No-spoiler Review Of Pirate’s Price

Pirate’s Price is the next installment in the Flight of the Falcon young adult series, featuring a collection of entertaining off-shoot adventures had aboard the famous Millenium Falcon. Surprisingly, Hondo Ohnaka (the Weequay pirate from The Clone Wars animated TV series) occupies the protagonist role alongside Han, Chewie, and even Maz Kanata.

As has become popular with Star Wars novels in the last couple years, the novel is a collection of past stories tied together by a narrative in the present. The novel begins as none other than Bazine Netal (the black leather capped vixen from The Force Awakens) approaches Hondo Ohnaka about purchasing the Millenium Falcon. Readers are left scratching their heads trying to figure out exactly when the narrative is taking place, why Hondo is in possession of the Falcon, and how long Weequays live. You may recall that the first book in the Flight of the Falcon series began in much the same way. But as the saying goes, if the shoe fits…

Before Honda will do any business with Bazine, he recounts to her three successive stories of his previous run-ins with the Millenium Falcon. Hondo narrates each story, so while their actual validity may be suspect, at least they are quite entertaining. The first story is set sometime after Solo and before A New Hope. Hondo finds himself a stowaway aboard the Falcon, and convinces Han, Chewie, and his new friend Mahjo Reelo to enlist his help in saving the galaxy from a dangerous airborne poison falling into the wrong hands. The next story is set in between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens as Hondo reluctantly joins forces with Maz Kanata to rescue Han and Chewie from a gang operating on Takodana right under Maz’s nose. The final, very short story is set sometime after The Last Jedi. Chewie (having come to respect Hondo in a special Wookie sort of way through their previous encounters) asks Hondo to acquire some hard-to-find parts for the Falcon, and lends it to him while he replaces the parts. Hondo almost loses the Falcon to a rival band of pirates, but thanks to the resident porgs who’ve made the Falcon their home, Hondo is able to fight the rival pirates off.

To be honest, when I first started the novel, I was let down by the too frequent use of the “story within a story” format. After getting over that fact, I let myself enjoy the levity of the Hondo-narrated tall tales. Lou Anders’ best strength in the novel is his treatment of Hondo. As a reader, I couldn’t tell whether to respect or despise him. Despite Hondo’s nefarious pirate tendencies, he seems to accomplish rather heroic deeds, albeit in not-so-respectable ways.

Ultimately, the stories in this novel really have little to add to the canon in any meaningful way. But since I just can’t get enough Star Wars, they are enjoyable nonetheless. While I recommend this novel for anyone looking for a short enjoyable read, there are dozens of other books I’d recommend above this one.

Click Here to pick this up via digital, audio or physical form.  We would like to thank Del Rey/Penguin Random House for providing the review sample.

No-spoiler Review of Lando’s Luck

Lando’s Luck is the first junior novel of the Flight of the Millenium Falcon series focused on following the less-known adventures involving the Millenium Falcon throughout the Star Wars Saga. The story features Lando and his first mate, L3-37, as a smuggling duo prior to Solo: A Star Wars Story.

The junior reader follows the “story within a story” format similar to previous novels, such as those in the Journey To The Force Awakens Series. It begins and ends with Bazine Netal (the woman who reported Han, Rey, and Finn in Maz Kanata’s Cantina) searching for leads on the Millenium Falcon in a back world cantina. She stumbles upon a woman who tells Bazine about her adventures with Lando Calrissian when he owned the Millenium Falcon. Interestingly, after recounting the story, the book ends as Bazine receives another tip that the Millenium Falcon was spotted on Batuu (the planet that Disneyland and Disney World’s “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” attraction is based on).

The “story within the story” begins with young Lando Calrissian at the Sabacc table on a planet named Hynestia, sparing some time for a little gambling while in between various smuggling runs. Lando quickly becomes intertwined in a plot involving the Hynestian royalty, the Empire, and a mysterious cat-like species called the Lynna. While Lando’s luck continually oscillates throughout the story, providing him with great fortune one moment and near-death catastrophe the next, he stays true to form and never loses his cool. Ultimately, he finds a way to become a hero to the Lynna, appease the Hynestian Royalty, and steer clear of the Empire to allow himself to smuggle another day with his loyal first mate.

The story does a great job with Lando and L3. Lando is portrayed as the pretentious, smooth-talking smuggler who is a bit too obsessed with appearances. L3 is as independent as ever, continually insisting that those in the story respect her rights as an equal. And while appearances, credits and ‘illusions of grandeur’ describe Lando’s surface-level motivations, we begin to see a bit more depth as the seeds are planted that eventually grow into Lando becoming a respectable leader in the crusade to overthrow the Empire.

Overall, Lando’s Luck was a quick, enjoyable read. While I didn’t find anything incredibly revealing or consequential as it relates to the rest of the canon, it was still an enjoyable supplement to the overall Star Wars Story. The story had the right mixture of fun and adventure that makes it applicable for Star Wars fans of all ages.

Click Here to pick this up via digital, audio or physical form.  We would like to thank Del Rey/Penguin Random House for providing the review sample.

No-spoiler Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story Expanded Edition

The expanded novelization of Solo: A Star Wars Story is a must read for any Star Wars fan. It builds on the story in the film in a way that enhances the story and enlivens the characters. Typically, I’m fine giving spoilers for novelizations of previously released films, because the majority of the story is already known. However, the impact of the additions in this novel is rewarding enough to preserve an element of surprise.

The novel follows roughly the same chronology of the film, with several very rewarding additions. Author Mur Lafferty does a masterful job filling in the gaps between Han and Qi’ra’s separation. For instance, Han’s time in the Imperial Navy as a pilot in Onyx Squadron provided an enjoyable view into both Han’s innate piloting skills and his irreverence towards authority.

More impactful, however, was witnessing Qi’ra’s pure tenacity and will to survive as she was left behind in the slums of Corellia. Her rise to power among Dreyden Vos’ entourage was nothing short of horrifying. Yet her ability to separate from her experiences, and do what needs to be done mark her as a true survivor. This background adds so much flavor to her reluctance to share any details about her past. Additionally, it provides incredible understanding about why Qi’ra chooses to abandon Han, as a way to protect him from her past.

Elthree was one of the most misunderstood characters in the film. It’s no secret that I didn’t care much for the prequel novel, Star Wars: Last Shot (see my review here). But the best thing that came from the novel was the depth of Lando’s quirky droid. Those who saw the movie without this context were left wondering whether Elthree’s droid empowerment rants were a stage for some political message, or just a comic relief. Lafferty was able to dive into the droid’s depth in a way the film failed to do. For example, the novel actually provokes empathy in regards to what a restraining bolt “feels” like for a droid. Additionally, Elthree’s journey towards immortalization in the Millennium Falcon’s navicomputer is described over several pages in a surprisingly meaningful way.

So many other characters in the novel receive a fantastic layer of depth: Chewbacca and how Han restores his ability to trust in humanity after years of oppression, Dreyden Vos and the depth of his malice, and Enfys Nest and her representation of a beacon of hope in a galaxy full of despair.

Last but not least, the addition of the epilogue in the novel was nothing short of brilliant. Without revealing too much, I can say that Lafferty was able to connect this seemingly loosely-connected origin story with the galactic struggle against Imperial tyranny in a way I never saw coming.

I can’t emphasize enough how impactful this novel was for me in my understanding of some of my favorite Star Wars characters. I fully recommend it as an engaging, exciting, surprising, and meaningful read.

Click Here to pick this up via digital, audio or physical form.  We would like to thank Del Rey/Penguin Random House for providing the review sample.


Star Wars Thrawn Alliances No Spoiler Review

Thrawn Alliances No Spoiler Review

If you are reading this review to decide whether to read Thrawn Alliances, let me save you some time. Stop reading this review immediately, and grab a copy of Thrawn Alliances and read it. There are no caveats or conditions. This novel is simply a must-read for any and every Star Wars fan. Really, it’s that good.

Thrawn Alliances is the sequel to the Thrawn novel written last year by the character’s original creator, Timothy Zahn. Zahn does a masterful job building on the epic origin story of Thrawn and his rise in the Imperial ranks, as described in the novel Thrawn, and his involvement and pursuit of Phoenix Squadron in the Rebels animated TV series.

The novel is set shortly after the Battle at Atollon (depicted in the Rebels TV series) where Thrawn’s seemingly inevitable defeat of Phoenix squadron was foiled unexpectedly by the intervention of The Bendu. Emperor Palpatine assigns Darth Vader and Grand Admiral Thrawn to the edges of the known galaxy to investigate an anomaly in the force. While Emperor Palpatine apparently understood and accepted the reasons for Thrawn’s failure at Atollon, Vader viewed them as unacceptable excuses. So when Palpatine put Thrawn in command of their mission, Vader’s resentment for Thrawn only grew deeper. Perhaps sensing his apprentice’s growing disdain for Thrawn, an asset that Palpatine was quite fond of, Palpatine orchestrated the mission to allow Thrawn to win over Vader’s respect through his strategic genius. And Thrawn did just that.

To make matters more interesting, the novel also describes a parallel encounter years earlier between Thrawn and General Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. Thrawn, at this time a Commander in the Chiss Ascendancy, teams up with Anakin on the edges of Wild Space to stop a top secret Separatist facility that threatens both the Chiss and the Republic. In both stories, Thrawn accomplishes victory in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds through his uncanny ability to thoroughly understand his enemy and exploit their weakness. But while Thrawn and Vader accomplish victory over this battle, the war for control in the Unknown Regions has only just begun…

There is so much to love about Zahn’s approach and style in this novel. He takes and improves elements from some of the best Star Wars Canon novels to craft an amazingly entertaining narrative. While many of the recent Star Wars novels tell multiple stories set in different time frames in the novel to tell the overall story, none have so artfully interweaved these stories to build such suspense and gratifying resolution. While several of the novels explore Vader’s character arc in the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, none so effectively compare and contrast Anakin Skywalker’s brash impulsiveness with Darth Vader’s impatient decisiveness. While several of the novels cause readers to root for the “bad guy,” none cause readers to feel such profound awe and respect for the “bad guy.” While some novels explore the expansiveness of the Star Wars Universe, none so compellingly open a new frontier in the Star Wars Universe that is every bit as exciting as the one we originally fell in love with.

Not only does Thrawn Alliances contain a fantastic and entertaining story arc, but it adds more pieces to the overall Star Wars storyline that fill in a bit more of the puzzle of what happened between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. We’ve learned that the secrets of the Unknown Regions were crucial to Emperor Palpatine’s “contingency plan” that eventually allowed the remnants of the Empire to give birth to the menacing First Order. We are now learning that Thrawn’s association with the Emperor may have been the key to give birth to the contingency plan in the first place.

If I haven’t convinced you to read Thrawn Alliances yet, let me make one final attempt. I have read every single canon novel and junior novel that has come out since Disney purchased the franchise (many of them multiple times). Some of the novels aren’t worth reading. Most of them are very enjoyable and add a considerable element to my understanding and enjoyment of the Star Wars Saga. Both Thrawn and Thrawn Alliances remain at the top of the list. Trust me, they are worth the read. What are you waiting for?

Click Here or the image below to pick this up via digital, audio or physical form.  We would like to thank Disney Lucasfilm Press/Penguin Random House Audio for providing the review sample.

Star Wars: Most Wanted — No-Spoiler Book Review

Han Solo is by far my favorite, non-Jedi Star Wars character. When I first heard that Lucasfilm was planning a film about his back story, I almost literally jumped for joy. As it has with the past several films, Disney announced several accompanying novels and young readers. I was a bit worried after reading Star Wars: Last Shot and seeing Han’s character gravely mishandled (see my review here). But all my concerns melted away when I experienced Solo: A Star Wars Story in theatres opening night.

Star Wars: Most Wanted was a fantastic companion to the film and is a worthy read for any Star Wars fan. The novel is set immediately before the beginning of Solo in the sewers beneath the ship building city of Coronet on Corellia. Han and Qi’ra are struggling to survive while they compete for position in Lady Proxima’s band of street rats, the White Worms. The previous head of the White Worms was sent on a mysterious mission and never returned, leaving an open slot of position and privilege among the gang. Han and Qi’ra are among the top contenders, and are thus rivals. Throughout the novel, Han and Qi’ra’s paths cross on a dangerous adventure in the Corellian underbelly. They quickly learn that to survive, they must work together and learn to trust each other. This begins the budding of the relationship that we see between the two in the beginning of Solo.

Since this is a young adult novel, it is an overall quick read and the plot is relatively simple. Nevertheless, the novel does a great job developing Han and Qi’ra’s characters and providing context to their meager existence among the White Worms. Rae Carson’s passion for Star Wars pleasantly comes out throughout the text. She masterfully intertwines dialogue and themes that subtly pay homage to the rest of the franchise. Carson does a great job portraying Han as a smooth talking, confident, and instinctive leader, living as a constant contradiction to his humble circumstances. She also does a great job building Qi’ra as strategic, calculating survivor.

I heartily recommend Star Wars: Most Wanted as a great read for Star Wars fans of all ages. It is great as a stand-alone novel, but also as a companion to the Solo film.

Click Here or the image below to pick this up via digital, audio or physical form.  We would like to thank Disney Lucasfilm Press/Penguin Random House Audio for providing the review sample.



Dark Disciple Is “Golden”

Image via Random House

Image via Random House

Lets cut right to the chase. Dark Disciple, written by veteran Star Wars author Christie Golden, is easily the most superlative story to come out of the new line of canon. While the other stories that have come before have captured the Star Wars universe well, Golden gives us a top-notch story that we all have been waiting for.

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Yoda’s News to attend Florida Super Con!

Image via

Image via

This year Yoda’s News very own, Alexander Rybak, will be attending the Florida SuperCon in Miami, FL and providing extensive coverage.

Excerpt from Official Press Release:

About Florida Supercon Now in its tenth year, Florida Supercon is South Florida’s largest convention for comic books, anime, animation, video game, fantasy, Sci-Fi and pop culture genres. This 4-day event features celebrity guests, comic book creators, voice actors, industry guests, cosplayers, artists, writers, panels, Q&A’s, films & shorts, costume and cosplay contests, vendors, parties, anime, workshops, video gaming, children’s events and more for the whole family. The convention has continued to grow from its first event held in November 2006 with 1,500 attendees to over 43,000 in 2014. For more information, please visit All photos courtesy of Florida Supercon.


This year, Florida SuperCon has a huge hosts of amazing guests including several that hail from a galaxy far, far away. Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) will both be in attendance. Florida SuperCon kicks off this June from the 25-28th so make sure to check out their official website to get your tickets now. We look forward to seeing you there!

Lords of the Sith Review

Today marks the release of Lords of the Sith, the fourth installment in the new line of Star Wars fiction, overseen by the Lucasfilm Story Group. Veteran Star Wars author, Paul S. Kemp, returns to the fray with a novel of epic proportions. Kemp has written Sith in the past, in such works as Crosscurrent, Riptide, and The Old Republic: Deceived. Lords of the Sith however, is Kemp’s first attempt of traversing the Original Trilogy era and bringing the Sith to life: Vader and Sidious.

Image via Random House

Image via Random House

Announced just over a year ago, on April 25th 2014, Lords of the Sith is set between Revenge of the Sith and James Luceno’s recent release, Tarkin. The publishers summary promised a thrilling adventure that involves a rebel cell attempting to end the Empire’s tyranny by cutting off the head of the serpent himself: Palpatine.

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Star Wars Rebels Season Two Trailer

Earlier today, the official Star Wars Youtube Channel released our first look at season 2 of Star Wars: Rebels. The footage originally aired at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim earlier today. Lucasfilm has done an outstanding job this year of releasing a lot of content coming out of Celebration online for fans not able to attend the convention. Check out the video below or here.

Stay tuned to Yoda’s News for more coverage of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim! What do you think of this first look at the next season of Rebels? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter! You can follow the author of this article at @arybak89 (Alex Rybak) and you can follow the official Yoda’s News handle at @yodasnews.