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Star Wars Thread


I don’t know if it’s all that new, a lot of Disney’s offering is based around packages where families stay in the hotels and essentially live at the park for several days (or more) - and they also already have people in-character in the parks that you can interact with.

This sounds like a similar setup, it’s just that people are maybe going to be coming for slightly more of the interactive/theatrical experience and slightly less of the rides, and so there’s been more work done on that side.


Very much more interactive is the change. Cinderella doesn’t hand you a secret spell that leads you into a ride where you have to defeat her Wicked Stepmother, she just poses for pictures with you and your kids.


Sure, and what they’ve come up with looks pretty cool if you’re a Star Wars fan.

In terms of the business model though I don’t know if it’s really that different.


That’s ok, I do.

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Liz and I swore we wouldn’t visit a Disney park again until we had grandkids. We’ve just changed our minds about that stupid rule.



So, read Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow.

Turns out to have been a very fitting book to read on International Women’s Day.

Why? That’s a much bigger post. Tomorrow.


Disney’s new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction is set to open May 31 at Disneyland in Anaheim and Aug. 29 at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

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I am mulling a Disney trip (plus Hogwarts) for my kids next year so I am excited!


Some spoilers for Queen’s Shadow , Rebel Rising and Inferno Squad .

This is a book that shows exactly how much more tie-in material can grow beyond being merely tie-in material. Padme is one of the most ill-served characters of the Prequels. True, she gets a fair amount to do in TPM, but after that? She’s pretty much on a downhill slide, sped up by some of the worst lines and responses ever written - What’s that? You killed a load of Tuskens because they tortured and killed your mum? Err… Want a hug? - all of which culminates in a final indignity of her dying of “a broken heart”. Yep, Luke and Leia’s mum, after being choked by the man she loved, just … dies.

I think this is part of the reason it has taken, depending on where you count from, 14-20 years to get a story that focuses exclusively on Padme - what can anyone do to make that any better? There really isn’t much to work with. The other part is society changing and there being more demands for female-led stories, which has only really got a bit of momentum behind it in the last 4-5 years tops. It’s quite amusing to me that while some lose their heads over the Captain Marvel film, Lucasfilm Press simply issue this on the quiet, as does Big Finish with the Eighth of March collection, at the same time. In the middle there was the Clone Wars TV series that did a fair amount of work with the character and which this book draws on.

One of the things that never added up for me was the way Lucas decided to portray Padme in TPM. I’m to believe this 14-year old has a voice that sounds like she’s been doing the ciggies for years? (Padme’s not the only SF character that gets hit this way, so too did Janeway in Voyager , though there I think Mulgrew had been a smoker.) It got a bit better when that was abandoned, with her out of the Queen role, still first impressions and all that. Now, out of story, there is reason for it. It has been argued that in perception, which is heavily influenced by society, authority tends to be linked to frequency, namely the lower the better. This puts most women at a disadvantage. One example this argument uses is that Margaret Thatcher was told to lower her speaking voice - it likely recurs with other politicians too. This is the book’s first killer move - it gives another, arguably better reason for the style of speaking. Padme and her handmaidens developed it together for the purposes of flexibility, so one could assume the role of the Queen, while Padme slips off to do something else. It was also to work as an unreadable, emotionless monotone because of the political environment. It’s not a complete success because Naboo is supposed to have had a whole load of Queens, so logically they ought to be used to female leadership but Lucas just stacked the deck too much for it to be fixed completely.

Another great thing this does is delve into that decade between TPM and AOTC, with the advantage of knowing where it is going. Due to that there is some very neat foreshadowing of the looming Clone Wars, with a division of opinion over loyalty to one’s homeworld versus loyalty to the Republic, though none know that is the destination. There’s other neat pick-ups too like weaving in Mina Bonteri, whose hopes for her son have a horribly tragic cast to them as some readers will know of his desperately sad final fate in Inferno Squad . One of its best moves is the revelation that the Trade Federation funds various media outlets, all the while Nute Gunray is on trial after trial for the invasion of Naboo. These stories act as Part introductions, as muck-raking story after story is thrown at Padme when she goes to Coruscant. And there is a smart examination of the Naboo political system, of how governments transfer power from one leader to another.

This is also a book that completely flips the conventional character cast. This is a female-led book in every sense of the word, with the majority of characters being women. Male characters are present in a supporting capacity - Bail Organa, Tonra, Panaka - who’s becoming Moff of Naboo clearly cost him his family, on top of dying in a P{artisan bombing in Rebel Rising . , Sio Bibble, Palpatine and a mysterious male whose identity is obvious and you’re supposed to easily work out. For a book that sells itself as being a Padme story, this is the way it should be, but probably wouldn’t have been years back and is surprising now. In doing so it sets an excellent precedent for other stories to refer to and draw support from.

Equally, the story does not have Padme simply go to the Senate and the Senate fawns all over her. If anything there’s more a ‘what the hell is she here doing after what happened last time?’ vibe. Coruscant and the Senate are conservative environments, they don’t do change well and last time? Well, Padme set off a polical bomb at Palpatine’s request. What really makes this work though is the subtlety - Like Palpatine’s cutting Padme out of the anti-piracy committee, which though it keeps working on the problem never seems to get anywhere and galactic unrest grows. Then there’s the way Organa is positioning himself to build alliances to oppose the Chancellor, as he can tell when something is up. The story also shows up the significance of Chandrila in the Senate, as not even the Trade Federation pick a fight with it - or its Senator! It is Mothma’s influence that lessens the Trade Federation’s proxies media assault on Padme. For all the book has her as a pacifist, in political terms, Mothma is shown to be a very dangerous adversary and ally. It does lend itself to a more predictable arc true, but that doesn’t make it any less satisfying.

And finally, the end… Padme’s funeral, the imposition of the Empire - an emotional and political bomb that hits the entire cast with devastating force. The tragedy of which is then amplified by what Sabe finds - draft anti-piracy and anti-slavery legislation, other ideas - all things that would have improved the galaxy, all gone. All, all gone for there is no Republic to enact them too. It brings the book to a perfect endpoint.

One of the things that has been true for the new material since the start has been how surprisingly good the YA stories have been at transcending their target audience. I’m not that by any means, nor was I for all the others I’ve read. What they have in common is taking a strong concept or character observation, one that when you know what it is, seems obvious but has not been done before. Thus they are stories that you think should and must have been told but have not been. In this respect Queen’s Shadow is an excellent addition to a very strong range.

Oh and, if you can, buy the hardback, it’s a lovely little book.


Yep, nobody would have wanted this!



Which disney/hogwarts? Desert version or swamp version?


I can’t helpt thinking that if they wanted an unkillable badass, they could’ve just cloned palpatine…

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If they were planning on revealing that the big bad guy was really some other guy that I can’t even remember from previous movies… “meh” is all I can say :wink:


Those Darth names have got to be one of the worst thing about the Star Wars universe. What’s next? Darth Nastypieceofshittius?


Hashtag Vader Clone


Even worse:

Meet Darth Brooks