It’s that time of year again everyone! This week marks two years since I started this blog in order to procrastinate from working on my thesis! Now that I have obtained my Master of Science in Biology, this blog still continues to give me an outlet to talk about one of my life’s passions, as well as serves as a tool to help me procrastinate from doing any real work. Once again, I want to thank everyone who reads this blog and has stuck with it through the past two years, including through and after the great hiatus of 2017. I have really enjoyed writing these posts and knowing that there are people from all over the word following and reading this blog is pretty amazing. So thank you everyone! So now, like I did last year, I want to give a “State of the Canon” address where I give brief spoiler-free reviews of new stories that have been added to the Star Wars canon over the year. This will not include ongoing series such as “Star Wars: Rebels” or the Marvel Star Wars series, but I still highly recommend reading and watching both of those. Also, there are a lot of canon stories that I have not read yet, so this will only focus on stories that I have read, and can thus review. Once again, this year, even more so than the last, the state of the canon is strong, and here’s why:
“Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”
This year marked a return to the main Star Wars saga storyline, and Luke Skywalker’s full return to the big screen, complete with a speaking part this time! I have already given my official review of this movie, but I will say it once again: this movie was fantastic. It was a great nod to the original trilogy while still giving viewers something new and different. A major theme of this movie is that heroes can come from anywhere, and I think that that is an important idea these days. If you haven’t seen this movie, go do so, it is absolutely fantastic.
Star Wars: Thrawn
With “Star Wars: Rebels” reintroducing fan-favorite Grand Admiral Thrawn into Star Wars canon, it is only fitting that the man who introduced him originally, Timothy Zahn, bring back the Chiss Imperial in novel form. Thrawn is a fantastic novel detailing this interesting alien’s rise to power in the Imperial ranks. I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in Star Wars novels, especially those who are fans of the Empire. Thrawn deserves being placed right beside other fantastic canon novels such as Tarkin and Bloodline.
Star Wars: Battlefront II: Inferno Squad
If Battlefront: Twilight Company was a war novel, Inferno Squad is a special ops/infiltration story. For fans of the “Star Wars: Battlefront II” video game, this novel is a prequel detailing the origins of Inferno Squad, an Imperial special forces unit led by Iden Versio. This story follows Inferno Squad’s first missions, focusing on the infiltration of the final remnants of Saw Gerrera’s terrorist organization. I definitely recommend this novel for fans of the “Battlefront II” story line, as it gives more backstory.
Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire’s End
The final installment of the Aftermath trilogy, Empire’s End tells the story of the final days of the Empire, and what truly happened during the Battle of Jakku. While the story and writing style of the Aftermath trilogy is not my favorite, this trilogy does a good job of building a post-Imperial galaxy. Empire’s End is also, in my opinion, the best of the trilogy, and has some pretty amazing moments.
Star Wars: Phasma
Who was the woman behind the chromium? Phasma finally gives an origin story to Captain Phasma, as well as a peak behind that chromium helmet. While Phasma remind a bit of a disappointment in “The Last Jedi,” this novel really explains why she is as feared and respected in the movies as she was.
Star Wars: Darth Maul
The Dathomirian Sith Lord in his own comic miniseries! Darth Maul tells a story of Darth Maul just before the events of “The Phantom Menace” as he goes behind his master’s back to fight the only enemy worth fighting: a Jedi. This five issue miniseries is incredibly enjoyable, especially if you are looking for a good comic about one bad dude.
Star Wars: Mace Windu: Jedi of the Republic
Mace Windu is a miniseries describing a mission led by Mace Windu to thwart the attempts of the Separatists to destroy a planet for its resources. While the comic does bring up the ideas of whether or not the Jedi Order taking military roles was the correct thing, this comic was not very interesting in my opinion. However, it did provide a brief peak into Mace Windu’s background, but it was very brief.
Star Wars: Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith
Vader is back in a new ongoing series! This comic picks up just after the events of “Revenge of the Sith,” and works to explain what happened after the Republic fell and the Empire rose. It also answers questions as to how Vader got his red lightsaber, and how the Inquisitiorius was formed. This series has been fantastic so far, and I cannot recommend it enough!
Star Wars: Rogue One: Cassian & K-2SO
This one-shot shows how the Rebel Alliance, during a mission led by Cassian Andor, first obtained and re-programmed the Imperial droid K-2SO. Fans of “Rogue One” looking for more of that classic, dry K-2SO humor will not be disappointed!
Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel
Luke Skywalker and Doctor Aphra team up in this Star Wars/Doctor Aphra cross-over event! This event pits Luke, Han, Leia, Aphra, Black Krrsantan, 0-0-0, and BT-1 against vampire-like immortals! This is a solid step into the horror genre by Star Wars, and is very enjoyable!
Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Storms of Crait
I cannot stress enough how good this one-shot comic was. Fans of “The Last Jedi” may have loved the planet of Crait, but wondered when the Rebel Alliance set up a random, and seemingly unused, settlement on Crait. The Storms of Crait answers this question, showing the Rebel’s struggle to find a place to settle after their base on Yavin was discovered in “A New Hope.” This issue had some seriously cool moments, and even featured Luke Skywalker dropping some serious farm boy knowledge. I highly recommend!
Star Wars: Captain Phasma
In preparation for “The Last Jedi,” LucasFilm was really pushing Captain Phasma on fans, which resulted in better Phasma content than the actual movies. Despite her somewhat “blah” character in the films, this comic was really good! Captain Phasma tells of how the chromium-plated captain escaped Starkiller base after the events of “The Force Awakens,” and how she hunted down a scapegoat for the base’s destruction to cover her own mistakes. I thoroughly enjoyed this miniseries, and I believe fans of the First Order will too!
This is not even including the amazing story lines of the already ongoing comic series such as Star Wars and Star Wars: Doctor Aphra. Furthermore, there are plenty of other novels that I still have not read! I am here to tell you that the state of the canon is strong! 2017 was a great year for Star Wars, and I can only believe that 2018 will follow suit!
I have to say, once again, thank you so much for reading! Especially during my long-term hiatus back during the summer. It is great to be able to write these posts for everyone. However, I will be taking a break for a few weeks as I am getting married soon! As I prepare for my wedding day and leave for our honeymoon in Japan I will take some time off to focus on this big moment in my life. I will, however, return to regular posting starting February 19th! Thank you all for understanding as I take yet another (much shorter) hiatus. As always, thank you for reading, and may the Force be with you!