The Dexter Jettster Renaissance: Twenty Years of a Literary Classic

In 2002, we were blessed with a scoundrel of a space cook with an arm gimmick, a ready grin, and a menacing chuckle. Dexter Jettster – the one-scene wonder of Jedi Quest #2: The Trail of the Jedi.

Oh, and also of some movie, I suppose.

While created and developed for Attack of the Clones, the Besalisk actually debuted in Legends literature. His first appearance came a month and a half before the film’s release, in Jude Watson’s middle-grade series Jedi Quest. Though the movie would obviously make a bigger impact, this pulp-fiction book set the stage for how Dex would grow into a more complex character: through literature.

Over the course of the Legends Expanded Universe, Dex would make enough scattered appearances across novels, comics, and magazines that certain character traits began taking root outside of the movie. Traits that held a distinct similarity to a literary classic.

In 2002, we were blessed with another scoundrel of a space cook with an arm gimmick, a ready grin, and a menacing chuckle. Long John Silver – the villain of Disney’s Treasure Planet.

Oh, and also of some novel, I suppose.

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Even His Droid is Called “Aces” – How Padawan Opens the Door to Exploring an Aromantic/Asexual Obi-Wan Kenobi

This involves a close read of a passage of Padawan, but it does not contain plot-related spoilers.

I am the type of person that Padawan by Kiersten White was written for. I am very much the fan being served by the various elements therein. Obi-Wan Kenobi is my favorite Jedi. My favorite minor character gets a handsome cameo. And, most importantly for this article, it intersects with my youthful introduction into Star Wars novels: Jude Watson’s Jedi Apprentice.

Published in the Legends continuity between 1999 and 2002, this mass market pulp fiction series about Obi-Wan’s Padawan years has left a mark on many a fan. Fandom celebrated when Apprentice characters like Siri and Bant were later integrated into the new canon. Siri in particular was an interesting choice to include in Padawan, as Jude Watson later wrote her and Obi-Wan into a romantic relationship.

Padawan, however, tackles that Legends relationship a little differently, and it was this that ultimately dominated my thoughts after setting the book down. For everything I loved about the entire novel, I kept returning here, to a single passage. Because I could hardly believe what I was being given.

Padawan gave textual support for a queer Obi-Wan Kenobi.

I have hardly been shy about asexuality and aromanticism in this column before, and Obi-Wan Kenobi himself has come up in said discussion:

“There’s also Obi-Wan, who feels a-spec (on the aromantic or asexual spectrums) to me, especially in the context of Satine Kryze. Their dynamic challenges the idea that romance and sex are innately good and should override every other motive in a person’s life. Obi-Wan and Satine decline to pursue a relationship in order to uphold their oaths to others, and neither is painted as cold or unloving in doing so.”

For everthing I took from Obi-Wan and Satine’s arc as an aromantic man, I expected it to remain wholly within the realm of headcanon.

And yet, here Padawan is.

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It’s Free Real Estate – Why a Cameo in The Book of Boba Fett Didn’t Work When It Should Have

The following article contains spoilers for this week’s episode of The Book of Boba Fett.

Y’know, if it had been a different episode, if it had been a different pair of episodes, I would have been excited.

The issue is…well, let’s call it Free Real Estate. This is when a story set within a pre-established universe is sidelined to prioritize references to another, unrelated part of the universe. The script, the runtime, the pages that could have been dedicated to telling the story that was promised instead goes to rehashing beats for nostalgia or setting up backdoor pilots. The creators saw that this story was taking place in the same universe as the characters they wished it was about and said, “It’s free real estate.

Free Real Estate is the affliction faced by the two penultimate episodes of The Book of Boba Fett.

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We Are All Jurassic Park – An Examination of The Fallen Star

This piece contains minor spoilers for The Fallen Star.

These spoilers discuss the scope of what the novel does and does not cover.

The three Del Rey novels of The High Republic’s first phase are essentially disaster films, centered around a specific Event. Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule opens with “The Great Disaster” and the rest of the novel is about preventing the aftereffects. The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott is centered around the attack on the Republic Fair. The Fallen Star is about the Titanic-style collapse of Starlight Beacon.

However, out of all the options of disaster films to reflect upon, out of all the sub-genres and styles, what kept returning to me as a comparison was a single franchise: Jurassic Park.

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More Than One Way to Be Mandalorian

The Mandalorian’s first season establishes early on that Mandalorians are recognized both by their armor and by their refusal to remove it. An essential part of their creed, removal of the helmet was so great a sin that it would excommunicate someone from the culture. An essential part of fandom meant that we had to immediately argue about what this meant.

Theories, jokes, and accusations of canon contradictions flew, but there seemed to be at least some draw towards a consensus. A consensus that the show would confirm in the second season.

In “The Heiress”, three people in Mandalorian armor remove their helmets in front of Din Djarin. Din immediately accuses them of stealing the armor, of not being true Mandalorians. Problem is: one of them is the former regent of Mandalore itself. Bo-Katan of House Kryze.

Mandalore’s culture applies to Din as well as to Bo-Katan and her warriors because of the simple fact that there is more than one way to be a Mandalorian.

Star Wars has tackled the nuances of several in-universe identities over the years. We know that there are endless variations on what it means to be a Jedi, a clone, a Separatist, an Imperial, a rebel, all nuances well worth exploring. I only wish Star Wars showed the same sort of dedication to nuance when it comes to real-life representation.

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