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  1. Star Wars: New Canon

    #1108562017-05-29 14:27:00 *DarkChaplain said:

    The Expanded Universe is no more. Darth Mickey has laid claim to Star Wars and proceeds to pump out New Canon material, ranging from Movies and novels over comics to children's books.

    Not all of them are worth reading. A lot are.

    This thread is intended to give pointers and provide room for discussion of All Things Canon, be they the Sequel Trilogy, Anthology Films or Comic Arcs.

    This is the place for them. Discuss STAR WARS to your hearts' content...

    I was gonna have a proper Opening Crawl here but the site I found that looked best and would've had a video download told me it'd take 221 days to be ready if I didn't want to donate. So fuck that idea :')

    After talking to a few people about SW Canon lately, I figured it might be worth making a thread to give some pointers and read/watch orders for interested folks and keep tabs on new and upcoming releases. A comprehensive place to discuss, that is.

    It'll take a while writing it all out, but I hope it'll attract enough interest to keep it going!

    Keep in mind that this concerns ONLY the New (Disney) Canon!
    IF there are crossover elements, those are free to discuss (like comparing the new incarnation of Thrawn with Timothy Zahn's original novels), but keep it focused on New Canon.

    As always, Wookieepedia is your friend!

  2. #1108572017-05-29 14:27:10 *DarkChaplain said:

    Where to Start?

    Alright. I could give you a whole list of stuff to read or watch or play, but that wouldn't necessarily be a good thing. I still maintain that the Best Way to Star Wars is to watch the ORIGINAL TRILOGY (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi) first.

    Leave the Prequels, Rogue One, the Sequel Trilogy and all other stuff aside for starters and watch this Core of the Franchise. Most things revolve around this Original Movie Trilogy.

    Once you have internalized these three, know the major players and drama, you will be better equipped for what's next.

    What's Next?

    The PREQUEL TRILOGY (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith). It ain't great, but it exists, and has big repercussions for the franchise.

    If you'd like to see some more of Obi-wan and Anakin before Attack of the Clones, there is a 5-issue mini comic series to read. It is quick and painless, if a bit weird.

    I will also recommend watching THE CLONE WARS animated series, which is set between AotC and RotS. While it started out more as a show aimed at a younger audience, it actually got a lot better both in terms of production values and writing towards the end of Season 2. However, it is not chronologically ordered, and Seasons 1 and 2 were pretty... dull, for the most part.
    Instead of watching the series season by season, watch them according to the Ultimate Episode Order. For one it sorts the series mostly chronologically, so confusion will be minimized, but it also groups them thematically where they make sense. It is your best bet at enjoying the series as a whole.

    You may either watch the series between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, or after, depending on whether or not you want to get the movies over with.

    However, I do not recommend skipping this animated series. A LOT of novels, comics, arcs and even the Rebels series branch off from it - and it offers the best depiction of Anakin's fall to date. If you hated Prequel Trilogy Anakin, this series may actually make him appear the way he should have been all along, and gradually build up Palpatine's manipulations. There's also a bunch of Grievous and Dooku content.

    Additionally and optionally, I would also point to the Clone Wars 2D-animated cartoon "series". It is pretty short, the animation style is garbage and there is a big focus on action and little dialogue, AND it isn't actually considered Canon anymore, BUT it introduces a few characters, including Grievous, as a set-up for Revenge of the Sith. Yes, it was produced as a bridge between Attack of the Clones and the final Prequel movie. The sillier that it got kicked out, especially since Lucas was involved with it as well.

    It isn't very good, but it explains a few small things. The last part of it also leads right into RotS, whereas the content before it sandwiches between AotC and TCW, which doesn't rehash the same information. Weird, I know. Not exactly a necessity, but if you want to go all the way, there you go.

    But The Clone Wars ended... or did they?

    The Clone Wars series was canceled when Disney bought LucasFilm. It was dropped mid-season, with a lot of production sketches still in the works. Pretty much all they had on the drawing board is still considered Canon, even though it was never produced or publicly shown. A weird situation indeed.

    Various plotlines, like Asajj Ventress's arc, got wrapped up in Novel format (Dark Disciple by Christie Golden in this case), or Maul's fate in Dark Horse Comics' Son of Dathomir, which is due to be re-released by Marvel this year. Darth Maul also receives a 5-issue mini series set before The Phantom Menace right now, which has been great.

    Some other plotlines are implied in other novels, like the planned climax of the entire series at the Siege of Mandalore via Ahsoka by E.K.Johnston, or even the Rebels animated series. The series may have ended prematurely, but not all threads were left dangling. Some are still supposed to be covered in due course, as well.

    The Case for Rebels

    Watch Rebels after The Clone Wars. There are many recurring characters and ties which are too good to miss out on. Also make sure you've read the Son of Dathomir comics after TCW.

    Rebels starts relatively slow but blows up quickly in season 2 and has been some of the most exciting stuff out of the New Canon - and it reintroduced Grand Admiral Thrawn to the Canon. He also got a novel in April, simply titled Thrawn, written by his original creator Timothy Zahn. It is an excellent novel well-worth reading before you start watching Season 3. There is also a prequel novel called A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller***, which introduces Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla as well as Rae Sloane, an Imperial Captain that will play a role later on as well.

    Rebels is slated to end with its 4th Season, which starts airing later this year.

    Rogue One

    The most recent movie (as of now) is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It is the first of the supposedly many Anthology Movies set between Mainline Movies and outside of the big events.

    Rogue One itself is a direct prequel to A New Hope, ending basically right before the start of the original. However, if you have not yet watched Rogue One, I would recommend reading certain novels first.

    First off, released before the Movie went to theaters, was Catalyst by James Luceno. It is a pretty direct prequel to Rogue One, charting the course of Jyn Erso's parents, Galen and Lyra, from the midst of the Clone Wars to after the formation of the Empire and their escape from Coruscant. It was well worth reading, even though it doesn't offer much in the way of action. Having read it before watching the movie (again) will give you a deeper understanding of Galen and Orson Krennic, the main antagonist of Rogue One, and actually give Lyra a good showing.

    Recently another sandwiched novel (intended for Young Adults, but with Star Wars this does say very little, as violence is often more apparent in these than in the supposed "Adult" novels, for example) was released, titled Rebel Rising by Beth Revis.
    This novel is set after Catalyst, and after the intro scene of Rogue One but before the rest of the movie. It is the Jyn Erso story up until her recruitment by the Rebel Alliance. I am reading it right now and say it gives me a lot of appreciation for Jyn as a character, but also gives Saw Gerrera a good shake. Saw was also part of Catalyst and the The Clone Wars series, as well as Rebels, by the way.

    Rogue One's novelization by Alexander Freed is, like all the movie novelizations, not a must-read by any means, but since I have read it I'll just say that certain scenes were better depicted than in the movie (you know, like last words and such). It also added interstitials with explanations to Galen's plan, the Rebel Alliance's ongoings and even how Krennic manipulated Galen, which happened off-screen in the movie.

  3. #1108582017-05-29 14:27:24 *DarkChaplain said:

    The (Other) Novels

    Most of the other novels released so far tackle the time periods between the end of the Prequel Trilogy and A New Hope. Some squeeze in between, too. I haven't read every single thing yet, but I'm getting there. Here are my notes on some of them:

    • Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne was originally intended to be part of the Expanded Universe and likely drastically changed to fit the new stuff just before release. It predates the Disney buyout but made it to Canon status regardless. It is set just after A New Hope and is written in first person from Luke Skywalker's perspective. It has one of the worst reputations in the Canon (which is why I haven't bothered with it yet).

    • Tarkin by James Luceno was a pretty good one. If you've ever wondered about Peter Cushing's character from A New Hope, who also featured in TCW and had a cameo in RotS, this is the novel to get. Later novels (and Rogue One) also tie into it (like Thrawn or Catalyst).

    • Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp may spot Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine on its cover, but they actually take a bit of a backseat for most of the book. Instead this one's about the Free Ryloth movement led by Cham Syndulla, a hero of the Clone Wars (seen in the series and father of Hera Syndulla from Rebels, where he cameos too). It was an exciting read and shows the power dynamics between Palp and Vader as well as their respective power levels. It is set about midway between Prequels and Original Trilogy, same as Tarkin.

    • Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed is probably one of my favorite novels in the franchise. It is easy to put it off as a bad video game tie-in, but really it is one of the most mature and satisfying military stories in Star Wars. This is boots-on-the-ground action that showcases the meat grinder of the Galactic Civil War in a realistic and moving fashion. It even cameos a certain Smuggler...
      The novel is set after A New Hope for the most part, but also crosses over with The Empire Strikes Back and makes plenty of references to other novels. Good stuff.

    • Lost Stars by Claudia Grey I have yet to read myself but it is often upheld as the best New Canon novel. And that's despite it being branded a Young Adult/Junior novel (again showing how stupid the label is. It is supposedly a bit of a Romeo & Juliet situation between Rebels and Imperials, but plays alongside the Original Trilogy and expanded the setting a lot.

    • The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry, Smuggler's Run by Greg Rucka and Moving Target by Cecil Castellucci & Jason Fry are Junior Novels as well, released as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens lineup. They take place between the Original Trilogy and focus on Luke, Han & Chewie and Leia respectively, but their Prologues and Epilogues frame them as just before The Force Awakens. They are reasonably short and actually decent, but by no means vital. The way they tie into other material and cameo characters was fun, though.

    • Guardians of the Whills by Greg Rucka is on my bedside table/box but is another Rogue One prequel starring Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus on Jedha. It also features Saw Gerrera. I'm not far enough into it to make proper comments, but it is a 200 page Junior Novel too.


    • Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson - A novel about the The Force Awakens character with the most wasted potential. Coming in time for The Last Jedi
  4. #1108592017-05-29 14:27:45 *DarkChaplain said:

    The Sequel Trilogy

    Oh boy... This may or may not turn out to be a total shitshow in the future. Even Mark Hamil is less than impressed so far. But here we go with some info on that.

    First off, before watching The Force Awakens, or if you've already watched it and want more background, there are some novels and short stories to read.

    Set almost immediately after the end of Return of the Jedi, Chuck Wendig's Aftermath, Aftermath: Life Debt and Aftermath: Empire's End are supposed to give you the, well, aftermath of the Empire's fall.

    These books are, on the surface, about a ragtag crew of dudes including a rebel pilot, an ex-imperial officer, a bounty hunter and so on. They get entangled in things bigger than themselves and meet some familiar faces. The most interesting part of the books are the interstitials, however. These are cut-outs from events across the galaxy, showing familiar places and characters and what they're up to.
    You want to see how Mon Mothma is building her New Republic, what Admiral Ackbar was up to after the second Death Star's destruction, or see what to Jar Jar Binks (hint: it is actually a little sad), then these novels have it.

    Here's the problem: The writing style sucks ass. Chuck Wendig uses present tense (big mistake!) and staccato lines. Broken sentences, sound effect garbage, and all around unpleasant prose. The primary cast is also pretty unsatisfying and there's a big element of virtue signaling here. Brrrrr.

    This trilogy features Rae Sloane from A New Dawn, however, and is in the long run unavoidable. It has big repercussions for the galaxy going forward, and showcases the Battle of Jakku as well. If only it had written by somebody better...

    You should also read the aforementioned Shattered Empire mini comic series, mind you. It offers a closer look on the actual heroes than Aftermath.

    Now, there's a big gap here. The next big relevant novel is Bloodline by Claudia Gray. It is set about 6 years before The Force Awakens and is a mix of action and politics. It showcases the retardation of the New Republic's senate and the different factions within it. Leia gets a good adventure here, and it introduced a couple of pretty good new characters.
    It ends in the founding of the Resistance and offers the first actual glimpses at the First Order.
    I'd consider this a must read for the Sequel Trilogy.

    Now we get to the Poe Dameron comic series. It has overall been pretty entertaining and fleshes out Dameron's character a great deal. His absence for most of TFA looks even more sad with this one.
    Additionally, there is a Novella/Short Story Trilogy called Before the Awakening which offers a prequel story to the three new protagonists of the Sequel Trilogy.

    The Force Awakens

    Now it is time to lean back and watch The Force Awakens. Be impressed by J.J. Abrams Lens Flares and shit. You can argue all you like about this movie being mediocre or recycled from previous material, but at the end of the day it is what we got to deal with.

    Soon we will have a Phasma mini comic series coming up and a Phasma novel as well as some more fluff, but those are still months out and hitting shelves just prior to The Last Jedi, so I'll address them later.

  5. #1108602017-05-29 15:19:58 *DarkChaplain said:

    The Comics

    This is a whole can of worms, truth be told. With Marvel being in charge, the Comics suffer from a few of the usual issues. Most notably, of course, the clear "Girl Power" feel of Marvel's latest feminist agenda.

    You will see a LOT of new female characters, while male ones are relegated to the back of the line. Even Han and Luke are often treated as fools in need of rescuing, as if flicking the damsel-in-distress shit around was any better. One arc of the main Star Wars series in particular had Luke and Han be bumbling idiots, then herd Nerfs aboard the Millennium Falcon and get captured immediately upon arriving at the scene of the action. Queue Charlie's Angels rescuing them. Again.

    Anyway, there are multiple series going on right now. Let me hand you a list of all of what we've had so far.

    • Star Wars (2015) (Ongoing)- This is the main series. It is currently 31 issues in and is set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

    • Darth Vader (2015) - The next notable series. It is, like Star Wars, set between ANH and TESB, but wrapped up already. It lasted 25 issues and had a crossover event with the main series and introduced Doctor Aphra, who got her own series recently.

    • Poe Dameron (2016) (Ongoing) - This is the main series for the Sequel Trilogy, focusing on Poe Dameron and Black Squadron up until The Force Awakens. Originally he was searching for Lor San Tekka, the guy who had the map to Luke's hideout, but it strayed from that goal for about half the series. It did however introduce one of the most interesting villains in recent memory, Agent Terex of the First Order.

    • Doctor Aphra (2016) (Ongoing) - This is set after the closing of Darth Vader and stars Doctor Aphra, the apparently lesbian asian-ish rogue archeologist/Indiana Jones scoundrel version and her motley crew of Bounty Hunter Wookiee and murderdroids Triple-Zero and BeeTee. These are basically C-3PO and R2D2 but... murderous.
      It has been fun enough so far, and there is currently a crossover with SW going on, but the art leaves much to be desired.

    • Darth Maul (2017) - This is a 5 issue miniseries set before The Phantom Menace and tackling Darth Maul while he was still bound by secrecy. It does a pretty fine job reconciling the different versions of the character while having a few TCW cameos. If you've ever liked Maul, you'll like this

    • Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (2014) - This one meanwhile is one of the projects that happened because of The Clone Wars getting canned by Disney. It brought Maul's storyline to a close for the time being, based on scripts for the series, and it should be read after TCW but before watching Rebels. It was only 4 issues long.

    • Rogue One (2017) - This is a pretty straightforward adaptation of the Movie. It adds a few neat bits or different angles, but probably easily skipped without losses. It is 5 issues long.

    • Rogue One — Cassian & K-2SO Special (2017) - A single issue special that deals with how Cassian Andor met K-2SO. Simple stuff but I have high expectations for it. It is due in August.

    • The Force Awakens (2016) - This. Was. Garbage. Don't bother. It adds nothing at all that you've not seen in the movie. It has utterly shit pacing, doesn't let you process information and the art is terribad. Chuck Wendig's credited as the writer but all he wrote over all 6 issues were some cringey, on-the-nose exposition boxes in two issues or so. Fucking garbage.

    • Han Solo (2016) - I really enjoyed this 5 issue miniseries. The art was great, it gave Han the opportunity to pilot the Falcon between ANH and TESB, and it was overall exciting.

    • Princess Leia (2015) - Another 5 issue series. Cringeworthy, obviously girl-targeted art, but not a bad story. It deals with Leia's loss of her home world and need to be strong as a symbol.

    • Chewbacca (2015) - Aaand another 5 issue miniseries. Chewie rescues Imperial slaves, which makes callbacks to the Wookiee's own past as slaves. Decent stuff.

    • Lando (2015) - And another 5 issue series. This serves as a prequel to Lando Calrissian's appearance in The Empire Strikes Back. I'd recommend it.

    • Shattered Empire (2015) - This is different for a change - it only has 4 issues. This is set immediately after Return of the Jedi and stars Poe Dameron's mother and introduces some things that will be relevant in EA's Battlefront II later this year. Good thing, with some of the most beautiful art in the franchise.

    • Kanan(2015) - This is a 12 issue series spread over two arcs that deals with Kanan Jarrus's traumatizing past as a Jedi Padawan. It is set sometime during the Rebels series' season 1, but mostly consists of flashback sequences to his training and Order 66, as well as the aftermath. Great couple of arcs, wish it had been longer.

    Crossover Issues:

    • Vader Down (2015) - This was spread out between SW and Darth Vader and, if you read these two, you'll have to alternate after the initial Vader Down one-off issue.

    • The Screaming Citadel (2017) - This is currently ongoing and split between SW and Doctor Aphra. The first single-issue The Screaming Citadel pilot is bloody gorgeous. Same artist as Shattered Empire and everything looks amazing. The dialogue is great, the pace on point... and then it goes back to the artists of SW and Aphra, and things get bad. It isn't over yet, but seeing part 2 of the arc made me want to vomit. SW has long had a problem with the main artist tracing still images, but here we get the infamous asian-eating-noodles meme incorporated...Great premise, worried about the execution now.


    • Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith (2017) - New Darth Vader series set just after Revenge of the Sith and before Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp. It is scheduled to start in early July and is supposed to make Vader adapt to his new armor-restrained existence. He also gets pretty mad at Palpatine for Padme's death.

    • Captain Phasma (2017) - A 4 issue series about The Force Awakens's most uninteresting character whose shining-silver armor far eclipsed her relevance. Yawn.

  6. #1108652017-05-29 16:37:20--Jack-- said:

    The expanded universe will always be canon in my heart. I just treat it like Marvel with all of their alternate-universe-but-still-canon things.

  7. #1108672017-05-29 16:56:31DarkChaplain said:

    Honestly, while there were quite a lot of good stories set in the EU, it was a massive clusterfuck as well.

    The New Canon is directly overseen by the LucasFilm Story Group, who keep tabs on everything and make sure that no direct contradictions between Canon material occur. The EU never had that benefit and as a result you have vastly different shit happening that just doesn't mesh with the rest.

    So far, all the Canon novels click together neatly, with only the comics suffering from Marvel syndrome (I'll elaborate on that later when I address them up there). The EU though wasn't even closed in itself and already had reboot shit going on.

    The Yuuzhan Vong suck too

  8. #1108932017-05-30 13:24:57DarkChaplain said:

    Already a better character than Rey.

    Personally, I can't wait to see how Rebels Season Four turns out later this year. Especially since they added Rukh and Bo-katan.

  9. #1109122017-05-30 23:14:01 *Teru said:

    You just created this thread, how the fuck it has 67 upvotes?

    Edit: Alright my bad, it was just a bug, I F5'd and it's all good now.

  10. #1112952017-06-28 17:51:27 *DarkChaplain said:

    Today the final issue in the Star Wars: Screaming Citadel comic arc released, and I have to say I'm glad it is over. It was a crossover between the SW main series and Doctor Aphra, trying to go into Gothic Horror but... beyond the pilot issue, it never really captured that again.

    Chechetto's art in the pilot was out-fucking-standing, the SW main series has shit art with faces traced from movie stills and memes, and the Aphra comics were more comic-y in style but still not pretty.

    It suffered greatly from having the girl power shit going on in the main SW issues, and Leia and Sana are unlikeable almost the entire time while Han and Luke are made out to be bumbling idiots. Funnily enough, this changed a bit in this final issue (Doctor Aphra #8), whereas it was worst in the main series. Again, the pilot issue was amazing, the character dynamics worked, the art was gorgeous, the threat seemed cool... it just never lived up to that again. Doesn't help that the antagonist only had white eyes outside the SW main issues, due to actual art being harder than tracing.

    Just disappointing that they, once again, didn't kill off anybody. Not even the Wookiee Black Krrsantan, even though he got infected by a parasite and turned into a were-wookiee, having the thing directly implanted by murderdroid. Nope, he just shrugs it off in the end. Figures.

    If anything I hope that Sana gets offed soon. She's nothing but a pain whenever she features. That isn't snark, it is just bitter bitching at the people who by rights should be the heroes of this franchise. It isn't even justified. She's not interesting, her relationship drama boils down to "I hate her!" and that's about it. Just terrible writing. Get her off the series before ESB, please.

  11. #1115572017-07-26 03:54:59DarkChaplain said:

    Yesterday, Tuesday, we got the release of Star Wars: Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden. This is a prequel to the upcoming Battlefront II game's campaign. I'm gonna read it as soon as possible, but it seems to be well received so far.

    The real question is whether or not it will reach the lofty heights of Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed, because THAT was amazing.

    The Darth Maul 5-issue Comic series wrapped up last week and I think this might be one of the best things Marvel has put out so far. Not that surprising considering the boring main series, but damn that was fun.

    And the new Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith series is going VERY strong. This one's set right after the conclusion of Revenge of the Sith and deals with newly-suited-up Vader going to kill his first Jedi to earn his own corrupted Lightsaber crystal. He's very different from the later Vader, but not quite the Anakin from The Clone Wars/RotS either. He's a thing in between, trying to find his place and test his limits, but not used to having to do things differently now.
    Well-worth reading!