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Star Wars New Canon: New Comics, Part 2

While on a recent holiday, in which there was a lot of air travel, downtime, and extended periods where my daughter went for walks with my parents, I was able to buckle down and read some New Canon Star Wars comics.  Specifically:
Star Wars 13-25 + Annual 2 (by Jason Aaron, 2015; Annual by Kelly Thompson)Darth Vader 13-25 + Annual 1 (by Kieron Gillen, 2015)Vader Down one-shot (by Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen, 2015)This was the start of a crossover, which also included Star Wars 13-14 and Darth Vader 13-15)Chewbacca 1-5 (by Gerry Duggan, 2015)Obi-Wan and Anakin 1-5 (by Charles Soule, 2016) All of these comics were read in digital format on Comixology.

Story:Vader Down was a crossover in which the main casts of Star Wars and Darth Vader met on the planet Vrogas Vas. Vader tracked Luke Skywalker to an abandoned Jedi temple there, but did not anticipate the larger Rebel force scouting the planet for a new base. Vader was shot down, but held his own against an onslaught of Rebel troops unt…
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Star Wars Read-Through #6: Knight Errant: Lone Jedi Fights Crazy Sith

As I continue my chronological read-through of Star Wars Legends books, I want to now discuss the Knight Errant series: the adventures of a lone Jedi, stuck fighting many insane Sith in their home territory.

For this write-up, I read the following material:

Knight Errant: Aflame 1-5 (comic by John Jackson Miller, 2010-2011)Knight Errant (novel by John Jackson Miller, 2011)Knight Errant: Deluge 1-5 (comic by John Jackson Miller, 2011)Knight Errant: Escape 1-5 (comic by John Jackson Miller, 2012)
I read the comics as issues and the novel in paperback.  There was a 0-issue distributed at the "Celebration V" convention in 2010, but it was not made widely available, and was essentially a condensed version of issue 1.  A short story, called Influx, was once posted online but has since become unavailable.

Story:Knight Errant follows the story of Kerra Holt, a Jedi Knight who has been trapped behind the lines in a war against many Sith.

Almost a millennium earlier, long after the fal…

Star Wars New Canon: Princess Leia books: Read Claudia Gray books!

The next items on my Star Wars read-through list were a pair of New Canon novels about the life and times of one character in particular: Princess Leia Organa.  Her history was largely over-written for the New Canon, and two novels help rebuild her story.

For this post, I read the following:

Bloodline (novel by Claudia Gray, 2016)Leia, Princess of Alderaan (novel by Claudia Gray, 2017)
I read both novels in the hardcover format.

Another appropriate story to have read would be the Princess Leia comic miniseries by Mark Waid, but I covered that in a previous post.  At any rate, its plot does not connect with either of these novels.

Story:Bloodline is set 24 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, 23 years after the Aftermath trilogy, but still six years before The Force Awakens.  The New Republic is well established.  The Empire is gone, and so the New Republic has no strong enemies to fight.  The Senate is deeply divided, and cannot resolve a new crisis but for the help of Senator…

How a Youtube maths educator showed me my blog needed a new focus

This past Saturday, I was sitting in our basement TV room watching Youtube while my wife was enjoying the latest show she found on Netflix in another room.  I decided to browse the video feed of Vi Hart, who usually makes videos about maths, music, and virtual reality.

In this one video, which I had seen years ago but not watched since, Vi Hart describes twelve tone music, also called atonal music.  She refers to the importance of shared context, and how context (for example, imagining a background piano accompaniment) helps interpret and understand the music.  She also compares it to strangers singing their favourite pop hit on the bus -- they head the background, but you don't and it sounds meaningless -- or coworkers telling you about TV or sports you don't watch.  Without the context of background music (or an understanding of the TV show or sport) being presented, it is literally meaningless.  
It's a long video, but the music and lessons in it are both quite beautifu…

Star Wars Read-Through #5: Lost Tribe of the Sith: A Hidden Threat

The next item on the Star Wars Legends Read-Through list was the Lost Tribe of the Sith series of short stories.  These stories detail the history of the so-called "Lost Tribe", a splinter from the original Sith Empire that survived, hidden from galactic history for over five millennia (appearing the Fate of the Jedi novels, which I will read in several years).  It also served to address inconsistencies between how the Sith were depicted in the Tales of the Jedi comics vs. how the Tribe appears in the Fate of the Jedi novels.

For this post, I read the following:
Lost Tribe of the Sith: Precipice (short story by John Jackson Miller, 2009)Lost Tribe of the Sith: Skyborn (short story by John Jackson Miller, 2009)Lost Tribe of the Sith: Paragon (short story by John Jackson Miller, 2010)Lost Tribe of the Sith: Savior (short story by John Jackson Miller, 2010)Lost Tribe of the Sith: Purgatory (short story by John Jackson Miller, 2010)Lost Tribe of the Sith: Sentinel (short story …

Modern X-Men Read-Through: X-23: The Start of a New Adventure

In addition to my Star Wars read-through, I'm slowly working my way through three sets of X-Men comics:
Comics from 2008 and later (which I'm referring to as "modern" in this blog);Comics from the 1990s and eventually early 2000s; andComics being discussed on the Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast (which I will not be writing about). The 90s read-through began years ago.  I've previously read through storylines such as Fatal Attactions, Bloodties, Phalanx Covenant, the Wedding of Cyclops of Phoenix, Legionquest, and Age of Apocalypse, as well as the Road to Onslaught. I've also read Warren Ellis's Excalibur run (issues 83-98 so far) and much of Generation X (1-17 so far) and Wolverine from this era (87-100), as well as several solo series that I wrote about here.  I'm currently working on the Onslaught event.
When the Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast reads a book that I already own (which is happening more and more frequently), I will read …

Star Wars New Canon: Aftermath - Tying Loose Ends, Laying New Foundations

I'm taking a break from the chronological read-through of my Star Wars Legends books to further explore the new canon novels (the ones that are fully consistent with the new movies.)  This post will be about the stories taking place in the immediate aftermath of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi:
Aftermath (novel by Chuck Wendig, 2015)Aftermath: Life Debt (novel by Chuck Wendig, 2016)Aftermath: Empire's End (novel by Chuck Wendig, 2017)Battlefront: Battle of Jakku (downloadable video game mission by EA Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment (DICE), 2015)Shattered Empire 1-4 (comic by Greg Rucka, 2015) These stories are meant to conclude the story of the original Star Wars trilogy by tying up any loose ends that might exist.  At the end of Return of the Jedi, while the Emperor and Darth Vader were both dead, the bulk of the Empire and its mighty fleets and armies remained largely intact, albeit leaderless.  Countless planets remain in their grip, including Chewbacca's homewor…