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Star Wars Holocron

What’s New in Star Wars – February 2022

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

February looks to be the month of dramatic finales for Star Wars fans. Not only does The Book of Boba Fett’s first season draw to a close, but we will all see phase 1 of The High Republic come to a powerful end. Below includes a list and description of upcoming Star Wars projects in the month of February. It is important to note all of these release dates are subject to change.

February 1 – The High Republic: The Battle for Starlight

This new children’s book by George Mann runs concurrently with Claudia Gray’s The Fallen Star.

February 1 – The High Republic: Midnight Horizon

Daniel Jose Older helps bring the High Republic’s first phase to a closing with his new YA novel from Disney-Lucasfilm Press. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “After a series of staggering losses, the Republic seems to finally have the villainous Nihil marauders on the run, and it looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Until word comes of a suspected Nihil attack on the industrial cosmopolitan world of Corellia, right in the Galactic Core.Sent to investigate are Jedi Masters Cohmac Vitus and Kantam Sy, along with Padawans Reath Silas and Ram Jomaram, all fighting their own private battles after months of unrelenting danger. On Corellia, Reath and Ram encounter a brazen young security specialist named Crash, whose friend was one of the victims of the Nihil attack, and they team up with her to infiltrate Corellia’s elite while the Masters pursue more diplomatic avenues. But going undercover with Crash is more dangerous than anyone expected, even as Ram pulls in his friend Zeen to help with an elaborate ruse involving a galactic pop star. But what they uncover on Corellia turns out to be just one part of a greater plan, one that could lead the Jedi to their most stunning defeat yet….”

February 2 – The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 6

After Din Djarin’s jaw-dropping appearance in Chapter 5 and the tease that we will soon see Grogu (and possibly Luke) again, the anticipation is sky high for the penultimate chapter of The Book of Boba Fett.

February 2 – Crimson Reign 2

The second issue of Charles Soule’s Crimson Reign series debuts this month.

February 2 – Halcyon Legacy 1

Ethan Sacks kicks off a new Star Wars comic series for Marvel Comics this month. The publisher’s summary for the first issue is as follows: “THE VOYAGES OF THE GREATEST OF ALL-STAR CRUISERS! As the legendary HALCYON embarks on a momentous…cruise, the ship heads toward a confrontation with THE FIRST ORDER! But what secret from THE HIGH REPUBLIC ERA can help the passengers and crew all these years later? And how did JEDI NIBS and BURRY fend off a NIHIL attack on one of the ship’s first ever voyages?”

February 2 – Star Wars Adventures (2020) 14

George Mann and Justina Ireland bring new Star Wars adventures to life in the new issue of IDW Publishing’s underrated series.

February 2 – The High Republic 14

Cavan Scott’s thrilling High Republic comic series continues to out do itself and works so well in conjunction with other High Republic stories. The publisher’s summary for the newest issue is as follows: “THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION! From Hero of Hetzal to…murderer? Can Keeve Trennis stop Marshal Avar Kriss from making a fatal mistake? Death and danger await the Starlight Jedi as they finally close in on their enemy. Tying directly into Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: The Fallen Star, phase one of Star Wars: The High Republic enters its cataclysmic final wave of stories. Everything is about to change.”

February 8 – Star Wars Legends: Rise of the Sith Omnibus

A new Omnibus collecting classic Legends comics debuts this month. The publisher’s summary for the upcoming collection is as follows: “The road to The Phantom Menace! Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn has a close encounter with the Dark Side while trying to prevent a civil war! And can Qui-Gon and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi deal with an out-of-control cloud cruiser — and the lawless world of Ord Mantell? As Mace Windu’s Jedi Knights face the deadly threat of the Yinchorri, Darth Maul strikes from the shadows — cutting down all obstacles in his mysterious master’s way! And meet teenage Queen Padmé Amidala and young Anakin Skywalker — a boy with a dark destiny! Collecting STAR WARS: JEDI — THE DARK SIDE #1-5; STAR WARS: QUI-GON & OBI-WAN — THE AURORIENT EXPRESS #1-2; STAR WARS: QUI-GON & OBI-WAN — LAST STAND ON ORD MANTELL #1-3; STAR WARS: JEDI COUNCIL — ACTS OF WAR #1-4; STAR WARS (1998) #0-6; STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL (2000) #1-4; STAR WARS: EPISODE I — THE PHANTOM MENACE #1/2 and #1-4; STAR WARS: EPISODE I — ANAKIN SKYWALKER, QUEEN AMIDALA, QUI-GON JINN and OBI-WAN KENOBI and material from STAR WARS TALES #1, #3, #5, #7, #9-10, #13-14, #20 and #24.”

February 8 – Star Wars: Inner Jedi

Insight Editions is here with another enthralling reference book. This time around, we’re treated to a guided journal focusing on the philosophy of the Jedi Order.

February 9 – Darth Vader (2020) 20

Greg Pak’s Darth Vader series is one of the best Star Wars comics currently running, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store in this upcoming issue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE QUEEN’S SHADOW RETURNS! Darth Vader continues his quest to destroy the agents of Crimson Dawn, abetted by an unlikely crew of heroes and assassins. But every twist in the tale gets thrown into question with the shocking return of SABÉ, handmaiden of Padmé Amidala! Who’s the hero? Who’s the villain? And will they choose chaos or order in the age of Crimson Reign?”

February 9 – The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 5

The mystery-thriller series from Daniel Jose Older comes to an end this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “It all comes crashing together in this finale as Emerick and Sian come face to face with mystery they’ve been hunting. Who will survive? Phase one of Star Wars: The High Republic culminates in this crashing conclusion.”

February 9 – The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 7

The Book of Boba Fett’s first season concludes with its seventh chapter this month.

February 15 – Star Wars Insider: The Galaxy’s Greatest Heroes

Check out our exclusive preview of Titan Magazine’s upcoming Star Wars Insider: The Galaxy’s Greatest Heroes here, featuring insightful interviews with George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Mark Hamill, and more!

February 15 – The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Season Two)

Once again written by Phil Szostak, a new Star Wars art book spotlighting season 2 of The Mandalorian is one of our most anticipated projects this month.

February 15 – Star Wars: The Old Republic: Legacy of the Sith

The eighth Digital Expansion to the BioWare MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic will release mid-February. Summary is as follows: “The expansion’s storyline takes place on the planet of Manaan, and will send players headfirst into a new military campaign with the mission of securing a very important planet for their faction. The narrative will center around Darth Malgus. The level cap is raised to 80. There will be new missions to take on, including a Flashpoint set on the remote planet of Elom, in addition to a new Operation that players will need to complete, as well.”

February 16 – The High Republic: Eye of the Storm 2

Charles Soule’s deep dive into Marchion Ro continues this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “ACT TWO: Marchion. The Wreckage. The Hunt. The Storm. In which the Eye of the Nihil exults after a job well done. In which Marchion Ro reveals the source of the Jedi’s greatest fear. In which the future of the Nihil is revealed.”

February 22 – Star Wars Insider Presents: Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season Two Collector’s Edition Volume One

Titan Magazines spotlights the first half of The Mandalorian’s second season in a new collection this month.

February 22 – Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures, Volume Two

A new book from IDW Publishing brings together The High Republic Adventures 6-8, the 2021 annual, and the 2021 Free Comic Book Day story. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “An even longer time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the adventures continue for Lula and her fellow Padawans in the Republic’s golden age! The High Republic is an unexplored period in Star Wars history, set hundreds of years before the events of the Skywalker Saga—when the Jedi were at their height and Master Yoda was much younger, and still training Padawans in the field. It is here where we find Jedi Padawans Farzala and Qort, who are taking a break from the ongoing battle against the dangerous marauders known as the Nihil. As part of a secret mission, they join an aging Jedi Knight on the starship The Vessel to negotiate a peace treaty with the Hutt crime family. Hey, what could go wrong? As it turns out: literally everything. Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures is part of a broader storytelling initiative exploring a mysterious, bygone era of the Galactic Republic through comics and prose.”

February 23 – The High Republic 15

The final issue of Cavan Scott’s comic series has us waiting eagerly in anticipation. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “EVERYTHING CHANGES! Phase one of Star Wars: The High Republic reaches its galaxy-shaking conclusion. Only one person can save the Jedi from the mysterious monsters that stalk Starlight Beacon. Who will live and who will die?”

February 23 – The High Republic Adventures 13

Also marking an end to the High Republic’s first phase is the final issue of The High Republic Adventures. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “With their latest mission behind them, the Padawan face their greatest challenge yet: the future. Farzala and Qort are ready to take the next steps, but Lula can’t shake her emotions, as is the Jedi way. She’s been trained for battle, for diplomatic relations, for rescue missions… she was never trained for a heart that aches for more. Through it all, though, they are guided by wise words of the Jedi: for light and for life.”

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

February 1 – The High Republic: The Battle for Starlight 

February 1 – The High Republic: Midnight Horizon 

February 2 – The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 6

February 2 – Crimson Reign 2 

February 2 – Halcyon Legacy 1 

February 2 – Star Wars Adventures (2020) 14 

February 2 – The High Republic 14 

February 8 – Star Wars Legends: Rise of the Sith Omnibus 

February 8 – Star Wars: Inner Jedi 

February 9 – Darth Vader (2020) 20 

February 9 – The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 5 

February 9 – The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 7

February 15 – Star Wars Insider: The Galaxy’s Greatest Heroes 

February 15 – The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Season Two) 

February 15 – Star Wars: The Old Republic: Legacy of the Sith

February 16 – The High Republic: Eye of the Storm 2 

February 22 – Star Wars Insider Presents: Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season Two Collector’s Edition Volume One 

February 22 – Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures, Volume Two 

February 23 – The High Republic 15 

February 23 – The High Republic Adventures 13

Images courtesy of Disney+, Lucasfilm, Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, Titan Magazines, Insight Editions, Abrams Books, Disney-Lucasfilm Press

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Star Wars Holocron

The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 5 Review

By @HolocronJosh and @HolocronGeorge

Warning: This Review Contains Spoilers for Chapter 5 of The Book of Boba Fett

The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5…or The Mandalorian Chapter 17? The most anticipated episode of the season arrived today with Return of the Mandalorian, which had Din Djarin in the starring role. The audience catches up with the character that won everyone’s hearts with his relationship with Grogu, and seeds are planted for the final two episodes of The Book of Boba Fett. Oh, and, plenty of Easter eggs and references to boot.

Din Djarin is introduced almost immediately, in similar fashion to Ahsoka’s arrival in The Mandalorian Season 2. Both were Chapters that hardcore fans knew were going to feature the return of iconic characters, and these heroes appeared quicker than most expected, and with lightsabers ignited almost instantly as well. Djarin walks into a meat packing plant, a first in the Star Wars universe, to collect a bounty. But he’s a Mandalorian after all, and weapons are part of his religion, as the creed goes, so what begins with a conversation quickly turns into a battle. Djarin uses the darksaber, the same ancient Mandalorian weapon he won the last time we saw him, to bring in a wanted criminal cold.

This action sequence is incredibly well directed, as is the entire episode. Bryce Dallas Howard has gone from strength to strength in her behind the scenes role on Star Wars every since Chapter 4 of The Mandalorian in 2019. This episode is the highlight of her three directed features so far, with the action ramped up to another level and showing the broader galaxy in a beautiful way. The directing has been under the spotlight from some Star Wars fans who were critical of certain chapters of The Book of Boba Fett, in particular the chase sequence with the biker gang. Regardless of one’s feelings on that sequence or the directing of the show so far, it’s hard to see how anyone would have an issue with Chapter 5 in this regard. Return of the Mandalorian is easily the best directed episode of the season so far. Hats off to Bryce Dallas Howard.

The episode later goes on to serve as a catch up with Djarin, as he meets The Armorer and Visla, duels for the right to keep his saber, and heads to Tatooine to get a new ship. It’s something that fans arguably expected to come in the first episode of The Mandalorian Season 3, but it works nonetheless, as Djarin is such a compelling character that his mere presence lights up the show in a way some felt was needed. Djarin has a new ship, a Naboo Starfighter to be specific, which is fittingly silver in color. The Starfighter is just one of many Easter eggs, callbacks, and references in this episode, but it works. It all makes sense and adds up to the overall story. Some are critical of fan service, saying that it serves no overall purpose and is there to please hardcore watchers of a given franchise, but that’s certainly not the case here. Like Luke’s appearance in The Mandalorian Season 2 finale, the story seems to lead to some of these events, not the other way around as some allege at other film and TV projects more broadly. It makes sense to see K2 droids on Mandalore, for example, as they were Empire controlled mercenaries during the time of the Original Trilogy, which is when the Great Purge occurred. Overall, it’s clear they are working towards something with forward momentum, rather than landing on an idea and going backwards to make it fit the story. All of it feels natural in a great way.

There’s so many callbacks that it’s hard to reference all of them, but one in particular deserves a shoutout: the appearance of what seems to be BD-1 from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Cal Kestis’ droid was a big part of the game, and seems to appear here, or at least a droid of the same model. BD used his scanning abilities to help with the ship build just as he did with Kestis in Fallen Order. All of this a cool reference that could go further than that, as Djarin’s new ship does have a space made for a droid.

Djarin’s story is further, too: the episode ends with him stating he needs to go visit the Child to give him what appears to be a Mandalorian helmet. A Grogu and Luke Skywalker arrival seems imminent, and maybe the latter will help with the pressing Pyke situation that Boba Fett needs to deal with if he is to establish authority on Tatooine. It’s truly beginning to feel like a mini-cinematic universe with Din’s arrival in this show, and the possibility of other famous characters coming in too. There haven’t been too many successful cinematic universes outside of Marvel, with DC in particular struggling to build an interconnected world of characters, but it’s so far, so good for The Mandalorian. It helps, of course, to have Iron Man and original MCU director Jon Favreau at the helm. It seems as if the world in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens will only continue to get bigger as further shows are added in, such as Ahsoka. It’s an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan.

Interestingly, Boba Fett doesn’t appear at all in this episode. It’s certainly an unexpected creative decision, and one that many may not even mention or think about too deeply simply due to Djarin’s incredible screen presence. However, it has to be noted that the episode serves as a Din Djarin quest of sorts, with no forward momentum for the plot of The Book of Boba Fett. With only two episodes left, it’s beginning to seem like this show will have a first season akin to many Star Wars shows before it, with a teaser initial outing before going deeper in future seasons. Perhaps it should have been expected given the history of Star Wars TV, but it still feels a little jarring. Jon Favreau definitely seems at his most comfortable when writing Din Djarin as well, with a certain confidence and swagger in the writing whenever he is at the center. Boba Fett has done plenty of great character work to move the famed bounty hunter beyond just a faceless, immoral mercenary, and it would benefit the show greatly if they committed to that even further in the final two episodes and beyond.

Despite those concerns, Return of the Mandalorian is a stunning episode of Star Wars TV, and arguably the best we’ve ever gotten, directly rivaling Chapters 9 and 13 of The Mandalorian. The directing and action are incredible, hardcore fans will rewatch again and again to find new amazing references, and Djarin’s character continues to grow and evolve. He’s already one of the most iconic characters in Star Wars, and his beloved status with fans is only set to grow with this episode. Despite the lack of Boba Fett, and no forward momentum of the Pyke plot more broadly, the episode just about gets away with it due to the tease of Djarin coming to help Fett in the final two episodes. First, though, a Grogu reunion. The countdown to next week begins once again.

Verdict: 9.5/10

Return of the Mandalorian is the best episode of Star Wars television so far, leaving a tense wait for next week’s episode and the many imminent reunions at hand: Mando and Grogu, Mando and Boba, etc. It’s an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan, and this episode only furthers this.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm and Disney

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Star Wars Holocron

REVIEW: The Book of Chapter 4

by @holocronJosh & @holocronGeorge

WARNING: This review contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 4

Another Wednesday, another episode of The Book of Boba Fett. After last week’s (relatively) present day heavy episode, which featured a showdown between Boba and Black Krrsantan amidst the looming presence of the Pykes, Chapter 4 reverses the structure and is set mainly in the past again. More gaps are filled in a polished and entertaining episode as Ming-Na Wen shines in a terrific central role.

After Chapter 3’s somewhat strange decision to abruptly kill Boba’s newfound Sand People family off, Chapter 4’s flashbacks follow Boba as he deals with the aftermath of this tragedy. Boba is broken and haunted by their deaths, but far from defeated. Rather, he seems intent on doing one thing: getting revenge on those who harmed his friends. It’s a plot that elevates Boba as a character immensely, with Chapter 4 furthering the character work that the series has done so far. Fett is not merely the action figure-like caricature that was presented in the original trilogy. The flashbacks are fleshing out Fett’s character and, importantly, give the audience a real sense of why he wants to be a crime lord and not just a bounty hunter; as he tells Fennec, he wants a tribe, a family, and ruling (with respect, of course), which gives Boba the opportunity to regain what he lost with the deaths of the Tuskens. All of this deepening of Boba’s character in Chapter 4 occurs subtly, and is elevated by Temuera Morrison’s simultaneously understated and heightened performance. Morrison plays the role with such gravitas that we wish he appeared in every Star Wars project (which seems semi-realistic at this stage given that there are so many clones around in the timeline, all of whom share the same face as Boba). Chapter 4 is easily Morrison’s best performance in Star Wars so far.

Similarly, Ming-Na Wen also shines in this episode. The plot brings Boba to the events of Chapter 5 of The Mandalorian, where he rescues Fennec from the desert and helps her recover. Wen excels in playing off Morrison, with Boba being the more sympathetic, heartfelt character and Fennec seemingly more ruthless, especially as she wants to rule with more of an iron grip in the present day scenes. The duo’s great chemistry is on display here more than ever, and are almost like Yin and Yang in terms of their personalities. Their dynamic makes the series, and this episode in particular, even more captivating.

Fennec is brought to a droid-style hospital where the mods from the previous episode seemingly got their “improvements.” Those characters were the brunt of a degree of criticism from Star Wars fans this past week, with some saying their bikes and overall personalities were ill-fitting with the franchise. Favreau and company certainly double down on the mods here, with more bikes, more droid-enhanced humans, and unique music that evokes Blade Runner. Regardless of one’s feelings regarding this aspect of the show, it’s indicative of an overall attempt to push the boundaries of what Star Wars can be by Favreau and Filoni. It’s certainly an interesting concept, and the idea itself deserves praise for the sheer uniqueness and boldness from Favreau and colleagues to open the door to different characters and personalities of the ever expanding Star Wars galaxy.

This episode is masterfully directed by Kevin Tancharoen, a newcomer to the behind the scenes team behind these Disney+ series. It’s undeniably the best directed episode in the series so far, with Tancharoen handling the action scenes with a deft hand. It’s a testament to Tancharoen that, despite the events of Chapter 4 being largely predictable, the episode manages a consistent level of tension and suspense. The Sarlaac Pit sequence, where Boba returns to the pit to look (unsuccessfully) for his armor, could have been a difficult scene to craft, but Tancharoen directs it with horror-film like intensity that evokes Han and Leia’s harrowing escape from the Exogorth in The Empire Strikes Back and improves the event exponentially. There’s also some great shots of Tatooine in this episode, with one night time look at the suns and moon of the planet a particular highlight.

The big event of the episode, though, occurs at the end: a direct tease at Din Djarin’s impending arrival in the series. Boba needs warriors to fight the Pykes, and at this time in canon, who else than the Mandalorian himself? It makes the anticipation for next week’s episode even greater. Will he have a new ship? Will we see the darksaber again? Perhaps wishful thinking, but maybe a reunion with Grogu? It’s amazing to think about. Despite that, it actually makes sense for the story. It’s not simply Favreau putting Djarin in this new series for the sake of it, but because Boba Fett is in need of help and he has a relationship with Djarin now. 

Verdict: 8/10

The Book of Boba Fett’s fourth installment proves to be the best in the series so far, with incredible action and acting alongside great character work for Boba and Fennec. Things are certainly heating up, with a confrontation with the Pykes pending. The anticipation grows once again for next week’s episode with the impending arrival of The Mandalorian and we’re certainly counting down the days.

Images courtesy of Disney and Lucasfilm

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Star Wars Holocron

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: Star Wars: The Galaxy’s Greatest Heroes

by @holocronGeorge & @holocronJosh

If you’re like us, you love insights from behind the scenes of Star Wars. Interesting facts, behind the scenes stories, and reveals add so much depth to our beloved adventures in a galaxy far, far away. Next month, we’ll have a chance to go behind the scenes even further to discover how the most iconic Star Wars’ heroes were brought to life. Star Wars: The Galaxy’s Greatest Heroes is an upcoming collection of interviews and articles from Titan Comics. In this new collection, actors and creators discuss the ins and outs of bringing iconic characters and stories to life. The collection includes interviews with George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, to name a few.

Check out here an exclusive preview of a feature on Ahsoka Tano and an interview with Ashley Eckstein.

AHSOKA TANO – From a Padawan learner to a Jedi to an exile from the Jedi Order, Ahsoka Tano’s emotional journey gave Ashley Eckstein an opportunity to create a unique character in the Star Wars saga.

Making her Star Wars debut in the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie, Ahsoka Tano soon became a much-loved character in the Star Wars mythology. When we first meet her, she is an effervescent youngster placed under the mentorship of Anakin Skywalker.

Ashley Eckstein’s performance as the character would take the young Togruta in a multitude of surprising directions, not least when she brandished two lightsabers!

Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano): Two lightsabers are always better than one! I thought that was awesome that she got a second lightsaber. One of them is shorter, almost like a lightsaber dagger, which I thought was really cool. She definitely toughend up. She spent so much time with Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Plo Koon that she began taking on their fighting skills, especially Anakin’s. Ahsoka has no fear, no fear at all. She just goes right at it. Sometimes Anakin is so spontaneous that he doesn’t think about the Jedi way of doing things. Obi-Wan is more by the book. Ahsoka is definitely a combination of them both. I wouldn’t say Anakin is a bad influence, but he’s not necessarily the best influence for promoting the Jedi way. Anakin does things his own way, so Ahsoka has definitely become more like Anakin. At times she acts in ways that would be against what they would teach at the Jedi Temple. But thinking outside the box like Anakin and Ahsoka do is sometimes the best way to accomplish what you want. You have to take the good with the bad.

The third season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars featured a trilogy of episodes set in the mysterious world of Mortis.

Ashley Eckstein: The scripts of the three Mortis episodes really blew my mind. I couldn’t believe that they were allowing us to tackle that storyline. There are some heavy questions about Anakin and who he is. It really affects the movies and ties them into our series. I think that’s what was so nice about our show—as we went along, we helped explain things that happen in the movies and answer people’s questions about why things are the way they are.

When we first started, some fans complained because our show would be part of Star Wars canon, but now I think they welcome the fact that they’re getting some answers they always wanted. I had to approach them differently because Ahsoka goes through many personality transformations during this story. She grows up, and she goes through some extremely tough times. Just having to explore those different personalities, but still keeping them true to Ahsoka, was quite difficult for me. There was one scene I wasn’t quite hitting on the first try. Usually when we record an episode we only to three takes on every line, and then we move on. It’s rare to do more than three takes of something, but this one particular scene we were doing over and over again. I was getting really frustrated that I couldn’t nail it. I was so blessed to have James Arnold Taylor [Obi-Wan] in the studio with me. He came over and said, “Okay Ashley, calm down, you can do this. Try it this way,” which was completely different than how I was doing it. It worked and that’s the take they ended up using. It was like going to school every time I went into a recording session. I’m constantly learning from the cast. The animation in that particular scene just blew my mind. The animators continued to raise the bar, but they really went to town for the Mortis episodes. There’s some stunning shots that we truly haven’t seen before.

As an actress you always look for challenging opportunities and roles. As the cast all became more and more familiar with our characters, it could have become routine because playing your character becomes second nature. We’d been working on the show for five years, so you automatically know how your character would say certain lines. To have opportunities that are challenging and [that] give you the chance to stretch your talents is definitely something that I always looked forward to. Putting Ahsoka into different situations, whether she seems evil, or whether she grows up, or exploring where she is heading is something that can be very rewarding to perform.

For Eckstein, there was a feeling of unfinished business as she returned to play an older, wiser Ahsoka.

Ashley Eckstein: I’m a huge fan of the characters in Star Wars and so, as a fan, I became so invested in them. We spent six seasons on The Clone Wars getting to know these characters so deeply—we really did. They’re animated characters, but we became emotionally attached to them. I can’t say enough about Captain Rex and what he means, but also Hondo Ohnaka is a personal favorite of mine. So for The Clone Wars to end like it did, kind of on a cliffhanger and not knowing where these characters ended up, it meant so much for them to come back in Star Wars Rebels because we needed more from these characters. We need more of their storylines, we need to know where they went and what they’ve been doing, and what happened to them.

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Star Wars: The Galaxy’s Greatest Heroes is out February 15 and available to purchase here.

Images courtesy of Titan Comics

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Star Wars Holocron

The History of Boba Fett

by @HolocronJosh and @HolocronGeorge

As 2021 came to a close, a new chapter in the Star Wars galaxy arrived in the form of the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett. Starring Temuera Morrison in the title role, the latest Disney+ series features a character engrained deep in the history of Star Wars, despite having just four lines of dialogue in the original trilogy and not having a starring role until now (and not to forget his comedic “death” in Return of the Jedi). While it’s hard to chronicle every part of the history of a character so iconic, here are the most important beats of Boba: From his beginnings in the Star Wars Holiday Special to The Book of Boba Fett and everywhere in between. Here’s the story and history of Boba Fett.

The Star Wars Holiday Special

The Holiday Special is famous for many reasons among Star Wars fans, including the fact that a character as iconic as Boba Fett made his first appearance ever in the episode. The majority of the special was live action, but Fett appeared in an animated segment, sporting a blue and white armor derived in part from concept artist Joe Johnston’s initial ideas for the look of the character. Boba also carries an Amban phase-pulse blaster in the special, a weapon later used by Din Djarin in The Mandalorian, one of many long-standing legacies of the episode.

His First Kenner Action Figure

Boba Fett became even more of a sensation amongst the growing early fandom of Star Wars when Kenner released the first action figure of the bounty hunter. Unlike the toys for A New Hope, Fett’s first figure was exclusively part of a mail-in program, meaning that there were significantly fewer of these toys even at its peak compared to most Star Wars merchandise. Dave Filoni himself, an executive producer and writer on The Book of Boba Fett and who helped bring the character back in The Mandalorian Season 2, spoke in 2020 about his participation in the mail in program, becoming one of the lucky few to get the toy. If Filoni still has it, then he could be in for a big pay day, as current predictions state that there’s only a few dozen left in the world, some of which are not in great condition, and the last to go on the market was put up for $225,000.

Boba and Vader at the San Anselmo Country Fair Parade

The Holiday Special is often stated as the first appearance of Boba Fett, but the character actually made one appearance that predated the episode. In September of 1978, a few months before the Special, Boba Fett marched with Darth Vader at the San Anselmo Country Fair Parade, equip with his full green costume that would become iconic. Interestingly, the man in the suit was Duwayne Dunham, the assistant director of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (who also worked as an editor several iconic projects like Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet). Dunham spoke about his experience in the suit that day, telling StarWars.com:

“What I remember about that day is it was incredibly hot. I’m not just talking about the suit, I’m saying that day in San Anselmo was really hot. It could have been 100 degrees. I think we were at the head of the parade. And Vader, he stands out. I don’t know what people thought of me. Nobody knew about Boba Fett at that point. I remember telling [producer] Gary Kurtz: ‘Gary, I gotta get out of this suit or I’m going to pass out!’”

Dunham also spoke of his initial impressions of the character:

“Everybody had high, high hopes because Boba was such a cool-looking costume. Outside of Vader, it was the best. The character evolved…the all-white [version] was just another stormtrooper, a supertrooper. But as the character evolved, when he got painted…it was so cool. But everyone had high hopes. I was around George all the time and would hear all the conversations [so] I was looking for another character kind of on the level of Han Solo. But for some reason it just didn’t pan out as George had imagined, and then came Jedi, it was “throw him in the Sarlaac pit!” We kinda mounted a protest saying “You can’t do that to Boba Fett! He’s deserving of more!” But they threw him in…and as you know, fans have never let him die.”

Fans certainly didn’t let Fett die.

The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi

Fett appeared in The Empire Strikes Back as his first mainstream appearance in the iconic armor, and became forever associated with the imprisonment of Han Solo in Carbonite. In the second of the trilogy, Fett only had 6 minutes and 32 seconds of screen time, with only four lines that included the famous “He’s no good to me dead”. Fett had even less screen time in Return of the Jedi, with a death that fascinated, angered, and intrigued fans for decades after. Despite rumors that George Lucas wanted to kill off the character to make a point to fans who latched onto someone who was essentially a background player, the maker himself countered this in the DVD commentary for Return of the Jedi. Lucas stated that if he knew how popular Fett would become, he wouldn’t have killed him off in that manner, instead opting for something more thrilling and monumental. In the build up to Attack of the Clones, Lucas contemplated going back to film a scene showing Fett escape the Sarlaac Pit to add in in Return of the Jedi, but ultimately decided against it.

Special Editions

As many fans know, Lucas retroactively changed the Original Trilogy to add improved special effects, improved audio and sound quality, and the occasional new scene. One of these new scenes was Fett appearing in A New Hope after Han talked with Jabba, as he’s seen walking past the camera and coming into focus for a few seconds. In 2004, Lucas again made changes, this time replacing original Boba voice actor Jason Wingreen with Temuera Morrison.

The Clone Wars

Daniel Logan played Boba in Attack of the Clones, and later reprised his role in several episodes of The Clone Wars. One more memorable moment for Fett in the series was his attempt to kill Jedi Mace Windu, who decapitated his dad in the Battle of Geonosis. In the animated series, Fett befriends Aura Sing (before being betrayed), and also crosses paths with Cad Bane. In a planned arc for the original version of season 7 of The Clone Wars, which was scrapped as the show was cancelled, Fett was shown to kill Bane in a western style shootout, as Dave Filoni showed at Star Wars Celebration. Will he and Cad Bane reunite in The Book of Boba Fett?

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian marked the return of the iconic bounty hunter. First shown in season 1, Boba rescues Fennec in the desert. We didn’t see his face, but fans immediately guessed that it was Boba due to the sound of his walk alone.

Season 2 is when he properly arrived, first at the end of Chapter 9, watching Mando speed away with his armor on Tatooine. In Chapter 14, he appears on Tython, first an enemy but then his true morals come out; he stays loyal to Mando and vows to help rescue Grogu. He appears in every episode in the rest of the season from there on out, and takes the thrown as Crime Lord in the post credits scene of the finale.

The Book of Boba Fett

After all these years, Boba is finally in the spotlight. Without spoiling too much from the first two episodes for those who haven’t seen it, the series balances Boba as a Crime Lord with his time living with a Tusken Raider tribe. And writer Jon Favreau seems pretty excited to work with the character again:

“We’re digging really deep in the toy chest and pulling out the action figures that people were always curious about and were not quite in the center frame, but have a lot of potential.”

Dave Filoni also said something similar:

“These are the [action figures] you got. Your older brothers have had ‘good’ ones. Somehow you got Boba Fett. And if you have Boba Fett, you could always tell a good story.”

The most exciting thing is that his story doesn’t end here. Rather, he seems set to continue for years to come.

Images courtesy of Disney and Lucasfilm

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Star Wars Holocron

REVIEW: The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 2

by @holocronGeorge and @holocronJosh

WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Chapter 2: The Book of Boba Fett

After an entertaining, albeit strangely paced, first episode, The Book of Boba Fett returned this week with a chapter that pushes shocks and reveals aside in favor of a touching tale of found family and indigenous pride. Chapter 2, titled The Tribes of Tatooine, once again splits its attention to two timelines of the infamous Boba Fett’s life. In the past, Boba’s relationship grows with the Tusken tribe as he helps fight off invaders. Meanwhile, following Boba’s capture of Jabba’s kingdom, he and Fennec confront threats to their throne.

Chapter 2 marks an improvement over its predecessor in both pacing and storytelling. The somewhat jarring switch from past to future to past from Chapter 1 is absent here in favor of an episode that places emphasis on Boba’s adventures following his escape from the sarlacc pit. This adds some stability to the narrative as we’re able to sit with Boba without being thrown into another time period. Chapter 2 surprisingly puts Boba and Fennec’s power struggle on Tatooine to the side. On a broader note, the inclusion of substantial flashbacks and less emphasis on what was teased from the show in The Mandalorian Season 2’s post-credits scene is definitely unexpected. And, while the introduction of Hutt twins and the live-action debut of Black Krrsantan (!!!) make the switch to the past for the rest of the episode leaving something to be desired, Chapter 2’s past-set narrative is captivating.

Before diving into those flashbacks, however, let’s talk about the events that unfold as Boba and Fennec try to strengthen their grip of Tatooine. After being teased in Chapter 1, The Mayor (voiced by Robert Rodriguez) makes his debut in typical Western / gangster movie fashion. It’s not long before another threat emerges with the arrival of Hutt twins staking their claim to the throne once held by their relative. And accompanying these Hutt twins is Black Krrsantan, the Wookiee bounty hunter who has appeared in various Star Wars comics. The entire standoff between Boba and the Hutts evokes similar tensions on display in gangster films, but with a Star Wars twist. The Hutts are beautifully designed, looking like a combination of the practical effects that brought Jabba to life in Episode VI and the animated Hutts seen in The Clone Wars. But, the most unexpected moment of the episode comes with the arrival of Black Krrsantan. Seeing characters from comics, books, or animation make their way into live-action (i.e. Saw Gerrera, Cobb Vanth, Bo Katan) is always brilliant, and Black Krrsantan is no exception. This plot soon comes to an end, however, as Chapter 2 shifts to flashbacks for the remainder of its runtime. Although the standoff and introduction of Black Krrsantan were great, it’s a shame this plot doesn’t progress more than it does, especially considering the pacing of Chapter 1.

Despite this, Chapter 2’s flashbacks are terrific as Boba’s bond with the Tuskens grows deeper. There are a lot of powerful themes at play here, and director Steph Green and writer Jon Favreau execute them extremely well. Boba’s growing relationship with the tribe feels genuine and earned, which beautifully culminates in Boba’s acceptance into their tribe. This evokes the plot of 1970 Western film A Man Called Horse in which an Englishmen is captured by and eventually grows close to the Sioux people. Star Wars has always done a great job mirroring real-world themes and events, and Chapter 2 of The Book of Boba Fett continues this trend. The episode’s focus on an indigenous people’s land under threat from outsiders resonates powerfully.

Verdict: 8/10

The Book of Boba Fett moves into its second chapter with an unexpected emphasis on flashbacks that carry plenty of emotional weight. Although the entertaining present-day plot is unfortunately short lived, Chapter 2 delves deeper into Boba’s bond with the Tusken people in a manner that is thoughtful and touching, while also touching on the struggles of indigenous people. The Book of Boba Fett’s latest installment is an excellent example of the range of storytelling opportunities afforded in the Star Wars universe and the depth of themes at play in a galaxy far, far away.

Images courtesy of Disney+ and Lucasfilm

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Star Wars Holocron

REVIEW: The High Republic: The Fallen Star

by @holocronGeorge and @holocronJosh

A warning to those preparing to read The High Republic: The Fallen Star – you will likely need tissues to soak up tears and plenty of time after reading to process the grand narrative you’ve just experienced. It seems like yesterday that the multimedia publishing initiative of The High Republic kicked off with Light of the Jedi and a slew of other releases. But, before we knew it, Claudia Gray’s The Fallen Star debuts and serves as an epic, intricately written, and emotional culmination of tales in the High Republic era so far.

The Fallen Star follows its predecessors Light of the Jedi and The Rising Storm, in addition to a variety of other High Republic stories, as the Jedi continue to reign as guardians of peace for the ever-growing Republic. Starlight Beacon serves as one of Chancellor Soh’s Great Works, a symbol of the greatness of the Republic. Unfortunately, the Nihil, led by the insidious Marchion Ro, have constructed a plan that aims to take Starlight Beacon down and bring an end to the light of the Jedi.

The Fallen Star follows a narrative structure very similar to Light of the Jedi and The Rising Storm. There is a central event the novel revolves around. With Light of the Jedi, it was the Hyperspace Disaster. With The Rising Storm, it was the Republic Fair on Valo. And, fittingly for the conclusion of the High Republic’s Phase 1, it is an attack on Starlight Beacon with The Rising Storm. Also akin to its predecessors, The Fallen Star features a sizable host of characters, opting against positioning a sole person in the spotlight in favor of a circulation of characters with smaller roles who all collectively contribute to the grander plot. Fans of this narrative structure in Light of the Jedi and The Rising Storm will welcome the storytelling on display in The Fallen Star. While, at times, it can feel slightly overwhelming to track a narrative through the eyes of so many characters, The Fallen Star ultimately benefits from this approach. Not only are we given plenty of time to become emotionally invested in an array of characters, but this structure also fosters an ominous tone that dictates the book’s first half and feels gratifying as the novel progresses and character’s journeys converge.

Ominous is a perfect word to describe The Fallen Star. Since The High Republic era kicked off, Starlight Beacon has been a monument of the Republic’s power and unity, but also surely an inevitable target for the Nihil. Especially in the novel’s first act, as a reader, you are keenly aware that something is off, but, like the main characters, can’t put your finger on it. The Fallen Star also benefits in this regard by being a mostly contained story in terms of location, unlike Light of the Jedi and The Rising Storm. The Fallen Star almost exclusively takes place on Starlight Beacon, positioning the readers alongside the characters as they navigate the Nihil’s scheme.

As The High Republic is a sprawling intersection of stories told across various mediums, The Fallen Star is ripe with references to other High Republic stories. Avar Kriss’ adventures in Cavan Scott’s The High Republic comic series play a part in The Fallen Star. Emerick Caphtor, the Jedi Investigator in Daniel Jose Older’s Trail of Shadows series, is name-dropped. Nan, from Into the Dark and Out of the Shadows, is an integral character in The Fallen Star. Outside of Light of the Jedi and The Rising Storm, none of these other High Republic projects are necessary reading before diving into The Fallen Star. Nonetheless, engagement with previous High Republic stories will likely deepen your experience with and enjoyment of Claudia Gray’s newest novel.

The Fallen Star features a fair share of emotional and unexpected moments and author Claudia Gray somehow manages to execute every single one with a characteristically deft hand. The twists, turns, and moments of heartbreak keep coming at you until the very end of this novel, but always feel well-earned and natural to the story being told.

The same can be said for Gray’s handling of the aforementioned array of characters featured in The Rising Storm. Elzar Mann’s lean into the dark side in The Rising Storm is addressed head on in The Fallen Star. The emotions and responsibilities surrounding Stellan Gios’ new-ound role as marshall of Starlight Beacon are explored throughout. Each and every character has an individual arc in this novel and feels like a fleshed-out, real person, rather than a mere name in a book. Bell Zettifar, Elzar Mann, and two former Nihil members who are incarcerated aboard Starlight Beacon have perhaps the most interesting journeys in The Fallen Star. Also of note is the High Republic’s big bad Marchion Ro. He plays a small, yet pivotal, role in this novel that is comparable to how the character was used in Light of the Jedi and The Rising Storm. That being said, with every subsequent appearance, Marchion Ro becomes a more intimidating and villainous threat. All in all, Ro is quickly moving up our ranking of favorite Star Wars villains.

Verdict:

The Fallen Star is yet another win for the High Republic publishing initiative and accomplished author Claudia Gray. Serving as a poetic culmination of the High Republic’s Phase 1, The Fallen Star is a story of promise, unity, and loss with enriching character work and a nail-biting central plot. Gray delicately strikes an ominous tone that resonates throughout her work. The stakes are felt, the emotional moments hit hard, and the novel never ceases to excite and surprise. The Fallen Star is a must-read for Star Wars fans and a terrific way to kick off 2022 in a galaxy far, far away.

Images courtesy of Del Rey

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Star Wars Holocron

What’s New in Star Wars – January 2022

by @holocronGeorge & @holocronJosh

2021 was an impressive year in the Star Wars universe to say the least. A new animated series, a new live-action series, a sprawling crossover comic event, a massive multimedia publishing initiative of stories in the High Republic era – 2021 truly had something for all types of Star Wars fans. In glimpsing at what 2022 has in store from a galaxy far, far away, it becomes clear that Star Wars is not losing momentum with an array of shows, books, comics, games, and more to look forward to.

Below includes a list and description of upcoming Star Wars projects in the month of January 2022. It is important to note all of these release dates are subject to change.

January 4 – The Story of the Faithful Wookiee Little Golden Book adaptation

You can’t go wrong with a combination of Star Wars and Little Golden Books. And what could make that combination even better? Adapting The Story of the Faithful Wookiee, the short film from 1978’s infamous Star Wars Holiday Special that featured the debut of none other than Boba Fett himself. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “An all-new Little Golden Book based on the cartoon from the Star Wars Holiday Special from 1978—featuring Chewbacca and the first appearance of Boba Fett! While on a mission to save Han Solo, the Rebel hero Luke Skywalker, droids C-3PO and R2-D2, and faithful Wookiee Chewbacca encounter an armored stranger who offers to help them. But is the mysterious Boba Fett a friend—or a foe? The Story of the Faithful Wookiee, the animated segment from the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, is retold in the iconic Little Golden Book format. It is perfect for Star Wars–and Little Golden Book–fans of all ages.”

January 4 – The High Republic: The Fallen Star

There needs to be some emotional preparation before diving into The Fallen Star. The third in the trilogy of Del Rey’s Star Wars The High Republic novels in Phase 1 is written by Claudia Gray, following Charles Soule and Cavan Scott’s efforts on previous installments. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “In this gripping sequel to Star Wars: The Rising Storm, the light of the Jedi faces its darkest hour. Time and again, the vicious raiders known as the Nihil have sought to bring the golden age of the High Republic to a fiery end. Time and again, the High Republic has emerged battered and weary, but victorious thank to its Jedi protectors—and there is no monument to their cause grander than the Starlight Beacon.Hanging like a jewel in the Outer Rim, the Beacon embodies the High Republic at the apex of its aspirations: a hub of culture and knowledge, a bright torch against the darkness of the unknown, and an extended hand of welcome to the furthest reaches of the galaxy. As survivors and refugees flee the Nihil’s attacks, the Beacon and its crew stand ready to shelter and heal. The grateful Knights and Padawans of the Jedi Order stationed there finally have a chance to recover—from the pain of their injuries and the grief of their losses. But the storm they thought had passed still rages; they are simply caught in its eye. Marchion Ro, the true mastermind of the Nihil, is preparing his most daring attack yet—one designed to snuff out the light of the Jedi.”

January 4 – Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2 Junior Novel

Relive the events of The Mandalorian Season 2 with this terrific junior novel adaptation by Joe Schreiber from Disney-Lucasfilm Press.

January 4 – Galaxy of Creatures World of Reading book

Kristin Baver beautifully welcomes young readers into a Galaxy of Creatures in this upcoming book based on the Star Wars: Galaxy of Creatures animated shorts. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Join adventurous droid 5F-RE (you can call him Aree) as a member of the Galactic Society of Creature Enthusiasts as he journeys across the galaxy to learn everything there is about wildlife big and small. From how to teach porgs to do tricks to how to brush a rancor’s teeth, Aree will get answers to the biggest – and silliest – creature questions. Adorable creature animations and beautifully drawn environments along with fun facts and slapstick comedy are sure to delight Star Wars fans of all ages.”

January 5 – Doctor Aphra (2020) 17

Alyssa Wong’s Doctor Aphra series was one of the best Star Wars comic runs of 2021, which makes us eagerly anticipate what’s to come for Aphra and Sana Starros in this new issue. The publisher’s summary for the 17th issue is as follows: “EVOCATIONS! DOCTOR APHRA and SANA STARROS stumble upon a STRANGE RITUAL…And STRANGER ENEMY! Will they fall victim to a practitioner of an ANCIENT CULT?”

January 5 – The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 2

The Book of Boba Fett continues with Chapter 2 this month.

January 11 – The Mandalorian: The Mandalorian’s Quest

Brooke Vitale adapts the events of The Mandalorian’s second season in this new storybook for young readers.

January 11 – The Mandalorian: The Path of the Force

Another Brooke Vitale adaptation of The Mandalorian comes our way from Disney-Lucasfilm Press this month.

January 11 – Star Wars: Tribute to Star Wars

One of the most exciting projects releasing this January, Star Wars: Tribute to Star Wars is a manga paperback that collects 45 Japanese artists’ tributes to a galaxy far, far away.

January 11 – Yoda One for Me

Valentine’s Day comes a little early this year with a new picture-book dedicated to romance and friendship, with a brilliant Star Wars-y title to top it all off.

January 11 – Star Wars: Bounty Hunters Vol. 3 — War of the Bounty Hunters

The installments of Ethan Sacks’ incredible Bounty Hunters series that occurs within the War of the Bounty Hunters crossover event are compiled in this new collection. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “The War of the Bounty Hunters rages across the galaxy! As Valance and his reluctant partner Dengar race to intercept Boba Fett and his precious cargo, deadly pursuers are after them. A dark secret from Valance’s past with Han Solo is about to emerge — and it may get him killed all these years later! But who is the mysterious leader of an assassination squad that is driving Valance into a life-and-death confrontation with an old friend? Meanwhile, T’onga is outgunned and outnumbered… but she does have one last surprise up her sleeve! And as the shadowy mastermind behind everything makes its move, Valance and Dengar try their luck at the Canto Bight casino, and T’onga puts a crew together — with faces both fearsome and familiar! COLLECTING: Star Wars: Bounty Hunters (2020) 12-17.”

January 11 – Star Wars Adventures: The Weapon of a Jedi trade paperback

Alec Worley adapts Jason Fry’s The Weapon of a Jedi in this two-part comic book miniseries from IDW Publishing. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “An untold chapter in Luke Skywalker’s journey from orphan to Jedi knight in this middle-grade graphic novel set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back! The Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Empire’s dreaded Death Star, but the Imperial starfleet continues hunting the rebels throughout the galaxy. Luke Skywalker now seeks to support the Rebellion as an X-wing fighter. But as he flies with the pilots of the Red Squadron, Luke feels stirrings of the Force. And this farm boy turned fighter pilot begins to suspect that his destiny lies along a different path. This middle-grade Star Wars adventure also foreshadows events to come in Episode VII: The Force Awakens!”

January 11 – Star Wars: Jedi Artifacts

Insight Editions is here with another excellent reference book with Jedi Artifacts. The book features gorgeous illustrations and replica objects.

January 12 – Bounty Hunters 20

Ethan Sacks’ Bounty Hunters series continues this month with its 20th issue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “FORLORN FOR 4-LOM! T’ONGA and her bounty hunters are desperate to recover 4-LOM for their mission…but the upgraded killer droid is the one hunting them aboard a ghost ship. Can ZUCKUSS survive a reunion with his onetime partner? Meanwhile, VUKORAH makes her move…and the criminal underworld will never be the same!”

January 12 – Star Wars (2020) 20

Charles Soule’s mainline Star Wars series also continues with its 20th issue this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “DANGEROUS LESSONS! LUKE SKYWALKER has found a key piece of instruction in his journey along the JEDI path – the voice of his teacher, JEDI MASTER YODA. But the lesson Luke must learn will not be taught by Yoda, and it will take – and give – more than the young Skywalker could ever have imagined.”

January 12 – The High Republic: Eye of the Storm 1

One of the most anticipated new comics of 2022 explores the inner-workings of The High Republic’s big bad Marchion Ro. The publisher’s summary for the first issue of this new series is as follows: “ACT ONE: Ro. The Truth. The Lie. The Kill. In which we reveal the true origins of MARCHION RO, the Eye of the Nihil and sworn enemy of the Jedi Order. In which the lie at the heart of his family is exposed. In which the doom of the High Republic begins…with a single kill.”

January 12 – The High Republic Adventures 12

Daniel Jose Older’s The High Republic Adventures series moves forward with a new issue this January. The publisher’s summary for the upcoming 12th issue is as follows: “The Padawans and their masters rush to Corellia where Nihil inductee Krix Kamarat has been planning his next attack. Lula struggles with her new responsibility while Zeen struggles with Krix’s quick descent into evil; both girls worry for the other but are distracted when they’re split up and hear a mysterious distress signal…”

January 12 – The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 3

The Book of Boba Fett continues with Chapter 3 this month.

January 18 – The Book of Boba Fett Poster Book

Enjoy beautiful new artwork celebrating The Book of Boba Fett with this poster book from Disney-Lucasfilm Press!

January 19 – Doctor Aphra (2020) 18

More Aphra antics incoming with the series’ 18th issue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “‘CONJURATIONS!’ With STRANGE RITUAL MURDERS on the rise, DOCTOR APHRA and SANA STARROS’ hunt for ASCENDANT ARTIFACTS is growing dire! Their leads keep turning up dead, and they’re running out of time! They’ll have to delve deep into the secrets of an ANCIENT TECH CULT if they plan to catch the killer!”

January 19 – The High Republic 13

Sporting stunning cover art by Phil Noto, Cavan Scott’s epic The High Republic series continues with its 13th issue this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE BATTLE FOR NO-SPACE! Since MARCHION RO attacked the Republic Fair on VALO, everything has been leading to this moment. Now it’s THE JEDI’s turn to strike the heart of THE NIHIL. AVAR KRISS VS. LOURNA DEE. JEDI VS. NIHIL. JEDI VS. JEDI. A line is about to be crossed!”

January 19 – The High Republic Adventures: Galactic Bake-Off Spectacular

A new heartwarming one-shot in the High Republic era debuts this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Lightsabers and Jedi robes are put aside in favor of whisks and aprons as the two competitors bake Master Yoda’s special pastry recipe. But the recipe requires one extra special ingredient: a story! “Buckets of Blood” and Kantam recount the tale of an epic battle as they whisk away, both hoping to win the prize of Padawan approval.”

January 19 – The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 4

The Book of Boba Fett continues with Chapter 4 this month.

January 25 – Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle trade paperback

Cavan Scott’s five-part comic series for IDW Publishing is collected in this new trade paperback. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Join Lina, Milo Graf, and Crater for one last adventure to Vader’s Castle! Perfect for middle-grade readers, these fun, but eerie and horror-packed tales, take you through the creepy side of the Star Wars galaxy. The ghosts of Vader’s Castle are haunting everybody’s dreams! First, Milo has been having nightmares about zombie droids, with a special appearance by Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Amidala, and Jar Jar Binks. Then, Lina runs into Jaxxon, who reveals that he, too, has been having troubling dreams of vicious Wookies [sic] bigger than mountains! Plus, catch up with Hudd and Skritt as Hudd deals with dreams concerning the Spirit of the Swamp, a gilled monster that terrorizes Dagobah! But Lina isn’t immune to the nightmares either, as her dreams are visited by the galaxy’s most threatening villain! In the finale, Lina, Hudd, Skritt, and Jaxxon race to Mustafar to save Milo and Crater. Will the group be able to fight the ghosts that still haunt the castle, or will the galaxy forever be bound to suffer from the wrath of the Ghosts of Vader’s Castle?! Ghosts of Vader’s Castle finishes the saga started in Tales of Vader’s Castle and Return to Vader’s Castle.”

January 26 – The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 4

Daniel Jose Older’s mystery/thriller series set in The High Republic has impressed so far, and we can’t wait until the 4th issue hits comic stands later this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO SOLVE THE GREATEST MYSTERY OF THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE JEDI! As pressure mounts, EMERICK and SIAN follow a desperate lead to close in on their suspect! A sentimental mistake may tip the balance, but a creeping horror lurks in the shadows… Can the investigators uncover the NIHIL’S secret weapon before it’s used to bring down THE REPUBLIC?”

January 26 – The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5

The Book of Boba Fett continues with Chapter 5 this month.

Images courtesy of Disney-Lucasfilm Press, Insight Editions, Lucasfilm, Disney+, Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, Viz Media, Golden Books, and Del Rey

Categories
Star Wars Holocron

REVIEW: The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 1

By @HolocronJosh and @HolocronGeorge

Boba Fett has fascinated Star Wars fans for decades, ever since his first appearance in the animated portion of the famed Holiday Special in 1978. Since then, he’s appeared in Star Wars films including the latter two Original Trilogy films and Attack of the Clones as well as countless comics and novels. Still, Boba has always existed on the periphery, never the leading man and, instead, the cool looking, badass bounty hunter that we know very little about, bar his surface level origin story in the prequels. The latest Disney+ series, announced via a post-credits scene in The Mandalorian Season 2 finale, finally gives Fett an opportunity to be in the spotlight in the leading role for the first time in live action.

Warning: This review containers spoilers for the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett

One of the standout features of The Book of Boba Fett’s pilot is its structure, characterized by extensive use of flashbacks that mark a stark change from previous Star Wars content. The flashbacks of Chapter 1 begin with a quick montage of Boba’s origins on Kamino and his father’s death on Geonosis, visual callbacks that were arguably the highlight of the episode. After that, fans finally get to see how Boba survived the infamous Sarlacc Pit in a thrilling, albeit brief, sequence. The camera’s proximity to the lead character in this scene adds to the tense and claustrophobic feeling of the inside of a Sarlaac’s digestive system, something fans have never seen visualized on camera before. The structure of the episode certainly gives the flashbacks plenty of time to develop, with Chapter 1 beginning and ending with a look to the past.

The middle portion of the episode follows Boba as he navigates Tatooine shortly after claiming Bib Fortuna and Jabba the Hutt’s former throne. The structure of this episode, while certainly unique for live-action Star Wars content, leads to a stop-start feel to things that ultimately disrupts the pacing. The episode begins with flashbacks, something almost expected given the trailers and the promise to show how Boba escaped the Sarlacc Pit, which makes sense and works well. However, once we flash forward to the present day, it feels as if the story has decidedly shifted gears for the time being. The episode unexpectedly closes out with another extensive flashback sequence that brings the story of Boba and Fennec’s adventures on Tatooine to an abrupt halt. While it’s amazing to see Boba showcased in any point in his life, there were perhaps more efficient and approachable ways to distribute these flashback scenes throughout the episode.

Some may label the pilot as ‘filler’ or uneventful, which we don’t agree with. The episode doesn’t need a massive cameo or huge, galaxy shattering event in order to be labeled as effective or entertaining. While it would have most certainly benefited with some sort of tease of what’s to come in the present day as a way to show potential for the story’s direction in the season to come, it wasn’t exactly necessary. Rather, the episode leaves a little to be desired in regards to Boba’s characterization. Boba is in the limelight, but he’s largely kept at a distance in a way, as the audience doesn’t really get to have an emotional connection with the character in this first episode. For comparison, the pilot of The Mandalorian showed Din Djarin shooting IG-11 to protect the Child, who he was only just meeting at the time, and the two instinctively reaching out to each other, setting up the father son relationship and immediately establishing an emotional connection between the audience and the title character. Nonetheless, this is a harsh critique given that we have merely opened Chapter 1 of what will surely be a sprawling exploration of Boba’s character.

Ultimately, though, The Book of Boba Fett is an incredibly entertaining watch. There’s plenty of action to dig into, and just seeing the Star Wars galaxy again is a treat. Temuera Morrison’s performance deserves particular praise, as the New Zealand actor plays the role in a way only he can. In the past, some have discussed the possibility of casting a different actor in the role of Fett, perhaps for a solo movie, but Morrison puts all of that talk to rest here (if he hadn’t already). He shines through amidst a world full of eye-catching characters and actors, displaying Boba’s honor (if it can be described as that) extraordinarily well. It’s great to have Morrison back in Star Wars, and especially in a starring role. On a broader note, Robert Rodriguez directs this episode well, calling upon his action movie experience to add a level of class to the many fighting scenes in the episode. Rodriguez also directed Boba’s first full-fledged appearance in The Mandalorian Season 2, and captured the brutality and mastery in combat of the character we all clamored to see. This certainly carries over into the new series, and Rodriguez’ continued involvement with Fett is a welcomed one.

The same must be said for Ming-Na Wen, who first appeared in The Mandalorian Season One as the villainous bounty Hunter Fennec Shand. Chapter 1 already establishes that the relationship between Boba and Fennec will be central to the series’ plot and, continuing from their work in The Mandalorian, Morrison and Wen have great chemistry together. Also of note in this episode are the Tusken Raiders, depicted as Boba’s captors following his escape from the Sarlacc Pit. This is a different tribe of Tusken Raiders. They dress differently, act slightly differently, and capture your attention in the episode. This is emphasized by Chapter 1’s closing moment in which the leader of the camp shares water with Boba, a sign of respect and potential brotherhood to come.

Verdict: 7/10

The Book of Boba Fett kicks off in somewhat underwhelming fashion compared to its Disney+ predecessors. Chapter 1 is hindered by an unusual and slightly jarring structure, but makes up for this misstep with plenty of great moments, well-crafted action sequences, and terrific call-backs. Needless to say, we can’t wait to see what’s to come in future episodes of The Book of Boba Fett.

Images courtesy of Disney+ & Lucasfilm

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Star Wars Holocron

What’s New in Star Wars – December 2021

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

2021 ends with a bang as Star Wars fans can finally rejoice at the premiere of The Book of Boba Fett. In addition to the new Disney+ series though, the year closes out with the continuation of various thrilling Star Wars fans. Below includes a list and description of upcoming Star Wars projects in the month of December 2021. It is important to note all of these release dates are subject to change.

December 1 – Bounty Hunters 18

Following the dramatic events of War of the Bounty Hunters, Ethan Sacks’ Marvel Comics series continues this month with its 18th issue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE GALAXY’S GREATEST! In the wake of the shocking events of WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS, the underworld has become more dangerous than ever. T’ONGA has assembled the greatest team of bounty hunters in the galaxy – including BOSSK, ZUCKUSS and TASU LEECH for a special mission! Can she keep them from killing each other long enough to become a real team while she grieves the loss of an old friend?”

December 1 – Darth Vader 18

Greg Pak’s Darth Vader series also continues this month with its upcoming 18th issue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “RED REVENGE! Fearful whispers echo in every corner of the Empire – Darth Vader is on the hunt, searching for anyone with any connection to the criminal organization known as Crimson Dawn.”

December 1 – The High Republic Adventures 11

Follow the Jedi of the High Republic in the newest issue of Daniel Jose Older’s IDW Publishing comic run. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “The Masters and Padawans take a much needed break to participate in the Great Jedi Rumble Race! It’s the most important event in the galaxy (probably) and there’s only one rule… THERE ARE NO RULES! But Lula is too stuck in her own head to enjoy the raucous, no holds barred tussle to the finish line. Meanwhile, on Corellia, trouble brews…”

December 7 – Star Wars: The High Republic Vol. 2 – The Heart of Drengir

Those who have missed Cavan Scott’s excellent The High Republic series for Marvel can catch up with this new paperback collection.

December 7 – Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters Companion

There’s a lot to keep track of in the sprawling War of the Bounty Hunters series. Thankfully, some of the paperback compilations make it a little easier for fans who are catching up on the crossover event. This paperback compilation compiles all of the one shots in the series.

December 7 – Star Wars: Darth Vader by Charles Soule Omnibus

Charles Soule is one of the best storytellers in the Star Wars universe. So, what better way to celebrate his stories with a new hardcover Omnibus compiling the entirety of his Marvel Comics’ Darth Vader run. Yep, that’s right – this includes all 25 issues of the series AND Darth Vader Annual 2. Needless to say, Vader fans will be satisfied with this collection.

December 8 – Crimson Reign 1

Speaking of Charles Soule, the author follows up his War of the Bounty Hunters series with the second in his Q’ira trilogy – Crimson Reign. The publisher’s summary for the first issue is as follows: “AFTER THE DAWN… COMES THE REIGN! The story that began with WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS continues here, in the second installment of a trilogy that will reshape the history of the Star Wars Galaxy during the Age of Rebellion. Featuring the return of beloved characters, shocking twists, epic feats of the Force and a story that will reach from Star Wars’ darkest underworld all the way to the Imperial Palace on Coruscant, Crimson Reign is a Star Wars saga like no other!”

December 8 – Star Wars 19

More Charles Soule can never be a bad thing. The author continues his Star Wars mainline series on this day with its 19th issue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “LUKE’S QUEST FOR ANSWERS TAKES A DANGEROUS TURN! As the REBELLION tries to pull itself together for a last-ditch effort to defeat the evil GALACTIC EMPIRE, LUKE SKYWALKER realizes it is time for his journey to become a JEDI to continue. After near-death at the hands of DARTH VADER, he knows he has much to learn if he will ever defeat the DARK LORD OF THE SITH. But the JEDI ORDER is gone, and his teachers have vanished… where can Luke turn to find the Jedi legacy he so desperately needs?”

December 14 – Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 3 — War of the Bounty Hunters

Alyssa Wong’s issues of Doctor Aphra that occur during the War of the Bounty Hunters crossover event are compiled in this trade paperback.

December 14 – Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Graphic Novel Adaptation

Relive the events of Episode II with IDW Publishing’s graphic novel adaptation this month.

December 15 – The High Republic 12

Sporting incredible cover art by Phil Noto, Cavan Scott’s thrilling The High Republic series moves forward this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE HUNT FOR LOURNA DEE CONTINUES! The NIHIL have unleashed a unknown terror against the Jedi. MARSHAL AVAR KRISS is more determined than ever to bring LOURNA DEE to justice, but does STELLAN GIOS and the JEDI COUNCIL agree? As KEEVE TRENNIS struggles with what she experienced on the Nihil base, the Jedi prepare for war. PLUS, the truth about SSKEER is finally revealed – but what does it mean for his future?”

December 15 – The High Republic Adventures Annual 2021

The first annual edition of the Star Wars: The High Republic adventures series debuts this month.

December 21 – Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 3 — War of the Bounty Hunters

Greg Pak’s issues of the Darth Vader series that occur during the War of the Bounty Hunters crossover event releases this month as a trade paperback compilation.

December 21 – Star Wars: Jedi Artifacts

Insight Editions delivers another worthy addition to any fans’ collection with this new reference book and merchandise box set.

December 21 – Star Wars Adventures: The Light and the Dark

Star Wars: Adventures Issues 1-6 are collected in this upcoming trade paperback compilation.

December 21 – Star Wars: Be More Boba Fett

Prep for The Book of Boba Fett with this new book by Joseph Jay Franco and DK. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “A fun, pocket-sized book packed with inspiration from the galaxy’s most (in)famous bounty hunter. Throw aside the 9-to-5 and discover the joys of going freelance! In a big wide galaxy you’ll find every personality type. There are those who want to work for a large, stable employer like the Imperial Navy, pushing buttons on a space cruiser. There are also those who are content living the simple (but dull) life of a merchant or moisture farmer. And then there are those special few who long for the freelance life. If you aren’t afraid of grueling (and sometimes frowned upon) work, traveling to exotic locations, and being your own boss, you may find guidance in the wise words of those who have been there. Be More Boba Fett will help guide you on your path to the independent life of a successful entrepreneur.”

December 22 – Darth Vader 19

Another issue of Greg Pak’s Darth Vader series hits comic stores this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “DARK ORDER! In the bowels of Bespin, DARTH VADER told his son he wanted to bring order to the galaxy. Now Vaders’ promise is put to the test as he leads an unlikely crew of heroes and assassins against the criminal organization known as CRIMSON DAWN. What does “order” mean to a DARK LORD OF THE SITH? How far will he go to fight for it as the depth of Crimson Dawns’ infiltration becomes clearer? And what fate awaits the heroes who follow him into battle?”

December 22 – The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 3

Daniel Jose Older’s mystery thriller series set during the High Republic era is easily one of the best comic runs this year. The publisher’s summary for the third issue is as follows: “COLD COMFORT! A mysterious attack brings EMERICK and SIAN together at the Starlight to investigate connections to their case. Meanwhile, ARATHAB tries to ambush a Nihil ship with deadly results. Can Jedi Master Emerick and private eye Sian Holt uncover the clues to solve this case, or are they about to face their deadly demise at the hands of Nihil?”

December 22 – Star Wars Adventures 13

George Mann and Danny Lore bring the 13th issue of IDW’s Star Wars Adventures series to life this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “First, from author George Mann (Doctor Who), the Millennium Falcon needs some serious repairs after sitting in disrepair on Jakku. So Rey, Chewie, Finn, and BB-8 have to make a pit stop. But it doesn’t quite go as planned (it never does), and the group quickly finds themselves at the wrong end of a bounty hunter’s blaster. Then, in a bone-chilling tale from author Danny Lore (Transformers: Shattered Glass, King in Black: Captain America), Darth Vader searches a temple for a hidden tome and nothing—nobody—will stop his wrath.”

December 28 – Star Wars Vol. 3: War of the Bounty Hunters

Also compiled this month are issues 13-18 of Charles Soule’s Star Wars series for Marvel Comics.

December 29 – Bounty Hunters 19

The 19th issue of Ethan Sacks’ Bounty Hunters series also debuts this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “CHAOS SPREADS THROUGH THE UNDERWORLD! As Crimson Reign has ignited the underworld in all-out war, T’ONGA’s team of bounty hunters – including BOSSK, ZUCKUSS and TASU LEECH – are running out of time to save the one young girl who can stop the conflict between syndicates! A mysterious bounty hunter is out to assassinate a high ranking Imperial officer in a daring hit on a heavily armed cruiser. But was the hunter given the right target?”

December 29 – The Book of Boba Fett – Episode 1

And last, but certainly not least – The Book of Boba Fett. After appearing in The Mandalorian Season 2, Temuera Morrison will reprise his role as the infamous bounty hunter front and center of a new Disney+ series. Stay tuned to Star Wars Holocron for plenty of Boba Fett coverage over the coming months!

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

December 1 – Bounty Hunters 18 

December 1 – Darth Vader 18 

December 1 – The High Republic Adventures 11 

December 7 – Star Wars: The High Republic Vol. 2 – The Heart of Drengir 

December 7 – Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters Companion 

December 7 – Star Wars: Darth Vader by Charles Soule Omnibus 

December 8 – Crimson Reign 1 

December 8 – Star Wars 19 

December 14 – Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 3 — War of the Bounty Hunters 

December 14 – Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Graphic Novel Adaptation 

December 15 – The High Republic 12 

December 15 – The High Republic Adventures Annual 2021 

December 21 – Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 3 — War of the Bounty Hunters 

December 21 – Star Wars: Jedi Artifacts 

December 21 – Star Wars Adventures: The Light and the Dark 

December 21 – Star Wars: Be More Boba Fett 

December 22 – Darth Vader 19 

December 22 – The High Republic: Trail of Shadows 3 

December 22 – Star Wars Adventures 13 

December 28 – Star Wars Vol. 3: War of the Bounty Hunters 

December 29 – Bounty Hunters 19 

December 29 – The Book of Boba Fett – Episode 1

Images courtesy of Disney+, Lucasfilm, IDW Publishing, Insight Editions, & Marvel Comics