Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown | Book Review

has some nice friendship moments. 

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. I didn’t even get a lightsaber. Cover art is copyright Scholastic.

Jedi Academy is the first book in a trilogy by Jeffrey Brown, the man behind the coffee table books Vader & Son and Vader’s Little Princess. It is about Roan Novachez, a boy from Tatooine who dreams of being a pilot. Remind you of someone? When he’s rejected to Pilot Academy, Roan is offered a place at Jedi Academy.

The premise seems a bit implausible to me. Roan gets rejected to Pilot Academy Middle School, even though “nearly all of the applicants are accepted.” Who is letting all these little children into Pilot Academy? Can anyone do it? Can I do it? Please accept me! Oh. It’s on Alderaan. Nevermind…

Jedi Academy is a non-canon book. It splices the world of Star Wars with the world of Middle School. There are lightsabers and Holochess, but also Polaroids and AA batteries. So, I say it is “implausible” but it is not meant to be 100% legit. It is for fun! I am sure children will understand this. Keep it away from angry middle-aged fanboys who take themselves and their opinions too seriously.

This book is a mixture of journal and comic, written and illustrated by Roan. The parallels to Luke Skywalker and Episode IV will bop you right on the nose. Poor kid, stuck on Tatooine, wants to be a pilot, ends up a Jedi. Jeffrey even named the droids RW-22 and T-P3O!

Roan has a hard time training to be a Jedi. It’s harder for him, because he is starting much later than the other students. Many readers will empathise with Roan’s struggles. Not me, I would never be that incompetent. I will spare some pity for you, Roan.

Both of the school bullies – and the mean teacher – are Zabrak. This seems racist. In a feeble save, one of Roan’s best friends is also Zabrak. For those not in the know, Zabrak is the species of The Crime Lord Formerly Known as Darth Maul.

Jedi Academy is a slice-of-life novel. It has some nice friendship moments, but not much of a plot arc. Recommended for young Star Wars fans who are looking for something light and easy. I may read the sequel, Return of the Padawan. I am undecided.

2.8 out of 5 stars


Solo: A Star Wars Story | Movie Review

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. Smuggle some goods my way! Solo is copyright of Disney and Lucasfilm LTD. Images used are for reference and commentary.

So, they tell me there is going to be a “Young Han Solo Movie.” Excuse you? They already made a movie with a young Han Solo. It was called Star Wars. Was Harrison Ford already old in that movie? I Googled it – he was 35. Damn, he was looking good.

I thought Solo was just going to be some little boy waddling around pretending to be Harrison Ford – and it was, but he did a pretty good job of it. Alden Ehrenreich – who is going to have to become a little more famous before I remember his name – may not look or sound exactly like Ford, but he did his homework and has his Hanerisms down. It’s all about attitude! This Han is a bit green but you can see him shaping into who he will become.

In this movie, we learn some of Han’s backstory. How he became a smuggler, how he met Chewie and Lando, and even how he got his name. Can’t have Han without the Solo! Not just anyone can pull off a single name. Yes, this comment is directed at another certain someone in the movie. Look, you may be fierce, but you’re no Space Beyoncé!

New characters that are introduced are not fleshed out enough or appear too fleetingly. That is not to say I did not enjoy them. Qi’ra, Han’s love-interest – who is not pigeon-holed into that role – was refreshing and semi-unpredictable. Dryden Vos was just Paul Bettany after a scratch-up and Tobias Beckett was, well, Woody Harrelson.

The only new addition to the movie that stole my little hedgepiggy heart was L3-37 – Lando’s droid co-pilot – a rebel to the core. She is bad-ass and full of sass! Every Star Wars movie needs a droid and L3 put even Rogue One’s K-2SO to shame. L3 is all about droid rights and talking back. She speaks her mind and doesn’t take crap from anyone.

The real stars are Han, Chewie and Lando – and that’s why we buy the tickets! I was a little confused about Lando and L3’s relationship. Was there romance, sexy-times? Lando is pansexual – and it is touched upon with L3’s remarks about love and flirting towards her and Han – but could have used more visibility on-screen. I could use a lot more of Donald Glover as Lando. Give me another prequel about Lando and L3!

Solo: A Star Wars Story is full of nods to past movies that fan’s will appreciate and enjoy. It is not a movie to watch if you are not familiar with Han Solo and the original Star Wars trilogy.

3.5 out of 5 stars