I want to talk for a moment about how much I adore this panel from Empire’s End. Here is Leia and Threepio conducting normal business and having their conversations, and Jaina and Jacen entertaining themselves with a little bird/bat creature - what do you want to guess that’s Jacen’s doing? - and Anakin’s there on the sofa, and Leia’s watching him - and the entire thing is both very maternal and also very Leia as her own person.

So frequently throughout the comics and the EU it seems like writers don’t know how to allow her to be both. In Dark Empire II there’s this whole ‘Leia’s protective motherly instincts war with her need to help the New Republic, and as is always the case with Leia, the New Republic wins out!’ thing, and I literally eye-rolled. As I did the idea that the twins have been on New Alderaan for nearly two years and Leia has only seen them a couple of times.

This panel is a breath of fresh air. It’s a glimpse of what it might look like to be a mother, and also still keep your non-mother interests that so far feels all too rare for Leia.

(Plus, I just like the art style of Empire’s End way, way more than I like the Dark Empire comics art.)


Star Wars Legends Fancast→ Eréndira Ibarra | Jaina Solo

I name you the Sword of the Jedi. You are like tempered steel, purposeful and razor-keen. Always you shall be in the front rank, a burning brand to your enemies, a brilliant fire to your friends. Yours is a restless life, and never shall you know peace, though you shall be blessed for the peace that you bring to others. Take comfort in the fact that, though you stand tall and alone, others take shelter in the shadow that you cast.

 All digital Dark Horse Comics are 50% until Dark Horse loses their license at the end of the year, thanks to Mickey. :’(

I’ve put together a recommendation list of my favorites, and it got really long so I’ve split it up by era. These are my recs for the New Republic (Post Episode VI) Era: Feel free to add your own!

Old Republic (Pre-Episode III) recs are here.

Rebellion (between Episodes III and VI) recs here.

Union- $7.99 for 91 pages

Luke and Mara get married. Chaos reigns.

Legacy I- $42.38 for 50 issues

This series follows Cade Skywalker, and a new hoard of Sith who once again are wreaking havoc throughout the galaxy. This isn’t one of my personal favorites, but my roommate loves it so I thought I’d throw it in. It is very good, and this era had an interesting set up. There are Jedi, Sith, and Imperial Knights. The Imperial Knights are sort of the Lawful Neutral to balance out the Jedi and Sith’s good and evil dichotomy.

Legacy II- $14.96 for 18 issues

I actually haven’t read this because it looked so good I decided I wanted to buy it when it came out as an Omnibus… which it hasn’t. Anyways, this is about Ania Solo, Han and Leia’s great great granddaughter getting into trouble as only a Skywalker/Solo can. It looks amazing.

Things that I haven’t read, but I think look interesting:

Jedi Academy: Leviathan- $4.99, 84 pages.

Mara Jade: By the Emperor’s Hand- $5.99, 143 pages.

The Thrawn Trilogy- $10.99 for 454 pages. I’ve read the book version of this, but haven’t read the comic version. I’m guessing it’s just as good.

She had been surprised by her reaction to the Jedi teacher’s instruction for them to build their own lightsabers. Despite her fierce pride at knowing she would soon begin earnest training for real battels, Tenel Ka had resented the implication that she would somehow be judged on the basis of the weapon with which she would fight,
Earlier, she had scaled the Great Temple using nothing more than her grappling hook, her fibercord, and her own muscles. Wasn’t the warrior who wielded the weapon much more important than the weapon itself? she asked herself. Even holding a simple stick instead of a dazzling lightsaber, Tenel Ka was capable of defeating an enemy.
—  Lightsabers by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta

Can I talk for a minute about the sheer eye-rolling factor of this? Also, how I know she will not last the comic book? 

But this is very definitely representative of like most of the 90s. Luke meets impressive girl, usually with Force powers, girl dies, loses Force Powers, or otherwise becomes indisposed.

When you think of it this way, it’s a wonder Mara lasted as long as she did.

Vision of the Future by Timothy Zahn (1998, Bantam)

Vision of the Future continues and concludes the story begun in Specter of the Past. With the New Republic divided on how best to deal with Bothan involvement in the destruction of Caamas, a complete copy of the document implicating those individuals responsible appears to be the only way to avoid fragmentation or even civil war.

This novel’s plot consists of multiple (mostly failed) attempts to retrieve a complete copy of this document; the scheming of Moff Disra and his triumvirate to expand the Empire and exacerbate the Republic’s situation; and Admiral Pellaeon’s quest to make peace with the Republic and get to the bottom of Thrawn’s apparent return.

The aforementioned failed missions for the Caamas Document don’t lack for excitement. A rendezvous with a man Talon Karrde has reason to believe wants him dead; an infiltration of the Imperial Remnant capital of Bastion; and a daring raid on a heavily defended Imperial base all make for an engrossing read, and it helps that Zahn never tips his hand regarding the outcome of these missions, leaving the reader in suspense until the end.

In Pellaeon, Zahn has created arguably the most sympathetic and even heroic Imperial character in the Star Wars canon, and that really comes through in this novel. As an aging military officer weary of a war well past its expiration date, he serves as a good foil for the more typically jingoistic Moff Disra.

There’s a lot to hold a reader’s interest in Vision of the Future (at nearly seven hundred pages, this one is meaty for a Star Wars book), but the novel’s most captivating passages follow Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade on their mission to the remote world of Nirauan. Here, the two of them find out just what the Hand of Thrawn is: a fortress established by Thrawn on the border of the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. Its current custodian reveals that its purpose is to guard the known galaxy against outside threats, making some oblique references to what would later become the Yuuzhan Vong of the New Jedi Order series.

In addition to the Hand of Thrawn, Luke and Mara discover their feelings for one another. In one passage, Mara admonishes Luke for the mistakes he’s made over the past ten years. This also reads a little like a critique of some of the expanded universe’s more regrettable storylines, like the Emperor’s clones or Luke’s surprising ineptitude at running the Jedi Academy. Luke’s acknowledgement of his mistakes, however, allows both of them to become more open with one another, making for some effectively romantic passages; they don’t quite reach the level of Han and Leia’s kiss in The Empire Strikes Back, but they ain’t too shabby.

The Hand of Thrawn Duology is a perfect conclusion to an era of Star Wars novels that simultaneously paves the way for the next phase of the expanded universe. Timothy Zahn delivers the same suspense, excitement, mystery, and grandeur he first brought to the Star Wars universe in the Thrawn trilogy, and this two-part series is at least the equal of those novels. I happily recommend both of these books without any reservation. 

Women of Star Wars Appreciation Week Day 7:

Cross stitch my sister made for me for Christmas a couple years ago

Allow me to wax eloquent over how much I adore Jaina Solo. When I first started reading Star Wars books, and therefore first started actually really caring about Star Wars, I was 13. My brother owned a bunch of Star Wars books and he recommended them to me. I jumped around a lot at first and basically skipped all of the 90s Bantam stuff and went straight into New Jedi Order. Where practically the first character I’m introduced to is Jaina Solo. She had brief (very very brief) appearances in one or two of the other books I had read (namely the Thrawn books), but Vector Prime was the first time she actually had a substantial role for me. 

Unlike basically every other character in the books, she was only three years older than me. She was smart, witty, confident, friendly, skilled both as a pilot and mechanic and as a Jedi, she was basically everything I aspired to be at that age (except the Jedi part I never cared about that bit). I read through NJO impatiently waiting for Jaina to make another appearance. I loved Balance Point in a heartbreaking kind of way and Dark Journey remains to this day, and will remain until the day I fucking die, my absolute favorite book. 

Jaina was everything I wanted to be, but she also wasn’t perfect. She was brash, often impatient, completely unwilling to ever back down, her guilt and grief consumed her at times, and as time went on she feared intimacy of any kind more and more because of the added grief it might bring her. But she also figured out how to move past her problems. She realized her faults, realized how she had failed, and then figured out how to make up for it. She started to let people back in, to let those that love her help her through her problems. As a teenager, the narratives that always drew me in were the ones where the heroine was able to acknowledge and accept what was happening to her and then figure out how to make her situation work for herself and for everyone around her. Jaina fit that narrative to a tee. 

Of course, my all consuming love of Jaina Solo means that when I read the Dark Nest Trilogy I flipped my ever loving shit with hatred for Troy Denning and everything he chooses to be. Bug sex. Bug sex with Zekk. That’s all I’m gonna say. And then the Legacy of the Force series happened. And Jaina was so thoroughly and disgracefully sidelined for Jacen’s manpain. Even if they were going to do the whole Jacen falls to the Dark Side thing, they should have given Jaina and equal amount of page time to really properly highlight the chooses the made and the path that those chooses brought them to. Wedging Jaina in in the last book or two of a nine book series was BULLSHIT. 

And then I started my Massive Star Wars Reread and baby Jaina is what’s gotten me through a number of truly awful books (Crystal Star and literally anything written by Kevin J. Anderson (who is a fucking MENACE)). From the very beginning, Jaina has been an amazing character. She has always been confident and smart and willing to help everyone around her. She has always been such a bright, cheerful child with an amazing relationship with her brothers (seriously Denning first you kill Anakin then you fuck the twins up in DNT meet me in the fucking pit) and with her father, and a very complicated relationship with her mother. She is determined, resourceful, and so very kind. Even as an adult, she is still everything I want to be. She is, without a doubt, one of the best, most under appreciated (esp by the men in-universe the fuck ups) characters in the entire franchise.

All my love to the Great One forever.

Shield of Lies by Michael P. Kube-McDowell (1996, Bantam)

Before the Storm, the first book of The Black Fleet Crisis, leaves the New Republic on the brink of war with the Yevetha, an alien race that believes itself superior to all others and plans to assert superiority by “cleansing” their sector of space of all other “vermin.”

Curiously, Michael P. Kube-McDowell lets the New Republic—and the reader—dangle on that brink for the first two thirds of the second book, Shield of Lies. In my experience, books that are part of the same series usually follow the same structure. Before the Storm, like most Star Wars novels, was written in third person limited fashion, with character perspectives changing between chapters and page breaks. Shield of Lies isn’t very different from this, but instead of changing which character he follows whenever it seems appropriate, McDowell has divided the novel into three sections: “Lando,” “Luke,” and “Leia,” respectively.

The “Lando” section follows Lando, Lobot, Artoo, and Threepio as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of the Flying Dutchman-esque spaceship on which they’re stranded as it skips around through hyperspace. The ship’s many strange and mysterious qualities, when taken with Lando’s constant quipping, remind me a little of some delightfully oddball passages from L. Neil Smith’s The Lando Calrissian Adventures. The fact that McDowell makes good use of Lando is a point in favor of The Black Fleet Crisis; many expanded universe authors neglect him.

The “Luke” portion of the novel has Akanah, who has promised to help Luke learn more about his mother, leading the Jedi from planet to planet, searching for the nomadic and secretive Fallanassi tribe. Luke begins to become suspicious of Akanah and her motivations, and Akanah continues to question Luke’s methods, but the two of them wind up developing a certain level of affection for one another nonetheless.

The third and final section of Shield of Lies, “Leia,” finally revisits the conflict that ended the previous book. Leia is faced with making a decision as to how to address the aggression of the Yevetha, all while battling political wheedling and manipulation from within. Throughout this trilogy, Leia’s idealism butts heads with the more pragmatist approach of the New Republic’s military and covert operations personnel.

I’m not against the idea of changing up the structure of novels within a series as described above, but in this case, I think the decision was a mistake on McDowell’s part. Each portion of the book is enjoyable on its own, but dividing the action into sharply delineated thirds gives Shield of Lies a less cohesive feel. More importantly, it disrupts, to a certain extent, the feeling of continuity between the first and second books of this trilogy. I imagine that having the reader wait until the last third of the book to find out more about the Yevethan crisis was meant to build suspense and anticipation. This isn’t a bad idea, but the payoff here isn’t enough to justify the buildup. This may have been a better option for the trilogy’s third installment.

This does mess with the pacing, but ultimately, this flaw doesn’t prevent Shield of Lies from being a good read. The book retains most of the strengths of its predecessor, and ends on a cliffhanger that had me immediately reaching for the next book upon completion.
EU - Talon Karrde/Shada D'ukal - T Title – Telbun Author – carrole Fandom – Star Wars Prompt – Talon Karrde/Shada Dukal: First time, UST finally resolved. Word Count – 4098 Rating – T Summary – Talon Karrde usually has good ideas. This was not one of them. A/N – I hereby apologize for this fic. I…

Fandom: Star Wars - New Republic Era 

Pairing: Talon Karrde / Shada D’ukal 

Rating:  not explicit, unfortunately, but still wonderfully suggestive  


Star Wars was my first fandom. I was born mid-1970s, so I grew up with the original trilogy. I was an undergrad when Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy came out and we all breathed that stuff in like it was oxygen in a void. 

Hey, Star Wars is the only fandom in which I’ve written fanfic myself - none of which is online, because it was back in the olden days when those kind of sites were still printed on paper and called ‘zines.

What I’m trying to say is that Star Wars is a part of my DNA. 

And the character of Talon Karrde (who’s not even canon anymore, is he, now Disney has rebooted the EU) is right up top of my favourite character obsessions of all time.

So it’s a bit of a sore point that there’s so little Karrde slash (like, slash with anyone) out there and almost none of what I could find was in any way explicit. (I mean, seriously, “teen and up audiences”? That’s actually a thing? Whhaaaaa.) 

Which doesn’t mean I didn’t find a few really fun, rather well done fics of one of my favourite all time pairings: Talon Karrde and Shada D’ukal. It’s perhaps the only het-slash pairing I’ll ever consider shipping (Mulder and Scully not withstanding), so that says something about just how obsessive I am with these characters.

Most of the fics shipping these characters are old, seeing as the books came out years ago, but hey, we’re getting new movies and all the rest now, so time for a revisit.

This particular fic I just love. Because it gets the characters just right in a way not every fic does, and it resolves all the UST perfectly and I didn’t even mind that it wasn’t explicit because it’s awesome as it is. And it’s fun. It made me laugh, just as it made my heart thump with all my decades of Star Wars geekdom obsessiveness.

Who doesn’t love an undercover pretend relationship (well, kind of relationship) revealing real feelings, aaah?