Disney Feels Pretty Good About Star Wars

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According to a report from Variety, Disney is feeling pretty confident in its acquisition of Star Wars. Disney CFO, Jay Rasulo said at a recent investor conference that “of all our worries, ‘Star Wars’ is not one of them.”

Well, that certainly sounds like good news! Not that any true fans of the Saga had any serious doubts. Star Wars has proven itself time and again (and yes, I’m ignoring the naysayers). Probably a big concern for some at this point is that “too much” Star Wars might not be a good thing. It seems that Disney will be significantly expanding the merchandising of the brand, well beyond what LucasFilm was doing on its own. Without knowing everything that’s planned, it’s probably premature to say how much is too much. Time will tell. It is reassuring to read that the main priority is putting out the best movie they can. We can all get behind that, I’m sure!

Read the rest of the Variety article here.

Coffee With Kenobi Coffee Chat: The Cantina Cast

The Cantina Cast

In today’s very first Coffee Chat, we have a cup of coffee with Joao and Mike from the Cantina Cast.  The guys talk Podcasting, Star Wars memories, share our views on rumors, and talk about the future of the franchise and fandom.  This is the Podcast You’re Looking For!

Check out this episode

Click here to listen to show 34 of The Cantina Cast with Dan Z & Cory Clubb’s guest appearance!

Check out the Coffee With Kenobi Co-Hosts Guest Appearances

 

If you are loving our show as much as we are bringing it to you, be sure to check out our appearances on a few other Podcasts that are available for download.

The Indy-Cast:

The Indy Cast

Join host Ed Dolista as he interviews Dan Z on Episode 159 of The Indy-Cast.  Dan and Ed talk Star Wars, Disney, Teaching, and Indiana Jones!  It’s a fun episode you won’t want to miss!

Click here to listen to the show!

The Cantina Cast

The Cantina Cast

Join hosts Joah and Mike as they welcome Coffee With Kenobi co-hosts Dan Z & Cory Clubb to discuss Obi-Wan Kenobi, their favorite and least favorite characters, and a few other surprises on Episode 34 of the Cantina Cast.  It’s a great conversation you’re sure to enjoy!

Click here to listen to the show!

Del Rey’s SUVUDU features Coffee With Kenobi John Jackson Miller Interview

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Be sure to check out SUVUDU, Del Rey’s Star Wars and Pop Culture website, with lots of great information on all things we all love.  Plus, they feature our interview with John Jackson Miller and our discussion of KenobiBe sure to check it out, and check out their page for great Star Wars and Sci-Fi news.

 

 

 

 

Cool Star Wars Books on the Way!

If you’re anything like me, you love a good coffee table book. Well, there are a few exciting new Star Wars books on the horizon – and they’d be right at home on your own coffee table!

First up, we have ‘The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ by J.W. Rinzler (forward by Brad Bird). This is the final installment in a trio of book tributes that looked back on the making of the Original Trilogy. It’s sure to be a fitting 30th Anniversary celebration of all things Jedi!

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It is currently available for pre-order with a release date of October 1st.

Next, we have ‘Star Wars Art: Concept’ by LucasFilm Ltd. This is a compilation of all the conceptual art that inspired the look of Star Wars – Original Trilogy, Prequel Trilogy, video games, TV shows, etc. Featured artists include Joe Johnston, Iain McCaig, Ryan Church, Doug Chiang, Erik Tiemens… and the legendary Ralph McQuarrie.

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Two versions are available for pre-order. There is a regular hardcover edition and a limited edition. The limited edition includes five hand signed giclee prints, extra pages of concept art, and a cloth bound case. Both have a released date of October 15th.

Finally, there is a reprinting of ‘Star Wars: Frames’ by George Lucas. This book focuses on the photography and design of the Saga as a whole. This reprinting should be nice for those who couldn’t afford the very pricey edition that came out a few years ago.

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It is also available for pre-order and has a release date of October 29th.

Gift giving season will be here before you know it, and any one of these books (or all of them!) would make excellent gifts for that special geek in your life – especially if that geek is you!

Coffee With Kenobi T-Shirt Orders

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Hello friends!

We are finalizing our T-Shirt orders, and would really like to place a bigger order, so that we can cut down on costs.  We are not making a dime from this; we just want to spread the word about our Podcast and website, and are thrilled that our listeners have been clamoring for a Coffee With Kenobi T-Shirt.  So far, we have received quite a few requests, but wanted to put the word out via our website.

If you would like to place an order, email us at feedback@coffeewithkenobi.com with the subject heading T-Shirt Order, and let us know your size and your mailing address.  If we get at least 20 orders, the shirts will be less than $15.00 a piece, and with shipping ($5.50 U.S. via the U.S. Post Office), you are looking at under $21.00 for an excellent T-Shirt.

Thanks, as always for your continued support and endorsement of our show!  This is the Podcast You’re Looking For!

 

If you’ve already requested a T-Shirt, we already have you on our Master List, so you are all set!

Cory Clubb’s Spoiler Free Review of Kenobi by John Jackson Miller

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Review by Cory Clubb of Coffee With Kenobi

I’ve read my fair share of EU novels over the course of my years of fandom and have felt different about each one ranging from lukewarm to captivating. Notably, Darth Plageuis being one that has stuck with me for quite some time. I bring that up considering John Jackson Miller’s hotly anticipated Kenobi had much to live up to in my opinion.

I heard this novel was debuting around the time the new films were being announced and I was eager to jump back into the EU and read up on all my favorite characters. I had a hard time not thinking about all the glorious events and action that would take place within its pages. Very exciting to think of Ben Obi Wan Kenobi, one of my favorite characters, the center of a pre-Rebel storyline a gap in the saga that has yet to be ventured into all that much! This was a novel that surely couldn’t miss. Or could it?

In the opening pages we are treated to a familiar scene and atmosphere that echoes one in Episode IV. A dusty, dirty, low life of a place, where only scum and villain breed. From that  I was engulfed into the plot and couldn’t wait ’till lightsabers started taking limbs and wisdom was being duel out. Although, as I got deeper into the chapters, an uneasy feeling grew over me. This wasn’t the Kenobi adventures I was hoping for.

Instead we are dropped into a way of life and community on the desert planet of Tattoine. Miller introduces readers to new characters that long to be met and have their story told. For example major character, Annileen Calwell, whose past and relationship with other citizens burdens her way of life. Yet she’s a strong character and is ready when, just like any good old western, trouble starts a brew’n. Enter: The Tusken Raiders.

Aside from the settlers and their likable ways, the author writes the Tuskens in such a manner that had me turning pages to read their story faster and faster. Especially A’Yark, the party leader, such a fascinating character. I found myself really drawn into that thread of the story and really enjoyed it.

Don’t worry there is plenty of Ben Kenobi, but the story is told from a point of view that isn’t directly aimed at the aging Jedi. He’s out of his element here in this new place and Miller shows us his writing skills of describing how it all affects Obi Wan given his new role. What we see is the cross over between a battled hardened Jedi into the crazy old recluse. Although, Ben wouldn’t have it any other way in order to compete his mission. I would have liked to have seen some more inner turmoil with Kenobi’s mixed feelings fresh from his best friend’s betrayal and supposed defeat.

All in all, Kenobi is a very well written and enjoyable book. The story is told in a way I didn’t expect, but found myself liking the narrative style very much, seeing Obi Wan’s new life told through the eyes of each of the characters.  The author also has the ability to key into the fine details and explores them in nice gradients as events progress. We even get a lesson in moisture farming. It all ties together to become a more personal story and will captivate readers as they come to realize not all great EU books have to be told on the galactic level. Some rise out of a small desolate community just trying to get by.

When cracking open a new Star Wars novel, I look back to previous titles and align the weight of them against the newest offering like I did here. Yet, where Darth Plagueis was so rich in vocabulary and thought provoking ideas, Kenobi stands tall in its own right with its solid character studies and perspective. It’s not your typical Star Wars EU novel, but then again it doesn’t have to be. I’m glad Miller wrote the story he wanted to write, because now I couldn’t see it told any other way. I’d happily pick up a sequel or expansion on any of the characters and story lines driven from this release.

As we fans crawl our way into a brand new Star Wars era of films, Kenobi is a great marker in the EU timeline as a reminder there are still great stories to be told and it gives me hope of what is  to come.

4.5 out of 5

Kenobi is my first official written review for a Star Wars EU novel.

Copy of the novel provided by Del Rey Press and Net Galley.

 

Book Chat: John Jackson Miller’s Kenobi

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In today’s book chat, we have a cup of coffee with Del Rey author John Jackson Miller and his fantastic new novel, Star Wars: Kenobi, premiering August 27th.  John talks about the inspiration for the book, his challenges writing about an iconic character, and his Star Wars fandom.  This is the Podcast You’re Looking For!

 

Purchase Kenobi here!

Purchase Overdraft: The Orion Offensive here!

Check out this episode

Book Review: Kenobi by John Jackson Miller

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Spoiler Free Review of Kenobi by John Jackson Miller

It’s only fair to start this out by saying I’m a book snob.

I really am; it’s hard not to be when you teach Literature for a living.  You can’t make your life about Twain and Shakespeare, and not develop a proclivity towards powerful prose, enlightened, multi-faceted characters, and themes that resonate throughout generations.

Perhaps that is why I have had a love/hate relationship with the Expanded Universe.  I’m a Star Wars fanatic for four generations, as well as a bibliophile for that amount of time, and I have certain expectations when I pick up a book with Star Wars on the cover.

I expect sharp characterization and smart dialogue that harkens back to my experiences in the theater, and this rarely happens for me with E.U. books.  It’s really a daunting task to expect a book to reinforce those feelings of euphoria that we get from the characters on the silver screen from that galaxy far, far away.  However, if you’re going to put Star Wars on the cover, then you are setting yourself up for either intense scrutiny or unbridled ebullience from our massive fan base.

I am happy to write that Kenobi delivers.  Big time.

That’s not to say the that the prose is Shakespearian in scope.  It’s not supposed to be.  What it is supposed to be is captivating, exciting, and capable of evoking pathos for the character Star Wars fans know and love so well, Obi-Wan Kenobi.  John Jackson Miller delivers on every level, and Star Wars fans are going to enjoy what Miller comes up with for his first Star Wars hardback novel.

In essence, Kenobi takes place after the tumultuous events that spiral out of Revenge of the Sith.  Obi-Wan now goes by “Ben”, and starts to build the reputation of being that “crazy old hermit” we first heard about in 1977, as he begins his mission to look after Luke Skywalker.  Miller seeks to give the book a western feel, with the stranger in a strange land motif, and it accomplishes that quite well through episodic adventures connected by a common thread.

For the most part, the voice portrayed in Kenobi is strong; I could hear Ewan McGregor/James Arnold Taylor every time I read any dialogue by Kenobi, and as I explained previously, I’m a hard sell on this.  I think that’s why I have such a hard time with post Return of the Jedi E.U.  I find myself thinking in caps, “LUKE WOULDN’T SAY THAT!” or “HAN DOESN’T ACT THAT WAY!”.  I never experienced this when reading Kenobi, which is huge for me.  If you love the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are going to enjoy this book.

However, some of the children in the novel are static, one dimensional characters (which I grant is status quo), and do not evoke the pathos of Annileen, Ben, or A’Yark, and are a minor disruption.  In addition, the Meditation sections are missed opportunities, as we fall into the “Tell, don’t show” problem that is not present in any other part of the book.  We can glean Kenobi’s insights and motivation through every passage, save for these brief segments that surprisingly, don’t reveal his inner conflict as strongly as his adventures in the Tatooine desert provide everywhere else.  Neither of these elements are distracting, and these moments are rare, but they are there.

Fortunately, the leads (Annileen Calwell, a storekeeper; Orrin Gault, a moisture farmer and entrepreneur; A’ Yark, a Tusken war leader; and, of course, our titular hero) work well, and keep your interest.  Pathos does exist in this book, and I have not read very many E.U. novels over the years that are able to accomplish this.  You really care about what happens to Annileen, and I was genuinely intrigued by Orrin Gault; Kenobi is so captivating in it that you have a hard time putting it down.  He faces some hard truths about the recent events in his life so famous to Star Wars fans, and the internal conflict that results from this works on many levels.

Not too many Expanded Universe novels can say that.

More importantly, Kenobi actually has something to say.  Racism, sexism, and xenophobia are tackled in an intelligent, sophisticated way that borders on metaphorical.  I won’t go into spoilers here, but one of the leads arguably steals the show, and there are some moments that you will actually have you gasp out loud while reading, due to the examination of these themes.

I know the expectations for this book are high, and I can happily explain that Kenobi does not disappoint.  It’s one of my favorite Expanded Universe novels, and the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi feels like that friend I know and love so well.  Bravo to John Jackson Miller for making this come to fruition for Star Wars fans.

I know I’m hoping for a sequel, and I’m guessing you will too.

4 ½ out of 5

Dan Z.

Note: A big thank you to  Del Rey and Net Galley for providing an advance copy to review.