May the Fourth Be With You! 2015

May the Fourth is my favorite holiday. Duh. The following are things I may or may not be doing today to celebrate.

  • Lightsaber duel with dogs
  • Stand in front of automatic doors and wave hand like a Jedi
  • Read a Star Wars book or comic
  • Watch Rebels
  • Watch one+ Star Wars films
  • Talk like Yoda all day
  • Talk like Chewbacca all day
  • Talk like Jar Jar all day (psych!)
  • Wear sweater with embroidered X-Wings on it
  • Purchase this awesome Mara Jade t-shirt
  • Make dinner from the Star Wars Cookbook

…I could go on, but you get the idea. How do you celebrate May the Fourth?

On Star Wars and generosity

I’ve always felt that Star Wars fans were one big family, but the weekend I just spent at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim reinforced that in a big way.

So many people went out of their way to be kind to me, and not for any particular reason. They did it just because.

Here are a few examples:

  • I missed getting my badge for the Droid Hunt (a game that ends in a raffle and lots of prizes), so a member of the 501st Legion gave me hers.
  • Some people I was in line with gave me a few pins (this happened twice).
  • The folks at Del Rey Star Wars found me a pin I had missed.
  • A tattoo artist was unable to do any work for me, so she gave me one of her prints instead.
  • An author signed extra books for me as a thank you for purchasing his titles (as opposed to just getting the free handouts they had).
  • Another author thanked me just for waiting in (a very short) line to get his autograph!

On Saturday we were packed into the exhibit hall like sardines, but I never saw anyone get pushy or impatient. Everyone I bumped into apologized to me before I had a chance to apologize to them.

Over the course of the weekend I spoke with people from all over the world about their travels, their favorite convention moments, and Star Wars in general—the thing that brought all of us together.

This was a convention in the truest sense of the word. We gathered for the same purpose: To share our love for a story that has crossed generations, bridged the gap between cultures, and taught us that we are all connected.

#FridayReads: Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne

heir-to-the-jedi-star-wars-novelAs I am currently in California fangirling my heart out at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, I thought it would be appropriate to feature the latest Star Wars book for my #FridayReads column.

Unfortunately, I am not enjoying the book so far. This disappoints me, because I have been looking forward to this title since it was announced last year, and then even more so after John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn turned out to be totally awesome (I wrote about that on my work blog).

I haven’t gotten very far into Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi (which I keep calling Heir to the Empire in my head, because why would you even pick a title close to that?*), but Luke’s first-person narration is striking me as decidedly twenty-first century and not “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.”

He says things like “frankly” and “that was an unexpected turn in the conversation.” And just… no. You never need to narrate things you can show, and you can easily show Luke’s surprise at the turn in conversation, even if we’re wholly in his head. And Luke Skywalker would never say “frankly.”

There’s also too much “I went here, and I did that, and for this reason” explanatory boringness. The writing itself isn’t awful or anything—like the sentences are real sentences and make sense—it’s just drab and unexciting.

I’m hoping the plot will heat up the further in I get, but I’m not super hopeful based on other reviews I’ve read.

*I am sure picking Heir to the Jedi as a title was a deliberate attempt to subvert Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire, the book that launched the now not-cannon Star Wars Expanded Universe into existence in a big way and has been the shining example of what a Star Wars book should be for the past twenty years. Unfortunately, Kevin Hearne’s book does not even come close to touching Zahn’s work. So it irks a bit. Just a bit.