Author Archive for Amy Ratcliffe

Best Star Wars Stories About The Force

The Force binds the galaxy together in Star Wars. The energy field is wielded by those who follow the light side and the dark side, as well as their own paths. It's studied and is the focus of more than one religion, but the Jedi Order is the Force-focused organization we know the best. The pull and use of the Force has been a central component in the Skywalker movies and even had a role to play in Rogue One. But there's more to learn about the Force once you leave the big screen.

If you want to study more about the mythology of the Force, the balance between light and dark, or the difference between the Living Force and the Cosmic Force, you should start by reading and watching these Star Wars stories.

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What Obi-Wan Was Doing Between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope

After Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the untitled Han Solo solo film, and Episode IX, there's a question mark about which Star Wars film will be next. It will be another standalone film a la Rogue One and Han Solo, but Lucasfilm has yet to confirm the subject matter. And while they still haven't officially done so, the unofficial word is that an Obi-Wan Kenobi focused Star Wars movie is reportedly in the works.

We've talked about what we would want to see from an Obi-Wan spinoff film, but those were pie in the sky sort of dreams. Now, it sounds like it could be happening. The project is in very early development with Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours, the upcoming Wicket) in talks to direct.

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Luke Skywalker’s Best Stories Beyond the Movies

As one of the main characters in the Star Wars galaxy, Luke Skywalker isn't suffering from a shortage of stories. You can see him front and center in the whole of the original trilogy and for slightly less time in The Force Awakens. Yes, that is a joke.

Initially, Luke Skywalker was a farm boy on an out of the way planet and didn't seem to have much beyond a vague idea about what was happening in the broader universe. The Empire hadn't found a resource to exploit on Tatooine, so the white buckets of stormtroopers weren't a common sight -- certainly not as common as in towns and on planets that were hosting garrisons. Luke was thrown into the bigger picture headfirst after he purchased C-3PO and R2-D2 and met Obi-Wan Kenobi. He went through a dazzling amount of change in a relatively short period of time.

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Marvel’s Spider-Man: “Horizon High” Review

Peter Parker is two weeks into having super powers, and he's putting them to the test as Spider-Man for the first time in the premiere of Marvel's Spider-Man, the studio's newest animated series. The two-parter, "Horizon High Part 1" and "Horizon High Part 2," debuts on August 19, 2017 on Disney XD and takes a back to the beginning approach with the character and universe.

Anytime a cartoon featuring a character that's been around for decades is launched, there are challenges to consider. One aspect in a world as large as Marvel's is how or if the story will tie to other characters and series or if it will tip its hat to titles the audience might be especially tuned into at the moment -- like Spider-Man: Homecoming. A more impactful aspect is how the show will serve both longtime fans and those who have never encountered Spider-Man before.

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The Best Anakin Skywalker Tales Beyond the Movies

The first six films of the Star Wars saga focus on Anakin Skywalker. From slave to powerful Sith Lord, Anakin carved a unique journey across the galaxy. He got a later start than most younglings to Jedi training, and though Obi-Wan Kenobi did the best he could to teach the boy, he may not have been 100 percent ready to take a Padawan learner under his wing. On top of that, Sheev Palpatine was operating from the sidelines and behind the scenes, pulling every string possible to influence and manipulate Anakin.

Those factors and more affected Anakin's development. Inch by inch, he was pushed; he made the decision to turn away from the light side towards the temptation of the dark side. But before he became Darth Vader, Sith and villain, he was a Jedi -- considered by some to be a hero. And if you want more of prequel era Anakin Skywalker, these are the stories you should read and watch...

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Where to Find More Details on Kylo Ren’s Story

Much of the story of Kylo Ren and his connection to the dark side is being saved so far, presumably for Episodes VIII and IX. The dossier on Han Solo and Leia Organa's son, Ben Solo, is slim and primarily filled from scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens or found in supplementary material like The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary and The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But still, if you dig deep enough there are more Kylo tidbits to be found out there in the media beyond the movies.

Kylo is the master of a group called the Knights of Ren. He associates with and takes orders from Supreme Leader Snoke. He spent some time training with Luke Skywalker, but it didn't end well. He idolizes and wants to emulate his grandfather, Darth Vader. He has access to excellent hair care products (maybe the First Order has a salon?). He made his cross-guard lightsaber using an ancient design, and he uses it to wreck consoles when he's angry. Those are the basics.

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The Best of Darth Maul

When fans discuss the best parts of the Star Wars prequels, Darth Maul is often cited as a highlight. The Zabrak from Dathomir made an impression with his tattooed skin, smooth martial arts moves, and double-bladed lightsaber in The Phantom Menace. And there was also that whole business with killing Qui-Gon Jinn and getting cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi. Though it certainly seemed like the end of the character, he survived.

So, if you've ever found yourself saying, "Man, I wish I could enjoy more stories about Darth Maul," then you're in luck. To kick off a new series to help you explore your favorite characters, organizations, and more in Legends and the current Star Wars universe canon, we're taking a mostly spoiler-free look at how you can get your Maul fix. So if you want more of Darth Maul, put on your horns and check out these stories...

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13 Star Wars EU Concepts That Have Become Canon

Before April 2014, the Star Wars universe had levels of canon. The films and Star Wars: The Clone Wars were on their own level, while comics, games, and books had different classifications. The latter stories were collected under the Expanded Universe (or EU) umbrella. Things have since become simpler. Since April 2014, the Expanded Universe published up to that point became Legends, or non-canon. New novels, comics, and other complementary material is now canon, however, and part of the current storytelling universe.

If a story is classified as canon, it has to fit within established parameters/stories and can affect or be affected by other canon material. It's that simple. Legends material isn't any less enjoyable or any less valid because it's not canon.

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The Rogue Jedi Who Needs a Star Wars Spinoff

When you picture the Jedi Order, who are the first faces who come to mind? Yoda? Obi-Wan? It makes sense for the Jedi you think of immediately to be ones who embody the principles of the Order. In other words, Jedi who follow the code and regularly spout words of wisdom. But I find it's fun to color outside the lines now and again. Enter Quinlan Vos.

The Kiffar Jedi was part of the Order during the time of the Galactic Republic. He had a maverick reputation that is a little reminiscent of Qui-Gon Jinn and a little of Anakin Skywalker. We know they weren't afraid of breaking the rules or going against the Council and neither is Quinlan. On top of his tendency to follow a path outside the usual rule book, Quinlan has a sarcastic tone and devil-may-care, flippant attitude. That combination means he isn't everyone's cup of tea; he wasn't voted Most Likely to Be Stoic and Silent in his Padawan graduating class.

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How Iron Fist Leads into The Defenders

Warning: Full spoilers for Marvel's Iron Fist continue below.

Marvel's Iron Fist is the last piece of The Defenders puzzle. The group will come together on Netflix in September, meaning the story of Danny Rand is the last standalone series before The Defenders brings these characters together. Because it's the fourth of four origin series, that puts a little extra pressure is on the shoulders of Iron Fist to align and build upon story pieces from previous Marvel series, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, to put the final groundwork in place for The Defenders.

The first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown Marvel is more than capable of putting down stepping stones from one hero to another before bringing them together. They've done it to a lesser degree in this pre-Defenders era, but Iron Fist did set up and add to a few beats that will lead into The Defenders.

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