Star Wars

Star Wars
Property of George Lucas, LucasFilms Ltd.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Children of the Jedi (or, We're Awake, We're Awake!)

Sorry, Master, we're sorry!
This long hiatus is entirely on Esme (who is writing now). Her cross-country move, job, dance, etc. all piled up into a big bundle of excuses that interfered with our awesome project. RoRo has been the queen of patience and good humor about this and now, at long last, we're back!

Reading "Children of the Jedi" is going to be an interesting and likely humorous experience for me, Esme, for several reasons. When I first discovered Star Wars, and then Star Wars novels and the EU, I fell completely in love with Mara Jade (which I may have mentioned before ^_^). I loved her power, her struggle, her open-book character. And I knew, the moment I'd finished "The Last Command," that she was going to be with Luke Skywalker. I'm convinced that there's no one with a more romantic spirit than a ten-year-old girl and I was positive Mara and Luke were destined.

Children of the Jedi
Then I met Callista. If there's no truer romantic than a ten-year-old girl, there's certainly none more fatalistic. Before even reading "Children of the Jedi," I was heartbroken. I couldn't figure out whose stupid idea it was that Mara be Luke's "friend" and Callista be his one true love. Powerless to stop it, I seethed and moped and refused to read any of the novels except to check for scenes featuring Mara. I didn't know it at the time, but part of my general dissatisfaction with those other novels was that Mara wasn't being written all that well. TZahn created the perfect character; I don't mean Mara herself was perfect by any means. I mean that Mara's perfect in terms of her dimension: she perfectly balanced, with flaws and strengths constantly tipping and causing growth. She goes from abused child assassin to independent woman in TZahn's first trilogy but does so in such a natural way. On top of that, she refuses to follow conventional expectation and become a Jedi. Most authors who aren't TZahn have been hopeless at capturing this in any way. The only one I can remember coming even close is Roger McBride Allen of Corellian Trilogy fame and I'll have to decide upon reread whether or not I still think so.

Enough about my beloved Mara. The point in even bringing her up is that I'm a bit older now and I think it's about time I apologized to poor Callista and gave her a chance to play her part in a galaxy far, far away. The next three books are her shining debut and story arc.

So, Callista, I'm sorry I was a jerk to you. I no longer find you threatening (and not just because I know you're only temporary in Luke's life) and I wish you all the best. Thanks for helping to people the Star Wars universe.

Off we go!


  1. Yes, our brief hiatus as been ALL ESME'S FAULT! Except that I really enjoyed the break and catching up on some non-Star Wars reading. Gasp! Such a thing does exist, even for us nerdettes.

    I remember Children of the Jedi. I remember it and I own it, yet when I started it last night, the first few pages were completely unfamiliar to me. So either I never got around to reading it, or (more likely) I read it and my terrible, terrible memory has no recollection of it. In my defense, I did have a rather massive skull tumor squashing my brain about five years ago. A lot of things from my childhood are fuzzy, actually. This is part of the reason I'm so excited for this blog. Because as I read each Star Wars book, it reminds me of being a child. Something that is a day to day challenge for me.

    Moving on from my sordid medical past... I know Es is really fixating on the Mara/Callista thing and with good reason. But as a young girl I never got into the whole Star Wars romance thing. I WAS and AM a hopeless romantic. But to me, Star Wars was (and still is) about super cool space battles, and the rogue getting the girl (OK, some romantic inclinations), and the Jedi protecting everything that moves. I found The Courtship of Princess Leia so wonderfully romantic as a girl (as an adult, I'm a little frightened that I thought being kidnapped was an acceptable form of courtship. I think because it was Han Solo - a totally stand up chap underneath the scoundrel - doing the kidnapping that made it all right in my 12 year old brain). Honestly, I never ever thought about Luke having romantic ideas at all. I must have blocked it out completely and only thought of Mara and Callista as friends of Luke and helping the cause of Star Wars than actual romantic interests. Until Mara and Luke were married, and then I registered them as husband and wife and nothing else. There isn't a huge amount of kissing in Star Wars, and when there is, there's some Imperial storm trooper trying to shoot at everyone and interrupting the whole thing.

    ANYWAY, back on task! I really have no expectations for CotJ except for a good adventure. I read and liked some of Barbara Hambly's other books as a teen, so I know she's a good writer. I just hope she does the Star Wars canon justice.

    Right, that's about it! See you on the other side!

  2. Ro, I'm glad you know BHambly's a good writer - that really takes the edge off after a few of the other authors we've read who are, ahem, wanting in that department. I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

    Like you, though for different reasons, I don't remember if I actually read CoftheJ or not. I know I skipped around a lot, looking for scenes with Mara in them. I do remember reading "Planet of Twilight" and really loving it.

    My copy of CoftheJ gets into the library this week and I'm really eager to read it!

  3. I have to admit, I'm about 50 pages in, and her writing is wonderfully prose-like! The descriptions of landscapes and people are fantastic. That being said, I feel she skips around a bit, and I have to play catch up to understand what's going on in the story. Much of it is very familiar in a way that tells me I did read it once upon a time, but I can't remember any of it really. I am enjoying the heck out of parts of it, and I'm anxious for the real plot to reveal itself soon!

  4. I didn't get to the library today (actually, it's amazing I ate today - it's my dad's last few days before he goes back to work and he's packing in a LOT of projects!) but I plan to tomorrow.

    ....which is just as well because my hold just left Sylvan today so likely it will be there tomorrow waiting for me (along with "The Night Circus" audiobook and "Golden Girls" season 2 ^_^). I'm really looking forward to it - I'm delighted to hear there's actual prose and a sense of good writing happening.