This article contains spoilers for Bloodline.
If you are one of the greatest heroes of a rebellion against a tyrannical empire, what would you do if you found out that one of the most evil people in that empire was your father by blood?
That is a question that haunts Leia Organa in Claudia Gray’s Bloodline. How would you deal with knowing that the person who tortured you and cold-heartedly destroyed your planet while making you watch is the same person with whom you share half your genes? Can you?
While the main plot of Bloodline is an exploration of how obsession with ideological purity causes democracy to fail, it is also about the dangers of extremism. More specifically, the dangers of a black and white worldview where people are either an ally or an enemy. It is also about the dangers of taking that “with me or against me” attitude to its extreme, where people can either do no wrong or do no right.
So again, how do you reconcile being a galactic hero who is the daughter of one of the most infamous galactic villains in recent history? When you subscribe to a worldview where there are no shades of grey and everyone is a villain or a hero with no in between, you can’t. Vader and Leia are both larger-than-life figures who are put up on these pedestals. One is demonized and the other revered and neither is really seen as a person who is as fallible as the next.
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Like the rest of Star Wars fandom, I am eagerly anticipating next week’s release of Claudia Gray’s Bloodline. And while I am excited for a Leia-centric political novel, I can’t help but think of the other Skywalker family politician: Padmé Amidala. While I have always loved Leia, as a kid I latched onto Padmé in a way I never did with her daughter. I loved Padmé because she was both someone I looked up to and someone who was relatable. Padmé was a kid who ruled a planet and foiled Sith machinations due to sheer stubbornness and quick thinking, and yet was still totally a teenage girl. She pouts when she doesn’t get her way and makes friends with funny little boys in junk shops. I was enamored.
But sadly, most of the EU apparently doesn’t share my fondness for the galaxy’s most fabulously dressed politician. For a character who makes up one third of the prequel trilogy, she doesn’t get a lot of love outside the movies (or even within the movies, if we’re being honest). But she’s intimately connected to most major players in the saga; she’s close colleagues with Palpatine (at least at first), she’s married to Anakin (and indirectly one of the reasons for his fall), and she’s mother to Luke and Leia. She’s firmly entrenched within the Skywalker family and yet this is rarely acknowledged.
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For most of season two of Star Wars Rebels, it was hard to miss the signs that things were building towards an explosive conclusion. Not only was it explosive, but the season two finale shook things up in a major way. What looks (no pun intended) to be the biggest game changer is Kanan being permanently blinded after his duel with Maul. Granted, it’s entirely possible this injury will be fixed by next season (after all, medical technology in the Star Wars universe is capable of some pretty amazing things) but I’m hoping that it stays permanent. For one, it would be especially great on the representation front to show that physical limitations don’t mean you can’t still be a hero.
But secondly, it presents the perfect opportunity for a fun nod back to the Legends timeline. If Kanan is going to learn to cope with his newfound blindness, he’s going to need help. He can manage for the time being through intense concentration in the Force, but he probably won’t be able to maintain that level of concentration 24/7. And that’s where the Miraluka come in.
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The season two finale of Rebels shook things up in a major way. Kanan has been blinded, most likely permanently. Maul has survived yet again to go cause trouble for Rebellion and Empire alike. Ezra feels the pull of the dark side more strongly than ever. And Ahsoka finally realized the truth about Anakin Skywalker. Her confrontation with him was something fans had been eagerly looking forward to since she appeared on the Ghost at the end of season one.
Which is why I am increasingly frustrated that Ahsoka’s fate has been left in limbo yet again – and apparently may not get resolved for some time. If it was simply a matter of being left on a season finale cliffhanger with the reasonable expectation that we would see her again next season, that would be one thing. But Dave Filoni’s comments seem to imply (to me anyway) that Ahsoka won’t be showing up on Rebels again any time soon. Just like at the end of season five of The Clone Wars, fans are once again left wondering what will happen to Ahsoka.
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The first time I logged on to Star Wars: The Old Republic and created my Jedi Consular, I was instantly hooked. For a fan like myself, simply having the chance to play in the Star Wars sandbox is enough to get me interested (and cause me to stay up way too late because I’m running around slashing enemies with my lightsaber). Getting to create all manner of characters, from Jedi to Sith to superspies to smugglers, meant getting to explore the Star Wars universe through the viewpoints of all manner of archetypes.
But though the base game makes a strong start and had me obsessed from the get-go, that momentum hasn’t kept up. Instead, it’s petered out into lackluster expansions and monthly story updates that take an hour at most to complete (and come across more as a desperate attempt to retain subscribers and keep revenue flowing).
While I would like to see SWTOR take steps towards embracing the features that made it great, I unfortunately think that it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a return to the expansive universe of the base game. So even though I love SWTOR and I love the characters and stories it has added to the Star Wars universe, I ultimately think it failed to live up to a lot of its potential. Therefore, it would be better idea to learn from SWTOR’s successes and failures and create a new Star Wars MMO.
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