Canon Young Reader Review: Forces of Destiny: Tales of Hope & Courage

Forces of Destiny - Tales of Hope and Courage

October was a great month for Forces of Destiny. Disney XD aired two animated specials, each featuring four new shorts alongside four old shorts at the beginning and end of the month. Forces of Destiny: Daring Adventures vol 2, focusing on Ahsoka, Leia, and Jyn Erso debuted the same day as From a Certain Point of View. Finally, after a one week delay, Forces of Destiny: Tales of Hope & Courage was released. Feeling a bit overwhelmed yet?

I am thankful for the massive push LFL has been giving Forces of Destiny:I myself am a fan, supporting the line as best as I can. Yes, that is my pillow case, and yes, I bought it for myself. With all of the focus the line has been getting this month, it is hard not to be excited for the future of Star Wars story telling as it aims to reach a much wider audience, giving young girls heroes to look up to.

The guiding principle behind Tales of Hope and Courage is Maz’s advice, illustrated by stories about Ahsoka, Padme, Jyn, Leia, Rey, and Sabine Wren. Unlike Daring Adventures, and the two half-hour animated features, where Maz tells us these stories from a campsite, this book collects entries from Maz’s journal. These journal entries contain a pretty straight forward story, with a few inserted comments from Maz. If you’re familiar with items like the The Bounty Hunter Code: From the Files of Boba Fett, or Poe Dameron: Flight Log, these comments are made in the same vein. The inserted comments don’t add much to the narration; they are simply asides from Maz as she tells the story.

The collected stories are very familiar with viewers of the shorts or those who have read the Daring Adventures. The journal entries recap The Imposter and The Stranger, The Beasts of Echo Base, Newest Recruit, The Padawan Path, and the Sands of Jakku. Older readers should not come to these stories looking for new information or new scenes from these shorts. If you have not read either of the volumes of Daring Adventures, there is an extended introduction to both “The Beasts of Echo Base” and “The Imposter” that will be new to you. Otherwise, this is aimed at a different audience. There may be a few snippets worth taking a look at, though! Spoiler alert: a certain war-torn Rebel extremist is portrayed in Forces of Destiny art-form, which is fun enough on its own!

This book has an extensive amount of pictures, with about three short paragraphs per page. For the most part, the art in the book closely matches the art style from the show, with a few extra pencil lines for effect. One of the highlights in the book may be the Forces of Destiny styled Luke Skywalker (whom we have only seen as a doll) and Han Solo, before his fantastic argument with Hera on Endor. These takes are a lot more conservative than Anakin’s makeover for the show. There are a few splash pages, which are tucked in and can be opened up to see a larger picture. The highlight splash page for me was a look at Padme Amidala’s wardrobe, where we learn her Mission Gear includes an “all-weather cape”! There is enough new art to keep younger minds entertained, while enough of the story is retained to maintain the story even in abbreviated forms.

The lessons on hope, courage, bravery, and more are admirable. I love this Star Wars-styled take on Aesop’s Fables. These are, personally, a lot more exciting than the Fables, and it helps that they flesh out the picture of the bigger canon while giving young girls heroes to emulate. I would be happy to share this book with my, as the Force wills it, future daughter. Younger readers would adore this book, as girls entering middle school may prefer the Daring Adventures version of these stories.

Chris is the Sous Chef at the Mynock Manor. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisWerms, and of course, follow the Manor.

Legendary Adventures:
The Old Republic EraDawn of the Jedi: Into The Void | Lost Tribe of the Sith | The Old Republic: Revan | The Old Republic: Deceived | Red Harvest | The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance The Old Republic: Annihilation | Knight Errant | Darth Bane: Path of Destruction | Darth Bane: Rule of Two | Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil

The New Jedi Order Era: Scourge

Canon Novel Reviews:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars Young Reader Reviews:
Adventures in Wild Space: The Escape (Prelude)
So You Want to be a Jedi? 
Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
Poe Dameron: Flight Log
Rebel Dossier
Princess Leia: Royal Rebel (Backstories)
Darth Vader: Sith Lord (Backstories)
The Force Awakens: Finn’s Story

Star Wars Comic Book Reviews:
Darth Vader: The Shu-Torun War
The Force Awakens 1-2

LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Reviews:
“A Hero Discovered” 1×01 | “The Mines of Gabralla” 1×02 | “Zander’s Joyride” 1×03 | “The Lost Treasure of Cloud City” 1×04 | “Peril on Kashyyyk” 1×05 | “Crossing Paths” 1×06 

Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide