Book Review- Star Wars: Bloodline

You know the old phrase never judge a book by it’s cover? Well, this book is a good literal example of that. When you first pick up Star Wars: Bloodline you see the cover has a contemplative Leia with a looming Vader over her as a squadron of X-Wing’s flying out into space. Seems epic right? What you actually get is more of a political process type of book. Leia is there, Vader is mentioned, and there is a grand total of one X-Wing. Now wait! That doesn’t mean the book was bad, quite the opposite. Author Claudia Gray does a fine job with this one, but it may be for a very specific audience of Star Wars fans…

Star Wars: Bloodline follows Princess Leia as a senator on Hosnian Prime, the planet that the Galactic Senate of the New Republic now meets. It’s over 20 years since the fall of the Second Death Star and the Galaxy finds itself facing another schism. The Senate of the New Republic finds itself splintered into two factions. On one side the Centrists, who believe there should be a stronger central government. So much so that certain members even romanticize The Empire. On the other, the Populists who believe governing should be left to the systems. While Senator Organa acts as a figurehead for the Populist she must cooperate with young up and coming Centrist, Senator Ransolm Casterfo, to investigate a rapidly growing cartel. But one of Leia’s deepest darkest secrets is about to come to light, just when the shadow of a new paramilitary group looms.

Bloodline dives head first into the galactic politics of trying to rebuild a galaxy. At first, I felt the book was slow moving, it definitely gets started at a leisurely pace but later I found myself needing to know more about the growing situation and how the Senate will react to Leia’s secret bloodline. Admittedly the action scenes are few and far between with this book, it felt like it was page 200 before a blaster was even used. But Bloodline does an exceptional job building the framework of how the Republic could splinter so much so The First Order is able to rise to power. Gray took on the task that many writers would pass on, especially in the world of Star Wars. She essentially wrote a book that was entirely exposition for the world that we were thrust into at the beginning of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. If you’re looking for a non-stop thrill ride then Bloodline is not the book for you. But if you’re like me and love hearing the big and little things that build the world of Star Wars then definitely give Bloodline a read. It is a quality universe building book and reads very easy. Enjoy everyone!

Next Book: Star Wars: Lost Stars

Is Han Solo A Bad Friend?

Recently I was writing a post about Chewbacca for COED.com in anticipation of the upcoming Han Solo spin-off movie Solo: A Star Wars Story. I was excited to write about a character that meant so much to my brother growing up. Whenever we would play Star Wars I would always be Han and he would faithfully always be Chewie. Now Chewbacca is his favorite character and I was happy to put more info on the big hair oaf into the world…But it hit me when I was writing about Chewie’s piloting, and loyalty, and dependability, and selflessness, and a myriad of other things… did I actually get the short end of the stick when it came to characters? Now don’t get me wrong I still love Han and he will always be on of my favorites but there is a case to be made that he is the far inferior character to the massive wookie and is in fact, a jerk. Let’s look into it…

Piloting Ability

Han Solo is known as one of the best pilots in the galaxy. For Pete’s sake, he made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs right!? Well, it does help that he has the fastest ship in the galaxy… and Chewie by his side. Every time Han is at the helm he has his trusty friend Chewbacca with him. You know who consistently pilots the Falcon with a different partner or no co-pilot at all? Chewie that’s who. He is seen in the movies at the helm with Lando, Leia, Rey, and a Porg…  He is also the one in control during the asteroid field escape in Empire Strikes Back while Han is trying to repair the hyperdrive. The Corellian clearly has skills but we are not giving his Wookie partner enough credit.

Sense of Duty

General Solo. Hero of The Rebellion, Bastion of The New Republic. And a self-centered ass. In my Chewbacca piece for COED, I talk about a fan favorite moment in Star Wars. Luke is about to be gunned down in the trench of the Death Star by Darth Vader himself when out of nowhere the Millenium Falcon dives from the guise of the sun to clear a path for Skywalker to blow that thing! Awesome right? How great was it that Han came back to save the day? Well without Chewie he most likely wouldn’t have. It was, in fact, the Wookie who convinced the smuggler to return and help save the galaxy. This isn’t the only moment of selfishness shown by the Corellian. We don’t have the full story yet but when everything went wrong with his son Ben what did he do? Where did he go? Did he go after Ben? No. Did he stick around to be there for Leia? No. Leia kept fighting, Solo went back to smuggling, and from his interaction with rival gangs in Episode VII, still having to be bailed out by his big hairy partner. Granted the Expanded Universe may shed more light on this as it grows. At the time of writing this article, I’ve only read six EU books that are considered canon. Yes, he has his moments on Hoth and the Battle of Endor but at the end of the day, Leia and Chewie do what’s right no questions asked, Solo needs more poking and prodding to do so.

You Know, The Murder Thing

Solo is a carefree, charming smuggler, right? Sure, but he’ll also shoot you right in the face. This subject is no stranger to the HUAS guys, it was the subject of the first ever episode, but all I have to do is say one name… Greedo. This writer is on the outskirts of this debate but most fans vehemently agree that Han shot first. You know what that means? He straight up kills a guy in a bar and throws the bartender a credit to clean it… yay childhood hero… Yes, I understand that he did ‘what had to be done’ but our intro to a character that we are supposed to find loveable in a roguish way is a murder scene. Obi-Wan got in a confrontation, he maimed but did not murder… not Han though. Totally cool shooting a guy.

I could probably sit here and wax poetic about the flaws of this character for a long time. On the other hand, I could probably spend more time talking about how I love this imperfect person. That being said there are enough people out there telling you how awesome Han Solo is, time for one of us to play devil’s advocate–even if it means taking a stand against a childhood favorite. Regardless I am actually looking forward to the new Solo: A Star Wars Story coming out May 25th. Check out my Chewbacca article with COED and the trailer for the upcoming movie below.

https://coed.com/2018/05/08/chewbacca-facts-star-wars-interesting-secrets-fun-questions/