut High Republic books. Not much is known about this event, but it involved the destruction of a massive spaceship traveling through hyperspace, which caused hyperspace lanes to become dangerous to travel in and the entire landscape of the galaxy to undergo radical changes. It’s cool to learn more about this event with seemingly ancillary tidbits scattered throughout. That being said, one probably needs to read other High Republic books in conjunction with A Test of Courage to really begin living in this new era. Little references to other facets of Star Wars, including Batuu and Pasaana, add depth to the novel and make it feel integrated into broader Star Wars canon, but the novel doesn’t quite delve into the High Republic era as we would have liked.

As opposed to world building, Ireland’s novel really excels in character dynamics. Ireland has a nuanced way of writing dialogue that feels so genuine and appropriate for the novel’s target audience. Adolescents speak like adolescents, kids speak like kids, and adults speak like adults. Each character feels distinct from the next and different people are bound to have their favorites. I was particularly drawn to Imri and the journey she goes on, whereas another editor at Star Wars Holocron was unexpectedly drawn to Avon. The stakes are high, but the tone never becomes too abrasive or overwhelming for our cast of characters. Little character interactions throughout the novel harken back to dynamics we’ve seen before, including Obi-Wan and Anakin, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, and even Kit Fisto and Nahdar Vebb. In this sense, A Test of Courage certainly feels like an episode of The Clone Wars at times, both in its tone, plot, and character interactions.

Verdict:

Justina Ireland’s A Test of Courage is a fantastic new novel that complements other High Republic projects like Light of the Jedi and Into the Dark in interesting ways. The novel doesn’t quite delve into the uniqueness and world building of the High Republic era as we would have liked, but this is offset by brilliantly written young characters, who readers will quickly empathize with.

Image courtesy of Disney-Lucasfilm Press

Categories
Star Wars Holocron

What’s New in Star Wars – January 2021

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

2021 kicks off with the highly anticipated debut of The High Republic era across a range of new, exciting projects. The sprawling publishing initiative was revealed last year and we’ve been eagerly awaiting some of the new books and comics in this new era – a perfect antidote to the post-Mandalorian blues. January also sees the continuation of various other ongoing projects we’re looking forward to. It is important to note all of these release dates are subject to change. Below includes a list and description of upcoming Star Wars projects in the month of January:

January 5 – The High Republic: Light of the Jedi

The first installment of The High Republic publishing campaign drops in early January, written by the always brilliant Charles Soule and published by Del Rey. The novel follows Jedi Avar Kriss two centuries before the events of The Phantom Menace. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Long before the First Order, before the Empire, before even The Phantom Menace. . . Jedi lit the way for the galaxy in The High Republic. It is a golden age. Intrepid hyperspace scouts expand the reach of the Republic to the furthest stars, worlds flourish under the benevolent leadership of the Senate, and peace reigns, enforced by the wisdom and strength of the renowned order of Force users known as the Jedi. With the Jedi at the height of their power, the free citizens of the galaxy are confident in their ability to weather any storm. But even the brightest light can cast a shadow, and some storms defy any preparation. When a shocking catastrophe in hyperspace tears a ship to pieces, the flurry of shrapnel emerging from the disaster threatens an entire system. No sooner does the call for help go out than the Jedi race to the scene. The scope of the emergence, however, is enough to push even Jedi to their limit. As the sky breaks open and destruction rains down upon the peaceful alliance they helped to build, the Jedi must trust in the Force to see them through a day in which a single mistake could cost billions of lives. Even as the Jedi battle valiantly against calamity, something truly deadly grows beyond the boundary of the Republic. The hyperspace disaster is far more sinister than the Jedi could ever suspect. A threat hides in the darkness, far from the light of the age, and harbors a secret that could strike fear into even a Jedi’s heart.”

January 5 – The High Republic: A Test of Courage

Justina Ireland’s junior novel A Test of Courage also debuts in early January. We recently received the Disney-Lucasfilm Press book and have to say that we were blown away by the story and characters depicted by Ireland. An amazing installment in canon with lessons and adventures that would appeal to people across the lifespan. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Long before the Clone Wars, the Empire, or the First Order, the Jedi lit the way for the galaxy in a golden age known as the High Republic! Vernestra Rwoh has just become a Jedi Knight at age fifteen, but her first real assignment feels an awful lot like babysitting. She’s been charged with supervising eleven-year old aspiring inventor Avon Starros on a cruiser headed to the dedication of a wondrous new space station called Starlight Beacon. But soon into their journey, bombs go off aboard the cruiser. While the adult Jedi try to save the ship, Vernestra, Avon, Avon’s droid J-6, a Jedi Padawan, and an ambassador’s son make it to an escape shuttle, but communications are out and supplies are low. They decide to land on a nearby moon, which offers shelter but not much more. And unbeknownst to them, danger lurks in the forest?”

January 5 – The High Republic: The Great Jedi Rescue

Disney-Lucasfilm Press also delivers The High Republic content for younger readers with Cavan Scott’s The Great Jedi Rescue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Meet the noble and wise Jedi of the High Republic! When a disaster strikes in hyperspace, putting the people of Hetzal Prime in grave danger, only the Jedi of the High Republic can save the day!”

January 5 – A Galaxy for Everyone

One of the best things about Star Wars is its ability to convey relevant life lessons across a range of different projects, a tradition the new Little Golden Book debuting in January looks to continue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Celebrate the diversity of the Star Wars universe with this Little Golden Book! Some are big, and some are small. Some are young, and some are old. Some are queens, and some are scavengers. All off the aliens and beings from the Star Wars saga are very different, but each and every one of them plays an important role in the galaxy. This Little Golden Book celebrates the wonderful diversity in the Star Wars saga. Featuring stunning retro stylized illustrations, this book includes characters from all of the Star Wars films. It is perfect for Star Wars–and Little Golden Book–fans of all ages. Star Wars has captivated millions worldwide for almost forty years. The phenomenon began with the 1977 theatrical debut of Star Wars, later retitled A New Hope, and has expanded to include six additional major motion pictures (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and The Rise of Skywalker), television programming, publishing, video games, and much more, with new films coming every year.”

January 5 – Star Wars Galactic Storybook

More young reader content arrives with a new storybook of 6 tales illustrated by Katie Cook and published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press. 

January 5 – Star Wars: The Mandalorian Junior Novel

Author Joe Schreiber brings the events of The Mandalorian’s first season to life in this junior novel published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press. We recently reviewed the junior novel, which you can check out on our website.

January 6 – Star Wars 10

Charles Soule’s contributions to Star Wars continue in the month of January with the 10th issue of the main line. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “”OPERATION STARLIGHT, PART 2 (OF 3)” – REELING FROM THE LOSS OF ONE OF THEIR OWN, THE REBELS FINALLY SEE A PATH FORWARD! THE REBELS attempt to create a new communications code that THE EMPIRE will never be able to crack, in hopes that they might be able to safely reunite their scattered fleet and rejoin the fight. However, the code has a cost, one that LANDO CALRISSIAN is not willing to pay Meanwhile, STARLIGHT SQUADRON, the group of elite pilots tasked with finding the scattered divisions of the fleet, heads out on its first deadly mission.”

January 6 – The High Republic 1

The High Republic content continues with the first issue of Marvel Comics’ series written by Cavan Scott. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “BEFORE THE SKYWALKER SAGA! THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE JEDI! A new era of STAR WARS storytelling begins. It is centuries before the SKYWALKER SAGA. The JEDI are at their height, protecting the galaxy as REPUBLIC pioneers push out into new territories. As the Frontier prepares for the dedication of majestic STARLIGHT BEACON, PADAWAN KEEVE TRENNIS faces the ultimate choice — will she complete her Jedi Trials or rescue the innocent from disaster? New Jedi! New ships! New evils to fight!”

January 12 – Star Wars: I Love You. I Know.

A perfect early Valentine’s Day present, Amy Richau’s new DK Publishing book will detail lessons of love and friendship in a galaxy far, far away. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Relationships can be complex—your dad could have turned to the dark side, your partner could be a princess, or your best friend might speak in more than 7 million forms of communication and never stop talking! This book shares some wise advice for romances, friendships, and family relationships from fan-favorite Star Wars characters such as Han and Leia, Rey and Kylo Ren, and Finn and Poe. The perfect Valentine’s Day or anniversary gift for your scruffy-looking nerf herder, best friend or long-lost sibling, Star Wars: I Love You. I Know is a lighthearted guide to relationships, featuring quotes, classic moments, and characters from the Star Wars galaxy.”

January 13 – Darth Vader 9

Greg Pak’s incredible Darth Vader series continues with this ninth issue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE ASSASSIN RETURNS! In his search for vengeance in the depths of MUSTAFAR, DARTH VADER has seized the mysterious key to the EMPEROR’S greatest secret. But the key itself needs a key — which only the deadly assassin OCHI OF BESTOON seems to have. Vader and Ochi are in for the fight of their lives with the fate of the Emperor in the balance — but how much of this is all PALPATINE’S plan? And what happens when the SITH LORD and the SITH ASSASSIN start to figure that plan out?”

January 19 – Star Wars Adventures Vol. 11: Rise of the Wookiees

This volume collects issues 27-32 of the series. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Journey deeper into the world of Star Wars with these stories set just before the events of The Rise of Skywalker! With Kashyyyk under siege from the evil First Order, can Chewbacca and the Wookiees successfully defend their home world? Next, the droids must carry out a special undercover mission, but will C-3PO be able to adapt when the mission parameters change? Then, discover secrets of your favorite characters in a trio of stories spotlighting the newest heroes and villains of the Star Wars universe, Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren! All this, plus new “Tales from Wild Space”!”

January 20 – Doctor Aphra 7

The 7th issue of Alyssa Wong’s Marvel Comic series featuring one of our favorite additions to canon debuts this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE OFFER! Hired by DOMINA TAGGE, APHRA sets her sights on a mysterious piece of tech that could shift the balance of the galactic civil war. Her hunt takes her to CORELLIA… and to SANA STARROS’ doorstep! But Aphra’s not the only one on Corellia with an eye on the tech…!”

January 20 – Star Wars Adventures: Smuggler’s Run 2

We’re always interested in new Han and Chewie adventures and the second issue of the Smuggler’s Run series will do just that. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “After the Battle of Yavin, Han Solo and Chewbacca intend to use their reward to settle their debts. But Princess Leia asks them to accept a secret mission for the Resistance. Mortal dangers, traitorous enemies, and thorny situations mark the path of these two heroes of the Star Wars saga.”

January 26 – Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 1 — Fortune and Fate

For anyone wishing to catch up on the adventures of Doctor Aphra, this new paperback collection has you covered. Marvel Comics are bringing together the first five issues of the Doctor Aphra comic series from author Alyssa Wong. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “The rogue archaeologist returns – with a new crew and a new mission! With the Rebel Alliance on the run after their defeat at the Battle of Hoth, it’s never been a more dangerous time for outlaws and scoundrels. But after a string of bad luck and near escapes, Doctor Aphra is back on the job – hunting the score of a lifetime that’s too good to pass up. To find the cursed Rings of Vaale, Aphra will need a crew of treasure hunters the likes of which the galaxy has never seen before! But Ronen Tagge, heir to the powerful Tagge family, also has his eyes on the prize. Do Aphra and her team stand a chance at fortune and glory? Or could there be a traitor in their midst?”

January 26 – Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales

Michael Moreci’s five-part comic-book series Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales is compiled together in this paperback collection published by IDW Publishing, which was originally scheduled to drop last month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Return to a time of great upheaval in the galaxy, the final years of the Republic, in this anthology based on the beloved animated series! While Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and other Jedi Knights fight against incredible odds, two Republic squadrons must hold their position against an encroaching droid army of the Separatists. Pinned down for the duration, Commander Cody, Captain Rex, and other clones swap war stories that feature your favorite characters from The Clone Wars animated series, such as Padmé Amidala, General Grievous, and many more!”

January 26 – Star Wars Adventures: Beware Vader’s Castle

Cavan Scott’s brilliant Tales from Vader’s Castle and Return to Vader’s Castle series are brought together in this hardcover graphic novel collection. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Why would anyone break IN to the dreaded stronghold of Darth Vader? Find out in this spooky graphic novel perfect for middle-grade readers! How does a band of rebels distract themselves when sneaking into the creepiest place in the galaxy? Tell scary stories of course! Your favorite characters, like Obi-Wan, Han and Chewie, Hera Syndulla, and the Ewoks, face classic creeps like ghosts, monsters, witches, and more. But the hidden corners of the Star Wars universe hold even more terrifying tales: stories featuring a wretched hive of scum and villainy including the likes of Darth Maul, Jabba the Hutt, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Asajj Ventress–all under the shadow of Vader himself!”

January 26 – Star Wars: The Mandalorian – The Art & Imagery Collector’s Edition, Volume Two

Volume two of Titan Comics’ Art and Imagery series debuts in January, after being delayed from its previously scheduled release of May 2020. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “This collector’s edition includes stunning artwork from chapters 5- 8, featuring the droids, rogues, and soldiers of the Empire as seen in the hit series. A unique mix of photography, art and concept illustration showcases the Mandalorian, his allies, his foes and his incredible adventures.”

January 27 – Bounty Hunters 9

The adventures of Valance continue in the ninth issue of Ethan Sacks’ Marvel Comics series. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE “TERMINUS GAUNTLET” CONTINUES! Trapped on a REBEL transport under attack by pirates, VALANCE must make a desperate gambit to survive. But little does the cyborg bounty hunter know he’s on a collision course with his old rival, DENGAR! Plus, a familiar face makes a shocking return with a plan that will change the underworld forever.”

January 27 – Star Wars Adventures 3

The third issue of the Star Wars Adventures comic series is written by Michael Moreci and Sam Maggs. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Join the Wookiees of Kashyyyk for part one of a special Life Day celebration! Then, follow Kylo Ren as he learns what it means to be the Supreme Leader of the First Order.”

For reference, a condensed list of upcoming projects in January without descriptions is included below:

January 5 – The High Republic: Light of the Jedi  

January 5 – The High Republic: A Test of Courage  

January 5 – The High Republic: The Great Jedi Rescue  

January 5 – A Galaxy for Everyone  

January 5 – Star Wars Galactic Storybook  

January 5 – Star Wars: The Mandalorian Junior Novel  

January 6 – Star Wars 10  

January 6 – The High Republic 1  

January 12 – Star Wars: I Love You. I Know.  

January 13 – Darth Vader 9  

January 19 – Star Wars Adventures Vol. 11: Rise of the Wookiees  

January 20 – Doctor Aphra 7  

January 20 – Star Wars Adventures: Smuggler’s Run 2  

January 26 – Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 1 — Fortune and Fate  

January 26 – Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Battle Tales

January 26 – Star Wars: The Mandalorian – The Art & Imagery Collector’s Edition, Volume Two

January 26 – Star Wars Adventures: Beware Vader’s Castle  

January 27 – Bounty Hunters 9  

Images courtesy of Disney-Lucasfilm Press, Marvel Comics, Random House, IDW Publishing, Titan Magazines, Disney+, and Lucasfilm